Climate and the Weather

December 5, 2018

(Illustration found here)

Bright-sunny Wednesday here on California’s north coast, a bit of chill was in the ocean breeze, though, and now near evening-dark, there’s a bite to the cool — clear usually means cold, overcast and rainy, warmer.
According to WunderBlog, we’re to expect sunny days until Sunday, then a forecast for rain, and apparently on through next week.

Weather is a-changing, however. Our climate up here, and California in general is shifting. A report published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. our environment statewide is expected to be jerked back-and-forth — weather whiplash it’s been termed — and includes dramatic swings from severe drought to extreme rains, as in the last couple of years.
And this: ‘The research is based on atmospheric warming rates, calculated from the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.’

A cruel lead-in to another post on a couple of ‘other’ studies made public today on our worldwide adventure with CO2 — the first report, called the Global Carbon Project, estimates CO2 emissions will jump by a record-high 2.7-percent in 2018, (last year — 2017 — was 1.6-percent). This follows a plateau emission rise in 2014-2016, hopes dashed.
Via the Guardian this afternoon;

“The global rise in carbon emissions is worrying, because to deal with climate change they have to turn around and go to zero eventually,” said Prof Corinne Le Quéré, at the University of East Anglia, who led the research published in the journal Nature.
“We are not seeing action in the way we really need to. This needs to change quickly.”

Le Quéré said: “I hope that by 2020, when [governments] have to come back with stronger commitments, we will then see a turning point.”

And if that wasn’t enough — the second report:

The “dark news” of rising emissions is merging with two other alarming trends, according to Prof David Victor, at the University of California, San Diego, in an article with colleagues also published in Nature on Wednesday.
Falling air pollution is enabling more of the sun’s warmth to reach the Earth’s surface, as aerosol pollutants reflect sunlight, while a long-term natural climate cycle in the Pacific is entering a warm phase.
Victor said: “Global warming is accelerating. [These] three trends will combine over the next 20 years to make climate change faster and more furious than anticipated.”

The Global Carbon Budget, produced by 76 scientists from 57 research institutions in 15 countries, found the major drivers of the 2018 increase were more coal-burning in China and India as their economies grew, and more oil used in more transport.
Industry also used more gas.
Renewable energy grew rapidly, but not enough to offset the increased use of fossil fuel.

In the US, emissions rose as an unusually cold winter and hot summer boosted demand for both heating and cooling in homes.
But it is expected that emissions will start to decline again in 2019, as cheap gas, wind and solar continue to displace coal — coal use has dropped 40-percent since 2005 and it is now at its lowest level since 1979.

And insult to feeling okay — those same reports per the New York Times today:

Scientists described the quickening rate of carbon dioxide emissions in stark terms, comparing it to a “speeding freight train” and laying part of the blame on an unexpected surge in the appetite for oil as people around the world not only buy more cars but also drive them farther than in the past — more than offsetting any gains from the spread of electric vehicles.
“We’ve seen oil use go up five years in a row,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of earth system science at Stanford and an author of one of two studies published Wednesday.
“That’s really surprising.”

President Trump, however, has vowed to pull the United States out of the accord and has moved to roll back Obama-era regulations designed to limit emissions from vehicle tailpipes and power-plant smokestacks.
On Tuesday he wrote on Twitter that the Paris Agreement was “fatally flawed” because its system of voluntary pledges let other countries off the hook, adding that “American taxpayers — and American workers — shouldn’t pay to clean up others countries’ pollution.”

As part of the latest report, scientists wrote Wednesday in the journal Nature that the recent rise in global emissions, combined with other factors such as natural temperature fluctuations, could bring those dire consequences a decade sooner, by 2030.
“For those of us that work in this space, seeing the rates of emissions accelerate is deeply dismaying, and it confirms the very clear lack of systemic action and change that we’re seeing across many lines of state, national and global organization,” said Sarah E. Myhre, a research associate at the University of Washington who was not involved in the studies.
“It just means that the problem will be harder to fix down the line,” she said.
“We’re continuing to buck-pass this problem to our kids and our future selves.”

And the economics: ‘Last year, extreme weather disasters cost the United States a record $306 billion.’

As if the perfect villain for the right time — from the Daily Beast this morning:

Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s aides and advisers have tried to convince him of the importance of tackling the national debt.
Sources close to the president say he has repeatedly shrugged it off, implying that he doesn’t have to worry about the money owed to America’s creditors — currently about $21 trillion — because he won’t be around to shoulder the blame when it becomes even more untenable.
The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the national debt in the not-too-distant future.
In response, Trump noted that the data suggested the debt would reach a critical mass only after his possible second term in office.
“Yeah, but I won’t be here,” the president bluntly said, according to a source who was in the room when Trump made this comment during discussions on the debt.

We’re up bad-shit creek without a paddle…

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