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Greenhouse Emissions of Agriculture

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:25 AM GMT on July 27, 2013

Greenhouse Emissions of Agriculture

In the last blog there was a comment by peregrinepickle on the emissions from agriculture. It started:

“It sounds like they may be putting the cart before the workhorse with this study. A 2010 survey of the literature found that too few studies on GHG emissions and the impact of various alternative farming practices have been done in US agricultural regions, including the Great plains Ironically, more research is being done in this vein in China. So it seems premature to appeal to US farmers re: willingness to adopt certain practices before knowing exactly where you are going with it.

Agriculture, compared to other sources, is not a huge contributor to GHGs, relative to the contributions by industry, transportation, and utilities. In the US farming is responsible for 6% of the overall emissions of the six major GHGs. However, farming does contribute about 25% of all CH4 emissions in the US, which is major, as this gas is 21-33 times more potent in warming potential than CO2.”

Back in April and May I wrote two entries on the emissions from agriculture (first entry, second entry). These two entries highlighted both the complexity of calculating the greenhouse emissions related to agriculture as well as suggested some of the controversy associated with the calculation. The controversy is especially high in the calculation associated with livestock.

The amount of direct fossil fuel emissions from use of fuels in machinery and pumps for agriculture is modest, as stated in peregrinepickle’s comment. Those numbers are based on a 2010 inventory by the Environmental Protection Agency. Here is a link to the chapter that details the agricultural inventory. The greenhouse gas emissions compiled in the chapter on agriculture are for greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, especially methane and nitrous oxide. For the EPA inventory, the carbon dioxide associated with agriculture is accounted for in the energy inventory. Additional emissions and removal of greenhouse gasses are calculated with land use, land change and forestry. The national forests are part of the Department of Agriculture.

The accounting with soils and forests influences, greatly, the budget of emissions associated with agriculture. Based on soil management agriculture can remove and store substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. In the U.S. agriculture is a mature and extensive enterprise, and we are not aggressively converting forest to agricultural land. In fact, the amount of forest is increasing and, therefore, can be accounted as an agricultural removal of carbon dioxide. This fact of increasing forest land is not the case in much of the world. World-wide, deforestation as forest is converted to agricultural use, especially rangeland, accounts for much of the carbon footprint of agriculture. Phil Robertson in an article to appear in the Encyclopedia of Agriculture estimates the total greenhouse gas footprint of agriculture is between 26 and 36 percent (thank you Professor Robertson). This range seems soundly based in the synthesis of research, and the number I would quote based on the current state of knowledge.

As detailed in Livestock’s Long Shadow and stated in the entirety of peregrinepickle’s comment, the impact of agriculture reaches far beyond the relevance to climate change. Notably there are impacts on water quality and land quality, and, in my opinion, the impact of nitrogen (fertilizer) pollution is one of the most under appreciated sources of environmental degradation. Management of this whole portfolio of environmental impacts is one of the special challenges of the agricultural sector of human activities.

The mix of greenhouse gas emissions, the details of the practice of land use, the role of biological processes, and the potential to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them in soil and biomass characterize the climate impact of agriculture. Agriculture is also vulnerable to climate change. Since agriculture is a highly competitive, market-dependent undertaking, market response to weather and climate can amplify weather-related impacts. Agriculture becomes more entangled with the climate problem, when we consider the possibility of biofuels to replace some of our fossil fuels. This complexity complicates the accounting of climate impacts, but also offers some of our best opportunities to improve our management of the environment. Agriculture is no doubt an important player in our management of climate change, and notably absent in President Obama recent speech on climate change.

A primary source of agricultural information is Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. An often cited document is the 2006 documentLivestock’s Long Shadow. There has been much criticism of this report, especially in its calculation of the emissions of the transportation sector. The original authors did modify their specific statements about transportation. As noted in an earlier blog in this series, there is substantial controversy about the impact of agriculture. Therefore, I end here with a set of reference materials that I have used.

