Drought and Sea-Level Rise

February 23, 2016

20140228-135941-250x340Glaring sunshine this early Tuesday on California’s north coast as we chill through another break in the so-called ‘weather‘ — no rain expected until Friday afternoon.

When I started this blog, ‘Compatible Creatures,’ nine years ago, my main topic was war — probably the vast majority of my post-topics reflected military mayhem waging in nearly every corner of the planet, especially with the US then being-embalmed via the nightmare of Iraq.

Nowadays, primary-interest is actually the only one — climate change.
A subject which grew in interest as time passed, growing ugly and way-nefarious with an apparent way-unhappy ending…

(Illustration by Handoko Tjung, found here).

And nowadays, too, talking about the weather has been given a whole new emphasis — a quickly-warming planet produces consequences. A goodly reason for my attention on climate change is the rapid-way it seems to be getting worse.
Humanity’s biggest problem ever.

Just yesterday, another report increasing the anxiety level — a huge spike in sea-level rise in just the past century, the worse in nearly 3,000 years.
Keynote points from Climate Central:

The new study, the culmination of a decade of work by three teams of farflung scientists, has charted what they called an “acceleration” in sea level rise that’s triggering and worsening flooding in coastlines around the world.
The findings also warn of much worse to come.
The scientists reported in a paper published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have greater than 95 percent certainty that at least half of more than 5 inches of sea level rise they detected during the 20th century was directly caused by global warming.

Stefan Rahmstorf, a physics professor at Potsdam University in Germany: ‘“The new sea level data confirm once again just how unusual the age of modern global warming, due to our greenhouse gas emissions, is. They also demonstrate that one of the most dangerous impacts of global warming, namely rising seas, is well underway.”

In regards to a warming environment, California’s drought, and all dry-droughts everywhere, new research shows the the water-less situation having an impact on our woodlands.
Via ScienceWorldReport:

In this latest study, the researchers conducted a comprehensive overview of current and projected future drought impacts on forests nationwide.
The scientists also identified knowledge gaps that hinder scientists’ ability to predict the pace and extent of future effects.
“Over the last two decades, warming temperatures and variable precipitation have increased the severity of forest droughts across much of the continental United States,” said James S. Clark, lead author of the new study, in a news release.
“While the effects have been most pronounced in the West, our analysis shows virtually all U.S. forests are now experiencing change and are vulnerable to future declines. Given the high degree of uncertainty in our understanding of how forest species and stands adapt to rapid change, it’s going to be difficult to anticipate the type of forests that will be here in 20 to 40 years.”

Even for an old guy, that’s not that far away.

Further on our own drought here in California, and the possibility of a ‘mega-drought‘ for the region, a most-interesting piece yesterday from the BBC on recent discoveries on the fall of the Maya civilization, supposedly from drought due to climate change — this noteworthy point:

Some scholars think that the Maya’s skilled manipulation of their environment could have had a hand in their eventual collapse, by somehow worsening the impacts of natural climate change.
For example, some scholars think that deforestation to clear land for agriculture might have exacerbated localised drying effects, leading to more significant agricultural losses during drought.

So another post on climate change, all just chatter about the weather…

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