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February 10 2014

19:19

EarthTalk: Harsh Winters and Global Warming

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Does the fact that we’ve had such a cold and snowy winter mean that global warming might not be such a big problem after all? – Lacey L., Lynchburg, VA

Does the record-breaking cold weather in parts of North America mean the end of global warming? Unfortunately, no. It’s tempting to think that the cold air and snow outside augur the end of global warming, but don’t rejoice yet. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), weather and climate are two very different beasts: “Weather is what’s happening outside the door right now; today a snowstorm or a thunderstorm is approaching. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades.”

Isolated weather events and even seasonal trends are not an indication of global warming’s existence one way or another, and most climatologists agree that the carbon pollution we have been spewing into the atmosphere for the past century is leading to more frequent and intense storms of every kind and causing greater temperature swings all around the planet. In short, the harsh winter we are having shouldn’t be viewed as a refutation of global warming, but rather as further evidence of a growing problem.

“There is a clear long-term global warming trend, while each individual year does not always show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others,” reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The agency chalks up these year-to-year fluctuations to natural processes such as El Niño or volcanic eruptions, but points out that, regardless, the 20 warmest years on record have occurred since 1981, while the 10 warmest were in the past 12 years. And global average temperatures have risen by 1.4°F overall since the early 20th century.

According to Becky Oskin of LiveScience.com, shrinking polar ice caps as a result of global warming in recent decades are one factor that may be contributing to the cold weather in North America this winter.

“One way the shrinking ice changes weather is by pushing winter air south,” she reports. “When the stored ocean heat gradually escapes in autumn, it changes the pattern of an atmospheric wind called the polar vortex, streaming frigid Arctic air into North America and Europe.”

Meanwhile, a 2012 study by researchers Jennifer Francis and Stephen Vavrus concluded that intense warming in the Arctic has caused changes to the jet stream that regulates air circulation around the planet, potentially leading to stronger winter storms hitting the eastern seaboard of the U.S.

And what about all that snow? “Hotter air around the globe causes more moisture to be held in the air than in prior seasons,” reports UCS. “When storms occur, this added moisture can fuel heavier precipitation in the form of more intense rain or snow.” The U.S. is already enduring more intense rain and snowstorms, says the group: “The amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest one percent of storms has risen nearly 20 percent, averaged nationally—almost three times the rate of increase in total precipitation between 1958 and 2007.” And some regions of the country “have seen as much as a 67 percent increase in the amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest storms.”

And Oskin points out that while we may be bundling up and shoveling out in the U.S., it’s turned into another scorcher of a summer in the Southern Hemisphere: 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, and 2014 has started off even hotter, with temperatures soaring to 125°F and severe fire warnings issued in at least two states there. Apparently global warming is still on.

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EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine.

Image credit: Marques Stewart, courtesy flickr

The post EarthTalk: Harsh Winters and Global Warming appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

January 24 2014

23:51

Video Friday: Extreme Weather, the Jet Stream, and Global Warming

With the eastern half of the United States under a deep freeze and the phrase “polar vortex” making the rounds (and no, despite Rush Limbaugh’s breathless ranting, it isn’t a term just made up by evil climate scientists), we circle back around to the discussion of climate vs. weather  and get a grasp on how the jet stream works in this video from The Film Archive.

The irony is that global warming my cause more bitterly cold winters in the eastern U.S. due to a rapidly warming Arctic and its effect on the jet stream. Of course, in any case, winters are still cold.

The post Video Friday: Extreme Weather, the Jet Stream, and Global Warming appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

January 22 2014

23:31

NOAA: 2013 Fourth Hottest Year on Record

Global temperatures 2013

The latest State of the Climate report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicates that the globally-averaged temperature for 2013 tied as the fourth warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880. The NOAA report also said 2013 ranks along with every previous year this century as among the 15 warmest years in the 134 year record. The top three hottest years on record are 2010, 2005 and, of course, 1998.

2013 fourth warmest year on record. Nine of ten of the warmest years have happened during this centuryThe average annual combined land and ocean surface temperature in 2013 was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). The average temperature globally for 2013 was 14.5°C (58.12°F) coming in as a tie with 2003 as the fourth warmest year on record.

2013 marked the 37th consecutive year with global average temperatures above the 20th century average. The last time any year recorded below average temperatures was in 1976. The rate of change for global average temperatures has increased 0.06°C (0.11°F per decade since 1880 with an average rate of 0.16°C (0.28°F per decade since 1970.

2013 saw its share of extreme weather events. While the U.S. as a whole saw a bit of a respite from extreme weather events, extreme flooding, tornadoes and wildfires continue to plague the west. Globally, 2013 saw $41 billion worth of weather disasters, according to a global insurance company.

Most parts of the globe experienced above average annual average temperatures, particularly western Ethiopia, eastern Tanzania and most of southern and western Australia, each documenting record-breaking heat. Record warmth was also recorded in sections of the Arctic Ocean, much of the southwestern Pacific Ocean,  parts of the Central Pacific and an area in the central Indian Ocean.

The average global ocean temperature in 2013 was 0.48°C (0.86°F) above the 20th century average of 16.1°C (60.9°F), tied with 2006 as the eighth warmest year on record for ocean temperatures.

NASA begs to differ, goes for seventh place

Using different data reconstructions for global mean surface temperature than NOAA, NASA reports 2013 as the seventh warmest year on record with an average temperature of 14.6°C (58.3°F) – though the hard number for average temperature was .1°C warmer than the NOAA figure. The point is that global warming continues. Both organizations conclude that nine of the ten warmest years on record have happened in the 21st century, with the hottest year being 2010.

Image credit: Andrea Della Adriano, courtesy flickr

The post NOAA: 2013 Fourth Hottest Year on Record appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

December 20 2013

20:18

Video Friday: Climate Change Impacts on the Alaskan Ecosystem

The northern latitudes are experience some of the most dynamic impacts from climate change. Done by a student as a final project for a Climate Dynamics Class, this video explores some of the effects and consequences climate change will have in Alaska.

