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Reposted from Daily Kos by JekyllnHyde
Before presenting this week's collection of more than 60 environmentally related diaries, a word about a story that's been haunting me for the past month.

If you haven't read about the terrible situation for elephants in Central Africa yet, I urge you to do so. It's not a new story, but it's gotten little more than the once-over in the traditional media. It was reported in February that a study by the Gabonese National Parks Agency, World Wildlife Federation and the Wildlife Conservation Society found that poachers had killed an estimated 11,100 elephants in Minkébé’s National Park of Gabon since 2004. Half to three-fourths of the single largest forest elephant population in the world gone in a flash.

The overall situation is even worse:

To discern these unfortunate findings, a massive, international team of researchers spent 91,600 person-hours surveying 13,000 kilometers of land in Cameroon, Gabon, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, and the Central African Republic. Using dung as an indirect indicator of the elephants, the researchers estimated that around 100,000 individuals currently survive, down from a population of 700,000 several decades ago.
I find the details of the elephant slaughter difficult to look at. It's all about the ivory, of course. Poachers kill the animals and then, often with chainsaws, cut off the tusks to begin their trek into the international black market. Were it not for the desires of people able to pay for the object of these slaughters, elephants would not be at risk. Nobody would be making money off butchered elephants, their bodies left to rot, if possessing ivory were not so important to the these conscienceless self-indulgent people.

Just how desperate those who care about what is happening to elephants as a result of the ivory trade can be found in Ross Pomeroy's comment about there being a silver lining in the fact that 80 percent of the forest elephant population has been lost since 1988:

This qualifies the pachyderms for an uplisting on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List, from "vulnerable" to "critically endangered." With any luck, such a move may elicit meaningful action on behalf of the elephants.
I wish I weren't so skeptical about that possibility.

•••  •••  •••

Before going to this week's Green Diary Rescue, let me issue my standard disclaimer: Inclusion of a particular diary does not indicate my agreement or endorsement of it.

You can find the rescued diaries below the fold.

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

Meteor Blades and I are pleased to announce that Former Vice President Al Gore is now a kossack and will be participating in our Climate Change SOS Blogathon.  We first invited him to join us with a climate change blogathon in 2009 but he was in Copenhagen for the climate change summit. However, we kept in touch over the years because he wanted to participate in the climate change projects that we organized at Daily Kos when his schedule would permit him to interact with our community.

The time is NOW.  Former Vice President Al Gore will be posting at 9 am Pacific Time (12:00 Noon Eastern Time) on Friday, August 24th, along with two members of The Climate Reality Project!

America is now seeing a window of The Climate Reality.

Sometimes, the public and lawmakers don't pay attention to environmental issues until there is some form of crisis. For example, in 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio literally caught on fire from the thick oily sludge and oil-soaked debris of contaminated pollution masquerading as one of our waterways. Many viewed waters on fire as the eye-opener that the public needed and the trigger for Congress to enact the Clean Water Act and create the Environmental Protection Agency.

We now have a climate change version of "waters on fire." This past summer, we have witnessed climate change impacts happening NOW, with TV video and media reports on the heatwaves, wildfires, droughts and freak storms.  As James Hansen stated, some of our extreme weather events are linked to climate change:

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.
While blogathon organizers -- Boatsie, Bill McKibben and myself -- called our blogathon Climate Change SOS, we could have as easily called it Climate Reality. One of our goals was to bring together a coalition of scientists, political activists, lawmakers and citizens to discuss the urgency of climate change impacts and work toward effective legislation next year.  Many have used social media this week to spread the word about the discussion underway this week at Daily Kos.

Former Vice-President Gore has been similarly engaged this week in San Francisco with 1,000 people from around the world attending a program of leadership training so they can "share the reality of climate change as leaders who encourage their communities to take action."

Among their many other acts of leadership, Climate Leaders connect the dots between the extreme weather where we live and the global reality of a warming climate. They work to discredit the well-financed and professional deniers who, in the face of all evidence, continue to ignore the reality of this urgent crisis. They are on the front lines of the movement to call on our governments to reduce carbon pollution now.
All of the dot connecting at Daily Kos this week is thanks to our admin team for Climate Change SOS:  boatsie, JekyllnHyde, rb137 and citisven. There is simply no better team on earth! We're all friends, but their dedication and commitment to this project and our community is just beyond amazing.  This week just would not have possible without them.
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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

KuangSi2Climate denialists are having some trouble with science these days. Well, they've had trouble all along, but the final nails are in that coffin. The simple fact is that all of their attempts at stirring controversy into scientific consensus fails miserably when their objections are given scientific scrutiny.

