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Climate change a different take on what to do about it.

#3421 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2019-July-06, 15:30

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-July-05, 11:38, said:

I always thought baked Alaska was a dessert, not a desert:

Guess that just takes the cake! Despite higher temps there in the 1930s, before evil SUVs had their way with the climate. All this despite the fact that the entire continental US has had its coolest and wettest Jan-July evah! Just more alarmist cherry-picking to scare up support with the converted...
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#3422 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-July-11, 04:55

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2019-July-06, 15:30, said:

Guess that just takes the cake! Despite higher temps there in the 1930s, before evil SUVs had their way with the climate. All this despite the fact that the entire continental US has had its coolest and wettest Jan-July evah! Just more alarmist cherry-picking to scare up support with the converted...

Alaska famously has a historical record temperature of 100F from 1915 but the 1930s? Not so much. Would you care to back yourself up with some data. Which year was warmer than 2016/18 (and 2019 so far)?
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#3423 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-July-12, 01:54

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2019-July-06, 15:30, said:

Guess that just takes the cake! Despite higher temps there in the 1930s, before evil SUVs had their way with the climate. All this despite the fact that the entire continental US has had its coolest and wettest Jan-July evah! Just more alarmist cherry-picking to scare up support with the converted...


Is it beyond your intellect to post a link to whatever noise of the week you are posting in this thread? I won't bother doing a search for more information.

BTW, we are talking about global climate change, not continental US climate change. Drier droughts and more problematic weather systems are predicted throughout the world. In other words, extreme weather is the new normal. Nothing about more rainfall in a large, but still relatively local area contradicts anything about climate change. As for coolest Jan-July, post your data links.
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#3424 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-July-12, 03:40

View Postjohnu, on 2019-July-12, 01:54, said:

Is it beyond your intellect to post a link to whatever noise of the week you are posting in this thread? I won't bother doing a search for more information.

Let me help you with that John. This is the daily temperature record for 2019 in Fairbanks. There are similar records for all 19 weather stations in Alaska, which can be accessed from the home page. In the graphs, red indicates days that are warmer than the average and blue colder.

The records seem to be consistent - after a cold snap in early January, temperatures across Alaska have been unusually warm in 2019, including July. Some stations, such as Anchorage, have even recorded new historical high temperatures (90F on July 4th, beating the previous high of 85F from June 14th 1969). Basically, this is an obvious and easily debunked lie from AI - not the first and it certainly will also not be the last.
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#3425 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-July-12, 12:16

Interesting article https://www.theguard...Zt4EdGWylkWZMsA
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#3426 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2019-July-14, 09:20

Thanks for the correction. The reference was for the continental US and not for Alaska and it was poorly worded.
Btw. looking at temperature records recorded at airports tends to have an inherent bias towards warming as air traffic increases. Even that record in Anchorage (AIRPORT) was mitigated by the recording method used and was not official. Global temps are mostly static and rises are generally Tmin at night. Regional variations have a lot to do with ocean-atmosphere circulation patterns and local anomalies (Alaska) are also affected by the jet stream variations (polar vortex) induced by solar (in)activity. CO2, not so much, if at all.
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#3427 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2019-July-14, 12:48

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-July-12, 12:16, said:


Dana N. at the Grauniad as a source ... National Enquirer would likely be more credible.
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#3428 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-July-16, 07:51

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2019-July-14, 12:48, said:

Dana N. at the Grauniad as a source ... National Enquirer would likely be more credible.


The Guardian is not that credible, but the science it reports in this case is, WAAAAAAAY more credible than anything on the other side
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#3429 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-July-16, 10:19

This doesn't bode well:

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In less than 20 years, millions of people in the United States could be exposed to dangerous “off-the-charts” heat conditions of 127 degrees Fahrenheit or more, a startling new report has found. In 60 years over one-third of the population could be exposed to such conditions, “posing unprecedented health risks,” the report says.


Or if you prefer peer-reviewed articles:
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#3430 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-July-16, 23:34

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2019-July-14, 09:20, said:

Btw. looking at temperature records recorded at airports tends to have an inherent bias towards warming as air traffic increases. Even that record in Anchorage (AIRPORT) was mitigated by the recording method used and was not official. Global temps are mostly static and rises are generally Tmin at night. Regional variations have a lot to do with ocean-atmosphere circulation patterns and local anomalies (Alaska) are also affected by the jet stream variations (polar vortex) induced by solar (in)activity. CO2, not so much, if at all.