 

Featured image credit: Berkeley Lab, courtesy flickr

The post Video Friday: Climate Change Impacts on the Alaskan Ecosystem appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

December 06 2013

20:26

Video Friday: Growing Concern Over Sea Level Rise

From the Yale Climate Forum. Scientists studying the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets express growing concern over the fragility and vulnerability of the world’s ice sheets and the potential impact on sea level rise.

Researchers in Antarctica are using sophisticated equipment to drill down 500 meters below the ice shelf to measure ice loss, temperature, salinity and speed of melt. In one location measured melt rates of more than two inches per day have been observed.

“We still are potentially underestimating the instability of the ice sheets,” cautions Stefan Rahmstorf of Potsdam University in Germany.

 

Featured image credit: Simon Bisson, courtesy flickr

The post Video Friday: Growing Concern Over Sea Level Rise appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

December 05 2013

22:41

Massive US Temperature Fluctuations and Climate Change

The increasingly wide temperature fluctuations over short periods of time indicate we could be approaching climate tipping points. What are the implications of wild swings in temperature for the veracity of climate change? Everyone who follows climate science knows that the planet is warming, but many are unaware of how temperature fluctuations may also be a part of the climate change picture. Scientific observations provide an overwhelmingly compelling body of evidence for global warming. Many lines of scientific evidence show that as a consequence of global warming, the Earth’s climate is changing,  however, increasing global mean temperature is only one element of observed climate change phenomena.

Evidence of global warming can be seen in a number of scientific observations including melting ice and sea level rises. Anomalies like increased precipitation and extreme weather events support the data generated by climate models. However, radical temperature fluctuations are another dimension of climate change that is often overlooked.

Both Dallas and Colorado recently experienced some of the most extreme temperature fluctuations on record. After enjoying balmy temperatures, Dallas was hit with a powerful cold front that caused temperatures to plummet below freezing. On Wednesday December 4, the observed high was 80 degrees, on Saturday December 7, the temperature plunged to just over 30 degrees. That is a temperature change of 50 degrees. Similarly, Denver went from being 67 degrees on Monday to 14 degrees on Wednesday. This represents a temperature difference of 53 degrees.

During the first week of December, 33 million Americans in 27 states were hit by a cold spell. Deniers have commonly looked at cold weather as evidence that disproves global warming. However, when examined over much longer time spans we see a clear warming trend. Further, high and low temperature data from recent decades show that new record highs occur nearly twice as often as new record lows.

Of course, individual temperature readings over the course of a few days cannot be taken as evidence for or against climate change. However, the anomalous temperature fluctuations are part of a trend that is consistent with what many scientists predict will occur as the planet warms.

As H.J. Weaver and his colleagues at the Australian National University explained, “Climate change is predicted to alter the physical environment through cumulative impacts of warming and extreme fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, with cascading effects on human health and well being, food security and socioeconomic infrastructure.”

A NOAA report (PDF) on the 2009/2010 Cold Season stated that a changing climate produced “Extreme fluctuations in temperature and precipitation in the mid-latitudes in 2009 and 2010.”

The winters of 2010 and 2011 in the northern hemisphere have resulted in the record-setting freezes and warm spells. According to an analysis of the past 63 winters from the American Geophysical Union, the warm extremes were more widespread and severe than the cold extremes in the winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Natural variability may explain the cold temperatures, but researchers concluded the extreme warmth cannot be explained by natural cycles, suggesting a possible role of climate change. The report’s co-author Alexander Gershunov and Scripps climate researchers indicated that these temperature swings are consistent with global warming trends.

In Nowata Oklahoma, in the winter of 2011,  the temperature went from a low of -31 degrees on February 10 (the all-time coldest temperature ever recorded in Oklahoma) to a record high of 79 degrees on February 17. According to the National Weather Service in Tulsa, Okla., this 110-degree temperature rise is the greatest change within seven days in Oklahoma history.

A 2011 report out of the UK examined the possible infrastructure impacts of climate change and indicated that extreme temperature fluctuations are likely.

A July 2013 study on plant physiology and climate change talked about “expected extreme fluctuations in temperature and global warming in general.”

It is important to understand as we approach irreversible tipping points that the impacts of climate change may at times appear to be counterintuitive. Far from disproving global warming, radical fluctuations in temperature are another dimension of the same problem.
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Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, green investor and author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, eco-economics and enviro-politics. He is the owner of The Green Market Oracle, a leading sustainable business site and one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on the business of the environment. Find The Green Market on Facebook and follow The Green Market’s twitter feed.

Image credit: Ted Eytan, courtesy flickr

The post Massive US Temperature Fluctuations and Climate Change appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

November 26 2013

19:15

Ocean Acidity Rising 10x Faster Than At Any Time in the Past 55 Million Years

Credit: Christopher Krembs, TAMU

Ocean acidification continues to rise at a rate “unprecedented in Earth’s history,” a direct result of past and current increases in carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, posing significant threats to the health and integrity of marine ecosystems and the diverse range of products and services they provide the world over, according to a report produced by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and released for the Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World..

The latest scientific research on ocean acidification indicates the pH of the oceans is decreasing 10-times faster than at any time in the past 55 million years and may be decreasing faster “than at any time in the last 300 million years,” according to “Ocean Acidification: A Summary for Policymakers” presented at the Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World.

The culprit: rising anthropogenic (human) emissions of CO2. The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere has risen 40 percent since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The oceans historically have absorbed about ¼ of all the CO2 released into the atmosphere by humans since that time. Today, they absorb some 10 million metric tons of CO2 on a daily basis, the report authors note in an executive summary. To date, those emissions have led ocean acidity to increase 26 percent.

Ocean acidification: Rising human carbon emissions the culprit

Increasing ocean acidification lowers the capacity of the oceans to absorb seawater and hence also threatens the viability of marine ecosystems. That spells potential trouble for already troubled ocean plant and animal species, many of which are of vital importance to human societies the world over.