Climate denial follows a method of cherry picking scientific fact. The narratives twist the language of science by using inappropriate standards of validity and context to misrepresent facts to the denialists' ends.

Science is a powerful tool because it eliminates bad theories rather than proves good ones -- a theory or law stands only in the face of rigorous vetting, and it stands only as long as it agrees with competent, critical (experimental) observation. As such, science is couched in a language of uncertainty. Scientists are sure of any law with a carefully calculated level of confidence/certainty.

Non-scientific audiences, however, want to hear an answer with 100% confidence. What they miss -- and what purveyors of climate denial twist -- is that the scientific uncertainty they invoke doesn't mitigate against our understanding of global warming. Instead, they misrepressent climate science as if it's a belief system, so they can dismiss it like a belief -- just as they did to Santa Claus.

So, what happens when we apply scientific rather than belief based scrutiny to their claims? Then it is clear how weak climate change denial really is...

Let's give it a whirl.

 

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by JekyllnHyde

Climate shocks are on the way. We’ve already spewed so much carbon into the atmosphere that a cascade of worsening crop failures, droughts, floods, and freak storms is virtually guaranteed. You, your family, and your community will feel the effects.

Ironically, however, avoiding climate change also has its costs. It makes sense from a climate-protection standpoint to dramatically and rapidly reduce our use of fossil fuels, which drive global warming. But these fuels largely, well, fueled the spectacular economic growth of the past 200 years, and weaning ourselves from them quickly now—while most industrial economies are over-indebted and starved for growth—could risk financial upheaval.

Oil, the most economically pivotal of the fossil fuels, is getting more expensive anyway. Cheap, onshore, conventional crude is depleting; its replacements—deepwater oil, tar sands, and tight oil—cost more to produce, in both dollar and environmental terms. Though high oil prices discourage driving (good for the climate), they also precipitate recessions (bad for the economy). While renewable energy sources are our hope for the future and we should be doing everything we can to develop them, it will be decades before they can supply all our energy needs.

In the face of impending environmental and economic shocks, our best strategy is to build resilience throughout society. Resilience is the subject of decades of research by ecologists and social scientists  who define it as “the capacity of a system to tolerate disturbance without collapsing into a qualitatively different state that is controlled by a different set of processes.” In other words, resilience is the capacity to absorb shocks, reorganize, and continue functioning.

In many respects a resilient society defies the imperative of economic efficiency. Resilience needs dispersed inventories and redundancy, while economic efficiency—in its ruthless pursuit of competitive advantage—eliminates inventories and redundancies everywhere it can. Economic efficiency leads toward globalization, resilience toward localization. Economic efficiency pursues short-term profit as its highest objective, while resilience targets long-term sustainability. It would appear that industrial society circa 2012 has gone about as far in the direction of economic efficiency as it is possible to go, and that a correction is necessary and inevitable. Climate change simply underscores the need for that course correction.

Building resilience means helping society to work more like an ecosystem—and that has major implications for how we use energy. Ecosystems conserve energy by closing nutrient loops: plants capture and chemically store solar energy, which is then circulated as food throughout the food web. Nothing is wasted. We humans—having developed the ability to draw upon ancient, concentrated, cheap, and abundant (though ultimately finite) fossil fuels—have simultaneously adopted the habit of wasting energy on a colossal scale. Our food, transport, manufacturing, and dwelling systems burn through thirty billion barrels of oil and eight billion tons of coal per year; globally, humans use over four hundred quadrillion BTUs of energy in total. Even where energy is not technically going to waste, demand for it could be substantially reduced by redesigning our basic systems.

For example, we could reduce transport energy used in food systems by producing food more locally; at the same time, we could reduce other fossil fuel inputs to those systems (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and packaging) by changing farming practices and consumer habits. We could retrofit our buildings so they require far less energy for heating and cooling. And we could reduce the need for motorized transportation by redesigning cities around mixed-use neighborhoods that are friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists.

