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Nature_and_Environment.7

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Global Climate Change

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.525}: Julien Peter Benney {taite} Sat, 04 Jun 2011 08:41:24 CDT (27 lines)

The way rainfall has changed in Australia, especially Western
Australia, since 1967 (look at the decline at
“http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=139&p_display_type=dataFile&p_startYear=&p_c=&p_stn_num=009628”
and the increase at
“http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=139&p_display_type=dataFile&p_startYear=&p_c=&p_stn_num=011003”)
I have always been aware of the problems of climate change.

However, besides deliberately refusing to be taught to drive, I know
there is little I can do personally to deal with Australia’s utterly
appalling greenhouse gas emissions. What I can do, and try my best to
do given my problematic temper that is very prone to rant both in
speech and writing, is to try to convince people, especially people
abroad, that there are exceedingly sound reasons why Australia’s per
capita carbon emissions should not be the highest in the world, but
the lowest by a very, very large margin. I am well aware that present
cultural and political trends are likely to mean that Australia
retains environmentally-unfriendly technology even as countries in
Europe and Asia switch to carbon-neutral technology, and that because
of its peoples’ greater hospitality and generosity migrants and
workers will still prefer to go to Australia rather than a much more
sustainable country like Denmark or Sweden. My knowledge of how
ecologically absurd such a situation is makes me think a completely
new strategy has to be developed by countries whose people have
greater environmental awareness (actually reflecting far more
selfishness and less empathy) to really reduce emissions where
reductions are needed rather than where cultural and demographic costs
are very high.

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.526}: Nancy Davison {nmdavison} Sat, 04 Jun 2011 15:20:44 CDT (2 lines)

Is it really the highest in the world? Higher than the US? that's
amazing.

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.527}: Julien Peter Benney {taite} Sun, 05 Jun 2011 01:42:29 CDT (15 lines)

It is: about forty percent higher than in the US. In reality,
Australia’s per capita carbon emissions should be, I have calculated,
about 1 to 4 percent those of Eurasia, the Americas and New Zealand.

The root of the trouble is that Australia’s surfeit of natural
resources leaves it politicians powerless and its well-financed and
ultra-comfortable suburban population totally passive. What is needed
- and has been proposed - is a total cap on income of mining companies
put totally to dismantling the car and coal industries of Australia
and replacing it with an absolutely first rate mass transit system to
cater for every single journey in Australia without a single molecule
of greenhouse gas emissions. This is something that should have been
achieved by 1990, but never will be as things stand unless Australia
is made into the kind of pariah state we associate with Cuba, Iran,
Libya or Sudan.

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.528}: Nancy Davison {nmdavison} Sun, 05 Jun 2011 15:04:06 CDT (1 line)

So the spoilers are everywhere, aren't they?

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.529}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sat, 30 Nov 2019 02:55:39 CST (2 lines)

"https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/11/25/why-
everything-they-say-about-climate-change-is-wrong/"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.530}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sun, 01 Dec 2019 09:35:43 CST (2 lines)

"https://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2019/11/be-excellent-how-
ancient-virtues-can-guide-our-responses-to-the-climate-crisis/"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.531}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sun, 08 Dec 2019 00:45:52 CST (1 line)

https://apnews.com/26706b2c60c69668edd1216c2c56700f

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.532}: Glen Marks {wotan} Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:04:09 CST (5 lines)

"https://www.google.com/search?
tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=657&ei=qmTyXc2sC5G8tAaAuKPYBQ&q=time+
person+of+the+year+2019&oq=time+person&gs_l=img.1.0.0i131l6j0i3j0i131
l2j0i3.2875.4341..8115...0.0..2.333.1886.2j5j3j1......0....1..gws-
wiz-img.......0.PlqCKDuKJhA#imgrc=USHQUI10Nuw76M:"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.533}: Glen Marks {wotan} Mon, 16 Dec 2019 02:05:44 CST (4 lines)

If you ever thought that humanity could get its act together to fight
climate change, read this:

"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sound_of_Music_(film)#Legacy"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.534}: Glen Marks {wotan} Mon, 16 Dec 2019 02:06:43 CST (4 lines)

