Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

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Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Hammer_Time » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:22 pm

http://elizabethmaymp.ca/news/publicati ... -big-deal/

Why a two degree Celsius increase in the global average temperature is a big deal

On Monday, January 21st, 2013 in Articles by Elizabeth

The International Energy Agency is warning that shooting past two degrees Celsius average global temperature will have “dire consequences.” And the World Bank is talking about 3.5 degrees of warming as being “devastating.” These are not environmental agencies. They are conservative, economically-oriented institutions. They are “establishment” with a capital E. Their language is increasingly alarmed, and yet nothing happens.
I think part of the problem is that even when experts understand the peril in which all human society is placed, those who are alarmed are afraid to sound “alarmist.” Translating the impact of two degrees, 3.5 degrees, and even higher levels of warming into language that is clear and unequivocal is not a project for the faint of heart. Let me try to explain two key factors in the IEA, World Bank, IPCC, and other projections.
The first is that these agencies do not yet say there is no chance of avoiding the two degree of warming threat which all countries, including Canada, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper personally in Copenhagen in 2009, have pledged to avoid. What is said is that if the collectivity of nations maintain current plans for climate action, the total impact is to allow greenhouse gases to continue to rise. On current policy trajectories, we fail miserably in our stated objectives. Only with the kind of urgent and comprehensive economic transitions undergone by nations at war can we avoid over-shooting two degrees. And even then, we are not guaranteed success.
Two degrees global average temperature warming is not a goal. It is to be avoided. It represents a level of human-caused climate impact which ensures dangerous levels of climatic destabilization. Many low-lying island states point out that at two degrees, they will be permanently inundated.
Yet, in a country like Canada that experiences minus 40 Celsius in winter and plus 40 Celsius in summer, it does not sound like a lot. Our failure to stress context allows the number to become meaningless. Only when it is explained that the difference between global average temperature today and in the last Ice Age was only five degrees Celsius does it become clear that two degrees global average temperature change is huge.
The second is to translate two degrees, three degrees and so on global average temperature into a language that actually says what it means. Given that two degrees is dangerous, what do words like “dire,” “devastating,” and “catastrophic” mean?
To understand a worst case-scenario for humanity due to the climate crisis, you need to understand the concept of positive feedback loops. Burning forests release carbon, warming the Earth faster to cause more forest fires. Melting Arctic ice reduces the albedo effect that bounced the sun’s heat back to the atmosphere. Without ice, the sun’s heat is absorbed in dark ocean water, warming the ocean faster, melting ice faster, further reducing the ice cover.
As the warming climate melts the permafrost, methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is released from what was once locked away. The methane further warms the earth, melting more permafrost and releasing more methane. These are examples of positive feedback loops, of which there are many more.
At some point in the human-caused surge in atmospheric greenhouse gases, we could unleash an unstoppable release of warming forces. This is called “runaway global warming.” The worst case scenario is that the planet becomes more like Venus—uninhabitable for all, but some microbes or bacteria able to cope in high temperatures. I don’t think it will come to complete extinction of humankind and most of our fellow travellers on Planet Earth
.

However, it is hard to imagine how human societies, civilization itself, could survive the loss of the Western Antarctic ice sheet, leading to the flooding of all coastal cities; or permanent states of drought in food producing regions; or tens of millions of refugees fleeing famine and floods. These are not far-fetched events. They could occur in the lifetimes of our own children.
In Ronald Wright’s best-seller, A Short History of Progress, he reviewed a litany of once magnificent civilizations that snuffed themselves out. One line, a piece of graffiti Wright repeated, sums it up: “every time history repeats itself, the price goes up.”

