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Catastrophic Climate Change

Sub-Topics
2014
Biomass and Biochar
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Carbon Sequestration
Climate Change Deniers
Climate Change Funding
Climate Change Organizations
Climate Change Solutions
Coal Power to Biomass
Consequences of Climate Change
Feedback Loops
Food Production
Geoengineering
Global Warming
Historical Evidence
Methane Gases
Ocean Currents
Permafrost
Polar Ice Caps
Preventing Climate Change
Prevention
Tipping Point
Warming Oceans
Your Carbon Footprint

Also Try
  1. Biochar
  2. Global Warming
Go To
  1. Forest Residue to Help Reverse Climate Change
Multimedia
  1. Climate Change 101 (YouTube.com) >
      Provides a basic and simple explanation of climate change by Bill Nye, the science guy. 02-14

  2. Editorial: The New Abolishionists (MSNBC News)
      Chris Hayes discusses the economic similarities between the effort to end slavery and the effort to end the use of fossil fuels. He states that he is not making a moral equivalency. 04-14

  3. The Keeling Curve (SoilCarbonCoalition.org)
      Displays the level of monthly average carbon dioxide concentration at Mauna Lao Observatory in Hawaii from 1960 to 2006. The parts per million changed from 315 to 385. 01-09

Papers
  1. -001 Climate Change: The Delicate Balance (Awesome Library) star
      "Before 10,000 years ago, the climate was so unstable that agriculture was very difficult. Then a beautiful, delicate balance occurred: The polar caps, ocean currents, greenhouse gases, volcanic activity, and other factors became just right for stable temperatures. Agriculture flourished. The amount of carbon dioxide going into the air (over 300 gigatons per year) was countered by natural sinks that pulled an equal amount of carbon dioxide out of the air. The primary cause of carbon dioxide going into the air was decaying vegetation. The primary sinks pulling carbon dioxide out of the air were the oceans, growing vegetation, and the soil. All was well."

      "The industrial revolution has changed that balance. We now have over 40% more carbon dioxide in the air than we had just 150 years ago. The climate is changing. The primary human cause of the change is the use of fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels puts carbon dioxide into the air and carbon dioxide can stay in the air for hundreds of years."

      "The most effective way we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is to pyrolize decaying vegetation." 02-14

  2. -001 How Much Carbon Is Too Much? (Scientific American)
      "To avoid catastrophic climate change, the world will need to emit less than one trillion metric tons of carbon between now and 2050, according to two new papers published in Nature today. In other words, there is only room in the atmosphere to burn or vent less than one quarter of known oil, natural gas and coal reserves."

      Editor's Note: One alternative is to "pull carbon from the air and store it in the soil. See biochar. 05-09

  3. -001 Human-Caused Climate Change: What We Must Do Now (Awesome Library) star
      "If we convert coal-fired power stations to biomass-pyrolysis power stations, we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air." 02-14

  4. -001 National Climate Assessment Released (Time.com)
      "The White House pulled out all the stops for today’s rollout of the new National Climate Assessment (NCA), including making President Obama available to talk to local and national weatherpeople about global warming. The report itself—download the whole 839 page paper here—is an incredibly impressive piece of work, detailing the current impacts and projected effects of global warming in the U.S. across a range of geographic regions and economic sectors."

      "If the U.S. were as good at stopping climate change as we are at studying it, we’d have nothing to fear." 05-14

  5. -001 Report: Carbon Pollution to Grow by 40 Percent (MSNBC News)
      "The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide seeping into the atmosphere will increase by nearly 40 percent worldwide by 2030 if ways are not found to require mandatory emission reductions, a U.S. government report said Wednesday."

      "The EIA report said that "much of the increases in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing nations" including China and India."

      "It said 94 percent of the world's expected increase in industrial energy use between now and 2030 is expected in the economically developing countries, with Brazil, Russia, India and China expected to account for two-thirds of that growth." 05-09

  6. -001 Scary New Math on Climate Change (Time.com)
      "In the paper, which Time.com confirmed has been peer-reviewed, the authors show that extreme outliers of more than three standard deviations above the mean temperature covered between six and thirteen percent of the globe during the years 2003 to 2008. If they were normally distributed and similar to the climactic record, that should have been just a 0.1-to-0.2 percent frequency of an extreme heat event. (That’s about exactly as often as a perfect bell curve predicts they would occur.) Hansen dubs this difference a 'three-sigma anomaly,' for the Greek-letter symbol for standard deviation. And in the world of statistics, these anomalies represent a stunning 10-fold increase in extreme weather events." 05-12

  7. -001 Tipping Point: Over 500 Gigatons of Carbon Dioxide Before 2050 (InformationIsBeautiful.net)
      Provides simple charts on the projected consequences of climate change. 02-14

  8. -01 "Carbon-Neutral" Won't Be Enough (SoilCarbonCoalition.org)
      "What this means is that our current widespread advocacy of CO2 emissions reduction has little leverage on what most scientists regard as the cause of global warming—the highest atmospheric CO2 levels in hundreds of thousands of years. The assumption that CO2 emissions reductions will do the trick has become popular groupthink, not subject to scrutiny because it's what we all know, and may seem like the only available option. Once again, we are goading ourselves into a gallant cavalry charge into the barbed wire."

      "What's needed is to reverse the Keeling curve, to quickly and significantly reduce existing atmospheric concentrations of CO2."

      "Carbon-neutral won't be enough. We have to be carbon-negative, to be pulling carbon out of the atmosphere into some safe, stable place. Various technologies have been proposed for this, but so far they haven't succeeded in solving the immense storage or disposal issues, and they require energy. The oxidation or burning of carbon compounds yields energy, and the reverse reactions require energy. Reversing the Keeling curve will require enormous amounts of energy." 06-08

  9. -01 China's Marriage of Capitalism and Collectivism Is Creating Ecological Disaster (Truth-Out.org) star
      "Gaolong village is a mirror to China. It illustrates how the marriage of capitalism and Stalinist bureaucratic collectivism has created a diabolically destructive hybrid economic system, a rogue economy that is ravaging China's environment, ruining the health of Chinese people, rendering more and more of the country unlivable, driving the country to ecological collapse and threatening to bring the whole planet down with it. (2)"

