What Can I Say about Heat Waves? Heat Waves (5)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:27 AM GMT on November 28, 2013

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What Can I Say about Heat Waves? Heat Waves (5)

This blog is about a paper on extreme heat written by my student Evan Oswald and myself. I don’t usually write about my own research, but this paper poses some interesting challenges to think about heat, heat waves, climate change and public health. Or I might say, how do I explain this to my epidemiologist friends?

What we set out to do with this research was to quantify how observations from surface weather stations represent extreme heat events that are threats to human health. We started with the station observations because most often those responsible for heat warnings and those undertaking planning for climate change start with station observations in their locality. There are a lot of reasons for this choice. An important one is that these observations and any of their local peculiarities are usually well known. Hence, there is experience and the knowledge and trust that come from that experience. Once we described the behavior of all of the station observations, we had two planned paths. The first path was to see if the gridded datasets used in climate-change planning had the same behavior as the station observations. The second path was to compare the station observations to a high-resolution network of observations in a city and see how well, for example, the measurements at the airport or weather office represented the details of the city.

Of course, many researchers have looked at the station data and documented trends in heat. To earn a Ph.D., a student has to do original and independent research. There are a number of attributes that distinguish this research. Most notably, we have been working with a team of public health experts (meet Marie O’Neill), and we had a desire to use measures of environmental heat that have been found to be important in public health studies. To a meteorologist, heat might seem simple, but the human health impacts of heat are complicated. For example there is the impact of very high temperatures on those working or training outside. Another example is the threat of persistent heat, day and night, on the chronically ill who might be housebound. There is a link between heat and humidity, with many of us Southerners knowing that “it’s not the heat, but the humidity,” and not thinking about the effects of dehydration that are important in the desert Southwest. For this reason we started by looking only at temperature and not some measure of comfort such as a heat index. Then there’s a sort of obvious one, public health experts are most interested in heat effects during and around summertime, whereas to a climate scientist a “heat wave” in the winter can be as interesting and as important as a summer heat wave. There are many other complications, but I hope I have made my point, there is meaningful research to be done.

In the research reported in “A trend analysis of the1930-2010 extreme heat events in the continental U.S.”, we focused on the warm season, end of spring to the beginning of fall. We also focused on different types and characteristics of heat waves. We defined heat waves for daytime maxima and for nighttime minima. We looked at, for example, duration of heat waves, how many days did they last? Here I am going to only write about the trends that we reported in duration for three different time periods, 1930-1970, 1970-2010, and the combined time period of 1930-2010. Our study area was the continental United States.

Why these three time periods? Lot of reasons, we wanted to include the well known hot times during the 1930s, otherwise we would be accused of cheating. We did not go earlier than 1930, because we felt that the quality of the observations decreased substantially. When I was a student in the late 1970s, I remember getting excited when, say, the data for 1976 was released. Then 1977. I’d write papers about what the future would hold. Now low and behold, I have been fortunate enough to live long enough to have more than my own 30-year period. Thirty years of average temperatures is the traditional definition of “climate.” Hence, splitting things at 1970 we have two equal 40-year records, which allows us to investigate the sensitivity to which 30-year period, which “climate,” is chosen.

Lot of introduction here, so let’s get to a result. In Figure 1, I show the decadal trends at each station in the mean duration of EHEs during the 1930-1970 period. The top map shows heat events based on nighttime minimum temperatures. The bottom map shows heat events based on daytime maximum temperatures. The middle map shows events when both the maximum and minimum were elevated; that is, it did not cool off very much at night.





Figure 1: The decadal trends at each station in the mean duration of EHEs during the 1930-1970 period. The trend significance (alpha=0.10) is indicated by symbol shading. The graduated symbol groupings are based on standard deviations away from the zero value, and are different for each map. The trends in Tmin-based EHEs (top), Tmnx-based EHEs (middle) and Tmax-based EHEs (bottom) are all shown. Tmin is based on nighttime lows, Tmax on daytime highs and Tmnx require both highs and lows to be elevated.


The trends in the minimum temperature are generally positive. The exception is in the northern part of the Great Plains, right in the east-west center of the country. The largest red squares in the figure tell us that for every 2 decades we are seeing about 1 additional day of duration of very warm nighttime temperature. The bottom map for daytime minimum tells a different story. In the West there is, mostly, a warming trend in the daytime maximums. In the center of the country there is a pretty strong cooling trend. Some of my more skeptical readers and friends will go, “see there is no global warming.” In class, I would then make the assignment to describe what this figure does or does not tell us about global warming. Perhaps, I will distract a few people to carry on their arguments in the comments. It would be terribly pedantic for me to make such an assignment here, and pure hubris to expect responses.

In any case, we do see this big area of cooling of daytime maximums in the middle of the country. This was not a surprise to us, because there is growing documentation of the “Midwest Warming Hole.” This does, however, offer a challenge when discussing heat waves with my epidemiologist friends. It also might stand a little in conflict with reports such as “Heat in the Heartland,” a widely used document, for which I provided some review comments. In the next blog, I will breakdown the information in the figure a little bit, and then I will start to buildup a description that might be more usable by the public health planner.

r

Some earlier Hot Blogs

Russian Heat Wave

Heat Wave Series

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Quoting 214. overwash12:
California? Lots of veggies there. lol


And freeze risk most winters. Maybe realized in the next few days this winter.

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It seems that the Heartland Institute (HI) may be lying (again). The American Meteorological Society (AMA) blog reports that the HI sent out an email that "looks" as if it was sent out by the AMA. No wonder denier and liar rhyme.
Link
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From the Alaska Dispatch:

Winter? What winter? Barrow's October, November downright balmy

The vicious bite of winter has swept across much of Alaska, but Barrow, a community that's typically one of the nation's coldest locales, continues to experience unusual springtime warmth with temperatures some 20 degrees above normal.

About noon Monday, Barrow -- located at the tippy-top of Alaska -- posted a relatively balmy 14 degrees. But it's supposed to be 5 below zero, based on historical averages for Dec. 2. That's 19 degrees above normal. Meanwhile temperatures in Anchorage, in the more southern reaches of the state, remained around zero for the weekend.

The wacky weather reversal was much the same last year, with Barrow slogging through relative warmth while the rest of Alaska shuddered from cold.


The unseasonable warmth in the coastal community is part of a long-term trend for the North Slope region that some have attributed to melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, leading to more stretches of open water and warmer air temperatures. That warming on the North Slope is in stark contrast to the cooling that the rest of the state experienced in the first decade of the new century.

Read more ...
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2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #49A

Al Gore is a vegan now — and we think we know why

An update on risks of abrupt jolts from global warming

Bloomberg LP launches first tool that measures risk of 'unburnable carbon' assets

Climate change is not the future

Climate change: No longer electoral Kryptonite!

Climate change will pose rising burden on U.S.
Taxpayer

Methane: It’s leaking out of the Arctic Ocean

No climate-change deniers to be found in the reinsurance business

Scientists warn that warming "will be hard to reverse"

Something in the weather tells us climate change is real

Temperature limit too high to avoid climate change

Weather—without climate

Read more at SkepticalScience for brief synopses and links to stories ...
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Arctic sea ice volume from Neven, still 4th lowest on record; all 4 low years are 2o1o and later.:

PIOMAS December 2013

Short announcement: I've put up a widget from Skeptical Science in the right hand bar that shows the planetary heat/energy imbalance that is built up due to greenhouse gas emissions. Generate your own customizable widget here if you have some space on your blog.