Wright was interviewed recently for a brilliant piece by Chris Hedges (“The Myth of Human Progress,” truthdig.com, Jan. 13, 2013). Wright pondered our inability to address an impending disaster that could eliminate us from the face of the Earth. “We’re Ice Age hunters with a shave and a suit,” said Wright. “We are not good long-term thinkers.”
So next time you read that the International Energy Agency thinks we could face “dire” consequences and the World Bank warns impacts could be “devastating,” don’t yawn and turn the page. Find a way to join the movement demanding a planned, aggressive transition away from our dependency on fossil fuels.
We have a profound moral obligation to protect our children and their children from what many increasingly see as unavoidable. Not unavoidable because we lack the ingenuity, technology and creativity to avoid two degrees; we could do so and experience an increasingly healthy economy. Those who believe it is unavoidable simply cannot believe we will bother to try. Let’s make 2013 the year when it all turns around, when the community of nations decides to give humankind a future as well as a short history of progress.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May represents Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.
Originally printed  in the Hill Times.
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Sauron_Daz » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:39 am

We don't have a real competitor to fossil fuel..
We never think of us as being one of Them. We are always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:16 am

Sauron_Daz wrote:We don't have a real competitor to fossil fuel..

And?
A 3 degree raise may be enough to put >a third of NL under water. Will the water care that there is no "real competitor to fossil fuel"?
Worst case? NL is mostly under water in 50 years.
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:49 am

Not saying this is the "answer" to fossil fuels, but it is interesting:

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/28/alg ... -bacteria/

Algae Biofuel Breakthrough Hinges On Common Bacteria

December 28, 2012 Tina Casey

One of the key factors standing between algae biofuel and the real world of market-competitive energy is something that has a lot in common with the common cold, and that is bacteria. The tiny little buggers can interfere with an efficient growth process and they really go to work as soon as algae is harvested, which shortens its shelf life and makes storage and transportation a dicey proposition. However, while a cure for the common cold is still eons away, according to the algae biofuel company OriginOil, a solution to the algae biofuel bacteria problem appears to be close at hand.

A Teeny Tiny Problem for Algae Biofuel

Strength in numbers is the motto of all bacteria, which accounts for why something so small can wreak so much havoc. OriginOil’s Jose Sanchez, who is General Manager of the company’s Algae Division, sums the problem up in a nutshell:

“Bacteria and other invaders feast on the biomass, especially the valuable oils, dramatically reducing the value of the crop within a matter of hours.”

According to Sanchez freshly harvested algae is only stable for about half a day, or about 10 to 12 hours. After that, with a little help from bacteria, it takes on the pungent, fishy smell that signals rot.

The Algae Biofuel Breakthrough

OriginOil believes that it has found an economical solution to the problem, through its proprietary Algae Screen™ process.

OriginOil first developed the system in order to enhance algae growth by inhibiting harmful microbes. Instead of using chemicals, it relies on an electromagnetic pulse. The salvo is powerful enough to kill off bacteria as well as rotifers and ciliates (these are other kinds of microscopic organisms and yes, we had to look those up, too), while leaving the tougher-walled algae alone.

The breakthrough consists in using Algae Screen during the harvesting process as well as during the growth period. OriginOil sent samples to a university team (unnamed in the company’s press release) and the independent lab Pacific Coast Analytical Services, and the results came back with significantly fewer bacterial colonies than conventional harvesting.

Shortcuts to Algae Biofuel

Algae’s ancient pedigree has been powering the fossil fuel industry for generations, so the idea of taking a millions-of-years shortcut to algae fuel is beyond tempting. The trick, of course, is to rev up a very long process into a tidy, cost-effective package.

The obstacles are many but much has been achieved in the past few years. OriginOil, the activities of which we’ve been following at CleanTechnica pretty closely (here, here and here for example) for a while now, is just one of several U.S. companies leading the charge.

The other part of the equation is public sector support, most notoriously in the form of the U.S. Navy’s algae biofuel initiatives, which have been chugging steadily along despite opposition from the anti-biofuel crowd.

The Department of Energy is of course front and center in advancing the algae biofuel cause, most recently with a $15 million grant to establish an algae biofuel test bed in Arizona. NASA has also launched an initiative with long distance space travel in mind that piggybacks algae biofuel production on wastewater, thereby killing two birds with one stone.


Algae Biofuel Makes Strange Bedfellows

One fallout from OriginOil’s breakthrough, according to the company, is that a more efficient process would enable more algae to be grown in a smaller area. That would bring the operation within reach of small farmers and other small-scale entrepreneurs.

With the release of Matt Damon’s new fracking-themed movie Promised Land in mind, small-scale algae farming could help provide distressed rural communities with a new cash crop that does not involve the kind of risk to public health that often attends fossil fuel operations.

