This Blog is devoted to the military-industrial complex Pres. Eisenhower cautioned us about. Today he would say National Security State: the Corporate-Pentagon/Militarism-Intelligence-White House-Congress-Imperial Complex. Global Warming and US Empire are connected conditions of the planet today. In this Blog entry you will find one number of the E-Newsletter 350PPM compiled by Dr. Robert McAfee, which is sponsored by OMNI/Climate Change Task Force, Joanna Pollock, coordinator. Dick
350 PPM VOLUME 4 , NUMBER 01.02 JANUARY 2011
Too Many Years of Warning on Global Warming & Not Enough Action
A Newsletter of the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology's - Climate Change Task Force produced by the Peaceable Kingdom's Thinking Like A Mountain Institute which is dedicated to the education about the impacts of C02 in Earth's atmosphere and the urgent need to cap and reduce CO2 emissions NOW! at levels below 350 PPM
Reduce & Cap Carbon Dioxide at or Below 350 Parts Per Million (PPM)
If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed, paleoclimate evidence and on going climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm. DR. JAMES HANSEN, 2008
350PPM (parts per million concentration of carbon dioxice in the Earth's atmosphere) seeks to educate the public about the impending crisis of global warming and climate change. It is our belief that the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and return the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million. It is only at these levels or below that the climate and environmental systems of the earth as we know them can be maintained. As a point of reference it was 1988 when the earth's atmosphere contained 350 PPM of CO2.
CO2 Must Drop From 24 to 2.6 tons/person in US
It has been shown that in order to cause the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration measured at Mauna Loa to converge to its 1990 value of 354 PPM the world wide fossil carbon dioxide emission rate must be reduced to 47.8% of the 2004 world wide fossil carbon dioxide emission rate. Most of this reduction must come from high CO2 per capita emitters such as Canada and the USA. In order to do their share towards reaching 1990 atmospheric CO2 concentration levels Canadians and Americans will have to reduce their per capita CO2 emissions from 24 tonnes / annum - person to about 2.66 tonnes / annum - person (9 fold).
IN THIS ISSUE
1.A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice - media missing the story of the century. This week November 15, 2010 marks the anniversary the anti-science crowd successfully labeled 'Climategate'. The media will be doing countless retrospectives, most of which will be wasted ink, like the Guardian's piece - focusing on climate scientists at the expense of climate science, which is precisely the kind of miscoverage that has been going on for the whole year! The last year or so has seen more scientific papers and presentations that raise the genuine prospect of catastrophe (if we stay on our current emissions path) that I can recall seeing in any other year.
Read the Complete Article
2. Terrific ABC News story: "Raging Waters In Australia and Brazil Product of Global Warming" - "Scientists: Climate Change No Longer a Theory, It's Happening. The pictures today from around the world of dramatic rooftop rescues from raging waters, makes it seem as though natural disasters are becoming an everyday occurrence. But they're not all that natural; climate scientists say man-made global warming is the sudden force behind the forces of nature.
Read the Complete Story
3.Decades of Scientific Warning on Global Warming Ignored.
The broad outlines of the global warming and climate change story have been understood for decades by, well, intelligent people who are guided by science":
-1953 Popular Mechanics: Growing Blanket of Carbon Dioxide Raises Earth's Temperature
-Climate science 1956: A Plass from the past
-1958 TV show on Global Warming - produced by Frank Capra!
- Right for 27 years: 1981 Hansen study finds warming trend that could
raise sea levels
Read the Complete Article
4. Why 350PPM?
350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.
Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 388ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.
There are three numbers you need to really understand global warming, 275, 388, and 350.Read the Complete Article
5.NOAA: Time history of atmospheric CO2
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has an entire "CarbonTracker" page "to keep track of carbon dioxide uptake and release at the Earth's surface over time."
Their CarbonTracker Channel on YouTube has some great videos. The best one is the "Time history of atmospheric CO2," which charts the rise of CO2 over the last few decades then back through the past 800,000 years.
Read the Complete Article
6. Six Myths About the Climate Change and the Clean Air ActDAN FARBER. UCLA School of Law.It's often said that the Clean Air Act is an inappropriate way to address climate change. It would undoubtedly be desirable for Congress to pass new legislation on the subject, but the Clean Air Act is a more appropriate vehicle than many people seem to realize. There are six common misconceptions about the statute that have led to confusion.