-----

Another month has passed and so here is the updated Arctic sea ice volume graph as calculated by the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) at the Polar Science Center:

Continue reading "PIOMAS December 2013" »

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Climate change-denying Texas Rep. to lead House meeting on extraterrestrials

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who has been openly skeptical regarding global climate change, will use one of the House’s seven remaining workdays this year to chair a hearing regarding the possible existence of life outside of Earth.

Smith, chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, will lead “Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in our Solar System and Beyond?” Wednesday morning.

The hearing’s charter states that, “With the discovery of potential Earth-like planets outside of our Solar System, the hearing will also investigate what methods are being used to determine if any of these planets may harbor life. The hearing will explore existing and planned astrobiology research strategies and roadmaps.”

Though the subject may sound closer to science-fiction than science, the committee — which contains several Republicans who have at times railed against scientific fact — invited certified experts in the field. Scheduled to testify at the hearing are Dr. Steven Dick, astrobiology chair for the John W. Kruge Center at the Library of Congress; Dr. Sara Seager, a physics and planetary science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Dr. Mary Voytek, a senior member of NASA’s planetary science division.

Think Progress noted that Smith — who has received $500,000 in campaign donations from the oil and gas industries — is a longtime critic of what he called “the idea of human-made global warming,” arguing on the House floor as far back as 2009 that the press was “heavily slanted in favor of global warming alarmists.”

In November 2013, Smith issued a subpoena against the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) accusing it of using “secret science” as part of its new set of air quality regulations.


RawStory.com
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.

!!! Sea-Level Rise Too Fast to Reverse Climate Change: Study

An Update on Risks of Abrupt Jolts from Global Warming

* Acid oceans harm more species

*** Tipping Points: Where May Abrupt Impacts from Climate Change Occur?

*** Catastrophic Collapse of Sahara Desert's Wildlife

Genome for the King Cobra Sequenced

!!! Tracking Fracking Pollution

Himalayan Flowers Shed Light On Climate Change

Continuing With Pledge Pathways to 2030 Could Push Climate Goals out of Reach

* Airborne Radar Looking Through Thick Ice During NASA Polar Campaigns

* Tracking Marine Food Sources

Louisiana editorial roundup

Florida editorial roundup

Federal study warns of sudden climate change woes

Gov. Heineman cancels Nebraska study on climate change

* Eurasian ruffe DNA found in southern Lake Michigan

!!! When global warming kicks into overdrive, how will we know?

!!! Panel Says Global Warming Carries Risk of Deep Changes

* American 15-Year-Olds Lag, Mainly in Math, on International Standardized Tests Nathan? Cody? Isaac? Get to work! ;)

EPA head bets on China for climate change support

Montana: Big Sky country at an environmental crossroads

Sailing the seas of global trade: From China to Europe on a cargo ship

Buzz kill

Spooky physics phenomenon may link universe's wormholes

!!! Harsh carbon fee needed to avert disaster, warns top climate scientist Discuss.

'Selfie'? Bah! 'Science' is the word of the year from Merriam-Webster :)
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8558
216. yoboi
Quoting 215. JohnLonergan:
350 Or Bust: Scientists Warn Even 2°C Warming Leads To ‘Disastrous Consequences’ And Must Be Avoided



Humanity is choosing to destroy a livable climate, warn 18 of the world’s leading climate experts in a new study. Led by James Hansen, they make the strongest case to date for a target of 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the air, or about 1°C (1.8°F) total warming.
Yes, we are already near 400 ppm (and rising 2 ppm a year), and have warmed more than 0.8°C since preindustrial times, so the authors understand the challenge. But in their must-read article in the journal PLOS One, the scientists argue that “aiming for the 2°C [3.6°F pathway would be foolhardy” because it “would have consequences that can be described as disastrous”:
… sea level rise of several meters could be expected. Increased climate extremes, already apparent at 0.8°C warming, would be more severe. Coral reefs and associated species, already stressed with current conditions, would be decimated by increased acidification, temperature and sea level rise. More generally, humanity and nature, the modern world as we know it, is adapted to the Holocene climate that has existed more than 10,000 years.

They point that even a modest temperature rise will end the stable climate that enabled modern civilization is clear in this figure derived from another recent study:





Read more at ThinkProgress ...



I am glad we are at almost a "static" temp for the pat 17 yrs......whew.....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
350 Or Bust: Scientists Warn Even 2°C Warming Leads To ‘Disastrous Consequences’ And Must Be Avoided



Humanity is choosing to destroy a livable climate, warn 18 of the world’s leading climate experts in a new study. Led by James Hansen, they make the strongest case to date for a target of 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the air, or about 1°C (1.8°F) total warming.
Yes, we are already near 400 ppm (and rising 2 ppm a year), and have warmed more than 0.8°C since preindustrial times, so the authors understand the challenge. But in their must-read article in the journal PLOS One, the scientists argue that “aiming for the 2°C [3.6°F pathway would be foolhardy” because it “would have consequences that can be described as disastrous”:
… sea level rise of several meters could be expected. Increased climate extremes, already apparent at 0.8°C warming, would be more severe. Coral reefs and associated species, already stressed with current conditions, would be decimated by increased acidification, temperature and sea level rise. More generally, humanity and nature, the modern world as we know it, is adapted to the Holocene climate that has existed more than 10,000 years.

They point that even a modest temperature rise will end the stable climate that enabled modern civilization is clear in this figure derived from another recent study:





Read more at ThinkProgress ...
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3166
Quoting 208. Birthmark:

I wouldn't worry about the food too much. Hardly any of it grows in the winter. ;)
California? Lots of veggies there. lol
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New Report Says Solar Will Achieve Near-Global Competitiveness With Natural Gas By 2025



Solar power may be well on its way to near-global cost competitiveness with natural gas by 2025, according to new numbers from Lux Research. And rather than acting purely as market competitors, the two energy sources could form a symbiosis with the construction of hybrid plants that make use of both.
Lux Research used a “bottom-up system cost model” to analyze the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for solar, natural gas, and hybrid systems using both sources. In plain terms, the LCOE is the cost per kilowatt-hour of a given energy source, accounting for all the costs involved across its life cycle. Lux’s analysis covered 10 global regions through 2030, and ran through three different scenarios: a “Low Gas Price Scenario,” a “High Gas Price Scenario,” and a “Likely Gas Price Scenario.”
The result was that under both the Likely and High scenarios, the LCOE of solar — unsubsidized by any government program — met or dropped below natural gas’ LCOE in virtually every region of the world by 2025.

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Tipping Points: Where May Abrupt Impacts from Climate Change Occur?



Larsen B ice shelf collapse: Abrupt climate change —- large shifts in climate that take place within decades or even years —- is the topic of increasing scientific research because of the potential for such changes to happen faster than society or ecosystems could adapt. (Credit: Landsat 7 Science Team and NASA GSFC)


ScienceDaily.com

HuffingtonPost.com
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Quoting 208. Birthmark:

I wouldn't worry about the food too much. Hardly any of it grows in the winter. ;)


The combination of bitter cold and little snow can kill wheat which does (hopefully) overwinter. In the Dakotas and MT though I think most wheat is sown in spring because the winterkill risk is too high.
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Quoting 208. Birthmark:

I wouldn't worry about the food too much. Hardly any of it grows in the winter. ;)

Freezes in California affect fresh veggie prices in the winter a lot. There are also winter veggies grown in deep south Texas and the southern half of Florida. Freezes there also affect prices substantially.