Somewhat ironically, OriginOil has found that the separation process it developed for algae farming can serve as an effective treatment for many kind of industrial wastewater, including wastewater from fracking operations.


Go figure.


So they use an EMP pulse to kill off the bacteria and other nasties, while leaving the algae cells intact...neat idea!! I also like that this can be used as an effective treatment for wastewater, including Fracking Wastewater which is high in methane content ( pollutes the groundwater and is very toxic! ). Since USA is so intent on expanding Fracking operations in their own country to "get off the reliance on foreign oil" , this seems like a natural fit...not that I am for fracking in any way whatsoever ( pollutes nearby groundwater and some speculate it also causes earthquakes or microquakes from hollowing out large areas underground etc. ) , if they are going to frack anyways, at least this is a possible method to deal with polluted fracking wastewater... sweet! :D

Here is another method, using heat with algae to make oil:

http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/20 ... e-into-oil

Biofuel breakthrough: Quick cook method turns algae into oil

Published on Oct 31, 2012
Contact Kate McAlpine, (734) 763-4386, kmca@umich.edu or Nicole Casal Moore, (734) 647-7087, ncmoore@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—It looks like Mother Nature was wasting her time with a multimillion-year process to produce crude oil. Michigan Engineering researchers can "pressure-cook" algae for as little as a minute and transform an unprecedented 65 percent of the green slime into biocrude.

"We're trying to mimic the process in nature that forms crude oil with marine organisms," said Phil Savage, an Arthur F. Thurnau professor and a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Michigan.


The findings will be presented Nov. 1 at the 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.

Savage's ocean-going organism of choice is the green marine micro-alga of the genus Nannochloropsis.

To make their one-minute biocrude, Savage and Julia Faeth, a doctoral student in Savage's lab, filled a steel pipe connector with 1.5 milliliters of wet algae, capped it and plunged it into 1,100-degree Fahrenheit sand. The small volume ensured that the algae was heated through, but with only a minute to warm up, the algae's temperature should have just grazed the 550-degree mark before the team pulled the reactor back out.

Previously, Savage and his team heated the algae for times ranging from 10 to 90 minutes. They saw their best results, with about half of the algae converted to biocrude, after treating it for 10 to 40 minutes at 570 degrees.

Why are the one-minute results so much better? Savage and Faeth won't be sure until they have done more experiments, but they have some ideas.

"My guess is that the reactions that produce biocrude are actually must faster than previously thought," Savage said.

Faeth suggests that the fast heating might boost the biocrude by keeping unwanted reactions at bay.

"For example, the biocrude might decompose into substances that dissolve in water, and the fast heating rates might discourage that reaction," Faeth said.

The team points out that shorter reaction times mean that the reactors don't have to be as large.

"By reducing the reactor volume, the cost of building a biocrude production plant also decreases," Faeth said, though both she and Savage cautioned that they couldn't say for sure whether the new method is faster and cheaper until the process is further developed.

Current commercial makers of algae-based fuel first dry the algae and then extract the natural oil. But at over $20 per gallon, this fuel is a long way from the gas pump.

"Companies know that that approach is not economical, so they are looking at approaches for using wet algae, as are we," Savage said.

One of the advantages of the wet method is that it doesn't just extract the existing fat from the algae—it also breaks down proteins and carbohydrates. The minute method did this so successfully that the oil contained about 90 percent of the energy in the original algae.

"That result is near the upper bound of what is possible," Savage said.

Before biocrude can be fed into the existing refinery system for petroleum, it needs pre-refining to get rid of the extra oxygen and nitrogen atoms that abound in living things. The Savage lab also is developing better methods for this leg of biofuel production, breaking the record with a biocrude that was 97 percent carbon and hydrogen earlier this year. A paper on this work is currently under review.

Once producing biofuel from algae is economical, researchers estimate that an area the size of New Mexico could provide enough oil to match current U.S. petroleum consumption. And, unlike corn produced for ethanol—which already accounts for half that area—the algae won't need to occupy good farmland, thriving in brackish ponds instead.


