Barriers in the Atmosphere: Arctic Oscillation (3)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 12:50 AM GMT on October 03, 2013

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Barriers in the Atmosphere: Arctic Oscillation (3)

I want to continue with the Arctic Oscillation / North Atlantic Oscillation. First, however, here is the link to my August presentation. Also here is a link to the GLISAclimate.org project workspace where I collected together the materials I used in the presentation - Arctic Oscillation: Climate variability in the Great Lakes.

Here are the previous entries in the series:
Behavior
Definitions and Some Background

This blog is mostly a setup for the next one. (And yes I did notice that the IPCC AR-5 report was released, but I don’t have anything different to say about it than many of my more able colleagues. I’ll get to it.)


In the talk that I linked to above, I used a couple of diagrams that the audience told me worked very well. I am going to try them out in this blog. In the previous blogs I used the CPC Climate Glossary to give the definition of the Arctic Oscillation. “The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases.” This definition does not really do much for me. It’s one of those definitions that I imagine if I ask 10 atmospheric scientists to tell me what it means, I will get 12 answers. Therefore, I will draw a picture.



Figure 1: Adapted from Jim Hurrell – This picture is a schematic representation of the positive and negative phases of the Arctic Oscillation. In the positive phase the pressure is low at the pole and high at middle latitudes. This is the positive phase because if you calculate the difference between middle and high latitudes it is large. In the negative phase the pressure is not as low at the pole and not as high at middle latitudes. This is the negative phase because if you calculate the difference between middle and high latitudes it is small. The refrigerator suggests that this is like opening and closing the refrigerator door (see Behavior).

This figure helps me with the definition. I want to focus on the low pressure at high latitudes, which in this figure is drawn idealistically at the pole. In reality, it is likely to wander off the pole, a fact that will be important in the next blog. When the pressure is low at the pole, then there is a stronger vortex of air circulating around the pole. When the pressure at the pole is not as low, then there is a weaker vortex. In both cases, strong or weak vortex, the air generally moves from west to east.

For clarity, vorticity is a parameter that describes rotation in a fluid. A vortex is a feature in a fluid dominated by vorticity – that is it is rotationally dominated. Tornadoes and hurricanes are weather features that we often call vortices; there is an obvious circulation of air in these features. In the Earth’s atmosphere at middle and high latitudes rotation is an important characteristic of the flow, due to the rotation of the Earth. The reason air moves in the west to east direction for both the weak and strong vortex cases of Figure 1 is that the rotation of the Earth is important to the flow.

In Figure 2 I have set up an even more idealized figure. I also provide this link to a Powerpoint animation, that I am not smart enough to incorporate into the blog. In the animation I have five slides that clarify the point that I make in Figure 2.



Figure 2: A vortex and a ball. In the center of the figure is low pressure, meant to be an analogue to the vortex over the pole in Figure 1. Parcels of air move around the low pressure system. If it takes the same amount of time for a parcel farther away from the low pressure center to go around the vortex as a parcel nearer the center, then the parcel farther away has to go faster because the distance it has to go is longer. That is why I drew that arrow, saying that air moves “faster” at the outside edge of the vortex.

To set my point a little more, imagine you are on a bridge overlooking a running stream. If you drop a stick in the water near the edge where the water is moving slowly, then if the stick drifts towards the more rapidly flowing water, it is carried downstream at the edge of the fast moving water. It does not cross the core of fast moving water – this jet of water. In fact the jet is something of a barrier that keeps material from crossing the stream. Material is transported downstream.

Back to Figure 2: Imagine that you want to roll a ball into the center of a vortex. As the ball gets to the edge it gets caught up in the flow and pulled around the edge. It does not roll into the center. Look at the this link to a Powerpoint animation to get a better idea of what’s going on.

Now go back to Figure 1. The vortex in Figure 1 is also a barrier. The southern edge of vortex is a jet stream. Air on the two sides of the vortex often has different characteristics. Intuitively, there is colder air on the poleward side. If you look at trace gases, like ozone, they are different across the edge of the vortex. The takeaway idea is that the edge of the vortex is a barrier. It’s not a perfect barrier, but air on one side is largely separated from the air on the other side. In the next blog, I will describe the difference between the strong and the weak case and its relevance to weather, climate and, perhaps, climate change.


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Reid Bryson is Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, of Geography and of Environmental Studies. Senior Scientist, Center for Climatic Research, The Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (Founding Director), the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Many climatologists regard him as the father of climatology. Professor Bryson calls manmade global warming absurd.


Link
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@ 67. Cochise111


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Quoting 67. Cochise111:
It's the water, stupid:

Link

What an interesting hypothesis with virtually no backing whatsoever.

That might be because it wasn't the opinion of a climate scientist, but that of the executive director a think tank:

Steve Goreham is an engineer and business executive with over 30 years of experience at Fortune 100 public companies and private firms. He is also author of the book: Climatism: Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century’s Hottest Topic, which provides a complete overview of the science, politics, and energy policy implications of the world’s misguided efforts to stop global warming. Steve holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago.


I think I'll stick with climate scientists.
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It's the water, stupid:

Link
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Who Created the Global Warming "Pause"?

How climate skeptics and the media—with a little inadvertent help from scientists themselves—forged a misleading narrative.

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Vast streams found beneath Antarctic ice sheet

Giant channels of water almost the height of the Eiffel Tower have been discovered flowing beneath the Antarctic ice shelf.

"The streams of water, some of which are 250m in height and stretch for hundreds of kilometres, could be destabilising parts of the Antarctic ice shelf immediately around them and speeding up melting, researchers said. However, they added that it remains unclear how the localised effects of the channels will impact on the future of the floating ice sheet as a whole. The British researchers used satellite images and radar data to measure variations in the height of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in West Antarctica, which reveal how thick the ice is."