      "The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calculates that if we're to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, humanity cannot add more than 880 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere before 2050. Collectively, we've already used up more than half of that "carbon budget" leaving us a remaining budget of just 349 billion gigatons. If China produces just 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, its current rate, with no growth whatsoever, it will still consume the entire carbon budget for the whole of humanity by itself by 2050." 06-15

  10. -01 Climate Disruption Dispatches (Truth-out.org)
      "In December 2010, the UN Environment Program predicted up to a 5 degrees Celsius increase by 2050. This is a shocking piece of information, because a 3.5 degrees Celsius increase would render the planet uninhabitable for humans due to collapsing the food chain at the level of oceanic plankton and triggering temperature extremes that would severely limit terrestrial vegetation, and hence, our ability to feed ourselves. And even higher temperature increases have been predicted." 03-14

  11. -01 Climate Policy Is 20 Years Behind (Truth-Out.org)
      "The 2013 IPCC has acknowledged this great disconnection between climate science and current policy with a clear and unambiguous statement of fact: 'A large fraction of climate change is largely irreversible on human time scales, unless net anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions were strongly negative over a sustained period.'

      "For the best-case scenario, to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius while limiting carbon dioxide emissions to 390 parts per million (today it's 400 parts per million), we need to remove all the carbon dioxide that we emit every year, plus one-third more. For the worst-case scenario - and we are basically straddling the worst-case scenario today; carbon dioxide levels will reach 1,190 parts per million by 2100 without action - we need to remove over twice as much carbon dioxide as we emit every year. These amounts are four to six times greater than those put forth by the Clean Power Plan. (4)" 12-15

  12. -01 How Much Carbon Dioxide Is Too Much? (TruthOut.org)
      "New work from the France, Japan and Great Britain institutes of sciences and meteorology have new modeling that reveals the true challenge of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Under the best case scenario, negative emissions of 135 percent of annual emissions are required. For the worst-case scenario that we are currently tracking, negative emissions of 210 percent of annual emissions are required."

      "The US commitment at the UN Climate Conference that concluded this month in Paris was for 80 percent emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2050. Commitments for developed nations under the Kyoto Protocol were 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. (4) The current US commitment is 27 percent less with a 30 year delayed target."

      "Climate science is way out in front of climate policy." 12-15

  13. -01 Lovelock: One Last Chance to Save Mankind (NewScientist.com)
      "There is one way we could save ourselves and that is through the massive burial of charcoal. It would mean farmers turning all their agricultural waste - which contains carbon that the plants have spent the summer sequestering - into non-biodegradable charcoal, and burying it in the soil. Then you can start shifting really hefty quantities of carbon out of the system and pull the CO2 down quite fast."

      "Would it make enough of a difference?"

      "Yes. The biosphere pumps out 550 gigatonnes of carbon yearly; we put in only 30 gigatonnes. Ninety-nine per cent of the carbon that is fixed by plants is released back into the atmosphere within a year or so by consumers like bacteria, nematodes and worms. What we can do is cheat those consumers by getting farmers to burn their crop waste at very low oxygen levels to turn it into charcoal, which the farmer then ploughs into the field. A little CO2 is released but the bulk of it gets converted to carbon. You get a few per cent of biofuel as a by-product of the combustion process, which the farmer can sell. This scheme would need no subsidy: the farmer would make a profit. This is the one thing we can do that will make a difference, but I bet they won't do it." 05-09

  14. -01 Myths that Make Climate Disruption Inevitable (Awesome Library)
      "Myth #4: Most of the carbon dioxide going into the air each year is the result of burning fossil fuels." 11-14

  15. -01 Study: Cause of Pause in Global Temperature Increase (Nature.com)
      Provides evidence that cool eastern Pacific winds have cooled surface temeratures. The excess heat from global warming has been absorbed deep in oceans. "This hiatus could persist for much of the present decade if the trade wind trends continue, however rapid warming is expected to resume once the anomalous wind trends abate." 02-14

  16. -01 UN Report: Humans Are Causing Severe and Irreversible Climate Disruption (Truth-out.org)
      "A recently released draft of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Synthesis Report concluded that anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) is fully upon us, will dramatically worsen unless something is done immediately - and that something is on the level of a wartime response. The report noted that ACD is 'severe ... pervasive ... irreversible.' " 09-14

  17. -01 We Are the Last Generation Able to Stop Climate Change (PBS.org)
      "We are the first generations that have truly had the opportunity to end poverty, and we are the last generations to be able to stop climate change." 12-15

  18. -01 Why 2 Degrees Are So Important (CBS News)
      "As the United Nations conference on climate change gets underway Monday in Paris, one temperature that will be on everyone's minds is 2 degrees Celsius (or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Although it might not sound like a big number, climatologists predict that if the planet warms a total of 2 degrees more than its average temperature before the Industrial Revolution -- when humans started burning fossil fuels -- the results could be catastrophic." 12-15

  19. -A Biochar Solution for Climate Change (Awesome Library) star
      "The Biochar Program will demonstrate that carbonizing forest waste and then planting the char, "biochar," in farming soil is a powerful method to mitigate climate change." 01-16

  20. -A History of CO2 in the Air (Truth-Out.org)
      Provides a graph showing how over 800,000 years the level of CO2 in the air has changed.

  21. -A Vision for Reversing Catastrophic Climate Change (Evaluation and Development Institute) star
      "Our quality of life cannot survive in a world with massive climate change…and massive climate change is very likely unless we aggressively sequester the carbon dioxide (CO2) already in the atmosphere[1]. If something is not done quickly, the earth may be facing an Extinction Level Event.[2] Merely reducing the rate that we increase CO2 cannot succeed. The amount of CO2 already in the air is already much too great to avoid catastrophe.[3] Pre-industrial levels were at 280 parts per million (ppm) and the current level is 387ppm. Even after massively reducing use of fossil fuels, the earth is expected to exceed the “redline” of 450 ppm before the atmosphere gets better." 02-11

  22. -After the Climate Conference, Still Grave Danger (Time.com)
      "The hard-fought deal at a global climate conference in South Africa keeps talks alive but doesn't address the core problem: The world's biggest carbon polluters aren't willing to cut emissions of greenhouse gases enough to stave off dangerous levels of global warming."

      "Figures from the U.N. weather agency show the three most powerful greenhouse gases reached record levels last year and were increasing at an ever-faster rate."