EPA National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

PDF of Agriculture Chapter of EPA Inventory of Emissions

Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Chapter 8: Working Group 3: IPCC 2007

Energy Efficiency of Conventional, Organic and Alternative Cropping …

Livestock and Climate Change

and to appear

Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions and their Mitigation, G. Philip Robertson, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station and the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Speaking of agriculture, this today from my local pick your own farm:
"Many people have inquired as to when blackberry u-pick will be scheduled. The cool cloudy weather has dramatically slowed the ripening of the berries, and when we see a considerably large number of berries ripening we'll let you know. In the meantime, if we see a smaller number of berries ripening, but not enough to support our email customer base, we'll post pick dates on our farm's Facebook page the day prior to the picking. Hopefully the deluge of red berries we're seeing on the plants ripens soon!"
Yeah, I know, it's just the weather here in Central Ohio, not the climate. Yeah, but, when you add all that weather up you begin to get climate, don't you?
Weather is sorta crazy all over these days like in Antarctica where the ice seems so prolific, here in the midwest where the summer seems to be a cool one and even in the Arctic, that ice doesn't seem to want to get to a new low. I wonder if this means something about this upcoming winter. Whatdoya think? Things cooling down a bit?
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East Antarctica Ice-Sheet more vulnerable to melting than we thought: new research

Missing contributor to the 22 +/- 10m Pliocene sea-level rise identified

We know from satellite measurements that the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets (GIS and WAIS respectively) are losing mass in response to global warming, and that, in the case of the partly sea-based West Antarctica ice-sheet, basal melting of the ice by warmer ocean-water is likely to be a key mechanism. In the case of the East Antarctica Ice-Sheet (EAIS), the situation has been less clear: thinning of ice shelves and acceleration of glaciers have been described in some areas but it has to date given an impression of relative stability. New research, however, has found that it might not be as resilient to warming as we thought, especially in areas where the bedrock is low-lying.

The research, published in July 2013 in the journal Nature, concerns data collected from marine sediments comprising much (5.3-3.3 million years ago) of the Pliocene Series (spanning 5.3-2.588 million years ago) off the coast of East Antarctica. Its key finding is that during the Pliocene there occurred a series of long, warm intervals during which parts of the East Antarctic Ice-Sheet margin retreated hundreds of kilometres inland. This finding is of importance to our understanding of future global warming and its effects, because the climate during the Pliocene was similar to that predicted for the latter part of the current century and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations were similar to those of the present day.

Modelling has already suggested that low-lying areas of the EAIS are candidate zones for Pliocene melt. In fact, some extra ice-melt is likely required to explain global sea-level changes during the Pliocene. That there were periods of significant sea-level rise is understood, but estimates of the amount vary, leading to the figure of 22 +/- 10 metres. What seems likely, however, is that sea-level rise due to the collapse of the GIS and WAIS would, at around 12m, appear to be insufficient to accomplish such an inundation. That these ice-sheets periodically collapsed during Pliocene times has been covered this year at Skeptical Science, here.

Read more at Skeptical Science >>
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Quoting 203. CEastwood:
Over 1000 record cold temps in the US this week. Climate disruption is working overtime:


The United States accounts for less than 2% surface area of the Earth and it was not even half the country that experienced the cold. Wonder what the other 99% of the planet was doing....hmmmm

This was a composite average from the month of June. Not much blue, maybe 2-5% surface area. July will likely show a similar spread.

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Could planting trees in the desert mitigate climate change?
Published 1 hour ago

As the world starts feeling the effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and consequent global temperature rise, researchers are looking for a Plan B to mitigate climate change. A group of German scientists has now come up with an environmentally friendly method that they say could do just that. The technique, dubbed carbon farming, consists in planting trees in arid regions on a large scale to capture CO2. They publish their study today in Earth System Dynamics, a journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). ...

"To our knowledge, this is the first time experts in irrigation, desalination, carbon sequestration, economics and atmospheric sciences have come together to analyse the feasibility of a large-scale plantation to capture carbon dioxide in a comprehensive manner. We did this by applying a series of computer models and using data from Jatropha curcas plantations in Egypt, India and Madagascar," says Wulfmeyer. ...