Slashdot.org

Telegraph.co.uk
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Fukushima Nuclear Worker Accidentally Toggles Off Cooling Pumps

"A Tepco employee carelessly pressed a button shutting off cooling pumps that serve the spent fuel pool in reactor #4 - thankfully a backup kicked in before any critical consequences resulted. The question remains just how vulnerable to simple mistakes (such as a single button push) are these spent fuel pools, filled nearly to capacity as they are with over 12,000 spent fuel rods? From the article: 'The latest incident is another reminder of the precarious state of the Fukushima plant, which has suffered a series of mishaps and accidents this year. Earlier this year, Tepco lost power to cool spent uranium fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi plant after a rat gnawed into electrical wiring.'"

Slashdot.org

HuffingtonPost.com
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A rough guide to the components of Earth's Climate System

Introduction

This is a basic primer on the components of Earth's climate and how and why they are important. It is aimed primarily at people who are relatively new to the subject and who wish to find out more.

Reading a lot of media coverage (and associated comments) with respect to the recently-released IPCC's AR5 Summary for Policymakers, it is apparent that some confusion is being generated over what exactly constitutes Earth's climate. Too frequently, whether by intent or by mistake, the term 'global warming' is only being applied to a subset of a single part of that system, namely the surface temperature record of Earth's atmosphere.

There's a lot more to the climate than that: it is a complex system with a number of key components - the atmosphere, the hydrosphere (oceans, lakes and rivers), the cryosphere (snow and ice), the geosphere (soils and rocks) and the biosphere (living things), all of which play important roles.

Living things act as sources and sinks for carbon. Snow and ice are of paramount importance in controlling the planet's albedo - the amount of sunlight that may be reflected straight back into space. They are in turn sensitive to both air and water temperatures. The oceans act as sinks and sources for both carbon and heat energy and are sensitive to atmospheric conditions overhead, and so on. The following graphic maps the key components out:



We will now go on to look at those individual components and how they interact. For ease of reading, let's take them in order of appearance on the graphic, from the top down.

The Cryosphere
The snow and ice on planet Earth consists of five subsets: the ice-caps, polar sea-ice, permafrost, mountain glaciers and seasonal snow-cover. Its biggest part is the gigantic ice-caps that sit atop Greenland and the Antarctic. These have both been losing mass in recent decades due to an accelaration of melting. Such melting makes a direct contribution to sea-level rise.

Read more at SkepticalScience >>
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Quoting 60. JohnLonergan:
...No doubt with an (R) in parentheses after his/her name.

Outstanding. But sad to realize we've gone from the likes of Jefferson, Clay, and Calhoun to mouthbreathing, possibly certifiable clowns like Cruz and Bachmann.

"A politician thinks about the next election. The statesman thinks about the next generation." --James Freeman Clarke

(For the record, I'm not giving guys like Edwards and Wiener a free pass. But their indiscretions and stupidity hurt mostly them and their families; they weren't bent on the destruction of the nation like certain others seem to be.)
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The evolution of radiative forcing bar-charts

As part of the IPCC WG1 SPM(pdf) released last Friday, there was a subtle, but important, change in one of the key figures – the radiative forcing bar-chart (Fig. SPM.4). The concept for this figure has been a mainstay of summaries of climate change science for decades, and the evolution over time is a good example of how thinking and understanding has progressed over the years while the big picture has not shifted much.


The earliest version of a bar-chart that shows radiative forcing is this chart from one of Jim Hansen’s papers (Hansen et al, 1981):



In it, they demonstrate the relative importance – cooling or warming – of a number of relevant changes in radiatively important components (CO2, CH4, the sun, aerosols etc.). While the y-axis is the no-feedback surface temperature response, and the changes aren’t with reference to the pre-industrial, this might qualify as the ‘ur’-figure – the one from which all the others below are derived. (Note, if you know of an earlier version, please let me know and I’ll update the post accordingly).

More at RealClimate >>
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Toon of the Week



2013 SkS Weekly Digest #40
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From The Guardian

Climate Council raises $1m through its Obama-style fundraising drive

The climate change expert Professor Tim Flannery's "Obama-style" campaign to raise cash for a new Climate Council has generated $1m.

Flannery was sacked as head of the federal government’s Climate Commission when the prime minister, Tony Abbott, announced he was abolishing the body to save money.

It was set up two years ago by the former Labor government to increase public awareness of climate change science.

The commission once had $1.6m in annual taxpayer funding at its disposal but the new council is relying entirely on donations generated through an "Obama-style" online fundraising drive.

The council’s chief executive, Amanda McKenzie, said 20,000 Australians had made donations. The average donation was $50.

"Australians have demanded to know what is happening to the planet," she said.

The money would go to employing researchers, developing reports and increasing public awareness about climate change science, she said.

Former commissioners including the climate scientists Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes and the former BP Australasia president Gerry Hueston have agreed to volunteer their time to the revamped body.

The council has been hard at work releasing a "lay-person's guide” to the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.



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Tamino takes on Befuddled Bob Tisdale again:

Global warming deniers really hate the fact that a proper comparison of computer model projections to observations does not show that “models fail.” But they love faulty comparisons.


One such faulty comparison was discussed here, which shows — among other things — that when comparing two series, you shouldn’t align them using a single year for alignment. That’s because a single year is bound to be either hotter-than-trend or colder-than-trend, which will bias the comparison.

Now Bob Tisdale has joined the chorus of those who object. His reason? The claim that

The reality: 1990 was an ENSO-neutral year, according to NOAA’s Oceanic NINO Index. Therefore, “1990 was…” NOT “…an especially hot year”. It was simply warmer than previous years because surface temperatures were warming then. I’m not sure why that’s so hard a concept for warmists to grasp. The only reason it might appear warm is that the 1991-94 data were noticeably impacted by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.


Yes, you read that right. He says that 1990 was not an especially hot year. His evidence? That 1990 was not an el Nino year. Which he follows with “Therefore….”

We know that el Nino can make a year especially hot, just as la Nina can make it especially cool. We know that a warming trend makes later years likely to be hotter than previous years. But we also know — and either Tisdale does not, or he’s just pissing on your leg and calling it “rain” — that years can be especially hot or cold simply due to random fluctuation of temperature, in addition to those factors.

