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
“Restoring the United States’ lands and coastal wetlands could have a much bigger role in reducing global warming than previously thought, according to the most comprehensive national assessment to date of how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and stored in forests, farmland, grasslands and wetlands.
The peer-reviewed study in Science Advances from The Nature Conservancy and 21 institutional partners found that nature’s contribution could equal 21% of the nation’s current net annual emissions, by adjusting 21 natural management practices to increase carbon storage and avoid greenhouse emissions. The study is the first to include the climate benefits of coastal wetlands and grasslands in a comprehensive mix along with forests and agriculture.”
Authors: Joseph E. Fargione1,*, Steven Bassett2, Timothy Boucher3, Scott D. Bridgham4, Richard T. Conant5, Susan C. Cook-Patton3,6, Peter W. Ellis3, Alessandra Falcucci7, James W. Fourqurean8, Trisha Gopalakrishna3, Huan Gu9, Benjamin Henderson10, Matthew D. Hurteau11, Kevin D. Kroeger12, Timm Kroeger3, Tyler J. Lark13, Sara M. Leavitt3, Guy Lomax14, Robert I. McDonald3, J. Patrick Megonigal6, Daniela A. Miteva15, Curtis J. Richardson16, Jonathan Sanderman17, David Shoch18, Seth A. Spawn13, Joseph W. Veldman19, Christopher A. Williams9, Peter B. Woodbury20, Chris Zganjar3, Marci Baranski21, Patricia Elias3, Richard A. Houghton17, Emily Landis3, Emily McGlynn22, William H. Schlesinger23, Juha V. Siikamaki24, Ariana E. Sutton-Grier25,26 and Bronson W. Griscom3″
In this study, scientists quantify the maximum potential for NCS in the United States and the portion of this maximum that could be achieved at several price points. They consider 21 distinct NCS to provide a consistent and comprehensive exploration of the mitigation potential of conservation, restoration, and improved management in forests, grasslands, agricultural lands, and wetlands (Fig. 1), carefully defined to avoid double counting (details in the Supplementary Materials). THey estimate the potential for NCS in the year 2025, which is the target year for the United States’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement to reduce GHG emissions by 26 to 28% from 2005 levels. Their work refines a coarser-resolution global analysis (3) and updates and expands the range of options considered in previous analyses for the United States (5–8).
“Reforestation: Additional carbon sequestration in above- and belowground biomass and soils gained by converting nonforest (<25% tree cover) to forest [>25% tree cover (45)] in areas of the conterminous United States where forests are the native cover type. We excluded areas with intensive human development, including all major roads (46), impervious surfaces (47), and urban areas (48). To eliminate double counting with the peatland restoration pathway, we removed Histosol soils (49). To safeguard food production, we removed most cropland and pasture. We discounted the carbon sequestration mitigation benefit in conifer-dominated forests to account for albedo effects.
Natural forest management: Additional carbon sequestration in above- and belowground biomass gained through improved management in forests on private lands under nonintensive timber management. The maximum mitigation potential was quantified on the basis of a “harvest hiatus” scenario starting in 2025, in which natural forests are shifted to longer harvest rotations. This could be accomplished with less than 10% reduction in timber supply with new timber supply from thinning treatments for fuel risk reduction until new timber from reforestation is available in 2030.
Fire management: Use of prescribed fire to reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfire. We considered fire-prone forests in the western United States. We assume that treatment eliminates the risk of subsequent wildfire for 20 years, but only on the land that was directly treated. We assume that 5% of lands are treated each year, and we calculated the benefits that accrue over 20 years, finding that the initial increase in emissions associated with prescribed fire treatment is more than offset over time by the avoided impacts of wildfires. We report the average annual benefit across these 20 years. The impact of wildfires includes both direct emissions from combustion and suppression of net ecosystem productivity following wildfires.
Avoided forest conversion: Emissions of CO2 avoided by avoiding anthropogenic forest conversion. Most forest clearing is followed by forest regeneration rather than conversion to another land use. To estimate the rate of persistent conversion (i.e., to another land use), we first calculated forest clearing in the conterminous United States from 2000 to 2010 and then used the proportion of forest clearing that historically was converted to another land use to estimate conversion rates in 2000 to 2010. We used estimates of avoided carbon emissions from above- and belowground biomass that are specific to each region and forest type. We did not count forest loss due to fire to avoid double counting with the improved fire management opportunity. We did not count forest loss due to pests because it is unclear whether this loss can be avoided. We reduced the benefit of avoided conversion in conifer-dominated forests to account for their albedo effects.