As the authors highlight, the gathering of 540 experts from 37 countries in Monterey, California for the Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World attests to the growing amount of interest, scientific research, and sense of urgency, regarding “ocean acidification, its impacts on ecosystems, socio-economic consequences and implications for policy.”

What do we need to do in respone to what amounts as a “clear and present danger” to the health and integrity of marine ecosystems? The report authors state the solution plainly and succinctly:

“Reducing CO2 emissions is the only way to minimise long-term, largescale risks.”

Source:

Source: “Ocean Acidification Summary for Policymakers”

Considerations for Policy Makers

In the executive summary, they go on to highlight a summary of considerations they recommend policy makers take into account in their decision making:

  • The primary cause of ocean acidification is the release of atmospheric CO2 from human activities. The only known realistic mitigation option on a global scale is to limit future atmospheric CO2 levels.
  • Appropriate management of land use and land-use change can enhance uptake of atmospheric CO2 by vegetation and soils through activities such as restoration of wetlands, planting new forests and reforestation.
  • Geoengineering proposals that do not reduce atmospheric CO2 – for example, methods that focus solely on temperature (such as aerosol backscatter or reduction of greenhouse gases other than CO2) – will not prevent ocean acidification. Adding alkaline minerals to the ocean would be effective and economically feasible only on a very small scale in coastal regions, and the unintended environmental consequences are largely unknown.
  • The impacts of other stressors on ocean ecosystems such as higher temperatures and deoxygenation – also associated with increasing CO2 – will be reduced by limiting increases in CO2 levels.
  • The shellfish aquaculture industry faces significant threats and may benefit from a risk assessment and analysis of mitigation and adaptation strategies. For example, seawater monitoring around shellfish hatcheries can identify when to limit the intake of seawater with a lower pH, hatcheries can be relocated, or managers can select larval stages or strains that are more resilient to ocean acidification for breeding.
  • At local levels, the effects of ocean acidification on ecosystem resilience may be constrained by minimising other local stressors3,4,5 through the following:
  1. Developing sustainable fisheries management practices such as regulating catches to reduce overfishing and creating long-term bycatch reduction plans. If implemented and enforced, this type of management has been shown to sustain ecosystem resilience.
  2. Adopting sustainable management of habitats, increased coastal protection, reduced sediment loading and application of marine spatial planning.
  3. Establishing and maintaining Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that help manage endangered and highly vulnerable ecosystems to enhance their resilience against multiple environmental stressors.
  4. Monitoring and regulating localised sources of acidification from runoff and pollutants such as fertilisers.
  5. Reducing sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and ship exhausts that have significant acidifying effects locally.

Main image credit: Christopher Krembs, TAMU

The post Ocean Acidity Rising 10x Faster Than At Any Time in the Past 55 Million Years appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

November 19 2013

23:21

Energy, Climate Scientists Call for a Moratorium on Coal-Fired Power Plants

Energy and climate scientists call for a coal moratorium, saying unabated coal is the road to climate catastrophe

Coal Sunrise over Beijing

An international group of 27 prominent energy and climate scientists are calling for a moratorium on construction of new coal-fired power plants, a policy they say has become a global imperative if “climate catastrophe” is to be avoided this century.

Their call comes amid renewed efforts by coal and power utility lobbies “to portray ‘high efficiency low emissions coal combustion’ as a climate solution.” Global carbon emissions are set to hit another new record high this year, according to a report released earlier this week as UN climate treaty negotiators meet in Warsaw. Ironically, taking place at the same time in the Polish capital is the Coal and Climate Summit.

The assertion that coal combustion to produce electricity should be considered a “climate-friendly” power technology flies in the face of the facts, all good judgment, and, needless to say, any semblance of adhering to the “precautionary principle.” Agreeing to it would set humanity and ecosystems around the world firmly on course for global warming of 6°C (10.8°F) , according to the scientists.

That’s three to four times the 1.5-2°C cap (compared to pre-industrial era levels) and climate warming threshold world leaders agreed to at the UN’s climate treaty negotiations in Cancun in 2010.

On the road to climate catastrophe

The world’s known coal reserves contain more than 2,000 gigatons (Gt) of CO2. Burning or combusting these reserves “would dramatically overshoot the remaining global carbon budget of about 1,000 gigatons CO2. This comes on top of oil and gas reserves accounting for more than 1600 gigatons,” the scientists highlight in a press release.

“The current global trend of coal use is consistent with an emissions pathway above the IEA’s 6°C scenario. That risks an outcome that can only be described as catastrophic, beyond anything that mankind has experienced during its entire existence on earth,” the scientists state.

Source:

Source: “New Unabated coal is not compatible with keeping
global warming below 2°C”

“The IEA’s medium-term coal market report (IEA, 2012) projects a further expansion of coal use that is even higher than IEA’s own 6DS scenario for 6°C warming in the long-term,” they elaborate.

“The 6DS scenario assumes around 4°C warming by 2100 (Schaeffer and Van Vuuren, 2012). As the Secretary General of the OECD warns: ‘Without CCS, continued reliance on coal-fired power is a road to disaster. (OECD, 2013)”

Source:

Source: “New unabated1 coal is not
compatible with keeping
global warming below 2°C”

“We are not saying there is no future for coal”, added Professor P.R. Shukla of the Indian Institute of Management, “but that unabated coal combustion is not compatible with staying below the 2°C limit, if we like it or not.”

