July 2022 Climate – still on road to extinction

Australia has a new government. Every month we fail to stop global warming is a month closer to global mass extinction. Still no visible progress towards solution.

https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

The graphic above downloaded today shows the current state of sea-ice surrounding the Antarctic continent. Despite what seems to be a cold winter in Victoria, its coverage indicated by the teal blue line in the chart is 530 km2 smaller than it has ever been before for this time of the year. There are many more indicators that the climate is still deteriorating towards making Earth uninhabitable for its present life forms (including humans!) at an accelerating rate.

The following news items underline the dangers this represents for humans.

Model-analyzed temperatures at 12Z Tuesday, July 19, 2022 (noon GMT) were transcending average values for the time of day and season by 12 to 24 degrees Celsius—or 22 to 33 degrees Fahrenheit—over large parts of northwestern Europe. (Image credit: tropicaltidbits.com) [from the article]

by Bob Hensen, 17/07/2022 in Eye on the Storm, Yale Climate Connections

Horrific heat descends upon Western Europe: 104°F in London

Dozens of all-time record highs melted on Monday and Tuesday under a searing, deadly European heat wave that has caused at least 1,169 heat-related deaths in Spain and Portugal. The heat wave has also brought the hottest day on record for many locations in France and the hottest temperatures — by far — ever observed in the United Kingdom.

The record-smashing heat in Europe’s normally mild, maritime northwest corner was eerily comparable to the astounding heat wave in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and far southwest Canada in June 2021. The latter was found to have been “virtually impossible” without human-produced climate change.

By 9 a.m. GMT on Tuesday, July 19, London’s Heathrow Airport had already surged past 90°F, and at 12:50 p.m., the airport’s official observing site for London recorded what, if confirmed, would be the hottest temperature in London history: 40.2 degrees Celsius, or 104.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Read the complete article

Record high temperatures and extreme weather events are being recorded around the world. Photograph: Ian Logan/Getty Images [from the article]

by Robin McKie, 31/07/2022 in the Guardian

‘Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert

Blistering heatwaves are just the start. We must accept how bad things are before we can head off global catastrophe, according to a leading UK scientistRobin McKie.

The publication of Bill McGuire’s latest book, Hothouse Earth, could not be more timely. Appearing in the shops this week, it will be perused by sweltering customers who have just endured record high temperatures across the UK and now face the prospect of weeks of drought to add to their discomfort.

And this is just the beginning, insists McGuire, who is emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London. As he makes clear in his uncompromising depiction of the coming climatic catastrophe, we have – for far too long – ignored explicit warnings that rising carbon emissions are dangerously heating the Earth. Now we are going to pay the price for our complacence in the form of storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves that will easily surpass current extremes.

Read the complete article

In the run-up to the May 21st Federal Election, I posted many more articles documenting the increasing risk of mass extinction that humans face if we do not stop and reverse the runaway acceleration that is flipping our global climate to the Hothouse Earth state.

In the Election Australians replaced the Liberal/National COALition with a more climate friendly Labor government supported by an extensive cross-bench of climate-friendly independents (‘teals‘) and Greens.

The Government has very little time (if any – see the article above) to act to stop carbon emissions and to do what we can to remove some of the past excesses from the atmosphere.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

Featured image:

Time series graphs showing the variation in the three most important greenhouse gases as observed and recorded by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Global Monitoring Laboratory at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii.

The carbon dioxide data on Mauna Loa shown in the top row constitute the longest record of direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere. They were started by C. David Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in March of 1958 at a facility of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Keeling, 1976]. The first graph shows atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last five complete years of the Mauna Loa CO2 record plus the current year. The second graph shows annual mean CO2 growth rates for Mauna Loa. In the graph, decadal averages of the growth rate are also plotted, as horizontal lines for 1960 through 1969, 1970 through 1979, and so on.

The middle row charts the growth of atmospheric methane: the first graph shows the full NOAA time-series starting in 1983, The red circles are globally averaged monthly mean values centered on the middle of each month. The black line and squares show the long-term trend (in principle, similar to a 12-month running mean) where the average seasonal cycle has been removed.The second graph summarizes annual increases in atmospheric CH4 based on globally averaged marine surface data.

The bottom row charts the growth of atmospheric N2O (Nitrous oxide) beginning in 2001, when NOAA began to have confidence in the data. Values for the last year are preliminary pending recalibrations of standard gases and other quality control steps. The second graph plots the annual increase in atmospheric N2O in a given year, i.e., the increase in its abundance (mole fraction) from January 1 in that year to January 1 of the next year, after the seasonal cycle has been removed (as shown by the black lines in the first figure). It represents the sum of all N2O added to, and removed from, the atmosphere during the year by human activities and natural processes.