By cutting our reliance on fossil fuels, by reducing energy requirements in general, and by eliminating our economic system’s need for perpetual growth (and hence for perpetually increasing energy consumption), we can make our way of life less vulnerable to energy shortages and price spikes while also reducing carbon emissions.

Ecosystems build resilience through biodiversity. Thus if the population of one organism that plays a crucial role in an ecosystem is greatly reduced, another organism that performs a similar function will be there to take its place. When we reduce diversity in human systems in the name of economic efficiency, we trade away resilience and increase vulnerability to systemic collapse. For example, industrial agriculture favors monocrops, which present a huge opportunity to any pest that manages to evolve immunity to the chemicals that farmers use to keep it at bay.

Communities can build economic diversity and resilience by encouraging and investing in small businesses and family farms, rather than offering incentives to giant retail or manufacturing companies to locate in town, only to see them move or outsource jobs a few years later.

Feedback loops (either balancing or self-reinforcing) control energy flows and populations in ecosystems, stabilizing or destabilizing the system. Climate change is itself subject to both kinds of feedbacks: forests and oceans absorb carbon and help keep the climate system in balance, while melting permafrost releases greenhouse-enhancing methane, thus reinforcing global warming. Part of the challenge of building community resilience is to identify reinforcing and balancing feedback loops, to learn how they affect human systems, and to make them work for us.

Once we start down the path of building resilience, the positive effects become synergetic. For example, by reprocessing recycled materials locally rather than sending them to far-off countries for reprocessing, and by composting local food waste and sewage, communities can conserve energy while creating jobs, building topsoil, and reducing dependence on increasingly unreliable distant sources of food and materials.

Again: resilience helps us adapt to inevitable shocks and changes, while also aiding proactive efforts to reduce energy consumption and thus avert future global warming.
Building resilience helps us address a range of problems with just a few basic strategies.

Resilience can’t remove all the challenges and hardships ahead. For example, people typically don’t adapt to intense, prolonged drought—they move elsewhere, as tens of thousands did during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. No strategy will guarantee immunity to impacts from acidifying oceans, melting glaciers, and weird weather. But resilience buys us a better insurance plan. And in the bargain, it might also revive our communities, create economic opportunity, and make life more satisfying.

(Note: Richard Heinberg is Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute and author of< em>The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality.)

Discuss
Reposted from Meatless Advocates Meetup by boatsie

Guardian

Yeah!  So a climate deal has been agreed to in Durban..now what do we do about climate change?   I will admit that forging any agreement coming out of the 194 countries who were participating is quite a fete.  But what they have done is rolled the mitigations down the road guaranteeing that we will not reach the goal of keeping rising temperatures to a 2 degree rise to avoid the worse effects of climate change.

Unlike the economic debt currently transfixing the attention of world's leaders, it appears possible to them that we can put our climate debt on the never-never.

The loans in euros, dollars and pounds will be called in within days, weeks, and months. But the environmental debt – run up by many decades of dumping carbon dioxide waste in the atmosphere – won't be due for full repayment before 2020, according to the plan from Durban. If this roadmap to agree a global deal to tackle climate change by 2015, which would take force by 2020, is a triumph, it is a pitiful one. It aspires to achieve in four year's time what was deemed essential by the world's governments in 2007, but crashed at the Copenhagen summit in 2009.

That eight-year failure is why the ecological debt will inevitably transform into a new economic debt dwarfing our current woes. Like a loan-shark's debt, the cost of halting global warming - and coping with the impacts already certain - spirals higher and higher the longer you leave repayment. At the moment, as record rises in carbon emissions show, we are paying back nothing.

By 2020, the date that the agreement would come into affect scientists predict that we will already be on the road to a 4 degree rise in global temperature due to the tipping points that we will reach before that date which will exacerbate all predictions and put us into this scenario:

With a 4 degree rise in temperature

4C- At this stage, the Arctic permafrost enters the danger zone. The methane and carbon dioxide currently locked in the soils will be released into the atmosphere. At the Arctic itself, the ice cover would disappear permanently, meaning extinction for polar bears and other native species that rely on the presence of ice. Further melting of Antarctic ice sheets would mean a further 5m rise in the sea level, submerging many island nations. Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey become deserts and mid-Europe reaches desert temperatures of almost 50C in summer. Southern England's summer climate could resemble that of modern southern Morocco.

So we have something to work with but it is pitifully small.  At the least there is global consensus that we must do something and that all countries will have to participate.  That is what we have to take to move forward.