More ridiculous talking points repeated without understanding them at all :rolleyes:

Airports temperatures increase as air traffic increases? Who thought up that stupid talking point at a climate change denier brainstorm? Yes, air traffic has been increasing since the airplane was invented. So, are you saying global warming is caused by increased air traffic? Well, airplanes do emit CO2 and other pollutants just like all equipment that uses internal combustion engines. So to the extent that airplanes increase CO2 as a small part of the overall CO2 problem, air traffic does cause temperature increase. I'm sure whoever fed you that talking point never saw that one coming.

The rest of your post is pretty much a jumble of nonsense. Since you don't seem to understand any of the science, you would do a lot better to just post a link and a short quotation from the article rather than try to think for yourself because that's clearly not working.
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#3431 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2019-July-31, 10:49

From Francis Gooding’s review of The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells:

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How long do we have left, and how bad will it get? David Wallace-Wells opens his book with a short, sharp reality check: ‘It’s worse, much worse, than you think.’ All the news is bad. Marshalling research from across the sprawling field of climate studies, Wallace-Wells paints a picture of disastrous change on an almost incomprehensible scale. Transformations that will have consequences for thousands of years to come are already being expressed in sudden crises that spring up overnight. The changes are at once planetary and minute, affecting everything from the earth’s variable ability to reflect light from the sun to the microbes inside your body. Everything, it seems, is dissolving.

The book’s focus is on the most direct effects of global warming – hotter temperatures, rising seas, extreme weather and so on – as well as what these effects mean for humanity. Wallace-Wells leaves out much of our disastrous impact on the natural world. He doesn’t dwell on biodiversity loss, for instance, or the details of the mass extinction that we are by all accounts now living through, though he reminds us that of the five previous mass extinctions, only the most recent was caused by an asteroid. What was responsible for the other four? ‘Climate change produced by greenhouse gas.’ The deadliest occurred 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, when 96 per cent of life on earth was wiped out. High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere led to around 5°C of warming, which in turn triggered the release of methane – a much more powerful greenhouse gas – and possibly highly toxic and ozone-destroying hydrogen sulphide, produced by the anaerobic green sulphur bacteria that began to thrive in the warm oceans. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a rate ‘considerably faster’ than it took to cause this near-total erasure of complex life. ‘By most estimates,’ Wallace-Wells writes, ‘at least ten times faster.’ We may not be at anything like end-Permian levels yet, but the parallels are clear. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that if emissions continue to rise at the current rate, the earth could experience as much as 4.5°C of warming by 2100. Permafrost in the Arctic is already melting, with the potential to release large quantities of methane, while the hydrogen sulphide that is thought to have ‘capped the end-Permian extinction, once all the feedback loops had been triggered’, is currently ‘bubbling out of the sea’ along a thousand-mile stretch of the Namibian coast, where green sulphur bacteria have caused a vast oceanic dead zone, devoid of oxygen and life.

It’s by no means the only one. There are now more than four hundred such dead zones in the world’s oceans, totalling an area the size of Europe. Most cluster around cities and river mouths, where the combination of warming waters, sewage pollution and fertiliser run-off causes blooms of algae whose decay leaches oxygen from the water. Others are caused by upwellings of the green sulphur bacteria, which has survived from a primordial planetary era before oxygen, waiting in the deep ocean for a chance to turn the seas back into a toxic microbial stew. Warmer seas and the subsequent changes to ocean currents mean their chance may be coming. The Baltic Sea now contains a layer of anoxic water all year round; the Gulf of Mexico dead zone is nine thousand square miles in size; it’s possible that the recently discovered dead zone in the Arabian Sea is large enough to consume the entire Gulf of Oman. Dead zones are examined briefly by Wallace-Wells in a chapter called ‘Dying Oceans’; only briefly, because he also has to consider ocean acidification, ocean warming, coral bleaching and the attendant die-offs of ocean life, as well as the slowing and potential failure of the Gulf Stream and other currents whose movements are intimately tied to regional climate. Should this last come to pass, the results would be ‘inconceivably catastrophic’. The Gulf Stream has already slowed by 15 per cent, something which hasn’t happened for at least a thousand years. A paper from 2018 suggests that the vast ocean circulation current is moving at its slowest rate for 1500 years. According to most global warming scenarios, this wasn’t supposed to happen for another hundred years.