Following is a short list of the main points of the climate and energy scientists’ statement:

  • Unabated coal is not a low carbon technology
  • Avoiding dangerous climate change requires about 3/4 of known fossil fuel reserves to stay underground
  • Current trends in coal use are harbouring catastrophic climate change
  • To keep global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial, use of unabated coal has to go down in absolute terms from now on
  • Alternatives are available and affordable
  • Public financing institutions and regulatory agencies are reining in unabated coal, but more is needed to prevent new unabated coal to be built

False claims, Sustainable energy scenarios

The group of scientists also noted that “false claims about ‘high-efficiency coal’ as a low-emissions technology” were made by the World Coal Association (WCA) in their recently released Warsaw Communiqué. In it the WCA “calls for ‘the immediate use of high-efficiency low-emissions coal combustion technologies as an immediate step in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”

Contrary to such assertions, Dr Bert Metz, former Co-Chair of the IPCC’s Working Group on Climate Change Mitigation, stated,

“New or retrofitted coal plants without CO2 capture and storage will have a life time of 40-50 years. We need to dramatically reduce emissions over the next 40 years. That is not possible with unabated coal.”

“Alternatives to fossil fuels are already available and affordable. It is therefore up to the coal industry to show that coal-fired plants with CCS can compete with other zero carbon options.”

The scientists welcomed the growing number of prominent multilateral and international financing institutions and regulatory agencies, including the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the U.S. Ex-Im Bank, to curtail or “rein in unabated coal.” Much more action is needed, and now, however, they added.

As Professor William Moomaw of the Fletcher School, Tufts University, USA pointed out:

“The trend of future coal use is changing rapidly. The World Bank, US development assistance and the US Import-Export Bank will no longer finance or support new unabated coal power plants internationally, except in rare cases.

“The United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed carbon dioxide emission standards that rule out unabated coal power plants altogether. The European Investment Bank and Scandinavian countries have taken similar steps.”

Genuinely low-emissions alternative, renewable energy technology are readily available, competitive with fossil fuels, and continue to decline in cost, the scientists highlight. This stands out in stark contrast to trends in fossil fuels, which are increasingly costly in narrowly defined dollars-and-cents terms, and much more expensive over the long-term when their environmental, health and other socioeconomic costs, such as military interventions, are factored into the equation.

In their statement, the scientists lay out a range of alternative energy and emissions scenarios:

Source:

Source: “New unabated1 coal is not
compatible with keeping
global warming below 2°C”

For more on this topic, check out the scientists’ full statement on coal

 

Main and featured image credit: Shel Israel, courtesy flickr 

The post Energy, Climate Scientists Call for a Moratorium on Coal-Fired Power Plants appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

November 14 2013

19:36

Climate Finance and Why We Cant Give Up on the UN COP Process

Progress, however halting, in climate finance and other important issues is reason to not give up on the COP processDespite the expectation that we will see progress on climate finance, there are a number of people who are cynical about the outcome of COP 19. Every year around this time, as we settle in for UN climate talks, an army of pundits come out and tell us why we will not see anything of great consequence from the negotiations. They usually end up being right, even if their attitudes are dead wrong.

With current atmospheric carbon readings around 400 parts per million, it is not hard to see why they are so pessimistic. Concentrations of CO2 have increased by 40 percent since pre-industrial times and global average temperatures have risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit) since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. WMO secretary general Michel Jarraud recently indicated that growing levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) mean “our climate is changing, our weather is more extreme, ice sheets and glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising.” Given our current trajectory, temperatures are set to increase well beyond the upper threshold of 2C (3.7 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.

The nineteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC convened in Warsaw on November 11 and runs until November 20. According to the 2012 Doha Climate Gateway, the timetable for a universal climate agreement is 2015, but it will only come into effect in 2020.

In the twenty years since climate change became a global policy priority, we have yet to find a way to secure a binding deal on mitigation. It is understandable why so many environmentally concerned citizens feel betrayed by the successive failures to address the climate crisis. However, given the magnitude of the threat we face from the climate crisis, we do not have the luxury of behaving like jilted lovers. The UN climate negotiations are the best hope we have of reigning in climate change and without popular support, we are even less likely to succeed.

No matter how long it takes, we need to tirelessly press our political leaderships to act. The reasons why we must be so doggedly determined should be obvious, we simply cannot afford to fail.

As the most powerful storm ever to make landfall, Typhoon Haiyan graphically illustrates why we urgently need immediate action to reduce climate change causing greenhouse gases.  We need concerted international action that can only come through global negotiations. This is indeed a Herculean undertaking, but as demonstrated by the carnage in the Philippines, we cannot accept the cataclysmic implications of failure.

If we are to succeed, we must stand together as a community of nations, which is a difficult task at the best of times. We are being driven together by a powerful impetus, namely the right of future generations to inhabit an earth that is livable. No one said it would be easy, but it is work that must be done.

A key part of this collaborative effort entails some form of climate finance and here we have reason to be hopeful that we will see progress at COP 19.  Developed nations are mainly responsible for climate change and they are expected to move forward with provisions that will allocate funds for developing countries to help them with mitigation and adaptation efforts.

New institutional support for developing nations in finance, adaptation and technology will include progress on the Green Climate Fund (GCF), loss and damage mechanisms, compensation and adaptation funds. All of which were agreed in 2010 at the Cancun climate talks (COP 16).

Added support for climate finance comes from two reports shared with delegates at COP 19. Typhoon Haiyan also adds urgency and highlights the importance of these finance issues. If all goes well, we will be on the road to seeing these issues finalized at the Paris climate conference in 2015 and developing nations will make good on their $100 billion a year promise by 2020.

Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, reiterated this point, saying that she believes COP 19 can make progress on GCF.

“We must clarify finance that enables the entire world to move towards low-carbon development,” she said. “We must launch the construction of a mechanism that helps vulnerable populations to respond to the unanticipated effects of climate change.”

During the opening session of the Summit, Mr. Yeb Sano, the lead negotiator of the Philippines, demanded real commitments on climate finance.

“What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness,” Sano said. “We call on this COP to pursue work until the most meaningful outcome is in sight – until concrete pledges have been made to ensure mobilization of resources for the Green Climate Fund; until we see real ambition on stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations. We must put the money where our mouths are.”

Developed nations should also lead the effort to phase out fossil fuels, adopt energy efficient technology, shift towards renewable energy and prevent greenhouse gas emissions. This is the type of leadership that will help less developed nations move in the right direction.