The current cold outbreak looks more like a California event and only moderately severe. Cold but not well below freezing cold will get to south Texas as well. FL will be spared this outbreak.
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How the TPP will gut environmental protection - Cory Doctorow

I've posted a bunch about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a shadowy, secretive trade deal that will have a disastrous effect on the Internet, privacy and free speech, thanks to the brutal copyright provisions the US Trade Rep has crammed into it. But that's not the whole story.

Michael sez, "You might be interested to know the TPP looks terrible for environmental protection too, due to a proposed mechanism called 'investor-state arbitration'. Basically this'd allow investors to sue countries for passing legislation detrimental to the financial interests of those investors. Yep, think environmental protections, workers' rights laws and any other kind of public protection that might reduce a profit margin.



BoingBoing.net

Petition at 350.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Quoting 204. overwash12:
The cold snap that will be gripping much of the nation in the coming weeks will result in higher food prices and higher fuel costs! It's just what we needed to help boost the economy.

I wouldn't worry about the food too much. Hardly any of it grows in the winter. ;)
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Climate Change's Biggest Threats Are Those We Aren't Ready For: Report
Posted: 12/03/2013 2:30 pm EST


Kate SheppardBecome
kate.sheppard@huffingtonpost.com




WASHINGTON -- Climatic changes -- and the results of those changes -- could occur within decades or even sooner, and they are becoming a greater concern for scientists, according to a new paper from the National Academy of Sciences.

"The most challenging changes are the abrupt ones," said James White, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder and chair of the report committee. White and several coauthors of the paper spoke at a press conference Tuesday morning.

The paper focuses on those impacts due to climate change that can happen most quickly. Among these are the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice that scientists have seen in the last decade and increased extinction pressure on plants and animals caused by the rapidly warming climate.

Many such changes, according to Tony Barnosky, a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, are "things that people in this room will be around to see." He emphasized that scientists are "really worried about what's going to happen in the next several years or decades."

"The planet is going to be warmer than most species living on Earth today have seen it, including humans," said Barnosky. "The pace of change is orders of magnitude higher than what species have experienced in the last tens of millions of years."

Other, more gradually occurring changes can still have abrupt impacts on the ecosystem and human systems, such as the loss of fisheries or shifts in where certain crops can be cultivated. Rapid loss of ice, for example, would mean that sea levels rise at a much faster rate than the current trend, which would have a significant effect on coastal regions. A 3-foot rise in the seas is easier to prepare for if it happens on a 100-year horizon than if it happens within 30 years.

"If you think about gradual change, you can see where the road is and where you're going," said Barnosky. "With abrupt changes and effects, the road suddenly drops out from under you."

The paper did offer two bits of good news. One, scientists don't believe that climate change is likely to shut down the Atlantic jetstream, a possibility that had been discussed in some scientific research. They also don't believe that large, rapid emissions of methane from ice and Arctic soil will pose a serious threat in the short term, as had been considered previously.

"Giant methane belches are not a big worry," said Richard Alley, a professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and committee member. "These really are systems that will affect us in the future, but they don't look like they're going to jump really fast."

The paper recommends increased investment in an early-warning system for monitoring abrupt impacts, such as surveillance programs to facilitate closer tracking of melting ice and methane releases, for example. Right now, investment in those systems is lacking in the U.S., and monitoring programs have been cut in recent years.

"The time has come for us to quit talking and actually take some action," said White. He noted that in the modern age, there are cameras everywhere, yet "remarkably very few of those watching devices are pointed at the environment."

"We ought to be watching that with the same zeal we watch banks and other precious things."
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127569
206. yoboi
Quoting 192. Neapolitan:
In general, the 70s and 80s saw a lull in overall temperature rise due to, among other factors, an increase in sulphate aerosols from an absence of pollution control measures after high-polluting industry picked up after 1940. Skeptical Science actually has some great explanations here.



please dude you are getting carried away....
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Climate Denial Cancer



Pat Bagley, Cagle Cartoons, Salt Lake Tribune
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
The cold snap that will be gripping much of the nation in the coming weeks will result in higher food prices and higher fuel costs! It's just what we needed to help boost the economy.
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1457
Climate Reality: Climate Denier to Activist

My name is Larry Lazar and I am businessman, husband and a father of two from Eureka, MO.

Five years ago I used to be a climate change denier.

Now, I give talks in the St. Louis area about the dangers of climate change and our obligation to do something about it – like speaking out for strict limits on carbon.

I changed my views on climate change because my dad taught me to pay attention to the world around me … and it’s obvious that something is wrong with the weather. It’s like the weather is on steroids – and getting worse.

Readers may recall the record heat wave back in March of 2012 when the temps in the high 80’s made it feel like it was July.

My dad and I talked about that heat wave while picking apples for cider a few weeks ago. He reminded me that he lost his apple crop that year for the first time in 40 years. We went on to talk about how the weather has changed over his 85 years, especially in recent decades.

My dad is 85 years old and still spends his most of his day outside; cutting wood, working in the garden, hunting and fishing and trimming Christmas trees (only $10 bucks, except the church, they get theirs for free).

When you are outside as much as my dad, it is obvious and undeniable that the weather is changing. It hits you over the head – again and again.

"I don’t know what it is, but something isn’t right," he told me.

My mother wrote me about her observations: "I remember winters years ago, they were not at all like what we have now. I remember very cold weather, colder than I have seen in years. Now winters are almost like fall used to be.”

I have read dozens of books and hundreds of articles about climate change and am deeply disturbed by my findings. My parents’ observations are totally backed up by science. Climate change is real, is now, and is terribly dangerous, especially for our kids and grandkids.

There was another time when my dad knew something wasn't right. It was almost 30 years ago and he wasn't well. Something was seriously wrong with his health.

He went to the doctor and was told he had badly blocked arteries. It was a life or death decision and my dad did what he had to do. He took their advice; had open heart surgery, changed his diet and took his pills. 30 years later he’s still picking apples, trimming trees and cutting wood.

I suspect that nearly everyone who reads this knows deep inside that something isn't right with the weather.

Science has been telling us for decades what "isn't right". The atmosphere has TOO MUCH CARBON and it’s trapping more heat, like a thicker blanket over the earth.

My dad taught me something else very important and this explains why I spoke at the EPA, why I give talks in the community and why I’m writing this letter.

He taught me to do the right thing.

It’s time for all of us "to do the right thing" and listen to what we all know deep down to be true. The evidence is overwhelming – which is why climate scientists worldwide now are 95 percent confident climate change is manmade. Not one major scientific body in the world disputes it. And don't forget the threat the Pentagon sees.

We must take the advice of our best scientists, just like my dad listened to his doctors.

Solving climate change will not be easy, just like getting healthy wasn’t easy for my dad.

It doesn’t matter how hard it is. We have a responsibility and obligation to act. We must change our energy diet and that starts with limiting carbon pollution from coal – the worst of the polluters.

-The EPA must implement the strongest carbon limits possible.
-Ameren must retire its oldest and dirtiest coal plants - starting with Meramec and Labadie
-Our lawmakers must write and support legislation for clean energy and efficiency improvements
-All of us must strive to reduce our own carbon footprint

Carbon, physics and chemistry are not "liberal" or "conservative". Quite simply, carbon traps heat – like a blanket over the earth, and the blanket is getting thicker every day.