Or see the audience reaction on this Youtube upload:

The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Glastonbury 2013
(HD)

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.535}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 31 Dec 2019 22:46:11 CST (92 lines)

The Key to the Global Warming Crisis is Beneath Our Feet
by Ellen Brown

Contrary to popular belief, the biggest environmental polluters are
not big fossil fuel companies. They are big agribusiness and factory
farming, with six powerful food industry giants – Archer Daniels
Midland, Cargill, Dean Foods, Dow AgroSciences, Tyson and Monsanto
(now merged with Bayer) – playing a major role. Oil-dependent farming,
industrial livestock operations, the clearing of carbon-storing fields
and forests, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and the
combustion of fuel to process and distribute food are estimated to be
responsible for as much as one-half of human-caused pollution.
See: "https://www.localfutures.org/the-9-lie-industrial-food-and-
climate-change/" to find out how this figure is arrived at.
Climate change, while partly a consequence of the excessive relocation
of carbon and other elements from the earth into the atmosphere, is
more fundamentally just one symptom of overall ecosystem distress from
centuries of over-tilling, over-grazing, over-burning, over-hunting,
over-fishing and deforestation.

David Perry writes on the World Economic Forum website:
Global farmers can take on climate change. Here's how
"https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/07/agriculture-climate-change-
solution/"

Perry observes that before farmland was cultivated, it had soil carbon
levels of from 3% to 7%. Today, those levels are roughly 1% carbon. If
every acre of farmland globally were returned to a soil carbon level
of just 3%, 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide would be removed from
the atmosphere and stored in the soil – equal to the amount of carbon
that has been drawn into the atmosphere since the dawn of the
Industrial Revolution 200 years ago. The size of the potential
solution matches the size of the problem.

So how can we increase the carbon content of soil? Through
“regenerative” farming practices, says Perry, including planting cover
crops, no-till farming, rotating crops, reducing chemicals and
fertilizers, and managed grazing (combining trees, forage plants and
livestock together as an integrated system, a technique called
“silvopasture”). These practices have been demonstrated to drive
carbon into the soil and keep it there, resulting in carbon-enriched
soils that are healthier and more resilient to extreme weather
conditions and show improved water permeability, preventing the
rainwater runoff that contributes to rising sea levels and rising
temperatures. Evaporation from degraded, exposed soil has been shown
to cause 1,600% more heat annually than all the world’s powerhouses
combined. Regenerative farming methods also produce increased
microbial diversity, higher yields, reduced input requirements, more
nutritious harvests and increased farm profits.

These highly favorable results were confirmed by Paul Hawken and his
team in the project that was the subject of his best-selling 2016
book, “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed
to Reverse Global Warming.” The project involved evaluating the 100
most promising solutions to the environmental crisis for cost and
effectiveness. The results surprised the researchers themselves. The
best-performing sector was not “Transport” or “Materials” or
“Buildings and Cities” or even “Electricity Generation.” It was the
sector called “Food,” including how we grow our food, market it and
use it. Of the top 30 solutions, 12 were various forms of regenerative
agriculture, including silvopasture, tropical staple trees,
conservation agriculture, tree intercropping, managed grazing,
farmland restoration and multistrata agroforestry.

As noted in a Rolling Stone article titled “How Big Agriculture Is
Preventing Farmers From Combating the Climate Crisis”:
"https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/big-
agriculture-preventing-farmers-combating-climate-crisis-886538/"

    [I]implementing these practices requires an economic flexibility
most farmers don’t have, and which is almost impossible to achieve
within a government-backed system designed to preserve a large-scale,
corporate-farming monoculture based around commodity crops like corn
and soybeans, which often cost smaller farmers more money to grow than
they can make selling.

Farmers are locked into a system that is destroying their farmlands
and the planet, because a handful of giant agribusinesses have
captured Congress and the regulators. One proposed solution is to
transfer the $20 billion in subsidies that now go mainly to Big Ag
into a fund to compensate small farmers who transition to regenerative
practices. We also need to enforce the antitrust laws and break up the
biggest agribusinesses, something for which legislation is now pending
in Congress.