Read the Complete Article
7. Book Review. Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years. Mark Hertsgaard. A new father, Hertsgaard (Earth Odyssey) was growing increasingly anxious and despondent about climate change and the world his child would inherit. His new book is his investigation into the techniques that could allow his daughter and her generation "to survive the challenges ahead." This readable, passionate book is surprisingly optimistic.
Read the Complete Article
A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice
Perhaps the media would have ignored that science anyway, but Climategate appears to be a key reason "less than 10 percent of the news article s written about last year's climate summit in Copenhagen dealt primarily with the science of climate change, a study showed on Monday."
But for those interested in the real climate science story of the past year, let's review a couple dozen studies of the most important findings. Any one of these would be cause for action - and combined they vindicate the final sentence of Elizabeth Kolbert's Field Notes from a Catastrophe: "It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing."
1. Nature: "Global warming blamed for 40% decline in the ocean's phytoplankton" : "Microscopic life crucial to the marine food chain is dying out. The consequences could be catastrophic."
If confirmed, it may represent the single most important finding of the year in climate science. Seth Borenstein of the AP explains , "plant plankton found in the world's oceans are crucial to much of life on Earth. They are the foundation of the bountiful marine food web, produce half the world's oxygen and suck up harmful carbon dioxide." Boris Worm, a marine biologist and co-author of the study said, "We found that temperature had the best power to explain the changes." He noted, "If this holds up, something really serious is underway and has been underway for decades. I've been trying to think of a biological change that's bigger than this and I can't think of one."
2. Science: Vast East Siberian Arctic Shelf methane stores destabilizing and venting : NSF issues world a wake-up call: "Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming."
Methane release from the not-so-perma-frost is the most dangerous amplifying feedback in the entire carbon cycle. This research finds a key "lid" on "the large sub-sea permafrostcarbon reservoir" near Eastern Siberia "is clearlyperforated, and sedimentary CH4 [methane] is escaping to the atmosphere."
The permamelt contains a staggering "1.5 trillion tons of frozen carbon, about twice as much carbon as contained in the atmosphere ," much of which would be released as methane. Methane is is 25 times as potent a heat-trapping gas as CO2 over a 100 year time horizon, but 72 times as potent over 20 years !
The carbon is locked in a freezer in the part of the planet warming up the fastest (see "Tundra 4: Permafrost loss linked to Arctic sea ice loss "). Half the land-based permafrost would vanish by mid-century on our current emissions path (see "Tundra, Part 2: The point of no return " and below). No climate model currently incorporates the amplifying feedback from methane released by a defrosting tundra.
The NSF is normally a very staid organization. If they are worried, everybody should be.
It is increasingly clear that if the world strays significantly above 450 ppm atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide for any length of time, we will find it unimaginably difficult to stop short of 800 to 1000 ppm.
3. Must-read NCAR analysis warns we risk multiple, devastating global droughts even on moderate emissions path .
Dust-Bowlification may be the impact of human-caused climate change that hits the most people by mid-century, as the figure below suggests ("a reading of -4 or below is considered extreme drought"):
The PDSI in the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl apparently spiked very briefly to -6, but otherwise rarely exceeded -3 for the decade (see here ). The National Center for Atmospheric Research notes "By the end of the century, many populated areas, including parts of the United States, could face readings in the range of -8 to -10, and much of the Mediterranean could fall to -15 to -20. Such readings would be almost unprecedented."
4. Nature Geoscience study: Oceans are acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred  and "Geological Society: Acidifying oceans spell marine biological meltdown "by end of century"  - Co-author: "Unless we curb carbon emissions we risk mass extinctions, degrading coastal waters and encouraging outbreaks of toxic jellyfish and algae."
Marine life and all who depend on it, including humans are at grave risk from unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases. This can't be stopped with geo-engineering and there is no plausible strategy for undoing it.
Ocean acidification may well be the most under-reported of all the catastrophic climate impacts we are risking.
5. Sea levels may rise 3 times faster than IPCC estimated, could hit 6 feet by 2100  [see figure] and these related findings and studies:
Satellite data stunner: "Our data suggest that EAST Antarctica is losing mass.... Antarctica may soon be contributing significantly more to global sea-level rise." 
Nature: "Dynamic thinning of Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheet ocean margins is more sensitive, pervasive, enduring and important than previously realized." 
