Yesterday’s future tomorrow

January 28, 2013

Global Warming SolutionsRain and warm this early Monday morning along California’s northern coast, encountering another apparent routine weather observation up here.
It’s been wet lately, but with it has come the warm.
This is winter — we can’t be choosy.

Weather has been kind of odd a bit lately, but don’t know if it’s directly tied in with climate change, though, all natural outside elements nowadays are effected/affected by heat rising on this planet.
And one of the most-worrisome aspects of climate change is the unknown. A lot of sincere climatologists, who have been working hard at their game, don’t really understand how this near-unimaginable calamity will play out — the situation is always ‘worse than anticipated.’

(Illustration found here).

Another sound-off popped up this weekend and from a most-legit source — the UK’s Lord Stern, author of a government-commissioned review on climate change in 2006, has declared ‘I got it wrong,’ but on the bad side.
From the Guardian:

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Stern, who is now a crossbench peer, said:
“Looking back, I underestimated the risks.
The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly.
Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then.”
The Stern review, published in 2006, pointed to a 75 percent chance that global temperatures would rise by between two and three degrees above the long-term average; he now believes we are “on track for something like four.”
Had he known the way the situation would evolve, he says, “I think I would have been a bit more blunt.
I would have been much more strong about the risks of a four- or five-degree rise.”
He said some countries, including China, had now started to grasp the seriousness of the risks, but governments should now act forcefully to shift their economies towards less energy-intensive, more environmentally sustainable technologies.
“This is potentially so dangerous that we have to act strongly.
Do we want to play Russian roulette with two bullets or one?
These risks for many people are existential.”

Add those gloomy remarks to another dollop of bad climate news — cities are belching more heat than previously figured. Another study, this one in Nature, is also way-worrisome.
Via Climate Central:

The regions in question, particularly northern Eurasia and North America, have warmed about a degree Celsius’ (1.8°F) more in winter over the past several decades than many climate models say they should have.
The authors say, though, that once you factor in waste heat, the discrepancy disappears.
Its direct effect on global temperatures is insignificant compared with the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, said co-author Aixue Hu, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), in an interview, “but it does affect regional weather patterns.”

The word “plausibly” is key here, however.
“My colleagues at NCAR agree that the heating should have some kind of impact, but since this line of research is so new, we can’t really say whether it’s right or wrong,” Hu said.
“The basic physics behind it is true, but the magnitude of the impact is something that needs more research.”
On that last point, Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University, who wasn’t involved in the new study, agrees.
“It’s interesting, but it’s surprising to me that the energy consumption imposed in this model in such a limited area could have such a widespread effect,” Francis said in an email.
“It’s also difficult to imagine a mechanism that would result in the large areas of cooling they show during [summer and fall].”
That doesn’t mean the new study is wrong, but it’s far too early to declare it right, either.
“It should be followed up, with another that tries to identify the mechanisms involved,” Francis said.

So, we gotta wait?

Especially in Utah, wherein lies a snapshot of the future: “I feel like I’m locking my children in a windowless room full of chain smokers,” said Cherise Udell, founder of Utah Moms for Clean Air, a statewide organization dedicated to promoting clean air in Utah.
“I feel claustrophobic, I feel frustrated and I even feel angry at our political leaders for not taking action on what many people in Utah think is one of the most important issues for Utah’s future.”

And everybody else.

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