The bottom line is that saving the planet from environmental
destruction is not only achievable, but that by focusing on
regenerative agriculture and tapping up the central bank for funding,
the climate crisis can be addressed without raising taxes, while
restoring our collective health.
"https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/31/the-key-to-the-environmental-
crisis-is-beneath-our-feet/"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.536}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 07 Jan 2020 17:53:41 CST (45 lines)

Antarctic waters: Warmer with more acidity and less oxygen

The increased freshwater from melting Antarctic ice sheets plus
increased wind has reduced the amount of oxygen in the Southern Ocean
and made it more acidic and warmer, according to new research led by
University of Arizona geoscientists.

The discovery drove the research team to improve current climate
change computer models to better reflect the environmental changes
around Antarctica.

"It's the first time we've been able to reproduce the new changes in
the Southern Ocean with an Earth system model," said co-author Joellen
Russell, a professor of geosciences.

The research is the first to incorporate the Southern Ocean's
increased freshwater plus additional wind into a climate change model,
she said. The team used the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's ESM2M model.

"We underestimated how much influence that added freshwater and wind
would have. When we add these two components to the model, we can
directly and beautifully reproduce what has happened over the last 30
years," she said.

Now, models will be able to do a better job of predicting future
environmental changes in and around Antarctica, she said, adding that
the Southern Ocean takes up most of the heat produced by anthropogenic
global warming.

"One out of every eight carbon molecules that comes out of your
tailpipe goes into the Southern Ocean," Russell said. "Our model says
that in the future, we may not have as big of a carbon sink as we were
hoping."

The team's paper, "Importance of wind and meltwater for observed
chemical and physical changes in the Southern Ocean," is scheduled for
publication in Nature Geoscience on Jan. 6. A list of additional co-
authors and their affiliations is at the bottom of this release.

The team also used the improved model to forecast conditions in the
Southern Ocean. The forecast suggests that in the future, the Southern
Ocean may not take up as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as
previously predicted.
"https://phys.org/news/2020-01-antarctic-warmer-acidity-oxygen.html"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.537}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 07 Jan 2020 17:54:09 CST (112 lines)

The sad truth about our boldest climate target
Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C is almost certainly not going
to happen.

How 1.5 degrees C became the “last chance”

The new target adopted in Paris reflected a growing conviction among
scientists and activists that 2 degrees C, the target that had served
as a kind of default for years, was in no way “safe.” Climate change
at that level would in fact be extremely dangerous. Thus the addition
of “efforts” to hit 1.5 degrees C.

But it wasn’t until last year that the world really got a clear sense
of how much worse 2 degreesC (3.6 degreesF) would be than 1.5 degrees
C (2.7 degreesF), after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) released a special report on the subject. Its findings were
grim. Even 1.5 degreesC is likely to entail “high multiple
interrelated climate risks” for “some vulnerable regions, including
small islands and Least Developed Countries.”

All of those impacts become much worse at 2 degrees C. (The World
Resources Institute has a handy chart; see also this graphic from
Carbon Brief.) Severe heat events will become 2.6 times worse, plant
and vertebrate species loss 2 times worse, insect species loss 3 times
worse, and decline in marine fisheries 2 times worse. Rather than 70
to 90 percent of coral reefs dying, 99 percent will die. Many
vulnerable and low-lying areas will become uninhabitable and refugee
flows will radically increase. And so on. At 2 degrees C, climate
change will be devastating for large swathes of the globe.

In short, there is no “safe” level of global warming. Climate change
is not something bad that might happen, it’s something bad that’s
happening. Global average temperatures have risen about 1.3 degrees C
from pre-industrial levels and California and Australia are already
burning.

Still, each additional increment of heat, each fraction of a degree,
will make things worse. Specifically, 2 degrees C will be much worse
than 1.5 degreesC. And 2.5 degreesC will be much worse than 2
degreesC. And so on as it gets hotter.

We’re still traveling headlong in the wrong direction, with centuries
of momentum at our backs.