The U.S. must lead because it is both the richest country on the planet and the biggest cumulative contributor of climate change causing greenhouse gases. President Obama and the Democrats are trying to mitigate and adapt to climate change. For their part, Republicans continue with their denial and they are likely to ignore pleas for action. This effectively precludes any hope for legislative progress before at least 2014.

The urgency of action is supported by reams of science, not the least of which is the latest IPCC AR5 document. However, the sad truth is that those who most need to understand the science are the least interested in the facts.

Nonetheless, we must not allow the heartless self interest of the GOP to undermine our efforts. Quite the contrary, their intransigent partisanship should bolster our efforts to expose them for what they are, an impediment to climate progress.

It is true that we are very unlikely to secure a binding global agreement before 2015, if at all. Global leaders have failed to grasp the urgency of the threat and take immediate bold action. After several years with little progress, many are left feeling understandably hopeless.

Sano challenged this lethargy and urged his fellow negotiators to take a bold stance.  “[L]et Warsaw, be remembered as the place where we truly cared to stop this madness.” Sano said. “Can humanity rise to this occasion? I still believe we can.” To highlight his dedication, Sano is fasting as he awaits a successful outcome.

We may have to settle for another small, but meaningful step forward, but this should not erode our support for the COP process. We are less likely to succeed if there is a widespread expectation of failure. Popular support buoys negotiations while public indifference or outright cynicism  detracts from their ability to get things done.

We must strive to build a better future with an unshakable tenacity. The message that needs to be heard in Warsaw must affirm the belief that we can get this done. However, we must make it emphatically clear that we will accept no more delays and we demand bold movement toward a binding deal.

Because we so desperately need to see results in Warsaw, it is incumbent upon all who have the audacity to hope that we press our elected officials and those at the negotiating table to work tirelessly to secure a deal.

Some of the cynical pundits will be quick to say that there is no chance that we will ever see a comprehensive global treaty. They may be right, but we must not let realism temper our advocacy. We are engaged in the most important struggle our civilization has ever known. The fact that we may not succeed should not be an excuse for inaction. Even if it amounts to tilting at windmills, tilt we must, till the very last.
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Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, green investor and author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, eco-economics and enviro-politics. He is the owner of The Green Market Oracle, a leading sustainable business site and one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on the business of the environment. Find The Green Market on Facebook and follow The Green Market’s twitter feed.

Image credit: Karoli, courtesy flickr

The post Climate Finance and Why We Cant Give Up on the UN COP Process appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

November 06 2013

23:49

Oceans heating up faster now than in the past 10,000 years, says new study

Oceans heating up faster now than in the past 10,000 years, says new study (via Skeptical Science)

Posted on 5 November 2013 by John Abraham If the latest research is correct, our oceans are heating up much faster now than they have in the past 10,000 years. This is one of the conclusions that is drawn from a recently published paper in Science.…



The post Oceans heating up faster now than in the past 10,000 years, says new study appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

November 05 2013

16:44

14 Steps to Reduce Black Carbon and Stabilize the Cryosphere

on_thin_iceClimate change is causing unprecedented changes in the Earth’s regions of snow and ice, portents of profound, dramatic change for ecosystems and societies around the world, according to a joint report released by The World Bank and The International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) November 4.

The Earth’s cryosphere is warming more rapidly than anticipated – “at a pace unprecedentd in the historic record.” Rather than abating, in most cases warming and melting is accelerating, posing ecosystems and societies around the world with a variety of fundamental threats, including an increasing frequency of droughts and floods, and dramatic shifts in water, food and energy resource availability, according to “On Thin Ice: How Cutting Pollution Can Slow Warming and Save Lives.”

The Earth’s cryosphere: “On Thin Ice”

Stabilizing and preserving the cryosphere merits inclusion as a global imperative, the report authors stress. Leadership – in the form of explicit and sustained guidance, direction, support and incentives – is needed across markets, industries, the government, private and public sectors if there is any chance of this objective being realized, however.

In “On Thin Ice,” the World Bank and ICCI report authors lay out 14 practical measures that if enacted by 2030 could drastically reduce short-lived carbon pollutants (SLCPs) – primarily black carbon and methane – and stabilize conditions in the world’s threatened snow and ice-bound regions. Doing so, they assert, would bring “multiple health, crop, and ecosystems benefits and decrease risks to development from water resource changes, including flooding and other major impacts or climate feedbacks we may not foresee today.”

The effects of climate change are being seen and felt disproportionately in the Earth’s cryosphere, whether it’s Arctic sea ice, Antarctic ice shelves, the Greenland ice sheet, the Alaskan coast or the freshwater glaciers of the Andes, Rockies and Himalayas. Moreover, “rapid changes in the cryosphere observed during the first decade of this century are continuing or accelerating,” according to the report.

“Warming in the cryosphere poses serious threats to disaster preparedness, to water resources in some heavily populated regions, and to adaptation and ecosystems preservation. Intensified monitoring in cryosphere regions is needed to provide better and earlier warning of changes.”

Ongoing warming “has the potential to trigger disastrous feedback mechanisms from the cryosphere into the global climate systems,” the report authors continue, including “loss of albedo from sea ice and snow cover and loss of permafrost leading to greater carbon fluxes into the atmosphere (particularly where emissions occur as methane.”

Credit:

Credit: “On Thin Ice,” World Bank, ICCI

Methane emissions from thawing permafrost alone could increase atmospheric carbon “as much as 5-30% by the end of this century if current cryosphere warming is not slowed,” they warn.

Reducing Black Carbon and methane emissions

Implementing the 14 measures recommended in the report by 2030 “could slow warming in the Arctic by more than a full degree by 2050, resulting in up to 40 percent reduced loss of summer sea ice and 25 percent reduced loss of springtime snow cover compared to the baseline,” however.

As stated in the report’s executive summary,

“Accelerating actions to decrease short-lived pollutants from key sectors can make a real difference by slowing these dangerous changes and risks to development while improving public health and food security.”

