Sunshine and clear skies this late-afternoon Tuesday here in California’s Central Valley as we return to normalcy after a brief-flair of a storm this weekend and yesterday — many parts of the state were slammed by heavy downpour and wind with record rainfalls recorded in several spots, but the Valley pretty-much missed the boat.
However, we’ve been too parched way-too long: ‘“It’s been very, very dry for two years,” said Jay R. Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Science. “One storm does not end that kind of a drought.”‘
Yesterday afternoon I posted on climate change and how CO2 is surging into the earth’s atmosphere, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and how we’re on track for a wide-world of hurt if we don’t do something and quick.
Today, the UN’s turn to jump on the urgent-warning train once again — three years ago nearly to the day the UN issued a report on the consequences of temperature rise on the planet of 1.5C or more, with a “no time to waste” scenario — 36 months ago! Way-back then: ‘“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher, increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.‘
Time is of the essence, especially if there’s continued foot-dragging:
One week before #COP26, we were still on track for a catastrophic global temperature rise of around 2.7 degrees Celsius.
Scientists are clear on the facts.
Leaders need to be just as clear in their plans to avoid climate catastrophe. pic.twitter.com/EpGuuOd4YL
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 26, 2021
An increase in even half-a-degree is dangerous and foolhardy, but now maybe near-about impossible to stop, or even slow down, and if temps really get up there, the shit hits the living fan: ‘The world can expect 16 times more marine heat waves each year at 1.5 degrees of warming, 23 times more heat waves at 2 degrees of warming, and 41 times more at 3.5 degrees of warming.‘
Story on today’s UN report via the Guardian this afternoon:
The world is squandering the opportunity to “build back better” from the Covid-19 pandemic, and faces disastrous temperature rises of at least 2.7C if countries fail to strengthen their climate pledges, according to a report from the UN.
Tuesday’s publication warns that countries’ current pledges would reduce carbon by only about 7.5% by 2030, far less than the 45% cut scientists say is needed to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C, the aim of the Cop26 summit that opens in Glasgow this Sunday.
António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, described the findings as a “thundering wake up call” to world leaders, while experts called for drastic action against fossil fuel companies.
Although more than 100 countries have promised to reach net zero emissions around mid-century, this would not be enough to stave off climate disaster, according to the UN emissions report, which examines the shortfall between countries’ intentions and actions needed on the climate. Many of the net zero pledges were found to be vague, and unless accompanied by stringent cuts in emissions this decade would allow global heating of a potentially catastrophic extent.
Guterres said: “The heat is on, and as the contents of this report show, the leadership we need is off. Far off. Countries are squandering a massive opportunity to invest Covid-19 fiscal and recovery resources in sustainable, cost-saving, planet-saving ways. As world leaders prepare for Cop26, this report is another thundering wake-up call. How many do we need?”
Inger Andersen, the executive director of the UN Environment Programme (Unep), which produced the report, said: “Climate change is no longer a future problem. It is a now problem. To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C, we have eight years to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions: eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts. The clock is ticking loudly.”
Joeri Rogelj, the director of research at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, said: “If implemented, current net zero targets would lower temperature projections for the next century by about half a degree – bringing central estimates close to 2C – yet still not in line with holding global warming well below 2C, let alone 1.5C.
“On the other hand, the report also highlights that in many cases countries’ near-term targets are not yet putting emissions a clear track towards achieving their net zero goals. This casts doubt on whether these targets will ever be achieved.”
Further at DW:
Even if global warming were stopped at 2 C, Niklas Höhne of the New Climate Institute said the world would be a changed place.
“We are currently at a temperature increase of 1 C. And we’re seeing droughts, forest dying, floods — like in [Germany’s] Ahr Valley — and fires all over the world. An increase of 2 C means, as a first approximation, twice as many floods, twice as many extreme weather events.”
There’s a lot of shit floating around nowadays, from an asshole pandemic to an asshole Republican party, with all the horrible dangers they pose, but there’s nothing like climate change — and it’s coming faster than anyone seems to realize and understand. I didn’t even grasp or have the slightest concern for climate change until 2007 and release of the UN’s Fourth Assessment Report, which for the first time, noted a couple of heavy-duty things: ‘The key conclusions were that: It is “unequivocal” that global warming is occurring; the probability that this is caused by natural climatic processes is less than 5-percent; and the probability that this is caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases is over 90-percent.‘
Now 14-and-a-half-years later, one can only say WTF!
Mankind is on the brink (1965 version of demolition, anyway):
Time again, here we are, and once here again…
(Illustration out front found here).