Climate Change ‘Happening Under Our Noses’

April 17, 2017

Overcast with occasional drizzle this late-afternoon Monday on California’s north coast — decent-sized rainstorm due tonight, but apparently just rain on/off until the end of the week, then according to the NWS, a drier period for awhile.
Weather it all…

Also in ‘undergoing or enduring the action of the elements‘ spawned by the T-Rump, waiting for the ‘Dr. Strangelove‘ shoe to drop, and to our quick-shifting environment — from Climate Central last Friday:

The exceptional global heat of the past few years continued last month, with March ranking as the second hottest on record for the planet. It followed the second hottest February and third hottest January, showing just how much Earth has warmed from the continued buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Of course, a nuclear-weapon fuck-up will most-certainly trump climate change any day…

(Illustration found here).

Note the word, ‘trump,’ as in ‘up stage‘ — Ha-ha-ha — not funny.
Seemingly, the real fright of the T-Rump was nailed by Josh Marshall at TPM last Friday — key point: ‘What is key though is to understand that this is not just ignorance. Ignorance is just the first stage of Trump’s fairly advanced problem. He is not only ignorant but clearly unaware of his level of ignorance. This is compounded by a seeming inability to understand that everyone else isn’t equally ignorant to him.’

Real scary shit — POTUS is a genuine pathological nutjob.
As our planet continues to heat — further from Climate Central:

Current levels of carbon dioxide — the main greenhouse gas driving up global temperatures — are unprecedented in human history, and if they continued unabated, could reach a level not seen in the atmosphere in 50 million years, according to a recent study.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels have risen from about 280 parts per million to more than 400 ppm.
Those levels are expected to top 410 ppm in the next few weeks.
While 2017 isn’t expected to top 2016 as the hottest year on record globally, in part because El Niño has dissipated (though there are some signs it could return later this year), it is still likely to rank among the hottest years, according to projections from the U.K. Met Office.
So far, global temperatures this year are on track with those projections, Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office, said.
“We have said a number of times now that we would likely see three record years in a row and then another very warm, but perhaps not record year, in 2017, so the small number of data we have so far for 2017 also concur with that,” he said in an email last month.

Continuing the affect/effect of global warming — per the Guardian this morning:

An immense river that flowed from one of Canada’s largest glaciers vanished over the course of four days last year, scientists have reported, in an unsettling illustration of how global warming dramatically changes the world’s geography.
The abrupt and unexpected disappearance of the Slims river, which spanned up to 150 metres at its widest points, is the first observed case of “river piracy”, in which the flow of one river is suddenly diverted into another.

Geologists have previously found evidence of river piracy having taken place in the distant past.
“But nobody to our knowledge has documented it happening in our lifetimes,” said Shugar.
“People had looked at the geological record, thousands or millions of years ago, not the 21st century, where it’s happening under our noses.”
Prof Lonnie Thompson, a paleoclimatologist at Ohio State University who was not involved in the work, said the observations highlight how incremental temperature increases can produce sudden and drastic environmental impacts.
“There are definitely thresholds which, once passed in nature, everything abruptly changes,” he said.

A statistical analysis, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, suggests that the dramatic changes can almost certainly be attributed to anthropogenic climate change.
The calculations put chance of the piracy having occured due to natural variability at 0.5-percent.
“So it’s 99.5-percent that it occurred due to warming over the industrial era,” said Best.

An understatement of the frightful kind — and another north-of-the-border tale via CBC/Radio-Canada this morning:

Scientists in the Northwest Territories, Alaska and Siberia are now realizing that as the ground under them melts, it will not only make life harder for the people living in the Arctic, but will in fact speed up climate change around the globe.
The World Meteorological Organisation says the globe is now in uncharted territory, with temperatures in 2016 the hottest ever recorded.

“It scares me,” said Kumari Karunaratne, a permafrost expert who works for the Northwest Territories Geological Survey.
“This methane that’s being released is being released over huge areas across the north. And it’s continually seeping out.”
Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
So, as climate change speeds up the permafrost melt, the permafrost melt will exacerbate climate change.
By exactly how much, it’s impossible to say. Karunaratne won’t even try to guess, because measuring it is difficult and imprecise.
The area where it’s happening is vast and much of it remains uninhabited and unexplored.
But there are dramatic examples that show just how much methane is bubbling up from underground. Some lakes in the Arctic are so full of it, if you punch a hole in the ice you can light the escaping gas on fire.

There are other problems, too.
Last summer in Siberia, the unusually intense summer heat melted the permafrost, exposing a reindeer carcass that had been embedded in it.
That carcass was infected with anthrax, a deadly bacteria that had been locked in the ice. A 12-year-old boy died after being infected and at least eight others were sickened.
It opens up the possibility that other dangers could be unleashed

We be fucked — and there’s most-likely a time-frame.
Via EcoWatch last week:

The planet, as we know it, has been given a deadline: 10 years.
According to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, if humans don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically and maintain carbon sinks, like forests, then the results will be catastrophic for the climate.
But they’ve developed a model that they believe could do the trick.

Click the links and it’s really just a model of same-old-same-old…

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