June 15, 2014 at 1:34 am #13430
I recently discovered the father of human ecology, the guy who invented the term overshoot, William R. Catton. His classic book “Overshoot” seethes with innovation, but perhaps my favorite is his classification of people as detrivores, meaning animals that eat dead stuff, in our case the dead plants and animals that became fossil fuels. Ever since we discovered oil we’ve been having a wild party, like yeast in a bottle, but now that the cheap good stuff is gone, our “exuberance” (reflexive optimism) increasingly seems like a bad joke. Another point he makes is that the consequences were mostly unexpected. In the 1950s if you went around saying that people shouldn’t build cars and highways and suburbs because burning fossil fuels would change the atmosphere and the weather and cause flooding and a hothouse world, nobody would have believed you. They would have laughed, or given you a lobotomy. It’s easy to blame people for being exuberant, but our optimism was forged during the seventeenth century when the resources of New World were seemingly inexhaustible and our population was relatively small. Catton is still with us, and he makes these points and many others in a recent interview.June 15, 2014 at 1:35 am #13431June 18, 2014 at 10:35 am #13485June 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm #13503June 19, 2014 at 1:41 am #13509June 23, 2014 at 3:44 am #13621
Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissionsJune 23, 2014 at 10:53 pm #13643
May 2014 was Earth’s warmest May on record
The USA was warm in May, but far from a record. A report last week noted that May 2014 was the nation’s 32nd warmest May on record.
Global temperature records go back to 1880.
It also marked the 351st consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th-century average.June 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm #13656
NASA Maps Show Asia’s Insane June Heat WaveJune 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm #13689June 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm #13690June 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm #13691June 27, 2014 at 8:16 am #13709
Vice sails to the North Pacific Gyre, collecting point for all of theocean’s flotsam and home of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: a mythical, Texas-sized island made entirely of our trash.
As long as it’s existed, the middle of the Gyre has been a naturally occurring point of accumulation for all the drifting trash in its half of the ocean. Once upon a time, flotsam circled into the middle of the Gyre and (because up until the past century everything in the world was biodegradable) was broken down into a nutrient-rich stew perfect for fish and smaller invertebrates to chow on.
The problem with plastic is, unless you hammer it with enough pressure to make a diamond, it never fully disintegrates. Over time plastic will photodegrade all the way down to the individual polymers, but those little guys are still in it for the long haul. This means that except for the slim handful of plastics designed specifically to biodegrade, every synthetic molecule ever made still exists.June 27, 2014 at 8:27 am #13710
It’s the same the world over. The only recent exception I’ve come across is in Norway, where a motion proposed by the Green Party was debated in parliament on June 5. It called on the government to stop the next licensing round for oil extraction, on the grounds that it’s incompatible with Norway’s climate change targets. Three MPs supported the motion and 95 voted against it.
By comparison to what happened in Westminster last week, this outcome was positively enlightened.
In her introductory remarks, Baroness Kramer explained that the government had commissioned a report on the future of the oil industry from Sir Ian Wood.
Who is Sir Ian Wood? He’s a billionaire who made his money from the family company he inherited, the Wood Group. It provides services (engineering, construction, repairs) for the oil and gas industry.June 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm #13712
Temperatures over Greenland Fast Approaching 400,000 Year High, Risk 15-19 Feet of Additional Sea Level RiseJune 28, 2014 at 5:42 am #13725
NATO and the EU’s open intent to “integrate” all of Europe including Russia into their geopolitical order, clearly by force if necessary, their abuse of the EU’s legal framework to impose thinly veiled sanctions on Russia, overt nepotism, as well as obstructing the completion of projects that are demonstrably beneficial to their own member states reveals an emerging political order of immense criminality unbound by the rule of law and a clear and present danger to global stability. For those in eastern Ukraine weathering air raids, artillery barrages, and mechanized “national guard” composed of ultra-right Neo-Nazi militants, that instability is already a deadly, daily reality.
The global resource wars for what’s left…June 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm #13733
Dozens of Massive Wildfires in Central Siberia Belch 1,200 Mile Smoke Plume Over Hot TundraJune 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm #13737June 28, 2014 at 2:33 pm #13738
Lindzen is always worth listening to. Latest talk:June 30, 2014 at 10:04 am #13775
No he’s not.June 30, 2014 at 7:50 pm #13787July 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm #13866
What’s wrong with the weather?July 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm #13869
… and who is Sam Carana?July 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm #13894
A team of scientists has discovered that a giant ‘burp’ of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the North Pacific Ocean helped trigger the end of last ice age, around 17,000 years ago.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-ice-age.html#jCpJuly 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm #13911
Too late, but people are waking up…
The End Age for humanity will not be a date known to man, but a point of no return from climate change, about which we shall be as oblivious as if we had sleepwalked out of an airplane without a parachute.July 6, 2014 at 8:33 am #13920
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh say their findings are the first to pinpoint the complex link between iron and other key marine elements involved in regulating atmospheric CO2 by the oceans. Their findings were verified with a global calculation for all oceans. The study, published in Nature Geoscience, was supported by Scottish Alliance for Geoscience Environment Society and the Natural Environment Research Council.July 7, 2014 at 7:15 pm #13953
No carbon budget left to burnJuly 8, 2014 at 7:45 pm #13965
A landmark study by an international group of scientists has concluded that planet Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction event comparable in scale to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The researchers found that extinction rates are currently 1000 times higher than normal due to deforestation, global climate change, and the depletion of ocean fisheries. Ben Gruber reports.July 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm #13995
Impact of Neoguri on U.S. weather
While the remnants of Typhoon Neoguri will not impact the U.S. directly, the large and powerful nature of this storm has set in motion a chain-reaction set of events that will dramatically alter the path of the jet stream and affect weather patterns across the entire Northern Hemisphere next week. Neoguri will cause an acceleration of the North Pacific jet stream, causing a large amount of warm, moist tropical air to push over the North Pacific. This will amplify a trough low pressure over Alaska, causing a ripple effect in the jet stream over western North America, where a strong ridge of high pressure will develop, and over the Midwestern U.S., where a strong trough of low pressure will form. This jet stream pattern is similar to the nasty”Polar Vortex” pattern that set up during the winter of 2014 over North America, and will cause an unusually cool third week of July over the portions of the Midwest and Ohio Valley, with temperatures 10 – 20°F below average.July 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm #14005
Then I’ll confess my prejudice: The End of The World and Good For You are two of the lowest probability outcomesJuly 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm #14006
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