UPDATE: April 6, 2014 is one for the climate history books. 402 ppm of CO2 was recorded at Mauna Loa. This is the highest-ever daily reading posted by Scripps at Keeling Curve. Carry on...
Typhoon Haiyan from space. NEW NORMAL? What is normal about this? About hundreds of millions of refugees with no homes, no food, no water, no way to grow food? What is normal about perpetual war? Do people really see how SERIOUS this all is?
Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate
By Justin Gillis
"Early in his career, a scientist named Mario J. Molina was pulled into seemingly obscure research about strange chemicals being spewed into the atmosphere. Within a year, he had helped discover a global environmental emergency, work that would ultimately win a Nobel Prize.
Now, at 70, Dr. Molina is trying to awaken the public to an even bigger risk. He spearheaded a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, which released a stark report Tuesday on global warming.
The report warns that the effects of human emissions of heat-trapping gases are already being felt, that the ultimate consequences could be dire, and that the window to do something about it is closing.
“The evidence is overwhelming: Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising,” says the report. “Temperatures are going up. Springs are arriving earlier. Ice sheets are melting. Sea level is rising. The patterns of rainfall and drought are changing. Heat waves are getting worse, as is extreme precipitation. The oceans are acidifying.”
In a sense, this is just one more report about global warming in a string going back decades. For anybody who was already paying attention, the report contains no new science. But the language in the 18-page report, called “What We Know,” is sharper, clearer and more accessible than perhaps anything the scientific community has put out to date.
And the association does not plan to stop with the report. The group, with a membership of 121,200 scientists and science supporters around the world, plans a broad outreach campaign to put forward accurate information in simple language.
The scientists are essentially trying to use their powers of persuasion to cut through public confusion over this issue.
Polls show that most Americans are at least somewhat worried about global warming. But people generally do not understand that the problem is urgent — that the fate of future generations (not necessarily that far in the future) is being determined by emission levels now. Moreover, the average citizen tends to think there is more scientific debate about the basics than there really is.
The report emphasizes that the experts have come to a consensus, with only a few dissenters. “Based on well-established evidence, about 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening,” it says.
That is not the same as claiming that all questions about climate change have been answered. In fact, enormous questions remain, and the science of global warming entails a robust, evolving discussion.
The new report walks through a series of potential consequences of planetary warming, without asserting that any is sure to happen. They are possibilities, not certainties, and the distinction is crucial for an intelligent public debate about what to do. The worst-case forecasts include severe food shortages as warming makes it harder to grow crops; an accelerating rise of the sea that would inundate coastlines too rapidly for humanity to adjust; extreme heat waves, droughts and floods; and a large-scale extinction of plants and animals.
“What’s extremely clear is that there’s a risk, a very significant risk,” Dr. Molina said by telephone from Mexico, where he spends part of his time. “You don’t need 100 percent certainty for society to act.”
End of excerpt
“You don’t need 100 percent certainty for society to act.”
Truth. 97% certainty is more than enough and it cannot be said too many times that the public's continued reliance on getting their information about this from mass media and politicians bought by the fossil fuel industry and those only using it to gain political points will only delay that action and make those possibilities certainties.
There is absolutely no doubt that the effects of our forcing upon this planet over the last century and a half are now manifesting themselves in ways that are not only threatening our survival and ability to live sustainably but already effecting it now.
This is the current intiative put forth by the AAAS to clear up the confusion in the public that there is still scientific debate regarding anthropogenic climate change:
What We Know
"The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest non-government general science membership organization and the executive publisher of Science, a leading scientific journal.
Its mission is “advance science for the benefit of all people.” Its goals include providing a voice for science on societal issues and promoting the responsible use of science in public policy. There may be no more pressing issue intersecting science and society than climate change and the What We Know initiative was born in response to that reality.
The What We Know initiative is dedicated to ensuring that three “R’s” of climate change communicated to the public.
The first is Reality — 97% of climate experts have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening.
The second is Risk — that the reality of climate change means that there are climate change impacts we can expect, but we also must consider what might happen, especially the small, but real, chance that we may face abrupt changes with massively disruptive impacts.
The third R is Response — that there is much we can do and that the sooner we respond, the better off we will be.
The What We Know initiative will include outreach to scientists, economists, community leaders, policy makers and the public at large over the following months via meetings and media outreach.
To guide the What We Know initiative, AAAS convened a group of prominent experts in climate science to address the fact that many Americans still erroneously believe that the scientific community is divided on the issue and that Americans are largely unaware of the full spectrum of climate risks – both what is likely to happen and what might happen — that human-caused climate change presents to Americans now and in the future."
Week ending March 17, 2014
The public perception that science is still divided on this is erroneous. The fact that humans are now altering the climate system of our planet thus producing more extreme events across a wider area of our planet is fact. There is no disputation that CO2 is a heat trapping gas and that the burning of fossil fuels is the fingerprint along with deforestation, land use changes and agricultural practices. Our rapacious rate of consumption of fossil fuels, water, forests and all resources is now catapulting us into a new epoch of history where our actions are already affecting our ability to live and will see devastating consequences taking place in future generations.
We are already seeing this come to pass in the Arctic where as I have reported previously, methane feedbacks are now occurring. There is no more time to waste on political bickering and using this urgent planetary crisis as a football just to gain votes with no substance. Without a habitable world nothing else matters. Unless we all join together as one human species to see the truth and see our part in telling it and taking action the ecosystems that are our life support will fail us.
I am grateful that this initiative has been implemented especially in regards to alerting the public to this most urgent reality apart from the political, ideological and economic factors that seek to inhibit solutions in a timeframe expedient enough to forestall catastrophe. Make no mistake, we are playing with fire when it comes to moving slowly regarding the effect our consumption has had and will continue to have on our only home if we do not act now. This then means heeding the warnings of scientists and those who see the danger and the effects taking place that the continued excavation and burning of fossil fuels presents.
As also will the continued rapacious consumption, pollution and disregard for our global water sources, especially in light of increased populations in correlation with more severe and frequent effects of droughts, floods, storms, ocean acidification, sea level rise and glacial melt that have been amplified as a result of the greenhouse effect.
The picture above shows that we have now surpassed 400PPM of CO2 in our atmosphere. 450 is game over as far as reversing effects. You do the math and try to understand that our current trajectory is not in the right direction. It will take unparalleled moral courage to go in the direction we need to go. This is why listening to the scientists instead of politicians with an agenda is absolutely imperative at this point in time in order to see our children with a world they can inhabit. I truly don't know how much more plain this can be.
Our Carbon Debt Our Moral Duty
This is a debt our children will hate us for leaving them. They also have every right to do so if we fail them.
Response of AGW deniers, politicians, those who think they don't need to change, those who make $$$$$$ by exploiting this Earth and basically anyone who thinks this information is put here just to take up space. Guess what- doing and or thinking that changes nothing about REALITY.
Algeria has stranded 13,000 migrants in the Sahara forcing them to walk across it in response to EU directive to North Africa to lessen mi...
The state of water in our world currently is endangered. Pollution, privatization, waste, climate change effects and lack of attention to...
Down In Edin Magazine My entry, We Must Reclaim Our Humanity To Save Our Water has been included in Issue Nine of Down In Edin Magazine ...
Clean Water Baby Wants To Swim My father learned how to swim in the Hudson River when he was a boy. That was over 70 years ago when the w...