Urban reforestation: Additional carbon sequestration in above- and belowground biomass gained by increasing urban tree cover. We considered the potential to increase urban tree cover in 3535 cities in the conterminous United States. We considered the potential for additional street trees, and for those cities not in deserts, we also considered the potential for park and yard tree plantings. The potential percent increase in tree cover was estimated on the basis of high-resolution analysis of 27 cities, which excluded sports fields, golf courses, and lawns (50).
Improved plantations: Additional carbon sequestration gained in above- and belowground tree biomass by extending rotation lengths for a limited time in even-aged, intensively managed wood production forests. Rotation lengths were extended from current economic optimal rotation length to a biological optimal rotation length in which harvest occurs when stands reach their maximum annual growth.
Cover crops: Additional soil carbon sequestration gained by growing a cover crop in the fallow season between main crops. We quantified the benefit of using cover crops on all of the five major crops in the United States (corn, soy, wheat, rice, and cotton) that are not already growing cover crops (27), using the mean sequestration rate quantified in a recent meta-analysis (51).
Avoided conversion of grassland: Emissions of CO2 avoided by avoiding conversion of grassland and shrubland to cropland. We quantified avoided emissions from soil and roots (for shrubs, we also considered aboveground biomass) based on the spatial pattern of conversion from 2008 to 2012. We used spatial information on location of recent conversion and variation in soil carbon and root biomass to estimate mean annual emission rate from historic conversion. We estimated a 28% loss of soil carbon down to 1 m (26). We modeled spatial variation in root biomass based on mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation using data from (52).
Biochar: Increased soil carbon sequestration by amending agricultural soils with biochar, which converts nonrecalcitrant carbon (crop residue biomass) to recalcitrant carbon (charcoal) through pyrolysis. We limited the source of biochar production to crop residue that can be sustainably harvested. We assumed that 79.6% of biochar carbon persists on a time scale of >100 years (53, 54) and that there are no effects of biochar on emissions of N2O or CH4 (55, 56).
Alley cropping: Additional carbon sequestration gained by planting wide rows of trees with a companion crop grown in the alleyways between the rows. We estimated a maximum potential of alley cropping on 10% of U.S. cropland (15.4 Mha) (57).
Cropland nutrient management: Avoided N2O emissions due to more efficient use of nitrogen fertilizers and avoided upstream emissions from fertilizer manufacture. We considered four improved management practices: (i) reduced whole-field application rate, (ii) switching from anhydrous ammonia to urea, (iii) improved timing of fertilizer application, and (iv) variable application rate within field. We projected a 4.6% BAU growth in fertilizer use in the United States by 2025. On the basis of these four practices, we found a maximum potential of 22% reduction in nitrogen use, which leads to a 33% reduction in field emissions and a 29% reduction including upstream emissions.
Improved manure management: Avoided CH4 emissions from dairy and hog manure. We estimated the potential for emission reductions from improved manure management on dairy farms with over 300 cows and hog farms with over 825 hogs. Our calculations are based on improved management practices described by Pape et al. (8).
Windbreaks: Additional sequestration in above- and belowground biomass and soils from planting windbreaks adjacent to croplands that would benefit from reduced wind erosion. We estimated that windbreaks could be planted on 0.88 Mha, based on an estimated 17.6 Mha that would benefit from windbreaks, and that windbreaks would be planted on ~5% of that cropland (8).
Grazing optimization: Additional soil carbon sequestration due to grazing optimization on rangeland and planted pastures, derived directly from a recent study by Henderson et al. (58). Grazing optimization prescribes a decrease in stocking rates in areas that are overgrazed and an increase in stocking rates in areas that are undergrazed, but with the net result of increased forage offtake and livestock production.
Grassland restoration: Additional carbon sequestration in soils and root biomass gained by restoring 2.1 Mha of cropland to grassland, equivalent to returning to the 2007 peak in CRP enrollment. Grassland restoration does not include restoration of shrubland.
Legumes in pastures: Additional soil carbon sequestration due to sowing legumes in planted pastures, derived directly from a recent global study by Henderson et al. (58). Restricted to planted pastures and to where sowing legumes would result in net sequestration after taking into account potential increases in N2O emissions from the planted legumes.