We owe it to our children and our children's children, and all living things, to stop burning fossil fuels as much and as soon as possible.

Thank you.
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
Energy Agency Predicts High Prices in Future


Current consumption rates will cause world energy demand to increase 1.6 per year until 2030, the IEA reports.
The world can expect energy prices to continue their generally upward spiral in the years ahead if global energy policies remain the same, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported this week.

Rapid economic development in China and India, coupled with relatively consistent energy use in industrialized nations, will likely strain the world's ability to meet a projected rise in energy demand of some 1.6 percent a year until 2030, the agency predicted Wednesday in its annual World Energy Outlook report [PDF].

The IEA significantly increased its projections of future oil costs in this year's report due to the changing outlook for demand and production costs. It now expects crude oil to average $100 per barrel over the next two decades and more than $200 per barrel in 2030, in nominal terms. Last year's forecast estimated that a 2030 barrel would amount to only $108.

"One thing is certain," said Nobuo Tanaka, the IEA's executive director, in a prepared statement. "While market imbalances will feed volatility, the era of cheap oil is over."

Read more at World Watch Institute ...
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I'm sorry pcola57 I wish I could find it myself, but no luck as there are so many articles on the EPA website.
__________________________________________

Can the observed changes be explained by natural variability, including changes in solar output?

Since our entire climate system is fundamentally driven by energy from the sun, it stands to reason that if the sun's energy output were to change, then so would the climate. Since the advent of space-borne measurements in the late 1970s, solar output has indeed been shown to vary. There appears to be confirmation of earlier suggestions of an 11 (and 22) year cycle of irradiance. With only 20 years of reliable measurements however, it is difficult to deduce a trend. But, from the short record we have so far, the trend in solar irradiance is estimated at ~0.09 W/m2 compared to 0.4 W/m2 from well-mixed greenhouse gases. There are many indications that the sun also has a longer-term variation which has potentially contributed to the century-scale forcing to a greater degree. There is though, a great deal of uncertainty in estimates of solar irradiance beyond what can be measured by satellites, and still the contribution of direct solar irradiance forcing is small compared to the greenhouse gas component. However, our understanding of the indirect effects of changes in solar output and feedbacks in the climate system is minimal. There is much need to refine our understanding of key natural forcing mechanisms of the climate, including solar irradiance changes, in order to reduce uncertainty in our projections of future climate change.

In addition to changes in energy from the sun itself, the Earth's position and orientation relative to the sun (our orbit) also varies slightly, thereby bringing us closer and further away from the sun in predictable cycles (called Milankovitch cycles). Variations in these cycles are believed to be the cause of Earth's ice-ages (glacials). Particularly important for the development of glacials is the radiation receipt at high northern latitudes. Diminishing radiation at these latitudes during the summer months would have enabled winter snow and ice cover to persist throughout the year, eventually leading to a permanent snow- or icepack. While Milankovitch cycles have tremendous value as a theory to explain ice-ages and long-term changes in the climate, they are unlikely to have very much impact on the decade-century timescale. Over several centuries, it may be possible to observe the effect of these orbital parameters, however for the prediction of climate change in the 21st century, these changes will be far less important than radiative forcing from greenhouse gases.
________________________________________

What about the future?

Due to the enormous complexity of the atmosphere, the most useful tools for gauging future changes are 'climate models'. These are computer-based mathematical models which simulate, in three dimensions, the climate's behavior, its components and their interactions. Climate models are constantly improving based on both our understanding and the increase in computer power, though by definition, a computer model is a simplification and simulation of reality, meaning that it is an approximation of the climate system. The first step in any modeled projection of climate change is to first simulate the present climate and compare it to observations. If the model is considered to do a good job at representing modern climate, then certain parameters can be changed, such as the concentration of greenhouse gases, which helps us understand how the climate would change in response. Projections of future climate change therefore depend on how well the computer climate model simulates the climate and on our understanding of how forcing functions will change in the future.

The IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios determines the range of future possible greenhouse gas concentrations (and other forcings) based on considerations such as population growth, economic growth, energy efficiency and a host of other factors. This leads a wide range of possible forcing scenarios, and consequently a wide range of possible future climates.

According to the range of possible forcing scenarios, and taking into account uncertainty in climate model performance, the IPCC projects a global temperature increase of anywhere from 1.4 - 5.8°C from 1990-2100. However, this global average will integrate widely varying regional responses, such as the likelihood that land areas will warm much faster than ocean temperatures, particularly those land areas in northern high latitudes (and mostly in the cold season).

Precipitation is also expected to increase over the 21st century, particularly at northern mid-high latitudes, though the trends may be more variable in the tropics.

Snow extent and sea-ice are also projected to decrease further in the northern hemisphere, and glaciers and ice-caps are expected to continue to retreat.
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Quoting 199. pcola57:


Het GT..
Linking us to it with a brief preceding intro would be great..
Good to see you.. :)
The link is broken, they probably changed the url address, I have had this document for a couple of years now. Try a google search, it should pop up.
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Quoting 194. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I got something for you guys, it is a report from the EPA on Global Warming, but it is 25 pages long. Is there a way I can upload that document up to a website and share it via link here? Or would you all prefer me to post sections at a time?


Het GT..
Linking us to it with a brief preceding intro would be great..
Good to see you.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
EPA News Release..
Government is now going to get into the water trading business..
Yeah I trust that..
Not.. :(
Who knew..

Click HERE for complete agreement details

USDA, EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading To Benefit Environment, Economy

Release Date: 12/03/2013
Contact Information: EPA: Alison Davis, (202) 564-0835, (202) 564-4355; USDA: Office of Communications, (202) 720-4623

WASHINGTON
- The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced an expanded partnership to support water quality trading and other market-based approaches that provide benefits to the environment and economy.

New water quality trading markets hold incredible potential to benefit rural America by providing new income opportunities and enhancing conservation of water and wildlife habitat, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. Additionally, these efforts will strengthen businesses across the nation by providing a new pathway to comply with regulatory requirements.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
Acid oceans harm more species

As climate change warms the world’s oceans, they are becoming more acidic. Researchers in Europe and the US have found the rising acidity is bad news for several species.

LONDON, 3 December – The chemistry of the oceans is changing. And it isn’t just the corals and the baby oysters that are unhappy. It makes juvenile rockfish really anxious, and it upsets the digestion of sea urchins.

The pH (a measure of acidity – the lower the pH, the more acid the water) of the planet’s oceans is dropping rapidly, largely because the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing. Since carbon dioxide dissolves in water to form carbonic acid, the seas are responding to global change.

The first and clearest victims are likely to be the corals, which are adapted to a specific value of pH in the oceans, but there have also been problems reported by oyster farmers.

Now Martin Tresguerres of the University of California, San Diego reports in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that at least one species of juvenile fish responds badly to the changes in ocean chemistry. ...


... Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Meike Stumpp of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has been looking at how sea urchin larvae respond to altered pH in the seas. She and colleagues report in Nature Climate Change that they too tweaked the seawater chemistry, to discover that digestion took longer and was less effective, a bit of a problem for any young creature – especially one hardly a fifth of a millimeter in length – in the competitive world of the oceans.