‘Dying Oceans’ is one of 12 chapters discussing what Wallace-Wells calls the ‘elements of chaos’. Each is dedicated to a particular aspect of what we can expect in a warming world, from simple increases in temperature to crop failure, freshwater shortages, and violent and unpredictable weather, as well as secondary features such as greater migration and an increased incidence of wars. The US military is ‘obsessed with climate change’, Wallace-Wells writes, and the Pentagon is actively ‘planning for a new era of conflict governed by global warming’. They are not alone in thinking this way. The Chinese government is responding to the anticipated loss of military and naval bases in the rising Pacific by creating militarised artificial islands in the South China Sea, ‘a dry run, so to speak, for life as a superpower in a flooded world’. A new era of geopolitical contest looms, and it sounds like science fiction: end-time resource wars on a dying planet.

The Uninhabitable Earth is an example of the class of writing the eco-philosopher Timothy Morton has described as ‘ecological information data dump’: quantities of frightening and confusing information, mostly out of date by the time of publication, ‘shaking your lapels while yelling disturbing facts’. Morton believes this approach is unhelpful, and that it is essentially a symptom of the diffuse psychological pain caused by climate change – an attempt to prepare us for what has in fact already happened. And most of what Wallace-Wells describes has already happened. The phenomena he documents in the first part of the book are not hypothetical outcomes or doomsday prophecies: they are accounts of real events.

Take wildfires. Wallace-Wells concentrates on California, which has always been susceptible to burning. In 2017, more than nine thousand separate wildfires were recorded, including five of the twenty worst ever recorded in the state. Two thousand square miles burned. A similar area was destroyed again in 2018 by six thousand fires, among them a giant network called the ‘Mendocino Complex’, which blazed across four counties between July and September. It grew to be bigger than New York, destroying almost half a million acres of land. Wildfires now burn twice as much land per year in the US as they did fifty years ago, and that figure is expected to double again by 2050 to twenty million acres per year. ‘For every additional degree of global warming, it could quadruple.’ This isn’t just an American problem, of course: in Greenland ten times more land than usual was lost to wildfires in 2017; in 2018, Swedish forests within the Arctic Circle succumbed to fires of unprecedented size. Wildfires in Greece killed more than a hundred people during the European heatwave of 2018, the sixth highest direct death toll in the last century. A hundred thousand fires burned across the Amazon during 2017.

Like everything else that happens within a responsive and interconnected ecological system, fires contribute to cumulative processes. Soot and ash from boreal fires blacken the northern ice sheets, which then absorb more solar heat and melt faster. Denuded hillsides increase the likelihood of disasters such as flooding and landslides (thousands were evacuated and many killed in the mudslides that followed the 2017 California fires). Burning forests release vast quantities of carbon into the atmosphere. One major wildfire in California can set the emission gains of the entire state back to zero for the year, making ‘a mockery of the technocratic, meliorist approach to emissions reduction’. Recent news reports suggest that Arctic wildfires have released as much carbon dioxide in the last month as Sweden does in the course of a year.

The loss of forests to fire adds to the general disaster of worldwide deforestation, a major cause of increasing carbon emissions. It is estimated that, at current rates, tropical deforestation would produce a further 1.5°C of warming, even if emissions from fossil fuels stopped tomorrow. The loss of forest resulting from Jair Bolsonaro’s policy of opening the Amazon to ‘development’ could add 13.2 gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere before 2030, the equivalent of almost a year’s worth of Chinese and American emissions. (Given what we now know about the consequences of unabated emissions, perhaps acts of such destructive magnitude should be recognised as a special kind of international crime.)