Improved rice management: Avoided emissions of CH4 and N2O through improved practices in flooded rice cultivation. Practices including mid-season drainage, alternate wetting and drying, and residue removal can reduce these emissions. We used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis that projects the potential for improvement across U.S. rice fields, in comparison with current agricultural practices (59).
Tidal wetland restoration: In the United States, 27% of tidal wetlands (salt marshes and mangroves) have limited tidal connection with the sea, causing their salinity to decline to the point where CH4 emissions increase (30). We estimated the potential for reconnecting these tidal wetlands to the ocean to increase salinity and reduce CH4 emissions.
Peatland restoration: Avoided carbon emissions from rewetting and restoring drained peatlands. To estimate the extent of restorable peatlands, we quantified the difference between historic peatland extent [based on the extent of Histosols in soil maps (60)] and current peatland extent. Our estimate of mitigation potential accounted for changes in soil carbon, biomass, and CH4 emissions, considering regional differences, the type of land use of the converted peatland, and whether the peatland was originally forested.
Avoided seagrass loss: Avoided CO2 emissions from avoiding seagrass loss. An estimated 1.5% of seagrass extent is lost every year (61). We assumed that half of the carbon contained in biomass and sediment from disappearing seagrass beds is lost to the atmosphere (62).
Seagrass restoration: Increased sequestration from restoring the estimated 29 to 52% of historic seagrass extent that has been lost and could be restored (61). We estimated the average carbon sequestration rate in the sediment of seagrass restorations based on data from six seagrass restoration sites in the United States (63).”
“Reforestation has the single largest maximum mitigation potential (307 Tg CO2e year−1). The majority of this potential occurs in the northeast (35%) and south central (31%) areas of the United States (fig. S1). This mitigation potential increases to 381 Tg CO2e year−1 if all pastures in historically forested areas are reforested.”
NASA Image Page
Data source: Satellite sea level observations.
Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Rate of Change: 3.2 millimeters per year
“Global mean sea level is not rising linearly, as has been thought before,” said lead author Anny Cazenave of France’s Laboratory for Studies in Geophysics and Oceanography (LEGOS). “We now know it is clearly accelerating.”
Abstract: Global mean sea level is an integral of changes occurring in the climate system in response to unforced climate variability as well as natural and anthropogenic forcing factors. Its temporal evolution allows changes (e.g., acceleration) to be detected in one or more components. Study of the sea-level budget provides constraints on missing or poorly known contributions, such as the unsurveyed deep ocean or the still uncertain land water component. In the context of the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge entitled “Regional Sea Level and Coastal Impacts”, an international effort involving the sea-level community worldwide has been recently initiated with the objective of assessing the various datasets used to estimate components of the sea-level budget during the altimetry era (1993 to present). These datasets are based on the combination of a broad range of space-based and in situ observations, model estimates, and algorithms. Evaluating their quality, quantifying uncertainties and identifying sources of discrepancies between component estimates is extremely useful for various applications in climate research. This effort involves several tens of scientists from about 50 research teams/institutions worldwide (www.wcrp-climate.org/grand-challenges/gc-sea-level, last access: 22 August 2018). The results presented in this paper are a synthesis of the first assessment performed during 2017–2018. We present estimates of the altimetry-based global mean sea level (average rate of 3.1±0.3mmyr−1 and acceleration of 0.1mmyr−2 over 1993–present), as well as of the different components of the sea-level budget (http://doi.org/10.17882/54854, last access: 22 August 2018). We further examine closure of the sea-level budget, comparing the observed global mean sea level with the sum of components. Ocean thermal expansion, glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica contribute 42%, 21%, 15% and 8% to the global mean sea level over the 1993–present period. We also study the sea-level budget over 2005–present, using GRACE-based ocean mass estimates instead of the sum of individual mass components. Our results demonstrate that the global mean sea level can be closed to within 0.3mmyr−1 (1σ). Substantial uncertainty remains for the land water storage component, as shown when examining individual mass contributions to sea level.
Citation: WCRP Global Sea Level Budget Group: Global sea-level budget 1993–present, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 1551-1590, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-1551-2018, 2018. nasa.gov…keeping-score-on-earths-rising-seas
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, well-known atmospheric climate scientist, clearly, succinctly and directly addresses NASA deputy-director nominee’s doubt on whether humans have been a dominant influence on climate change.