      "And the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the total heat-trapping force from major greenhouse gases has increased 29 percent since 1990, the benchmark year in the climate talks." 12-11

  23. -Agricultural Urgency (New York Times)
      "But industrial agriculture’s ability to produce gargantuan amounts of food also makes it exceptionally susceptible to climate change. Relying on vast monocultures — the miles and miles of cornfields one passes when driving in Iowa — captures economies of scale. But that lack of diversity invites trouble. A monoculture’s uniformity means that if temperatures spike or a new pest arrives, the damage is likely to spread throughout the entire planted area. By contrast, the diversified landscapes of organic agriculture — corn planted between, say, other vegetables and chicken pens — tend to limit damage."

      "Farmers can best boost resilience to climate change, scientists say, by improving their soil’s fertility and capacity to retain moisture. That means cutting back on chemical fertilizers, which kill many of the microorganisms that ventilate soil, and shifting to compost and manure fertilizers and crop rotations."

      "Instead, leading lobbyists for agribusiness want to retain the current production system but shift the mounting climate risks to the taxpayer. Both versions of the farm bill would expand the $11 billion crop insurance program, a move championed by the National Corn Growers Association. The Senate bill, for instance, would authorize $3.8 billion a year for additional insurance."

      "But neither version would require farmers to take other measures to reduce their climate vulnerability, like investing in healthier soil. In fact, the draft bills would actually make it harder for farmers to do that because the expanded crop insurance would be paid for by cutting the Conservation Stewardship Program, which helps farmers improve their land’s ecological health."

      "Shifting federal policy from a longstanding emphasis on industrial agriculture to moreorganic approaches is too large a task to complete by Sept. 30. But Congress could pass a one-year extension of the old bill and direct the Department of Agriculture to use the extra time to develop, with farmers and other stakeholders, a plan to segue to climate-smart agriculture as soon as possible. As the summer of 2012 has reminded us, this agricultural superpower has already waited too long to take climate change seriously." 09-12

  24. -Bill Gates: "Time Is Not on Our Side" (LinkedIn.com)
      "He skips the pleasantries on why: 'Time is not on our side.' In order to stop irreparable harm to the planet, we need to completely eliminate the 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide we emit a year. Not cut it, not curb it, but eliminate it — and do so by the end of the century." 02-16

  25. -Climate Change Expected to be "Catastrophic" by 2100 (Design and Trend)
      "According to the Huffington Post, in a study published in the journal Nature, research found that as the planet Earth heats, fewer sunlight-reflecting clouds form, causing temperatures to rise further in an upward spiral.”

      "Global temperatures will drastically rise by at least 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, or about 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, the new study revealed."

      " '4C would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous,' lead researcher Steven Sherwood told the Guardian." 02-14

  26. -Climate Change Is a Campaign Topic (Christian Science Monitor)
      "Climate change had been virtually absent from the campaign until Mitt Romney and President Obama traded jabs at their conventions. Some polls say it could be a vote-getter for Democrats."

      " 'President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,' Mr. Romney told GOP delegates in Tampa, a smile on his face. 'My promise [long pause – audience laughter] is to help you and your family.' "

      " 'Yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax,' the president shouted to delegates in Charlotte, N.C. 'More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They're a threat to our children's future. And in this election, you can do something about it.' "

      "That high-profile statement, political analysts say, may have marked a major turnabout for the president, who has scarcely mentioned global warming – or the more scientific designation of 'climate change' – in recent months." 09-12

  27. -Climate Change and Science (Christian Science Monitor)
      Provides a quiz. 11-16

  28. -Climate Change: What We Can Do (Evaluation and Development Institute) star
      "Earth's climate became very stable 10,000 years ago, allowing for agriculture for the first time. Our stable climate arose from a balance of three ingredients:

      -Greenhouse gases
      -Ocean currents and
      -Polar ice

      Greenhouse gases provided a stable temperature to allow ocean currents to mix heat and cold around the globe and to maintain a relatively constant amount of polar ice.

      We now have 1/3 more CO2 in the air than we had only 150 years ago--and CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The extra carbon keeps more heat in the air. The extra heat is absorbed by polar ice, soil, and the oceans. The ice over the Arctic Ocean is expected to be gone during summers within 5-10 years. Instead of ice over the Arctic Ocean reflecting heat, the Arctic Ocean will absorb heat. This will slow the ocean currents even more--they already are slowing because of the change in climate.

      When the ocean currents stop and the Arctic ice melts, we will have a climate catastrophe that can be expected to last thousands of years. Permafrost in Russia and other regions will melt, releasing gigantic amounts of carbon and methane stored in the soil. The release will trigger even more extreme climate."

      "Only one cost-effective solution has been found for quickly reducing the carbon in the air:"

      "Each year we must convert enough biomass (organic waste) into biochar (charcoal) to extract at least 7 gigatons of carbon from the air and place it in our soils." 08-09

  29. -Climate Disrupting Feedbacks Have Begun (Truth-Out.org)
      "For me, what it means is that Greenland is warmer than it has been in over 100,000 years. Since the global thermal maximum about 5,000 years ago, Greenland has cooled 5 degrees Fahrenheit, but in the last 50 years, it has warmed back up that amount and added a couple of degrees of warmth for good measure. Every year that passes sees Greenland ice getting darker and darker, as more and more dust accumulates on the surface, and more and more energy is captured, melting more and more ice."

      "Snow itself has darkened enough so that the energy it absorbs is increased by 20 to 25 percent. The glaciers that discharge ice from Greenland have increased discharge by an incredible 600 percent and newly discovered tunnels beneath the ice may have the capacity to channel warm ocean water to where it can do the most damage destabilizing the interior of the ice sheet." 03-15

  30. -Climate Disruption Sets New Records (Truth-Out.org)
      "This last month saw several ACD-related impacts across the earth." 11-14

  31. -Climate Expert: Climate Change Is Much Worse Than He Thought (Slate.com)
      "Nicholas Stern, the author of a 2006 report commissioned by the British government on climate change that has been used as a reference ever since, says he now realizes he 'underestimated the risks' of rising temperatures. In an interview with the Guardian, Stern, who is one of the world's leading environmental economists, says that had he known then what he knows now, he would have been 'a bit more blunt' about the risks that climate change poses to the economy." 01-13

  32. -Climate Policy Is 20 Years Behind (Truth-Out.org)
      "The 2013 IPCC has acknowledged this great disconnection between climate science and current policy with a clear and unambiguous statement of fact: 'A large fraction of climate change is largely irreversible on human time scales, unless net anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions were strongly negative over a sustained period.'

