NASA and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) - "The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years..." ~ NASA.gov [NASA Evidence | Click Here For Weekly CO2 Levels]
Rising CO2 levels can herald increasing global temperatures and the human inability to significantly limit carbon emissions. This will likely spur extreme weather patterns including drought, catastrophic storms, flooding, sea-level rise and changing ecosystems leading to inconsistent food production and widespread extinction of native species. Life as generally expected may dramatically alter.
"Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal..." ~ IPCC
If Climate Change Is Real, What Does This Mean?
Climate scientist Kathryn Hayhoe offers a simple yet comprehensive TEDx presentation on whether climate change is real, whether it's simply a natural phenomenon, and what it means to all of us if it continues to grows in intensity and severity.
SCARED SCIENTISTS By Nick Bower
"My work on the potential impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems has made it clear that the human species is now threatened..." ~ Dr. Lesley Hughes
AMOC Time Series – Modeled evolution of the maximum AMOC streamfunction at 44 8 Nand deeper than 400m. The time series are plotted from 1871 to 2100 for all 12 models considered in this study.
Original Article By Peter T. Spooner, Research Associate in Paleoceanography, University College London.
“The ocean currents that help warm the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America have significantly slowed since the 1800s and are at their weakest in 1600 years,” according to new research conducted by Dr. Spooner and colleagues and presented in the scientific journal, Nature.
Dr. Spooner states, “the weakening of this ocean circulation system may have begun naturally but is probably being continued by climate change related to greenhouse gas emissions. This circulation is a key player in the Earth’s climate system and a large or abrupt slowdown could have global repercussions. It could cause sea levels on the US east coast to rise, alter European weather patterns or rain patterns more globally, and hurt marine wildlife.”
Coupled climate models predict density-driven weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circu- lation (AMOC) under greenhouse gas forcing, with considerable spread in the response between models. There is also a large spread in the predicted increase of the southern annular mode (SAM) index across these models. Regression analysis across model space using 11 non-eddy-resolving models suggests that up to 35% of the intermodel spread in the AMOC response may be associated with uncertainty in the magnitude of the increase in the SAM. Models with a large, positive SAM index response generally display a smaller weakening of the AMOC under greenhouse gas forcing. The initial AMOC strength is also a major cause of intermodel spread in its response to climate change. The increase in the SAM acts to reduce the weakening of the AMOC over the next century by around 1 / 3 , through increases in wind stress over the Southern Ocean, northward Ekman transport, and upwelling around Antarctica. The SAM response is also related to an increase in the northward salt flux across 30 8 S and to salinity anomalies in the high-latitude North Atlantic. These provide a positive feedback by further reinforcement of the AMOC. The results suggest that, compared with the real ocean where eddies oppose wind-driven changes in Southern Ocean circulation, climate models un- derestimate the effects of anthropogenic climate change on the AMOC.
“The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) consists of a northward flux of warm water in the Atlantic basin, which cools and sinks at high latitudes, returning southward as dense water in the deep ocean (Wunsch 2002). Because it transports a large amount of heat northward, it plays an important role in Northern Hemisphere climate (Vellinga and Wood 2002; Knight et al. 2005). It is generally predicted that the AMOC will weaken in response to anthropogenic climate change (e.g., Thorpe et al. 2001; Gregory et al. 2005; Cheng et al. 2013) with the potential for both regional and global climate im- pacts, such as moderation of global warming in Europe (Christensen et al. 2007; Meehl et al. 2007).”
“Similar but larger changes in climate have been linked to the AMOC ‘‘bipolar seesaw’’ during glacial periods (Broecker 1998). AMOC strength, estimated using proxies such as 231 Pa/ 230 Th and 14 C (McManus et al. 2004; Robinson et al. 2005), is correlated with Arctic temperature as well as the intensity of Asian monsoons and climate over the Americas; it is thought to be the driver of such changes, although modeling has proved inconclusive (Wang et al. 2001; Alley 2007; Seager and Battisti 2007; Broecker et al. 2010). A weakening AMOC may also reduce the oceanic capacity for uptake of anthropogenic CO 2 via increases in North Atlantic stratification and the associated weakening of the biological pump and decreased transportofCO 2 to depth (Schmittner 2005; Obata 2007; Zickfeld et al. 2008). The paleoclimate record also hints that changes in AMOC strength are related to the capacity for terrestrial storage of methane and nitrous oxide, two potentially potent greenhouse gases (Fl € uckiger et al. 2004; Sowers 2006; Wolff et al. 2010).”