New study of Greenland under "more realistic forcings" concludes "collapse of the ice-sheet was found to occur between 400 and 560 ppm" of CO2 
Climate researcher: "It is my assessment that we have had the strongest melting since they started measuring the temperature in Greenland in 1873." 
Science: CO2 levels haven't been this high for 15 million years, when it was 5° to 10°F warmer and seas were 75 to 120 feet higher - "We have shown that this dramatic rise in sea level is associated with an increase in CO2 levels of about 100 ppm." 
For more on SLR, see Coastal studies experts: "For coastal management purposes, a [sea level] rise of 7 feet (2 meters) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure" 
6. Royal Society: "There are very strong indications that the current rate of species extinctions far exceeds anything in the fossil record." 
This is from a special issue of 16 articles in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (Biological Science), "Biological diversity in a changing world, "- which notes "Never before has a single species driven such profound changes to the habitats, composition and climate of the planet."
7. Science: Drought drives decade-long decline in plant growth 
The NASA news release explains the importance of the work by researchers Maosheng Zhao and Steven Running,:
"These results are extraordinarily significant because they show that the global net effect of climatic warming on the productivity of terrestrial vegetation need not be positive - as was documented for the 1980's and 1990's," said Diane Wickland, of NASA Headquarters and manager of NASA's Terrestrial Ecology research program....
"This is a pretty serious warning that warmer temperatures are not going to endlessly improve plant growth," Running said....
"The potential that future warming would cause additional declines does not bode well for the ability of the biosphere to support multiple societal demands for agricultural production, fiber needs, and increasingly, biofuel production," Zhao said.
UPDATE: A commenter notes that questions about the statistics used in this paper have been raised here . It does look to me like the authors should have put in more of a disclaimer about statistical uncertainty. I viewed (and still view) the original results as credible because they're consistent with the findings of the Global Carbon Project - see slide 26 here , which is based on this 2009 Nature Geoscience article . See also "Nature on stunning new climate feedback: Beetle tree kill releases more carbon than fires ." The bottom line is that this study joins others in raising the serious warning that, contrary to the popular view, a world of ever increasing carbon dioxide may not lead to increased vegetation and may in fact lead to a decreased land sink. That would be particularly true if the NCAR drought projection comes true.
8. Nature review of 20 years of field studies finds soils emitting more CO2 as planet warms 
A biogeochemist quoted by Nature explained that "perhaps [the] most likely explanation is that increasing temperatures have increased rates of decomposition of soil organic matter, which has increased the flow of CO2. If true, this is an important finding: that a positive feedback to climate change is already occurring at a detectable level in soils."
Another major study in the February 2010 issue of the journal Ecology by Finnish researchers, "Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon fractions in boreal forest soil ," had a similar conclusion. The Finnish Environment Institute, which led the study, explained the results in a release, "Soil contributes to climate warming more than expected" 
9. Global Warming: Future Temperatures Could Exceed Livable Limits, Researchers Find .
There were so many important climate science findings this year I didn't get to write on all of them. This one in particular was misunderstood:
Reasonable worst-case scenarios for global warming could lead to deadly temperatures for humans in coming centuries, according to research findings from Purdue University and the University of New South Wales, Australia.
The study notes that even a 12°F warming would be dangerous for many. In fact, we could well see these deadly temperatures in the next century or century and a half over large parts of the globe on a very plausible emissions path.
10. UK Met Office: Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but "we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon." 
Right before Climategate broke, scientists were increasingly starting to realize that humanity might well ignore the increasingly strong evidence that we needed to take action. They even held a conference on "4°C and beyond " just weeks before the scandal broke. Some of the top climate modelers in the world finally did a "plausible worst case scenario," as Dr Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts at the Met Office Hadley Centre, put it in a terrific and terrifying talk (audio here , PPT here ).
This is the "plausible worst case scenario" for 2060 from the UK Met Office that occurs in 10% of model runs of high emissions with the carbon cycle feedbacks [temperature in degrees Celsius, multiple by 1.8 for Fahrenheit]:
As the Met Office notes here , "In some areas warming could be significantly higher (10 degrees [C = 15F] or more)":
The Arctic could warm by up to 15.2 °C [27.4 °F] for a high-emissions scenario, enhanced by melting of snow and ice causing more of the Sun's radiation to be absorbed.
For Africa, the western and southern regions are expected to experience both large warming (up to 10 °C [18 °F]) and drying.
