Surging Antarctica Ice Loss Tripled in Last Five Years |

 

antarctica_0-980x460

globaljusticeecology.org
Posted on June 14, 2018 by GJEP staff
By Eric Holthaus

Via CommonDreams.org

Scientists are expressing alarm over “utterly terrifying” new findings from NASA and the European Space Agency that Antarctica has lost about 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992, and in the past five years—as the atmospheric and ocean temperatures have continued to climb amid ongoing reliance on fossil fuels—ice losses have tripled.

“These events and the sea-level rise they’ve triggered are an indicator of climate change and should be of concern for the governments we trust to protect our coastal cities and communities.”
— Andrew Shepherd, University of Leeds

This should be a wake-up call, said University of Leeds professor Andrew Shepherd, a lead author of the report. “These events and the sea-level rise they’ve triggered are an indicator of climate change and should be of concern for the governments we trust to protect our coastal cities and communities.”

Published in the journal Nature, “This is the most robust study of the ice mass balance of Antarctica to date,” said NASA’s Erik Ivins, who co-led the research team. The report offers insight into the future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which the authors note “is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise.”

“The outlook for the future is looking different to what it was,” explained Shepherd. “There has been a sharp increase, with almost half the loss coming in the last five years alone.”

Up until 2012, “we could not detect any acceleration,” but after that, based on surveys by satellites, they saw a threefold increase in the rate of ice melt. “That’s a big jump, and it did catch us all by surprise,” Shepherd said. “A threefold increase now puts Antarctica in the frame as one of the largest contributors to sea-level rise. The last time we looked at the polar ice sheets, Greenland was the dominant contributor. That’s no longer the case.”

Aboout decade ago, as New Scientist noted, “the official view was that there would be no net ice loss from Antarctica over the next century.”

Even so, Dr. James Hansen, “the father of modern climate change awareness,” warned at the time, “The primary issue is whether global warming will reach a level such that ice sheets begin to disintegrate in a rapid, non-linear fashion on West Antarctica, Greenland or both.”

“Once well under way, such a collapse might be impossible to stop, because there are multiple positive feedbacks,” Hansen wrote for New Scientist in 2007. “In that event, a sea level rise of several meter at least would be expected.”

Fears of so-called feedback loops have long been a critical part of the scientific community’s warnings about what runaway climate change could mean.

According to the report out this week—which was conducted by 84 researchers across 44 institutions—and others that have preceded it, the most serious melting is occuring in West Antarctica. “When we look into the ocean we find that it’s too warm and the ice sheet can’t withstand the temperatures that are surrounding it in the sea,” which is causing glaciers to melt more rapidly into the oceans, Shepherd explained.

East Antarctica, meanwhile, has experienced far less melting because the bulk of its ice is above sea level, he added. That is “an important distinction, because it means it’s insulated from changes in the ocean’s temperature.”

“I think we should be worried. That doesn’t mean we should be desperate,” University of California Irvine’s Isabella Velicogna, one of 88 co-authors,” told the Associated Press. “Things are happening. They are happening faster than we expected.”

https://globaljusticeecology.org/utterly-terrifying-surging-antarctica-ice-loss-tripled-in-last-five-years/#comments

Category: Climate Justice, Featured, Social Media News Tags: Antarctica, Common Creams, NASA, New Scientist

Advertisements

A building El Niño in 2018 signals more extreme weather for 2019

grist.org
A building El Niño in 2018 signals more extreme weather for 2019
By Eric Holthaus on May 22, 201811:39 am
4 minutes

In case you couldn’t get enough extreme weather, the next 12 months or so could bring even more scorching temps, punishing droughts, and unstoppable wildfires.

It’s still early, but odds are quickly rising that another El Niño — the periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean — could be forming. The latest official outlook from NOAA and Columbia University gives better-than-even odds of El Niño materializing by the end of this year, which could lead to a cascade of dangerous weather around the globe in 2019.

That’s a troubling development, especially when people worldwide are still suffering from the last El Niño, which ended two years ago.
Dear reader, like what you see here? Keep Grist’s green journalism humming along by supporting us with a donation today. Your gift will help us fight for a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. Support Grist

These early warnings come with a caveat: Predictions of El Niño at this time of year are notoriously fickle. If one comes, it’s impossible to know how strong it would be.

When it’s active, El Niño is often a catch-all that’s blamed for all sorts of wild weather, so it’s worth a quick science-based refresher of what we’re talking about here:

El Niño has amazingly far-reaching effects, spurring droughts in Africa and typhoons swirling toward China and Japan. It’s a normal, natural ocean phenomenon, but there’s emerging evidence that climate change is spurring more extreme El Niño-related events.

On average though, El Niño boosts global temperatures and redistributes weather patterns worldwide in a pretty predictable way. In fact, the Red Cross is starting to use its predictability to prevent humanitarian weather catastrophes before they happen.

All told, the the U.N. estimates the 2016 El Niño directly affected nearly 100 million people worldwide, not to mention causing permanent damage to the world’s coral reefs, a surge in carbon dioxide emissions from a global outbreak of forest fires, and the warmest year in recorded history.

In Ethiopia, it spawned one of the worst droughts in decades. More than 8.5 million Ethiopians continue to rely on emergency assistance, according to the UN. That includes some 1.3 million people — a majority of whom are children — who have been forced to migrate from their homes.

Initial estimates show that, if the building El Niño actually arrives, 2019 would stand a good chance at knocking off 2016 as the warmest year on record. With a strong El Niño, next year might even tiptoe across the 1.5 degree-Celsius mark — the first major milestone that locks in at least some of global warming’s worst impacts.

Recently, the United Kingdom’s Met Office — the U.K’s version of the National Weather Service — placed a 10-percent chance of the world passing the 1.5 degree Celsius target before 2022. That target was a key goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement because a sharp upward spike in temperature that severe, if sustained, would be potentially catastrophic — causing, among other impacts, “fundamental changes in ocean chemistry” that could linger for millennia, according to a draft UN report due out later this year.