“My measurements demonstrated a very strong pH dependency”, she said. “The enzymes in the sea urchins’ stomachs are optimised to function at very high pH – which is different from the situation in mammals, where stomach pH is acidic and enzymes work best at low pH.”

Read more at Climate News Network ...
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3166
Ah wth...this is just the first 2 pages of information. ;)

EPA %u2013 Global Warming

http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/con tent/climate.html
*the link is broken

Climate
An Introduction
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Earth's surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities. Human activities have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of greenhouse gases %u2013 primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The heat-trapping property of these gases is undisputed although uncertainties exist about exactly how earth's climate responds to them. Go to the Emissions section for much more on greenhouse gases.





Our Changing Atmosphere
Energy from the sun drives the earth's weather and climate, and heats the earth's surface; in turn, the earth radiates energy back into space. Atmospheric greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse.
Without this natural "greenhouse effect," temperatures would be much lower than they are now, and life as known today would not be possible. Instead, thanks to greenhouse gases, the earth's average temperature is a more hospitable 60F. However, problems may arise when the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases increases.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%, methane concentrations have more than doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15%. These increases have enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earth's atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols, a common air pollutant, cool the atmosphere by reflecting light back into space; however, sulfates are short-lived in the atmosphere and vary regionally.

Why are greenhouse gas concentrations increasing? Scientists generally believe that the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities are the primary reason for the increased concentration of carbon dioxide. Plant respiration and the decomposition of organic matter release more than 10 times the CO2 released by human activities; but these releases have generally been in balance during the centuries leading up to the industrial revolution with carbon dioxide absorbed by terrestrial vegetation and the oceans.

What has changed in the last few hundred years is the additional release of carbon dioxide by human activities. Fossil fuels burned to run cars and trucks, heat homes and businesses, and power factories are responsible for about 98% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, 24% of methane emissions, and 18% of nitrous oxide emissions. Increased agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining also contribute a significant share of emissions. In 1997, the United States emitted about one-fifth of total global greenhouse gases.

Estimating future emissions is difficult, because it depends on demographic, economic, technological, policy, and institutional developments. Several emissions scenarios have been developed based on differing projections of these underlying factors. For example, by 2100, in the absence of emissions control policies, carbon dioxide concentrations are projected to be 30-150% higher than today's levels.

Changing Climate
Global mean surface temperatures have increased 0.5-1.0F since the late 19th century. The 20th century's 10 warmest years all occurred in the last 15 years of the century. Of these, 1998 was the warmest year on record. The snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean have decreased. Globally, sea level has risen 4-8 inches over the past century. Worldwide precipitation over land has increased by about one percent. The frequency of extreme rainfall events has increased throughout much of the United States.





Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are likely to accelerate the rate of climate change. Scientists expect that the average global surface temperature could rise 1-4.5F (0.6-2.5C) in the next fifty years, and 2.2-10F (1.4-5.8C) in the next century, with significant regional variation. Evaporation will increase as the climate warms, which will increase average global precipitation. Soil moisture is likely to decline in many regions, and intense rainstorms are likely to become more frequent. Sea level is likely to rise two feet along most of the U.S. coast.

Calculations of climate change for specific areas are much less reliable than global ones, and it is unclear whether regional climate will become more variable.

Trends
Data on a wide variety of environmental indicators are consistent with the consequences that scientists generally expect to result from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases.

Apologies if you have to squint to see the graphics.
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To all the GW combatants here

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I got something for you guys, it is a report from the EPA on Global Warming, but it is 25 pages long. Is there a way I can upload that document up to a website and share it via link here? Or would you all prefer me to post sections at a time?
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Quoting 192. Neapolitan:
In general, the 70s and 80s saw a lull in overall temperature rise due to, among other factors, an increase in sulphate aerosols from an absence of pollution control measures after high-polluting industry picked up after 1940. Skeptical Science actually has some great explanations here.



Thanks for the quick response. However the cooling period from aerosol emissions was waning by the late 70s and the period I describe was the 80s and early 90s for DC and late 70s-80s for FL. The cooling from the 40s-early 70s was remarkable and muted the early AGW concerns of that time (I'm sadly old enough to remember this.. I was in high school when the popular press cooling scare of the early-mid 70s came out)
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Quoting 191. georgevandenberghe:
I pitched this question on Dr Master's blog but then could not find it to repost here. I'll restate it.

THe 1980s had more arctic outbreaks than the 1960, 70s, 90s, or aughts. Florida had devastating freezes in 1977, 1980 (lateness, early March) , 1981, 1983,1985 and 1989. Average frequency of these events over 140 years is 1/decade. THe 80s were not otherwise notably cold either in winter or averaged annually.

Furthermore the Washington National Airport subzero events can be divided into three periods.

None 1940-1981.
Four 1982-1994 (Jan 82, Dec 83, Jan, 85 and Jan 94)

None since 1994.

All four of the subzero events and all of the Florida freezes are statistically independent events and it appears to me that the 80s and early 90s years
are a different population from the other years. Why? What happened then?

In general, the 70s and 80s saw a lull in overall temperature rise due to, among other factors, an increase in sulphate aerosols from an absence of pollution control measures after high-polluting industry picked up after 1940. Skeptical Science actually has some great explanations here.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13459
I pitched this question on Dr Master's blog but then could not find it to repost here. I'll restate it.

THe 1980s had more arctic outbreaks than the 1960, 70s, 90s, or aughts. Florida had devastating freezes in 1977, 1980 (lateness, early March) , 1981, 1983,1985 and 1989. Average frequency of these events over 140 years is 1/decade. THe 80s were not otherwise notably cold either in winter or averaged annually.

Furthermore the Washington National Airport subzero events can be divided into three periods.

None 1940-1981.
Four 1982-1994 (Jan 82, Dec 83, Jan, 85 and Jan 94)

None since 1994.

All four of the subzero events and all of the Florida freezes are statistically independent events and it appears to me that the 80s and early 90s years
are a different population from the other years. Why? What happened then?

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Quoting 158. GTstormChaserCaleb:
A paper I wished I would have finished :(. Tell me what you guys think, should I finish it? And I am glad to be back hope you fine folks had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Carbon Dioxide Increases and Polar Ice Melt Results in Anthropogenic Global Warming


Caleb Bhagwandin

St. Petersburg College




A comment GT . . .

"Acidification" of the ocean simply means that it will decrease from its current pH level of 8.1 (not necessarily that the ocean will become acidic (pH less than 7).

CO2 takes various forms when dissolved in water. The most biological active forms are: for photosynthesis HCO3^-1- and shell formation (i.e. sequestration) CO3^-2. The relative amounts of the different forms of CO2 is heavily dependent upon the pH of the solution. The overall amount of CO2 dissolved in the water is also dependent on temperature.




The rub is, the ability of living things to use the forms of carbon dioxide present is an active process - the forms of CO2 available are actively transported into the living organism by proteins. This active transport is effected by the concentration of the substances available. The proteins are most active (able to bind and transport the appropriate form of CO2) within a certain range of pH of the solution. Very few life forms - other than bacterial - have evolved to live in acidic environments on this earth.

In the ocean most have evolved to live at a relatively constant pH range of 8.1 - due to the concentration of the biologically active forms available for them to survive and reproduce.

