August 8, 2016

earth_overshoot_visual__1_Patchy fog this Monday morning on California’s north coast, yet on occasion, sunshine makes half-hearted attempts to slice through the gray, but mostly haphazard at best — might clear before noon maybe.

Unless something weird occurs, we should end up with another pleasant day along the shoreline, and somewhat cooler temperatures inland, opposed to the triple-digits of the last couple of weeks.

And we’re just one tiny, small sector of the weather-situation worldwide. Shit weather in a lot of places, just plain shit about everywhere — today another reminder of how quickly our environment is being altered, maybe beyond living.
This is the annual Earth Overshoot Day, a celebration of how rapid our resources are being consumed (humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year).
Last year, the event occurred Aug. 13.

(Illustration found here).

Although life continues without any noticeable blip, it’s just another in a long-series of wake-up calls.
The event is staged by the Global Footprint Network, an international think tank which tracks how this shit operates — GFN supposedly utilizes 15,000 UN data points for each country per year.
Don’t look good.
Via ScienceAlert this morning:

When we talk about resources, it’s not just water, land, and food — it also refers to things like carbon storage, so we’ve now reached a point where we’re pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere than can be reabsorbed by forests and oceans.
“Carbon emissions are the fastest growing contributor to ecological overshoot, with the carbon footprint now making up 60 percent of humanity’s demand on nature,” a press release from the Global Footprint Network explains.
The network has calculated Earth’s overshoot day dating back to the 1960s, and has shown that, up until 1970, we were only using as many resources as the planet could sustainably reproduce.
In fact, in 1961, we were only using three-quarters of our annual resources.
But in 1970, we burnt through our annual resources by 23 December, and every year since then it’s become earlier and earlier.
The good news is that the advancement of the date is gradually slowing down.
On average, since the 1970s, Earth Overshoot Day has moved three days earlier per year, but over the past five years, it’s slowed to less than one day a year.

Yet realism (TechInsider): ‘While Earth Overshoot Day comes earlier every year, the rate at which it moves up through the calendar is slowing a bit. But it’ll take a while for that derivative to reverse the trend — and things will get a lot worse in the meantime.’

Coupled with more techno-treacherousness of the overshoot pace — from the Guardian on Saturday:

Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set.
The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December.
The talks were hailed as a major success by scientists and campaigners, who claimed that, by setting the target, desertification, heatwaves, widespread flooding and other global warming impacts could be avoided.
However, figures — based on Met Office data — prepared by meteorologist Ed Hawkins of Reading University show that average global temperatures were already more than 1C above pre-industrial levels for every month except one over the past year and peaked at +1.38C in February and March.
Keeping within the 1.5C limit will be extremely difficult, say scientists, given these rises.
These alarming figures will form the backdrop to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change talks in Geneva this month, when scientists will start to outline ways to implement the climate goals set in Paris.
Dates for abandoning all coal-burning power stations and halting the use of combustion engines across the globe — possibly within 15 years — are likely to be set.

Stanford University’s Professor Chris Field, co-chair of the IPCC working group on adaptation to climate change, told the Observer: “From the perspective of my research I would say the 1.5C goal now looks impossible or at the very least, a very, very difficult task. We should be under no illusions about the task we face.”

Oddball heated related subject — an interesting climate side-note I missed — late last month, Baghdad, Iraq, faced a new threat beyond suicide bombers: A plague of cockroaches, supposedly, the aptly-termed, the field cockroach.
Via Informed Comment a couple of weeks ago:

The Iraqi Ministry of Health said that it wasn’t a terrorist plot.
Rather it was the heat wave that was causing the insects to enter houses.
The Ministry also tried to dispel locals’’ fears about the insects, although it is unclear how successful the message was.
“The cockroaches don’t transmit diseases and information widely circulated that the cockroaches enter people’s ears is exaggerated,” Ahmed al-Rudaini, the spokesperson for the Ministry said.
“That only happens when there are huge numbers of them around, and in certain circumstances.”
“This insect is actually called the field cockroach,” Salem Hassan al-Warshan, a professor at the agricultural college at Anbar University, told NIQASH.
“With the high temperatures, which have been around seven degrees higher than last year on average, the field cockroach is trying to leave its natural habitat to find a more suitable one elsewhere.”

Read the whole article — cockroach overshoot…


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