Global Warming...New Report...and it ain't happy news

Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 15 Dec, 2021 11:16 am
Among Nature's Top Ten ("Ten people who helped shape science in 2021"), is the "weather detective" Friederike Otto: "As heatwaves, floods and droughts multiply, this researcher assesses whether humans bear some blame."
Whenever extreme weather strikes these days, people immediately wonder whether climate change is to blame. This is exactly the kind of question that Otto and her collaborators in the World Weather Attribution (WWA) group try to answer quickly. Otto set up a video call with the WWA team and they planned a speedy research study. The team pored over meteorological data to gauge how big the heatwave was, studied climate records for the region and ran computer models to find out how much more likely this kind of heatwave has become, relative to a hypothetical world without climate change. The result: it would have been all but impossible for a heatwave of that magnitude to have happened in the region without human-induced climate change.

“Temperature records were broken by 5 °C in some places,” Otto says. “That’s immense.”

Otto, a climate researcher at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment in London, helped to set up the WWA in 2015 with the aim of rapidly analysing whether climate change plays a part in extreme heat, cold, downpours, drought and wildfire activity. She chairs the ad hoc group, which includes about a dozen climate modellers and statisticians.

Aside from the American Northwest heatwave this year, she and the group analysed the role of climate change in the devastating floods in July in Germany and Belgium, an April ‘cold wave’ in France, and the persistent drought in Madagascar. ... ... ...

Until a few years ago, scientists would have been hard pressed to answer with certainty whether climate change is to blame for specific extremes, and how much more (or less) likely they have become. Many scientists viewed attribution studies critically when the WWA made its first attempts to analyse extreme events — using just one or two climate models without evaluating whether these were able to reliably simulate the extreme in question.

This has changed entirely. Otto and her team — including her former co-chair, the Dutch climate modeller Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, who died this year after a long illness — have developed a strategy that uses climate simulations from as many as 50 models. This approach and the studies generated are now widely viewed as highly robust; they feature prominently in a report issued in August by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific committee established by the United Nations. It is now an “established fact”, the panel said, that rising greenhouse-gas emissions have made some weather extremes — in particular, extreme heat — more frequent and more intense. Its report came out shortly before the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the global climate-change treaty, held last month in Glasgow, UK.

Attribution studies are more difficult in the global south, where reliable climate data are often lacking, and where local research capacities are limited. But these are some of the places most at risk from climate change and the extreme weather that it can spark. Otto hopes that lower-income countries will be able to strengthen their research in these areas in coming years, with support from wealthier countries.

“Attribution studies are really essential in terms of understanding human impacts of climate change,” says Emily Boyd, a social scientist at Lund University in Sweden who studies climate adaptation and governance. “The science is shifting our mindsets — it allows us to think about the relation between climate and vulnerability in a completely new way.”

Together with Boyd and legal scholars, Otto will study how vulnerable groups and countries might be able to capitalize on attribution studies. “The science”, says Boyd, “has every potential to drive government action and promote climate justice.”
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 17 Dec, 2021 01:53 am
Warmer winters are happening across the globe, and can be drivers of catastrophic weather events and profound changes.

Warmer winters can wreak as much havoc as hotter summers, say scientists
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2021 11:41 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I wish we were having a warmer winter. It's been -19C here, -32 with the wind chill. Thank goodness I have a car starter since I don't have a garage.
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2021 02:18 pm
Gee. It seems like yesterday you were trying to decide between air conditioner and evaporative cooler.
Reply Sat 18 Dec, 2021 02:20 pm
Right? It's friggin freezing! Dogs will go out to do their business but that's it.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 22 Dec, 2021 03:04 am
Billionaires, princes and prime ministers are among those keen to learn from the Central American country, which has long put nature at the heart of its policies

Follow the green leader: why everyone from Prince William to Jeff Bezos is looking to Costa Rica
The climate summit in Glasgow was, in effect, Costa Rica’s Super Bowl, another chance to show off its impressive environmental credentials. It is the only tropical country that has successfully halted and reversed deforestation, a commitment dozens of others made at Cop26 but are far from achieving.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2021 02:13 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Some 1.3 million people worldwide already work in the wind sector, but five times as many will be needed as the shift to renewable energy gathers pace. Job prospects are increasing as the sector picks up worldwide.

Wind power expansion creates millions of new jobs
Reply Sat 25 Dec, 2021 06:54 am
@Walter Hinteler,
That seems as real as global warming.

What wind power does is kill birds.