Credit must go to President Obama for getting us this far and giving our negotiators the leeway to back this global agreement.  But, in the US we are still between a rock and a hard place with the republicans obstructing any forward movement on climate change. In order to get anything done here in US we will have to change the political makeup of the US congress.  We must reelect President Obama, keep the senate and take back the house.   There is no greater urgency as our lives and especially the lives of our children and the next generations are dependent on our success.  

To a great extent we are still on our own.  It remains to us to force our leaders to do the right thing.  But even then there is only so much that they can do.  We are the ones who have to change our lives by reducing our use of fossil fuels.  If we wait for our leaders to change our lives we will lose this historic fight to preserve a livable future for our children.  

There are fast simple solutions   that we can take to avoid the effects of what would happen with a 4C increase in global temperature.  Indeed it is the only reasonable fast solution available to us.  And that is the simple and easy solution of eliminating/reducing meat in our diets.  In fact, a vegetarian diet could cut climate change mitigation costs by at least 70%!

History will judge us..let's get this done.  

Discuss

Breaking, Al Jazeera: Agreement was reached to extend the Kyoto climate protocols that apply to developed nations for 5 years and to implement new protocols that will be the same for all countries by 2020 at the latest. The three major greenhouse gas emitters, China, the United States and India will be included in the standards for the first time. Reaching agreement with the major emitters to follow one standard is a big step forward and a victory for the U.S. negotiator. A green fund to assist developing nations was agreed upon. The agreement is better than expected but falls short of what's needed to stop global warming according to environmentalists.

The president of a United Nations climate conference in South Africa has announced agreement on a programme mapping out a new course by all nations to fight climate change over the coming decades.

The 194-party conference agreed on Sunday to start negotiations on a new accord that would put all countries under the same legal regime to enforce their commitments to control greenhouse gases. It would take effect by 2020 at the
latest.

Currently, only industrial countries have legally binding emissions targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Those commitments expire next year, but they will be extended for another five years under the accord adopted on Sunday.

From Steven Lacey in Durban, Think Progress blog:

After a grueling two days of negotiations with almost no rest, the international community gathered at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa was able to agree on an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, a framework for negotiating internationally-binding emissions targets, and more details on an international fund for financing adaptation and mitigation projects.

Before the meeting even began, people were ready to write off the negotiations as a failure. With almost all major priorities outlined by negotiators coming into the meeting adopted, the international community has taken far bigger steps than anyone expected.

As Figueres pointed out, they are still not enough to get us on a sharply declining emissions path. And a number of environmental groups are criticizing the package, saying it won’t get the job done. But it’s a decent start — and certainly far better than predicted coming into this meeting.

After going 36 hours overtime, at 2AM the South African president and the Brazilian delegation broke the impasse. From the Guardian:

A deal was reached after the South African president of the talks urged the EU and India to go "into a huddle" in the middle of the conference hall in the early hours of this morning, in a bid to work out language both sides were happy with.

A compromise, suggested by the Brazilian delegation, saw the EU and Indians agree to a road map which commits countries to negotiating a protocol, another legal instrument or an "agreed outcome with legal force".

The treaty will be negotiated by 2015 and coming into force from 2020.
The deal also paves the way for action to address the "emissions gap" between the voluntary emissions cuts countries have already pledged and the reductions experts say are needed to effectively tackle climate change.

The bottom line from the bottom lines of the New York Times' dour article on the agreement.

Mary D. Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, which arguably has done more to reduce carbon pollution in the United States than any other body, was in Durban as an observer. Ms. Nichols said that given the inability of the international bureaucracy or the United States Congress to move decisively on global warming, the job would increasingly fall to the states and local governments.

“Instead of waiting for them to negotiate some grand bargain, we have to keep working on the ground,” she said. “Progress is going to come from the bottom up, not the top down. That’s just reality.”

I think, as Tim in CA does that the Times gave up on the agreement before it was made. However, I also believe that it will only succeed in America by strong pressure from us, the 99% pushing the leaders and the 1% to act.

Continue Reading

The last plenary of the UNFCCC Durban Negotiations is about to begin, with the chair announcing why this COP must come to an end.

WATCH LIVE

Rumors are that there may not even be enough delegates remaining for a quorum.