The research, "The Effects of Heating Rate and Reaction Time on Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Microalgae," was funded by the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation program of the National Science Foundation. The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property, and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

Related Links:

Abstract: https://aiche.confex.com/aiche/2012/web ... 80193.html
Savage Lab: http://savageresearchlab.wordpress.com


Sounds like the scientists are really onto something here with turning algae into oil...although a lot more work needs to be done of course...amazing progress so far though... 8)

This is win win...corn can go back to being used for foods, animal feed etc where it is badly needed these days ( instead of using it to make ethanol ) , and algae turned into oil can replace it!

Switchgrass and many other plants can also be used for biofuel:

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy ... ws-promise

BP, Exxon, Shell and all the other major petrochemical companies should be investing HUGELY in this research, after all, they rape us for the price of oil and gas and make billions in profits every single year...time they gave a little back ( research and development ) and put us ( globally ) on track for biofuel mass production and reduction in traditional oil harvesting methods...

Even the Koreans are getting on the biofuel action with their biobutanol research breakthrough! :

http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View ... category=5

Updated : December 6, 2012

Korean Scientists Discover Biofuel Breakthrough

Already emerging as a leader in the global energy revolution, biobutonal is of significant interest to researchers as an eco-friendly replacement to gasoline.


When compared to other forms of popular biofuels, biobutanol has been found to have nearly 40 percent more energy per liter than bioethanol, while providing nearly the same amount of power of conventional gasoline.


Due to its many advantages, researchers have been concentrating their efforts on biobutanol technology.
Unlike bioethanol, which commonly requires the breakdown of sugar cane or corn, biobutanol is made from special bacteria.



[Interview : Professor Jang Yu-sin, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Dept.
Korea Adv. Institute of Science & Technology ] "We've been able to improve the production of biobutanol from microorganisms through this research. By using large-scale metabolic engineering systems, butane can be produced through hot or cold channels."

The recent breakthrough by Korean scientists has broken down previous barriers with biobutanol production and increased yields of the precious fuel by up to 87 percent.
Through cutting-edge genetic engineering, researchers were able to tweak the biology of certain bacteria to consume simple sugars and digest it into biofuel faster and in greater quantity than ever before.

The new solution is three times faster and is estimated to save manufacturing costs by up to 70 percent.
The environmentally friendly process can be grown easily and produces a fraction of typical energy greenhouse gases.



[Interview : Dr. Seung Do-young, Director
GS-Caltex Research & Technology Institute] "Since [bacteria] strains have now been well-developed, production can start increasing and later on [energy] density can be improved. We're preparing for the first phase of mass production with a pilot phase on the way."

The study was published as a feature article in the prestigious journal of the "American Society for Microbiology."
It may be just the first step towards a truly energy independent future for Korea, but researchers say they're just getting started.


Paul Yi, Arirang News

DEC 06, 2012


And so are the Australians!! :

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher- ... 6508617037

Biofuel breakthrough creates fuel and food

From: AAP November 02, 2012 12:00AM

A TECHNOLOGY breakthrough by two Australian brothers could offer a solution to the world's insatiable appetite for food and fuel.

Phillip and Geoff Bell have developed a new way to produce ethanol from waste products such as sugar cane, instead of using food crops such as corn.

Not only that, but the leftover yeast used in making the environmentally friendly fuel is then turned into high-quality animal feed.

The researchers created a buzz yesterday when they revealed their findings at the AusBiotech Conference in Melbourne, the largest biotechnology industry gathering in the Asia-Pacific.

AusBiotech chief executive Anna Lavelle said their discovery was of ``global significance'' as it tackled two of the world's biggest issues - future fuel and food supply - in one fell swoop.

"To have the one technology successfully addressing both of these issues simultaneously is very impressive to see,'' Dr Lavelle said. ``This technology deserves to be fully exploited.''

Despite being a source of clean renewable energy, ethanol production is costly and requires huge areas of farmland to grow the food crops needed as biomass.

Dr Lavelle said Australia, unlike the US, had never grown food for fuel and was not likely to begin any time soon.

But Geoff Bell said that was what made this technology so unique.

"We don't take away from the fuel supply, we add to it,'' he said.

Their specially evolved yeast turns useless corn husks and sugar cane into fuel before producing an animal feed that offers more nutrition than soy.

Selling the feed can then offset the cost of producing the ethanol, resulting in a win-win for investors.


