Is it time for the hose, mate? Or is it too late already?

Two news items to ponder when next voting: Earth’s poles are shockingly hot, and the IPCC thinks we can do something about it

FILE – A drop of water falls off an iceberg melting in the Nuup Kangerlua Fjord near Nuuk in southwestern Greenland, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. Earth’s poles are undergoing simultaneous freakish extreme heat with parts of Antarctica more than 70 degrees (40 degrees Celsius) warmer than average and areas of the Arctic more than 50 degrees (30 degrees Celsius) warmer than average. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

by SETH BORENSTEIN, March 19, 2022 in AP News

Hot poles: Antarctica, Arctic 70 and 50 degrees above normal: Earth’s poles are undergoing simultaneous freakish extreme heat with parts of Antarctica more than 70 degrees (40 degrees Celsius) warmer than average and areas of the Arctic more than 50 degrees (30 degrees Celsius) warmer than average.

What makes the Antarctic warming really weird is that the southern continent … has not been warming much, especially when compared to the rest of the globe,…

Antarctica did set a record for the lowest summer sea ice — records go back to 1979….

What likely happened was “a big atmospheric river” pumped in warm and moist air from the Pacific southward, Meier said. And in the Arctic, which has been warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe and is considered vulnerable to climate change, warm Atlantic air was coming north off the coast of Greenland.

Read the complete article….

These sorts of temperatures in what are supposedly the coldest places on our planet is a strong indication that our house is on fire, and that we need to get very serious about working to put it out before we are all consumed by it!

Current carbon-cutting commitments still put us on a catastrophic path toward 2.7C of warming by 2100.

by Amélie Bottollier-Depois, 18/03/2022 in Phys Org/Earth/Environment

UN report to lay out options to halt climate crisis: Nearly 200 nations gather on Monday to confront a question that will outlive Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: how do we stop carbon pollution overheating the planet and threatening life as we know it?

The answer is set to arrive on April 4 after closed-door, virtual negotiations approve the summary of a phonebook-sized report detailing options for drawing down greenhouse gases and extracting them out of thin air.

“The science is crystal clear, the impacts are costly and mounting, but we still have some time to close the window and get ahead of the worst of them if we act now,” said Alden Meyer, a senior analyst at climate and energy think tank E3G.

“This report will supply the answers as to what we need if we’re serious about getting there.”

Read the complete article….

Are we too late to put out the fire? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) doesn’t think so…. at least not quite yet. The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment report: Climate Change 2021/2022 consists of three parts: Part I, published last year – The Physical Science Basis , details the scientific background; Part II, published this month – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, details the troubles we face if warming is not stopped; and Part III to be published early April details how we can respond. Bad news, but not yet a death sentence.

How sure are we that we face imminent threats from continued warming?

Aside from warnings issued by the IPCC and individual climate scientists, we only need to pay attention to the world around us and the NB4 weather catastrophes assaulting our communities to see that the climate is deteriorating before our eyes at an accelerating rate. Some observations will illustrate what I mean here.

Illustration produced with the aid of the publicly available Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph provided by NASA’s National Snow and Ice Data Center.

This graph shows with remarkable clarity how much less ice cover there was on the Antarctic Ocean at the time of maximum melting, and how long that amount of ocean was ice-free and thus able to absorb solar heat that otherwise would have been reflected away from our planet. This heat will stay around slowing the rate of the winter freeze up and reduce the thickness of the ice cover so it melts away even faster in the following year than would otherwise be the case. Some of the heat will also speed melting of Antarctic glaciers from underneath. In other words, reducing the exent of the freezing provides positive feedback helping to drive global temperatures higher.

This graph shows air-temperature variation over essentially the whole of the Arctic Ocean around the North Pole from January through 20 March 2022. The scale is given in degrees Kelvin above Absolute Zero. Zero degrees Celsius is indicated by the blue line near the top of the graph. The green line shows the average mean temperature for each day of the year for the baseline reference years from 1958 to 2002. The red line shows this year’s mean temperatures for each day up to 20/03/2022. Every day this year the temperature has been at least 2 °C warmer than the reference temperature for the day. Recently, the whole area over the Arctic Ocean was 15 °C hotter than the reference temperature. At this temperature the Ice won’t be melting from the top, but it may be warm enough that warmish ocean waters under the ice may be doing some melting from he bottom. It also means that when spring comes the ice won’t be so cold, and will warm up to melting temperature earlier in the year.

And then there is yet more evidence from the last few days:

See also Matthew Cappucci, 16/03/2022 in the Washington Post, “Record ‘bomb cyclone’ bringing exceptional warmth to North Pole

And then there are the climate catastrophes in Australia that some of you will have experienced personally and lived through… and the rest of us will have seen on the TV news.