Just focusing on the US, there’s a more than 50/50 chance that
President Donald Trump will be reelected in 2020, in which case we are
all, and I can’t stress this enough, doomed. Even if Dems take the
presidency and both houses of Congress, serious federal action will
have to contend with the filibuster, then the midterm backlash, then
the next election, and more broadly, the increasingly conservative
federal courts and Supreme Court, the electoral college, the flood of
money in politics, and the overrepresentation of rural states in the
Senate.

We’ve waited too long. Practically speaking, we are heading past 1.5
degrees C as we speak and probably past 2 degrees C as well. This is
not a “fact” in the same way climate science deals in facts —
collective human behavior is not nearly so easy to predict as
biophysical cycles — but nothing we know about human history,
sociology, or politics suggests that vast, screeching changes in
collective direction are likely.

The story of climate change is already a tragedy. It’s sad. Really
sad. People are suffering, species are dying off, entire ecosystems
are being lost, and it’s inevitably going to get worse. We are in the
midst of making the earth a simpler, cruder, less hospitable place,
not only for ourselves but for all the kaleidoscopic varieties of life
that evolved here in a relatively stable climate. The most complex and
most idiosyncratic forms of life are most at risk; the mosquitoes and
jellyfish will prosper.

That is simply the background condition of our existence as a species
now, even if we rally to avoid the worst outcomes.

I know from conversations over the years that many people see that
tragedy, and feel it, but given the perpetually heightened partisan
tensions around climate change, they are leery to give it voice. They
worry that it will lend fuel to the forces of denial and delay, that
they are morally obliged to provide cheer.

The idea that hope lives or dies on the chances of hitting 1.5 degrees
C is poisonous in the long-term. Framing the choice as “a miracle or
extinction” just sets everyone up for massive disappointment, since
neither is likely to unfold any time soon.

As climate scientist Kate Marvel put it, “Climate change isn’t a cliff
we fall off, but a slope we slide down.” Every bit makes it worse. No
matter how far down the slope we go, there’s never reason to give up
fighting. We can always hope to arrest our slide.

Here in the US, we need to think about how to help Californians
dealing with wildfires, Midwestern farmers dealing with floods, and
coastal homeowners dealing with a looming insurance crisis.

All those problems are going to get worse. We need to grapple with
that squarely, because the real threat is that these escalating
impacts overwhelm our ability, not just to mitigate GHGs, but to even
care or react to disasters when they happen elsewhere. Right now, much
of Australia is on fire — half a billion animals have likely died
since September — and it is barely breaking the news cycle in the US.
As author David Wallace-Wells wrote in a recent piece, the world
already seems to be heading toward a “system of disinterest defined
instead by ever smaller circles of empathy.”

That shrinking of empathy is arguably the greatest danger facing the
human species, the biggest barrier to the collective action necessary
to save ourselves. I can’t help but think that the first step in
defending and expanding that empathy is reckoning squarely with how
much damage we’ve already done and are likely to do, working through
the guilt and grief, and resolving to minimize the suffering to come.
"https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2020/1/3/21045263/climate-
change-1-5-degrees-celsius-target-ipcc"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.538}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Mon, 13 Jan 2020 01:46:42 CST (94 lines)

Australia Will Lose to Climate Change
Even as the country fights bushfires, it can’t stop dumping planet-
warming pollution into the atmosphere.
by Robinson Meyer

Australia is caught in a climate spiral. For the past few decades, the
arid and affluent country of 25 million has padded out its economy—
otherwise dominated by sandy beaches and a bustling service sector—by
selling coal to the world. As the East Asian economies have grown,
Australia has been all too happy to keep their lights on. Exporting
food, fiber, and minerals to Asia has helped Australia achieve three
decades of nearly relentless growth: Oz has not had a technical
recession, defined as two successive quarters of economic contraction,
since July 1991.

But now Australia is buckling under the conditions that its fossil
fuels have helped bring about. Perhaps the two biggest kinds of
climate calamity happening today have begun to afflict the continent.

The first kind of disaster is, of course, the wildfire crisis. In the
past three months, bushfires in Australia’s southeast have burned
millions of acres, poisoned the air in Sydney and Melbourne, and
forced 4,000 tourists and residents in a small beach town, Mallacoota,
to congregate on the beach and get evacuated by the navy. A salvo of
fires seems to have caught the world’s attention in recent years. But
the current Australian season has outdone them all: Over the past six
months, Australian fires have burned more than twice the area than was
consumed, combined, by California’s 2018 fires and the Amazon’s 2019
fires.