New link could battle greenhouse gas emissions
Jul 30, 2013
The discovery of a new form of microbial life that can consume the potent greenhouse gas methane has earned University of Queensland (UQ) researchers a place in the prestigious journal Nature.
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An Indigenous Way of Life Threatened by Oil Sands in Canada
By JAMES ESTRIN, July 30, 2013
Ian Willms has photographed the effects of oil extraction on First Nations land in Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan, in northern Alberta, Canada. Mr. Willms, 28, based in Toronto, is a founding member of the Boreal Collective and spent several months over the last three years photographing his project “As Long as the Sun Shines.”
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Greenland And Antarctica 'May Be Vulnerable To Rapid Ice Loss Through Catastrophic Disintegration'


Humanity faces 70 feet of sea level rise, possibly coming much sooner than has been expected if we continue with unrestricted carbon pollution. Two recent studies underscore our perilous situation.

The first study found, "East Antarctica's Ice Sheet Not as Stable as Thought," as Science reported. This conclusion is consistent with other recent research that found we're all but certain to end up with a coastline at least this flooded (20 meters or 70 feet).

Some taken solace in the notion that this amount of sea level rise might take more than a thousand years. But a second study finds, "stretches of ice on the coasts of Antarctica and Greenland are at risk of rapidly cracking apart and falling into the ocean."

Earlier studies had also found that rapid ice loss is possible. A 2009 study of coral fossils in the journal Nature found "catastrophic increase of more than 5 centimetres per year over a 50-year stretch is possible" -- that is more than 8 feet in half a century. The lead author of that study warned, "This could happen again."

"Scientists previously considered the East Antarctic ice sheet to be more stable than the much smaller ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland, even though very few studies of East Antarctic ice sheet have been carried out. Our work now shows that the East Antarctic ice sheet has been much more sensitive to climate change in the past than previously realised. This finding is important for our understanding of what may happen to the Earth if we do not tackle the effects of climate change."

It's important because, as Science reported, "Current warm temperatures and high greenhouse gas conditions are reminiscent of the warm Pliocene Epoch," when mean temperatures were "2 C to 3 C warmer than today, and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations between 350 and 450 parts per million" (we're currently at 400 ppm).

And that matters because:
Some data have also suggested that sea levels were perhaps 22 meters higher than today--and even complete melting of the WAIS [West Antarctic ice sheet] and Greenland couldn't account for more than about 12 meters of that, Cook says. Melting of the EAIS would have to have contributed.
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Quoting 193. yoboi:

That is kinda misleading......what difference is a 16 foot storm surge compared to a 17 foot storm surge.....destruction is destruction.......

This is not misleading at all. Had overwash been using a sea coast along a mountain range then you are correct. A one foot sea level rise would not make much of a difference as far as inland penetration would be. The example I used is the coast line that overwash was referencing in his example. This coast line does not have a sharp rise above sea level. I was not misleading in my example at all.

What would a one foot rise do to a coast line that does not rise quickly from sea level?

1. You would already have more inland penetration, just from the normal tides.

2. This additional penetration begins to erode away at the shoreline that would then exist.

3. Any local rivers that empty into the sea would allow even further penetration inland.

4. A one foot higher difference in sea level could make all of the difference in as to a levy, natural embankment or jetty being topped and flooding what is behind them when they would not have flooded before the sea level rise.

No, Yoboi. I was not misleading in any manner at all. I feel reasonably certain that overwash would agree with me on this.
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HFCs? Curbing Them Is Key to Climate-Change Strategy (Op-Ed)

In terms of sheer quantity, carbon dioxide is society's largest contribution to global warming, but there are some lesser-known gases that also jeopardize the Earth's climate future. This list includes methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and several others. These gases may make up a small percentage of the emissions society generates, but they pack a devastating punch when released.

The threat level for each of these gases varies based on several factors, most notably their lifetime in the atmosphere and their potential to influence global warming . Reducing the emissions of those gases in addition to those from carbon dioxide is critical to achieving a stable climate.

For decades, climate-change discussions have centered on actions to curb carbon-dioxide emissions. Now, government officials are beginning to focus their attention on reducing other types of harmful gases, including HFC emissions. HFCs are commonly used as refrigerants and propellants in aerosols.

Currently, HFCs comprise only 2 percent of total carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions, but this percentage may increase to as much as 20 percent if society continues on its current emissions trajectory. Alternatively, a global phasedown of HFCs could avoid 100 gigatons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions by 2050, and prevent a global average temperature increase of 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, according to findings announced in Bangkok, Thailand, in June by members of the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry at the Advancing Ozone and Climate Protection Technologies: Next Steps conference.