Another El Niño is bad news, but it has been inevitable that another one will happen eventually. Knowing exactly when the next one is coming will give those in harm’s way more time to prepare.

https://grist.org/science/a-building-el-nino-in-2018-signals-more-extreme-weather-on-tap-for-2019/

Humans didn’t exist the last time there was this much CO2 in the air

grist.org
Humans didn’t exist the last time there was this much CO2 in the air
By Eric Holthaus on May 3, 2018

The last time atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were this high, millions of years ago, the planet was very different. For one, humans didn’t exist.

On Wednesday, scientists at the University of California in San Diego confirmed that April’s monthly average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration breached 410 parts per million for the first time in our history.

We know a lot about how to track these changes. The Earth’s carbon dioxide levels peak around this time every year for a pretty straightforward reason. There’s more landmass in the northern hemisphere, and plants grow in a seasonal cycle. During the summer, they suck down CO2, during the winter, they let it back out. The measurements were made at Mauna Loa, Hawaii — a site chosen for its pristine location far away from the polluting influence of a major city.

Increasingly though, pollution from the world’s cities is making its way to Mauna Loa — and everywhere else on Earth.

In little more than a century of frenzied fossil-fuel burning, we humans have altered our planet’s atmosphere at a rate dozens of times faster than natural climate change. Carbon dioxide is now more than 100 ppm higher than any direct measurements from Antarctic ice cores over the past 800,000 years, and probably significantly higher than anything the planet has experienced for at least 15 million years. That includes eras when Earth was largely ice-free.

Not only are carbon dioxide levels rising each year, they are accelerating. Carbon dioxide is climbing at twice the pace it was 50 years ago. Even the increases are increasing.

That’s happening for several reasons, most important of which is that we’re still burning a larger amount of fossil fuels each year. Last year, humanity emitted the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions in history — even after factoring in the expansion of renewable energy. At the same time, the world’s most important carbon sinks — our forests — are dying, and therefore losing their ability to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and store it safely in the soil. The combination of these effects means we are losing ground, and fast.

Without a bold shift in our actions, in 30 years atmospheric carbon dioxide will return back to levels last reached just after the extinction of the dinosaurs, more than 50 million years ago. At that point, it might be too late to prevent permanent, dangerous feedback loops from kicking in.

This is the biggest problem humanity has ever faced, and we’ve barely even begun to address it effectively. On our current pace, factoring in current climate policies of every nation on Earth, the best independent analyses show that we are on course for warming of about 3.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, enough to extinguish entire ecosystems and destabilize human civilization.

Climate change demands the urgent attention and cooperation of every government around the world. But even though most countries have acknowledged the danger, the ability to limit our emissions eludes us. After 23 years of United Nations summits on climate change, the time has come for radical thinking and radical action — a social movement with the power to demand a better future.

Of the two dozen or so official UN scenarios that show humanity curbing global warming to the goals agreed to in the 2015 Paris Accord, not one show success without the equivalent of a technological miracle. It’s easier to imagine outlandish technologies, like carbon capture, geoengineering, or fusion power than self-control.

Our failed approach to climate change is mostly a failure of imagination. We are not fated to this path. We can do better. Yes, there are some truly colossal headwinds, but we still control our future. Forgetting that fact is sure to doom us all.

https://grist.org/science/humans-didnt-exist-the-last-time-there-was-this-much-co2-in-the-air/

5 Environmental Victories to Inspire You This Earth Day

Olivia Rosane

Planet Earth is at a crisis point. Researchers say we have to begin reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 if we want to meet the temperature goals outlined in the Paris agreement and avoid catastrophic climate change.

The work to be done can seem overwhelming. A survey published this week found that only 6 percent of Americans think we will succeed in reducing global warming.

But Earth Day weekend is no time to give up! History has shown that when human beings come together to face environmental challenges, we are capable of making the planet a healthier, happier place for humans and non-humans alike.

Here are five environmental victories to inspire you this Earth Day.

  1. The First Earth Day Creates a Movement

Before the first Earth Day in 1970, polluted rivers in the U.S. sometimes caught fire, and industry polluted the air without worrying about consequences. Then Sen. Gaylord Nelson decided to launch a “national teach-in on the environment,” drawing on the tactics of the anti-war movement to unite different struggles against pollution, oil spills and wilderness depletion under a single green umbrella. Twenty million Americans participated in the first Earth Day and it led to major legislative victories, such as the formation of the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, which set out to make all U.S. rivers swimmable and fishable again, and insured they would no longer be flammable.

As hard as it might be to believe in today’s political climate, that first Earth Day was a bi-partisan affair. Nelson reached out to Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey to act as the day’s co-chair, in a model of the kind of bipartisan collaboration we need to tackle today’s environmental challenges.

  1. The U.S. Saves Its Symbol

One of the factors that raised environmental consciousness in the U.S. in the decade leading up to the first Earth Day was the 1962 publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. In the book, Carson explained how the widely-used pesticide DDT entered the food chain, killing many more insects than targeted and harming the birds who feasted on the insects, including bald eagles.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), a year after Carson’s book was published, there were only 487 nesting pairs left in the country. But the U.S. acted to save its national bird. In 1972, the nascent EPA banned DDT, and, in 1978, the species was listed as endangered, five years after the passage of the Endangered Species Act. In 2007, the FWS announced that the bald eagle had entirely recovered.

  1. International Collaboration Closes the Ozone Hole

As insurmountable as global climate change seems at times, there is precedent for nations coming together to solve an environmental problem. When a hole in the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from the ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer and harm plants, was discovered in the 1980s, nations came together and finalized the Montreal Protocol in 1987.

The protocol banned ozone-depleting products such as chlorofluorocarbons that were used in refrigerants and aerosol sprays. And it worked. A 2018 NASA study found that the reduction in ozone-depleting chemicals had resulted in 20 percent less ozone depletion since 2005.