The EU wants more time. Is urging delegates to stand firm against the US in support of Africa.

Read KoNko's expert analysis in New Dawn, New Day @ COP17

Follow TOPCOP for latest from reporters/ngos still on the ground. Many without sleep in Durban.

Endnote: I won't be providing any analysis for a day or two.

Discuss

Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:44 PM PST

COP17: Endame Redux.

by boatsie


"Get It Done": Urging Climate Justice, Youth Delegate Anjali Appadurai Mic-Checks UN Summit  outside COP17 ...

Negotiations resume @ 10AM Durban time.

Watch  LIVE.

Liveblogs

OneClimate LiveBlog
RTTC
The Climate Countdown – Tracking the last day @COP17 (tcktcktck & partners)

Twitter

#COP17
TOPCOP

Snippets from COPTOP via Twitter: Tod Stearn ordered a decaf cap this AM and said he expects talk to go past noon today ...  new text stronger than yesterday; will the US and other developing countries agree ... a success for the ad-hoc alliance formed between the EU, AOSIS, LDCs and Africa Block with negotiations to end in 2015 ... First time text endorsement "that there is a mismatch, a gap, between the pledges countries have made on cutting emissions and their stated goal of keeping the rise in average global temperatures since pre-industrial times below 2C (3.6F)" (Black, BBC)... new Kyoto Protocol, Long Term Commitment & Green Climate Fund Texts ... Decision on finance for forest protection reached late last night ....Australia accused of siding with big polluters
...


Watch videos from OneClimate on www.justin.tv

The "EU Roadmap' failed last last night as African nations were unwilling to sign on to an agreement which was entirely too weak and rather sided with India.

Here's what to expect from Saturday: the new Long-term Cooperative Action text (which, if adopted, will form the basis of a so-called 'Durban Mandate') should be released by 6am. Ministers will then convene some time between 9am and 10am local time, to consider all of the texts together. This is likely to take some time. The main plenary will then begin some time after 10am...

(snip)
Tim Gore Oxfam reports signs from China positive and

The Green Climate Fund looks like it will go through in the end. There are two issues outstanding. One is the location of the interim secretariat – there are still three options on the table; it could be in Geneva at the UN, it could be in Bonn at the UNFCCC, or it could be in Washington at the Global Environment Facility [favoured by the USA], so they’ve still go to figure that out. And the only paragraph that still has square brackets around it is the actual adoption of the recommendations of the transitional committee, and we’re not entirely sure who that is – it could be the US, Saudi Arabia, or maybe a surprise party, but it looks like once the whole package comes together it’s going to sail through no problem.
,OneClimate Blog

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 11:00 PM PST

LIVESTREAM: COP17 Occupied

by boatsie

WATCH Occupy COP17 inside Talks

Watch the official UN Negotiations.
(recesses on and off throughout day until 3PM Durban time)


Watch  OneClimate on www.justin.tv
(live feeds, ondemand)

Today's Action: Participate in Social Media Activism

Sign both the Avaaz petition and 350.orgs petitions; forward to EVERYONE you know, AND SHARE on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Liveblogs

OneClimate LiveBlog
RTTC
The Climate Countdown – Tracking the last day @COP17 (tcktcktck & partners)

Twitter

#COP17
TOPCOP

Here's where we are: New COW "EU Roadmap' On The Table

The Africa Group has formed a Coalition of the Willing with the EU, AOSIS and LDC with a proposal which would call for a legally binding treaty by 2015.  

Early this morning, Connie Hedegaard, EU Commission on Climate Action releases Common statement by EU, LDC and AOSIS

The least developed countries, the Alliance of Small Island States and the European Union are united in their desire for an ambitious outcome in Durban.

From a political perspective the current state of affairs has to be taken as encouraging, particularly given there was a real chance going into the summit that the talks would have already collapsed by this stage. It looks as if a deal can be done that will not only allow the negotiating process to continue past 2012, but may actually deliver tangible results in terms of a new global green fund, progress on aviation and shipping emissions levies, and the continued expansion of the global carbon market. As of late yesterday evening a growing coalition of countries appeared to be willing (with varying degrees of enthusiasm) to sign on to the EU's plan, including the groups of African nations, least developed countries, and island states, and Brazil, Canada, and most significantly the US.