Also, you can't "create jobs". This is based on a faulty assumption that you can throw money at a problem and fix it. But actually, if I pull money out of taxes (let's say $5 million), this is $5 million that the public doesn't have, until they re-earn it. I haven't created anything, I've reshuffled tax money for a job that people can potentially take. But are they? No, for the most part, if you phase out oil plants for green jobs, what usually happens is that green jobs actually destroyed jobs, but shifting resources from a field where the public is employed (whether you think it is virtuous or not).
1. There is only so much money to go around, without printing more.
2. There are onlt so many people to fill jobs, short of a population boom.
3. Unemployed people will still be unemployed. Their unemployment is not due to "lack of jobs" but lack of interest, or lack of employability.
4. Therefore, you are not "creating jobs", you are creating a field that mat or may not be filled. If it is not, you wasted taxpayer money and made people poorer. If you succeeded, you still essentially made people earn back their tax money.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 25 Dec, 2021 07:41 am
bulmabriefs144 wrote:
What wind power does is kill birds.

Yes, plants as well, strong winds even humans.

If you mean that wind turbines kill birds - they do, when the birds come in the rotors

I don't understand your other "arguments",since the new jobs are created by private companies (see links in the quoted report). Might be it's different where you live, but that's bot related to my quoted report.

In addition to in-company training and further education to qualify skilled workers, the demand for well-trained engineers in the wind energy sector is also increasing. Thus, universities offer special courses in classical fields of study such as engineering (electrical engineering, mechanical engineering) or natural sciences as well as maritime plant engineering for getting wind-energy degrees (European Wind Energy Master , PhD).
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 26 Dec, 2021 12:00 pm
Climate change is causing problems for reindeer in Lapland: In search of food, some of them travel up to a hundred kilometers - and have to be located by helicopter and driven home.

Many reindeer native to Lapland are increasingly moving long distances south in search of food because of an effect of climate change. "Reindeer can't penetrate ice because it's too hard, and so they move away in search of areas where there's only snow," researcher Jouko Kumpala of the Finnish Institute of Natural Resources told the BBC broadcaster. Snow could easily be penetrated by the animals and eat the plants underneath.

Because of global warming, it is now more common for snow to melt earlier or for rain to fall on the snowpack - resulting in hard ice sheets when temperatures drop, according to the report. Some reindeer travel distances of up to a hundred kilometers to find food, breeders told the BBC. (Source)
0 Replies
Reply Mon 3 Jan, 2022 09:49 am
The Christian Right is why the US won’t deliver on climate change

American democracy is in crisis. That’s why the US can’t be counted on to act responsibly on the world stage with any consistency

Young Earth creationism, scientists portrayed as part of an anti-Christian conspiracy, environmentalists viewed with extreme suspicion. Growing up as an evangelical within the world of the US Christian Right, and attending Christian schools, I know first-hand how extreme they are, and how aggressive in their defence of “alternative facts”.

Understanding this is important while COP26 (the twenty-sixth annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is under way in Glasgow. Because the Republicans who just won off-year elections (which bodes ill for the midterm congressional elections in 2022), along with ex-president Donald Trump, represent the culmination of a decades-long process of radicalisation in their party driven by the thoroughly authoritarian Christian Right.

This isn’t your grandparents’ Republican Party. At least ten GOP members who were elected to office just this week attended Trump’s ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on 6 January. Aiming to keep president-elect Biden from taking office by pushing outright lies about supposed election fraud, that rally culminated in a violent insurrection against the federal government. Christian symbols and prayers were a ubiquitous feature of the events of that notorious day.

God will solve the climate crisis

The Christian Right’s views on the environment are extremely worrying. Consider, for a moment, the following actual quotations from national-level US legislators – all Republicans – on climate change.

Illinois representative John Shimkus, in the Year of our Lord 2010, cited a literal interpretation of the Noah’s ark story as evidence that concern over climate change was misplaced. “I do believe that God said the Earth would not be destroyed by a flood,” Shimkus said.

In office since 1997, he retired last year and was replaced in the House of Representatives by another Republican, Mary Miller. A born-again Sunday-school teacher and Christian homeschooling advocate, Miller achieved instant infamy when she declared “Hitler was right” about the importance of indoctrinating children in an impassioned speech at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.

Miller, as you would expect, is opposed to what she calls “radical ideas like the Green New Deal and other extreme environmental legislation”.

Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma (in office since 1994) infamously carried a snowball on to the Senate floor in 2015 as a ‘gotcha’ meant to ‘disprove’ global warming. Oh, and he’s also compared the federal Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo.

“God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous,” is something he said in 2012.

