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Climate Change trends- Break records

Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: 2016 climate trends continue to break records
Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The six-month period from January to June was also the planet's warmest half-year on record, with an average temperature 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the late nineteenth century.
Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: NASA analysis finds July 2016 is warmest on record
July 2016 was the warmest July in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

Because the seasonal temperature cycle peaks in July, it means July 2016 also was warmer than any other month on record. July 2016’s temperature was a statistically small 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than previous warm Julys in 2015, 2011 and 2009.

“It wasn’t by the widest of margins, but July 2016 was the warmest month since modern record keeping began in 1880,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. “It appears almost a certainty that 2016 also will be the warmest year on record.”
(Time to buy stock in air conditioner companies?)
 

KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
I'm worried about Winter. I keep looking for something that will tell me the future of what will happen to Winter in the end. All I can find is that while the change is going on, we can have some harsher weather. But when all is said and done, what is the final result? How far will the warming go? Is there even an end? Or do we warm up until we all melt? Wahhhh...I'm enjoying my Summer but need a few months of cold during the year.
 

Amy SF

Dweller in nature
I'd like to restart this thread to list all the effects of climate change, from the small ways it has changed lives to the most devastating ways. Here's one example:

http://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/airlines/2017/06/19/heat-cancels-phoenix-flights/409634001/

How can anyone live in a city where it gets up to 120 degrees BEFORE the calendar says it's officially summer? (The summer solstice is Wednesday, June 21.) Air conditioning or no, such extreme heat is because of climate change and is dangerous for anyone who ventures outside, human and animal. Now that summer is here, there will be many more days like this, and people and animals WILL die from it. And Phoenix, of course, is far from the only city suffering through days of extreme heat.
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
I have made this thread sticky to serve as go-to-thread for our discussions on Climate Change.

Considering how upset all of us legitimately are about the US Government's efforts to cast doubt on the subject, I was a bit surprised when searching how little discussion we still have on the forum on the subject.
 

PTree15

Beach bum
Location
Connecticut
Yes, but I just don't! :( I can walk to a small, upscale grocer which has a surprising variety of vegan items. I drive too much.
I drive too much as well. I've done better with consolidating trips as much as possible, but I could improve. I'm two miles or so from a shopping center that has a number of stores I go to. I'm still learning about my area geographically and all, but now I must investigate public transportation. I would love to ride my bike, but the traffic (and the way people drive) is too dangerous. With so many people texting and driving, I just don't trust that most people are paying attention the way they should be. The lack of sidewalks also doesn't help with walking. Also, my knee had been problematic the past few weeks, but it's getting better so maybe I can start walking more in my neck of the woods.

My state is very poor when it comes to public transportation. We have made some progress with a busway that connects two cities, but there needs to be expansion for it to really work. It's still much faster to drive than take a bus to get anywhere. Our governor has been touting the need for better public transportation during both of his terms, but New Englanders can be stubborn and resistant to change. It's frustrating. When I lived in Philly, I took the bus and train everywhere, even to work. It was great.
 

Jamie in Chile

Renowned Member
This article is hardly a new perspective, but I think it's inaccurate to say that we can't prevent apocalypse. We can't prevent climate change, but we may still be able to prevent apocalyptic climate change. The author has given up on the idea that society can change, but I don't think this is so sure, it's hard to predict.

He has also left out the possibility that a very significant portion of carbon can be taken out of the air by rewilding or technological advancement of some sort. I think there is a 10% chance at least of this.

There are too many people who think they know for sure what will happen 50 years from now.

Although I understand the idea of tipping points and out of control feedback, there is huge uncertainty on that, and so I don't think we can say for sure that climate change is a win/lose thing. Each reduced amount of emissions may correspond to some reduced suffering in the future. I don't agree that two degrees is a point of no return. It may be, but there is hardly a scientific consensus on that.

This kind of defeatism is unhelpful. The idea that we've lost the battle and therefore should give up could be very misguided. Some years ago, you could probably have said that a village of 1000 failing to cut their emissions over their whole life might amount to killing 1 person (if you would have naively assumed that we would have acted faster and kept warming to 1-1.5C). Now you might say that an extended family of 10 people failing to cut their emissions might amount to the death of 1 person. So the fact that things are getting worse and catastrophe is more likely makes the need for action greater not less.

Criticising renewable projects like "construction of solar farms in open spaces, rather than in settled areas" seems misguided. They will do more good than harm by far. All analysis have indicated that a dollar spend today on emissions reductions is worth more than a dollar spent on disaster preparation. They may change at some point in the decades ahead, but, for now, it seems misguided to suggest otherwise. Although of course we should do both.

The comment "According to a recent paper in Nature, the carbon emissions from existing global infrastructure, if operated through its normal lifetime, will exceed our entire emissions “allowance”—the further gigatons of carbon that can be released without crossing the threshold of catastrophe" is not correct. If you click on the article, the paper talks about 1.5C not 2C, and there is certainly no scientific consensus that as low as 1.5C is the threshold of catastrophe. It may be, but it probably isn't.
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
I'm not sure if I agree with your optimistic analysis.

Jonathan Franzen said:
Finally, overwhelming numbers of human beings, including millions of government-hating Americans, need to accept high taxes and severe curtailment of their familiar life styles without revolting. They must accept the reality of climate change and have faith in the extreme measures taken to combat it. They can’t dismiss news they dislike as fake. They have to set aside nationalism and class and racial resentments. They have to make sacrifices for distant threatened nations and distant future generations. They have to be permanently terrified by hotter summers and more frequent natural disasters, rather than just getting used to them. Every day, instead of thinking about breakfast, they have to think about death.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
He has also left out the possibility that a very significant portion of carbon can be taken out of the air by rewilding or technological advancement of some sort. I think there is a 10% chance at least of this.
This is my hope, or at least the technological achievement. Fusion power, which was always elusively 20 years into the future, now seems much closer in time, maybe 5 - 10 years away. (Of course, the important thing will be closing down existing fossil fuel-powered energy sources, not just adding renewable energy sources.) There are also various projects being piloted for doing massive carbon extraction from the atmosphere.

 

Jamie in Chile

Renowned Member
We can't rely much on the hope of fusion power when it might come in the 2030s, we need solutions for today, and that means aggressive moves to renewables and/or nuclear fission are needed for now. However, big R and D spends for fusion funding by government spending are probably a good idea.

The projections for massive extraction from the atmosphere seem risky and misguided, or not likely to work or too expensive. But I'll keep an open mind. But we need to focus on fossil fuel and animal agriculture reductions until we see these working affordably at scale.
 
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