James Stavridis, a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former military commander of NATO, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University writes in Bloomberg:
“…By failing to [recognize or address the critical dangers of] climate change,’ the U.S. is not only surrendering a position of global leadership on this crucial issue, but laying itself open to real security risks in the decades ahead.”
Jones PD, Lister DH, Osborn TJ, Harpham C, Salmon M and Morice CP (2012) Hemispheric and large-scale land-surface air temperature variations: an extensive revision and an update to 2010. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, D05127, doi:10.1029/2011JD017139.
Morice CP, Kennedy JJ, Rayner NA and Jones PD (2012) Quantifying uncertainties in global and regional temperature change using an ensemble of observational estimates: the HadCRUT4 dataset. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, D08101, doi:10.1029/2011JD017187
Osborn TJ and Jones PD (2014) The CRUTEM4 land-surface air temperature data set: construction, previous versions and dissemination via Google Earth. Earth System Science Data 6, 61-68 (doi:10.5194/essd-6-61-2014).
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“The skiers themselves seem out of place… relaxing in chaise lounges on the dry ground beside the trails, or arriving at the slopes in ski pants and T-shirts, because why bundle up when the temperature is a balmy 50°F? “It was incredibly hot for that time of year,” says Zorzanello. “And this was 2,100 m [6,900 ft.] up the mountain.”
““The dream of skiing on Alpine snow is going to go away,” says Zorzanello. The loss of the beauty that once was the Alps is a just price for the damage wrought by humans—and might serve as a sufficient spur for us to begin to avoid doing more.”
“Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these [current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine life depletion, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth] foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse.”
“Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs from burning fossil fuels (Hansen et al. 2013), deforestation (Keenan et al. 2015), and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption (Ripple et al. 2014).
Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century.
Humanity is now being given a second notice, as illustrated by these alarming trends (figure 1). We are jeopardizing our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats (Crist et al. 2017).
By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperiled biosphere.
As most political leaders respond to pressure, scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life.
With a groundswell of organized grassroots efforts, dogged opposition can be overcome and political leaders compelled to do the right thing.
It is also time to re-examine and change our individual behaviors, including limiting our own reproduction (ideally to replacement level at most) and drastically diminishing our per capita consumption of fossil fuels, meat, and other resources.
The rapid global decline in ozone-depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively. We have also made advancements in reducing extreme poverty and hunger (www.worldbank.org).”
“Examples of diverse and effective steps humanity can take to transition to sustainability include the following (not in order of importance or urgency):
(a) prioritizing the enactment of connected well-funded and well-managed reserves for a significant proportion of the world’s terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and aerial habitats;
(b) maintaining nature’s ecosystem services by halting the conversion of forests, grasslands, and other native habitats; (c) restoring native plant communities at large scales, particularly forest landscapes;
(d) rewilding regions with native species, especially apex predators, to restore ecological processes and dynamics; (e) developing and adopting adequate policy instruments to remedy defaunation, the poaching crisis, and the exploitation and trade of threatened species;
(f) reducing food waste through education and better infrastructure;
(g) promoting dietary shifts towards mostly plant-based foods; (h) further reducing fertility rates by ensuring that women and men have access to education and voluntary family-planning services, especially where such resources are still lacking;
(i) increasing outdoor nature education for children, as well as the overall engagement of society in the appreciation of nature; (j) divesting of monetary investments and purchases to encourage positive environmental change;
(k) devising and promoting new green technologies and massively adopting renewable energy sources while phasing out subsidies to energy production through fossil fuels;
(l) revising our economy to reduce wealth inequality and ensure that prices, taxation, and incentive systems take into account the real costs which consumption patterns impose on our environment; and
(m) estimating a scientifically defensible, sustainable human population size for the long term while rallying nations and leaders to support that vital goal.