Rapidly scaling up just four cleaner cooking solutions alone could save as many as 1 million human lives a year. Reducing diesel emissions in transportation can prevent 340,000 deaths Achieving a 50% reduction in open field and forest burning could avoid 190,000 deaths from air pollution, according to the report.

Source:

Source: “On Thin Ice,” World Bank, ICCI

There’s no time to waste, they emphasize. “With projections of large cryosphere impacts such as Arctic sea ice loss occurring by mid-century, speed is of the essence in addressing and operationalizing these cryosphere and development challenges.”

Of potentially profound significance for coastal regions and populations, “rates of sea-level rise might be significantly slowed by 2050, with a potential near-leveling-off in rates before the end of the century if SLCP measures are combined with CO2 emissions held to 450ppm.

“This decrease in sea-level rise could range from 10 cm to half a meter or more. Perhaps more important, temperature reductions in polar regions from these measures would help minimize the risk of essentially irreversible ice sheet loss or disintegration in West Antarctica and Greenland, which could ultimately raise ocean levels by several decimeters by 2100—and by many meters over a period of centuries or millennia.”

The post 14 Steps to Reduce Black Carbon and Stabilize the Cryosphere appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

October 08 2013

19:50

New Research Reveals Climate Warming 55 MYA was Geologically Instantaneous

PETMfig1 (1)New research into past changes in climate indicates that global warming can take place much more suddenly than previously thought – over the course of only about 13 years. Temperatures at high latitudes rose as much as 8ºC (14ºF) and oceans warmed from surface to bottom some 55 million years ago during what’s known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

The rapid rise in global temperature caused massive disruptions and changed climate conditions, weather patterns, the distribution of plant and animal species, and ecology the world over. Driving it all was a massive increase in the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. The massive, abrupt injection of CO2 into the atmosphere, in turn, was driven by intense volcanic activity on the seafloor, which also drove a further separation of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates and the widening of the North Atlantic Ocean basin.

Instantaneous Global Warming

The scientific consensus was that a massive release of CO2 into the atmosphere over a period of some 10,000 years drove the PETM temperature rise. Research conducted by two Rutgers University geologists indicates that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 during the PETM occurred in a geologic instant, over a mere 13 years, driving a global temperature rise of 5ºC (9ºF), however, according to a Phys.org report.

Studying drilling core samples from an area of southern New Jersey that was covered by a warm sea during the PETM, Rutgers’ geologists Morgan Schaller and James Wright discovered an alternating, cyclic pattern of dark clay bands about 2 centimeters thick rich in organic material. Analyzing the clay bands, the pair of researchers found changes in ratios of heavier carbon-13 and lighter carbon-12 isotopes.

The 20% drop in atmospheric carbon-13 concentration they measured in the core samples can “plausibly account” for their observations is “a large, instantaneous release of C-13-depleted carbon,” associated with intense volcanic activity, according to their report, “Evidence for a rapid release of carbon at the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum,” in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Scientists have been using this event from 55 million years ago to build models about what’s going on now,” Schaller was quoted as saying. “But they’ve been assuming it took something like 10,000 years to release that carbon, which we’ve shown is not the case. We now have a very precise record through the carbon release that can be used to fix those models.”

The research pair estimates the intense marine volcanic activity some 55 million years ago caused some 3,000 gigatons of carbon to be released into the atmosphere from hydrocarbon-rich, organic mudstone, and methane hydrate deposits on the seafloor of the continental margins.

In addition to forcing rapid warming, this led to an abrupt rise in the acidity of the oceans, which, in turn, led to mass extinctions of the phytoplankton that not only form the base of the marine food chain, but produce as much as half the oxygen in the atmosphere and absorb as much as half the total atmospheric CO2 sequestered as part of the carbon cycle. Similarly drastic changes have been found in terrestrial flora and fauna.

Though nowhere near the same order of magnitude, human CO2 emissions are causing similarly profound and abrupt climate and ecological change today. “We’ve shown unequivocally what happens when CO2 increases dramatically – as it is now, and as it did 55 million years ago,” Wright was quoted.

“The oceans become acidic and the world warms up dramatically. Our current carbon release has been going on for about 150 years, and because the rate is relatively slow, about half the CO2 has been absorbed by the oceans and forests, causing some popular confusion about the warming effects of CO2. But 55 million years ago, a much larger amount of carbon was all released nearly instantaneously, so the effects are much clearer.”

The post New Research Reveals Climate Warming 55 MYA was Geologically Instantaneous appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

October 07 2013

18:06

Enviro News Wrap: Climate Denial Propaganda; Tesla EV Catches Fire; Fukushima Leaks Radioactive Water, and more…

The Latest Environmental News HeadlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

  • With the IPCC publishing it latest findings on climate change the denial campaign has been stepped up. American and British organizations are partnering to create confusion over science that is very clear. The denial propagandists have spent a lot of time creating strategies that only a sharp and studied person can see through. Think about this, how many climate change skeptics are scientists from a relevant field of study doing current research? Very few if any. The denial side is filled with pundits, otherwise known as regular people paid money to provide non-expert (but touted as expert) opinions.
  • A Tesla electric car caught fire when a metal object pierced the 3-inch protective case to the battery. It is important to remember that cars are inherently unsafe (if less so than decades ago with improvements in safety features and designn), especially the ones driving around with gallons of highly flammable gasloline. Tesla is responding to the incident.
  • The decline of coal continues! Two plants in Pennsylvania are closing  because they are no longer profitable. This is the power of economics, you don’t need to argue with anyone because if something doesn’t make money then it stops. So, good-bye coal, and hello cheaper renewable energy.
  • The government shutdown, while ultimately ridiculous, is impacting renewable energy. Larger projects with permitting timelines and completion deadlines for government incentives are at risk of not meeting their development targets.
  • Renewable energy has become cheaper, but natural gas is still the cheapest energy source in 2013. Natural gas extraction and use is skyrocketing, but what happens when the price spikes and we are stuck on yet another dirty and expensive energy source.
  • There is a single word that sums up the argument against nuclear power: Fukushima. If an energy source carries an unacceptable risk to the environment and human health then it should not be used. The joke goes, an oil spill is a disaster, a solar spill is called a nice day.
  • Methane gas is a byproduct of materials breaking down; our landfills produce a lot of methane and now it is being sold as car fuel in California. Recapturing our waste to use it again is a very good idea.
  • Roads are pollution corridors and lots of people live right next to big roads. Ever see a home on the side of the freeway with black smudge on the outside walls, well that is the same stuff that people are breathing.