Mr Bell says Australia, with its vast wetland areas to the north and unprofitable sugar cane farms, is ideally positioned to take advantage of this technology.

``If you apply our technology to these areas, you're looking at tripling the value per hectare of products from the land,'' he said.


The brothers' company, Microbiogen, financed their research with a $2.5 million grant from the federal government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency and funding from the Department of Energy in the US.


Awesome!! they use useless corn husks ( leftover from processing corn ) and sugar cane to make fuel using specially modified yeast, and the byproduct from this process is used to make high-quality animal feed!! Definitely a win-win...

Big Oil companies should be all over this technology...if they care about the future of our planet and not short-term profits that is... I wonder which one will win out???
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:14 am

Sounds like the scientists are really onto something here with turning algae into oil...although a lot more work needs to be done of course...amazing progress so far though... 8)

This is win win...corn can go back to being used for foods, animal feed etc where it is badly needed these days ( instead of using it to make ethanol ) , and algae turned into oil can replace it!


Problem is still in the numbers though, it´s great to see further progress on alternatives, but i´m yet to read of a way that can truly handle the volumes needed.
Algae is certainly one of the better options though.

Hoping for the best...
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:02 am

Yep, lots more work to be done , but the breakthroughs are encouraging!! Very promising...will be following this with great interest...
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Sauron_Daz » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:53 am

DIREWOLF75 wrote:
Sauron_Daz wrote:We don't have a real competitor to fossil fuel..

And?
A 3 degree raise may be enough to put >a third of NL under water. Will the water care that there is no "real competitor to fossil fuel"?
Worst case? NL is mostly under water in 50 years.


The water don't care obviously, but what I meant is that ATM we have nothing to replace fossil fuel, so global heating probably won't be prevented.
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Hammer_Time » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:09 pm

Why does this come as no surprise? :

http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/02 ... al-network

Hugh Pickens writes writes

"Suzanne Goldenberg reports that conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120 million to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, helping build a vast network of think tanks and activist groups working to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarizing 'wedge issue' for hardcore conservatives. 'We exist to help donors promote liberty which we understand to be limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise,' says Whitney Ball, chief executive of the Donors Trust. Ball's organization assured wealthy donors that their funds would never by diverted to liberal causes with a guarantee of complete anonymity for donors who wished to remain hidden. The money flowed to Washington think tanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions, even to buy up DVDs of a film attacking Al Gore. 'The funding of the denial machine is becoming increasingly invisible to public scrutiny. It's also growing. Budgets for all these different groups are growing,' says Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace, which compiled the data on funding of the anti-climate groups using tax records. 'These groups are increasingly getting money from sources that are anonymous or untraceable.'"


But of course...gotta love the NWO...

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/clima ... e-deniers/

The debate is over about whether or not climate change is real. Irrefutable evidence from around the world—including extreme weather events, record temperatures, retreating glaciers and rising sea levels—all point to the fact that climate change is happening now and at rates much faster than previously thought.

The overwhelming majority of scientists who study climate change agree that human activity is responsible for changing the climate. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is one of the largest bodies of international scientists ever assembled to study a scientific issue, involving more than 2,500 scientists from more than 130 countries. The IPCC has concluded that most of the warming observed during the past 50 years is attributable to human activities. Its findings have been publicly endorsed by the national academies of science of all G-8 nations, as well as those of China, India and Brazil.


Who are the climate change deniers?