“At the hearing for the deputy @NASA administrator today, nominee Jim Morhard was asked by @EdMarkey if he agrees with the scientific consensus that humans are the dominant influence on climate change. He said he couldn’t say. Well, I’m a scientist, and I can. Here’s why.
When we see climate changing, we don’t automatically jump on the human bandwagon, case closed. No, we rigorously examine and test all other reasons why climate could be changing: the sun, volcanoes, natural cycles, even something we don’t know yet: could they be responsible?
Could it be volcanoes?
No: though a big eruption emits a lot of soot and particulates, these temporarily cool the planet. On average, all geologic activity, put together, emits only about 10% of the heat-trapping gases that humans do. For more, read: agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com…O240001
Could it be orbital cycles? Are we just getting warmer after the last ice age? No: warming from the last ice age peaked 1000s of yrs ago, and the next event on our geologic calendar was another ice age: was, until the industrial revolution, that is. Read: people.clas.ufl.edu/jetc/files/Tzedakis-et-al-2012.pdf
Could it be natural cycles internal to the climate system, like El Nino?
No: those cycles simply move heat around the climate system, mostly back and forth between the atmosphere and ocean. They cannot CREATE heat. So if they were responsible for atmospheric warming, then the heat content of another part of the climate system would have to be going down, while the heat content of the atmosphere was going up. Is this what we see? No: heat content is increasing across the entire climate system, ocean most of all! See: skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=65
How about the magnetic pole moving? Planet Niribu? Geoengineering?
No. What about an unknown factor we don’t know about yet? Nope, covered that here: journals.ametsoc.org…00645.1
The bottom line is this:
We’ve known since the work of John Tyndall in the 1850s that CO2 absorbs and re-radiates infrared energy, and Eunice Foote was the first to suggest that higher CO2 levels would lead to a warmer planet, in 1856. Read it here: books.google.com/books?id=fjtSAQAAMAAJ…
No one – NO ONE – has been able to explain how increasing levels of CO2, CH4 and other heat-trapping gases would NOT raise the temperature of the planet. Yet that must be done first, if we are to consider any other sources as “dominant”.
Moreover, when @RasmusBenestad + I + others examined dozens of published papers (so much for the ‘we are suppressed like Galileo!’ myth) claiming to minimize or eliminate the human role in climate change, guess what we found? Errors in every single one. theguardian.com…climate-contrarian-papers
So in conclusion: if you don’t think humans are the dominant source of warming, you are making a statement that does not have a single factual or scientific leg to stand on. Yet leaders of science agencies are saying exactly that today. This is the world we live in.
As Isaac Asimov said in 1980: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
How do we know it’s humans, not natural factors, that are responsible for climate change today? This Global Weirding episode explains:
Will more scientific information change people’s minds if they’re convinced otherwise?
Generally not. But does that mean there’s nothing we can do or say? Absolutely not! This Global Weirding episode explains:
WHAT LIES BENEATH
The Understatement of Existential Climate Risk
By David Spratt and Ian Dunlop
Forward by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
Released 20 August 2018
“Human-induced climate change is an existential risk to human civilisation: an adverse outcome that will either annihilate intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential, unless carbon emissions are rapidly reduced.
Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.””
“Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences… …[the issue] now “is the very survival of our civilisation, where conventional means of analysis may become useless.”
Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, senior advisor to Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union
“Human-induced climate change is an existential risk to human civilisation: an adverse outcome that will either annihilate intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential, unless carbon emissions are rapidly reduced.
Special precautions that go well beyond conventional risk management practice are required if the increased likelihood of very large climate impacts — known as “fat tails” — are to be adequately dealt with.
The potential consequences of these lower-probability, but higher-impact, events would be devastating for human societies.
The bulk of climate research has tended to underplay these risks, and exhibited a preference for conservative projections and scholarly reticence, although increasing numbers of scientists have spoken out in recent years on the dangers of such an approach.
Climate policymaking and the public narrative are significantly informed by the important work of the IPCC.
However, IPCC reports also tend toward reticence and caution, erring on the side of “least drama”, and downplaying the more extreme and more damaging outcomes. Whilst this has been understandable historically, given the pressure exerted upon the IPCC by political and vested interests, it is now becoming dangerously misleading with the acceleration of climate impacts globally.