So: if you want to know whether a given year was especially hot or not, don’t look at some el Nino index and then declare “Therefore…” Look at the temperature. Unless, of course, your goal is to piss on somebody’s leg and tell them it’s raining.

Here’s global temperature data from NASA, together with a smoothed version so we’re not tripped up by the global-warming trend:



I put a red circle around the data for 1990. Notice how it’s noticeably above the trend line? That’s because 1990 was “especially hot.” Not just hot because the trend was going up, as Tisdale claimed. Especially hot in addition to the existing trend.

Read more >>
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From Greenpeace International:

Emergency solidarity protests worldwide to free journalists and Greenpeace activists held in Russian prison

Press release - October 5, 2013

Amsterdam, 5 October 2013 – Thousands of people are today taking part in an emergency day of solidarity protests around the world to demand the release of 30 people imprisoned in Russia after they were detained aboard a Greenpeace ship in the Arctic. Peaceful events are planned on every continent, in more than 135 locations across 45 countries, from New Zealand to Mexico, from Thailand to Finland and the United States. There are also protests planned across Russia.

Protests worldwide will include:

• Solidarity actions will be held in the Russian cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Murmansk and Omsk. In Moscow, the day started with a series of pickets in front of the Kremlin, the FSB main office, the Bolshoi theatre and other symbolic buildings in Russia. There will be a peaceful protest in Gorky Park with the friends and relatives of the detained activists joining.

• Hundreds will gather at the main harbor in Hong Kong to form a human banner that will read ‘Free the Arctic 30.’

• In South Africa, people will come together at former Apartheid detention centres.

• In Toronto, large audio and visual displays will light up at an all-night event.

• In Madrid, supporters will gather in Puerto Del Sol with a replica of the Arctic Sunrise ship.

• In Senegal, fisherman who last year welcomed the Arctic Sunrise on its mission to preserve their fishing grounds will take to their boats again in an act of solidarity.

This week, 28 Greenpeace activists, and a freelance photographer and a videographer, were charged with piracy by a Russian court following a peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling at a Gazprom oil platform in the Pechora Sea. If convicted, the offence carries a maximum 15 year jail term. The Murmansk Lenin District Court ordered that the ‘Arctic 30’ could be detained up until at least November 24th 2013 whilst allegations against them are investigated by the country’s authorities. Lawyers acting to defend the thirty have appealed against their detention.

Since the seizure of the Arctic Sunrise ship in international waters two weeks ago, one million people have sent letters to Russian embassies demanding their immediate release. Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, has described the events in Russia as the most serious assault on the group’s environmental activism since the bombing of the organisation’s flagship, Rainbow Warrior, in 1985.

Today Kumi Naidoo said:

"The activists were taking a brave stand to protect all of us from climate change and the dangers of reckless oil drilling in the Arctic. Now it’s imperative that millions of us stand up with them to defend the Arctic and demand their immediate release. Gazprom, Shell and the other oil companies rushing to carve up the Arctic and destroy its fragile environment must see that we are millions and we will not be bullied and intimidated into silence. We stand as one, in countries across the world, demanding the release of these thirty brave men and women."

ENDS
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From WottsUpWithThatBlog:

The power of data

I watched, for my sins, a new Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) video called Extreme Weather Events & Global Warming: How Good Is The Evidence? To be fair, it was more balanced than I had expected but really just seemed to be Roger Pielke Jr versus the rest. The basic message seemed to be that there was evidence for more heatwaves and heavier precipitation, but no real evidence for more extreme events like hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, and flooding. I will add, though, that the video very clearly mis-represents what Connie Hedegaard (from the European Commission) says. The narrator (David Whitehouse) says

"she admits there’s little evidence for an increase in climate extremes, before claiming that there is an increase. Contradicting herself and the IPCC."


No, what Connie Hedegaard says is that it is difficult to establish whether a particular event is actually linked to climate change ……. but the overall pattern of events seems to be bearing out the forecast that climate change will bring more frequent and more extreme weather. This isn’t a contradition. It’s really just the very obvious point that an individual event is not a trend.

Anyway, I’m no expert at this, but a quick search of Google Scholar returned a paper by Holland & Bruyère (2013). This paper seems to develop an Anthropogenic Climate Change Index (ACCI) and then considers how the different categories of hurricanes vary with ACCI. This is shown in the figure below which seems to indicate that although the fraction of Category 1 hurricanes decreases with ACCI, the fraction of Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes seem to increase. It also appears that Aslak Grinsted finds that there is a trend in extreme hurricane damage. A point that Aslak makes in his post, though, is that it is simply impossible for any normalization procedure to remove all non climatic influences / societal changes that has taken place over the 20th century.



More at WottsUpWithThatBlog >>
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Quoting 47. Xulonn:
Excellent series of posts, John - thanks.

There are many acronyms used in meteorology, climate science and climate change research and discussion. RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways) is one the is not common and does not easily roll off the tongue, and is not included in most online lists of climate change acronyms.

Even though it is a core concept in IPCC reports, I don't think a lot of people are familiar with it. I think we should always define this acronym in posts for the passing parade of readers and lurkers.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has the best acronym list for this subject that I've run across so far. Check it out - you'll even find out what ABC stands for!
It could be that RCP is a relatively new term, a quick search of Google scholar shows the earliest use in a couple of 2010 papers that referred to RCP's being in development.
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Quoting 46. JohnLonergan:
Temperature vs Concentration in AR5

As I was saying, somewhere, to someone the other day, – oh, I reemember, it was to Timmy – you can get rid of some of the problems with future projections by drawing temperature against CO2 emissions, instead of against time. If you do that, you (the person drawing the figure) doesn’t have to prejudge the separate issue of future CO2 emissions – you can just let your reader decide that for themselves, and then read temperature changes corresponding to CO2 off the chart.

I’m glad to see that the IPCC have been paying attention to my private conversations, and have included figure 10. David Hone is very keen on it too. The RCPs closely overlay each other. Note that the 1% CO2 line and its grey-blue shading is rather misleading: its lower than the rest because, as the IPCC sayeth, “the 1% per year CO2 simulations exhibit lower warming than those driven by RCPs, which include additional non-CO2 drivers”. I’d have omitted it if I was drawing the pic.