Despite the international scientific community's consensus on climate change, a small number of critics continue to deny that climate change exists or that humans are causing it. Widely known as climate change "skeptics" or "deniers", these individuals are generally not climate scientists and do not debate the science with the climate scientists directly—for example, by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, or participating in international conferences on climate science. Instead, they focus their attention on the media, the general public and policy-makers with the goal of delaying action on climate change.
Not surprisingly, the deniers have received significant funding from coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil. They also have well-documented connections with public relations firms that have set up industry-funded lobby groups to, in the words of one leaked memo, "reposition global warming as theory (not fact)."
Over the years, the deniers have employed a wide range of arguments against taking action on climate change, some of which contradict each other. For example, they have claimed that:
• Climate change is not occurring
• The global climate is actually getting colder
• The global climate is getting warmer, but not because of human activities
• The global climate is getting warmer, in part because of human activities, but this will create greater benefits than costs
• The global climate is getting warmer, in part because of human activities, but the impacts are not sufficient to require any policy response
After 15 years of increasingly definitive scientific studies attesting to the reality and significance of global climate change, the deniers' tactics have shifted. Many deniers no longer deny that climate change is happening, but instead argue that the cost of taking action is too high—or even worse, that it is too late to take action. All of these arguments are false and are rejected by the scientific community at large.
To gain an understanding of the level of scientific consensus on climate change, one study examined every article on climate change published in peer-reviewed scientific journals over a 10-year period. Of the 928 articles on climate change the authors found, not one of them disagreed with the consensus position that climate change is happening and is human-induced.
These findings contrast dramatically with the popular media's reporting on climate change. One study analyzed coverage of climate change in four influential American newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times and Wall Street Journal) over a 14-year period. It found that more than half of the articles discussing climate change gave equal weight to the scientifically discredited views of the deniers.

This discrepancy is largely due to the media's drive for "balance" in reporting. Journalists are trained to identify one position on any issue, and then seek out a conflicting position, providing both sides with roughly equal attention. Unfortunately, this "balance" does not always correspond with the actual prevalence of each view within society, and can result in unintended bias. This has been the case with reporting on climate change, and as a result, many people believe that the reality of climate change is still being debated by scientists when it is not.
While some level of debate is useful when looking at major social problems, society must eventually move on and actually address the issue. To do nothing about the problem of climate change is akin to letting a fire burn down a building because the precise temperature of the flames is unknown, or to not address the problem of smoking because one or two doctors still claim that it does not cause lung cancer. As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) acknowledges, a lack of full scientific certainty about some aspects of climate change is not a reason for delaying an immediate response that will, at a reasonable cost, prevent dangerous consequences in the climate system.

Learn more:

Who are the deniers?
Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming
Merchants of Doubt
'Some Like It Hot' — Mother Jones article on climate change skeptics
Responding to Global Warming Skeptics — Prominent Skeptics Organizations
DesmogBlog.com's Disinformation Database
'The Denial Machine' — CBC's the fifth estate program
Who funds the deniers?
What Exxon doesn't want you to know
ExxonSecrets: How ExxonMobil funds the climate change deniers
'Put a Tiger In Your Think Tank' — Mother Jones article on ExxonMobil funding
The science of climate change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Joint science academies' statement: Global response to climate change
RealClimate: Climate Science from Climate Scientists
Scientific Consensus on Climate Change — Science Magazine
The Science of Global Warming — Union of Concerned Scientists
Climate change reporting in the media
Journalistic Balance as Global Warming Bias
'Snowed' — Mother Jones article about the media's reporting on climate change
'The Fossil Fools' by George Monbiot
More information
DeSmogBlog.com — Excellent blog on the deniers
Skeptical Science.com — Database and refutation of common skeptic arguments
How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: Responses to the most common skeptic arguments Grist.org
Editorial on stolen climate change emails — Nature Journal
A review of the distorted science in Michael Crichton's State of Fear
'Hostile Climate' On Bjorn Lomborg and climate change
Recent news stories on deniers


http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/andrew-wea ... 66587.html

The Latest Proof of Global Warming? Adios Summer Sea Ice

Posted: 09/09/2012

Andrew Weaver

This past week is one to remember. On the positive side, Summer Mortimer and Benoit Huot continued their impressive medal haul at the 2012 London Paralympics. But more negatively, the federal Tories were up to more of their tricks putting fossil fuel interests ahead of pretty much everything else.

During this past week Arctic sea ice retreated to all-time lows, shattering the previous record set in 2007 by an area roughly the size of (ironically) Alberta. In a bizarre response, cruise ships are now bringing tourists through the inside passage to check things out, and our federal Minister of Natural Resources is in Vancouver trying to convince British Columbians that the proposed Kinder Morgan and Enbridge pipeline projects are a good thing.

Summer sea ice is nearly half of what it used to be just a couple of decades ago. And it is almost certainly committed to melting away in its entirety during the summer as a consequence of existing levels of greenhouse gases. But it gets worse.