The fact that we can see and observe a lowering of the pH of the ocean, and that the effects are being observed on living creatures, is particularly concerning. It implies that the ocean, at the level in which the pH is measured and where the impacts on living organisms have already been documented, is becoming more and more saturated with CO2. The saturation is a result of (1) increased amounts of CO2 to absorb and (2) the warming of the ocean - which decreases the solubility of CO2 in water (as well as other factors).

I hope that this is somewhat clear, the entire process is extremely complex. My point is that the oceans do not have to become acidic for there to be a significant, and irreversible for a long time, impact.
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New Wizard Tool Maps the Climate Future



Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and partner science organizations around the world released an updated set of future climate models, the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). [ IPCC Report: Strongest Case Yet for Human-Caused Global Warming ]

The Nature Conservancy has just integrated this data into the Climate Wizard tool — and results are now available for people to explore how climate change is likely to impact areas of interest to them. Nature Conservancy released this new version of the Climate Wizard in conjunction with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP19held in Warsaw, Poland.

The tool allows people to see the results of 28 future climate models for temperature and precipitation changes in 25 countries. For example, this application allows users to see that 100 percent of climate models agree that precipitation is projected to increase in China, and that in parts of the Tibetan plateau, the amount of rain that falls by 2090 will likely be greater than has ever fallen in the past. In contrast, the tool projects that Mexico will be 11 percent drier on average, with the most drying occurring in the Yucatan Peninsula, Southern Mexico and coastal areas. However, if emissions remain at a lower level, Mexico will likely be only 3 percent drier.

The Climate Wizard project has also produced a new application, in collaboration with the World Bank, to make climate information more relevant to specific types of impacts and to analyze climate extremes. Using future climate data at a daily time scale, the project developed 22 global, derivative climate statistics that relate to specific types of impacts — such as metrics of extreme precipitation and heat events.

LiveScience.com

ClimateWizardCustom.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
New Aerial Video of Alabama Oil Spill Questions Cleanup

Exclusive Video Questions Oil Spill Cleanup in Aliceville from Public Herald on Vimeo.

Ongoing efforts to clean up an Alabama oil spill are under scrutiny after a train carrying 2.7 million gallons of North Dakota Bakken crude oil exploded, spilling into wetlands just outside the town of Aliceville. Photojournalist John Wathen captured video of cleanup efforts one week after the November 7th derailment, and the footage prompts questions about the efficacy of methods being used.

Truth-Out.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
From CLIMATE CODE RED:

2 degrees hotter not an acceptable climate target but a disaster, say leading scientists


Countries round the world have pledged to try and limit the average global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial figures. That’s way too high and would threaten major dislocations for civilization say a group of prominent scientists.

Governments have set the wrong target to limit climate change. The goal at present – to limit global warming to a maximum of 2°C higher than the average for most of human history – “would have consequences that can be described as disastrous”, say 18 scientists in a review paper in the journal PLOS One.

With a 2°C increase, “sea level rise of several meters could be expected,” they say. Increased climate extremes, already apparent at 0.8°C warming, would be more severe. Coral reefs and associated species, already stressed with current conditions, would be decimated by increased acidification, temperature and sea level rise.
The paper’s lead author is James Hansen, now at Columbia University, New York, and the former NASA scientist who in 1988 put global warming on the world’s front pages by telling a US government committee that “It's time to stop waffling so much and say the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.”

Hansen’s fellow authors include the economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and the biologist Camille Parmesan, of the University of Plymouth in the UK and the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Their argument is that humanity and nature – “the modern world as we know it” – is adapted to what scientists call the Holocene climate that has existed for more than 10,000 years since the end of the Ice Age, the beginnings of agriculture and the first settlement of the cities.

Warming of 1°C relative to 1880–1920 keeps global temperature close to the Holocene range, but warming of 2°C, could cause “major dislocations for civilization.”

The scientists study, uncompromisingly entitled “Assessing ‘dangerous climate change’: required reduction of carbon emissions to protect young people, future generations and nature” differs from many such climate analyses because it sets out its argument with remarkable directness and clarity, and serves as a useful briefing document for anyone – politicians, journalists and lay audiences - anxious to better understand the machinery of climate, and the forces that seem to be about to dictate climate change.

Its critics will point out that it is also remarkably short on the usual circumlocutions, caveats, disclaimers and equivocations that tend to characterise most scientific papers. Hansen and his co-authors are however quite open about the major areas of uncertainty: their implicit argument is that if the worst outcomes turn out to be true, the consequences for humankind could be catastrophic.

The scientists case is that most political debate addresses the questions of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but does not and perhaps cannot factor in the all potentially dangerous unknowns – the slow feedbacks that will follow the thawing of the Arctic, the release of frozen reserves of methane and carbon dioxide in the permafrost, and the melting of polar ice into the oceans. They point out that 170 nations have agreed on the need to limit fossil fuel emissions to avoid dangerous human-made climate change.

“However the stark reality is that global emissions have accelerated, and new efforts are underway to massively expand fossil fuel extractions by drilling to increasing ocean depths and into the Arctic, squeezing oil from tar sands and tar shale, hydro-fracking to expand extraction of natural gas, developing exploitation of methane hydrates and mining of coal via mountain-top removal and mechanised long wall-mining.”

The scientists argue that swift and drastic action to limit global greenhouse gas emissions and contain warming to around 1°C would have two useful consequences. One is that it would not be far from the climate variations experienced as normal during the last 10,000 years, and secondly that it would make it more likely that the biosphere, and the soil, would be able to sequester a substantial proportion of the carbon dioxide released by human industrial civilisation.

Trees are, in essence, captive carbon dioxide. But the warmer the world becomes, the more likely it is that existing forests – the Amazon, for example – will start to release more CO2 than they absorb, making the planet progressively even warmer.

“Although there is merit in simply chronicling what is happening, there is still opportunity for humanity to exercise free will,” says Hansen.
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Past and Future Environments



Cagle Cartoons - Dario Castillejos
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
How Climate Change Will Ruin Your Winter Vacation

Snow sports enthusiasts may need to transition into water or rock sports in the near future because the era of long, cold winters with heavy snowfall may be a thing of the past.

The effects of climate change can be easy to miss for some, but for ski resorts that depend on natural snowfall for their businesses -- which are increasingly having to invest in snowmaking technology due to a lack of natural snow -- the changing global climate is impossible to ignore.

A new report from geosciences journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences may bolster some resort's fears of a shrinking ski season suggesting that by 2050, mountains in the Upper Colorado River Basin -- which stretches across Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona -- could cause the spring thaw to occur as many as 6 weeks earlier than usual because of global warming and the occurrence of extreme dust events in the region.

"The early disappearance of snow could further add to water supply problems in the already over-allocated river, especially in the Upper Colorado River Basin, which lacks the big reservoirs of the Lower Colorado," reads Climate.gov's analysis of the report. "Earlier arrival of snow-all-gone dates also means a longer dry season, which would increase fire risk and stress aquatic ecosystems."

Snowfall elevation is moving up the mountains and lower elevation ski resorts are getting hit by the effects of climate change, said Anne Nolin, professor of geosciences and hydroclimatology at Oregon State University said at a recent environmental conference. Nolin added that over the last several decades in North America there has been a 1.5 to 2 percent decline in snow during the spring per decade. Meaning the snow season is getting shorter.

HuffingtonPost.com
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
For anyone out there putting their faith in solar cycle 25 slowing down global warming, don't.

