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Global on fire
Nothing to see here:
We may not have felt it in the United States, but last month was the second-warmest April worldwide since scientists began recording temperature data, according to a preliminary report from NASA.

Around the planet, April temperatures averaged 58.5°F, which is 1.3°F above average temperatures. This is only a tad lower than than the warmest April ever recorded, a milestone hit in 2010 when NASA calculated global temperatures of 1.44°F above average, according to the data sheet.

The data announcement also marks this April as the 350th month in a row where the globe has experienced above-average temperatures, a phenomenon that scientists agree is largely caused by increases of man-made greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Incidentally, April 2014 also marked the first month in human history when average carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached above 400 parts per million.

Of course, earlier this week, a NASA press release was ominously titled:
NASA-UCI Study Indicates Loss of West Antarctic Glaciers Appears Unstoppable

More on this story below the fold.

Joe Romm interviewed the study's lead author, Eric Rignot, of UC Irvine and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL):

I asked Rignot for his thoughts on whether his study (along with the other) means we should revise the upper estimate for sea level rise this century (and beyond) if we stay on our current  in emissions path, which will take us to 4°C (7°F) warming or more by 2100. He replied:
I think that the minimum will be the upper end of the IPCC projections (90 cm) by 2100 and the maximum is hard to figure out but will likely exceed 1.2 – 1.4 meters.

The systems we are looking at do not respond to climate forcing in a smooth way, they start slow and then they proceed faster and faster. I am not convinced the numerical models are there yet, they are still conservative and do not include all the feedback, they are getting better than IPCC-class models but still trailing reality quite a bit.

After 2100, it will be several meters from the ice sheets, there is no red button to stop that. I surely hope that by then humanity will have reacted and slowed down the warming. I do not think we want to experience how fast Antarctica could fall apart if we push it hard … as we do now.

So the upper end of sea level rise will likely exceed 48 to 56 inches! That would not leave “southeastern Florida having many people at the end of this century,” to quote Hal Wanless, chair of the geological sciences department at University of Miami, from a 2013 interview.
With the Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board now finding climate change to be a severe national security risk, perhaps it's time for the world's political and economic leaders to start acting as if this matters.

Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  deniers: the NHL season is nearly over so no (5+ / 0-)

    hockey sticks need be worried about

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:48:28 AM PDT

  •  Weather is not climate (9+ / 0-)

    That said, it's 100 degrees here in Southern California. Dry, windy. We're under fire alerts. Drought conditions everywhere. We are a tinderbox.

    Then, we have el Nino bearing down on us this coming winter, which will probably send burnt out hillsides sliding.

    Nothing to see here.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:50:10 AM PDT

    •  or (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Termite, JVolvo, Glen The Plumber


      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:52:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  global weather (4+ / 0-)

      IS climate

      the temperatures are a global average so yeah, it is climate.

      Be the change that you want to see in the world

      by New Minas on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:54:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is there such a thing as global weather? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think there is, and that's one of the things that muddies the global warming story, concocting global measures to suss out global trends from local phenomena.

        There's no way around it, but it is damned inconvenient.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri May 16, 2014 at 01:02:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, it's not. (0+ / 0-)

        global weather is global weather.

        Climate describes 30 year or longer averages trends of that weather.

        NASA released a one-month average surface temperature map, nothing more or less.  There is still much more variability in one-month averages than 30 or 100 year averages due to daily influences.  The 350 months of above-20th century mean temperatures are significant - due to the length of the record in addition to the magnitude of the temperature departure from the mean.

    •  By convention, climate is the average weather over (3+ / 0-)

      30 years. So another temperature data point isn't climate by itself, but it adds to the trend.

    •  Coldest April and May here in Maryland (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, sydneyluv

      that I can remember in my 64 years.  And the wettest too.  I think May has already set a record in precipitation.  

      "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

      by Navy Vet Terp on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:39:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Weather is a part of climate (0+ / 0-)

      global temperatures and sea levels are symptoms of a diseased abnormal climate which is melting the polar ice caps.

      The resulting rising sea levels are  threatening to flood more than 100 East and Gulf Coast cities with populations over 100,000 and their suburbs.

      The flooding will be taking out sea ports, airports, power stations, some of them nuclear, water and sewage treatment plants underground utilities, roads, tunnels, bridges, high rise buildings, housing, commerce, manufacturing, healthcare, police, fire, military bases, warehouses, distribution networks for food, water, and disaster relief.