To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual.
This prescription was well articulated by the world’s leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”
Image Courtesy of Yale.edu | Illustration by Luisa Rivera for Yale E360
“The increased, widespread insect biomass decline is alarming.”
Recent results of 27 year comprehensive research study: “All traps were placed in protected areas that are meant to preserve ecosystem functions and biodiversity.”
Original Article In PLOS (Public Library of Science)
…Agricultural intensification, including the disappearance of field margins and new crop protection methods has been associated with an overall decline of biodiversity in plants, insects, birds and other species in the current landscape.
…The major and hitherto unrecognized loss of insect biomass reported for protected areas must have cascading effects across trophic levels and numerous other ecosystem effects.
…There is an urgent need to uncover the causes of this decline, its geographical extent, and to understand the ramifications of the decline for ecosystems and ecosystem services.” journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371…
Formal Scientific Analysis (Germany)
-Ongoing and rapid decline in total amount of airborne insects active in space and time.
-Seasonal decline of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% in flying insect biomass over 27 years of study.
-Decline is apparent regardless of habitat type.
-Changes in weather, land use, and habitat characteristics cannot explain this overall decline.
-Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services. journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371…
The Scientist Magazine
“These results are not from agricultural areas but natural preserves that are well-maintained and meant to protect biodiversity. We are seeing insects slipping out of our hands.”
~Hans de Kroon, Radboud University
“The remarkable and alarming aspect of this long-term study is the magnitude of the decline. Most previous studies have reported biomass declines of less than 50 percent which is disconcerting. But the 75 percent decline reported here sends a clear call for immediate action.”
~John Losey, Entomologist at Cornell University, New York the-scientist.com…Drastic-Decrease-in-Insects/
"The study was performed at nature reserves across Germany, but the scientists say the findings translate across all agricultural landscapes. Insects are two-thirds of all life on Earth, the study said, and if they’re not around to pollinate and serve as food for larger animals, the entire ecosystem could fall.” weather.com…population-decline-study
Science Magazine Where have all the insects gone? "A team from the University of Regensburg in Germany reported in Scientific Reports in February that exposing the wasp Nasonia vitripennis to just 1 nanogram of one common neonicotinoid cut mating rates by more than half and decreased females’ ability to find hosts. "It’s as if the [exposed] insect is dead" from a population point of view because it can’t produce offspring, says Lars Krogmann, an entomologist at the Stuttgart Natural History Museum in Germany." sciencemag.org/news/2017/05…insects-gone
Yale Environment School of Forestry
What’s Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters
“A significant drop in insect populations could have far-reaching consequences for the natural world and for humans, who depend on bees and other invertebrates to pollinate crops.”
“Over three-quarters of wild flowering plant species in temperate regions need pollination by animals like insects to develop their fruits and seeds fully.”
“Furthermore, researchers emphasize that pollinating insects improve or stabilize the yield of three-quarters of all crop types globally — one-third of global crop production by volume.”
“Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation stresses that insects are a major food source not only for birds, but also for bats and amphibians. Another important role is played by specialized insects such as long-legged flies, dance flies, dagger flies, and balloon flies, which prey upon pest species.” e360.yale.edu…why_it_matters
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Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5° C
Article by Oxford University and other research scientist stating the impossibility of mitigating global warming to 1.5° C was possible after all, spawning much misinterpretation, controversy, minunderstanding and debate.
Excerpt: “…limiting warming to 1.5° C is not yet a geophysical impossibility, but is likely to require delivery on strengthened pledges for 2030 followed by challengingly deep and rapid mitigation.”
ORIGINAL AUTHORS’ CLARIFICATIONS
Clarification on recent press coverage of our ‘1.5 degrees’ paper in Nature Geoscience
Excerpt: “A number of media reports have asserted that our recent study in Nature Geoscience indicates that global temperatures are not rising as fast as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and hence that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is no longer urgent. Both assertions are false.”