What were lower probability, higher-impact events are now becoming more likely.
This is a particular concern with potential climatic tipping points — passing critical thresholds which result in step changes in the climate system — such as the polar ice sheets (and hence sea levels), and permafrost and other carbon stores, where the impacts of global warming are non-linear and difficult to model with current scientific knowledge.
However the extreme risks to humanity, which these tipping points represent, justify strong precautionary management.
Under-reporting on these issues is irresponsible, contributing to the failure of imagination that is occurring today in our understanding of, and response to, climate change.
If climate policymaking is to be soundly based, a reframing of scientific research within an existential risk-management framework is now urgently required.
This must be taken up not just in the work of the IPCC, but also in the UNFCCC negotiations if we are to address the real climate challenge. Current processes will not deliver either the speed or the scale of change required.”
…The biggest colony of king penguins on the planet has collapsed, with nearly 90 per cent of the population vanishing since the 1980s, ecologists said.
…The cause of the population collapse remains a mystery, with scientists speculating that climate fluctuations or disease could be to blame. In 1997, a particularly strong El Nino weather event pushed the fish and squid on which king penguins depend further south, beyond their foraging range.”
Simple, stark and to-the-point, Steven Salzberg’s article in Forbes Magazine addresses the recent Hothouse Earth Trajectory study presented by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The PNAS study states the following: “…our analysis suggests that the Earth System may be approaching a planetary threshold that could lock in a continuing rapid pathway toward much hotter conditions—Hothouse Earth. This pathway would be propelled by strong, intrinsic, biogeophysical feedbacks difficult to influence by human actions, a pathway that could not be reversed, steered, or substantially slowed.”
Dr. Salzberg discusses the study in no uncertain terms; the likelihood of irreparable hothouse Earth trajectories, the states of current and future climate change, the possibilities, ramifications and consequences of unfettered business-as-usual.
Steven Salzberg is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University
In a major collaborative effort, scientists from around the world have used information from satellites to reveal that ice melting in Antarctica has not only raised sea levels by 7.6 mm since 1992, but, critically, almost half of this rise has occurred in the last five years.
Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds in the UK and Erik Ivins from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory led a group of 84 scientists from 44 international organisations in research that has resulted in the most complete picture to date of how Antarctica’s ice sheet is changing.
Their research, published in Nature, reveals that prior to 2012, when the last such study was carried out, Antarctica was losing 76 billion tonnes of ice a year. This was causing sea levels to rise at a rate of 0.2 mm a year.”
Jim Bridenstine NASA New Chief Administrator Speaks On Climate Change. Video and transcript below.
New NASA administrative head, Jim Bridenstine, a former Navy fighter pilot serving in Afghanistan and Iraq and a current member of the House of Representatives for the state of Oklahoma, spoke before the first NASA agencywide town hall meeting on May 17, 2018 addressing a number of issues including his updated stance on climate change. Included below: video presentation and transcript of climate discussion.
He includes the following, unequivocally clarifying his climate change position:
“I don’t deny the consensus that the climate is changing. In fact, I fully believe and know that the climate is changing. I also know that we human beings are contributing to it in a major way. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it to the atmosphere, and volumes that, you know, we haven’t seen. And that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.”
Full climate-related transcript below.
VIDEO RECORDING OF JIM BRIDENSTINE
NASA Town Hall Meeting, Washington D.C.
NASA CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR MAY 18, 2018
PARTIAL CLIMATE RELATED TRANSCRIPT (Edited By CC12)
Host Bob Jacobs, Office of Communications NASA:
“…one more easy one, because it’s about climate change…it’s from JPL – they (JPL) want to know how your position on climate change and climate monitoring has changed, what your position is specifically, and they add to it – your thoughts about the CMS (the Carbon Monitoring System) that has just been recently mentioned there, and things like cancelling the proposal to cancel the latest OCO mission.”
Jim Bridenstine, Chief Administrator, NASA:
“Sure… so the latest Elko mission OCO 3… I’ll hit that one quick and then revisit some of the others. So, the latest Orbital Carbon Observatory Mission 3… Number one: OCO 2 is on orbit and doing well. OCO 3 is still being developed by NASA and my understanding is, in January, we’re going to launch it.
