The emissions are increasing and that is the only thing that matters.
In September 2019 I posted the Four graphs that matter in the climate emergency with some bonus graphs. I’ve decided that we should be watching sea level rise also, because of the future destruction it will wreak, and because sea level rise was the chief motivation behind the move from the island states to target 1.5°C of warming rather than 2°C.
NOAA’s annual State of the Climate report has recently been released, showing the climate change is proceeding apace on all fronts. The 300 page report compiled by 450 scientists from 62 countries confirmed there was a “toppling of several symbolic mileposts” in heat, sea level rise and extreme weather in 2015. From The Guardian:
“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” Michael Mann, a leading climatologist at Penn State, told the Guardian. “They are playing out before us, in real time. The 2015 numbers drive that home.”
Scientists have found that waters around Totten Glacier are warmer than expected and that it is melting from below. Amazingly the glacier, in East Antarctica, has never been studied before.
A team of scientists on the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis has recently taken a look. They don’t have comparative historical data to go by, but the concern is large. Totten is the biggest of the big and holds enough water to raise the sea level 6 metres. That’s somewhere between West Antarctica and Greenland!
For the rest of the report, it seems on a quick look to be much as expected – less rainfall in southern Australia, more extreme hot days, less snow, continued ocean acidification, more worries about sea level rise and so on. I’ll take a closer look if I get time.
Graham Readfearn points out that in 1995 at Amberley near Brisbane the mercury climbed above 35C on 12 days per year on average. That could become 55 days per year.
It has been a year since extreme heat wreaked havoc at the Australian Open, with players forced to endure temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius on the courts.
Some athletes said the conditions were akin to “tap-dancing on a fry pan”.
Unfortunately Tennis Australia are not on their lonesome in forcing athletes to perform in dangerous conditions. There are concerns also for spectators and venues, for example subject to flooding. The Climate Institute has produced a report analysing the vulnerability amongst sports like AFL, tennis, cricket and cycling as well as winter snow sports.
Part of The Climate Institute’s ongoing research into climate risk and resilience, this report will form the basis of ongoing discussions in the sporting world, including with the newly formed Sports Environment Alliance, chaired by former International Cricket Council CEO Malcolm Speed.
4. Keystone showdown and American climate opinion
The Senate has passed legislation approving the controversial Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline on a 62-36 vote.
asked Thursday about the vote, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated that Obama would veto.
The Senate requires 67 votes to overturn a presidential veto.
Meanwhile Carbon Brief takes a look at the gap in opinion between scientists, the public, and politicians on climate change from Pew Center research. This is how it pans out:
A case of the blind leading the partially sighted.
Across the ditch Hot Topicposts about a book that meticulously goes through the development of climate science from the time of Arrhenius. Seriously, there isn’t an argument any more about the basic science.
current economic models… generally conclude that the economically optimal pathway results in a global surface warming around 3–3.5°C.
Current economic models mainly treat economic growth as an external factor. In these models, global warming and its impacts via climate change don’t significantly affect the rate at which the economy grows.
A new study finds:
while the economies of rich countries continue to grow well in a warmer world, the economic growth of poor countries is significantly impaired.
That’s not so surprising.
The authors find that:
the best path for society would limit temperatures to between 1.6 and 2.8°C warming in 2100, with a best estimate of around 1.7°C warming.
In particular, the nexus between climate protection and development is a striking conclusion of the World Bank analysis: without climate stabilization at still manageable levels, development advances, especially in the poorest countries, are set to be reversed. Indeed, development work of past decades (involving significant financial resources) is at risk and with it the well-being of the most vulnerable citizens on Earth.
BOM amd the CSIRO have produced the State of the Climate – 2012 report. BOM has a handy summary summary and link to the brochure. The CSIRO site has some added interviews. I’ve extracted two images. First is the relentless increase in ocean heat content:
Second is the rainfall pattern for April to September from 1997 to 2011:
According to the report we can expect the same only more so in the future.