Some land areas could warm by seven degrees [12.6 F] or more.
Rainfall could decrease by 20% or more in some areas, although there is a spread in the magnitude of drying. All computer models indicate reductions in rainfall over western and southern Africa, Central America, the Mediterranean and parts of coastal Australia.
In other areas, such as India, rainfall could increase by 20% or more. Higher rainfall increases the risk of river flooding.
In fact, though, this is 'only' the 5.4°C case, and if it doesn't happen in the 2060s (which it probably won't), it is merely the business as usual projection (!) for 2100 (see "M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F - with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F ").
CONCLUSION: Unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases threaten multiple catastrophes, any one of which justifies action. Together, they represent the gravest threat to humanity imaginable. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the mainstream media ignored the overwhelming majority of these studies and devoted a large fraction of its climate 'ink' in the last 12 months to what was essentially a non-story is arguably the single greatest failing of the science media this year.
I didn't have space here to report on the many studies that bolstered the case for our understanding that recent warming has been unequivocal and that humans are the primary cause. But indeed the case is so strong that this year, even the normally staid U.S. National Academy of Sciences labeled as "settled facts" that "the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities." 
Article printed from Climate Progress: http://climateprogress.org
URL to article: http://climateprogress.org/2010/11/15/year-in-climate-science-climategate/
URLs in this post:
 the Guardian's: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/14/climate-change-science-email-scandal
 less than 10 percent of the news article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/14/AR2010111404444.html
 Nature: "Global warming blamed for 40% decline in the ocean's phytoplankton":
 explains: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100728/ap_on_sc/us_sci_declining_plankton
 Science: Vast East Siberian Arctic Shelf methane stores destabilizing and venting: http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/04/science-nsf-tundra-permafrost-methane-east-siberian-arctic-shelf-venting/
 1.5 trillion tons of frozen carbon, about twice as much carbon as contained in the atmosphere: http://climateprogress.org/2009/08/17/positive-methane-feedbacks-permafrost-tundra-methane-hydrates/
 but 72 times as potent over 20 years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_potential
 Tundra 4: Permafrost loss linked to Arctic sea ice loss: http://climateprogress.org/2008/06/12/breaking-news-tundra-4-permafrost-loss-linked-to-arctic-sea-ice-loss/
 Tundra, Part 2: The point of no return: http://climateprogress.org/2008/05/23/tundra-part-2-the-point-of-no-return/
 Must-read NCAR analysis warns we risk multiple, devastating global droughts even on moderate emissions path: http://climateprogress.org/2010/10/20/ncar-daidrought-under-global-warming-a-review/
 Image: http://www2.ucar.edu/sites/default/files/news/2010/2060-2069wOceanLabels.jpg
 here: http://www.atmos.umd.edu/%7Ealfredo/bguan_final.pdf
 Nature Geoscience study: Oceans are acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred: http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/18/ocean-acidification-study-mass-extinction-of-marine-life-nature-geoscience/
 Geological Society: Acidifying oceans spell marine biological meltdown "by end of century": http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/31/geological-society-acid-ocean-marine-lif/
 Sea levels may rise 3 times faster than IPCC estimated, could hit 6 feet by 2100: http://climateprogress.org/2009/12/09/sea-level-rise-six-feet-three-times-faster-than-the-ipcc-estimat/
 Satellite data stunner: "Our data suggest that EAST Antarctica is losing mass.... Antarctica may soon be contributing significantly more to global sea-level rise.": http://climateprogress.org/2009/11/23/satellite-data-grace-east-antarctica-ice-sheet-losing-mass/
 Nature: "Dynamic thinning of Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheet ocean margins is more sensitive, pervasive, enduring and important than previously realized.": http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/26/nature-dynamic-thinning-of-greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheets-glacier/
 New study of Greenland under "more realistic forcings" concludes "collapse of the ice-sheet was found to occur between 400 and 560 ppm" of CO2: http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/23/greenland-ice-sheet-collapse-global-warming-science/
 Climate researcher: "It is my assessment that we have had the strongest melting since they started measuring the temperature in Greenland in 1873.": http://climateprogress.org/2010/10/24/greenland-melting-noaa-2010-arctic-report-card/
 Science: CO2 levels haven't been this high for 15 million years, when it was 5° to 10°F warmer and seas were 75 to 120 feet higher - "We have shown that this dramatic rise in sea level is associated with an increase in CO2 levels of about 100 ppm.": http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/18/science-co2-levels-havent-been-this-high-for-15-million-years-when-it-was-5%c2%b0-to-10%c2%b0f-warmer-and-seas-were-75-to-120-feet-higher-we-have-shown-that-this-dramatic-rise-in-sea-level-i/