As the unprecedented disasters, terrifying statistics and nightmare scenarios continue to mount, the links between them multiply in tangled profusion. Climate scientists refer to ‘systems crises’, Wallace-Wells to ‘cascades’: tumbling sequences of events connected within a dynamic chaos of feedback loops, amplification and reinforcement. ‘Complexity is how warming articulates its brutality,’ as Wallace-Wells puts it. Most of the known feedback mechanisms look as though they will trigger even more warming. One of the key variables complicating climate forecasts is how much more carbon we will pump into the atmosphere. On that count too, the reports are dismal. Only seven of the 195 signatories to the 2016 Paris Agreement are ‘in range’ of their carbon emissions pledges. Even if every country was to keep to its target, this could still deliver more than 3°C of warming (not given to understatement, Wallace-Wells says this would ‘unleash suffering beyond anything humans have ever experienced’). The agreed ‘must-meet target’ in 2016 was 2°C, a level which will anyway almost certainly be enough to cause the collapse of the polar ice sheets, and the attainment of which is now regarded as improbable without the massive implementation of carbon capture technology, a technology that does not exist on any meaningful scale. (Nature has dismissed global warming projections based on carbon capture and storage as ‘magical thinking’.) Some estimates suggest that to keep warming below the agreed 2°C using existing technology would require ten new carbon capture plants to open every week for seventy years. There are currently 18 plants worldwide. And since the Paris Agreement, overall emissions have risen. The World Bank predicts that there will be 140 million climate refugees by 2050; the UN thinks it might be more like 200 million, or even, in the worst-case scenario, a billion. The poorest countries, which have caused least pollution, will bear the brunt of the suffering, and already do.

‘We have already exited the state of environmental conditions that allowed the human animal to evolve in the first place,’ Wallace-Wells writes, ‘in an unsure and unplanned bet on just what that animal can endure. The climate system that raised us, and raised everything we now know as human civilisation, is now, like a parent, dead.’ He is not a climate scientist, so is perhaps less circumspect than he might be: the data here is designed to scare us. ‘I am alarmed,’ he writes. Who isn’t? We know exactly where we are, despite the continuous chatter of doubt and denial. Wallace-Wells is scathing about the oil industry, whose disinformation clogs public discourse and waylays political processes: ‘A more grotesque performance of corporate evilness is hardly imaginable, and, a generation from now, oil-backed denial will likely be seen as among the most heinous conspiracies against human health and well-being as have been perpetrated in the modern world.’

How on earth are we supposed to think about all this horror? How do we plan for the future or raise children knowing what we know? The magnitude and implications of climate change short-circuit the imagination. Wallace-Wells cites the novelist Amitav Ghosh, who has suggested that we fail to put climate change into proper perspective because we don’t yet have the stories to comprehend it. Even the refrains ‘by 2100’ or ‘by 2050’ seem more like magic charms, pushing the disaster into an infinitely receding future. Faced with a planetary-scale crisis that requires urgent collective action, contemporary minds and institutions are left embarrassingly exposed: imagining the necessary change within our political cycles, even our lifespan, appears to be an impossible leap.

What will real action look like, if and when it finally comes? Wallace-Wells reminds us that we have the tools to change things, and even – a rare moment of optimism – ‘to stop it all’. His remedy involves ‘a carbon tax and the political apparatus to aggressively phase out dirty energy; a new approach to agricultural practices and a shift away from beef and dairy in the global diet; and public investment in green energy and carbon capture.’ But whether the changes that are already underway could be stopped by such measures is presently moot: ‘We … haven’t yet discovered the political will, economic might and cultural flexibility to install and activate them.’ Depressingly, it could have been so much easier. If decarbonisation had started in 2000, only a 3 per cent annual emissions reduction would have been necessary to keep us below 2°C of warming. The figure now is 10 per cent per year. If we wait until 2030, it will be 30 per cent. The UN secretary general, António Guterres, believes there is only one year left in which to begin this reduction. The IPCC says that global mobilisation on the scale of the Second World War will be necessary.

Many people, especially the young, have seen enough; like Wallace-Wells, they demand that others, especially those with the power to act, start to respond too. The pepper-spraying of Extinction Rebellion protesters in Paris in June and the claim by the former head of British counterterrorism that the group represents ‘anarchism with a smile’ illustrate how climate-related action by the public is likely to be handled, even by ostensibly liberal governments. State security services and corporate interests long ago classified environmental groups as a threat; they will not be quick to recast them as the vanguard of planetary salvation. Reporting on the environment is second only to reporting from war zones in terms of the number of journalists killed, attacked or threatened. Talk of a ‘Green New Deal’ and similar policies still belongs to political factions and activist groups, when everything we know about climate change suggests it should be the global first order of business. It may be symbolically significant for the UK government to declare a ‘climate emergency’, but what is urgently needed are vast, co-ordinated programmes of decarbonisation. The old certainties no longer apply. We are on an alien planet.