The second is the irreversible scouring of the Earth’s most
distinctive ecosystems. In Australia, this phenomenon has come for the
country’s natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef. From 2016 to 2018,
half of all coral in the reef died, killed by oceanic heat waves that
bleached and then essentially starved the symbiotic animals. Because
tropical coral reefs take about a decade to recover from such a die-
off, and because the relentless pace of climate change means that more
heat waves are virtually guaranteed in the 2020s, the reef’s only hope
of long-term survival is for humans to virtually halt global warming
in the next several decades and then begin to reverse it.

Meeting such a goal will require a revolution in the global energy
system—and, above all, a rapid abandonment of coal burning. But
there’s the rub. Australia is the world’s second-largest exporter of
coal power, and it has avoided recession for the past 27 years in part
by selling coal.

Though polls report that most Australians are concerned about climate
change, the country’s government has so far been unable to pass pretty
much any climate policy. In fact, one of its recent political crises—
the ousting of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the summer of 2018—
was prompted by Turnbull’s attempt to pass an energy bill that
included climate policy. Its current prime minister, Scott Morrison,
actually brought a lump of coal to the floor of Parliament several
years ago while defending the industry. He won an election last year
by depicting climate change as the exclusive concern of educated city-
dwellers, and climate policy as a threat to Australians’ cars and
trucks. He has so far attempted to portray the wildfires as a crisis,
sure, but one in line with previous natural disasters.

In fact, it is unprecedented. This season’s fires have incinerated
more than 1,500 homes and have killed at least 23 people, Prime
Minister Morrison said on Saturday.* There were at least twice as many
fires in New South Wales in 2019 as there were in any other year this
century, according to an analysis by The New York Times. Climate
change likely intensified the ongoing epidemic: Hotter and drier
weather makes wildfires more common, and climate change is increasing
the likelihood of both in Australia. Last year was both the hottest
and driest year on record in the country.

Perhaps more than any other wealthy nation on Earth, Australia is at
risk from the dangers of climate change. It has spent most of the 21st
century in a historic drought. Its tropical oceans are more endangered
than any other biome by climate change. Its people are clustered along
the temperate and tropical coasts, where rising seas threaten major
cities. Those same bands of livable land are the places either now
burning or at heightened risk of bushfire in the future. Faced with
such geographical challenges, Australia’s people might rally to
reverse these dangers. Instead, they have elected leaders with other
priorities.

Australia will continue to burn, and its coral will continue to die.
Perhaps this episode will prompt the more pro-carbon members of
Australia’s Parliament to accede to some climate policy. Or perhaps
Prime Minister Morrison will distract from any link between the
disaster and climate change, as President Donald Trump did when he
inexplicably blamed California’s 2018 blazes on the state’s failure to
rake forest floors. Perhaps blazes will push Australia’s politics in
an even more besieged and retrograde direction, empowering politicians
like Morrison to fight any change at all. And so maybe Australia will
find itself stuck in the climate spiral, clinging ever more tightly to
coal as its towns and cities choke on the ash of a burning world.
"https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/01/australia-caught-
climate-spiral/604423/"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.539}: {wotan} Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:33:38 CST (0 lines)
{erased by wotan Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:37:11 CST}

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.540}: Glen Marks {wotan} Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:37:25 CST (4 lines)

And what about THIS?:

"https://news.google.com/search?
q=volcano%20eruption%20air%20pollution&hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.541}: Glen Marks {wotan} Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:45:57 CST (4 lines)

And THIS?:

"https://thethaiger.com/hot-news/air-pollution/central-thailand-
farmers-ignore-orders-to-stop-burning-off-their-sugar-cane"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.542}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 14 Jan 2020 00:16:37 CST (46 lines)

Climate gas budgets highly overestimate methane discharge from Arctic
Ocean

The atmospheric concentration of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, has
almost tripled since the beginning of industrialisation. Methane
emissions from natural sources are poorly understood. This is
especially the case for emissions from the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic Ocean is a harsh working environment. That is why many
scientific expeditions are conducted in the summer and early autumn
months, when the weather and the waters are more predictable. Most
extrapolations regarding the amount of methane discharge from the
ocean floor, are thus based on observations made in the warmer months.