Michigan representative Tim Walberg said this about climate change, in 2017: “As a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

I grew up surrounded by this sort of rhetoric, and worse. For example, assertions that we don’t need to act to save the environment because Christ will be returning soon anyway.

To be sure, as the destruction wrought by climate change becomes more and more difficult to deny, Republicans turn increasingly to economic arguments as they attempt to keep us from seriously addressing the issue. But their attitudes, and those of their voter base, remain the same.

Democracy in crisis

Despite a majority of Americans disagreeing with them on almost everything, Republicans hold disproportionate power in the US for structural reasons – and the current Democratic leadership has not seized this moment to press through reforms that could make US politics more fair and democratic.

Republicans regularly support racist voter suppression initiatives at state level, and they have pushed through a slew of such measures in reaction to President Biden’s election. As a result, because the president is elected indirectly by the states via the electoral college rather than directly by the people, Republicans can – and, these days, often do – win the presidency while losing the popular vote.

The Democratic Party is the only major party in which most elected members at least make an effort to pursue pro-environment policies. But they are likely to lose control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections.

It is also entirely possible that the Democrats will lose the presidency in 2024. Trump himself may end up back in office; he remains the authoritarian figure to whom rank-and-file Republicans look for leadership. Even if he doesn’t, another Republican president may well initiate the US’s withdrawal from the Paris accords (again), as Trump did, and for which Biden publicly apologised at COP26.

American democracy is in serious crisis. As long as that’s the case, the US simply cannot be counted on to act responsibly on the world stage with any consistency.

I don’t know how to solve the problem of getting reforms that would make the US more democratic, given that the Republicans – who stand to lose power in such a scenario – currently hold enough power to prevent most of the necessary reforms from being passed.

Today’s authoritarian Republicans, who have essentially merged with the Christian Right, are clearly willing to choose power over democracy and to reject or ignore any science that stands in the way of their agenda.

But the first step, it seems to me, is to raise awareness among the public, at home and abroad, in the hope that public outcry and pressure may start to make the kind of difference that leads to better political outcomes.

Undoubtedly, it will take more than a functioning, democratic United States to resolve the climate crisis. However, without a functioning, democratic United States playing its part, it seems unlikely that the world will be able to resolve the climate crisis at all.

0 Replies
Reply Mon 3 Jan, 2022 02:25 pm
Future hurricanes will roam over more of the Earth, study predicts

A new, Yale-led study suggests the 21st century will see an expansion of hurricanes and typhoons into mid-latitude regions, which includes major cities such as New York, Boston, Beijing, and Tokyo.

Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, the study's authors said tropical cyclones—hurricanes and typhoons—could migrate northward and southward in their respective hemispheres, as the planet warms as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. 2020's subtropical storm Alpha, the first tropical cyclone observed making landfall in Portugal, and this year's Hurricane Henri, which made landfall in Connecticut, may be harbingers of such storms.

"This represents an important, under-estimated risk of climate change," said first author Joshua Studholme, a physicist in Yale's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and a contributing author on the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sixth assessment report published earlier this year.

"This research predicts that the 21st century's tropical cyclones will likely occur over a wider range of latitudes than has been the case on Earth for the last 3 million years," Studholme said.

Co-authors of the study are Alexey Fedorov, a professor of oceanic and atmospheric sciences at Yale, Sergey Gulev of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Kevin Hodges of the University of Reading.

While an increase in tropical cyclones is commonly cited as a harbinger of climate change, much remains unclear about how sensitive they are to the planet's average temperature. In the 1980's, study co-author Emanuel used concepts from classical thermodynamics to predict that global warming would result in more intense storms—a prediction that has been validated in the observational record.

Yet other aspects of the relationship between tropical cyclones and climate still lack physically based theory. For example, there is no agreement among scientists about whether the total number of storms will increase or decrease as the climate warms, or why the planet experiences roughly 90 such events each year.

"There are large uncertainties in how tropical cyclones will change in the future," said Fedorov. "However, multiple lines of evidence indicate that we could see more tropical cyclones in mid-latitudes, even if the total frequency of tropical cyclones does not increase, which is still actively debated. Compounded by the expected increase in average tropical cyclone intensity, this finding implies higher risks due to tropical cyclones in Earth's warming climate."

Typically, tropical cyclones form at low latitudes that have access to warm waters from tropical oceans and away from the shearing impact of the jet streams—the west-to-east bands of wind that circle the planet. Earth's rotation causes clusters of thunderstorms to aggregate and spin up to form the vortices that become tropical cyclones. Other mechanisms of hurricane formation also exist.

As the climate warms, temperature differences between the Equator and the poles will decrease, the researchers say. In summer months, this may cause weakening or even a split in the jet stream, opening a window in the mid-latitudes for tropical cyclones to form and intensify.