If I'm understanding correctly, wouldn't the lower "1% annual CO2" lines be helpful because they are showing what the warming would be as a direct result of CO2, not including positive feedbacks?
Again, if understanding correctly, that graph is then showing that CO2 alone isn't the best match for observed temperatures.
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Following one of Brian's links, I ended up here with an animation explaining the Higgs field and boson (I am a fan of the Higgs boson because it so exotic yet - if the analysis is correct - so utterly fundamental). This animation turns out to be part of a whole collection put together by the TED people as TEDed: Lessons worth sharing.

Very good stuff.
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Quoting 47. Xulonn:

.........The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has the best acronym list for this subject that I've run across so far. Check it out - you'll even find out what ABC stands for!
Thank you, Xulonn, this is very useful. Interesting what terms they don't define: CC, GW, AGW, BAU.

/sardonic :-\
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2404
Quoting 46. JohnLonergan:
...re CO2 Concentration,etc...
Excellent series of posts, John - thanks.

There are many acronyms used in meteorology, climate science and climate change research and discussion. RCP (Representative Concentration Pathways) is one the is not common and does not easily roll off the tongue, and is not included in most online lists of climate change acronyms.

Even though it is a core concept in IPCC reports, I don't think a lot of people are familiar with it. I think we should always define this acronym in posts for the passing parade of readers and lurkers.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has the best acronym list for this subject that I've run across so far. Check it out - you'll even find out what ABC stands for!
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1490
Temperature vs Concentration in AR5

As I was saying, somewhere, to someone the other day, – oh, I reemember, it was to Timmy – you can get rid of some of the problems with future projections by drawing temperature against CO2 emissions, instead of against time. If you do that, you (the person drawing the figure) doesn’t have to prejudge the separate issue of future CO2 emissions – you can just let your reader decide that for themselves, and then read temperature changes corresponding to CO2 off the chart.

I’m glad to see that the IPCC have been paying attention to my private conversations, and have included figure 10. David Hone is very keen on it too. The RCPs closely overlay each other. Note that the 1% CO2 line and its grey-blue shading is rather misleading: its lower than the rest because, as the IPCC sayeth, “the 1% per year CO2 simulations exhibit lower warming than those driven by RCPs, which include additional non-CO2 drivers”. I’d have omitted it if I was drawing the pic.

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A brief history of climate science


Climate change is often seen as a recent phenomenon, but its roots are actually far older – the effects of human activity on the global climate have been discussed for more than 150 years.

By Ed Hawkins, University of Reading

Climate change is often seen as a recent phenomenon, but its roots are actually far older – the effects of human activity on the global climate have been discussed for more than 150 years.

In the 1820s, the French mathematician Joseph Fourier was trying to understand the various factors that affect Earth’s temperature. But he found a problem – according to his calculations, the Earth should have been a ball of ice.

The most obvious factor, the Sun, did not seem to provide enough energy to raise the temperature of Earth above freezing. Fourier’s initial ideas, that there must be additional energy coming from the Earth’s core or from the temperature of outer space, were soon dismissed. Fourier then realised that the atmosphere, which at first seemed transparent, could be playing a crucial role.

Then, in 1861, the Irish physicist John Tyndall performed an experiment which changed our view of the atmosphere. Tyndall demonstrated that gases such as methane and carbon dioxide absorbed infrared radiation, and could trap heat within the atmosphere. He immediately realised the implications and remarked that these gases “would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate.”

Although this discovery would have profound consequences for understanding future climate, Tyndall, like most of his colleagues, was primarily interested in understanding the causes of ice ages, which had been discovered in 1837 by Louis Agassiz.

What was missing however was an estimate of how much these gases could warm or cool the planet. Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist, provided the first numerical estimates of “climate sensitivity” – defined as the temperature change corresponding to a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He suggested a value around 4°C in 1896.

While the scientists continued to debate the causes of the ice ages, the Earth was warming. From the 1920s onwards meteorologists began to realise that the climate of various regions had changed. Joseph Kincer suggested in 1933 that temperatures in individual cities had been rising. At the same time, others had started measuring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But, it took an amateur meteorologist to put the puzzle together.

Guy Stewart Callendar was a steam engineer who was fascinated by the weather. He meticulously collected temperature records from around the world, examined the carbon dioxide measurements and studied the work of Arrhenius and others. In his spare time, and without the aid of a computer, he performed the tedious calculations required to measure the temperature of the planet. These efforts produced the first evidence that Earth’s surface was warming.

Exactly 75 years ago, in 1938, Callendar delivered his analysis to the Fellows of the Royal Meteorological Society. He revealed evidence for a 0.3°C rise in global temperatures over the previous 50 years and suggested that this was largely due to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning. His findings were found to be interesting, but were not viewed as conclusive by the esteemed Fellows.

Undeterred, Callendar continued his research, gathering additional evidence. In later years he published the first estimates of the change in carbon dioxide over time, prompting Charles Keeling to set up the first dedicated observatory for measuring gases in the atmosphere.

In 1961, Callendar updated his estimates for global temperatures with more observations, and these agree remarkably well with our current understanding. Callendar also felt that a warmer climate would be beneficial as it would “delay the return of the deadly glaciers” and allow crops to be grown at higher latitudes.

In the 75 years since Callendar’s discovery that carbon dioxide was warming the planet, much more has been learnt about the climate. But the basic picture has not changed. We are now more confident than ever of the role of human activity on global temperatures. We also have a more complete understanding of the consequences of a warmer planet.

With all the attention on the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report in 2013, the considerable efforts of Callendar and his contemporaries in advancing our understanding of the climate should not be forgotten.

Ed Hawkins receives funding from the UK Natural Environment Research Council. He is affiliated with the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science.

