Warming Heat

October 25, 2011

Another nasty package on the highly-movable climate-change-train as a new study (once again) signals earth is moving beyond heat — revealing the crazy Russian heat wave last year most-likely wouldn’t have happened without global warming.
Abstract from the research posted at PNAS:

We estimate that climatic warming has increased the number of new global-mean temperature records expected in the last decade from 0.1 to 2.8.
For July temperature in Moscow, we estimate that the local warming trend has increased the number of records expected in the past decade fivefold, which implies an approximate 80 percent probability that the 2010 July heat record would not have occurred without climate warming.

(Illustration found here).

Joe Romm at Climate Progress on the study: Again, this extreme event ended Russian grain exports for year. So the increase in extremes very much threatens food security if we don’t act soon to reverse emissions trends.

In other words, gird thy loins, or learn how to re-eat foodstuffs.

Romm also notes the study from PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) is a “bombshell” because NOAA did a flawed analysis just a few months ago that found no connection between global warming and the record-smashing (heat).
Wiggle room is shrinking for deniers.

And another anti-denial nail was driven home this past week — the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which was supposed to slash holes into the very heart of climate change, released a report ‘confirming‘ the bad news the earth is indeed burning alive.
From former ‘skeptic‘ Richard Muller, the chair of the Berkeley study, in the Wall Street Journal:

We discovered that about one-third of the world’s temperature stations have recorded cooling temperatures, and about two-thirds have recorded warming.
The two-to-one ratio reflects global warming.
The changes at the locations that showed warming were typically between 1-2ºC, much greater than the IPCC’s average of 0.64ºC.

When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find.
Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups.
We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that.
They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.
Global warming is real.
Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate.
How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects?
We made no independent assessment of that.

Just watch the weather reports, Richard.
Despite Muller and his study, some people are still hard-headed wrong — read a good view of fallout from the Berkeley study on the hardcore denial crowd at DeSmogBlog, and follow the links.

Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column last week, took to task another study, this one from the American Petroleum Institute (and one can guess its point of view), which is the core of the GOP’s economic proposals — pollution makes for more jobs.
Republicans, however, don’t even understand their own shit.
Money bits:

But does this oil-industry-backed study actually make a serious case for weaker environmental protection as a job-creation strategy?

Moreover, even if you take the study’s claims at face value, it offers little reason to believe that dirtier air and water can solve our current employment crisis.
All the big numbers in the report are projections for late this decade.
The report predicts fewer than 200,000 jobs next year, and fewer than 700,000 even by 2015.
You might want to compare these numbers with a couple of other numbers: the 14 million Americans currently unemployed, and the one million to two million jobs that independent estimates suggest the Obama plan would create, not in the distant future, but in 2012.
More pollution, then, isn’t the route to full employment.
But is there a longer-term economic case for less environmental protection?
Serious economic analysis actually says that we need more protection, not less.

As the study’s authors say, finding that an industry inflicts large environmental damage compared with its apparent economic return doesn’t necessarily mean that the industry should be shut down.
What it means, instead, is that “the regulated levels of emissions from the industry are too high.”
That is, environmental regulations aren’t strict enough.
Republicans, of course, have strong incentives to claim otherwise: the big value-destroying industries are concentrated in the energy and natural resources sector, which overwhelmingly donates to the G.O.P.
But the reality is that more pollution wouldn’t solve our jobs problem.
All it would do is make us poorer and sicker.

And the planet gets warmer and warmer while ignorant dickheads fiddle.

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