  1. The Green Belt Movement Plants More Than 50 Million Trees

Prof. Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her role in founding the Green Belt Movement. Fredrick Onyango

In the 1970s, Prof. Wangari Maathai listened to the complaints of women in rural Kenya who told her that they had to walk further for fuel, their local streams were drying, and their food supply was more precarious. Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1972 to encourage them to plant trees in order to improve the soil, store rainwater, and provide fuel and food. Tree planting led to grassroots activism as the women realized the deterioration of their land was also the result of government policies. Overall, the movement has planted more than 51 million trees since its founding.

  1. Maori Win 140-Year-Old Environmental Court Case

 

 

In 2017, New Zealand’s parliament granted the Whanganui River, called Te Awa Tupua by the Maori, the legal rights of a person, something the local Maori had petitioned for since 1873. The move honored the persistence of indigenous activists, who are often on the forefront of struggles to protect the environment, and signals that settler governments might finally be willing to learn from a worldview that places fewer separations between human beings and the planet. The legislation included money for compensation and for improving the river’s health, and paved the way for Mount Taranaki to be offered similar legal status later that year.

https://www.ecowatch.com/environmental-victories-2561818321.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=1db4b0c0eb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-1db4b0c0eb-86074753

Fixing Farming our climate challenge. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange

seeimg_2049-147344290.jpg

https://jpratt27.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/fixing-farming-our-climate-challenge-auspol-qldpol-stopadani-climatechange/#like-12198

jpratt27.wordpress.com
Fixing Farming our climate challenge. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange
by John
9-11 minutes

Fixing farming our climate challenge

Rod Oram writes in this week’s column about farming’s massive climate change challenge and New Zealand’s special role in finding ways to reduce emissions.

“As a scientist I’ve never had so much reason to be nervous; and as a scientist I’ve never had so much reason to be hopeful.”

This was the essential message Johan Rockström, one of the world’s leading earth scientists, delivered this past week about climate change and our responses to it during his visit to New Zealand.

He entrusted a particular task to us: agriculture and food production globally present the greatest climate change challenge of all.

Their big adverse effects on the ecosystem are compounded by associated impacts through deforestation, agricultural monocultures, biodiversity loss and the declining health of soils and water.

It’s harder for farmers

All up agriculture broadly defined is the largest single source of greenhouse gases globally, says Rockström, who founded and leads the Stockholm Resilience Centre. But their technological and economic pathways to sustainability are far less clear than those for energy, transport and the built environment.

There are agricultural examples but we need much more innovation and ways to scale them up.

He believes New Zealand has a leading role to play globally in this agricultural transformation. On one hand, agriculture emissions are 49 percent of our total emissions, by far the highest proportion for a developed economy. On the other, our farmers and the scientists and businesses that support them, are among the most innovative in the world.

As an aside on that latter point, agricultural innovation is remarkably slow compared with all other industrial sectors. The average time from innovation to peak deployment of a new piece of agri-tech is 19.2 years here versus 52 years in the US. This insight was delivered recently to a symposium of Our Land and Water, one of our government’s 11 long-term National Science Challenges. Clearly, we have to innovate far faster.

Get moving now

But, Rockström stresses, the window of opportunity to address the totality of climate change is very small. Humankind is still generating a rising volume of emissions. If we are to stand any chance of keeping the rise in global temperatures to under 2 degrees C we have to start bending the curve down by 2020 then accelerate our emission reductions to a rate of about 6-7 percent a year.

While that might seem like a manageable rate, it will actually require transformational shifts in technology across all sectors of the economy. Pathways that are technologically practical and economically viable are increasingly clear in electricity and other sources of power, in transport and industrial processes.

For example, renewable electricity and other forms of energy, after growing by 5.5 per cent a year for the past 15 years, are starting to demonstrate exponential growth. A world free from fossil fuels is possible by 2045, Rockström says.

Earth scientist Johan Rockstrom from the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

The ‘Moore’s law’ of climate change

If, though, humankind can reduce its emissions by 6 to 7 per cent a year, we would halve emissions every decade and achieve near-zero emissions by 2050.

This is the Global Carbon Law Rockström and colleagues are proposing, equivalent to Moore’s Law in computing. It is the latest development of the work of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

But maintaining that rate of reduction in carbon emissions over the next 30 years will take far more than just a complete switch to clean energy and sustainable agriculture.

We will also need to engineer carbon sinks, such as burning wood and other biofuels then capturing and storing the carbon emissions from them; and we will have to improve and monitor carefully the ecosystem health of land sinks such as forests and soil, and the ocean which currently absorbs a large proportion of the carbon emissions, and subsequent heat, generated by human activity.

If we do all that, “we have a 66 percent chance of staying under 2 degrees C,” Rockström says. But even that will cause ecosystem changes, moving us away from the Holocene, the geological epoch over the past 11,000 years which never saw temperature variations greater than plus or minus 1 degree C. This climate sweet spot was a “Garden of Eden”, Rockström says, in which humans have flourished.

Risks of feedback loops and tipping points

“We are already at 1.1 degree C. Even 1.5 degree C will be a challenge to adjust to.” Moreover, there are substantial risks that climate tipping points will trigger greater rises in temperature. Such feedback loops include forest dieback that would create savannahs that absorb far less carbon, and the loss of ice sheets, which not only raise sea levels but also reduce the white reflective surface of the planet, thereby increasing warming.

Responding to climate change will also take much more than science, technology change, targets and policies, he adds. All societies will need to progress a great deal so they have the capability to rise to the challenge of planetary stewardship.

For the first time we have a guide to that in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are applicable to all countries, developing and developed.

Usually, the 17 goals are presented in a matrix that doesn’t differentiate their priorities. Rockström’s Stockholm Resilience Centre, however, has arranged them with the four goals on the biosphere as the essential and critical base, with eight societal goals sitting above to help build healthy societies capable of rapid change, with four economic goals above, topped with the goal on partnerships for achieving the goals.

The Centre is renowned for its work identifying the nine biological-chemical-physical boundaries of the planet and measuring the extent human activity is overshooting them. So far, only climate change has a clearly defined target, which is based on zero carbon emissions by 2050 and a 1.5-2 degrees C temperature goal. That was extremely hard for scientists to establish and for the United Nations to get some commitments to steps towards it by nations in the Paris climate agreement of 2015.