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#3432 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2019-August-01, 18:45

View Posty66, on 2019-July-31, 10:49, said:

From Francis Gooding’s review of The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells:

RCP 8.5 undoubtedly. btw, any luck on that mathematical relation between anthropogenic CO2 and global temperatures?
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#3433 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-August-02, 06:03

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2019-August-01, 18:45, said:

RCP 8.5 undoubtedly. btw, any luck on that mathematical relation between anthropogenic CO2 and global temperatures?

You understand that that is precisely what a mathematical model is, right? Even skeptical scientists agree that such a relationship exists; the disagreement these days (outside of your posts and a few (mostly non-scientific) fringe groups) is primarily over the level of sensitivity rather than any question of there being no relationship at all. Read Judith Curry's simplified climate model papers for, essentially, a lower bound on sensitivity. There are basically two different ways of calculating the sensitivity with one consistently producing a higher value than the other.

Most scientists seem to believe that the higher way of calculating is generally more accurate but the question is one of the points that is not fully resolved. As I understand it, models have typically used a climate sensitivity at the lower end of the estimates from the method giving the higher figures. Since modelled global temperatures essentially generate noise around the long-term gradient, this sensitivity is a critical component and is therefore also a popular point of attack for CC deniers. Unfortunately (for you but I suppose also for the world generally) even the credible lower bounds are high enough to predict uncomfortable and dangerous levels of warming. Models that incorporate more factors (and that should be more accurate) just reduce the time taken to reach dangerous levels. If the aim of your post is to suggest that there is no relationship between anthropogenic CO2 and global temperatures though, then I am afraid you are just p!$$ing in the wind.

NB: I daresay you will move on to the accuracy of models next. This is not the first time for the resulting dance - where you raise some inaccurate points, the community corrects them and you just move onto the next talking point - so just refer to the last time round the loop for answers as to why you are wrong regarding the reliability of the mathematical models.
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#3434 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-August-02, 07:04

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2019-August-01, 18:45, said:

RCP 8.5 undoubtedly. btw, any luck on that mathematical relation between anthropogenic CO2 and global temperatures?


For anyone who is new to this thread, some quic background information

Al_U_Card is a long time BBO troll.

He started his career as a 9/11 truther 15 odd years ago. 10 years back, he shifted over to Climate Change as his pet cause.

He is a pathological liar, appears to be a LaRouchie and an anti semite.

The world will be a better place when he is dead.
With luck, his passing will be prolonged, painful, and incur crippling expenses.
Alderaan delenda est
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#3435 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-August-02, 08:50

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Astroturfing is traditionally understood as the manufacture of a grassroots movement that is totally fake. Such synthetic grass was first cultivated in the US by the Tea Party, which would bankroll the hiring of flash-mob protesters and the swarming of news sites with the intention of drowning out discussion, and replacing it with a Tea Party ideology.

Today, astroturfing is not about creating the image of a unified grassroots movement, but rather the training of scores of individual crusaders to go out and crash blogs in online news sites. As such, it is an almost exclusively online affair, where participants are known as “trolls”. Trolls are supposed to look like they are acting independently, but it is alleged that they are co-ordinated largely by conservative think-tanks, like the IPA and Menzies House, the latter founded and funded by Cory Bernardi.

http://theconversati...t-a-troll-19011
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#3436 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-August-02, 09:57

Liked the following quotes from said article


Quote

Fourthly, if you web search some unique word-strings from a troll you will often find the same content cut and pasted appearing in other forums under different names, topped and tailed. This is particularly evident of trolls who have posted large slabs of text shortly after an article is published.

Fifthly, look at the activity pages of participants you suspect are trolls to see if they have ever sustained an argument rather than hit-and-run comments.

Alderaan delenda est
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#3437 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-August-02, 21:18

View Postjohnu, on 2019-July-12, 01:54, said:

As for coolest Jan-July, post your data links.


July was Earth’s hottest month on record, beating or tying July 2016

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July was Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, “on a par with, and possibly marginally higher” than the previous warmest month, which was July 2016, according to provisional data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service. This European climate agency will have a full report for all of July on Monday, but a spokesperson said enough data (through July 29) has already come in to make this declaration.