The Conversation
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During the government shutdown, some scientists can't talk about science - Cory Doctorow

I'm a guest of honor this weekend at the Dallas's Fencon this weekend, and I've just learned that some of the other speakers won't be able to talk, thanks to the government shutdown. They're government space scientists, and the 143-year-old Antideficiency Act makes it a crime (punishable by fines and imprisonment) for government employees to volunteer to do their own jobs (which, in their cases, includes talking about science to the public).


boingboing.net

Antideficiency Act (wiki)
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Quoting 41. Birthmark:

I think it's nice that you found a graph you like out of all those available.

But if you're interested in the realities of the Arctic, this one is probably a better indicator.



Or one could simply pore through all available graphics to find a graph that makes one feel better.

Surprise surprise... "more" ice but it's still super thin and not multiyear ice. AKA, arctic sea ice is not normal, recovering, or slowing down in the downward spiral.
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Quoting 36. Cochise111:
Look at this Arctic ice. Ouch!:

Link

I think it's nice that you found a graph you like out of all those available.

But if you're interested in the realities of the Arctic, this one is probably a better indicator.



Or one could simply pore through all available graphics to find a graph that makes one feel better.
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Quoting 22. RevElvis:
What Would Our Country Look Like Without the EPA?

President Richard Nixon (R) created the EPA in 1970.



Imagine an America without the environmental protections that have improved our lives over the last 43 years.

Cue music for dream sequence: Scene One opens at a C&O Canal National Park campsite in Maryland. Ah, suppertime. No need to light a fire to cook those weenies! Just hold them over the open flame of the burning river. Though it might sound crazy to young people today, Ohio's Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969, burning off industrial waste piped legally into it. Yes, legally.

Scene Two: After enjoying our flame-broiled weenies, we drive next day to Chesapeake Bay for some seafood. Sadly, there's no local catch at the fish shacks. But we're in luck! There's tons of rotting fish floating belly-up in the bay. Dig in kids!

Scene three: Deciding we'd like to swim, we drive to the mouth of the Bay. At the beach, the kids pick the least convenient time to - using a nautical term - hit the head. But no worries. The foul-smelling sand (without 43 years of EPA regulation) is a litter box covered in filth and TP.

Before EPA, America's cities and towns discharged human waste straight out the pipe into waterways. The Clean Water Act enforced by EPA strived for sewage-free rivers and lakes by 1985. Though we're still short of the goal, there are thousands of beaches across the U.S. today where you can safely swim today - that's the honest poop!


Alternet.org


There is a bill before Congress right now that would take away federal authority over clean water and give it back to the individual states. If it passes we are back to the same corporate polluters controlling state governments who sell out the citizens again. Like in Florida.. and I would sadly point out that this was revived by Florida Congressman John Mica. Here is an article that Bobby wrote back in 2011 that discusses this. The article may be dated, but given the revival, it is again relevant.. Our environment and safety is being assaulted from all directions.. check it out...
An Assault on Clean Water and Democracy

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr / an-assault-on-clean-water_b_891613.html
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Quoting 36. Cochise111:
Look at this Arctic ice. Ouch!:

Link
Why the "ouch"? Stop believing the denialist propaganda!



Sea ice extent goes down. Sea ice extent goes up. But it's gone down more than up in recent years. Do you understand the definitions of noise and fluctuations in long term trends?

Are you aware the it was an unusually cool and cloudy summer in the Arctic - which, incredibly - lead to less melting this summer!!! The slope of the annual fall "recovery" indicates that the rate of recovery is nothing special - perhaps even less than some recent years.

I'm sorry that you are unable to comprehend sea ice dynamics. Such lack of knowledge can cloud your understanding of AGW/CC.

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Quoting 37. FLwolverine:
Too bad you didn't notice that the chart you linked to has been superseded: Link

"The plot above replaces an earlier sea ice extent plot, that was based on data with the coastal zones masked out. This coastal mask implied that the previous sea ice extent estimates were underestimated. The new plot displays absolute sea ice extent estimates. The old plot can still be viewed here for a while."



Nicely done. Too bad it will go right over his head.
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Quoting 36. Cochise111:
Look at this Arctic ice. Ouch!:

Link
Too bad you didn't notice that the chart you linked to has been superseded: Link

"The plot above replaces an earlier sea ice extent plot, that was based on data with the coastal zones masked out. This coastal mask implied that the previous sea ice extent estimates were underestimated. The new plot displays absolute sea ice extent estimates. The old plot can still be viewed here for a while."
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2404
Look at this Arctic ice. Ouch!:

Link
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From an ongoing exchange with a couple of conspiracy theorist expat friends here in Boquete, Panama - after I sent them a copy of the Yale 360 interviews:
Quoting A climate denialist, conspiracy theory friend:
Scientific talking heads, all looking for a funding teat to suck on. I'm not impressed by any number of "experts" (on either side) nor am I denigrating the science itself. Read the AR5 science and make your own judgements. Climate sensitivity estimates are decreasing, error bars are much larger than before and there is great uncertainty about fundamental processes, like what is driving the Antarctic ice expansion.

The point is that the more we study climate, the more we discover that we don't understand and the more we realize that the devil is in the details - things we thought were obvious and certain are not so when you know more about what is actually happening.

AND, the levers that mother nature is pulling are VERY large and powerful.

Obviously we are not going to throw out fossil fuels any time soon, much as we would like to see a replacement for many reasons. The problem I have with the discussion is that it always devolves into a call for draconian control or destruction of civilization, one world government and so on. Really the return of the Bolsheviks. I'm open, show me way to accomplish the conversion without that and I am all ears. When the economics are right, the change will happen, not before.
Quoting me:
I know you two guys are conspiracy theorists who knock most of the scientists in the world based on the "lying and misleading for funding" myth, which has no basis in fact or evidence. I am also aware that you cannot dispute the science which is based on multiple lines of evidence - not just lower atmosphere temperature data, which is why you have to rely on climate denialist websites. And where multiple egregious errors and lies on their side are perfectly o.k. and not a cause for invalidation.

I find is oddly amusing to know that neither of you guys would pass a basic college or university course on climate science, because you would deny the basic physics, chemistry and other science that so strongly supports AGW/CC and the reasons it is occurring.