      "For the best-case scenario, to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius while limiting carbon dioxide emissions to 390 parts per million (today it's 400 parts per million), we need to remove all the carbon dioxide that we emit every year, plus one-third more. For the worst-case scenario - and we are basically straddling the worst-case scenario today; carbon dioxide levels will reach 1,190 parts per million by 2100 without action - we need to remove over twice as much carbon dioxide as we emit every year. These amounts are four to six times greater than those put forth by the Clean Power Plan. (4)" 12-15

  33. -Coal Mining to Expand in Wyoming (CNN News)
      "Coal mining on public lands will expand in the coming months in Wyoming, as the federal government makes more coal-rich land available for lease by mining companies."

      Editor's Note: Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of human-caused air pollution. 03-11

  34. -EPA: Greenhouse Gases Pose a Threat to Health (Time.com)
      "In detail, Thursday's decision means that any new air pollution permits for coal plants will require that Best Available Control Technology (BACT) be used to reduce CO2 emissions, the same criteria currently used for other pollutants, like sulfur dioxide or soot. BACT requires companies involved in power plants to use the best available technology to control pollutants — it's a tool to keep pollution controls up to date as both safety technology and our understanding of pollution impoves. In the past, CO2 wasn't affected by BACT because the EPA didn't recognize it as a pollutant. This decision changes that." 11-08

  35. -Editorial: The "Strange Doings on Earth" (Truth-Out.org)
      "The IEA [International Energy Agency] estimated that if the world continues on its present course, the 'carbon budget' will be exhausted by 2017. The budget is the quantity of emissions that can keep global warming at the 2 degrees Celsius level considered the limit of safety."

      "Also last month, the U.S. Department of Energy reported the emissions figures for 2010. Emissions 'jumped by the biggest amount on record,' The Associated Press reported, meaning that 'levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst-case scenario' anticipated by the International Panel on Climate Change in 2007." 12-11

  36. -Editorial: Cap and Trade Is Dead (Time.com)
      "The headline has been written countless times, but this time it is true: carbon cap-and-trade of any sort will not come out of this Congress—and perhaps it never will. Instead of comprehensive economy-wide carbon cap that Senator John Kerry had urged—and that the House had already passed a year ago—or even the compromise utility-only cap bill that had been suggested as an alternative, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he would move forward next week on a bill that only deals with the BP oil spill and a few other low-profile energy policies." 07-10

  37. -Editorial: Climate Change News "Muzzled" in Canada (IPS News)
      "Canada's climate researchers are being muzzled, their funding slashed, research stations closed, findings ignored and advice on the critical issue of the century unsought by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, according to a 40-page report by a coalition of 60 non-governmental organisations."

      " 'Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80 percent,' says internal government documents obtained by Climate Action Network."

      "The dramatic decline results from a 2007 Harper government-imposed prohibition on government scientists speaking to reporters. Canadian scientists have told IPS they required permission from the prime minister's communications office to comment on their own studies made public in scientific journals and reports." 03-10

  38. -Evidence of Accelerated Climate Disruption (Truth-out.org)
      "This month's dispatch comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) recent report, and the news is not good."

      " 'No one on this planet will be untouched by climate change,' IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri announced. The report warned that climate impacts are already 'severe, pervasive, and irreversible.' "

      "The IPCC report was one of many released in recent weeks, and all of them bring dire predictions of what is coming. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a report warning that "the rate of climate change now may be as fast as any extended warming period over the past 65 million years, and it is projected to accelerate in the coming decades' "

      "The report went on to warn of the risk 'of abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes in the Earth's climate system with massively disruptive impacts' including the possible 'large scale collapse of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, collapse of part of the Gulf Stream, loss of the Amazon rain forest, die-off of coral reefs, and mass extinctions.' " 04-14

  39. -Glaciers May Have Melted Rapidly in the Past (Time.com)
      "A team of scientists traveled to the Spanish island of Mallorca, where they visited a coastal cave that has been submerged off and on by the Mediterranean Sea for hundreds of thousand of years, as glacial periods have waxed and waned. They dated the layers of the mineral calcite, which were deposited by the seawater in rings on the cave walls, as on a bathtub."

      "[Jeffery] Dorale's paper suggests the possibility that ice sheets may respond much more dynamically to changes in temperature, forming and melting at rates that are quicker than previously thought. 'There might be a feedback with regards to ice melting,' says Dorale," a geoscientist at the University of Iowa. " 'This is speculation, but it might point at some sort of catastrophic ice sheet dynamic.' "

      "In other words, it could mean the world's seas will rise even more quickly than we expect — bad news for those who think there's plenty of time to adapt to a warmer world." 02-10

  40. -How Climate Change Has Disrupted the Polar Vortex (New Zealand Herald)
      "When the variable nature of global warming became apparent, scientists started calling it climate change. Now they are starting to call it 'climate weirding', which is an alarming step indeed."

      "The ice and snow storms currently affecting half of the US are attributed to the polar vortex, a prevailing wind pattern that circles the Arctic, flowing from west to east all the way around the Earth. It normally keeps extremely cold air bottled up toward the North Pole." 03-14

  41. -How Much Carbon Dioxide Can We Still Burn? (InformationIsBeautiful.net)
      Discusses the earth's CO2 "budget." 09-14

  42. -Huge Iceberg Breaks Off (CBS News)
      "The new iceberg is 48 miles long and about 24 miles wide and holds roughly the equivalent of a fifth of the world's annual total water usage, Young told The Associated Press."

      "Experts are concerned about the effect of the massive displacement of ice on the ice-free water next to the glacier, which is important for ocean currents."

      "This area of water had been kept clear because of the glacier, said Steve Rintoul, a leading climate expert. With part of the glacier gone, the area could fill with sea ice, which would disrupt the ability for the dense and cold water to sink."

