Another morning and another middle of the week — no horrible news to report this morning as I slept in an extra hour, just the continued death of life as we know it.
Fog covers California’s northern coast, but if current weather continues to hold, the day should turn out to be warm and sunny as the sun’s heat burns off the moist, but the word ‘warm‘ is way-relative.
In the Arctic is weirdness: The ice melt area went from 40 percent of the ice sheet to 97 percent in four days, according to NASA. Until now, the most extensive melt seen by satellites in the past three decades was about 55 percent.
A most-major problem with climate change is its unknown speed of total approach — what’s been figured in terms of years, decades, centuries, might be measured in days, hours.
(Illustration found here).
A good look at that frightening Arctic melt can be found at Climate Progress.
Joe Romm concludes with the hundred-trillion-dollar question: Is it worrisome yet?
According to one climate idiot — ‘You betcha.’
Among many studies on the subject, this from Science last March:
By 2050, global average temperature could be between 1.4°C and 3°C warmer than it was just a couple of decades ago, according to a new study that seeks to address the largest sources of uncertainty in current climate models.
That’s substantially higher than estimates produced by other climate analyses, suggesting that Earth’s climate could warm much more quickly than previously thought.
Many factors affect global and regional climate, including planet-warming “greenhouse” gases, solar activity, light-scattering atmospheric pollutants, and heat transfer among the land, sea, and air, to name just a few.
There are so many influences to consider that it makes determining the effect of any one factor — despite years and sometimes decades of measurements — difficult.
In other words, a lot of people are screaming about that ugly, out-of-control train barreling down the tracks at us, standing in the middle of the track bed, but no one can really tell how fast that runway locomotive to going — time left before its impact with flesh is a mystery.
And to make matters worse, the planet is still working harder still to destroy our only home.
From Skeptical Science and Canada’s Tar Sands oil:
Combining the associated climate impacts with the exceptionally poor environmental track record and the inevitability of future tar sands oil leaks, it becomes extremely difficult to justify exploiting this resource rather than simply leaving the fossil fuel carbon in the ground.
The economics are a clear motivator for the local Alberta government, although the damage done to the local boreal forest and water quality certainly detracts significantly from that.
From an American perspective, while importing oil from our neighbors to the north may be preferred to other potential sources in less politically stable and friendly regions, the unavoidable associated climate and environmental damage should far outweigh that benefit.
Indeed, and to make matters worse is that oil still in the ground.
One of the most horrifying reads to come along lately is Bill McKibben’s piece this month in Rolling Stone, where an examination is made of the major-major problem with civilization — numbers are more than words.
Money blast from near the end of the in-depth article:
The three numbers I’ve described are daunting – they may define an essentially impossible future.
But at least they provide intellectual clarity about the greatest challenge humans have ever faced.
We know how much we can burn, and we know who’s planning to burn more.
Climate change operates on a geological scale and time frame, but it’s not an impersonal force of nature; the more carefully you do the math, the more thoroughly you realize that this is, at bottom, a moral issue; we have met the enemy and they is Shell.
Read the whole piece, well worth the time, which, by the way, we don’t have much of and what we’ve got is slipping away.
Cry for the children and dying flowers.