However, I don't mind if you send me occasional e-mails based on the fossil fuel/ultra-conservative think tank sphere sponsored blogosphere that denies the reality of AGW/CC - a world where a single typo or e-mail is considered sufficient to invalidate a veritable mountain of evidence. A place where multiple egregious errors and lies on their side are perfectly o.k. and not a cause for invalidation. Where greed trumps reality.

After watching the denial of AGW/CC trump human needs, I now understand why someone cut down the last tree on Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

I hope you don't mind if I send you occasional information based on the work and publications of the global scientific community - where even scientists who don't rely on grants and capricious funding almost all agree, and the data and evidence is so overwhelming, that within the working, active global scientific community, whether AGW/CC is real or not is even discussed. It's the same as doctors and medical researchers who don't feel they have to announce that they accept germ theory when writing a related paper based on their research and analysis.

The world moves on, but you are welcome to catch up any time you choose.
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Quoting 18. RickyRood:
And even worse it's in the NPS talk and the animation ... got to get my editor (sister) back in the mix.

before long I'll be saying there's no their there or want no what to where when I'm there

I'm not even very good at being clever ...



Posting blogs like yours without an editor is like skydiving without a parachute.
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I'm becoming a veritable John Lonergan with this long post!! I didn't bother with the pics because of the complexity of WU pic linking protocols. Perhaps this post will help some of you save these excellent comments for use elsewhere - and be sure to credit Yale 360 when you use them.

03 Oct 2013 - Quoting Yale Environment 360:

Forum Top Climate Scientists Assess Latest Report from U.N. Panel


Yale Environment 360 asked some leading climate scientists to discuss what they consider to be the most noteworthy or surprising findings in the recently released report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change%u2019s working group on the physical science of a warming world.


