November 30, 2012
Right, this is the same Cal Beisner of the “Cornwall Alliance”, a fossil funded right wing fundy wackjob group, and one of the Heartland Institute’s “experts” on climate change. Watch him below as he tiptoes delicately around presenting paleo-temp records to young-earth creationists. (at about 2:15 )
“..and of course, if you’re a young earth creationist, you’re going to have to do some changing of how you interpret some of the chronologies here, to fit it into your paradigm, I think that’s an entirely legitimate thing to do..”
Now we have video from Rev. Pat Robertson that may bring him into conflict with Beisner’s “have it your way” cafeteria-style history. Robertson cautions his fundamentalist flock that the earth might indeed be more than 6000 years old, - those dinosaur bones are indeed “out there”, along with carbon dating. “If you fight revealed science (?),” he says, “you’re going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was.”
November 30, 2012
Watch for this to happen more and more often.
November 29, 2012
PASADENA, Calif. – An international team of experts supported by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) has combined data from multiple satellites and aircraft to produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica and their contributions to sea level rise.
In a landmark study published Thursday in the journal Science, 47 researchers from 26 laboratories report the combined rate of melting for the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has increased during the last 20 years. Together, these ice sheets are losing more than three times as much ice each year (equivalent to sea level rise of 0.04 inches or 0.95 millimeters) as they were in the 1990s (equivalent to 0.01 inches or 0.27 millimeters). About two-thirds of the loss is coming from Greenland, with the rest from Antarctica.
This rate of ice sheet losses falls within the range reported in 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The spread of estimates in the 2007 IPCC report was so broad, however, it was not clear whether Antarctica was growing or shrinking. The new estimates, which are more than twice as accurate because of the inclusion of more satellite data, confirm both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice. Combined, melting of these ice sheets contributed 0.44 inches (11.1 millimeters) to global sea levels since 1992. This accounts for one-fifth of all sea level rise over the 20-year survey period. The remainder is caused by the thermal expansion of the warming ocean, melting of mountain glaciers and small Arctic ice caps, and groundwater mining.
“Both ice sheets appear to be losing more ice now than 20 years ago, but the pace of ice loss from Greenland is extraordinary, with nearly a five-fold increase since the mid-1990s,” Ivins said. “In contrast, the overall loss of ice in Antarctica has remained fairly constant, with the data suggesting a 50-percent increase in Antarctic ice loss during the last decade.”
November 29, 2012
THE world is on the cusp of a “tipping point” into dangerous climate change, according to new data gathered by scientists measuring methane leaking from the Arctic permafrost and a report presented to the United Nations on Tuesday.
“The permafrost carbon feedback is irreversible on human time scales,” says the report, Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost. “Overall, these observations indicate that large-scale thawing of permafrost may already have started.”
While countries the size of Australia tally up their greenhouse emissions in hundreds of millions of tonnes, the Arctic’s stores are measured in tens of billions.
The report estimates the greenhouse gases leaking from the thawing Arctic will eventually add more to emissions than last year’s combined carbon output of the US and Europe – a statistic which means present global plans to hold climate change to an average 2degree temperature rise this century are now likely to be much more difficult.
Until very recently permafrost was thought to have been melting too slowly to make a meaningful difference to temperatures this century, so it was left out of the Kyoto Protocol, and ignored by many climate change models.
“Permafrost emissions could ultimately account for up to 39 per cent of total emissions,” said the report’s lead author, Kevin Schaefer, of the University of Colorado, who presented it at climate negotiations in Doha, Qatar. “This must be factored in to treaty negotiations expected to replace the Kyoto Protocol.”
The rate of melt was “deeply concerning”, said Andy Pitman, the director of Australia’s Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, an adviser to the Climate Commission, and a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s reports.
“It had been assumed that on the timescale of the 21st century, that the effects of methane release would be relatively small compared to other effects – that’s why it has been largely left out of the climate models,” Professor Pitman said.
“I think it’s fair to say that until recently climate scientists underrated the rate at which permafrost melt could release methane. I think we’ve been shown to be over-conservative. It’s happening faster than we had thought … This is not good news.”
The report presented to the UN said a tipping point could still be averted if the world moved to cut emissions from fossil fuels fast.