The post Enviro News Wrap: Climate Denial Propaganda; Tesla EV Catches Fire; Fukushima Leaks Radioactive Water, and more… appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

October 03 2013

22:15

Debunking Efforts to Undermine the IPCC’s Latest Climate Report

IPCC report withstand a barrage of climate denialClimate deniers began working to undermine the fifth Climate Assessment from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) even before the first part of the report was released on September 27. A plethora of media outlets, politicians and business interests are employing a barrage of misinformation tactics to undermine the report.

A misguided article published in The Telegraph made that outlandish claim that, “There is no other evidence out there that global warming is any kind of problem. That it exists only in the imagination of the people who programme those computer models and the scientists who contribute to the theory that anthropogenic CO2 is a problem.”

Another piece of fiction was published in a The Daily Mail article which stated, “UN scientists said today they are ’95 per cent’ certain that climate change is man made, but still could not explain why the world has barely got any hotter in the last 15 years.”

Climate denying Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, proclaimed that “there has been no recorded warming since 1998″ and Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School said the report “shows that the IPCC’s predictions do not support alarmist predictions of global temperature rise.”

Contrary to statements made by The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Cruz and Lomborg, the IPCC report clearly indicates that global temperatures have increased. Since the 1950s, each successive decade has been hotter than the last, and the 2000s were the hottest decade since modern record-keeping began in 1880. Further, the report predicts that temperatures will increase 2.7 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 4.5 Celsius) if CO2 levels are allowed to reach 560 parts per million (ppm) from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm (we are currently above 400 ppm).

What the IPCC report said was that there was slightly less heating than predicted by the previous assessment. The reason that land temperatures have not increased as much as some models had predicted is because the oceans are absorbing the heat.

The fossil fuel industry is also working feverishly to deminish the report’s credibility including promoting the fiction of a recovery of Arctic sea ice. To illustrate the point, the UK-based Daily Mail, ran the following headline:

“And now it’s global COOLING! Return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 29% in a year.” The article went on to say, “Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading.”

What the IPCC report actually says is that the rate of ice loss is huge and growing. The Arctic Ocean is now melting at an even faster rate than predicted in the previous IPCC report. Arctic sea ice surface extent has decreased by 3.5-4.1 percent per decade (9.4-13.6 percent during summer) and it further predicts that the Arctic will be ice-free during the summer by mid-century if we continue with business as usual.

The world has lost 303 billion tons of ice from glaciers each year since 1993. It also says the speed with which Greenland’s ice sheet is melting has increased substantially with 237 billion tons of ice being lost yearly from 2002 to 2011, up from 37 billion tons per year from 1992 to 2001. Antarctica lost 162 tons of ice per year from 2002 to 2011, up from 33 billion tons annually from 1992 to 2001.

Another compilation of psuedo-scientific lies was published in a report from the Heartland Institute which is funded by the infamous oil barons the Koch brothers.

Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist and one of the contributors to the IPCC report explained that nearly every time there is a scientific paper linking human activities to climate change, the “denial-sphere” tries to undermine the research.

Media outlets have falsely claimed that global warming forecasts were “wrong.”  However, these misleading reports have been dismissed by climate scientists as “error filled,” “unsubstantiated,” “completely ridiculous” and “an embarrassment to the serious reporting of climate change elsewhere.”

The IPCC report shows evidence of clear warming trends on land and in the sea, glaciers are melting, sea ice is retreating and ocean levels are rising.

The second IPCC assessment in 1995, said that “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” The fifth assessment has made the same point but with the highest levels of confidence to date.

The IPCC report indicates that scientists are 95 percent certain that it is “extremely likely” that humans are mostly to blame for temperatures that have climbed since 1951 (up from 90 percent in the preceding report in 2007). In science, 95 percent certainty is a gold standard. Further, there is a 97 percent consensus amongst climate experts that humans are causing global warming.

An article in The Washington Examiner said, “Why does the U.N. love consensus anyway? Because it sounds authoritative,” the truth is that the U.N. IPCC report is as authoritative as it gets.

The IPCC assessments are the definitive report on climate and no amount of subterfuge should be allowed to alter that fact. The science in the IPCC report is sound and with key findings from 9,000 scientific articles, it is the largest summary of peer reviewed climate data ever published.

As explained by the former IPCC chair Robert Watson, “The observational evidence for human-caused warming is overwhelming, compelling and irrefutable.”

 

The post Debunking Efforts to Undermine the IPCC’s Latest Climate Report appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

September 30 2013

14:37

Climate Projections More Confident, Dire From IPCC

IPCC report warns of dire consequences if warming left unceckedClimate Projections More Confident, Dire From IPCC (via Climate Central)

By Andrew Freedman Follow @afreedma Manmade global warming is rapidly transforming the planet at rates that are unprecedented in human history, from melting Arctic sea ice to heating the land and seas and contributing to extreme weather events, concluded…



The post Climate Projections More Confident, Dire From IPCC appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

September 10 2013

20:45

Warming Ocean Portends Troubling Changes at the Base of the Marine Food Web

NOAA MESA Project

Conducting research of potentially vital importance to marine and coastal zone resource policy makers and managers, fisheries managers, fishing communities and stakeholders worldwide, researchers from the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) School of Environmental Sciences and School of Computing Sciences and the University of Exeter have found that warming ocean temperatures pose potentially grave risks to the marine food web.