Several nations are already taking action: the U.S., Canada and Mexico proposed an amendment in April to the Montreal Protocol that would gradually phase down the production and consumption of 19 HFC substances. More than 100 countries already support such an amendment. While the requirement to limit HFC emissions has yet to be adopted, some countries are voluntarily pledging to reduce HFC production and consumption on their own.

In June, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China announced a cooperative commitment to reduce emissions of HFCs. Because the United States is the largest consumer of HFCs and China is the largest producer of them, this commitment could have an enormous impact on reducing global warming. Obama and Xi plan "to use the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol" to phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons. After reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, the phasing-down of HFCs is the next-biggest step the United States can take toward achieving its goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020, according to the World Resources Institute.

more at LiveScience.com
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Quoting 191. overwash12:
You can expect storm set-ups like Sandy's ,sometimes worse every 50 to 100 years. We know this from history. At least the history I have studied,through old news paper archives and a few books.Link click on storms! pretty awesome if you ask me.

In New York Sandy's tide beat the record set in 1821 by almost 4 feet.
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Quoting 191. overwash12:
You can expect storm set-ups like Sandy's ,sometimes worse every 50 to 100 years. We know this from history. At least the history I have studied,through old news paper archives and a few books.Link click on storms! pretty awesome if you ask me.

You are thinking too one dimensionally, overwash. Let us say, for the sake of this debate, that strong storms hitting your area remain within the climatological norms. More damage will occur to the area if only due to the rising sea levels of the area. Any storm, of normal intensity and duration will still do more damage than the norm because rising sea levels will allow deeper penetration inland from storm surges alone.

Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise: America Starts to Prepare

Sea Level Rise Planning Maps

How do you escape this, even if you do escape more frequent and more powerful storms?
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You can expect storm set-ups like Sandy's ,sometimes worse every 50 to 100 years. We know this from history. At least the history I have studied,through old news paper archives and a few books.Link click on storms! pretty awesome if you ask me.
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More Wildfires = More Warming = More Wildfires

Why scientists are scared of the link between bigger wildfires and rapid thawing of northern permafrost.

Throughout Alaska and similar northern or "boreal" environments across the world (from Canada to Russia), huge volumes of permafrost hang in a similar balance. In much of this region, ground temperatures are just below freezing, leaving their frozen soils right on the cusp of thawing. "It's kind of at the thermal tipping point" for permafrost, explains Rich Boone, an ecologist at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. What might tip it over? Climate change, which is currently proceeding twice as fast in Alaska and the Arctic as it is in the mid-latitudes. And the warming releases a pulse of carbon from these frozen soils, as microorganisms break down the organic matter they contain and give off carbon dioxide (and, sometimes, methane). How much? Well, it is estimated that global permafrost contains twice as much total carbon as the planet's atmosphere currently does. In other words, a lot.

Scientists have known for some time about the risk of large-scale carbon emissions from thawing permafrost. But in recent years, they've become increasingly attuned to an additional—and very worrisome—aspect of this threat. As climate change proceeds, larger and more intense wildfires are increasingly scorching and charring the forests of the north. While these fires have always been a natural and recurring aspect of forest ecosystems, they now appear to be undergoing a major amplification. And that, in turn, may further increase the threat of permafrost thawing and carbon releases—releases that would, in turn, greatly amplify global warming itself (and potentially spur still more fire activity).

"You have this climate and fire interaction, and all of a sudden permafrost can thaw really rapidly," explains Jon O'Donnell, an ecologist with the National Parks Service's Arctic Network. Scientists call it a "positive feedback," and it's one of the scariest aspects of global warming because, in essence, it means a bad situation is making itself worse.

more at MotherJones.com
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Flood, Rebuild, Repeat: Are We Ready for a Superstorm Sandy Every Other Year?

The destruction in Battery Park could be seen as simple misfortune: After all, city planners couldn't have known that within a few years the beautiful new station would be submerged in the most destructive storm to ever hit New York City.

