As we wander through today’s bitter-sweet events, from Joe Biden ice cream comments about GQPers opposed to the Jan. 6 insurrection/riot commission to “Eat some chocolate chocolate chip,” to Mitch McConnell going in the opposite direction, pleading with Republican Senators to resist the commission as “a personal favor” to him, and all the similarly ridiculous bullshit items in-between, the very world we populate is crumbling down around us.
Although yesterday a court in the Hague ordered Royal Dutch Shell to slash its global carbon emissions by 45-percent by the end of 2030 compared with 2019 levels — a case called “a turning point in history” — climate change seems to keep on it’s track to fry the planet before we humans can get along enough to turn the tide.
A word describing a new UN report on rising planet temperatures is ‘accelerating‘ — and the time is near:
The World Meteorological Organization said there is now about a 40% chance that the annual average global temperature will temporarily reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in at least one of the next five years.https://t.co/apRRrhKhkN
— CNN (@CNN) May 27, 2021
Details from NPR last night:
The average temperature on Earth is now consistently 1-degree Celsius hotter than it was in the late 1800s, and that temperature will keep rising toward the critical 1.5-degree Celsius benchmark over the next five years, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization.
Scientists warn that humans must keep the average annual global temperature from lingering at or above 1.5-degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic and long-term effects of climate change.
Those include massive flooding, severe drought and runaway ocean warming that fuels tropical storms and drives mass die-offs of marine species.
The new report from the WMO, an agency of the United Nations, finds that global temperatures are accelerating toward 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. The authors of the new report predict there is a 44-percent chance that the average annual temperature on Earth will temporarily hit 1.5-degrees Celsius of warming at some point in the next five years.
That likelihood has doubled since last year.
“We’re seeing accelerating change in our climate,” says Randall Cerveny, a climate scientist at Arizona State University and a World Meteorological Organization rapporteur who was not involved in the report.
Annual temperatures on Earth fluctuate according to short-term climate cycles, which means some years are much hotter than others, even as the overall trend line goes up steadily.
As climate change accelerates, it gets more and more likely that individual years will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
“We had had some hopes that, with last year’s COVID scenario, perhaps the lack of travel [and] the lack of industry might act as a little bit of a brake,” Cerveny says.
“But what we’re seeing is, frankly, it has not.”
Years with record-breaking heat offer a glimpse of the future. For example, 2020 was one of the hottest years on record. Last year, global temperatures were about 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter than the late 1800s, according to the WMO.
“It is yet another wakeup call that the world needs to fast-track commitments to slash greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement accompanying the report.
The United Nations warns that, as of late 2020, humans were on track to cause more than 3-degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
Close to home, literally, the shit-hard drought this year here in California with the last two years the worse in 50 years. There’s just no water. Reservoirs are drying up, and a result will be a red-hot fire season, too. Officials believe it’s not directly caused by climate change, it’s just making shit worse.
Background via The Mercury News on Tuesday:
A similar weather pattern from 2012 to 2016 was dubbed “the ridiculously resilient ridge” by Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA.
So many storms were diverted away from California then that the state endured its most severe drought since statehood in 1850.
“I think the ridiculously resilient ridge made a comeback this year,” Swain said.
Scientists are still debating whether climate change is increasing the frequency and strength of such ridges off California.
But there is wide agreement that warming temperatures are making droughts worse. Because temperatures are about 2-degrees Fahrenheit hotter, on average, now than 50 years ago, soil moisture is drying out more quickly.
That means higher fire risk in shrubs and trees. And less water from melting Sierra snow flows into rivers and reservoirs, instead soaking into the arid ground.
“If you got the same amount of water falling from the sky now as in 1976, a lot of it is evaporating,” Swain said.
“It just doesn’t go as far.”
And world history has also included bouts with climate change — per CNN this morning:
The 61 human skeletons unearthed in the Nile Valley in the 1960s in what is now Sudan have long been regarded as the earliest evidence of organized warfare between humans.
The remains uncovered at Jebel Sahaba, which are more than 13,000 years old, show injuries sustained as a result of brutal and intense violence — mainly puncture wounds from weapons such as spears and arrows.
However, a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports that reexamined the remains using the latest scientific methods suggests that the group were not killed in a one-off massacre as previously thought.
More likely they were killed during sporadic and recurrent violence that took place over several years and was probably triggered by major climatic and environmental changes during the period.
Big, huge difference between nowadays and those days of yore is location — our version is global, no running to the mountains, or anywhere else to escape — we’re in this shit boat together.
Meanwhile for a sense of a breathing space, a few seconds of fun with some professional, major-league baseball performed so-alike my sixth-grade Little League team:
El Mago magic!
Have you ever seen anything like this?! pic.twitter.com/aHQs6eAxCG
— MLB (@MLB) May 27, 2021
And that guy laughing…
(Illustration found here).