The research team for the first time determined that ocean temperature – as well as light and nutrient levels – has a direct impact on the chemical cycles, diversity and productivity of phytoplankton populations, microscopic marine organisms that form the base of the marine food web and play an outsized role in absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

As lead researcher Dr. Thomas Mock explained in a UEA news report,

“Phytoplankton, including micro-algae, are responsible for half of the carbon dioxide that is naturally removed from the atmosphere. As well as being vital to climate control, it also creates enough oxygen for every other breath we take, and forms the base of the food chain for fisheries so it is incredibly important for food security.

Changes at the base of the marine food web

“Previous studies have shown that phytoplankton communities respond to global warming by changes in diversity and productivity. But with our study we show that warmer temperatures directly impact the chemical cycles in plankton, which has not been shown before.”

More specifically, the research team found that marine micro algae apparently don’t produce as many ribosomes as when temperatures are lower. Rich in phosphorous, ribosomes assemble the proteins essential to phytoplankton life functioning.

A reduction in ribosomes leads to the production of more nitrogen as opposed to phosphorous, which increases the demand for nitrogen in the oceans. This, in turn, would eventually lead to more blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, which fix atmospheric nitrogen as part of their basic life functioning.

Source: World Resources Institute

Source: World Resources Institute

Cyanobacteria also soak up oceanic oxygen, creating low oxygen, hypoxic, conditions that have led to the creation of large and growing marine and coastal area “dead zones” devoid of the seafood species we rely on as sources of food and nutrition. Dead zones have formed in areas such as the Mississippi River delta in the Gulf of Mexico, where large quantities of nitrogen from terrestrial sources, such as fertilizer runoff from farms, flows out via river deltas into the ocean.

“The impact of temperature on marine phytoplankton resource allocation and metabolism,” appears in the September 8, 2013 online edition of Nature Climate Change.

Main image credit: Source: NOAA MESA Project

Featured image credit: Pulpolux!!!, courtesy flickr

The post Warming Ocean Portends Troubling Changes at the Base of the Marine Food Web appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

August 21 2013

17:58

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Closing the Consensus Gap

closing the consensus gap in the Journal of Atomic ScientistsBulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Closing the Consensus Gap (via Skeptical Science)

Posted on 20 August 2013 by John Cook The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a prestigious journal, established in 1945 to warn the public about the consequences of using nuclear weapons. They’ve published the writings of Hans Bethe, Albert Einstein…



The post Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Closing the Consensus Gap appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

August 19 2013

17:34

Enviro News Wrap: Climate Change and Conflict; GOP Clings to Global Warming Hysteria; Egypt and the Price of Oil

The Latest Environmental News HeadlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

 

The post Enviro News Wrap: Climate Change and Conflict; GOP Clings to Global Warming Hysteria; Egypt and the Price of Oil appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

August 15 2013

00:48

Citizen Science Projects Help Scientists Understand Past and Future Climate

Citizen science projects like OldWeather help climate scientists understand past environmental conditions and improve climate modelsWith the rise of computer and social networks, crowdsourcing is changing the way we fund ideas, raise awareness of important issues and motivate community action. Citizen science projects is also a growing trend that lends itself to the crowdsourcing  concept, providing opportunities for interested citizens to use their computers and/or time to help with scientific research.

The citizen-scientist

The basic idea isn’t necessarily new, for many years organizations like the Earthwatch Institute have engaged volunteers on the ground and around the world with scientists pursuing research of all types. In 2007 we participating in one such project with Dr. Peter Kershaw called Climate Change at the Arctic’s Edge.

But the citizen scientist doesn’t have to travel to the Canadian Arctic, or anywhere else, to help further scientific inquiry and improve our understanding of the world around us. OldWeather.org is a project that helps scientists recover Arctic and global weather observations made by U.S. ships since the mid-nineteenth century. Volunteers help transcribe and digitize these log records, improving our knowledge of past environmental conditions and contributing to future climate model projections. The better we understand our past, the more accurately we can project possible future scenarios.

“We hope to unlock millions of weather, sea ice and other environmental observations which are recorded in these documents,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D in a recent Weather.com interview.

OldWeather.org is a part of the Zooniverse Project, a collection of individual research projects ranging from space and cosmology, environment and biology, history and humanities, and climate. The Cyclone Center is another climate-focused project in the Zooniverse catalog. The project enlists volunteers to help record cyclone patterns of the past 30 years so climate scientists can better analyze the immense amount of data available to them in their reseaarch.

The dialog surrounding global warming, at least in certain politically motivated circles, has too often cast climate scientists as suspect, as “the other,” apart from the mainstream citizen going about their daily lives. In the process science, knowledge and inquiry itself is diminished. This does nobody any good.Working side-by-side with scientists in the field in an Earthwatch project, or assisting from the comfort of home with nothing more than your curiosity and a computer, helps to bridge this gap.

Citizen science is a vital piece in the puzzle of understanding our world and our future here on this planet. So check out Earthwatch of Zooniverse and join the ranks of citizen scientist!

What is Old Weather from National Maritime Museum on Vimeo.

Image credit: National Archives

The post Citizen Science Projects Help Scientists Understand Past and Future Climate appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

August 09 2013

19:14

Video Friday: Rising Great Lakes Water Temperature – A New Normal for the Region?

This video from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and posted on Peter Sinclair’s ClimateCrocks.com describes how decreasing ice has led to a rise in Great Lakes water temperature. Despite an increase in precipitation in the region, the increased water temperature has in turn increased evaporation, literally “sucking the lakes into the sky.” Lake levels have dropped to record lows of which they have not recovered for almost the past fifteen years. Writer Dan Egan of the Journal-Sentinel goes in depth into the causes and effects of declining water levels on the Great Lakes.

Featured image credit: Jimmy Brown, courtesy flickr

The post Video Friday: Rising Great Lakes Water Temperature – A New Normal for the Region? appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

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