Except for one thing: They sort of did know. Back in February 2009, a month before the station was unveiled, a major report from the New York City Panel on Climate Change—which Mayor Michael Bloomberg convened to inform the city's climate adaptation planning—warned that global warming and sea level rise were increasing the likelihood that New York City would be paralyzed by major flooding. "Of course it flooded," said George Deodatis, a civil engineer at Columbia University. "They spent a lot of money, but they didn't put in any floodgates or any protection."

And it wasn't just one warning. Eight years before the Panel on Climate Change's report, an assessment of global warming's impacts in New York City had also cautioned of potential flooding. "Basically pretty much everything that we projected happened," says Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, co-chair of the Panel on Climate Change, and the co­author of that 2001 report.

Scientists often refer to the "100-year flood," the highest water level expected over the course of a century. But with sea levels rising along the East Coast—a natural phenomenon accelerated by climate change—scientists project that in our lifetimes what was once considered a 100-year flood will happen every 3 to 20 years. And truly catastrophic storms will do damage unimaginable today. "With the exact same Sandy 100 years from now," Deodatis says, "if you have, say, five feet of sea level rise, it's going to be much more devastating."

Roughly 123 million of us—39 percent of the US population—dwell in coastal counties. And that spells trouble: 50 percent of the nation's shorelines, 11,200 miles in all, are highly vulnerable to sea level rise, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And the problem isn't so much that the surf laps a few inches higher: It's what happens to all that extra water during a storm.

We're already getting a taste of what this will mean. Hurricane Sandy is expected to cost the federal government $60 billion. Over the past three years, 10 other storms have each caused more than $1 billion in damage. In 2011, the federal government declared a record 94 weather-related major disasters, from hurricanes to wildfires*. The United States averaged 56 such disasters per year from 2000 to 2010, and a mere 18 a year in the 1960s.

more at MotherJones.com
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Congress fiddles while the Western states burn

“In May, Obama administration officials warned that sequester cuts would inhibit the nation’s ability to effectively fight wildfires in the West,” Derek Pugh wrote in the progressive Campaign for America’s Future blog on July 1. “… Budget cuts are putting the lives of our firefighters and those who live in and near forests at an unacceptably high risk.

“… The automatic spending cuts have forced the U.S. Forest Service to shed 500 firefighters, between 50 and 70 fire trucks and two aircrafts in this year’s budget. The sequester will leave agencies $115 million short of normal firefighting capacity, meaning that 200,000 fewer acres will be treated to prevent fires.”

Fighting actual fires has meant shifting money from fire prevention, which in a Catch-22-like situation may actually create more and worse fires in the future. And, according to the Climate Desk at Mother Jones magazine, “…The agency’s next proposed budget cuts preventative spending by a further 24 percent.

“It’s all part of what fire ecologists, environmentalists, and firefighters interviewed by Climate Desk describe as an increasingly distorted federal budget that has apparently forgotten the old adage about an ounce of prevention: It pours billions ($2 billion in 2012) into fighting fires but skimps on cheap, proven methods for stopping megafires before they start.”

“Thomas Tidwell, the head of the United States Forest Service, told a Senate committee on energy and natural resources recently that the fire season now lasts two months longer and destroys twice as much land as it did four decades ago. Fires now, he said, burn the same amount of land faster.”

It’s part of that “new normal” you keep hearing about – drought, heat, earlier growing seasons, new insect infestations, global air and water currents, like the Gulf jet stream, shifting. And fewer trees mean less carbon dioxide being absorbed by them, more CO2 given off when the remaining ones burn, which adds to the warming and more fires… you get the picture.

Many firefighters have commented that they are facing more extreme fire behavior than they have witnessed in their lifetimes.,,,

more at RawStory.com

Michael Winship, Moyers & Company
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Pretty astounding when you piece it together. Sow the seeds.
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Thanks. Interesting
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I was a climate change denier

TUESDAY, JUL 30, 2013 12:00 PM CDT

Hurricane Sandy helped open my eyes to the urgency of the crisis -- and the ways it can unite us


I suppose it wasn’t really until I was standing on the west side of Hoboken, N.J., in water and oil up to my thigh, that climate change really made sense. And it wasn’t until I was out organizing on New York City’s outer beaches after Hurricane Sandy that I understood my sluggishness on climate justice was nothing short of climate change denial.