Now, it was not in the President’s budget request but it was funded by Congress. The President signed the bill into law and we’re following the law, and we’re going to launch it in January of 2019. So, it’s not been cut, in fact, it’s going to be on orbit very soon. So, I think that’s an important point.
As far as my position on climate and how its evolved…
I’ll be very open and I’ll share kind of the story here. I guess it was in 2013, there were 24 Oklahomans that got killed in a massive tornado, and, me being a member of Congress and wanting to do something to help my fellows citizens in the state of Oklahoma, and, I want to be clear – that was a big event.
But, every year I’ve been in Congress, I’ve had constituents [that have gotten] killed in tornadoes, and every year in Congress I’ve made a commitment to my constituents that we’re going to do everything we can to prevent deaths from tornadoes. And, in fact, my objective is to move us to a day where we have zero deaths from tornadoes in the United States of America.
So, I started promoting a bill – the Weather Research and forecasting innovation Act, which actually started in 2013, passed in 2017 if you can imagine – hat’s how hard it is to pass bills in in the House and the Senate and get them signed by the president.
So, I started working on that bill. Now, in that debate, there was a moment where I said these words – I said, ‘temperatures quit rising 10 years ago, but, here’s what I know. My constituents this year will die in a tornado. Let’s allocate resources where we can save lives and property today.’
Now of course, after that, and, by the way – that 10 year timeline there, I pulled that from the NASA website. But, after that pause, it started going up immediately, like the next year. Right, and now, there’s this spike and then in the last two years it’s gone down a little bit.
But, here’s the point. I don’t deny the consensus that the climate is changing. In fact, I fully believe and know that the climate is changing. I also know that we human beings are contributing to it in a major way. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it to the atmosphere, and volumes that, you know, we haven’t seen. And that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.
NASA is the one agency on the face of the planet that has the most credibility to do the science necessary so that we can understand it better than ever before.
And maybe to allay the concerns of the person who asked the question, I would like to share this.
If you look at the president’s budget requests for 2019, his budget line for Earth Science – it is higher than three of the budgets that were passed by President Obama. And, if you look what was passed into law and signed just a couple of months ago in the Omnibus Bill for Earth Science, it’s the second highest Earth science budget in the history of NASA that the President signed into law.
Here’s what I’ll tell you from my perspective. We need to make sure that NASA is continuing to do this science. And, we need to make sure that the science is void and free from partisan or political kind of rhetoric. And to do that, what we do, and what we have been doing, and I know Thomas Zurbuchen [Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate] has been focused on, is following the guidance of the National Academy of Sciences.
And of course, we had a new Decadel Survey [United States National Research Council publication] that came out in 2018. It came out in January if memory serves right, and we’re going to make sure – and I’ve told Thomas, and of course Thomas is telling his folks – we’re going to put together an architecture that follows the guidance that Decadel has, a series of things that are critically important to understanding the Earth for, you know, human society at large.
It starts with the idea that the water cycle and energy cycle are coupled and we need to make sure that we’re understanding how that affects the change in climate. It talks about how ecosystems are changing. That’s the number two thing.
We’re going to focus on understanding how ecosystems are changing based on how we as humans are changing the climate.
It talks about, and this is important to me, the guy who represents Oklahoma, it talks specifically about extending weather forecasts and air quality forecasts and improving those weather and air quality forecasts which is something I’ve been working on as a member of the House of Representatives.
It talks about understanding climate in general, I think that’s the way it frames it – we’re going to reduce climate uncertainty is how the National Academies framed it.
And of course five was sea-level rise, and six was geological disasters and hazards. So, we have guidance from, an apolitical, nonpartisan National Academy of Science, telling us what is important for Humanity and we’re going to follow it. And, I intend to do that.
Now, I’ve got so much more to say but I know there’s more questions, but thank you for that.”
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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.
AMOC – Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is defined as the constant, northward flow of warm, salty water in the upper layers of the Atlantic Ocean coupled with a circulating southward flow of colder water in the deep Atlantic. It is driven by temperature differences and salinity causing thermohaline circulation known as the THC), and is credited with helping to maintain a more moderate clime in the coastal, land regions surrounding the North Atlantic ocean. The AMOC is part of the global ocean conveyor belt, a circulating system that constantly moves ocean currents around the globe.
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 circulation (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).”