Over The Horizon
I wasn't born here but I've come to appreciate this place, and hope it can stay this way for my kids, and yours.
That's why I talk about climate change. It's already impacting America's weather patterns, and greater impacts may be coming.
My intention isn't to alarm you or depress you but prompt you to go online and see the real scientific findings, free of ideological spin or snark.
I'm in Indianapolis talking to legislators & local media about extreme weather trends; how these are symptoms of a warming atmosphere. Friday, for the 5th time in 23 years, the world's leading researchers confirmed that we are altering Earth's climate.
The same day came news of a Danish ship becoming the second cargo ship to traverse the Northwest Passage, passing NORTH of Canada, a result of shrinking Arctic ice. It carried 15,000 tons of coal.
No, you can't make this stuff up.
Blue sky returns today, another week of mostly 70s as we sail into October. T-storms pop up on Thursday, by Friday a few flakes may be flying up north with highs in the 40s from Duluth to Brainerd. Dig out the jackets - there's a risk of a suburban frost by Monday AM.
We're still easing into autumn - models show more 70s by late next week.
Image credit: NOAA and hurricanescience.org.
Photo credit above: Diana Eva Maldonado, The Brownsville Herald. "A home on Van Buren Street in Brownsville remains boarded up from Hurricane Dolly, but today's rain has already flooded the street."
Photo credit above: "Irv Gordon has traveled 3 million miles in his 1966 Volvo 1800S."
* The IPCC AR5 Report Summary is here, courtesy of The New York Times.
* IPCC Climate Report: The Digested Read. Here's an overview at The Guardian.
Image credit above: "Humanity's choice (via IPCC): Aggressive climate action ASAP (left figure) minimizes future warming. Continued inaction (right figure) results in catastrophic levels of warming, 9°F over much of U.S."
Friday's Big Global Warming Report: 5 Takeaways. Here's a snippet from a good summary at National Geographic: "...Five takeaways from the new report:
1. On the extreme weather front, the report concludes it is “very likely” that cold days and nights have decreased, while warm days and nights have increased, since 1950. More extreme precipitation has also likely increased worldwide, particularly in North America and Europe. That means that the top one percent of heaviest rain or snow storms are heavier now, as compared to then. In other words, when it rains hardest, it pours harder.
2. The oceans have warmed with “virtual certainty,” the report concludes, at a rate of about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.11 Celsius) per decade since 1970 in the upper 246 feet (75 meters) of surface water. Ocean warming accounts for more than 90 percent of the heat added to the atmosphere by global warming in that time, with most of it pumped into the top 2,300 feet (700 meters) of the oceans. “That doesn't mean the oceans are saving us,” Stocker says. “It means it would be much worse without the oceans...”
Photo credit above: "Extreme weather, like this unusually severe downpour in Chengdu, China, has likely increased." Photograph from China Daily, Reuters.
Image above: National Post and Nordic Bulk Carriers.
Why The World Won't Listen. Our grandkids are going to be pretty irritated with us - all the science and data and we sat on our hands, debating the "facts", listening to fossil-fuel-funded deniers babble on, hoping they might just be right. Here's an excerpt from NewScientist and Slate that explains how some of this perpetual denial is hard-wired into all of us: "...How did the rational arguments of science and economics fail to win the day? There are many reasons, but an important one concerns human nature. Through a growing body of psychological research, we know that scaring or shaming people into sustainable behavior is likely to backfire. We know that it is difficult to overcome the psychological distance between the concept of climate change—not here, not now—and people's everyday lives. We know that beliefs about the climate are influenced by extreme and even daily weather. One of the most striking findings is that concern about climate change is not only, or even mostly, a product of how much people know about science. Increased knowledge tends to harden existing opinions..."
Animated image credit: media.giphy.com.
Thank You Global Warming. Giant Hornets Are Killing Dozens In China And Eating Bees Across Europe. Well here's some good news! Don't sweat the thundershowers - hopefully we won't be tracking these on Doppler in the USA anytime soon. Quartz has the story - here's a clip: "A plague of hornets, each the size of a human thumb, have descended on Shaanxi province this summer—at least 28 have been stung to death (link in Chinese), while another 419 have been injured, according to a local news report from China Radio Network (CRN), via the New York Times’ Chris Buckley. The death toll from hornet attacks in Ankang city is more than twice the annual average between 2002 and 2005, say the Ankang police, as the Guardian reports. A local doctor said hospitalizations due to hornet attacks have risen steadily over the years (link in Chinese). Why the uptick? The population of Asian giant hornets (vespa mandarinia), as they’re known, has surged largely because of climate change, says the Shaanxi Provincial Forestry Department (link in Chinese). The average winter temperature in Ankang rose 1.10 ℃ in the span of a few years alone, allowing more hornets to survive the winter. And it’s not just China; rising temperatures are behind the spread of another deadly Chinese hornets species, vespa velutina, in South Korea and Europe..."
Image credit above: "More killer than a killer bee." Flickr user Thomas H Brown.