What does this news tell us we should do about a man who “won’t hold a hose” and has committed ‘his’ government to keep shoveling coal on the fire?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is supportive of Australia’s fossil fuel industry – and particularly coal, which he… says will be around for “decades to come”. “When it comes to the coal industry, it’s worth $35 billion to us every year in exports, and that’s money Australia needs to grow our economy,” Mr Morrison said. “What you need in today’s energy economy is you need to continue to run your coal-fired power stations for as long as you possibly can and that is our policy … we want them to run as long as they possibly can.” Coal-fired power stations will continue to run to back up renewable power sources, although Mr Morrison said gas would play a larger role in the energy mix in years to come. Mr Morrison added that building a new coal-fired power station would be difficult because of the state government planning powers, which would “probably never allow them to do it”. For the video see: The Australian, 14/03/2022, Commentary/coal-will-be-around-for-decades-to-come-scott-morrison/video. See also ‘We will keep mining’, says Australian prime minister Scott Morrison about the future of coal.

Our home world’s climate system is telling us via the rising frequency of NB4 extreme climate events that she’s burning up and will become increasingly uninhabitable as her global temperature keeps rising at an accelerating rate. If the fires aren’t hosed down enough for the world to cool, our population will begin collapsing as rising temperatures and increasingly extreme and overlapping disasters lead to heat deaths, famines and disorder as ecosystems begin collapsing around us. The result will leave its record in geology as a global mass extinction event.

Even a 16 year-old school girl could see what we need to do:

Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. Given that we are facing an existential crisis – this is the only issue that matters until the crisis is solved. Even the IPCC’s hyper-conservative Sixth Assessment WG2 Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

Scott Morrison and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing essentially nothing to organize effective action against the warming. In fact as noted above in his master’s voice, he doesn’t hold a hose, and is determined ‘to keep Australians burning coal as long as we possibly can’ and when they can’t burn that any more, burn more natural gas. And, as I have noted in previous posts, it seems that they actively work to prevent others from acting against the climate emergency because this might harm the profits of their patrons in the fossil fuel industry.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future.

Clearly, we need to replace the hoseless firebugs of the COALition with sensible people who are publicly committed to acting on the climate emergency or who can be counted on to vote this way because of party discipline.

Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use your preferential votes wisely on behalf of our offsprings’ future.

Posted by William P. Hall

Some call me a 'climate scientist'. I'm not. What I am is an 'Earth systems generalist'. Born in 1939, I grew up with passionate interests in both science and engineering. I learned to read from my father's university textbooks in geology and paleontology, and dreamed of building nuclear powered starships. Living on a yacht in Southern California I grew up surrounded by (and often immersed in) marine and estuarine ecosystems while my father worked in the aerospace engineering industry. After studying university physics for three years, dyslexia with numbers convinced me to change my focus to biology. I completed university as an evolutionary biologist (PhD Harvard, 1973). My principal research project involved understanding how species' genetic systems regulated the evolution and speciation of North America's largest and most widespread lizard genus. Then for several years as an academic biologist I taught a range of university subjects as diverse as systematics, biogeography, cytogenetics, comparative anatomy and marine biology. In Australia, from 1980, I was involved in various activities around the emerging and rapidly evolving microcomputing technologies culminating in 2 years involvement in the computerization of the emerging Bank of Melbourne. In 1990 I joined a startup engineering company that had just won the contract to build a new generation of 10 frigates for Australia and New Zealand. In 2007 I retired from the head office of Tenix Defence, then Australia's largest defence engineering contractor, after a 17½ year career as a documentation and knowledge management systems analyst and designer. At Tenix I reported to the R&D manager under the GM Engineering, and worked closely with support and systems engineers on the ANZAC Ship Project to solve documentation and engineering change management issues that risked the project 100s of millions of dollars in cost and years of schedule overruns. All 10 ships had been delivered on time, on budget to happy customers against the fixed-price and fixed schedule contract. Before, during, and after these two main gigs I also did a lot of other things that contribute to my general understanding of complex dynamical systems involving multiple components with non-linear and sometimes chaotically interacting components; e.g., 'Earth systems'. Earth's Climate System is the global heat engine driven by the transport and conversions of energy between the incoming solar radiation striking the planet, and the infrared radiation of heat away from the planet to the cold dark universe. As Climate Sentinel News Editor, my task is to identify and understand quirks and problems in the operation of this complex heat engine that threaten human existence, and explain to our readers how they can help to solve some of the critical issues that are threatening their own existence.

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