Al_U_Card, it has been weeks since you claimed that Jan-July was the coolest weather in US history. Was this another one of your lies or did you just happened to read that on site that posts ridiculous stuff for the climate change deniers to have wet dreams about? Don't bother answering, that was a rhetorical question. Just for laughs, post the link where you got those whoppers :lol:
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#3438 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-August-10, 16:50

View Postjohnu, on 2019-August-02, 21:18, said:

Al_U_Card, it has been weeks since you claimed that Jan-July was the coolest weather in US history. Was this another one of your lies or did you just happened to read that on site that posts ridiculous stuff for the climate change deniers to have wet dreams about? Don't bother answering, that was a rhetorical question. Just for laughs, post the link where you got those whoppers :lol:


Al_U_Card, are you confirming for the n-th time that you are just another hit and run troller? :rolleyes:
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#3439 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-August-10, 17:07

New UN Report Puts A Dagger Through Climate Deniers’ Favorite Argument

Certain named posters (e.g. Al_U_Card) have repeated sung "don't worry, be happy" about global warming because increased CO2 and warmer temperatures will actually be good for food production and animal diversity.

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The new assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, the leading U.N. body of researchers studying human-caused global warming, warns that the unfolding crisis has already negatively affected crop growth in many parts of the world and poses a major threat to global food security. It found that some 500 million people live in areas where once-productive land has dried out and turned to desert, including parts of North Africa, East Asia and the Middle East.

“Food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines – especially in the tropics – increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions,” Priyadarshi Shukla, an author of the IPCC report, said in a statement.
....
“This argument about CO2 being good for us, good for the food system, is really pure lies and propaganda,” Sam Myers, a research scientist at Harvard University, told HuffPost.


Specifically, on the hoax that CO2 is good for food crops,

Rising CO2 Is Reducing The Nutritional Value Of Our Food

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We now know that high levels of CO2 lead to lower concentrations of important dietary micronutrients like zinc and iron in major food crops. High CO2 also has a negative effect on the nutrient value of staple crops like soy and sorghum.

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Moreover, rising CO2 can also cause some food crops to produce more toxins. Around 60% of crop species produce molecules called cyanogenic glyocosides, which can break down into cyanide. This is actually not unusual, many plants produce low levels of cyanogenic glycosides as part of their metabolic processes and for fending off insects, but some plants like cassava produce a relatively high amount. Currently, cassava is an important crop for millions, and the current levels of cyanogenic glycosides are already a problem.

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In the new paper, researchers in China, Japan, the US and Australia collaborated to conduct a multi-year series of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments. These studies took place in a rice growing region near the Yangtze River Delta in China, and in a farming region in the Ibaraki Prefecture of Japan, between Tokyo and Fukushima.

At both locations multiple varieties of rice were exposed to high levels of CO2 in line with those expected by the end of the century (approx. 570ppm CO2; for comparison, we just officially passed 410ppm CO2).

Analysis confirmed declines in protein, iron and zinc, as expected. Researchers also observed declines in vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B9 (folate). Though, curiously, there was an increase in vitamin E.

Why? It seems high CO2 affects the plants ability to build molecules containing nitrogen. B vitamins, which contain nitrogen, tended to decrease while nitrogen-free carbon-rich compounds, like vitamin E, increased.

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Posted 2019-August-12, 05:34

From Justin Gillis at NYT:

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For a political party stocked with people who deny the seriousness of the climate crisis, the Republican Party does some curious things.

Did you know, for instance, that a Republican Congress put an explicit price on emissions of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide? That was in early 2018. Companies can now get a tax credit from the United States government as high as $50 a ton for pumping carbon dioxide into the ground, instead of emitting it into the air.

For years, Congress has also subsidized the installation of low-emission sources of electricity like solar panels and wind turbines, a policy that has helped scale the market and drive their cost down drastically. More recently, it has offered tax incentives for the purchase of electric cars, and their costs are falling, too. Some of these policies were originally adopted when Congress was controlled by the Democrats, but the Republicans declined to kill them in the years when they held both houses.

A huge extension of the wind and solar tax breaks passed Congress in late 2015. Like most of these policies, it sailed through with votes from both parties and little public fighting.