As yet, there is NO evidence that any of these values are beginning to stop increasing, let alone decrease, as the result of any human actions.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Thawing permafrost: Big climate system danger

Permafrost holds 2x more carbon than Earth’s atmosphere and 3x more than all forests. Thawing will hugely impact global climate warming

Science Session: Thawing Arctic Permafrost–Regional and Global Impacts

by US National Academy of Sciences, 12/05/2020

Science Session: Thawing Arctic Permafrost–Regional and Global Impacts

Temperatures across the Arctic are increasing two to four times faster than the global average. The dramatic consequences that are already apparent include reduction of sea-ice cover, accelerating loss of land ice from glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet, proliferating wildfires, and—the topic of this panel—ongoing heating and thawing of the permafrost that underlies most of the land area of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions across the globe. Permafrost thaw is a direct threat to buildings, roads, and pipelines, and it can greatly accelerate erosion along rivers and coastlines with severe consequences for communities located there. But an impact with much wider consequences is the release of carbon dioxide and methane by the decomposition of previously frozen organic matter, affecting the rate of growth of global warming and all of its impacts everywhere. (There is estimated to be something like 2.5 times as much carbon in the as in the entire global atmosphere; the key question is how fast it will come out.) The panelists, leading Arctic experts all, explain the complex science of thawing permafrost and elucidate the implications both regionally and globally.

Editors note: I have often mentioned the potential risk of rapid permafrost thawing serving as a source of powerful positive feedback on global warming from the abrupt emissions of greenhouse gases. The emissions include methane, which has a global warming potential more than 80 x that of CO. The video runs for almost 1½ hours. However, if you want to understand how science works in what are relatively conservative approaches and whether the risks that concern us in the Vote Climate One group are real, the whole video should be well worth watching.

In this pay particular attention to what is left out of the predictive models for future growth of emissions. The actual reality is likely to be even worse.

Finally, a lot of the discussion is based on the idea still common in 2020, that there is some kind of ’emissions budget’ that allows time to stop anthropogenic emissions. With more data, e.g., from the still conservative IPCC Sixth Assessment Report there is much less mention that there is no ‘safe’ emissions budget. Action to slow and reverse global warming is urgent! To be effective this will need global mobilization with cooperation at government levels as well as involving people. Here, our government in Australia has been quite hostile to any kind of action on global warming because of their apparently rusted-on allegiance to the fossil fuel industry and super-wealthy special interests associated with it.

In Scotty’s own words in one of his pet mediums – something to think about:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he supports 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.

What can/must we do about this dreadful government and even worse situation?

We need to turn away from the the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with the kind of business as usual Scotty from Maketing and his fossil fuel puppets are spruiking!

It seems to take the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old autistic girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

greta-act-as-if-the-house-was-on-fire
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. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative 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 they have expended considerable effort to deny the science, punish the institutions doing the science, misrepresent the facts, and try to divert interest to anything else but action on climate change. Beyond this they are continuing to support and subsidize continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry. Basically, all they doing is throwing coal on the fire and rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything and everyone we may care about.

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

Our young ones are walking into an unknown future. Give them hope and not the Ukraine.

Featured image: Tundra fire burning on permafrost along a 30 km long front (with even more burning out of the frame, dated 20/07/2022, Picture centered on lat=71.50116, lng=145.43701 at zoom 10, well north of the Arctic circle in Russia’s Siberian Sakha Republic. Image downloaded from European Space Agency’s Sentinel Hub EO Browser using False color, urban with RGB tweaking to emphasize currently burning area and the reddish burn scar. Fire burned for over 3 months / uploaded here by William Hall.. See https://apps.sentinel-hub.com/eo-browser/?zoom=10&lat=71.49244&lng=145.43839&themeId=DEFAULT-THEME&visualizationUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fservices.sentinel-hub.com%2Fogc%2Fwms%2Fbd86bcc0-f318-402b-a145-015f85b9427e&datasetId=S2L2A&fromTime=2020-07-22T00%3A00%3A00.000Z&toTime=2020-07-22T23%3A59%3A59.999Z&layerId=4-FALSE-COLOR-URBAN&redRange=%5B0.01%2C1%5D&greenRange=%5B0.22%2C1%5D&blueRange=%5B0.18%2C0.83%5D

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

CO₂: If you can measure it, you can control it

A new satellite system and atmospheric modelling can separate changes in anthropogenic CO₂ emissions from natural environmental variability.

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain via the Article

by Jessica Merzdorf Evans, 01/04/2022 in Phys.org

First-of-its-kind detection of reduced human carbon dioxide emissions

For the first time, researchers have spotted short-term, regional fluctuations in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) around the globe due to emissions from human activities.

Using a combination of NASA satellites and atmospheric modeling, the scientists performed a first-of-its-kind detection of human CO2 emissions changes. The new study uses data from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) to measure drops in CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 pandemic from space. With daily and monthly data products now available to the public, this opens new possibilities for tracking the collective effects of human activities on CO2 concentrations in near real-time.

Read the complete article….

Read the source report: Brad Weir et al, Regional impacts of COVID-19 on carbon dioxide detected worldwide from space, Science Advances (2021)

Featured image: Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at Mauna Loa, Hawaii since 1958. Source Delorme – Data from Dr. Pieter Tans, NOAA/ESRL and Dr. Ralph Keeling, Scripps Institution of Oceanography via Wikipedia (which see for more details) / License: licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Last Horseman: warming & near-term mass extinction

A 2016 article lays out where we were then compared to past extinctions. We are now closer to point of no return. Warming must be stopped!