 Image: http://climateprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/SLR-PNAS-pic.gif
 Coastal studies experts: "For coastal management purposes, a [sea level] rise of 7 feet (2 meters) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure": http://climateprogress.org/2010/11/14/sea-level-rise-planning-coastal-infrastructure/
 Royal Society: "There are very strong indications that the current rate of species extinctions far exceeds anything in the fossil record.": http://climateprogress.org/2010/11/09/royal-society-rate-of-species-extinctions-far-exceeds-anything-in-the-fossil-recordo/
 Biological diversity in a changing world,: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1558.toc
 Science: Drought drives decade-long decline in plant growth: http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/19/climate-science-nasa-drought-drives-decade-long-decline-in-plant-growth/
 here: http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2010/08/climate-alarmism-at-science-magazine.html
 slide 26 here: http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/08/files/GCP2009_CarbonBudget2008.pdf
 this 2009 Nature Geoscience article: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n12/full/ngeo689.html
 Beetle tree kill releases more carbon than fires: http://climateprogress.org/2008/04/25/nature-on-stunning-new-climate-feedback-beetle-tree-kill-releases-more-carbon-than-fires/
 Nature review of 20 years of field studies finds soils emitting more CO2 as planet warms: http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/25/nature-soils-carbon-dioxided-feedback-global-warming/
 Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon fractions in boreal forest soil: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/full/10.1890/09-0478.1
 Soil contributes to climate warming more than expected": http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=351875&lan=en
 Global Warming: Future Temperatures Could Exceed Livable Limits, Researchers Find: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504155413.htm
 UK Met Office: Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but "we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon.": http://climateprogress.org/2009/09/28/uk-met-office-catastrophic-climate-change-could-happen-with-50-years/
 4°C and beyond: http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/4degrees/programme.php
 here: http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/4degrees/audio/1-2betts.mp3
 here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/news/latest/four-degrees.html
 M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F - with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F: http://climateprogress.org/2009/05/20/mit-doubles-global-warming-projections-2/
 U.S. National Academy of Sciences labeled as "settled facts" that "the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities.": http://climateprogress.org/2010/05/19/national-academy-of-sciences-america%e2%80%99s-climate-choices-global-warming/
Copyright © 2009 Climate Progress. All rights reserved.
A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice - media missing the story of the century
Posted By Joe On November 15, 2010 @
This week marks the one-year anniversary of what the anti-science crowd successfully labeled 'Climategate'. The media will be doing countless retrospectives, most of which will be wasted ink, like the Guardian's  piece - focusing on climate scientists at the expense of climate science, which is precisely the kind of miscoverage that has been going on for the whole year!
I'll save that my media critiques for Part 2, since I think that Climategate's biggest impact was probably on the media, continuing their downward trend of focusing on style over substance, of missing the story of the century, if not the millennia.
The last year or so has seen more scientific papers and presentations that raise the genuine prospect of catastrophe (if we stay on our current emissions path) that I can recall seeing in any other year.
Terrific ABC News story: "Raging Waters In Australia and Brazil Product of Global Warming" - "Scientists: Climate Change No Longer a Theory, It's Happening"
Posted: 14 Jan 2011 at climate progress.org
The pictures today from around the world of dramatic rooftop rescues from raging waters, makes it seem as though natural disasters are becoming an everyday occurrence. But they're not all that natural; climate scientists say man-made global warming is the sudden force behind the forces of nature.
That's from an ABC News story posted last night, whose headline and subhed I repeated above. The actual ABC evening news story from Thursday is one of the best climate change stories ever to appear on a major network's evening news show - and you can watch it here. The video ends:
Many scientists say the forecast is looking more and more extreme.
Absolutely true (see Masters: "The stunning extremes we witnessed gives me concern that our climate is showing the early signs of instability"; Munich Re: "The only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change").
On the other side of the globe, floods in Queensland, Australia have ravaged an area the size of France and Germany combined.