      "This sinking water is what spills into ocean basins and feeds the global ocean currents with oxygen, Rintoul explained." 02-10

  43. -Human-Caused Carbon Dioxide Mapped (ScienceDaily)
      "Scientists have developed a new approach to estimate carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels -- one that provides crucial information to policymakers. Called the 'Fossil Fuel Data Assimilation System,' this system was used to quantify 15 years of carbon dioxide emissions, every hour, for the entire planet -- down to the city scale. Until now, scientists have estimated greenhouse gas emissions at coarser scales or used less reliable techniques.” 01-15

  44. -Leaders Meet on Climate Change (CNN New)
      "World leaders converge Tuesday in New York to focus on climate change, with the clock ticking down toward a summit this year in Denmark, where a global climate change pact is to be signed."

      "Chinese President Hu Jintao, U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Rwandan President Paul Kagame are among the world leaders expected to speak Tuesday."

      "Roundtables are also planned, all with the overarching and generally accepted goal of limiting the rise of Earth's temperature to within 2 degrees Fahrenheit above its temperature before the industrial revolution." 09-09

  45. -Microbes Put 8 Times More Carbon in the Air than Humans (Yale.edu) star
      "On the surface of the ocean, photosynthetic bacteria Microbes have been absorbing and releasing greenhouse gases since they evolved 3.5 billion years ago suck vast amounts of carbon dioxide dissolved in the water and turn it into organic molecules. The ocean is also rife with bacteria that feed on organic matter and release carbon dioxide as waste. Meanwhile, the microbes that break plant matter into soil release 55 billion tons a year of carbon dioxide. 'It’s eight times what humans are putting into the atmosphere through fossil fuel burning and deforestation,' says Allison."

      Editor's Note: Keeping carbon from the decay of organic waste from returning to the air is a strong way of reversing the amount of excess carbon in the air. See Biomass and Biochar. 05-10

  46. -Military Prepares for Climate Disruption (Forbes.com)
      "In 1990, Eugene Skolnikoff summarized the national policy issues surrounding global warming and why it has been so difficult to rationally develop policy to address it."

      " 'The central problem is that outside the security sector, policy processes confronting issues with substantial uncertainty do not normally yield policy that has high economic or political costs. This is especially true when the uncertainty extends not only to the issues themselves, but also to the measures to avert them or deal with their consequences.' "

      " 'The climate change issue illustrates – in fact exaggerates – all the elements of this central problem. Indeed, no major action is likely to be taken until those uncertainties are substantially reduced, and probably not before evidence of warming and its effects are actually visible. Unfortunately, any increase in temperature will be irreversible by the time the danger becomes obvious enough to permit political action.' " 11-14

  47. -Natural Gas-Fired Power Plants Are Replacing Coal-Fired Plants (ABC News)
      "To be sure, environmental regulations designed to make coal-fired power plants cleaner are raising costs for the industry and having an effect, but the 'war on coal' is coming less from the Obama administration than from natural gas, say some experts."

      "Coal-fired power plants and coal mines are being shuttered at an unprecedented pace mainly because the price of natural gas has dropped so far that it has made coal power uncompetitive. Specifically, electricity from natural gas power plants comes at less than half the cost of electricity from coal generators. As utility executives hustle to remain competitive in the deregulated marketplace, they are increasingly turning to the cheaper alternative, power market experts say."

      Editor's Note: Climate experts have identified coal-fired power plants as the largest source of CO2 in the air and they have identified excessive CO2 in the air as the largest cause of climate change. 09-12

  48. -New Hope for the Climate (Al Gore, Rolling Stone)
      "In the struggle to solve the climate crisis, a powerful, largely unnoticed shift is taking place. The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail. The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization. There will be many times in the decades ahead when we will have to take care to guard against despair, lest it become another form of denial, paralyzing action. It is true that we have waited too long to avoid some serious damage to the planetary ecosystem – some of it, unfortunately, irreversible. Yet the truly catastrophic damages that have the potential for ending civilization as we know it can still – almost certainly – be avoided. Moreover, the pace of the changes already set in motion can still be moderated significantly." 06-14

  49. -Obama Administration Announces New Federal Climate Change Agency (U.S. News)
      " The Obama administration is proposing a new agency to study and report on the changing climate."

      "Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, planned to announce Monday that NOAA will set up the new Climate Service to operate in tandem with NOAA's National Weather Service and National Ocean Service." 02-10

  50. -Obama's Clean Energy Revolution (Time.com)
      "Before President Obama took office, the U.S. had 25 gigawatts of wind power, and the government’s “base case” energy forecast expected 40 GW by 2030. Well, it’s not quite 2030 yet, but we’ve already got 50 GW of wind. We’ve also got about 5 GW of solar, which isn’t much but is over six times as much as we had before Obama. Mitt Romney has suggested that wind and solar are “imaginary” sources of energy, but they can now power 15 million homes, and their industries employ more than 300,000 Americans. That’s real." 08-12

  51. -Pope Francis Takes a Position on Climate Change (TechTimes.com)
      "Word is out that the head of the Roman Catholic Church will soon urge its 1.2 billion members worldwide to act on climate change, with the Pope anticipated to issue an encyclical this year that will tackle the issue of global warming and human ecology."

      "The document, which will be given to 5,000 bishops and 400,000 priests for distribution to their parishioners, will direct Catholics to take action on climate change on scientific and moral grounds."

      "With its network of hospitals, schools, parish centers, seminaries and other institutions, the Church spends billions for its energy use. The Pope's position on climate change could lead to installations of renewable energy sources, such as solar systems in establishments and institutions that the Church has stakes in." 02-15

  52. -President Obama and Climate Change (RollingStone.com)
      "The president has said the right things about climate change – and has taken some positive steps. But we're drilling for more oil and digging up more carbon than ever."

      "When the world looks back at the Obama years half a century from now, one doubts they'll remember the health care website; one imagines they'll study how the most powerful government on Earth reacted to the sudden, clear onset of climate change."

      In Cushing, Oklahoma last year (2012), President Obama said: " 'Over the last three years, I've directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We're opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We've quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We've added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth, and then some. In fact, the problem is that we're actually producing so much oil and gas that we don't have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it where it needs to go.' " 12-13

  53. -Record-High CO2 Levels a Bad Sign for Climate (ClimateBiz.com)
      "CO2 emissions from energy production in 2010 were the highest in history following a recessionary dip the year before, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a stark announcement Monday. Existing and planned power plants mean the bulk of energy-related CO2 emissions projected for 2020 are already 'locked in.' "

      "World leaders have agreed to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius or less above pre-industrial levels to prevent catastrophic climate change, which could include heat waves, rising sea levels, extreme weather and droughts, among other impacts."