The next big phase of the Centre’s research is to work with other scientists to devise numerical measures of a “safe place” for humankind within some of the other planetary boundaries. Like the crystal clear signals temperature sends on climate change, these will focus people, politicians, policy makers, and all other participants in society on the urgent need to bring human activity back within the boundaries.

The biodiversity challenge

Their top priority is biodiversity. Their extremely difficult scientific task is to develop a measure that not just expresses the rapid loss of species but also the impairment these losses have on ecosystem health and resilience, and thus the ability of those systems to provide for human needs. Some major multinationals, highly conscious of their impact on natural resources, are among the leaders of the push for a biodiversity measure, Rockström says.

While Rockström didn’t mention a particular role for New Zealand in that work, we have a lot to offer. Among developed countries, we are the most dependent on the natural environment for earning our living, most of our National Science Challenges are focused on ecosystems in whole or part and the relevant sciences are the ones we are best at commercialising.

Above all we are ambitious and innovative about ecosystems, witness our goal of being predator free by 2050 and the wave of science, research, development and creativity this is unleashing. The Cacophony Project is an impressive example but just one of a rapidly growing number.

Likewise, we have a burgeoning ecosystem of organisations in business and civil society focused on these enormous opportunities. Two examples are the Next Foundation (http://www.nextfoundation.org.nz/), which invests heavily in environmental programmes, and the Hillary Institute of International Leadership (http://www.hillaryinstitute.com/), based in Christchurch, which chooses each year a global leader in environmental issues.

Rockström is its 8th laureate and this award has brought him here to share his knowledge widely, including with the government, and to learn more about New Zealand. His biggest engagement was with the twice-a-year New Frontiers gathering of local and international experts on these intensely integrated issues of deep sustainability, which is run by the Edmund Hillary Fellowship.

“We are rolling in the right direction. We will decarbonise the world eventually – but are we moving fast enough?” He made it very clear to the New Frontiers audience that we are not.

But above all, he makes it abundantly clear that climate change is just one manifestation of humankind’s need for deep sustainability. We are the greatest driver of planetary change, greater than any natural force. Thus, this geological epoch is truly the Anthropocene.

Disclosure: I’m an Edmund Hillary Fellow, participated in New Frontiers, and was MC at the Our Land and Water symposium.

Press link for more: Newsroom.co.nz

 

How To Protect Yourself From Climate Denial Misinformation

globaljusticeecology.org
Posted on April 5, 2018
By Peter Ellerton

Originally appeared in The Conversation

Much of the public discussion about climate science consists of a stream of assertions. The climate is changing or it isn’t; carbon dioxide causes global warming or it doesn’t; humans are partly responsible or they are not; scientists have a rigorous process of peer review or they don’t, and so on.

Despite scientists’ best efforts at communicating with the public, not everyone knows enough about the underlying science to make a call one way or the other. Not only is climate science very complex, but it has also been targeted by deliberate obfuscation campaigns.

If we lack the expertise to evaluate the detail behind a claim, we typically substitute judgment about something complex (like climate science) with judgment about something simple (the character of people who speak about climate science).

But there are ways to analyse the strength of an argument without needing specialist knowledge. My colleagues, Dave Kinkead from the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project and John Cook from George Mason University in the US, and I published a paper yesterday in Environmental Research Letters on a critical thinking approach to climate change denial.

We applied this simple method to 42 common climate-contrarian arguments, and found that all of them contained errors in reasoning that are independent of the science itself.

In the video abstract for the paper, we outline an example of our approach, which can be described in six simple steps.

The authors discuss the myth that climate change is natural.

Identify the claim: First, identify as simply as possible what the actual claim is. In this case, the argument is:

The climate is currently changing as a result of natural processes.

Construct the supporting argument: An argument requires premises (those things we take to be true for the purposes of the argument) and a conclusion (effectively the claim being made). The premises together give us reason to accept the conclusion. The argument structure is something like this:

Premise one: The climate has changed in the past through natural processes
Premise two: The climate is currently changing
Conclusion: The climate is currently changing through natural processes.

Determine the intended strength of the claim: Determining the exact kind of argument requires a quick detour into the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning. Bear with me!

In our paper we examined arguments against climate change that are framed as definitiveclaims. A claim is definitive when it says something is definitely the case, rather than being probable or possible.

Definitive claims must be supported by deductive reasoning. Essentially, this means that if the premises are true, the conclusion is inevitably true.

This might sound like an obvious point, but many of our arguments are not like this. In inductive reasoning, the premises might support a conclusion but the conclusion need not be inevitable.

An example of inductive reasoning is:

Premise one: Every time I’ve had a chocolate-covered oyster I’ve been sick
Premise two: I’ve just had a chocolate-covered oyster
Conclusion: I’m going to be sick.

This is not a bad argument – I’ll probably get sick – but it’s not inevitable. It’s possible that every time I’ve had a chocolate-covered oyster I’ve coincidentally got sick from something else. Perhaps previous oysters have been kept in the cupboard, but the most recent one was kept in the fridge.

Because climate-contrarian arguments are often definitive, the reasoning used to support them must be deductive. That is, the premises must inevitably lead to the conclusion.

Check the logical structure: We can see that in the argument from step two – that the climate change is changing because of natural processes – the truth of the conclusion is not guaranteed by the truth of the premises.

In the spirit of honesty and charity, we take this invalid argument and attempt to make it valid through the addition of another (previously hidden) premise.

Premise one: The climate has changed in the past through natural processes
Premise two: The climate is currently changing
Premise three: If something was the cause of an event in the past, it must be the cause of the event now
Conclusion: The climate is currently changing through natural processes.

Adding the third premise makes the argument valid, but validity is not the same thing as truth. Validity is a necessary condition for accepting the conclusion, but it is not sufficient. There are a couple of hurdles that still need to be cleared.

Check for ambiguity: The argument mentions climate change in its premises and conclusion. But the climate can change in many ways, and the phrase itself can have a variety of meanings. The problem with this argument is that the phrase is used to describe two different kinds of change.