Low Solar Activity Won't Slow Climate Change, Study Says

"Some solar physicists have suggested that prolonged low solar activity could offset the effects of anthropogenic global warming.

But a new Grand Minimum of solar activity would decrease the rise of global mean temperature caused by human greenhouse gas emissions by at most 0.3 degrees Celsius until the end of the century, according to a recent study in Geophysical Research Letters.

The projected temperature drop is less than ten percent of the rise projected under %u201Cbusiness as usual%u201D scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The observations of sunspots, visible signs of increased solar activity and irradiance, show that the Sun has been in the deepest and longest activity minimum for almost a century. Satellite measurements confirm that solar radiation has never been weaker since records started in the 1970s. Some scientists have suggested this could indicate the beginning of a new Grand Minimum comparable to the Maunder Minimum in the late 17th century. The Maunder Minimum is connected to the Little Ice Age with markedly lower temperatures.

To explore the effect of a 21st-century Grand Minimum, researchers used a coupled climate model that consists of models for the oceans, the atmosphere and the land surface. They studied greenhouse gas emission paths corresponding to the A1B and A2 scenarios of the IPCC with intermediate and strong growth of emissions during the 21st century. The authors also accounted for volcanic eruptions, which are unpredictable, by randomly spreading the same eruptions as in the 20th century over the 21st century.

They performed three simulation experiments with different solar forcing: one without a Grand Minimum, repeating the last 11-year solar activity cycle until 2100, and two with the Sun entering a new Grand Minimum lasting till the end of the century. In these minima, solar irradiance is reduced by 0.08 and 0.25 percent of its value in 1950, the former value corresponding to the reconstructed reduction of solar irradiance during the Maunder Minimum.

With an 11-year solar activity cycle continued until 2100, global temperatures are modelled to rise 3.7 or 4.5 degrees Celsius above the 1961 to 1990 average level, depending on the emission scenario. These results agree well with recent projections, the authors report. For the reconstruction of the Maunder Minimum under the two IPCC emission scenarios, the temperatures in 2100 lie about 0.1 degrees Celsius lower. For the experiment with a stronger reduction of solar irradiance of 0.25 percent of the 1950 value, the difference is 0.26 degrees Celsius under both emission scenarios."

Read more at Science20 ...

Citation: G. Feulner, S. Rahmstorf, 'On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth', March 2010, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L05707; doi:10.1029/2010GL042710.
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Harvesting Power When Freshwater Meets Salty

Renewable Energy: Researchers boost power output from osmosis method that generates electricity from salinity gradients

"As a way to generate renewable electricity, researchers have designed methods that harvest the energy released when fresh and saline water mix, such as when a river meets the sea. One such method is called pressure-retarded osmosis, where two streams of water, one saline and one fresh, meet in a cell divided by a semipermeable membrane. Osmosis drives the freshwater across the membrane to the saltier side, increasing the pressure in the saline solution.

The system keeps this salty water pressurized and then releases the pressure to spin a turbine to generate electricity. Now a team at Yale University has created a prototype device that increases the power output of pressure-retarded osmosis by an order of magnitude. At a full-scale facility, the estimated cost of the electricity generated by such a system could be 20 to 30 cents per kWh, approaching the cost of other conventional renewable energy technologies."

SlashDot.org

Chemical & Engineering News

Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.

* Canada at Crossroads in Bid to Become Energy Superpower

Australia's Pollution Plan Starts to Look Like Trading

OPEC Inaction Masks Looming Supply Glut in 2014: Energy Markets

Reality Checks on Tumorous Rats and Methane Bombs


Koalas bellow with unique voice organ


!!! Microplastics 'pose toxic threat to marine biodiversity'

Salt Lake City will dry as temperatures rise

*** 2C rise will be a disaster say leading scientists

!!! New Algorithm Finds You, Even in Untagged Photos

Do Black Holes Come in Size Medium?

Study: It's Not Easy 'Being Green'

Reforestation in Lower Mississippi Valley Reduces Sediment

*** Corals Surviving Ocean's Pollution

*** Air Pollution, Genetics Combine to Increase Risk for Autism

Marine Reserves Enhance Resilience to Climate Change

Crews make rare dinosaur find in Montana

Genome reveals secrets to Burmese python's big appetite

U.S. environment chief to share air pollution lessons with China

Governor Mead budget includes $3M for orphaned Wyo. wells

Oklahoma adopts California-style quake precautions

!!! More droughts, heavier rains in warmer Europe, study

* After nuclear deal, Iran angles for return to oil market

*** Learning to Defuse the Aorta

!!! Rights Group Is Seeking Status of 'Legal Person' For Captive Chimpanzee

*** In New Jersey Pines, Trouble Arrives on Six Legs

*** More Clues To Life in the Oceans--on an Alien Moon, That Is

Need to Know: New bionics technology aims to fit every need

Montana: Big Sky country at an environmental crossroads

How to find signs of life on dying alien planets
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8558
Quoting 174. yoboi:



I have a 60% chance of snow this weekend....If this does occur it will be a record.....Early snow who would have thought.....
Who would of thought... you say! Mother Nature,if there is such an entity.
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1457
Awaken, the dream is over.

We have a World to save,...from Greed and Runaway CO2.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127569
Quoting 166. PensacolaDoug:


The gubment is and has been for a while dem dominated.
Not the gen pop..


that's why illinois has had a republican governor for 26 out of the last 36 years.

let's see, the guy before the current guy was a corrupt dem. the guy before him was a corrupt republican. the guy before him was a corrupt republican, and the guy before him was a corrupt republican. that goes back to what, 77?

i mean, look at the breakdown in springfield in the last 30 years. currently the illinois house is 40% republican. it's been notably higher in recent decades, tho the senate is lower (around 33%, which happened only recently)

seriously, this sort of bull is more evidence that chain emails are written by and for people with an 8th grade education.
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Quoting 175. Xandra:
From Salon:

Thanks for killing the planet, boomers!

The world as we know it is ending, and the indifference by Americans, politicians and mainstream press is maddening

By Tim Donovan


The clouds of a thunderstorm roll over neighborhoods heavily damaged in a tornado in Moore, Okla., May 23, 2013. (Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

The strongest hurricane in modern history devastated the Philippines last month, killing tens of thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands more. But you%u2019d hardly know it in places like New York City, where a (mostly) mild autumn trudged on, and few people seemed to have the energy to get upset about another catastrophic natural disaster on the other side of the world. Meanwhile, plenty of people across the Hudson are still struggling to recover from Sandy%u2019s devastation.

After two years living under the baking Las Vegas sun, I recently returned to New York. Wearing hats, coats and scarves is something of a novelty, and the streets haven%u2019t been bathed in a brown sludge that may or may not have actually been snow at some early phase in its life cycle; driving, horizontal sleet has yet to soak my pants up to my knees. So perhaps it%u2019s no surprise I%u2019ve happily romanticized this beautiful city since returning %u2014 and yet, the joy and excitement that I%u2019ve experienced exists under a shroud of existential angst, a filter that coats everything in the surreal notion that all these happy memories are passing, subject to what the great Czech author Milan Kundera famously termed %u201Cthe unbearable lightness of being.%u201D It really may be the end of the world as we know it, and I really don%u2019t feel fine.