Things are pretty devastating," June Lense, a resident of Brisbane, said.And in Sri Lanka, officials say flooding there has affected more than a million people, and the death toll has risen to 23. Sewage lines and holding tanks have overflowed in the floods, and a spokesperson for the health ministry there said officials are concerned about waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea.
"If left unchecked, climate warming will continue so the things that we're having hints of now, foretastes of now, will come stronger," Richard Sommerville, a climate scientist at the University of California at San Diego and author of "The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change," said.
The extreme weather the world has seen is part of a larger trend, he said. "The world is warming up ... It's warming for sure and science is very confident that most of the warming is due to human causes."
Every time we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, Sommerville said, we emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Now, climate scientists see "the changed odds, the loaded dice that favors more extreme events and more high temperature records being broken," he said.
The decade that just ended saw nine of the 10 warmest years on record, and warmer temperatures mean more moisture in the air. That moisture can fall as torrential, flooding rains in the summertime or blizzards in the winter.
"Because the whole water cycle speeds up in a warming world, there's more water in the atmosphere today than there was a few years ago on average, and you're seeing a lot of that in the heavy rains and floods for example in Australia," Sommervile said.
Last year tied with the warmest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Derek Arndt, chief of NOAA's Climate Monitoring Branch in the National Climate Data Center, said 2010 was "an exclamation point on several decades of warming."
He said NOAA is tracking disasters like the floods in Brazil and Australia. "We are measuring certain types of extreme events that we would expect to see more often in a warming world, and these are indeed increasing," Arndt said.
The added moisture in the atmosphere also explains the phenomenon we've seen this week at home - where snow blanketed the ground in 49 of 50 states. During yesterday's snowstorm, Hartford, Conn. and Albany, N.Y. both set records for snowfall in a single day.
"This is no longer something that's theory or conjecture or something that comes out of computer models," Sommerville said. "We're observing the climate changing - it's happening, it's real, it's a fact."
Okay, I bold-faced almost the whole story because it's just that good.
DICK'S LETTER TO JOANNA regarding the work of OMNI's CCTF Jan. 12, 2011
In the first half of the 20th C. strong social movements (we had influential Communist, Socialist, and farmer-labor parties then) led for social change, especially by giving politicians who favored change to present themselves as middle and mainstream. With those parties of change eradicated from our country, now rightists accuse reformists of being commies or socialists, and the reformists have nobody out front to point to.
Similarly, we need at least one organization in Arkansas that promotes the truth as explained by James Hansen and our own Robert McAfee. Many people are promoting the reduce/recycle/reuse formula for stopping global warming, and we all should as good citizens, but even at full speed it won't be sufficient in the short or long run. At least one organization must declare the truth and beat the drum for 350PPM, one organization to walk out front to resist the illusions and deceptions now prevalent and to enable lawlmakers to know the full range of options in the context of the warming planet.
Such a project won't be easy, which is why it is so little heard, because it means criticizing the present, predatory economic system, and tackling head-on the corporations. But some organizations must do it, must learn how to do, or we are sure to fail the planet.
Thanks to all,
DICK'S THANKS TO ROBERT FOR HIS VOL. 4.01.02
This is it Robert. The public will never get it until these messages, repeate...
10:44 AM (22 hours ago)
Robert McAfeeDick, Thank you . . .it will take repetition to get the message to sink in . ...
8:09 AM (38 minutes ago)
DICK'S LETTER TO ROBERT 1-18-11
Robert I have just now written the heading of a sign-sheet to receive your 350 PPM, and will take it to Senior Dems today and carry around with me to various meetings. Joanna asked me what I would recommend for focus, and of course I replied 350 PPM and specifically your e-newsletter. I urged her/CCTF to publicize it in every way within her power.
If you have a handout or brochure I'll carry it around with me too.
Having fun with it. My daughter, worrying about having a present for me to open Christmas, since I had told her no more things until I built another room, and having heard me wish for a box of alarm clocks to set off at our table on the square last summer/fall, bought me four windup alarms! (And that wasn't easy, because clocks are mainly digital now; I had checked 3 stores already without luck.) Next time I see you get ready for alarms! WAKE UP PEOPLE, IT'S ALARM TIME.
You want to do some thinking for me? I have compiled and written 3 newsletters over the past decade to expose fear-mongering. How do you differentiate messages intended to arouse fears falsely (WMD in Iraq) from those that reveal the real dangers (James Hansen and Robert McAfee)?