The IPCC has released a very snazzy video that summarizes the fifth assessment report.
The IPCC has released a very snazzy video that summarizes the fifth assessment report.
Real Climate gives the recent methane news some proper context. The bottom line is that since methane is a short lived GHG it would take a very sudden and very massive release of methane for it to have a large effect on the climate. And that is unlikely.
Methane is a short-lived gas in the atmosphere, so to make it rise, the emission flux has to continually increase. This is in contrast to CO2, which accumulates in the atmosphere / ocean system, meaning that steady (non-rising) emissions still lead to a rising atmospheric concentration…
The Siberian Arctic, and the Americans, (Read more…)
A frustratingly stubborn climate myth is that global warming stopped in 1998. It hasn’t. In fact the earth is currently accumulating extra heat at a rate of 4 Hiroshima nuclear bombs per second!
To help drive home the point climate change hasn’t stopped, or paused, but has continued unabated the friendly robots over at Skeptical Science have created this widget showing just how quickly the earth is accumulating energy.
Reuters nicely summarizes the outcome of the COP19 UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, Poland.
Developed nations promised in 2009 to increase their aid to poorer countries to help them cope with climate change to $100 billion a year after 2020, from $10 billion a year in 2010-12. But in Warsaw they rejected calls to set targets for 2013-19.
A draft text merely urged developed nations to set “increasing levels” of aid, to be reviewed every two years.
LOSS AND DAMAGE
The talks agreed a new “Warsaw International Mechanism” to provide expertise, and possibly aid, to help developing nations cope (Read more…)
Major Iceberg Cracks off Pine Island Glacier : Natural Hazards
Between November 9–11, 2013, a large iceberg finally separated from the calving front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Scientists first detected a rift in the glacier in October 2011 during flights for NASA’s Operation IceBridge.By July 2013, infrared and radar images indicated that the crack had cut completely across the ice shelf to the southwestern edge. New images now show that Iceberg B-31 is finally moving away from the coast, with open water between the iceberg and the edge of Pine Island Glacier.
The Operational Land Imager on the (Read more…)
A summary of the IPCC report in 4 minutes
Chevron, Exxon and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show
The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.
Fossil fuel produces deserve a lot of blame for for the current state of the debate on climate change. Many of them distorted the debate by funding the spread of misinformation and outright falsehoods. We, rightly, should be very angry at them for this. But (Read more…)
This video taken at 6am on Friday 8 November as Typhoon Hayian hit Hernani in Eastern Samar shows how quickly and intensely the storm surge hit.
Michael Mann echoing Keven Trenberth’s position that all weather now has a climate change component since it is occurring in an altered atmosphere (one with more GHGs, heat and water vapour amongst many other factors).
But herein lies the crux—we no longer live in a world without warming. Given that 1985 was the last year with temperatures below the 20th century average, and 2000-2010 was the hottest decade on record, it has become impossible to say for certain that any given storm is free from the influence of our warmed world.
While contrarians may dislike it when activists or actors (Read more…)
Something worth listening to this weekend
From USA TODAY:
The vast majority of Americans in each of 40-plus states surveyed say global warming is real, serious and man-made, and the concerns tend to be slightly higher in coastal or drought-stricken areas, says an analysis out today.
At least 75% of U.S. adults say global warming has been happening, but the Stanford University research found that 84% or more took that view in states recently hit by drought — Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas — or vulnerable to sea-level rise: Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.
Despite intense debate in (Read more…)
From The ongoing climate negotiations in Warsaw Poland:
Canada has dropped any remaining pretences of supporting global action on climate change by urging other countries to follow Australia’s example in gutting its climate plan.
In a formal statement, the Canadian government said it “applauds” the move by Australia this week to repeal a carbon tax on the country’s 300 biggest polluters.
“Canada applauds the decision by prime minister Abbott to introduce legislation to repeal Australia’s carbon tax. The Australian prime minister’s decision will be noticed around the world and sends an important message,” the formal statement from Paul Calandra, (Read more…)
It is inevitable. After every extreme weather event the question: “Was it caused by climate change?” is never far behind. Not only that, but often the question is asked with the implication that there is a desire for a simple yes or no answer. But reality is more complex than this and requires a more detailed answer.
So what can we say about Typhoon Haiyan? First Haiyan was the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make land fall with sustained winds of (Read more…)
Andy Extance has written two particularly appropriate posts on Bert Bolin the first chairman of the IPCC and an instrumental figure in getting the world to agree to negotiate a climate agreement. Hopefully the current round of climate negotiations in Warsaw will accomplish more than the typical empty rhetoric and voluntary actions that have characterized past negotiations.
An open letter by leading climate scientists, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, James Hansen and Tom Wigley calling on green groups to stop opposing nuclear power:
To those influencing environmental policy but opposed to nuclear power:
As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and deployment of safer nuclear energy systems. We appreciate your organization’s concern about global warming, and your advocacy of renewable energy. But continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.
We call on your organization to support the development and (Read more…)
Mark Jaccard hitting home the point that, while spills might be locally devastating, they pale in comparison to the consequences of unmitigated climate change.
Sorry, folks, but if you care about the environment – the planet for that matter – your strategy to stop oil pipelines is futile if its only focus is oil spills on land and sea. You may stop one or two poorly conceived projects, but you won’t stop industry expansion. There is too much money to be made in a world that allows carbon pollution to remain largely unpriced and unconstrained.
Difficult as it is to (Read more…)
Burton Richter a Nobel Laureate in physics has an interesting idea to stop the use of coal
There is no excuse for the continued use of coal to generate electricity that costs too much and is a health hazard to everyone who lives anywhere near a coal-fired power plant. About 137,000 people worked in the coal industry last year — from miners to executives, according to the Labor Department. You could pension them all off with $50,000 per year tax-free, at a cost of about $6.8 billion per year [A National Academy of Sciences 2010 study estimated that the (Read more…)
(h/t Andy Skuce)
Andy also highlights some key points from the video which are worth highlighting: (more…)
A Canadian government report stating that Canadian GHG emissions in 2020 will be 20% higher than the governments promised reductions from the 2009 Copenhagen accord. The estimate of emissions is also 14 million tonnes or 2% higher than last years estimate for 2020. So not only is Canada on a trajectory to miss its GHG emission targets by a mile (1.6 kilometres), but that trajectory is moving in the wrong direction. And the report calls this “significant progress”
This type of “progress” is sure to lead us to ruin.
This figure by Michael Tobis should have been published when the IPCC AR5 was released as a reminder of how skewed the public discussion of climate change really is. But I had forgotten about it and it took a twitter conversation/debate between Steve Easterbrook and Richard Betts to jog my memory.
I haven’t seen this reported elsewhere (so perhaps I am way off base) but I think the new statement of climate sensitivity in the IPCC AR5 represents some real good news compared with the statement in AR4 Here is the statement from AR5:
Climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C, extremely unlikely less than 1°C, and very unlikely greater than 6°C
And here is the statement from AR4:
Climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range of 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be (Read more…)
Here is the IPCC message: We are as certain that humans are radically changing the planet’s climate as we are that tobacco causes cancer. Peter Gleick
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