      That climate is causing drought, flooding, mudslides, brush fires, duststorms, and strange weather phenomena such  as hundred year storms every ten years and then annually, collectively making California, the south west, the midwest and the south uninhabitable.

      With that comes plague, pestilence, famine, urban and rural unrest, resource wars in the United States with Americans fighting eachother for food and water.

      By 2035 we will have all our East and Gulf Coast cities in situations where their populations realize they can't be saved with sea walls and levees.

      By 2050 the temperature will have reached 2 degrees C and the climate problems will be global.

      By 2100 populations world population may no longer be in the billions and by 2200 no longer in the millions.

      Civilization as we know it will be gone, no more museums of art, science natural history, our culture will be forever lost. Survivors will be scavengers rather than hunter gatherers because there will be no food species left to hunt or gather.

      Now if you can imagine that coming then politics as usual, other issues, even important ones have to move down the chain of priorities. For me its pretty clear we need to start now with a plan to salvage what we can from our cities and relocate them back from the dying oceans, so talk of rebuilding rotting seventy five year old infrastructure should be taking this into account and doing its urban planning accordingly.

      "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

      by rktect on Fri May 16, 2014 at 01:13:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and the hits just keep on comin' (6+ / 0-)

    I think measured temperatures is one of the most undeniable aspects of warming.   It just keeps staying way hotter than normal, the last 60 years show a phenomenal change in temperatures.  Everybody's thermometer can't be wrong.

    •  glacier collapse (7+ / 0-)

      is another undeniable aspect. to anyone who is honest and has brain function.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:55:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis, JVolvo

        but that requires some science ability to read about melt, models, feedback loops that increase slippage and ice dams, etc.   Even right wingers understand a simple thermometer.   They get confused about winter still being cold, but overall temperatures just getting higher and higher,  that just get's hard to deny and retain any claim to a grip on reality.

        •  with glaciers (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jfromga, JVolvo, wilderness voice

          simple before and after photos often are enough. even base right wingers know how to "read" photos...

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:07:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  again true (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laurence Lewis, Gooserock

            but glaciers are still outside everyday experience of most people so if the paid deniers throw out totally improbable theories, they can still buy into them.   Totally improbable theories about thermometers have been thrown out there by deniers, they were improperly placed, too near or too far or too high or too low,  but at some point practical daily experience tells people thermometers aren't that wrong that often and they just can't climb the mountain of cognitive dissonance that claims about bad thermometers creates.

            •  But Earlier Springs and Later Autums are Part (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sunspots, JVolvo, PeterHug

              of ordinary gardening records around the developed world, some going back for centuries. We also have species gradually shifting their ranges toward the poles and upward in elevation all over the world.

              If we had retained the amount of family farming we had into the mid 20th century, there would be many more people in direct touch with the weather and seasonal effects of climate change.

              I began racing sailboats on the lower Great Lakes in the 60's. By the late 1980's when my wife and I scrounged up a small used overnighter sailboat, the local knowledge I'd experienced and learned from elders was out of date.

              The weather is not a mere setting for the sailor, it's our engine, we have to know what it's doing and trending to know how to get it to take us where we're going. Ideally, in racing, sooner than the other guy.

              We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

              by Gooserock on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:30:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  there is obviously variation (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in temperatures, some early or late warm spells that are atypical.  But when average world wide temperature records all of its record highs in the last two decades and most of the highs in the last decade, if you look at charts for temperatures starting around the 50's and going to present, there is just a long uphill climbe with minor year to year variations, but never really breaking the pattern.

                I live in a fairly rural turning exurban area.  Lots of people still have small holdings with some livestock, horses, CAF chicken, cows or goats,  gardens, even though row cropping is down.  We also have a nearby lake so we see the effects of drought or higher than normal rainfall.Most people know that the rainfall patterns are messed up, a few big rains, not the usual afternoon short thunderstorms in summer on an almost daily basis and 3 days of slow rain in winter, not enough cold nights for the peaches to bloom properly many years, etc.  

          •  Such as "Glacier National Park." We'll need (0+ / 0-)

            to rename it   :o(


            The Third Way ain't My Way!

            by JVolvo on Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:05:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The *second* warmest? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, jayden, Gooserock

    Seriously, if global warming were true, it'd be the * first * warmest.

    That's a no-brainer, really.

    •  seriously (6+ / 0-)

      if 2010 was the warmest, and 2014 was only second, we must be headed for another ice age. better fire up more tar sands!

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:59:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The tar sands are essentially negilible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lib Dem FoP

        contributing something like 0.06 degrees celsius to global warming when fully developed.