Yes, I know the 2015 subsidies were part of a much larger, must-pass budget bill. So was the 2018 tax credit for burying emissions. But with Republicans in full control of Congress, you can bet those measures would not have gotten through unless senior people in the party had wanted it to happen.

Because so much else was wrapped up in these bills, you didn’t read or hear much about the buried climate policy. That, you might have already guessed, was one of the goals.

What exactly is going on here?

I got my first clue a decade ago, over lunch in Washington. I had just sat down with an eminent figure in the Republican Party to discuss global warming. As a condition of the chat, he made me pledge I would never print his name in association with the remarks he made.

We ordered our iced teas, and he looked me in the eye.

“We know this problem is real,” he said, or words to that effect. “We know we are going to have to do a deal with the Democrats. We are waiting for the fever to cool.”

He meant the fever in the Republican base, then in full foaming-at-the-mouth, Tea Party mode. Denial of climate change was an article of faith in the Tea Party, and lots of Republican officeholders who had been willing to discuss the problem and possible solutions just a few years earlier had gone into hiding.

The fever never really cooled, of course. It transmuted into the raging xenophobia and nativism that put Donald Trump in the White House. Racist demagogy about foreign invaders is his stock in trade, but he has also become the climate-denier in chief, filling federal agencies with toadies for the fossil fuel industry and crackpot scientists.

What the fellow told me that day still holds true: Lots of Republicans know in their hearts that this problem is real. I hereby posit the existence of something you might call the Republican climate closet.

Over the past decade, as denial of climate change became a central feature of Republican political identity, lots of smart people in that party felt obliged to shut their mouths. Yet in that same decade, it became more and more obvious to the public at large that we really do have a crisis on our hands.

Certainly, some Republicans seem to believe that scientists are engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to cook the books on climate change. But they’re not all that crazy. And you can see this in the way that bits and pieces of sensible climate policy keep sneaking through Congress.

As long as nobody in those red districts back home is really watching, Republican members of Congress will adopt low-key measures to help cut emissions. They especially like ones that offer additional benefits, like building up the tax base in rural communities, as wind and solar farms do.

To be sure, these policies are modest, given the scale of the problem. But they tell you the political situation may not be quite as hopeless as it looks. Lurking below the surface of our ugly politics is, I believe, a near consensus to do something big on climate change.

Yet we can never get there as long as a large majority of Republicans hide in that closet. Even if Democrats take Congress and the White House in 2020 and push forward an ambitious climate bill in 2021, they are likely to need at least a handful of Republican votes in the Senate. We ought to hope for more than that. The policy will be more durable if it passes Congress with substantial bipartisan majorities, as all of our landmark environmental laws did.

We are, at long last, starting to see some Republicans inch their way out of the closet: a toe here, a foot there, followed by some carefully hedged statement hinting that the United States government might actually need a climate policy.

My favorite case is that of John Barrasso, the powerful senator from Wyoming, a state heavily dependent on coal mining. He long used his influence to block climate legislation, and only two years ago he received an award from the Heartland Institute, which does its best to deceive the public about the climate problem.

This year, he has come out as an advocate for climate action. And he is not just talking: He is shepherding a transportation infrastructure bill through the Senate that would, for the first time, recognize the need to limit emissions from cars and trucks, authorizing $10 billion in programs for that purpose. If it passes in its current form, that bill will be a milestone.

What this whole trend really tells us is that the Republicans — some of them, at least — are starting to sense political risk in continued climate denial. Their constituents, battered by the fires and torrential rains and the incessant rise of tidal flooding, are knocking on the closet door.

Frank Luntz, the pollster who wrote a scurrilous memorandum 17 years ago counseling Republicans to obfuscate the science of climate change, is among those who have come around. Watching Los Angeles burn from the window of his house apparently clarified his thinking. He distributed a memo to Congress in June warning that climate change was a growing vulnerability for Republicans.

In the coming debate, a Republican Party that came fully out of the closet on climate change would be liberated to play the role it naturally ought to play: arguing for a national climate strategy that does the least economic damage and makes maximum use of markets to find the solutions we need.

For those Republicans still cowering in the closet, I have a question: If we really decided to commit the nation in all its might to solving this problem, do you not believe that American ingenuity and American industry could get the job done?

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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