Overcast and dark this way-too-early Tuesday on California’s north coast — supposedly, we’re to get sunshine today, but who’s yet to know?
A goodly rain due by late Friday, and hopefully some decent weather between now and then.
In some parts of California, ‘decent’ weather is considered not-so-hot — runners in yesterday’s LA Marathon sweltered in record-degree heat as more creepy episodes are being amassed for insidious benefit of our drought.
And the perpetrator of all this climate mischief appears to be only getting worse.
(Illustration: M.C.Escher’s ‘Reptiles‘ found here).
Added to the real horror of climate change, is the back-stabbing gestures of some people, who in the real-sense of reality, are actually committing crimes against humanity. Global warming has a double-whammy force — one from a fucked-up nature, and the other from deniers.
Yesterday, President Obama quipped about this disheartening particular factor on humanity’s ability to get a grip on a warming planet in an interview with VICE Media founder Shane Smith (via MSNBC):
“Throwing a snowball would be funny,” Smith says, referring to Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma’s Feb. 26 stunt on the Senate floor, “if it weren’t for the fact that’s he’s chairman of the Senate committee on the environment.”
“That’s disturbing,” the president responds, adding, “I guarantee you that the Republican Party will have to change its approach to climate change because voters will insist upon it.”
Obama was referring to Inhofe’s asshole-stunt on the Senate floor earlier last month in a dumb-ass attempt to disprove climate change, but like all what the GOP does nowadays, Inhofe don’t give a fat-rat’s ass about the truth.
The problem here, though, is not a political, paper-page budget question, or any other endeavor in any form or fashion, but a real-time, disaster of a reality.
And like just about all of climate change news is bad, a piece yesterday by environmental writer Chris Mooney at the Washington Post paints a picture even worse — the melting of Antarctic is happening faster than earlier supposed, and that’s not good for anybody, especially for us in America.
Some key points:
The findings about East Antarctica emerge from a new paper just out in Nature Geoscience by an international team of scientists representing the United States, Britain, France and Australia.
They flew a number of research flights over the Totten Glacier of East Antarctica — the fastest-thinning sector of the world’s largest ice sheet — and took a variety of measurements to try to figure out the reasons behind its retreat.
And the news wasn’t good: It appears that Totten, too, is losing ice because warm ocean water is getting underneath it.
“The idea of warm ocean water eroding the ice in West Antarctica, what we’re finding is that may well be applicable in East Antarctica as well,” says Martin Siegert, a co-author of the study and who is based at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.
The floating ice shelf of the Totten Glacier covers an area of 90 miles by 22 miles.
It it is losing an amount of ice “equivalent to 100 times the volume of Sydney Harbour every year,” notes the Australian Antarctic Division.
That’s alarming, because the glacier holds back a much more vast catchment of ice that, were its vulnerable parts to flow into the ocean, could produce a sea level rise of more than 11 feet — which is comparable to the impact from a loss of the West Antarctica ice sheet.
And that’s “a conservative lower limit,” says lead study author Jamin Greenbaum, a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin.
For residents of the United States — and indeed, the entire Northern Hemisphere — the impact of major ice loss from Antarctica could be dire.
If Antarctica loses volumes of ice that would translate into major contributions to sea level rise, that rise would not be distributed evenly around the globe.
The reason is the force of gravity. Antarctica is so massive that it pulls the ocean toward it, but if it loses ice, that gravitational pull will relax, and the ocean will slosh back toward the Northern Hemisphere — which will experience additional sea level rise.
For the United States, the amount of sea level rise could be 25 percent or more than the global average.
Florida is exempt, of course, due to the hard-cold fact the words, ‘climate change,’ or ‘global warning,’ did not exist.
Also yesterday, the continuing existence of intense heat spells (i.e., those LA Marathon runners) due to a warming earth, so reports the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in a study published in the journal Science — the melting of our polar ice caps is just making it worse.
“Unabated climate change will probably further weaken summer circulation patterns which could thus aggravate the risk of heat waves,” study co-author Jascha Lehmann, a climatologist at Potsdam University, told Bloomberg in an e-mailed statement.
“The warm temperature extremes we’ve experienced in recent years might be just a beginning.”
“I think the idea that the mid-latitude winds, especially the jet stream, may be changing in response to Arctic warming has proven to be a highly fruitful one,” Stefan Rahmstor, a Postdam colleague who wasn’t involved in the research, told the Guardian.
“Now that scientists have started to analyze the available wind data in a systematic way, very interesting patterns emerge that also make physical sense.”
“It is increasingly clear that global warming does not just mean global warming in a narrow sense,” Rahmstor added.
“Our planet is not simply getting warmer — rather this warming comes with real changes to the workings of the atmosphere and the oceans.”
Not a stunt, in other words.