Unfortunately, from an environmental perspective the new roadmap could prove pretty disastrous. In short, diplomats are working on a treaty to ensure that emissions peak years after scientists are recommending that they peak. Meanwhile, the fixation on agreeing a roadmap for a timeline to agree a framework that may eventually become a protocol, means the crucial issue of how countries share emissions reductions is again being filed in the tray marked "too difficult". (continue reading Durban: What is so special about 2015?

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Three decades of global cooling was the bold prediction made by geology professor Don Easterbrook on Anthony Watt's Weblog award winning climate change denier web site. Unlike most of the posts on Watt's site, Prof. Easterbrook's article had an element of sound science to it. If greenhouse gases had little or no effect on global temperatures, the cooling shift in ocean currents and weather patterns in the north Pacific Ocean would cause about 3 decades of global cooling. El Nino events, where warm water surges across the equator towards the Americas in the Pacific, are known to warm the earth for about a year. La Nina events, where more cold water than normal upwells in the equatorial Pacific, are known to cause a year or two of cooling. The cool phase of the "Pacific Decadal Oscillation" has more La Ninas and fewer El Ninos than the warm phase. The shift to the cool phase of the PDO would cause cooling if all other variables were held constant.

Oscillation from its warm mode to cool mode assures global cooling for the next three decades.

Don J. Easterbrook, Dept. of Geology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Addressing the Washington Policymakers in Seattle, WA, Dr. Don Easterbrook said that shifting of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) from its warm mode to its cool mode virtually assures global cooling for the next 25-30 years and means that the global warming of the past 30 years is over. The announcement by NASA that the (PDO) had shifted from its warm mode to its cool mode (Fig. 1) is right on schedule as predicted by past climate and PDO changes (Easterbrook, 2001, 2006, 2007) and is not an oddity superimposed upon and masking the predicted severe warming by the IPCC.  This has significant implications for the future and indicates that the IPCC climate models were wrong in their prediction of global temperatures soaring 1°F per decade for the rest of the century.


NASA Identifies Shift in Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) from warm to cool

Image: NASA: La Nina and Pacific Decadal Oscillation Cool the Pacific,
April 29, 2008

Professor Easterbrook made a bold prediction, based on copying a former cool period, of 30 years of cooler than normal temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.

Three years into the global cooling forecast, how's it working out?

The forecast of the PDO shift to the cool phase appears to be verifying. However, the earth does not appear to be cooling as forecast. The Pacific has had a strong La Nina event in 2010 continuing into 2011, but the World Meteorological Organization found it was the warmest La Nina in the climate record and warned, “Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities. Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs. They are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2-2.4 degree Centigrade rise in average global temperatures which scientists believe could trigger far reaching and irreversible changes in our Earth, biosphere and oceans.”

Global climate in 2011 was heavily influenced by the strong La Niña event which developed in the tropical Pacific in the second half of 2010 and continued until May 2011. It was one of the strongest of the last 60 years and was closely associated with the drought in east Africa, islands in the central equatorial Pacific and the southern United States, and flooding in southern Africa, eastern Australia and southern Asia.

Strong La Niña years are typically 0.10 to 0.15°C cooler than the years preceding and following them. 2011’s global temperatures followed this pattern, being lower than those of 2010, but were still considerably warmer than the most recent moderate to strong La Niña years, 2008 (+0.36°C), 2000 (+0.27°C) and 1989 (+0.12°C).


A blockbuster paper by Foster and Rahmsdorf released this week accounted for all the major variables affecting global temperatures from 1979-2010, then identified a crystal clear global warming trend line.

The 5 raw data sets of land and satellite based global temperature measurements have a high degree of short term variability. El Nino and La Nina events, solar cycles and volcanic eruptions are major contributors to short term variability.


El Nino and La Nina events caused most of the short-term variability. Two volcanic eruptions put reflective aerosols into the stratosphere causing 2 strong cooling events. And the deep solar minimum in 2009 added to recent cooling by La Nina.
Figure 7. Influence of exogenous factors on global temperature for GISS (blue) and RSS data (red). (a) MEI; (b) AOD; (c) TSI MEI is the Multivariate El Nino index, AOD is the Aerosol Optical Depth (volcanic), and TSI is the Total Solar Irradiance.

When these 3 major factors causing short term variability are adjusted for the warming signal becomes much clearer in each of the 5 data sets. The minor differences between satellite and surface based data are inconsequential. Measurement methods do not appear to affect the trends in any way.