      "We need to keep the concentration of atmospheric GHGs below 450 parts per million in order to achieve this. To put this in perspective, we reached 393 ppm in April. Maintaining an energy pathway to the 450 Scenario would require us to essentially keep emissions levels flat over the next decade." 06-11

  54. -Report: Carbon Pollution to Grow by 40 Percent (MSNBC News)
      "The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide seeping into the atmosphere will increase by nearly 40 percent worldwide by 2030 if ways are not found to require mandatory emission reductions, a U.S. government report said Wednesday."

      "The EIA report said that "much of the increases in carbon dioxide emissions is projected to occur among the developing nations" including China and India."

      "It said 94 percent of the world's expected increase in industrial energy use between now and 2030 is expected in the economically developing countries, with Brazil, Russia, India and China expected to account for two-thirds of that growth." 05-09

  55. -Report: Climate Change "Catastrophic" (CNN News)
      "More than 300 million people are already seriously affected by the gradual warming of the earth and that number is set to double by 2030, the report from the Global Humanitarian Forum warns."

      "The report's startling numbers are based on calculations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the Earth's atmosphere warmed by 0.74 degrees Celsius (1.33 degrees Fahrenheit) from 1906 to 2005, with much of that increase coming in recent decades. The panel predicts that by 2100 temperatures will have increased a minimum of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels regardless of what's agreed in Copenhagen." 05-09

  56. -Report: Global Warming May Be Twice as Bad as Expected (USA Today)
      "Global warming will be twice as severe as previous estimates indicate, according to a new study published this month in the Journal of Climate, a publication of the American Meteorological Society."

      "The research, conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), predicts a 90% probability that worldwide surface temperatures will rise more than 9 degrees (F) by 2100, compared to a previous 2003 MIT study that forecast a rise of just over 4 degrees."

      "The projections in the MIT study were done using 400 applications of a computer model, which MIT says is the most comprehensive and sophisticated climate model to date."

      Editor's Note: See catastrophic climate change. 05-09

  57. -Report: Simple Linear Relationship Found Between CO2 Emissions and Temperature (ScienceDaily.com)
      "Damon Matthews, a professor in Concordia University's Department of Geography, Planning and the Environment has found a direct relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Matthews, together with colleagues from Victoria and the U.K., used a combination of global climate models and historical climate data to show that there is a simple linear relationship between total cumulative emissions and global temperature change."

      "These findings mean that we can now say: if you emit that tonne of carbon dioxide, it will lead to 0.0000000000015 degrees of global temperature change. If we want to restrict global warming to no more than 2 degrees, we must restrict total carbon emissions – from now until forever – to little more than half a trillion tonnes of carbon, or about as much again as we have emitted since the beginning of the industrial revolution."

  58. -Runaway Climate Change (ClimateVictory.org)
      "The climate danger is the greatest threat facing humankind. Recent science indicates that our best chance to preserve a stable climate is to bring carbon emissions to ZERO - very quickly - all over the world."

      "There is a way to achieve this: an Operation Climate Victory, an emergency wartime-style mobilization of the nations of the world to rewire the entire global economy to run on abundant, non-polluting sources of energy that will never run out, and upgrade agriculture to pull carbon from the air. We can do it while maintaining a modern technological society, and we can do it in far less time than most people think is possible. We can do it!"

      Editor's Note: Awesome Library staff do not agree that the activity advocated by this webpage is sufficient to avoid catastrophic climate change. Please see: Climate Change: The Delicate Balance. 10-14

  59. -Scientists Mourn Where We Are Headed (Truth-out.org)
      "In fact, Joanna Macy believes it is not in the self-perceived interest of multinational corporations, or the government and the media that serve them 'for us to stop and become aware of our profound anguish with the way things are.' "

      "Nevertheless, these disturbing trends of widespread denial, disinformation by the corporate media, and the worsening impacts of runaway ACD [anthropogenic climate disruption], which are all increasing, are something she is very mindful of. As she wrote in World as Lover, World as Self, 'The loss of certainty that there will be a future is, I believe, the pivotal psychological reality of our time.' "

      "We don't know how long we have left on earth. Five years? 15 years? 30? Beyond the year 2100? But when we allow our hearts to be shattered - broken completely open - by these stark, cold realities, we allow our perspectives to be opened up to vistas we've never known. When we allow ourselves to fully experience the crisis in this way, we are then able to truly see it through new eyes." 01-15

  60. -Simulation Results: Temperature Rise Caused a Mass Extinction (BBC News)
      "A computer simulation of the Earth's climate 250 million years ago suggests that global warming triggered the so-called 'great dying'."

      "A dramatic rise in carbon dioxide caused temperatures to soar to 10 to 30 degrees Celsius higher than today, say US researchers."

      "Some 95% of lifeforms in the oceans became extinct, along with about three-quarters of land species." 8-05

  61. -Stratosphere a Key to Global Climate (Christian Science Monitor)
      "Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. By some estimates, it accounts for anywhere from 36 percent to 85 percent of the atmosphere's greenhouse effect, depending on whether clouds are included." 01-10

  62. -Study: Arctic Warming But Should Be Cooling (MSNBC News)
      "The Arctic is warmer than it's been in 2,000 years, according to a new study, even though it should be cooling because of changes in the Earth's orbit that cause the region to get less direct sunlight." 09-09

  63. -Study: Carbon Dioxide Increase Caused the End of the Last Ice Age (U.S. News)
      "A team of climate experts say they've solved the chicken-or-egg question—Which came first? Carbon dioxide or temperature increases?—surrounding the global warming debate for years: Around 10,000 years ago, increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere caused the end of the last Ice Age."

      "Scientists have known for decades that an increased level of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere accompanied higher global temperatures, but no one was able to prove that the gas increases came before higher temperatures." 04-12

  64. -Study: Politics Predict Belief in Climate Science (Grist.org)
      "The paper’s authors describe their work as 'the first meta-analytic examination of the demographic and psychological correlates of belief in climate change.' "

      "It breaks down this way: People who vote for liberal political parties are more likely to believe that climate change is a real thing that we should do something about. People who vote for conservative political parties tend to think that climate change is total hooey. Political affiliation correlated with belief in climate change twice as strongly as any other demographic variable the study examined."