Current climate change is much more rapid than previous climate change – they are not the same phenomenon. The syntax conveys the impression that the argument is valid, but it is not. To clear up the ambiguity, the argument can be presented more accurately by changing the second premise:

Premise one: The climate has changed in the past through natural processes
Premise two: The climate is currently changing at a more rapid rate than can be explained by natural processes
Conclusion: The climate is currently changing through natural processes.

This correction for ambiguity has resulted in a conclusion that clearly does not follow from the premises. The argument has become invalid once again.

We can restore validity by considering what conclusion would follow from the premises. This leads us to the conclusion:

Conclusion: Human (non-natural) activity is necessary to explain current climate change.

Importantly, this conclusion has not been reached arbitrarily. It has become necessary as a result of restoring validity.

Note also that in the process of correcting for ambiguity and the consequent restoring of validity, the attempted refutation of human-induced climate science has demonstrably failed.

Check premises for truth or plausibility: Even if there were no ambiguity about the term “climate change”, the argument would still fail when the premises were tested. In step four, the third premise, “If something was the cause of an event in the past, it must be the cause of the event now”, is clearly false.

Applying the same logic to another context, we would arrive at conclusions like: people have died of natural causes in the past; therefore any particular death must be from natural causes.

Restoring validity by identifying the “hidden” premises often produces such glaringly false claims. Recognising this as a false premise does not always require knowledge of climate science.
Flow chart for argument analysis and evaluation.

When determining the truth of a premise does require deep knowledge in a particular area of science, we may defer to experts. But there are many arguments that do not, and in these circumstances this method has optimal value.
Inoculating against poor arguments

Previous work by Cook and others has focused on the ability to inoculate people against climate science misinformation. By pre-emptively exposing people to misinformation with explanation they become “vaccinated” against it, showing “resistance” to developing beliefs based on misinformation.

This reason-based approach extends inoculation theory to argument analysis, providing a practical and transferable method of evaluating claims that does not require expertise in climate science.

Fake news may be hard to spot, but fake arguments don’t have to be.

Category: Climate Justice, Featured, Social Media News Tags: climate change, Climate Denial, critical thinking, The Conversation

https://globaljusticeecology.org/how-to-protect-yourself-from-climate-denial-misinformation/#comments

Gallery

As climate change worsens, king penguins will need to move — or they’ll die (Southern Ocean, Antarctica)

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on The ocean update:
Photo by Céline Le Bohec / CNRS / IPEV / CSM February 26th, 2018 (Alessandra Potenza). If we don’t cut greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change, then by the end of the century, 70 percent…

Rate this:

Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration

The Extinction Chronicles

Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas and Louisiana last August, causing $125 billion in damage, dumped more water out of the sky than any storm in U.S. history. By one calculation, roughly a million gallons fell for every person in Texas. The water rained down on a flat former bayou that had become a concrete and asphalt empire of more than 2.3 million people. Highways turned into rivers and shopping malls into lakes. As the water rose, people scrambled for safe refuge – into attics, onto rooftops and overpasses. A Texas game warden captured a nine-foot-long alligator in the dining room of a home near Lake Houston. Snakes swam into kitchens. A hawk flew into a taxicab and wouldn’t leave.

View original post 3,596 more words

The Water Will Come, rising seas, sinking cities. #auspol #StopAdani #ClimateChange

jpratt27

FEBRUARY 21, 2018

IN HIS URGENT NEW BOOK, Jeff Goodell takes readers on a tour of places likely to be swallowed up by the sea — among them Florida; New York City; Venice; Norfolk, Virginia; Rotterdam; Lagos; and the Marshall Islands.

The book tells the engrossing story of their likely demise, and how our inability to deal with climate change renders this tragedy increasingly inevitable.

Many other places, too, will be swallowed up if humans don’t stop spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And, alas, even if they do stop, there’s no telling when the sea will stop rising.

While keenly observing and poignantly describing rapidly changing coastal ecologies, Goodell also reports with empathy and acumen on his conversations with a mix of scientists, engineers, community workers, real estate agents, activists, and politicians.

At an event hosted by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce in 2016, the theme of the…

View original post 2,583 more words

North Pole Region Predicted to Experience Another Instance of Above Freezing Temperatures as the Bering Sea Ice is Blasted Away

Take the time to stroll down through the comments additional information.

robertscribbler

Those previously rare instances of above freezing temperatures in the Arctic north during winter time are happening more and more often.

(February 20 NASA satellite imagery shows Bering Sea with mostly open water as highly atypical above freezing temperatures drive far north. Note that patches of open water extend well into the Chukchi Sea. Image source: NASA.)

Just Monday and Tuesday of this week, Cape Jessup, Greenland — a mere 400 miles away from the North Pole — experienced above freezing temperatures for two days in a row. This following a February 5 warm air invasion that drove above 32 F temperatures to within 150 miles of this furthest northerly point in our Hemisphere even as, by February 20th, a warm air invasion relentlessly melted the Bering Sea’s typically frozen surface (see image above).

Far Above Average Temperatures Over Our Pole

It’s not just a case of warming…

View original post 904 more words

Petition: Urge SpaceX and Blue Origin to Help Save Vital Climate Satellites

The US – and scientist around the world could soon lose precious information needed to understand and address the climate crisis, thanks to climate change deniers and Congress.

 The US government polar sea ice monitoring program now has just three functioning research satellites. Each is beyond its shelf life and the government officials say another satellite cannot be launch before 2023.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/886/221/256/urge-spacex-and-blue-origin-to-help-save-vital-climate-satellites/

Climate Change Projected to Take Huge Toll on Oregon-California Wildlands | Global Justice Ecology Project

Climate Change Projected to Take Huge Toll on Oregon-California Wildlands

Posted on November 2, 2017 by GJEP staff

The Klamath-Siskiyou along the Oregon-California border is one of the wildest regions remaining on the U.S. West Coast. World-class biodiversity, stunning wild rivers, and an incredible eight million acres of public lands are spread across the eleven million-acre region. Due to the diversity of plants and animals in the region and its central location between the Sierra, Cascade, and Coastal Mountains, this region may act as a refuge for nature in a changing climate.
Like many regions, the “KS” is already feeling significant impacts from global climate change. Yet, there are important steps we can take to ensure that the forests, rivers, and wildlife in this region survive in a changing climate. Reducing carbon emissions is essential to reduce the overall magnitude of impacts from climate change. Even so, many of the effects are already here and we must adapt. Protecting the region’s natural systems requires the concerted efforts of public land managers and engaged residents from across the region. This report draws on expert research on the likely impacts of climate change and summarizes the most critical efforts we can take to ensure continued diversity and resilience of our natural systems in a changing climate.