If you%u2019re already in your mid-50s or later, and you%u2019re lucky enough not to reside in any areas that are traditionally prone to hurricanes or flooding, you%u2019ll miss the worst of our imminent destruction. But for those of us who are younger residents of this fragile orb, who hope to live long, healthy, happy lives %u2014 well, tough shit.

Unfortunately, the world as we know it is ending, and no one can reasonably hope to avoid the constellation of catastrophic, ecological and social disasters that are all but certain to manifest, exacerbating one another%u2019s horrific, deadly consequences. And yet our politicians can%u2019t be bothered to care, a substantial portion of Americans aren%u2019t convinced that it%u2019s even happening (despite overwhelming, unimpeachable evidence to the contrary), and the enormity of the issue is downplayed basically everywhere outside the bounds of the largely-ghettoized %u201Cenvironmental/green reporting,%u201D uniformly marginalized and dismissed by the mainstream press.

It%u2019s strange, this deep indifference to the greatest threat the industrialized world has ever faced. Imagine the global response if an asteroid half a mile wide were barreling toward Earth, and scientists were confident that it would strike our planet in 30 or 40 years. Imagine the Gene Roddenberry-esque cooperation and global oneness that would form among Earth%u2019s peoples. Unfortunately, an apocalyptic meteor threatening our very existence is a pretty apt analogy for the ecological nightmare we%u2019re confronting, except that in this funhouse-mirror version of reality we like to call %u201Cthe real world,%u201D our politicians are sitting on their hands as the asteroid hurtles ever closer..

Continue reading 'Thanks for killing the planet, boomers!' >>
I imagine we'd have dolts like Watts, Monckton, and Mcintyre claiming that a rock just half a mile wide couldn't possibly cause harm to a planet 260 billion cubic miles in volume; that government scientists know the asteroid will miss us, and are only being "alarmist" to get our money; that asteroids larger than that have hit the planet in the past, so there's nothing to worry about; that doing anything to stop it will just cost money we can't afford to spend; that astronomers can't tell when the next shooting star will occur ten minutes from now, so how are we to believe them when they tell us about something that's not expected for 30 or 40 years. And, of course, there'd be the same group of intellectually-stunted, low-information types flooding internet forums everywhere with that nonsense...

Sigh...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13459
From Salon:

Thanks for killing the planet, boomers!

The world as we know it is ending, and the indifference by Americans, politicians and mainstream press is maddening

By Tim Donovan


The clouds of a thunderstorm roll over neighborhoods heavily damaged in a tornado in Moore, Okla., May 23, 2013. (Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

The strongest hurricane in modern history devastated the Philippines last month, killing tens of thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands more. But you’d hardly know it in places like New York City, where a (mostly) mild autumn trudged on, and few people seemed to have the energy to get upset about another catastrophic natural disaster on the other side of the world. Meanwhile, plenty of people across the Hudson are still struggling to recover from Sandy’s devastation.

After two years living under the baking Las Vegas sun, I recently returned to New York. Wearing hats, coats and scarves is something of a novelty, and the streets haven’t been bathed in a brown sludge that may or may not have actually been snow at some early phase in its life cycle; driving, horizontal sleet has yet to soak my pants up to my knees. So perhaps it’s no surprise I’ve happily romanticized this beautiful city since returning — and yet, the joy and excitement that I’ve experienced exists under a shroud of existential angst, a filter that coats everything in the surreal notion that all these happy memories are passing, subject to what the great Czech author Milan Kundera famously termed “the unbearable lightness of being.” It really may be the end of the world as we know it, and I really don’t feel fine.

If you’re already in your mid-50s or later, and you’re lucky enough not to reside in any areas that are traditionally prone to hurricanes or flooding, you’ll miss the worst of our imminent destruction. But for those of us who are younger residents of this fragile orb, who hope to live long, healthy, happy lives — well, tough shit.

Unfortunately, the world as we know it is ending, and no one can reasonably hope to avoid the constellation of catastrophic, ecological and social disasters that are all but certain to manifest, exacerbating one another’s horrific, deadly consequences. And yet our politicians can’t be bothered to care, a substantial portion of Americans aren’t convinced that it’s even happening (despite overwhelming, unimpeachable evidence to the contrary), and the enormity of the issue is downplayed basically everywhere outside the bounds of the largely-ghettoized “environmental/green reporting,” uniformly marginalized and dismissed by the mainstream press.

It’s strange, this deep indifference to the greatest threat the industrialized world has ever faced. Imagine the global response if an asteroid half a mile wide were barreling toward Earth, and scientists were confident that it would strike our planet in 30 or 40 years. Imagine the Gene Roddenberry-esque cooperation and global oneness that would form among Earth’s peoples. Unfortunately, an apocalyptic meteor threatening our very existence is a pretty apt analogy for the ecological nightmare we’re confronting, except that in this funhouse-mirror version of reality we like to call “the real world,” our politicians are sitting on their hands as the asteroid hurtles ever closer.

Continue reading 'Thanks for killing the planet, boomers!' >>
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
174. yoboi
Quoting 173. JohnLonergan:
How do meteorologists fit into the 97% global warming consensus?
A new study examines meteorologists, the global warming consensus, political ideology, and climate expertise


Several surveys have found relatively low acceptance of human-caused global warming amongst meteorologists. For example, a 2009 survey found that among Earth scientists, only economic geologists (47 percent) had lower acceptance of human-caused global warming than meteorologists (64 percent). A new paper by social scientists from George Mason University, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and Yale University reports results from a survey of members of the AMS to determine the factors associated with their views on climate change.

Climate Scientists and Meteorologists, Apples and Oranges

Predictably, many climate contrarians have already misrepresented this paper. In fact, the Heartland Institute (of Unabomber billboard infamy) misrepresented the study so badly (and arguably impersonated the AMS in a mass emailing), the AMS executive director (who is a co-author of the paper) took the unusual step of issuing a public reprimand against their behavior.

The misrepresentations of the study have claimed that it contradicts the 97 percent expert consensus on human-caused global warming. The prior studies that have found this high level of consensus were based specifically on climate experts – namely asking what those who do climate science research think, or what their peer-reviewed papers say about the causes of global warming.

Read More at The Guardian ....



I have a 60% chance of snow this weekend....If this does occur it will be a record.....Early snow who would have thought.....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
How do meteorologists fit into the 97% global warming consensus?
A new study examines meteorologists, the global warming consensus, political ideology, and climate expertise


Several surveys have found relatively low acceptance of human-caused global warming amongst meteorologists. For example, a 2009 survey found that among Earth scientists, only economic geologists (47 percent) had lower acceptance of human-caused global warming than meteorologists (64 percent). A new paper by social scientists from George Mason University, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and Yale University reports results from a survey of members of the AMS to determine the factors associated with their views on climate change.

Climate Scientists and Meteorologists, Apples and Oranges

Predictably, many climate contrarians have already misrepresented this paper. In fact, the Heartland Institute (of Unabomber billboard infamy) misrepresented the study so badly (and arguably impersonated the AMS in a mass emailing), the AMS executive director (who is a co-author of the paper) took the unusual step of issuing a public reprimand against their behavior.

The misrepresentations of the study have claimed that it contradicts the 97 percent expert consensus on human-caused global warming. The prior studies that have found this high level of consensus were based specifically on climate experts – namely asking what those who do climate science research think, or what their peer-reviewed papers say about the causes of global warming.

Read More at The Guardian ....
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3166

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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.