      "They also found that even people who believed in climate change grew skittish when talk turned to specific policies to mitigate it."Actually getting things done could focus less on winning hearts and minds, more on working with people’s existing ideologies, rather than against them. As the study puts it, 'Pro-environmental action could be sold as patriotism, ending oil dependence, or investing in "green" technologies.' ”

      "Science is what helped people understand that climate change was happening in the first place — but actually persuading people to do something about it will be politics all the way." 02-16

  65. -Study: Soil Emissions Greater Than Previously Thought (Google.com)
      "Finnish researchers called for a revision of climate change estimates Monday after their findings showed emissions from soil would contribute more to climate warming than previously thought."

      "This showed 'carbon dioxide emissions from the soil will be up to 50 percent higher than those suggested by the present mainstream method,' if the mean global temperature rose by the previously forecasted five degrees Celsius before the end of the century, and if the carbon flow to soil did not increase." 02-10

  66. -Terrifying New Math on Global Warming (RollingStone.com)
      The global leaders have determined that 2 degrees Centigrade (or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is the most global temperature change we can have without triggering a catastrophe: "All told, 167 countries responsible for more than 87 percent of the world's carbon emissions have signed on to the Copenhagen Accord, endorsing the two-degree target.”

      "Some context: So far, we've raised the average temperature of the planet just under 0.8 degrees Celsius, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. (A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.) Given those impacts, in fact, many scientists have come to think that two degrees is far too lenient a target."

      "But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere. That means we're already three-quarters of the way to the two-degree target." 12-13

  67. -The Case for Climate Change Even Stronger (Time.com)
      "There's plenty more evidence in the Met Office report to support global warming. But the question from critics remains: how can we be sure this isn't just a natural phenomenon? Scientists haven't done a good enough job of communicating how they distinguish human versus natural influences, says Hegerl. The answer lies in climate models — massive computer simulations that allow the scientists to project climate effects in various scenarios, including those in which humans do not emit any greenhouses at all. 'We go out of our way to check out other explanations — by assuming it's all explained by solar activity, or by solar activity plus volcanoes, or by combinations of any of the other natural forcings known to affect climate,' says Hegerl."

      "According to the models, none of those combinations can produce the climate patterns currently being observed in the real world." 03-10

  68. -The Methane Danger (Google.com)
      "If the methane release is in a positive feed back loop as described below, there are significant questions raised about how long we have before the relative methane ghg effects surpass those of carbon dioxide. Satellite based atmosphere analysis suggests that atmospheric methane concentration is growing at 7% per year (or doubling every ten years) while the CO2 concentration is growing at 0.7% per year. The major question posed here is: If the ghg effects of methane are rising very fast, once this crossover of relative effects occurs, what good will attempts at containment or reduction of carbon dioxide have? Is it possible that we have a very short period to get control of methane releases before whatever we do will no longer matter? This is a question we can only pose, but the past history of correct impressions does not bode well for the future." 10-10

  69. -The New Math on Catastrophic Climate Change (BillMoyers.com)
      "We’ve raised the earth’s temperature about one degree since the late 19th century, and that’s capable of causing the sort of short-term chaos we’re seeing around us now, as well as longer term effects: a third of the summer sea ice in the arctic is gone, the ocean is 30 percent more acidic and the atmosphere over the oceans is five percent wetter than usual. That’s what it looks like when you raise the temperature one degree. If we don’t get our act together very quickly, as I explain the Rolling Stone piece, it’s going to be two degrees, and really we’re on a trajectory right now that will take us to more like six degrees."

      "The first number is two degrees Celsius (about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) — that’s the temperature increase that scientists and politicians have agreed represents the absolute furthest you’d ever want to go. The scientists have been saying that it’s too high, that we should really be stopping right where we are now. But governments are unwilling to do what that would require, so they’ve agreed in international conferences that two degrees will be the target for the planet. It’s the only thing that the world’s governments have agreed on about climate change."

      "The second number is 565 gigatons — that’s about how much carbon dioxide we can put in the atmosphere by midcentury and have any realistic hope of staying below two degrees. We release about 30 gigatons a year."

      "The third number — and the newest one in these calculations — is from a group of accountants and environmentalists in the UK who tried to find out how much carbon the world’s fossil fuel companies (and the countries that operate like fossil fuel companies) have in their reserves. That number is about 2,800 gigatons of carbon, or about five times the 565 gigatons we can put into the atmosphere and stay below two degrees."

      "There’s a timeline between when you emit the carbon and how quickly the temperature goes up. Of course, if we were going to avert that, we’d need to take incredibly dramatic action right now. If we wait 14 years then it will be much too late." 11-12

  70. -U.N. Report Warns of Climate Change (Time.com)
      "A new report on climate change warns the impact of rising temperatures on crop yields, water supplies and sea levels may push our planet over the edge." 03-14

  71. -UN: World Not Close to Avoiding Dangerous Warming (HuffingtonPoset.com)
      "The world still isn't close to preventing what leaders call a dangerous level of man-made warming, a new United Nations report says. That's despite some nations' recent pledges to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions." 11-14

  72. -Warmest Year on Record: 2012 (CBS News)
      "They've never seen anything like it: Government scientists said Tuesday they're surprised by a jump in temperature that made 2012 the warmest year on record in the lower 48 states. Changes in temperature usually come in tiny fractions of a degree. But the average for 2012 -- 55.3 degrees -- beat the 1998 record, by one full degree." 01-13

  73. -We Are Not Doing What Is Necessary to Avoid Climate Change (Time.com)
      "But there is one number that may not get discussed much at Copenhagen, even though it is as important as all the others: $10.5 trillion. That is the additional investment needed between now and 2030 to set the world on the path to low-carbon development, according to the International Energy Agency — a number that is far above the pittance the world currently spends on clean-energy research and development. As Jesse Jenkins and Devon Swezey of the think tank Breakthrough Institute wrote on Dec. 7, 'Without measurable progress that dramatically increases global investments in clean energy, we can forget stabilizing global temperatures or atmospheric carbon dioxide at any level.' "

      "Beyond the policy wars in the halls of U.N. summits and on Capitol Hill, the battle against climate change requires better and cheaper forms of alternative energy, which will need to be deployed fast. Unfortunately, they don't exist."