"This means that the present climate gas calculations are disregarding
the possible seasonal temperature variations. We have found that
seasonal differences in bottom water temperatures in the Arctic Ocean
vary from 1.7°C in May to 3.5°C in August. The methane seeps in colder
conditions decrease emissions by 43 percent in May compared to
August." says oceanographer Benedicte Ferré, researcher at CAGE Centre
for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate at UiT The Arctic
University of Norway.

"Right now, there is a large overestimation in the methane budget. We
cannot just multiply what we find in August by 12 and get a correct
annual estimate. Our study clearly shows that the system hibernates
during the cold season."

How methane will react in future ocean temperature scenarios is still
unknown. The Arctic Ocean is expected to become between 3°C and a
whopping 13°C warmer in the future, due to climate change. The study
in question does not look into the future, but focuses on correcting
the existing estimates in the methane emissions budget. However:

"We need to calculate the peculiarities of the system well, because
the oceans are warming. The system such as this is bound to be
affected by the warming ocean waters in the future," says Benedicte
Ferré. A consistently warm bottom water temperature over a 12-month
period will have an effect on this system.

"At 400 meters water depth we are already at the limit of the gas
hydrate stability. If these waters warm merely by 1.3°C this hydrate
lid will permanently lift, and the release will be constant," says
Ferré.
"https://phys.org/news/2020-01-climate-gas-highly-overestimate-
methane.html?"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.543}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 14 Jan 2020 22:37:48 CST (54 lines)

New climate models suggest Paris goals may be out of reach
by Marlowe Hood

New climate models show carbon dioxide is a more potent greenhouse gas
than previously understood, a finding that could push the Paris treaty
goals for capping global warming out of reach, scientists have told
AFP.

Developed in parallel by separate teams in half-a-dozen countries, the
models—which will underpin revised UN temperature projections next
year—suggest scientists have for decades consistently underestimated
the warming potential of CO2.

Vastly more data and computing power has become available since the
current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections
were finalised in 2013.

"We have better models now," Olivier Boucher, head of the Institut
Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modelling Centre in Paris, told AFP,
adding that they "represent current climate trends more accurately".

The most influential projections from government-backed teams in the
US, Britain, France and Canada point to a future in which CO2
concentrations that have long been equated with a 3C world would more
likely heat the planet's surface by four or five degrees.

The new models reflect a better understanding of cloud dynamics in at
least two ways that reinforce the warming impact of CO2.

Zelinka said new research had confirmed high clouds in the bottom
layer of Earth's atmosphere boost the Sun's radiation—and global
heating accentuates that dynamic.

"Another big uncertainty has been how low clouds will change, such as
stratocumulus decks of the west coast of continents," he said.

Recent observations suggest this type of cloud cover decreases with
warming, which means less of the Sun's energy gets bounced back into
space by white surfaces.

With one degree Celsius of warming so far, the world is coping with
increasingly deadly heatwaves, droughts, floods and tropical cyclones
made more destructive by rising seas.

The IPCC, the UN's climate advisory body, posits four scenarios for
future warming, depending on how aggressively humanity works to reduce
greenhouse gases. The so-called "business-as-usual" trajectory of
increased fossil fuel use would leave large swathes of the planet
uninhabitable by century's end.

"Climate sensitivity had been in the range of 1.5C to 4.5C for more
than 30 years. If it is now moving to between 3C and 7C, and that
would be tremendously dangerous."
"https://phys.org/news/2020-01-climate-paris-goals.html"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.544}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:16:54 CST (29 lines)

Oceans were hottest on record in 2019

Oceans absorb more than 90 percent of excess heat created by
greenhouse gas emissions and quantifying how much they have warmed up
in recent years gives scientists an accurate read on the rate of
global warming.

A team of experts from around the world looked at data compiled by
China's Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) to gain a clear picture
of ocean warmth to a depth of 2,000 metres over several decades.