        The problem is "business as usual" on many other scales that no one wants to own up to (including the bulk of DailyKossers who seem to be perfectly happy trading symbolic anti-KXL activism for action that would actually make a difference).

        More to the point of this diary, if the Alberta tarsands are not developed, the Gulf Coast refineries will simply obtain their feedstocks for similarly polluting South American sources.  

        Ironically, either way (and on point for this diary), it's good for US manufacturing jobs!!

        •  oops, I think I'm confusing/conflating diaries. . (0+ / 0-)

          having also commented in the pro-manufacturing diary now making the rounds here at Daily Kos

          Although in a way that exactly illustrates the tensions between the environment and doing well for US workers . ..

          •  given the potential in green technologies (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RFK Lives, Sunspots, wilderness voice

            and the stern review's estimate that climate change will cost 5-20% of global gdp, i'd say there's no tension between the environment and doing well for u.s. workers.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:28:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In theory that might be true (0+ / 0-)
            •  Moving to a green economy would help the planet (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sunspots, wilderness voice

              and generate a much more stable economic future.  It would be a hell of a lot better than relying on resource extraction and financial manipulation as the underpinnings of our economy.  Sadly, the country that put men on the Moon in a little over 8 years has never even considered making a serious commitment to a green economic future.

              Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

              by RFK Lives on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:09:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not at all. (0+ / 0-)

                You just don't understand the deep game our PTB have been playing.  Oh, ye of little faith!
                First you send all manufacturing overseas.  Well, nothing's perfect, but we tried.
                Then you cause an international depression so even the foreign workers become unemployed.
                Meanwhile you ramp up green research (while denying anything and everything.)

                Cheap gas is an accident.  Nobody expected it but we can turn it to advantage.
                Third Act:
                We rebuild the economy by building green everything.  We soak up jobs, jobs, etc. from everywhere using the latest robot tech and green power.

                Soon the PTB will announce a national minimum income, universal free education, 90% cuts to the Defense budget  and single-payer health insurance for all.

                "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

                by jestbill on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:36:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Some truth to this (regrettably) (0+ / 0-)

                  A long-term global depression will cut demand for energy and for luxuries, and if it's severe enough and long enough, demand for meat and so on. A little bit more and it will freeze international trade, saving more on energy.

                  Based on recent experience with the Great Recession, it also has the possibility of cutting the birth rate--although personal observation makes that debatable.

        •  not at all negligible (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sunspots, wilderness voice
          Alberta's oil sands represent a significant tonnage of carbon. With today's technology there are roughly 170 billion barrels of oil to be recovered in the tar sands, and an additional 1.63 trillion barrels worth underground if every last bit of bitumen could be separated from sand. "The amount of CO2 locked up in Alberta tar sands is enormous," notes mechanical engineer John Abraham of the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota, another signer of the Keystone protest letter from scientists. "If we burn all the tar sand oil, the temperature rise, just from burning that tar sand, will be half of what we've already seen"—an estimated additional nearly 0.4 degree C from Alberta alone.

          As it stands, the oil sands industry has greenhouse gas emissions greater than New Zealand and Kenya—combined. If all the bitumen in those sands could be burned, another 240 billion metric tons of carbon would be added to the atmosphere and, even if just the oil sands recoverable with today's technology get burned, 22 billion metric tons of carbon would reach the sky. And reserves usually expand over time as technology develops, otherwise the world would have run out of recoverable oil long ago.

          The greenhouse gas emissions of mining and upgrading tar sands is roughly 79 kilograms per barrel of oil presently, whereas melting out the bitumen in place requires burning a lot of natural gas—boosting emissions to more than 116 kilograms per barrel, according to oil industry consultants IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. All told, producing and processing tar sands oil results in roughly 14 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than the average oil used in the U.S. And greenhouse gas emissions per barrel have stopped improving and started increasing slightly, thanks to increasing development of greenhouse gas–intensive melting-in-place projects. "Emissions have doubled since 1990 and will double again by 2020," says Jennifer Grant, director of oil sands research at environmental group Pembina Institute in Canada.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:26:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  and if that coin really were weighted (0+ / 0-)

      it'd show "heads" every time.
      ERGO it is a fair coin.