Excerpt: “…While that is not geophysically impossible, to suggest that this means that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are now unnecessary is clearly false.” “…We find that, to likely meet the Paris goal, emission reductions would need to begin immediately and reach zero in less than 40 years’ time.” oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/opinion/view/379
Author Interview By Dimitri Lascaris for the Real News Network Excerpt: "The pledges from the Paris Accord were to reduce emissions a bit from baseline but in order to stop warming, whether that’s at 1.5 degrees, two degrees, three degrees or any other threshold, we still need to get emissions to zero. At the moment the pathways that we discussed in our paper coming out of where we are today in trying to meet these 1.5 degrees, even the pathways that have the smallest emissions reductions in the near term and therefore the most steep ones in the medium to long term because they all need to get to zero by the time these budgets are used, even those pathways would still require a strengthening of the Paris budgets by at least 10% and for us to actually to have a plan to eliminate net emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from the global economy." therealnews.com…20131
Is there really still a chance for staying below 1.5 °C global warming?
Excerpt: “…In summary, both approaches used by Millar compute budgets that do not actually keep global warming to 1.5 °C.” realclimate.org…below-1-5-c-global-warming/
1.5ºC: Geophysically impossible or not?
Excerpt: So, is it appropriate to say that 1.5ºC is geophysically possible? Perhaps plausible would be a better word. Depending on which temperature dataset we choose, the TEB for 1.5 degrees may already be exceeded. Although it would certainly be useful to know what the underlying climate attractor of the Earth system is, any estimate we produce is subject to error. realclimate.org…1-5oc-geophysically-impossible-or-not/
ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts); informally known in the USA as the “European model”. www.ecmwf.com
Resolution is 0.1° in lat/lon (~9km).
Forecast output is produced every three hours for first 144 hours, six hourly through day 10.
GFS (Global Forecast System)
Operated by the United States’ National Weather Service (NWS) Resolution ~13 km.
Forecast output is produced every hour for the first 120 hours, three hourly through day 10.
“It’s plausible,” said David Keith, a professor of applied physics at Harvard who is co-director of the balloon experiment. “How much gets up into the stratosphere is unknown. Our experiment will not get at this directly, much as we might like.”
“”We are quickly running out of time to prevent hugely dangerous, expensive, and perhaps unmanageable climate change,” wrote the report’s authors, who include former U.N. Environment Programme chief Achim Steiner and Mexican chemist Mario Molina, who won the Nobel Prize for his role in discovering the threat that chlorofluorocarbon gases pose to the Earth’s ozone layer.”
Global Lower Tropospheric Temperature Highest on Record
Global Upper Ocean Heat Content Near-Record High
Global Sea Level Highest on Record
Extremes Were Observed in the Water Cycle and Precipitation
The Arctic Continued to Warm, Sea Ice Extent Remained Low
Antarctic Sees Record Low Sea Ice Extent
Global ice and snow cover decline
Tropical cyclones were well above average overall
The State of the Climate in 2016 is the 27th edition in a peer-reviewed series published annually as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The journal makes the full report openly available online.
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Schroder Investment Management Limited:
“Scientific and political consensus has settled on 2°C as the acceptable limit for temperature rises, requiring concentrations to stay below 450ppm. On current trends, that limit will be breached within two decades.”
Schroders is a world-class asset manager operating from 41 offices in 27 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.
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Scientist: “We suggest that Arctic changes on a multi-decadal timescale, such as the decline in sea ice cover that we are currently experiencing, is the most efficient way to weaken the large-scale ocean circulation of the North Atlantic, which is responsible for the oceanic transport of heat from the equator to high latitudes…” yale.edu/2017/07/31/loss-arctic-sea-ice…
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“It’s almost universally understood that the Earth will continue to get warmer for the foreseeable future. The rate at which the planet warms, however, won’t remain the same, report Cristian Proistosescu and Peter Huybers of Harvard University. They say it’s likely to speed up.”
“We figured the amount of carbon that is not sinking out as a result of global temperature change is similar to the total amount of carbon emissions that the United Kingdom pumps into the atmosphere each year,” says first author B.B. Cael, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). “If carbon is just standing in the surface ocean, it’s easier for it to end up back in the atmosphere.”