Senators go on the record on Climate Change

Some recent votes have put Senators on the record on their position on climate change.  Despite them not being climate scientists themselves, many of them are choosing to ignore the conclusions that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists have reached.  Specifically, Senators defeated a proposed amendment that stated that “climate change is real (and) human activity significantly contributes to climate change.”  To any educated person, that statement is kinda obvious and not a big deal.  However, 49 Senators voted ‘NO’ to that statement.  Children of the world…these 49 people are blocking efforts to combat climate change at the Federal government level in this country.  The science is indisputable…your future is being put at risk by these and others that agree with them.  Know this, and remember this, for in the coming years, chances are there will be some pretty creative spin put on the climate change issue as people worldwide are forced to face the reality…they’ll talk about uncertainties, doubts that people had…but know that the IS no doubt in the climate science community.  The only doubt is that which is created by those who seek to block efforts to reduce CO2 emissions (the ‘why’ is a subject for another day, but a quick tip there, just follow the money).

Read more at NBC or ThinkProgress.

The names of the Senators who voted ‘NO’ are shown below (full results are here).  Note that Harry Reid (D-NV) did not vote on this amendment so his position is unknown.  Note that not a single Democrat voted ‘NO’.   To their credit, five brave Republican Senators broke ranks and voted ‘YES’!  Nice to see…but we need more like them!

Continue reading “Senators go on the record on Climate Change”

Computer simulation of CO2 in the atmosphere

This is a really fascinating video showing CO2 levels dispersed throughout the atmosphere over a year, as simulated by NASA’s climate modeling program GEOS-5.  It’s really interesting to see how the levels change over the year based on plant growth, and also the stark differences between the northern and southern hemispheres.  Check it out below, or read about it more over at Wired.

Why climate change scares me

If you want to know why I feel the way I do about climate change, watch this video from a TEDx conference two years ago:

The speaker talks about the path we’re on, where it’s headed, and what that really means for us.  He paints a pretty dire picture…and it’s worth noting that this video is two years old.  In that time, there’s been no action taken, and no science found to refute these conclusions…yet we remain mired in place, unable to embrace the science and take action.

Melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet

gletscherScientist studying the ice in Antarctica have found that a very large area, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is melting at an accelerating rate, and has already reached a point of instability, where its melting will continue regardless of any actions we take to reduce the effects of global warming.  It is past the point of no return, so to speak.  The impact of this is expected to be a global rise in seal levels of several feet (up to 10 feet, potentially) over the next couple of centuries.  Yes, that makes it a problem that won’t affect us, but we have a moral obligation to future generations to provide them with the same potential for prosperity that we enjoy.

The cause of this melting is deep, warmer water being pulled to the surface by increasingly powerful winds circling the continent (which is generally believed to be caused by global warming).  As far back as 1978, scientists were warning that global warming could lead to this…and now it’s happening (unless you’re a Republican with your head in the sand).

Read more at the NYTimes.

Atmospheric CO2 reaches 400ppm

The levels of CO2 in our atmosphere has reached 400 parts per million, a slightly arbitrary red flag point.  Scientists have been warning that anything about 350ppm will lead to dangerous global warming, so this is pretty bleak news though not surprising.  When this planet last experienced conditions like this, temperatures were 3-4 degrees Celsius higher, and sea levels were between 16 and 131 feet higher than today.  Perhaps the worst news, though, is that the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 has been increasing slightly, so we’re not even on the right path to fix this problem.  (link)

The cost of climate change

People are so incredibly focused on what fighting climate change would cost then, now, that they tend to overlook the cost of inaction.  Sure, most of this cost will be borne by future generations, but what gives us the right to burden them with this?  They deserve the same, or better, quality of life as us.  So, what is the cost of climate impacts due to human-caused CO2 pollution?  A recent study (link) finds the worst case cost, which is based on our current course of action, at about $1240 trillion, a number so large that I have a hard time comprehending it (the timeframe of this is a bit unclear, but they do say the annual impact is about $1.5 trillion so this cost looks like a long-term one, not to downplay its significance any!).  What’s more important is that they also estimate that, if we can stabilize CO2 levels at 450ppm, the impact is only about $110 trillion, a substantial savings.  Given the obvious cost savings here, and our current inaction, I fear our generation will do nothing more than teach future generations to not be so greedy.  Which is not all bad, assuming future generations can manage to still have a cohesive, productive society in the changing ecosystem we’re creating for them.  Read more here.

Jumping now to this infographic, obtained from grist.  It lays out the expected impact of climate change, taking into account different CO2 emission scenarios (we’re on track for the worst case scenario as laid out here…scary).  Click the thumbnail below for the full image.

IiB CO2 graphic v3

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