They found that oceans last year were by far the hottest ever recorded
and said that the effects of ocean warming were already being felt in
the form of more extreme weather, rising sea levels and damage to
marine life.

The study authors said there was a clear link between climate-related
disasters—such as the bushfires that have ravaged southeastern
Australia for months—and warming oceans.
Warmer seas mean more …. evaporative demand by the atmosphere. That in
turn leads to drying of the continents, a major factor that is behind
the recent wildfires from the Amazon all the way to the Arctic, and
including California and Australia."
Hotter oceans also expand, leading to sea level rises. And given that
the ocean has a far higher heat absorption capacity than the
atmosphere, scientists believe they will continue to warm even if
humanity manages to drag down its emissions in line with the Paris
goals.
https://phys.org/news/2020-01-oceans-hottest.html"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.545}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:40:58 CST (41 lines)

The Rumbling Methane Enigma
by Robert Hunziker

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) alone is the size of Germany,
France, Great Britain, Italy, and Japan combined and jammed full of
methane trapped beneath underwater permafrost that is rapidly
thinning.

According to Dr. Semiletov: “Emissions of methane from the East
Siberian Shelf – which is the widest and most shallow shelf of the
World Ocean – exceed the average estimate emissions of all the world’s
ocean. This is due to the fact that the reserves of methane under the
submarine permafrost exceed the methane content in the atmosphere is
many thousands of times.”

With ESAS getting more and more active as of recent, it is important
to evaluate the risks of further breakout. For example, Wadhams says
that Natalia Shakova, the leading expert on ESAS, believes it contains
up to 700 GT of CH4. The risk is rapid release, a big burp of 8% of
the deposit or 50GT, which, in turn, would crank up worldwide
temperatures by 0.6°C over two years. This would have an extremely
negative impact on the overall global climate system with unknown but
likely horrific results as temps crank up to, or beyond, the IPCC
danger zone of 2°C much sooner than anybody expects. Wadhams believes
this is society’s biggest climate threat because at 2°C above pre-
industrial crop yields start going down, very rapidly. An ESAS big
burp would do the job.

The probability of this pulse happening is high, at least 50 percent
according to the analysis of sediment composition by those best placed
to know what is going on, Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov.
Moreover, if it happens, the detrimental effects are gigantic… the
risk of an Arctic seabed methane pulse is one of the greatest
immediate risks facing the human race… Why then are we doing nothing
about it? Why is this risks ignored by climate scientists, and
scarcely mentioned in the latest IPCC assessment? It seems to be not
just climate change deniers who wish to conceal the Arctic methane
threat, but also many Arctic scientists, including so-called ‘methane
experts.” (Wadhams, pg. 127-28)

"https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/17/the-rumbling-methane-enigma/"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.546}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Wed, 22 Jan 2020 00:22:23 CST (48 lines)

Despite reports that global emissions of the potent greenhouse gas
hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) were almost eliminated in 2017, an
international team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol,
has found atmospheric levels growing at record values.

Over the last two decades, scientists have been keeping a close eye on
the atmospheric concentration of a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gas, known
as HFC-23. This gas has very few industrial applications. However,
levels have been soaring because it is vented to the atmosphere during
the production of another chemical widely used in cooling systems in
developing countries.

Scientists are concerned, because HFC-23 is a very potent greenhouse
gas, with one tonne of its emissions being equivalent to the release
of more than 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Starting in 2015, India
and China, thought to be the main emitters of HFC-23, announced
ambitious plans to abate emissions in factories that produce the gas.
As a result, they reported that they had almost completely eliminated
HFC-23 emissions by 2017.

In response to these measures, scientists were expecting to see global
emissions drop by almost 90 percent between 2015 and 2017, which
should have seen growth in atmospheric levels grind to a halt. Now, an
international team of researchers has shown that concentrations
increased, setting an all-time record in 2018. The paper is published
today in Nature Communications.