Coral bleaching in March 2016. Rapid rises of greenhouse gases in the past have been linked to major extinctions in the oceans. XL Catlin Seaview Survey / via the article.

by Katrin Meissner & Kaitlin Alexander , 24/03/2024 in the Conversation

Mass extinctions and climate change: why the speed of rising greenhouse gases matters

[G]reenhouse gases are rising faster than at any time since the demise of dinosaurs, and possibly even earlier. According to research published in Nature Geoscience this week, carbon dioxide (CO₂) is being added to the atmosphere at least ten times faster than during a major warming event about 50 million years ago.

We have emitted almost 600 billion tonnes of carbon since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and atmospheric CO₂ concentrations are now increasing at a rate of 3 parts per million (ppm) per year.

With increasing CO₂ levels, temperatures and ocean acidification also rise, and it is an open question how ecosystems are going to cope under such rapid change.

Read the complete article….

Featured image: Moschorhinus kitchingi with Lystrosaurus. Basal Triassic of South Africa. Lystrosurus was one of the few large animals that survived the Permian-Triassic global mass extinction event anywhere on the planet. Source: Creator:Dmitry Bogdanov / Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Wildfire smoke drives global temperatures higher

Brown carbon’ from burning forests, tundra, and peat soils drives temperatures higher in positive feedback loop with increasing global temps

Taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite on January 4, 2021, this image shows smoke from fires burning in southeastern Australia. NASA says it is likely that some of the white patches above the smoke are pyrocumulonimbus clouds, which resemble violent thunderstorms and can form above intense fires. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens. Picture via Australia’s “firenadoes” summon images of Hiroshima, atomic bombs By Dawn Stover | January 14, 2020 in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Source: Cell Press, 18/03/2022 in Science News

Wildfires devastate the land they burn, and they are also warming the planet: The 2021 wildfire season broke records globally, leaving land charred from California to Siberia. The risk of fire is growing, and a recent report warned that wildfires are on track to increase 50% by 2050. These fires destroy homes, plant life, and animals as they burn, but the risk doesn’t stop there. Researchers detail how the brown carbon released by burning biomass in the northern hemisphere is accelerating warming in the Arctic and warn that this could lead to even more wildfires in the future.

Editor’s note: the source article, by Yue et al., 18/03/2022, Brown carbon from biomass burning imposes strong circum-Arctic warming can be downloaded from One Earth.

Featured Image: Several wildfires in the Sakha Republic, in and around the Arctic Circle, Russia (Lat: 66.88913, Long: 150.72075) – July 20, 2020 – Enhanced natural colors with IR overlay – Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2020], processed by Pierre Markuse – Image is about 77 km wide. / Downloaded from Flikr

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Look out! More and worse wildfires are coming for us

UN’s “Spreading like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires” warns positive feedbacks will accelerate warming and impacts

by Bob Berwyn, 23/02/2022 in Inside Climate News
Global Wildfire Activity to Surge in Coming Years: A new U.N. report says communities need to prepare for the growing threat by refocusing on prevention, rather than just reacting to fires as they happen.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

What do you fix first? Methane or CO₂?

Methane is more powerful than CO₂ but has a relatively short life in the atmosphere. CO₂ hangs around for centuries. Both are bad news!

by John Lynch, 21/02/2022 in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Fatal distraction: the problem with the methane pledge

Over the past year, the world has experienced severe heatwaves, wildfires, and drought. As global temperature continues to creep upwards, these events will become more frequent and more extreme. Obviously, humanity needs to make a concerted effort to rapidly bring down greenhouse gas emissions to limit warming to 1.5-2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as global leaders agreed to do when they signed the Paris Agreement.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Humanity’s massive carbon footprint on our only planet

Almost without exception, every one of those traces was made by burning prodigious quantities of fossil carbon to heat our only world.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Water vapor amplifies effects of other greenhouse gases

Ask NASA explains greenhouse gases’ roles & properties. Because water vapor condenses into water, it amplifies warming effects of other gases

by Alan Buis 08/02/2022 in Ask NASA Climate
Steamy Relationships: How Atmospheric Water Vapor Supercharges Earth’s Greenhouse Effect: Some people mistakenly believe water vapor is the main driver of Earth’s current warming. But increased water vapor doesn’t cause human-produced global warming. Instead, it’s a consequence of it. Increased water vapor in the atmosphere supercharges the warming caused by other greenhouse gases.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Water vapor amplifies effects of other greenhouse gases

Ask NASA explains greenhouse gases’ roles & properties. Because water vapor condenses into water, it amplifies warming effects of other gases

by Alan Buis 08/02/2022 in Ask NASA Climate
Steamy Relationships: How Atmospheric Water Vapor Supercharges Earth’s Greenhouse Effect: Some people mistakenly believe water vapor is the main driver of Earth’s current warming. But increased water vapor doesn’t cause human-produced global warming. Instead, it’s a consequence of it. Increased water vapor in the atmosphere supercharges the warming caused by other greenhouse gases.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.