This article appears through a collaboration with Transformation, a feature of openDemocracy.net.

It seems like everywhere we turn, we’re being fed the same old climate Armageddon story. You’ve heard it, I’m sure: If we continue to be dependent on fossil fuels, hundreds of gigatons of CO2 will continue to pour into the atmosphere, the temperature will rise above 2 degrees Celsius, and we’re done. There will be a biblical cocktail of hurricanes, floods, famines, wars. It will be terrifying, awful, epic and, yes, as far as any reputable scientist is concerned, those projections are for real.

I call this narrative the Armageddon Complex, and my own denial was a product of it. I spun all sorts of stories to keep the climate crisis out of my life, ranging anywhere from “it can’t be that bad” to “if it is that bad, there’s nothing I can do about it,” and “it’s not my role. That’s for climate activists; I’m a different kind of activist.”

I did not act alone, but rather as part of a culture of climate denial among activists, who are already plagued by a tendency to see our work as separate issues vying for attention. The Armageddon Complex tells us that climate activism is about some far-off date, not about the pressing and time-sensitive needs that people around us experience in their day-to-day struggles. It pounds into us the idea that the crisis is more titanic than any other, so if we’re going to do anything about it, we have to do everything. Most of us won’t put off the pressing needs of our families and communities for something we abstractly understand is going to happen later, and most of us aren’t willing to drop the other pieces of our lives and our movement to do everything, because we already feel like we’re doing everything and barely scraping by as it is. So we deny.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to this story: The crisis is gargantuan, and it’s getting worse. Ultimately only a fundamental social, political, economic and personal transformation is going to get us out of this mess.

But that’s not the whole story. Climate Armageddon isn’t a Will Smith movie about what happens in 10 years when all hell breaks loose. Climate change is already here: Hurricanes that land on families, rising tides that flood homes, oil spills that drown communities and countless other disasters. These are caused by the same economic and political systems responsible for all the other crises we face — crises in which people are displaced from land, families are ripped out of homes, people lose their jobs, students sink into debt, and on and on.

Defeating climate change doesn’t have to mean dropping everything to become climate activists or ignoring the whole thing altogether. The truth is exactly the opposite: We have to re-learn the climate crisis as one that ties our struggles together and opens up potential for the world we’re already busy fighting for.

Climate moment, not climate movement

In addition to the hurricane were important voices that forced me to confront my denial. Naomi Klein has argued that resisting climate change is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win the world we’ve wanted all along; the proponents of climate change are the same enemies that the Occupy movement and its counterparts around the world have already marked. Vandana Shiva pushes us to see that the intersecting crises of food, climate and economy are all based on a common theme of debt, while George Monbiot reminds us that the oil profiteering that ruins our climate would be impossible were it not for the insidious relationship between money and politics. These connections mean that the homeowners and activists around the United States putting their bodies on the line to fight foreclosure, the students occupying their universities to fight tuition hikes, the activists fighting for campaign finance reform, the countless who stand up to war — these struggles are our best shot at a climate movement that can really win.

But I learned those same lessons, too, from people in struggle. Farmers in the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement fighting for their land are not so different from the Lubicon Cree in Northern Alberta, Canada, standing in the way of the Keystone XL pipeline that poisons their water, or the residents in Atlanta, Ga., trying to win their homes back from the banks. The working-class white West Virginians resisting fracking are in the same boat as the families in Far Rockaway whose kids’ lungs are infected from living in moldy homes after Hurricane Sandy. They have a lot in common with those in the South Bronx who have been fighting against pollution caused by big business for decades, or the mothers in Detroit who are building urban gardens to cope with food deserts. They’re not so different from the Indian women fighting Monsanto, or those resisting wars fought for oil, and on and on the connections go. We’re all connected by the climate crisis, and the opportunities it opens for us.

The fight for the climate isn’t a separate movement, it’s both a challenge and an opportunity for all of our movements. We don’t need to become climate activists, weare climate activists. We don’t need a separate climate movement; we need to seize the climate moment. Ultimately, our task is to create moments for our various movements that allow us to continue our different battles while also working in solidarity to strike at the roots of the systems beneath the symptoms.

