Bright sunshine and gusty wind this afternoon on California’s north coast — skies clear as a chilled-bell with that breeze pretty-blustery at times.
Shoreline weather ’round these parts is mostly one of two types — overcast/fog, or cloudless with a bite-to-it wind.
Local weather conditions usually lead most of my posts, which comes from just laziness, really — an easy narrative technique to slide into whatever subject matter is on hand. Weather is effortless small talk leading to heavier shit, like getting acquainted with somebody, or whatever, but now, weather itself is the heavier shit.
When I started this blog in April 2007, war-related topics the main focus. Now the way-overwhelming issue by far is climate change.
(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Harlequin Head‘ (1971), found here).
Mainly due to actual weird in the weather, and a seemingly endless stream of research/studies telling us why/how/what is making weather weird.
Actually a late comprehension-convert, I didn’t even grasp the significance of the old ‘greenhouse effect,’ or later, ‘global warming,’ until late 2007 — like a light going off over a short period of time, the realization burst/exploded into the brain’s membranes — mankind might be fucked. Nearly eight years later, mankind is pretty-much fucked, unless…
And if you follow climate change, then these two news item just today continues to tell the sad tale.
From Climate Central this afternoon:
For the first time since record keeping began, carbon dioxide levels have surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) globally, according to newly published data for March.
CO2 emissions are the main driver of climate change and have risen more than 120 ppm since pre-industrial times.
The planet has warmed 1.6°F over that period as well.
This isn’t the first time 400 ppm has made news.
In May 2013, CO2 measurements taken at Mauna Loa surpassed 400 ppm for the first time.
Measurements have been taken continuously at the site since 1958 and present the longest running record of atmospheric CO2 on the planet.
In April of last year, 12 observatories in the northern hemisphere, including Mauna Loa, averaged 400 ppm for the first time on record.
And Mauna Loa rang in 2015 by registering a 400 ppm measurement, the earliest occurrence on record for the site.
But what makes the new record more profound is that 400 ppm is officially part of the global record.
Concentrations will likely remain above that mark until May when blooming plants in the northern hemisphere start to suck CO2 out of the air.
The 400 ppm milestone is largely a symbolic one.
But the new global data, which comes courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, serves as an important reminder that while CO2 emissions stabilized in 2014, that’s not the same as dropping to zero.
As a result, CO2 continues to pile up in the atmosphere.
The only ticket to reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is to cut emissions completely.
And that’s a long ways off.
Background/details on the ‘ppm‘ story can be found at CO2Now.
The CO2 the main ingredient to global warming, raising the temperature of the planet, greatly influencing the weather — melting Arctic ice the culprit.
Yesterday from Canada’s CBC:
Scientists are warning of an increasing environmental chain reaction as the melting of Arctic ice hits a new record this year.
This winter, the ice at the top of the northern hemisphere reached its peak thickness near the end of February, weeks ahead of normal.
“The peak was Feb. 25, the normal peak is mid-March,” said Jeff Key who specializes in satellite research with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
It was also the smallest extent of winter ice ever recorded in satellite records, Key told reporters at a U.S. State Department briefing in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.
Tuesday’s briefing confirmed initial findings released in March.
“We had less ice this winter in the Arctic than any other winter during the satellite era,” said Key.
The effects are also being felt in cities across North America that are being hit by more extreme weather events linked to a changing climate.
Key told reporters the warming Arctic may be weakening the polar jet stream, the air currents that flow over North America, Europe and Asia.
“What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic,” he said.
“The less sea ice is certainly going to change weather patterns,” said Key.
“It’s going to be a different world out there I think in 20, 30, 40 years.”
Maybe sooner than you think, Mr. Key. Cold-ass, snow-driven winters on the US Atlantic shore, subject of a ‘polar vortex,’ and out here, the California drought continues courtesy of the ‘Ridiculously Resilient Ridge,’ stalled just off the coast, making wet go away — benefits off the influence of climate change.
All jibe-talk about the weather, nowadays.