Jennifer Francis Jennifer Francis, research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University in New Jersey: The just-released IPCC report summarizing progress in climate science over the past six years reaffirms the messages delivered in previous reports, but with more certainty, more urgency, more clarity, and more specificity. Bottom line: the Earth is warming and changing, and humans are causing it. In my view, the most noteworthy aspect of the report is the consistency of the trends %u2014 not only in the ever-mounting evidence of changes in the climate system, but also in the increasing confidence of the statements about human contributions to those changes. The report should evaporate any remaining doubt about the reality, causality, and severity of the issue. This consensus of the world's most esteemed scientists should part the clouds of disinformation perpetrated by those who stand to lose as we shift away from our fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure, and help the public see clearly through the smoke screen.
Michael Mann Michael Mann, distinguished professor of meteorology and director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University: In many respects the panel has been overly conservative in its assessment of the science. The new report, for example, slightly reduces the lower end of the estimated uncertainty range for the amount of warming scientists expect in response to a doubling of CO2 concentrations compared to preindustrial levels. The lowering is based on one narrow line of evidence: the slowing of atmospheric warming during the past decade. Yet there are numerous explanations for this %u2014 including natural variability in the amount of heat absorbed by the ocean %u2014 that do not imply a lower sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse gases. The working group%u2019s approach to global sea level rise is similarly conservative. The report gives an upper limit of roughly 1 meter of sea-level rise by the end of the century under business-as-usual carbon emissions, but credible, peer-reviewed research forecasts nearly twice that amount. As for the %u201Chockey stick%u201D graph that my colleagues and I devised %u2014 showing a sharp spike in warming in recent decades %u2014 the physical sciences working group report has actually strengthened its conclusions regarding the exceptional nature of modern warmth. The new report shows that there is now a veritable hockey league of reconstructions that not only confirms, but extends, the original hockey stick conclusions. The message of the latest IPCC report is clear: Climate change is real and caused by humans, and we will see far more dangerous and potentially irreversible impacts if we do not reduce global carbon emissions. There has never been a greater urgency to act than there is now.
Jane C.S. LongJane C.S. Long, chairman, California%u2019s Energy Future Study, The California Council on Science and Technology: The recent IPCC report sounds an incrementally more strident alarm about the dangers of increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The current policy response to this information does not reflect the dangers, urgency, or the quality of the information. At the same time, this IPCC report did not produce a more precise understanding of the impact of CO2 doubling. The range of probable outcomes was actually increased. It is ironic to think we could pick an emissions cap that will control the temperature increase to precisely 2 degrees C when years of study have resulted in decreasing the precision of the estimation of future temperature. The world is dithering over incremental emission caps that offer no guarantee of producing the result they have agreed on. Both policy and the IPCC should change course: More of the same is not likely to improve the response to climate change. More strategic approaches might help. The focus should change from bulky, comprehensive studies to deeper, more facile efforts targeted at phenomena and impacts that are poorly understood and could become critical. Feedback mechanisms, the role of aerosols and clouds, sea level rise, droughts, floods, and heat waves, etc., all deserve focused attention and the most up-to-date assessment. Such studies can shine a light on what keeps climate scientists up at night and hopefully keep the politicians awake as well. Second, the currently failing strategy of negotiating incremental emission caps should be replaced with a strategy for reinventing the energy system without emissions as fast as possible. Every region should create strategic plans for eliminating emissions as fast as they can. The IPCC can support this with alternative regional strategies for eliminating emissions.
Mark PaganiMark Pagani, professor and director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute: Details of the working group summary are not surprising, but two notable items come to mind. Equilibrium climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 has returned to the range cited in the IPCC Third Assessment Report, which is the same as in the first assessment of CO2 and climate chaired by Jules Charney in 1979. The %u201Cnew%u201D lower limit of 1.5 degrees C per CO2 doubling (from roughly 2 degrees C in the fourth assessment) apparently gives some folks ammunition to call it a %u201Cretreat.%u201D But 1.5 degrees C is not compatible with actual Earth climate history for the recent past. If the globe has warmed 0.85 degrees C with a 40 percent increase in CO2 since preindustrial times, we have already experienced a sensitivity of a 1.65 C temperature increase for a doubling scenario. I recognize that this is more of a transient sensitivity estimate conflated with anthropogenic variables like black carbon, but given that anthropogenic aerosols likely mask the true warming extent and that the full expression of warming will occur over many more decades, the climate sensitivity we will need to actually wrestle with is certainly higher and I would not bet all the farms in the world on the veracity of the lower model limit. I also see that some extreme events are now becoming statistically relevant, with an assessment that CO2 rise has likely (66 to 100 percent probability) more than doubled the probability of heat waves in some places. While more temperature and precipitation events are anticipated under a warmer world, more accounting is necessary to say with statistical certainty that higher frequencies are clearly linked with global warming. Few of us will be surprised when the relationship firms up.
Kevin TrenberthKevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the U.S.-Many of the findings in the new report are increments over the previous reports. Of most note that is new, compared with previous reports, is the material found in the last part of the summary for policymakers. It states that to stand a good chance (a probability of 66 percent or more) of limiting warming to less than 2%uFFFDC since the mid-19th century will require cumulative CO2 emissions from all anthropogenic sources to stay under 800 gigatons of carbon. As of 2011, 531 gigatons had already been emitted. The report also says that a large amount of the human-caused climate change from CO2 emissions is irreversible on a time scale of centuries or millennia. The report projects that surface air temperatures will remain at elevated levels for many centuries even after humans stop emitting carbon dioxide. In addition, the report says that because of the long time scales over which heat is transferred from the ocean surface to depth, ocean warming, sea level rise, and ice melt will continue for centuries. That may make the loss of Greenland%u2019s ice sheet irreversible, which would contribute to 7 meters of sea level rise over the course of 1,000 years or so. One worry I have about the latest report is that the risks from changes in hurricanes, tornadoes, and droughts are understated. Literature published or submitted since the working group%u2019s acceptance date of March 15, 2013 adds information on all of these topics and highlights the conservative nature of the IPCC report.
Gavin SchmidtGavin Schmidt, climatologist and climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.-In every IPCC report there is a graph showing the different contributions to radiative forcing since the pre-industrial era. Each one has been slightly more comprehensive than the last as new forcings were better quantified, but with the Fifth Assessment Report there is something quite different: Instead of showing the forcing associated with each change of concentration in the atmosphere, the forcings are attributed to changes in emissions. It makes the non-CO2 contributions much clearer: Methane now has a more dominant role via its impact on atmospheric chemistry, and other, more traditional pollutants are included that show clearly the connections between air quality and climate. But perhaps more importantly, this is an indication that IPCC Working Group 1 is taking its mandate to be policy-relevant more seriously. It is much more useful to summarize the causes of warming in terms that policymakers already monitor and control, than it is to repeat attributions that are cleaner for scientists to calculate. If you want to communicate to policymakers, you are better off answering their questions, rather than answering questions you think they'd ask if they were scientists.
Anders LevermannAnders Levermann, Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research, lead author of the sea level chapter for the IPCC%u2019s Fifth Assessment Report.-The IPCC working group did not mean to provide a risk assessment of future climate change impacts and so it did not. It provided the most likely future evolution of the global mean temperature under different socio-economic scenarios and that of other quantities like regional precipitation changes. For some quantities this is a more useful approach than it is for others. In the case of sea level, society might want to know what is science%u2019s best guess for the future rise, but for any practical purposes of coastal protection it is the worst case that is relevant. What is the upper limit of sea-level rise? An upper limit is different from a best guess and has at least two peculiar properties that are trivial but important. First, for all practical purposes, the upper limit cannot be exceeded. That means that if you build costal protection with respect to this upper limit, then you are safe, independent of scientific uncertainty or socio-economic scenarios. Second, an estimate of an upper limit is getting lower the more information is available %u2014 i.e., the more our scientific insight deepens. You start with the highest number available and then seek scientific evidence that allows dismissing this value and pushing the number down until you find no further reason to decrease it. Then you have your upper limit and you are safe. In the latest assessment report of the IPCC we did not provide such an upper limit, but we allow the creative reader to construct it. The likely range of sea level rise in 2100 for the highest climate change scenario is 52 to 98 centimeters (20 to 38 inches.). However, the report notes that should sectors of the marine-based ice sheets of Antarctic collapse, sea level could rise by an additional several tenths of a meter during the 21st century. Thus, looking at the upper value of the likely range, you end up with an estimate for the upper limit between 1.2 meters and, say, 1.5 meters. That is the upper limit of global mean sea-level that coastal protection might need for the coming century.

Originally posted on 03 Oct 2013 at Yale Environment 360
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From The Guardian:

Let's be honest – the global warming debate isn't about science
The scientific evidence on human-caused global warming is clear. Opposition stems from politics, not science.

The 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states with 95 percent confidence that humans have caused most, and probably all of the rapid global warming over the past 60 years. Approximately 97 percent of climate experts and peer-reviewed climate science studies agree.

There are of course open questions yet to be answered by climate scientists – precisely how sensitive the climate is to the increased greenhouse effect, for example. But even in a best case, low sensitivity scenario, we're headed for dangerously rapid climate change if we continue on our current business as usual path. And the worst case scenario, which is just as likely as the best case scenario, would mean we're headed for a global catastrophe.

The IPCC warns that if we want to avoid very dangerous climate change, we're on track to blow through our allowed carbon budget in as little as two to three decades if we continue on our current path of relying on fossil fuels. If we're lucky and the low sensitivity scenario is accurate, perhaps we'll have an extra decade or two, but even in this best case scenario, we're on an unsustainable climate path.

Politically biased media climate coverage is not a coincidence

Read more in The Guardian >>
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Quoting 28. JohnLonergan:
Yale Environment 360 asked some leading climate scientists to discuss what they consider to be the most noteworthy or surprising findings in the recently released report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s working group on the physical science of a warming world.
Excellent link, John. I've copied and saved the left column with the replies from top AGW/CC knowledgeable climate scientists, and e-mailed a friend who repeatedly sends me stuff from Heartland, Goddard, Watts, Curry, Lindzen, etc.

If you copy and save it with Firefox, you can paste a section of the forum/interviews into an e-mail like Thunderbird, later versions of MS Word, etc. and it will retain its HTML formatting and render into an adaptable width article with images intact.

