Heat Hunt

May 10, 2013

photoshop finalHigh overcast and some low ground fog this way-early Friday up here on California’s north coast, and the air is fairly warm for the time.
The weather has been about the same the last few days, although the sun did break through the cover late yesterday afternoon, the climate has been back to near-normal after some Hawaii-like temperatures for awhile.

Also we might be in the national news today due to a manhunt going on right now in this neck of the state — the ‘Lost Coast‘ it’s called, or all of us behind ‘the redwood curtain‘ — for a guy, Shame Miller, who supposedly killed his wife and two daughters, age 8 and 4, over in Shasta County, which is about 200 miles east of here.

(Illustration found here).

Via the San Francisco Chronicle and Shasta County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Kent: “Who knows whether or not he would retaliate against officers. With the information we’re receiving, it ups the ante. It’s almost like warfare.”
View some local photos and some background at our own Lost Coast Outpost.
The heat is on.

Meanwhile worldwide, another form of nefarious heat is on — climate change is most-likely worse then we suppose..
Research into an ancient meteorite crater in Siberia has revealed the environment could be set for some real-bad shit — via the UK’s Guardian:

Unchecked burning of fossil fuels has driven carbon dioxide to levels not seen for 3m years when, the sediments show, temperatures were 8C higher than today, lush forests covered the tundra and sea levels were up to 40m higher than today.
“It’s like deja vu,” said Prof Julie Brigham-Grette, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who led the new research analysing a core of sediment to see what temperatures in the region were between 3.6 and 2.2m years ago.
“We have seen these warm periods before.
Many people now agree this is where we are heading.”
“It shows a huge warming – unprecedented in human history,” said Prof Scott Elias, at Royal Holloway University of London, and not involved in the work.
“It is a frightening experiment we are conducting with our climate.”

Previous research on land had revealed glimpses of the Arctic climate and ocean sediments had recorded the marine climate, but the disparate data are not consistent with one another.
“Lake El’gygytgyn may be the only place in the world that has this incredible unbroken record of sediments going back millions of years,” said Elias.
“When you have a very long record it is very different to argue with.”

But the record from Lake El’gygytgyn of a very warm Arctic when atmospheric CO2 levels were last at about 400 parts per million (ppm) indicates the opposite, according to Brigham-Grette.
“My feeling is we have underestimated the sensitivity, unless there are some feedbacks we don’t yet understand or we don’t get right in the models.”
Prof Robert Spicer, at the Open University and not part of the new study, agreed: “This is another piece of evidence showing that climate models have a systematic problem with polar amplification,” ie the fact that global warming has its greatest effects at the poles.
“This has enormous implications and suggests model are likely to underestimate the degree of future change.”

And Time adds this on the same subject:

There are still pieces to the climate puzzle that need to be filled in.
The study shows that unusually warm temperatures in the Arctic seemed to persist even as glaciers we’re begin to expand in the Northern Hemisphere.
But studies like this one help us understand just how changeable our climate — so secure during the history of human civilization — has been in the past, and underscores just how momentous our impact on the planet through the burning of fossil fuels is likely to be.
We are well into uncharted territory.
But there’s something about the sheer scale of what’s happening that makes it hard for us to really comprehend. The same day the Science paper came out, a new Yale University poll came out showing that the percentage of Americans who believed global warming had dropped to 63 percent from 70 percent in the fall — a change that pollsters blamed on the unusually cold winter and spring that hit parts of the country.
That’s not surprising—belief in climate change has usually been broad but deep, easily affected in either direction by passing weather events.
But as the deep past show us, the climate works on time scales far bigger than a single season.
It’s something we may have to experience before we can ever understand it.

Which most-likely will be far too late.

And to sweeten the tea a bit, ‘Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change,’ by Andrew Guzman, a professor of international law at U.C. Berkeley, paints a most-ugly, frightening snap of the way-near future.
Grist  looks at the book:

Ask Andrew Guzman, a professor of international law at U.C. Berkeley, why he decided to write a book about climate change, and he says it’s simple: It’s the biggest issue of our time.
“If I didn’t write about it,” he says, “for my grandkids, I’d sound like somebody who wasn’t interested in Nazi Germany in 1939.”

Guzman spends a significant portion of Overheated exploring how troubled parts of the world will be affected by food and water scarcity vis-à-vis climate change.
But some of the scarier parts of the book are about the overabundance of water that’s coming our way: 2 degrees warming probably equates to about a one-meter rise in sea level this century.
That’s enough to displace hundreds of thousands to millions of people in low-lying nations, and, as of now, there is no plan to deal with environmental refugees.
“I think the question is whether the exit will be orderly or emergency crisis,” Guzman says.
“If a storm comes at the wrong time and the international community is then plucking these people out of the sea, it’ll be horrible.”

Global warming is often couched as an environmental problem, but for Guzman, this misses the point.
He’s skeptical that drowning polar bears and acidified coral reefs will mobilize the public into action.
He’s a realist appealing to self-interested Americans.
This isn’t about hugging trees and saving whales.
This is about international security, global pandemics, terrorism — and a moral imperative.

The question is whether we have morals or not. Killing each other with guns could do the chore in the long run, even as we watch the manhunt in south Humboldt County continue today for some asshole armed to the teeth.
The heat won’t go down, only up.

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