On September 9, Andrew MacDougall, Chris Avis and I published a paper in the international journal Nature Geoscience. In it we quantify the magnitude of the permafrost carbon feedback to global warming that had been hitherto unaccounted for in previous assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The news is not good.

Instrumental records have clearly revealed that the world is about 0.8°C warmer than it was during pre-industrial times. Numerous studies have also indicated that as a consequence of existing levels of greenhouse gases, we have a commitment to an additional future global warming of between 0.6 and 0.7°C. Our analysis points out that the permafrost carbon feedback adds to this another 0.4 to 0.8°C warming. Taken together, the planet is committed to between 1.8 and 2.3°C of future global warming -- even if emissions reductions programs start to get implemented.

Canadians are concerned. Opinion poll after opinion poll reveals a high level of willingness within Canada to introduce policies to combat global warming. And the government repeatedly assures us that they get this.

For example, in June 2007 Prime Minister Steven Harper told world leaders that climate change was "perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today," and that "we owe it to future generations to do whatever we can to address this world problem." This oft-repeated mantra is exactly what Canadians want to hear from their elected governments. The federal government apparently understands the seriousness of the issue and so wants to do something about it. But when you scratch below the surface, it doesn't take long to find out how vacant and cynical these statements are.

Coming back to this past week, the much-anticipated new and improved federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity plants leaked out. To no one's surprise, they are significantly weakened from what we had been told to expect. This one is particularly personal. Over the last year, the Tories frequently touted our study published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change in February as evidence that the global warming potential of the Alberta tar sands resource is small relative to coal. What they failed to explain was that our overarching conclusion was that as a society, we live or die by our consumption of coal.

So here we now have a government willingly and knowingly committing future generations to ecological collapse and untold climate-related catastrophes. It's fully "knowing" since they have read, and selectively quoted from, our study on the warming potential of coal. It's "willing" because despite this, they are introducing policies that will ensure we have coal-fired electricity plants spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for decades to come. Will future generations hold these ideologues in Ottawa accountable for their actions? I certainly hope so.

And as the Arctic sea ice breaks new records, the federal government responds with its fourth headline-grabbing, yet issue-distracting, search for the missing Franklin ship in five years. Quietly, it sets in place countrywide medieval-style book-burnings as it shuts down and destroys the collections contained in scientific libraries at its federal laboratories across the nation. At the same time, we find out the feds are planning to build a multi-million dollar "world class" Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay. But don't kid yourself; this has nothing to do with science.

In science you first ask a question that you want to address and then you put together the tools, instruments and programs to try and answer it. This is precisely what was done by Environment Canada in 1993 under the Mulroney government's progressive Green Plan. The Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, formally known as the Arctic Stratospheric Ozone Observatory, was built to monitor, study and report on the status of the Earth's protective Arctic ozone layer. It was situated on Ellesmere Island, about 1,100 km from the North Pole for scientific reasons. Yet just when the ozone hole reaches record levels, the Tories shut down funding for PEARL. Gone is Canada's ability to monitor the Arctic ozone hole. And gone is the investment of tens of millions of dollars of Canadian taxpayer funding.

Instead, the Tories offer up a facility in search of science to justify its existence. There are no scientific questions driving this agenda. The establishment of CHARS is all about enforcing sovereignty in the North to pave the way for enhanced resource extraction, particularly in the oil and gas sector. Sure, there will be opportunists in the scientific community who will take advantage of the facility if it's built, just like barnacles will find and latch onto a new ship brought into a harbour. But the real question is: when will the federal government come clean with its agenda?

So as we move into the autumn of the second year under the Harper regime, the war on science and the environment continues. Is there no one left in the Conservative Party willing to stand up to this short-sighted and one-dimensional view of the world? Apparently not.


If you are a teenager now is the time to go to college or university and study to become a scientist/meteorologist or other weather-related profession, cuz we are in for one hell of a wild ride weather-wise in the future!! :shock:
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Sauron_Daz » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:50 am

:shock:
Idiots..
We never think of us as being one of Them. We are always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Hammer_Time » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:11 am

http://phys.org/news/2013-02-links-extr ... imate.html

New study links extreme weather to climate change

February 25, 2013

Scientists said Monday they have identified a physical mechanism behind the extreme weather that has plagued many parts of the world in recent years—and that it is tied to climate change.