It's amazing how information technology works when properly implemented!!
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Quoting 25. 1911maker:
Not sure if this is a violation or not, but it just fits to well around here to pass up.





This fits fine and is sadly appropriate.

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Why Curry, McIntyre, and Co. are Still Wrong about IPCC Climate Model Accuracy

Earlier this week, I explained why IPCC model global warming projections have done much better than you think. Given the popularity of the Models are unreliable myth (coming in at #6 on the list of most used climate myths), it's not surprising that the post met with substantial resistance from climate contrarians, particularly in the comments on its Guardian cross-post. Many of the commenters referenced a blog post published on the same day by blogger Steve McIntyre.

McIntyre is puzzled as to why the depiction of the climate model projections and observational data shifted between the draft and draft final versions (the AR5 report won't be final until approximately January 2014) of Figure 1.4 in the IPCC AR5 report. The draft and draft final versions are illustrated side-by-side below.

I explained the reason behind the change in my post. It's due to the fact that, as statistician and blogger Tamino noted 10 months ago when the draft was "leaked," the draft figure was improperly baselined.



IPCC AR5 Figure 1.4 draft (left) and draft final (right) versions. In the draft final version, solid lines and squares represent measured average global surface temperature changes by NASA (blue), NOAA (yellow), and the UK Hadley Centre (green). The colored shading shows the projected range of surface warming in the IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR; yellow), Second (SAR; green), Third (TAR; blue), and Fourth (AR4; red).

Read more at SkS Link...
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Top Climate Scientists Assess
Latest Report from U.N. Panel

Link
Yale Environment 360 asked some leading climate scientists to discuss what they consider to be the most noteworthy or surprising findings in the recently released report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s working group on the physical science of a warming world.

Read the full article in Yale Environment 360 >>
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An excellent find JohnLonergan! (referring to comment #8)
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Not sure if this is a violation or not, but it just fits to well around here to pass up.



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Not sure just how "recent" of issue this is, but if it is a "new" issue, that speaks to changing water use issues in a nice graphic way.

http://blog.ucsusa.org/energy-water-collisions-ou r-2013-update-258Link



Recent energy-water collisions across the U.S. — north, south, east, and west. Plenty of reasons to think there have to be better ways of making sure our power plants are there for us when we need them.
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I hadn't seen post #8, but this is about the same subject.

Researchers Find Historic Ocean Acidification Levels: 'The Next Mass Extinction May Have Already Begun'

BY KATIE VALENTINE ON OCTOBER 3, 2013 AT 4:41 PM

The oceans are more acidic now than they've been at any time in the last 300 million years, conditions that marine scientists warn could lead to a mass extinction of key species.

Scientists from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) published their State of the Oceans report Thursday, a biennial study that surveys how oceans are responding to human impacts. The researchers found the current level of acifification is "unprecedented" and that the overall health of the ocean is declining at a much faster rate than previously thought.

"We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure," the report states. "The next mass extinction may have already begun."

Acidification causes major harm to marine ecosystems, especially coral, which has a hard time building up its calcium carbonate skeleton in acidic water. Coral reefs serve as nurseries to many young fish, so they're essential both to ecosystem health and the survival of the fishing industry. If temperatures rise by 2 degrees C, the study found, coral may stop growing altogether, and may start to dissolve at 3 degrees C. Similarily, acidic ocean waters can hamper shellfish larvae's ability to grow shells.

Acidification is already hurting the shellfish industry -- in the U.S., northwestern and East Coast shellfish industries have struggled to adapt to increasingly acidic waters. And pteropods, tiny sea snails that are a keystone species in the Arctic and are an essential food source for many birds, fish and whales, are also threatened by acidity -- they too require strong calcium carbonate shells to survive.

It's not just acidification that's threatening the oceans, either [...]


More at Climate Progress...
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What Would Our Country Look Like Without the EPA?

President Richard Nixon (R) created the EPA in 1970.



Imagine an America without the environmental protections that have improved our lives over the last 43 years.

Cue music for dream sequence: Scene One opens at a C&O Canal National Park campsite in Maryland. Ah, suppertime. No need to light a fire to cook those weenies! Just hold them over the open flame of the burning river. Though it might sound crazy to young people today, Ohio's Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969, burning off industrial waste piped legally into it. Yes, legally.

Scene Two: After enjoying our flame-broiled weenies, we drive next day to Chesapeake Bay for some seafood. Sadly, there's no local catch at the fish shacks. But we're in luck! There's tons of rotting fish floating belly-up in the bay. Dig in kids!

Scene three: Deciding we'd like to swim, we drive to the mouth of the Bay. At the beach, the kids pick the least convenient time to - using a nautical term - hit the head. But no worries. The foul-smelling sand (without 43 years of EPA regulation) is a litter box covered in filth and TP.

Before EPA, America's cities and towns discharged human waste straight out the pipe into waterways. The Clean Water Act enforced by EPA strived for sewage-free rivers and lakes by 1985. Though we're still short of the goal, there are thousands of beaches across the U.S. today where you can safely swim today - that's the honest poop!


Alternet.org
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Fukushima Leak Traced To Overflow Tank Built On a Slope

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the latest leak of radioactive wastewater has been traced to the overfilling of a storage tank built on a slope.

Tokyo Electric Power Company officials apologized at a news conference on Thursday for the leaks that surface on an almost daily basis.

They estimate that 430 liters of wastewater seeped outside the barrier around the tank and say some of this water may have flowed into the sea, about 200 meters away.

Shortly after 8:00 PM on Wednesday, workers found wastewater leaking from the upper part of the tank.

They detected 200,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances in water pooled inside the barrier around the tank. The safety limit is 30 becquerels per liter.

The tank is on the mountain side of the plant's No.4 reactor. The TEPCO officials said the tank was built on ground that slopes toward the ocean, and the leak occurred on the side that faces the sea.

NHK World

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Your blog topic is an interesting read, Ricky. I look forward to your expansion on this in the next blog.
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.