Climate change is happening in the Klamath-Siskiyou now and will get much worse.

Temperatures are already up 3.5° and summers could increase another 15° by 2080.
By 2080, the Klamath-Siskiyou (KS) could have negligible snowpack and the Rogue Valley could have a climate like Sacramento.

The KS is a critical landscape that must be protected from climate change.

The wildest landscape remaining on the U.S. West Coast, the KS includes eight million acres of public land across eleven million acres total. Land management choices made by federal land managers at the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are critical to protecting the region from climate change.

To prepare for climate change, we must reduce the stress on important landscapes.

In the KS, some of the stressors that need to be reduced include:

Logging of old forests
Livestock overgrazing
Dams
Habitat fragmentation
Erosion from roads
Coastal development

Air and water pollution
Loss of key species
Invasive species
Floodplain development
Over-allocation of water Post-fire logging

Certain places and habitats in the KS function best as refuges from climate change.

Since at least the last ice age, special places in the KS have been refuges from natural changes to the climate. The most important places deserve special protection to help species survive climate change in the coming decades.

They include the following:

Old-growth and mature forests
Roadless areas
Corridors that connect protected landscapes
Cold rivers and streams

Forested areas that span multiple elevations
Forested canyons
North and northeast facing slopes
Coastal forests

Read the full report here at KShttps://globaljusticeecology.org/climate-change-projected-to-take-huge-toll-on-oregon-california-wildlands/#comments Wild.

Category: Climate Justice, Featured, Social Media News Tags: california, climate change, Klamath-Siskiyou, old growth forest, Oregon

Tell the inspector general of the Department of the Interior: Investigate the censoring of government scientists and experts | CREDO Action

Censoring scientists will not solve the climate crisis but Donald Trump is much more interested in covering it up.
https://act.credoaction.com/sign/investigate_doi?t=5&akid=25112%2E7157012%2ENA70ue

Petition: In Harvey’s Wake We Can’t Go Backwards on Climate Pollution


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/546/184/303/

Petition: Don’t Ban “Climate Change” from the USDA’s Vocabulary


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/605/647/678/

Could Ivanka help save the planet?

Source: Could Ivanka help save the planet?

Petition · Don’t let Trump dump essential NASA and NOAA programs · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/don-t-let-trump-dump-essential-nasa-and-noaa-programs

Petition: EPA: Replace Climate Change Info on Website!


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/619/284/815/

Protect Bangladesh from Climate Change – ForceChange


https://forcechange.com/221288/protect-bangladesh-from-climate-change/

Global Warming (or is it Global Cooling?) | This blog examines the essential facts that show that human induced climate change is an absolute crock. In fact you don’t have to be a scientist to figure that out!


https://rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com/

Petition-Don’t Cut Crucial Climate Science Research Programs – ForceChange


https://forcechange.com/194645/dont-cut-crucial-climate-science-research-programs/

Petition: Don’t Undo Vehicle Emissions Rules That Curb Global Warming!


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/953/790/328/dont-undo-vehicle-emissions-rules-that-curb-global-warming/

 Petition – Don’t Let Trump Kill Climate Progress – The Us Campaign


http://www.theuscampaign.com/trump_petition_lcv

The Carbon Clock Is Ticking: We Have One Year to Avert Climate Catastrophe | Global Justice Ecology Project

The Carbon Clock Is Ticking: We Have One Year to Avert Climate Catastrophe
Posted on January 11, 2017 by GJEP staff
By Nika Knight
Originally published on CommonDreams.org

Our window of time to act on climate may be shrinking even faster than previously thought.

We may only have one year remaining before we lock in 1.5ºC of warming—the ideal goal outlined in the Paris climate agreement—after which we’ll see catastrophic and irreversible climate shifts, many experts have warned.

That’s according to the ticking carbon budget clock created by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). The clock’s countdown now shows that only one year is left in the world’s carbon budget before the planet heats up more than 1.5º over pre-industrial temperatures.

The current carbon budget countdown, as of January 10, 2017. (Screenshot: MCC)
That’s under the most pessimistic calculations. According to the most optimistic prediction, we have four years to kick our carbon habit and avert 1.5º of warming.

And to limit warming to 2ºC—the limit agreed upon in the Paris climate accord—we have nine years to act under the most pessimistic scenario, and 23 years to act under the most optimistic.

“So far, there is no track record for reducing emissions globally,” explained Fabian Löhe, spokesperson for MCC, in an email to Common Dreams. “Instead, greenhouse gas emissions have been rising at a faster pace during the last decade than previously—despite growing awareness and political action across the globe. Once we have exhausted the carbon budget, every ton of CO2 that is released by cars, buildings, or industrial plants would need to be compensated for during the 21st century by removing the CO2 from the atmosphere again. Generating such ‘negative emissions’ is even more challenging and we do not know today at which scale we might be able to do that.”

(Climate activists and environmentalists have also long warned of the potential negative consequences of geoengineering and other carbon capture schemes, as Common Dreams has reported.)

“Hence, the clock shows that time is running out: it is not enough to act sometime in the future, but it is necessary to implement more ambitious climate policies already in the very short-term,” Löhe added.

“Take all of the most difficult features of individual pathways to 2ºC—like fast and ambitious climate action in all countries of the world, the full availability of all required emissions reduction and carbon removal technologies, as well as aggressive energy demand reductions across the globe—the feasibility of which were so heatedly debated prior to Paris,” Löhe said. “This gives you an idea of the challenge associated with the more ambitious 1.5°C goal.”

Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Global Justice Ecology Project
NonProfit Theme v4 by Organic Themes · WordPress Hosting · RSS Feed · Log in
🙂

Petition · President-elect Trump: Bring Science to the White House · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/president-elect-trump-bring-science-to-the-white-house

With or without the U.S., the world’s going to move forward on climate change | Grist


With or without the U.S., the world’s going to move forward on climate change
By Emma Foehringer Merchant on Nov 21, 2016 12:30 pm

The last time Marrakech, Morocco, hosted an international climate conference in 2001, negotiators were coming together to discuss how to carry out a climate change treaty, the U.S. had a Republican president, and the new administration had “no interest” in implementing a deal that had been signed by a Democrat.

Sound familiar?

Negotiators, back in Marrakech for COP22, faced a similar crisis the last two weeks: They began work on the eve of the U.S. election to discuss implementing the climate change agreement reached last year in Paris. Then the election results came in and sent shock waves through the proceedings, as Donald Trump has vowed to yank the United States from the agreement.

But the Marrakech conference’s outcome serves as a reminder that the world isn’t exactly where it was 15 years ago. Working early into the morning Saturday, international delegates aimed to send an unambiguous signal with the final text: countries will push forward.

“Country after country here in Marrakech made it crystal clear over the last week,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “They intend to implement and strengthen the Paris Agreement.”

Negotiators agreed on a time frame to map out a rulebook that moves forward on Paris. There were more pledges to remain committed to climate action — the usual fanfare — and some signs that countries, cities, and private companies will stay the course on climate action.

Still, negotiators pushed off essential decisions on finance and transparency until their 2018 meeting in Poland, when Trump administration officials may or may not be there to derail talks.

For the time being, global progress on climate change seems like it’s best measured by diplomats’ plans to make plans.
Reaffirming Paris

The conference in Morocco technically included the first Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, because the agreement entered into force in early November, years earlier than expected. For climate negotiators that was reason enough to celebrate in Marrakech.

“This COP is first and foremost about a celebration of the entry into force and convening of the first meeting of the parties,” said Elina Bardram, head of the European Union delegation. That excitement yielded the Marrakech Proclamation, a document that basically says countries will follow through on promises, and the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, an alliance of private and public parties to drive action in the years leading up to 2020. Both passionately reiterate the global commitment to the Paris Agreement.

After delegates quit popping champagne and quaking over the U.S. election, they agreed on a few preliminary commitments to work on for the next two years.
New leaders

If the U.S. quits the Paris climate deal, or even the United Nations climate change body at large, it will leave a leadership vacuum. At COP22, there were already signs other countries are prepared to fill the void. Notably, China has stepped forward. Last week a Chinese foreign minister in Marrakech rebuked Trump’s claim that China invented the climate change hoax, pointing to leadership from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush on international climate talks before China was even involved. The head of the E.U. delegation also said at the conference that European nations would rise to the occasion, as they did when the U.S. dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol.

Cities and and the private sector will also continue to play a major role in global climate efforts. In the last days of the conference, 365 companies promised climate action even if the U.S bows out. Separately, more than 100 companies met at COP22 to discuss steps like making low-carbon investments and reducing emissions from manufacturing to market. The number of businesses making commitments has more than doubled since Paris last year. More than 7,000 mayors — governing over 8 percent of the world population — also announced efforts to drastically cut emissions.

“[We’ve] had a set of truly impressive activities taking place in and around the COP to mobilize business, the finance sector, subnational governments, and other climate leaders,” said U.S. climate envoy Jonathan Pershing in Marrakech. “This COP is about much more than negotiations; it’s an important signpost on the pathway to a low-emission, climate-resilient economy, and the world is accelerating on that pathway.”
Money

Countries agreed to consider transferring a pot of money meant for small projects that’s tied to the Kyoto Protocol to help implement the Paris Agreement. Over the past two weeks, four countries promised to fill the fund’s coffers with $81 million. A fund that helps poorer countries access climate technologies brought in another $23 million. According to Joe Thwaites of the World Resources Institute, that “sends a really strong signal” about the future of climate finance.

But the biggest monetary decisions have been punted until 2018. The United Nations has promised to mobilize climate adaptation funds to the tune of $100 billion a year beginning in 2020, and they’re still a long ways from that goal.

A plan spearheaded by Australia and the U.K., released ahead of the COP, details how rich countries could raise the $100 billion a year. But analysis from organizations like WRI and Oxfam suggest that even if countries meet those pledges, they’ll still need to be scaled up in the future.

“Developed countries are resisting any decision which really compels them to step up,” says Tracy Carty, Oxfam’s COP22 climate policy lead. “This needed to be the COP that turned a corner, but instead it looks like the issue is going to be kicked along the road to the next COP.”
Trust and transparency

Firm details on transparency, like how countries will monitor and report their progress on climate goals, may also have to wait for 2018. While countries such as Germany and Canada pledged $50 million to a transparency initiative to help countries report progress, the parties are still working on a program for sharing information.

As the Paris rulebook comes together, countries have vowed that transparency will be baked into measuring, reporting, climate finance, and technology development.
Ambition

Countries agreed to hash out a system before 2018 to increase emissions cuts in future years. The United States, Germany, Mexico, and Canada released mid-century decarbonization strategies — a goal set in the Paris Agreement.

On the last day of the COP, a group of nearly 50 of the world’s most vulnerable countries also announced plans to convert to 100 percent renewable energy as soon as possible.
What’s next?

More incremental progress is expected at COP23 in Fiji next year, but 2018 will be the “year to watch for,” said WRI’s Yamide Dagnet. The meeting in Poland could be as significant as last year’s in Paris. It’s the deadline for parties to set all the implementation strategies for making good on their Paris promises. It’s also the year when countries will reevaluate their commitments and hopefully increase their ambition.

But the swift entry into force of the Paris Agreement has diplomats negotiating a slippery balance. “They want to make sure they don’t rush decisions,” said Thwaites, “that they allow as many countries as possible to join the agreement and be part of that decision-making process.” At the same time, many of the most vulnerable nations want to see action as soon as possible, with no backsliding.