Think Turkey and Brazil. Think Arab Spring, and the uprisings against austerity all over Europe. Think the student movements from Quebec to Chile. Think Occupy. These were collective uprisings that drew lines and demanded that people decide which side they were on. It’s our role to prepare for these kinds of “which side are you on?” moments for the climate by training and practicing, by re-focusing on the issues that connect us, by building institutions that can support us in long-term struggle. We don’t stop our other organizing or drop the many other pieces of our lives; we organize the people with whom we already stand in order to seize these moments when they come — to tell stories, take spaces, and challenge enemies of the climate.

Learning from hurricanes

In the New York City neighborhood of Far Rockaway, climate justice is common sense. What I had only read articles and books about before, I learned a thousand times over from people on the front lines of climate crisis after Hurricane Sandy.

As part of Occupy Sandy and the Wildfire Project, I joined the relief effort, which quickly became an organizing project — training, political education, and supporting the growth of a group that is now active across the Rockaways. Between contesting the city’s vision for a recovery, fighting against stop-and-frisk, and organizing against gentrification, the working-class, multiracial Far Rockaway Wildfire group knows that their task is about more than relief from a hurricane — it is also to deal with the crises that existed before the hurricane, and the systems underlying them.

The fight is about winning back the social safety net that has been slashed by the same economic and political elite that profits from fossil fuels. It’s about the wages that have shrunk as elites have profited, about the jobs working people have lost as the bosses have been bailed out. It’s about ensuring sustainable mass transit so people can get to work. It’s about affordable housing, a need that existed before the storm, made worse now by the threat of disaster capitalist schemes to knock down projects and replace them with beach-front condos. It’s about contesting a political system that uses moments of crisis to further disenfranchise working people and people of color. It’s about overturning an economic system that is wrecking the planet while turning a profit for the most powerful, putting 40 percent of the wealth of this country into the hands of 1 percent of the population. It’s about creating alternatives in our communities, while fighting to make those alternatives the norm.

When you’re out on those beaches in Far Rockaway it’s clear that there isn’t any far-off climate Armageddon to wait for. The hurricanes are already smashing down around us, and they’re the same hurricanes as the ones we have fought all along — systems like capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy that shape one another and all the values and institutions that govern our lives. By fighting those systems, we’re already the seeds of the climate movement we’ve been dreaming of. We only need to overcome our denial, find points of intersection in our struggles, and prepare for those moments in which people finally sit down or stand up in the critical intersections of human history. It won’t be long now.
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"The off hand formula is, for every 1F we raise the Global avg temp, we increase the WV by 10%

10% more available WV to power that much more rain and Wind.

Note how globally folks are saying these T-storms today, are very much different from the ones a decade ago."
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Quoting 151. GatorWX:
I'm on my phone Pat, doesnt show. No money for internet right now. Complicates the gain of knowledge lol. Thankyou. I don't know exactly what you were alluding to in the comment yoboi quoted you on either, curious.

I don't see any of yobi's post, save for the quoted ones.

I have a default filter setting for wunderground.

And it aint,"show all".

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McCarthy signaled on Tuesday that she was ready for the fight. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

EPA chief: preventing climate change the opportunity of a lifetime
Gina McCarthy signals she is ready for political fight in optimistic first speech as head of US environmental agency

President Barack Obama's top environmental official wasted no time Tuesday taking on opponents of the administration's plan to crack down on global warming pollution.

In her first speech as the head of EPA, Gina McCarthy told an audience gathered at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that curbing climate-altering pollution will spark business innovation, grow jobs and strengthen the economy.

The message was classic Obama, who has long said that the environment and the economy aren't in conflict and has sold ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gases as a means to jumpstart a clean energy economy.

McCarthy signaled that she was ready for the fight, saying that the agency would continue issuing new rules, regardless of claims by Republicans and industry groups that under Obama the EPA has been the most aggressive and overreaching since it was formed more than 40 years ago.

"Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs? Please. At least for today?" said McCarthy, referring to one of the favorite talking points of Republicans and industry groups.

"Let's talk about this as an opportunity of a lifetime, because there are too many lifetimes at stake," she said of efforts to address global warming.

In Obama's first four years, the EPA has issued the first-ever limits on toxic mercury pollution from power plants, regulated greenhouse gases for the first time, and updated a host of air pollution health standards.