Dr. Matt Rigby, who co-authored the study, is a reader in atmospheric
chemistry at the University of Bristol and a member of the Advanced
Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), which measures the
concentration of greenhouse gases around the world. He said, "When we
saw the reports of enormous emissions reductions from India and China,
we were excited to take a close look at the atmospheric data. This
potent greenhouse gas has been growing rapidly in the atmosphere for
decades now, and these reports suggested that the rise should have
almost completely stopped in the space of two or three years. This
would have been a big win for climate."

The fact that this reduction has not materialized, and that, instead,
global emissions have actually risen, is a puzzle that may have
implications for the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty that
was designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. In 2016,
Parties to the Montreal Protocol signed the Kigali Amendment, aiming
to reduce the climate impact of HFCs, whose emissions have grown in
response to their use as replacements to ozone depleting substances.

"https://phys.org/news/2020-01-emissions-potent-greenhouse-gas-
contradicting.html"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.547}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Wed, 12 Feb 2020 14:13:33 CST (19 lines)

'The Saddest Thing Is That It Won't Be Breaking News': Concentration
of CO2 Hits Record High of 416 ppm

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a record
high Monday, a reading from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration that elicited fresh calls from climate activists and
scientists for the international community to end planet-heating
emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation.

According to NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory, an atmospheric baseline
station in Hawaii, the daily average of CO2 levels on Feb. 10 was
416.08 parts per million. In recent years, soaring rates of CO2
concentrations in the atmosphere have signaled that the world is not
ambitiously addressing the climate crisis.

"https://www. esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trend s/monthly.html"

"https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/12/saddest-thing-it-wont-
be-breaking-news-concentration-co2-hits-record-high-416-ppm"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.548}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Sat, 22 Feb 2020 22:19:16 CST (63 lines)

JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race
Leaked report for world’s major fossil fuel financier says Earth is on
unsustainable trajectory

The world’s largest financier of fossil fuels has warned clients that
the climate crisis threatens the survival of humanity and that the
planet is on an unsustainable trajectory, according to a leaked
document.

The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global
heating said climate policy had to change or else the world faced
irreversible consequences.

The study implicitly condemns the US bank’s own investment strategy
and highlights growing concerns among major Wall Street institutions
about the financial and reputational risks of continued funding of
carbon-intensive industries, such as oil and gas.

JP Morgan has provided $75bn (£61bn) in financial services to the
companies most aggressively expanding in sectors such as fracking and
Arctic oil and gas exploration since the Paris agreement, according to
analysis compiled for the Guardian last year.

Its report was obtained by Rupert Read, an Extinction Rebellion
spokesperson and philosophy academic at the University of East Anglia,
and has been seen by the Guardian.

The research by JP Morgan economists David Mackie and Jessica Murray
says the climate crisis will impact the world economy, human health,
water stress, migration and the survival of other species on Earth.

“We cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know
it is threatened,” notes the paper, which is dated 14 January.

Drawing on extensive academic literature and forecasts by the
International Monetary Fund and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), the paper notes that global heating is on
course to hit 3.5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the
century. It says most estimates of the likely economic and health
costs are far too small because they fail to account for the loss of
wealth, the discount rate and the possibility of increased natural
disasters.

The authors say policymakers need to change direction because a
business-as-usual climate policy “would likely push the earth to a
place that we haven’t seen for many millions of years”, with outcomes
that might be impossible to reverse.

“Although precise predictions are not possible, it is clear that the
Earth is on an unsustainable trajectory. Something will have to change
at some point if the human race is going to survive.”

The investment bank says climate change “reflects a global market
failure in the sense that producers and consumers of CO2 emissions do
not pay for the climate damage that results.” To reverse this, it
highlights the need for a global carbon tax but cautions that it is
“not going to happen anytime soon” because of concerns about jobs and
competitiveness.

The authors say it is “likely the [climate] situation will continue to
deteriorate, possibly more so than in any of the IPCC’s scenarios”.
"https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/21/jp-morgan-
economists-warn-climate-crisis-threat-human-race"

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{Nature_and_Environment.7.549}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sun, 23 Feb 2020 13:02:46 CST (4 lines)

Is it warm enough for you?:

"https://countercurrents.org/2020/02/winter-2019-20-was-so-far-the-
warmest-on-record-in-the-contiguous-u-s"

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