In the end, parties seemed satisfied with the Marrakech negotiations. “COP22 has been what it needed to be,” said U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa, “a COP of action that has accelerated progress under the Paris Agreement across finance, new initiatives, ambition, and solidarity.”

Though U.N. officials may be encouraged by their progress, they’ve got a lot more hard work to come if there’s to be any chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees C — let alone 1.5 degrees — above pre-industrial levels. Neither the Paris nor Marrakech negotiations get us remotely close to that goal, so now the focus turns to the the 2018 conference. Over the next two years, it will become clearer whether the 2016 Marrakech meeting was the point at which climate action swelled to meet and exceed the ambition of Paris — or another year in which U.S. politics stalled progress, again.

A Beacon in the Smog®

© 1999-2016 Grist Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Grist is powered by WordPress.com VIP.

Petition: Don’t Let a Climate Denier Lead the EPA – We Can’t Go Backwards!


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/934/786/736/we-cant-go-backwards-on-climate-action/

7 Of The World’s Most Beautiful And Threatened Beaches | Care2 Causes

It’s summer and for most of us, that means at least one trip to the nearest beach. Splashing in the ocean, soaking up the sun, sinking my toes into the sand: these are sensations only the beach can provide.
Sadly, our pollution and exploitation of all the ocean has to offer has put the world’s most beautiful beaches in jeopardy. In 100 years, a beachside vacation may be something people only read about in books.

Here are just seven of the world’s most beautiful and threatened beaches:

  1. Rhossili, Wales


Rhossili, a world-famous five-mile sweeping bay located on the tip of the Gower peninsula in southwest Wales, is in danger because of erosion caused by climate change.

  1. Goa, India

    “People around the world picture Goa as the ultimate beach destination and what adds to the charm is the lush green environs of the state. But locals and conservationists fear that iron ore mining companies in India are not only spoiling the natural beauty of the region, but threatening the lives of many wild animals stricken out of their forest homes,” reports IndiasEndangered.com.
  2. Railay, Thailand

“I genuinely fear for Railay,” writes travel blogger Adventurous Kate. ”I’m afraid that it will become the next Koh Phi Phi, the entire island smelling like sewage because the infrastructure can’t handle the number of visitors.”
4. Koh Rong Island

“Koh Rong Island is an inexpensive, unspoiled island getaway with turquoise-green waters, miles of powder-white beaches, endless palm trees, untouched fishing villages and only a handful of beachfront bungalows,” reports BBC Travel. But don’t wait too long if you want to see it that way. “In 2006, Kithr Meng, a Cambodian tycoon, purchased a 99-year lease on the island from the Cambodian government. His 20-year plan includes building an airport for small aircrafts, a marina, a golf course, casinos and several five-star resorts.”
5. Seychelles, Indian Ocean


In the past decade, the rising sea level has taken a bite out of this spectacular strip of shore in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar. “Rising temperatures and the melting of polar ice caps are blamed for raising ocean levels and threatening to destroy the nation’s pristine coastline – the country’s No 1 tourist attraction. Some of the archipelago’s low-lying islands could be fully submerged if the rise continues,” reported the National.

  1. Magdalen Islands, Quebec

The approximately 13,000 residents of Magdalen Islands have watched intensifying natural forces threaten the boundaries of their home in recent years. “Warmer winters and fiercer storms, rising seawaters and the slow sinking of the islands are responsible for an alarming loss of coastline, and the erosion appears to be accelerating,” reports Canadian Geographic.
7. Miami Beach, Florida

In May 2014, a new scientific report on global warming — the National Climate Assessment – named Miami as one of the cities most vulnerable to severe damage as a result of rising sea levels.

We’re really heating up this Independence Day | Grist


Sometimes at Grist HQ, we ask ourselves things like: “Just how miserable will the Fourth of July be in 2100?”

We’re fun like that.

But really, our summers are hot and getting hotter. Just ask the founding fathers: On July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson dressed and bewigged himself for a long day of declaration-adopting in a relatively pleasant 76 degrees — good news for the thirteen waistcoat-clad dudes in the stuffy halls of Philadelphia’s State House.

Fast-forward 240 years. This Fourth of July, the temperature in Philly is forecast at a sticky 85 degrees. And by the end of the century, fireworks over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway could take place in 90-degree weather.

Mandatory disclaimer: Weather and climate aren’t necessarily the same thing (watch Neil deGrasse Tyson eloquently elaborate while walking a dog) — but they both follow a trend. Out of the past 16 years, 15 have been among the warmest in recorded history in the U.S. If current emissions trends persist, scientists warn, average temperatures in the U.S. could rise another 10 degrees F by 2100.

So as we throw some ‘dogs on the grill this Monday (or maybe not), we’ll be thinking about how, on a July 4 afternoon 80 years from now, the sun could be the grill and the wieners could be us.
© 1999-2016 Grist Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Grist is powered by WordPress.com VIP.

Why your poison ivy allergy is about to get worse | Grist

image

Summer: It’s the perfect time of year to get outside and enjoy some of that wilderness the U.S. is so famous for. The perfect time of year, that is, except for a glossy three-leaved plant that will turn your skin into an itchy, bubbling mess.

Poison ivy, already everyone’s least favorite part of summer, is only going to get worse with climate change. As The San Luis Obispo Tribune points out, plants in the Toxicodendron family (including poison ivy, oak, and sumac) produce more urushiol oil — the stuff that makes you itch — as levels of carbon dioxide rise. A six-year study published by Duke University researchers in 2006 found that projected CO2 for 2050 will cause as much as a 30 percent increase in urushiol toxicity. Not only do the plants produce oil that’s more toxic, but they grow more leaves.

Over 80 percent of adults break out into nasty rashes when they come into contact with those leaves. Ain’t nature wonderful?

Perhaps there’s a silver lining: If worsening heat waves, drought, storms, and wildfires aren’t enough to make us give a crap about climate change, maybe that rash all over our beach bods will.

© 1999-2016 Grist Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Grist is powered by WordPress.com VIP.