McCarthy acknowledged the agency had been the most productive in its history. But she said Tuesday that "we are not just about rules and regulations, we are about getting environmental improvement".

But improvement, she said, could be made "everywhere".

That optimistic vision runs counter to claims by Republican lawmakers and some industry groups that more rules will kill jobs and fossil fuel industries. The EPA under Obama has already put in place or proposed new rules to reduce carbon pollution from cars and trucks, large smokestacks, and new power plants - regulations that McCarthy helped to draft as head of the air pollution office. Next on its agenda is the nation's existing fleet of coal-fired power plants, the largest single source of carbon dioxide left. Obama in a June speech gave the agency until June 2014 to draft those regulations.

"It is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be hard," McCarthy said of the road ahead. "I don't think it is my job out of the gate to know what the path forward is. It is my obligation to let those voices be heard and listen to them."

A panel in the Republican-controlled House recently signed off on a plan to cut the agency's budget by a third and attached a series of measures that McCarthy said "do everything but say the EPA can't do anything."

Yet, last week, in a victory, a federal court dismissed challenges brought by Texas and power companies to EPA's plans to regulate the largest sources of heat-trapping gases.

"Climate change will not be resolved overnight," she added. "But it will be engaged over the next three years that I can promise you."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 167. yoboi:

Interesting story about project stormfury....

Yes it is a good article. I am old enough to have been alive during this time and I remember what were then the "current events" of what was going on with this.

I will be upfront this time, and try to not repeat some of my past errors. Do you use this as a suggestion that past experiments to weaken a hurricane should be put forward as evidence that we are making some sort of an experiment on the global climate now? That would be wrong, on so many levels.

1. Trying to influence the intensity of a tropical system is far, far less complicated than trying to influence the "intensity" of the global climate.

2. The seeding of hurricanes was an experiment being performed. What we are doing to the global climate is not an experiment. What we are doing to the global climate is a practice that we are performing without experimenting first on what the results will be.

3. Seeding the hurricanes was a scientific study that ended when the results showed no positive advantage.

4. Introducing tons/day of a known greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is not being done as study and without regards to the effect. Up until now, there seems to have been no real regards paid as to the effects of doing this. ... So here we sit. Debating what really is not debatable. Physics already tells us what the outcome of our actions will be. Hopefully you do not consider this another test of the physics?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 151. GatorWX:
I'm on my phone Pat, doesnt show. No money for internet right now. Complicates the gain of knowledge lol. Thankyou. I don't know exactly what you were alluding to in the comment yoboi quoted you on either, curious.

Hey Gator, I don't know if I can answer your question, I don't think I have the required knowledge base for it. However, just doing a cursory search on papers related to global warming and air pressure, it looks like what has been going on lately is wilder fluctuations in air pressure. One paper has documented a decreased pressure of the Icelandic low of about 4 millibars over 50 years and an increase of the Bermuda High by about 3 millibars over the same 50 year period. Link It seems to be an issue that scientists are currently working on with not many publications as of yet. In regards to the positions of the NAO and AO, the trend would seem to show a more positive NAO (deeper Icelandic Low and stronger Bermuda High), but relying only on that data alone may be false as other factors most likely play a role here as well.. Like I said, my knowledge goes out to a few meteorology courses while in college for fun, so I may be getting way under water here. :)
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Quoting 162. yoboi:

it was my fault I did not read the whole discussion from the start....I was wrong....did not read the whole context.....

Now you know how I have felt. Sadly, it has been too often that I have made the same error. I cannot fault you on this act. Even this realization, that you have made for yourself, is a part of the learning. Lord knows, I am still learning.

With this being said, I committed an injustice with SnowLover123 the other day. I felt that this person was trying to plant a subliminal message on climate change, as a whole, by introducing a narrowly focused study on glaciers. I believed this person was toying with us and I began to toy with this person. I even allowed this to be carried over to the conversations of the North Pole cams being discussed. I should have stated my concerns upfront and allowed this person to state his/her purpose before I made the assumption on what they were doing. I still feel that my assessment of the person was correct, but I did not confirm it. ... We are all still learning, Yoboi. What is important is what we can take away from the lessons and retain.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

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.

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