      "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

      by jestbill on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:25:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you had a clue.... (0+ / 0-)

      You wouldn't write that. Not serious in any way.
      In order to see the trends in AGW you need to look at 15 year trends. There is a ton of "noise" in weather data because weather and climate very complicated.
      Read here:

  •  The perverse irony in all of this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Sunspots

    is the number of jobs that should be created as mankind shores up its cities and infrastructure along the coasts and works to develop and build new technologies to fight the inevitable climate onslaught. If we didn't live in such batshit political circumstances it would be enough to force the deniers and prevaricators who use economics as a reason to NOT act against climate change to STFU already but unfortunately it probably isn't. We have to marginalize these idiots a quickly as possible and work around them and leave them literally eating our dust.

  •  Not in Minnesota (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sheesh, we had freeze warnings last night.  We're only now beginning to get tulips and I have yet to mow.  

    •  which gets to the first blockquote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      We may not have felt it in the United States, but last month was the second-warmest April worldwide since scientists began recording temperature data, according to a preliminary report from NASA.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:10:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same Here in N Ohio, We Got Yer Normal Winter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, wilderness voice

      this year.

      But that was us paying for Alaska having winter days in the 60's. I think Finland was pretty balmy this year too.

      And don't even THINK of asking an Australian.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:34:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for keeping the Climate in Focus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    Thanks, Laurence.  While facts alone won't sway people, I appreciate your and a few other headliner's efforts to keep the Climate Crisis in the DK community frontal lobes.  While we are all fighting for all the great progressive causes, the one that underlies everything, that will F**K up everything seems to NOT have much traction in the DK community, as Kos himself as said, and effectively shrugs his shoulders.

    So THANKS!

    “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.” - William Butler Yeats

    by RandW on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:31:19 PM PDT

  •  State of the Nation. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nobody's listening to NASA, and the NSA is listening to everybody.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:37:30 PM PDT

    •  The NSA listen-to-everybody budget (0+ / 0-)

      would buy enough nukes to eliminate expansion of coal use in the United States.

      Yeah, nukes are close to zero for air pollution during operation. And in 65 years what is essentially a very simple water-heating technology has been computerized and modernized so anything built in the last 30 years and upgraded is flat-out safe.

      A combination of nukes and wind power is certainly doable for northern U.S. And solar power looks to be useful for the southwest and for special applications. The numbers work a whole lot better than dumping sewage into the atmosphere.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

      by waterstreet2013 on Fri May 16, 2014 at 07:49:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republican Coastlines (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, waterstreet2013

    Once again, the evidence points out that without taking the GHF reduction actiosn being blocked by Republicans, massive coastline inundation is unstoppable.

    The result is a land with Republican Coastlines.

    "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

    by oregonj on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:40:59 PM PDT

  •  Uh... Laurence? The military planners have been (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    warning of the dangers of climate change for yonks.

    2004: Now Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us.

    2004: World Bank, Pentagon: global warming red alert.

    2012: Climate Change Report Outlines Perils for U.S. Military.

    Not to mention the GAO, and the IEA...

    Let's stop pretending that more reports from more unlikely sources will make the U.S. government act.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:45:38 PM PDT

  •  So we all have a warm hug (0+ / 0-)

    How does these impact anything?

  •  FYI (0+ / 0-)

    For temperature maps of the Earth put out by NASA and confirming the warmer than average temperatures please see:

    December 2013

    February 2014

    April 2014

    You'll find less than 10% of the Earth was colder than average while the rest was as warm, warmer and much hotter than average.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:00:16 PM PDT

  •  Just watched "Chasing Ice", about James Blalog's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    pictures and time-lapse photos of glaciers disappearing. Horrifying to watch the world we know go away.

    If you only watch a bit, watch the last ten minutes, showing an enormous calving event, the largest ever taped.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:39:48 PM PDT

  •  Hannity will say... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hannity will say that every fool knows (and he'll be right in that quantification, if nothing else) that scientists can't measure sea level in Florida anyway: just go stand at water's edge in Miami, one moment it's licking your ankles and the next it's slapping you in the face.

    But on second thought most of his groupies will age off the planet in the next two years, anyway. He'll be gone not long after Rush, whenever the lights are turned off in the last VFW bingo hall. He's smarm incarnate and he'll still make a good aluminum siding salesman after Fox.

    Ideology is when you think you know the answers before you know the questions.
    It infests hollow spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:58:36 PM PDT

  •  Nothing to See Here (0+ / 0-)

    after it was burned to a cinder.

  •  When you say average, is that the base period of (0+ / 0-)


    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri May 16, 2014 at 12:59:37 AM PDT

  •  "YOU LIE !!!!!" (0+ / 0-)

    -- Wilson, Rubio, Cheatum & Howe.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Fri May 16, 2014 at 07:39:31 AM PDT

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