For the study, Studholme, Fedorov, and their colleagues analyzed numerical simulations of warm climates from Earth's distant past, recent satellite observations, and a variety of weather and climate projections, as well as the fundamental physics governing atmospheric convection and planetary-scale winds. For example, they noted that simulations of warmer climates during the Eocene (56 to 34 million years ago) and Pliocene (5.3 to 2.6 million years ago) epochs saw tropical cyclones form and intensify at higher latitudes.

"The core problem when making future hurricane predictions is that models used for climate projections do not have sufficient resolution to simulate realistic tropical cyclones," said Studholme, who is a postdoctoral fellow at Yale. "Instead, several different, indirect approaches are typically used. However, those methods seem to distort the underlying physics of how tropical cyclones form and develop. A number of these methods also provide predictions that contradict each other."

The new study derives its conclusions by examining connections between hurricane physics on scales too small to be represented in current climate models and the better-simulated dynamics of Earth's jet streams and north-south air circulation, known as the Hadley cells.

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2022 06:33 am
Climate crisis: last seven years the hottest on record, 2021 data shows
Global heating continued unabated with extreme weather rife and greenhouse gases hitting new highs

The last seven years were the world’s hottest on record, with the first analysis of global temperature in 2021 showing it was 1.2C above pre-industrial levels.

The assessment of the year, by the European climate agency Copernicus, also found carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached record levels and that the potent greenhouse gas methane surged “very substantially”, also to a new record.

The rise in greenhouse gas concentration means more heat is being trapped than ever before but 2021 ranked as the fifth hottest year on record. This is because a natural and cyclic climate phenomenon called La Niña exerted a cooling influence by bringing cold Pacific waters to the surface.


The climate crisis continued unabated with extreme weather striking across the world. Europe suffered its hottest summer on record and broke its maximum temperature record in Sicily with 48.8C, while intense wildfires raged in Italy, Greece and Turkey. Severe floods made up to nine times more likely by global heating also wreaked havoc in Germany and Belgium

Extreme heat also caused the “mother of all heatwaves” in the west of the US and Canada. Temperature records were smashed by 5C and scientists calculated the event was made at least 150 times more likely by global heating. In California, the Dixie wildfire was the second largest in history.

China’s meteorological agency recently announced that 2021 was the country’s hottest year on record and that its northern region had its wettest year, with extreme weather widespread. Floods in July in Henan province caused hundreds of deaths.

Mauro Facchini, the head of Earth observation for the European Commission, said: “The 2021 analysis is a reminder of the continued increase in global temperatures and the urgent necessity to act.” The Copernicus data shows 21 of the 22 hottest years have come since the year 2000.

“The [extreme weather] events in 2021 are a stark reminder of the need to change our ways, take decisive and effective steps toward a sustainable society,” said Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus climate service.

The average CO2 levels in 2021 reached a new record of 414 parts per million in 2021 – before the Industrial Revolution and large scale burning of fossil fuels the level was 280ppm. The rate of CO2 rise remained the same as it had since 2010, despite Covid-related lockdowns.

Methane levels are accelerating with the growth rate in 2021 approximately three times the rate of a decade ago. Methane is emitted through fossil fuel exploitation, cattle and other livestock, and natural wetland processes and scientists are uncertain about the cause of the rapid rises.

Vincent-Henri Peuch, at Copernicus, said: “CO2 and methane concentrations are continuing to increase year-on-year and without signs of slowing down.

Prof Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading, UK, said: “At a global level the warming may appear gradual but it is the impact on extreme events in many different parts of the world that is dramatic. We should see the record breaking 2021 events, such as the heatwave in Canada and floods in Germany, as a punch in the face to make politicians and public alike wake up to the urgency of the climate emergency.”

Other temperature datasets for 2021 will be published in coming weeks by the UK and Japanese Met Offices and Nasa and Noaa in the US, with similar results expected.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2022 09:20 am
"The images of natural disasters in 2021 are disturbing. Climate research increasingly confirms that extreme weather has become more likely. Societies need to urgently adapt to increasing weather risks and make climate protection a priority. "

Hurricanes, cold waves, tornadoes: Weather disasters in USA dominate natural disaster losses in 2021
In 2021, natural disasters caused overall losses of US$ 280bn, of which roughly US$ 120bn were insured

Alongside 2005 and 2011, the year 2021 proved to be the second-costliest ever for the insurance sector (record year 2017: US$ 146bn, inflation-adjusted) – overall losses from natural disasters were the fourth-highest to date (record year 2011: US$ 355bn)