Since 2010, for example, the United States and Russia have each suffered scorching heat waves, while Pakistan saw unprecedented flooding.
Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have traced the events to a disturbance in the air currents in the northern hemisphere, in a new study out Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth normally takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating between the tropical and the Arctic regions," lead author Vladimir Petoukhov said in a statement.
"During several recent extreme weather events, these planetary waves almost freeze in their tracks for weeks. So instead of bringing in cool air after having brought warm air in before, the heat just stays," he said.
In an ecosystem ill-adapted to long periods of extreme heat, the stress can be disastrous, with high death tolls, forest fires, and agricultural losses.

For instance, during Russia's 2010 heat wave—the worst in its recorded history—wildfires spread out of control, killing dozens of people, burning down thousands of houses and threatening military and nuclear installations.
Global warming, despite its name, is not uniform across the planet. At the poles the bump in temperatures—amplified by shrinking snow cover and ice—is greater than in the swathes between, the scientists explained.
This reduces the temperature differences between the Arctic and the middle latitudes, which affects the flow of air around the globe.
In addition, continents heat and cool more rapidly than large bodies of water, the scientists said.
These two factors "result in an unnatural pattern of the mid-latitude air flow, so that for extended periods the slow synoptic waves get trapped," Petoukhov said.

Fellow author and PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber cautioned that the 32-year period used in the study is too short for definitive conclusions.
"The suggested physical process increases the probability of weather extremes, but additional factors certainly play a role as well, including natural variability," he added.
Nevertheless, he called the new research "quite a breakthrough," that helps explain the relationship between the spate of weather extremes and climate change.
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
(c) 2013 AFP
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Sauron_Daz » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:28 am

Isn't that the only conclusion possible?
We never think of us as being one of Them. We are always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Hammer_Time » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:57 am

http://phys.org/news/2013-03-australian ... ummer.html

Australian climate on 'steroids' after hottest summer

March 4, 2013

Australia's weather went "on steroids" over a summer that saw an unprecedented heatwave, bushfires and floods, the climate chief said Monday, warning that global warming would only make things worse.

The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed the three summer months ending February 28 were the hottest season ever recorded in Australia, leading the government's Climate Commission to label it the "Angry Summer" in a new report.
"The Australian summer over 2012 and 2013 has been defined by extreme weather events across much of the continent, including record-breaking heat, severe bushfires, extreme rainfall and damaging flooding," the report said.
"Extreme heatwaves and catastrophic bushfire conditions during the 'Angry Summer' were made worse by climate change."
The agency's chief commissioner Tim Flannery said the summer had been one of extremes, and was in some ways like an athlete who improves their baseline performance by taking steroids.

"The same thing is happening with our climate system," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"As it warms up we're getting fewer cold days and cold events and many, many more record hot events. So it is—in effect it's a climate on steroids is what we're seeing."
Australia experienced its hottest ever average national maximum temperature on January 7 of 40.30 degrees Celsius (104.5 Fahrenheit), while 44 sites, including Sydney and Hobart, recorded all-time high temperatures in the summer.
The report said there have only been 21 days in 102 years where the average maximum temperature for the whole of Australia has exceeded 39 Celsius and eight of these happened in the summer just gone.

The Climate Commission said it was "highly likely" that extreme hot weather would become even more frequent and severe in Australia, and around the globe, over the coming decades.
In addition to the heatwave, Australia also experienced dangerous bushfires in several states, including New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania where more than 100 homes were lost in January.


Later that month, ex-tropical cyclone Oswald brought extreme rainfall over the east coast to Queensland and New South Wales, resulting in severe flooding in many areas.
Flannery said many communities, such as those in flood-prone parts of Queensland which were still recovering from an epic 2011 deluge, were experiencing a sense of exhaustion from dealing with weather events.
"And we're seeing the actual costs now of inaction, of global inaction to deal with this problem," he said.
(c) 2013 AFP


We're screwed...
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Re: Why a two degree Celsius increase in avg. temp is a big deal

Postby Sauron_Daz » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:12 am

We are, even without extreme climate conditions..
We never think of us as being one of Them. We are always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
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