The True Global Warming Signal

The resultant adjusted data show clearly, both visually and when subjected to statistical analysis, that the rate of global warming due to other factors (most likely these are exclusively anthropogenic) has been remarkably steady during the 32 years from 1979 through 2010.

There is no indication of any slowdown or acceleration of global warming, beyond the variability induced by these known natural factors. Because the effects of volcanic eruptions and of ENSO are very short-term and that of solar variability very small (figure 7), none of these factors can be expected to exert a significant influence on the continuation of global warming over the coming decades. The close agreement between all five adjusted data sets suggests that it is meaningful to average them in order to produce a composite record of planetary warming. Annual averages of the result are shown in figure 8.

This is the true global warming signal.

Quite simply, the climate change claims of Watts, Fox News and Rupert Murdoch's media empire are crap.

Despite the utter lack of truth to the deniers cliams, Murdoch, the Kochs and the fossil fuel industry have bullied every Republican presidential candidate on their knees.

And they are holding American and the world hostage on fighting the climate crisis.

There's only one way to deal with bullies and hostage takers. Stand up to them. Australia legislated a tax on carbon emissions because their green party stood up to Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Senator Christine Milne, Deputy Leader of Australia’s Green Party, showed how to beat the Murdoch media empire by standing up and never backing down.

“We fought back. It was a totally committed strategy,” Milne told Climate Progress. “This is about saving the planet’s climate. That is what we are here for. This is why you need real leadership and not just a response to the populist views echoed from the vested, self interests.”
http://www.youtube.com/...

    “Australia has been heavily influenced by some of the major think tanks in the United States that are funded by Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big Fossil Fuels interests. We’ve already seen the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Heartland Foundation [Institute] supporting Australian politicians going over to the United States and picking up those tactics to the point where one Australian politician was exposed recently for fake websites, a tactic straight out of those kind of foundations.”

    “We have seen a heavily funded negative campaign being directed straight into Australia, straight into conservative think tanks and onto the front pages of the Murdoch press.”

    “The Murdoch press is a very big problem in Australia. It owns 70% of the print media and has run a massive campaign against the climate science and against the climate pricing policy that we’ve delivered in Australia. And it will continue to do so in the hope that the opposition is elected and the whole thing is repealed. This is a critical time in Australian politics and for the climate.”

Milne lamented the bullying of climate scientists in Australia, many of whom were moved into different facilities after receiving death threats and threats against their families. “It is shocking, and we need to stand up to it,” she said.

We must stand up to it. In 2011 the United States has broken the record for billion dollar (inflation adjusted) weather disasters with 12 disasters by the beginning of December. Globally, the weather has been catastrophic. La Ninas in a warming climate bring excessive rain to areas where the strong trade winds import the excessive amounts of moisture taken from warming oceans. And other areas, like Texas, suffer record breaking droughts.

We must stand up to the climate change deniers. As the climate warms, climate models predict more extreme weather will occur more frequently. That's what happened in 2011. And the future will see even more disasters with greater consequences if we don't act now.

Continue Reading

Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 03:13 PM PST

To Everything there is a Season

by jamess

Reposted from Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. by jamess


"To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die.
A time to plant, a time to reap.
...

A time to cast away stones.
A time to gather stones together.
...

A time of love, a time of hate.
A time of war, a time of peace.
...

A time to gain, a time to lose.
A time to rend, a time to sow.
A time for love, a time for hate.
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late."

Words from Ecclesiastes, adaptation by Pete Seeger


What Is Phenology?

Phenology is derived from the Greek word phaino, meaning to show or appear. Phenology refers to recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, such as leafing and flowering, maturation of agricultural plants, emergence of insects, and migration of birds.  

[...] the study of these recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, especially their timing and relationships with weather and climate.


Why Is It Important?

Phenology, put another way, is simply Nature's Calendar ...

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Reposted from Ellinorianne by boatsie

When it comes to consuming the most energy per capita, we are the leaders.  When it comes to pollution, we ruled them all up until 2007 until China surpassed us.  And I know that many like to point out that India and Russia is gaining as well, which I think is irrelevant to the fact that we have been leading the world in consumption and pollution for decades.

We are the 1%, those of us that live here in the US, we are privileged and shielded from quite a bit of the atrocities and horror that take place around the world.  

Follow me...

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