Hurricane Ida was the year’s costliest natural disaster, with overall losses of US$ 65bn (insured losses of US$ 36bn)

In Europe, flash floods after extreme rainfall caused losses of US$ 54bn (€46bn) – the costliest natural disaster on record in Germany

Many of the weather catastrophes fit in with the expected consequences of climate change, making greater loss preparedness and climate protection a matter of urgency
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 11 Jan, 2022 06:31 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Ocean heating driven by human-caused climate crisis, scientists say, in sixth consecutive year record has been broken

Hottest ocean temperatures in history recorded last year
The world’s oceans have been set to simmer, and the heat is being cranked up. Last year saw the hottest ocean temperatures in recorded history, the sixth consecutive year that this record has been broken, according to new research.

The heating up of our oceans is being primarily driven by the human-caused climate crisis, scientists say, and represents a starkly simple indicator of global heating. While the atmosphere’s temperature is also trending sharply upwards, individual years are less likely to be record-breakers compared with the warming of the oceans.

Last year saw a heat record for the top 2,000 meters of all oceans around the world, despite an ongoing La Niña event, a periodic climatic feature that cools waters in the Pacific. The 2021 record tops a stretch of modern record-keeping that goes back to 1955. The second hottest year for oceans was 2020, while the third hottest was 2019.


“The ocean heat content is relentlessly increasing, globally, and this is a primary indicator of human-induced climate change,” said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and co-author of the research, published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.

Warmer ocean waters are helping supercharge storms, hurricanes and extreme rainfall, the paper states, which is escalating the risks of severe flooding. Heated ocean water expands and eats away at the vast Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which are collectively shedding around 1tn tons of ice a year, with both of these processes fueling sea level rise.

Oceans take up about a third of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity, causing them to acidify. This degrades coral reefs, home to a quarter of the world’s marine life and the provider of food for more than 500m people, and can prove harmful to individual species of fish.

As the world warms from the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and other activities, the oceans have taken the brunt of the extra heat. More than 90% of the heat generated over the past 50 years has been absorbed by the oceans, temporarily helping spare humanity, and other land-based species, from temperatures that would already be catastrophic.

The amount of heat soaked up by the oceans is enormous. Last year, the upper 2,000 meters of the ocean, where most of the warming occurs, absorbed 14 more zettajoules (a unit of electrical energy equal to one sextillion joules) than it did in 2020. This amount of extra energy is 145 times greater than the world’s entire electricity generation which, by comparison, is about half of a zettajoule.

Long-term ocean warming is strongest in the Atlantic and Southern oceans, the new research states, although the north Pacific has had a “dramatic” increase in heat since 1990 and the Mediterranean Sea posted a clear high temperature record last year.

The heating trend is so pronounced it’s clear to ascertain the fingerprint of human influence in just four years of records, according to John Abraham, another of the study’s co-authors. “Ocean heat content is one of the best indicators of climate change,” added Abraham, an expert in thermal sciences at University of St Thomas.

“Until we reach net zero emissions, that heating will continue, and we’ll continue to break ocean heat content records, as we did this year,” said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University and another of the 23 researchers who worked on the paper. “Better awareness and understanding of the oceans are a basis for the actions to combat climate change.”

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 13 Jan, 2022 09:08 am
Study finds that Americans overall are becoming increasingly worried about global heating and more engaged with the issue

Record number of Americans alarmed about climate crisis, report finds
A new report has revealed that a record number of Americans are now alarmed about the climate crisis.

The study, published by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, found that Americans overall are becoming increasingly worried about global heating, more engaged with the issue and more supportive of finding solutions to the issue.
The study revealed that the largest group, Alarmed (33%) greatly outnumber the dismissive (9%) by more than three to one. Approximately six in 10 Americans (59%) are either Alarmed or Concerned while only approximately two in 10 (19%) are Doubtful or Dismissive.
... ... ...



Yale study: Global Warming’s Six Americas
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 15 Jan, 2022 02:18 am
Climate hazards – including rising temperature, pollution and wildfires – are increasing the risk of pre-term birth.

Rising temperatures around the world as a result of climate change are having a devastating effect on foetuses, babies and infants, studies have found.

Scientists from six different studies determined that climate change is causing – among other adverse outcomes – the increased risk of premature birth, increased hospitalisation of young children and weight gain in babies.

The separate studies have just been published in a special issue of the journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.

Special issue Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology (Volume 36, Issue 1): CLIMATE CHANGE AND REPRODUCTIVE, PERINATAL, AND PAEDIATRIC HEALTH

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