November 29, 2012
I’ll be heading to San Francisco this weekend to once again attend the American Geophysical Union conference, where I’ve been asked to present (!?) on “Effective Use of Social Media in Communicating Climate Science”.
But the biggest story will be the unfolding extreme weather event that will give all attendees a reminder that, for climate change, we all have a front row seat.
The change comes Wednesday afternoon with what will amount to a “warmup” storm that should deliver 0.5 of an inch to about 1 inch to much of Northern California.
That system, Van Cleave said, should be brief, giving way on Thursday to a brief short drying on Thursday.
By late Thursday, that “atmospheric river” will be headed straight for the capital area and will bring strong southerly winds, he said.
The term of art – atmospheric river – tells the story: Van Cleave describes it as a “garden hose … focused right in our area.”
Meteorologist Paul Douglas has more:
I’m seeing some signs of a potentially historic storm for portions of the western USA between Friday and Wednesday of next week as a series of very moist storms push inland from the Pacific. I expect some flash flooding (and river flooding) for the San Francisco Bay Area, but the most severe flooding (and mountain snows) will take place from Marin county into the mountains of northern California and the Coastal/Cascade range of Oregon.
The ECMWF model, which seems to be doing the best job overall in this new weather-on-steroids environment, prints out some 16-20″ rainfall amounts over northern California and southern/western Oregon by Sunday; two surges: one Friday, a second front pushing in Sunday. WSI’s high-res RPM model confirms this as well, which increases my confidence level. The ECMWF model prints out 4-5” for San Francisco, but 8-10” for Marin county, just north of SFO.
Also, Flood Watches are posted for some rivers in Northern California. One of these rivers is the Navarro River, which currently has a stage of 2.9 feet. Here is what is impressive. The flood stage for the Navarro River at Navarro is 23.0 feet. That means that it is currently 20 FEET below flood stage, yet the NWS has determined that it is prudent to issue a Flood Watch for the river. Further, flood stage may be reached by Friday morning and the river could hit 26 feet by midday Friday. So between Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, the river is expected to rise as much as 23 feet. That is a tremendous amount of water.
November 29, 2012
The storm that flooded St. Mark’s Square in Venice with a meter of water today also produced a tornado. A real Great Plains style tornado at that.
Here is an image from the Meteosat showing the storm. If the budget cuts do not get it, the U.S. will have an ultra modern weather satellite like this in a few years.
November 28, 2012
New video for the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.
I interviewed hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel of MIT, and asked him for a blow by blow analysis of the GOES satellite animation of hurricane Sandy. He expertly complied, and added a number of additional details. I’ll be posting more of his raw interview later. I also talked to Jason Box, of the Byrd Polar Center, and added in a number of other resources for context, including a revealing anecdote from former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough.
November 28, 2012
About 10 years ago, we had an exceptional winter ice storm, followed by an enormous mass of deadly cold arctic air that shut off power throughout much of the state for several days. When it happened, no one could be sure if the power would be off for hours, days or longer. With 2 kids at home, water in the pipes, and food in the fridge, I needed to some up with some kind of emergency power supply.
When I got to my nearby hardware store, there was a line of worried guys like myself, looking for generators. I’ll never forget the faint smell of real fear among the group as they were told that the generators were sold out, and no guarantees for when more would be available. Not available? To hear that in this community had kind of a “you’re not in Kansas anymore” feel.
Here’s where it pays to know your hardware guy. The manager tipped me when another truck would be in, possibly with more units. I managed to snag one, and with some creatively cobbled cable, road out the cold wave with minimal losses. I still have the thing in my garage, but I’ll have to take it in to get serviced before winter sets in – if you don’t run it on a regular basis, it gets gummed up and almost impossible to start.
I must have missed the moment in succeeding years when emergency home generators became a must-have consumer appliance for the suburban home. Was it economic disaster, climate change, or hurricane Sandy that pushed this ad into my youtube stream?
Anyway, good news. The friendly folks at Kohler now have the solution to an unfriendly new weather regime.
With any luck, in coming decades they’ll perfect the Star Trek replicator to produce food and water, as well.
November 28, 2012
Pretty amazing testimonial for the “Chasing Ice” documentary.
I’ll be seeing it at the AGU conference next week, so will have a review.
Trailer below if you have not seen it.