Chilly with increasing sunshine here in California’s Central Valley this near-noon Wednesday. It should play out as another nifty autumn day as we approach the darkening gloom of winter in just a few short weeks.
We should hold onto these fleeting good environmental episodes — as apparently not-nice shit is coming faster than we can hang.
Just to add more anxiety on the upcoming midterms — now less than two weeks away — and increase the historical seriousness of the election. If we don’t knock Republicans well back off any kind of power, there’s going to be shit to pay for not only America’s 250-year-old democracy experiment but also will allow the increasing horror of climate change to explode onto humanity, and most-likely devour us all.
Today, a trifecta of terrible environmental news — first up a ‘code red‘ warning:
— Phys.org (@physorg_com) October 26, 2022
Details via Phys.org this morning:
Writing in the journal BioScience, an international coalition led by Oregon State University researchers says in a report published today that the Earth’s vital signs have reached “code red” and that “humanity is unequivocally facing a climate emergency.”
In the special report, “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2022,” the authors note that 16 of 35 planetary vital signs they use to track climate change are at record extremes. The report’s authors share new data illustrating increasing frequency of extreme heat events, rising global tree cover loss because of fires, and a greater prevalence of the mosquito-borne dengue virus.
Further, they note that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached 418 parts per million, the highest on record.
William Ripple, a distinguished professor in the OSU College of Forestry, and postdoctoral researcher Christopher Wolf are the lead authors of the report, and 10 other U.S. and global scientists are co-authors.
“Look at all of these heat waves, fires, floods and massive storms,” Ripple said.
“The specter of climate change is at the door and pounding hard.”
The problem as I see it — after too-closely following climate-change news/research for the past 15 years — we’re on a way-short track to a hard ending. If Republicans gain power next month we’re shit out of luck. Election denial is nothing compared to climate change denial.
Secondly today, the UN blistered the world on those mediocre emission-reduction pledges made by countries — they’re way-not enough.
From the Guardian, also this morning:
Pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions will lead to global heating of 2.5C, a level that would condemn the world to catastrophic climate breakdown, according to the United Nations.
Only a handful of countries have strengthened their commitments substantially in the last year, despite having promised to do so at the Cop26 UN climate summit in Glasgow last November.
Deeper cuts are needed to limit temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, which would avoid the worst ravages of extreme weather.
Simon Stiell, the executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change, said: “This does not go far enough, fast enough. This is nowhere near the scale of reductions required to put us on track to 1.5C. National governments must set new goals now and implement them in the next eight years.”
The plans for emissions cuts countries submitted in Glasgow were inadequate to meet the 1.5C goal so they agreed a “ratchet” mechanism to toughen their targets year on year.
However, few governments have updated their plans on emissions in line with 1.5C.
The UN calculated on Wednesday that the plans submitted by governments would lead to a temperature rise of between 2.1C and 2.9C, with the best estimate about 2.5C.
This represents a “marginal” improvement, said Stiell, on the 2.7C temperature rise that would have followed from the commitments made at Glasgow.
Just as America is divided, the world is in that sad state, too. It would take an enormous event to pull this shit out of the fire. Especially with Vlad Putin and others of his ilk. A world view in a short straw.
And along with that shit, today, too, apparently more methane — way-more effective at trapping heat — is pouring into the air in record numbers.
Per The Washington Post, updated this afternoon:
The amount of methane in the atmosphere is racing ahead at an accelerating pace, according to a study by the World Meteorological Organization, threatening to undermine efforts to slow climate change.
The WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin said that “global emissions have rebounded since the COVID-related lockdowns” and that the increases in methane levels in 2020 and 2021 were the largest since systematic record keeping began in 1983.
“Methane concentrations are not just rising, they’re rising faster than ever,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford University.
“Government decisions and actions must reflect the level of urgency, the gravity of the threats we are facing, and the shortness of the time we have remaining to avoid the devastating consequences of runaway climate change,” said Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat. “We are still nowhere near the scale and pace of emission reductions required.”
Instead, the U.N. report found, the world is barreling toward future of unbearable heat, escalating weather disasters, collapsing ecosystems and widespread hunger and disease.
“It’s a dismal, horrendous, incomprehensible picture,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Program, said of the world’s current warming path.
“That picture is just not a picture we cannot accept.”
However, a picture coming quickly into more and more focus.
Less than two weeks away — climate change deniers denying:
Climate change doesn't require your belief pic.twitter.com/Elm5x73QZT
— Themperor Kennedy????? (@kennedytcooper) October 25, 2022
Or face some real-life, not-CGI:
Despite the heat, once again here we are…
(Illustration out front found here.)