      Editor's Note: Fortunately, the last statement is incorrect. Decaying organic waste puts 8 times more CO2 into the air each year than human activity. The answer for now is not high-tech alternative energy, recycling, or energy efficiency. The way to reverse the amount of CO2 in the air quickly is to biochar instead of burning forest and agricultural waste. In addition, we need to convert coal-fired power plants to burning biomass. These two actions, undertaken globally, can save our climate from a catastrophe. 12-09

  74. -We Can Slow Climate Change With Biochar (RenewableEnergyWorld.com) star
      "The natural balance of the earth has always included carbon storage in the plants and soil. The problem is that we have disrupted that balance. We have burned in one century much of the carbon that nature sequestered over millions of years. Coal is almost pure carbon, gathered by plants and sequestered by natural processes. We need to stop burning it!"

      "Carbon-inefficient slash and burn agriculture is practiced by 300-500 million people today. If these people could convert to slash and char methods, we could stop the growth of greenhouse gas in its tracks." 09-09

  75. -We Could Be Hitting the Limit of Oceans to Absorb CO2 (Time.com)
      "Like the vast forests of the world, which continually suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen, the planet's oceans serve as vital carbon sinks. Last year the oceans absorbed as much as 2.3 billion tons of carbon, or about one-fourth of all manmade carbon emissions. Without the action of the oceans, the CO2 we emit into the atmosphere would have flame-broiled the planet by now."

      "But a new paper published in the Nov. 19 issue of Nature demonstrates that the oceans' ability to absorb man-made carbon may be dwindling — and that has worrying ramifications for future climate change. While the ocean is now absorbing more carbon in total than ever before, the waters are sucking up a smaller percentage of the CO2 emitted by humans. That could mean that there's a physical limit to the oceans' capacity — and we could be hitting it." 11-09

  76. -What We Know about the Impacts of Climate Change (American Association for the Advancement of Science) star
      "As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do or must believe about the rising threat of climate change. But we consider it to be our responsibility as professionals to ensure, to the best of our ability, that people understand what we know: human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes, and responding now will lower the risk and cost of taking action." 03-14

  77. -What We Know about the Impacts of Climate Change (American Association for the Advancement of Science) star
      "As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do or must believe about the rising threat of climate change. But we consider it to be our responsibility as professionals to ensure, to the best of our ability, that people understand what we know: human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes, and responding now will lower the risk and cost of taking action." 03-14

  78. Big Climate Change Could Be Soon (TG Daily.com)
      "New research from NASA into the Earth's paleoclimate history indicates we could be facing rapid climate change this century, including sea level rises of many meters."

      According to Goddard Institute for Space Studies director James E Hansen, 'The paleoclimate record reveals a more sensitive climate than thought, even as of a few years ago. Limiting human-caused warming to two degrees is not sufficient,' he says. 'It would be a prescription for disaster.' " 12-11

  79. Biochar Might Be That Magical (ABC News)
      "A new study in Nature Communications finds that the world could, in theory, sustainably offset a whopping 12 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions by producing biochar."

      "So for the Nature Communications study, the researchers just looked at the world's supply of crop leftovers: corn leaves and stalks, rice husks, livestock manure, yard trimmings. If virtually all of that biomass was used to make biochar, we could conceivably offset 12 percent of global carbon emissions." 08-10

  80. Can Biochar Save the Planet? (Time.com)
      "Biochar's ability to sequester CO2 has given new urgency to such research. 'Reducing emissions isn't enough — we have to draw down the carbon stock in the atmosphere,' says Tim Flannery, chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council, a consortium of scientists and business leaders linked to next year's United Nations Climate Summit. 'And for that, slow pyrolysis biochar is a superior solution to anything else that's been proposed.' Cornell's Lehmann is even more emphatic. 'If biochar could be massively applied around the globe,' he says, 'we could end the emissions problem in one to two years.' " 05-09

  81. China Becomes Leader in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Wikipedia.org)
      "On June 19, 2007, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency announced that a preliminary study indicated that China's greenhouse gas emissions for 2006 had exceeded those of the United States for the first time." 06-07

  82. Climate Change Grants (Foundation Center)
      Provides information on grants given and available to combat climate change. 10-09

  83. Climate Disruption (Scientific-Alliance.org)
      "Many readers will already have been aware of this evolution in terminology. Having already been re-educated to talk about 'climate change' rather than 'global warming', we are now increasingly hearing the term 'global climate disruption'. In practice, 'climate change' is likely to remain the term in general use, but it is interesting to consider the motivation for these changes." 09-14

  84. Climate Report: Massive Extinctions Expected (MSNBC News)
      "A key element of the second major report on climate change being released Friday in Belgium is a chart that maps out the effects of global warming with every degree of temperature rise, most of them bad."

      "There’s one bright spot: A minimal heat rise means more food production in northern regions of the world."

      "However, the number of species going extinct rises with the heat, as does the number of people who may starve, or face water shortages, or floods, according to the projections in the draft report obtained by The Associated Press."

      "The final document will be the product of a United Nations network of 2,000 scientists as authors and reviewers, along with representatives of more than 120 governments as last-minute editors. It will be the second of a four-volume authoritative assessment of Earth’s climate released this year. The last such effort was in 2001." 03-07

  85. Climatologist: 450, the CO2 Red Line? (ForeignPolicy.com)
      "Twenty years ago, when global warming first came to public consciousness, no one knew precisely how much carbon dioxide was too much. The early computer climate models made a number of predictions about what would happen if we doubled the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to 550 parts per million. But, in recent years, as the science has gotten more robust, scientists have tended to put the red line right around 450 parts per million. That’s where NASA’s James Hansen, America’s foremost climatologist, has said we need to stop if we want to avoid a temperature rise greater than two degrees Celsius. Why would two degrees be a magic number? Because as best we can tell, it’s where the melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets would become rapid and irrevocable. The ice above Greenland alone contains about 23 feet of sea-level rise, which is more than enough to alter the Earth almost beyond recognition." 01-09

  86. Consequences of Global Warming (Salon.com)
      "Achieving the Obama target would require replacing the country's entire multitrillion-dollar energy infrastructure -- including the vast majority of power plants and cars -- in four decades. I would call this policy "radical," but in fact it is pragmatic. Failing to act quickly will most likely result, by century's end, in 5°C to 7°C global warming, sea levels rising 10 inches a decade or more, widespread desertification, the loss of the inland glaciers that provide water to a billion people and an ocean that is one large, hot, acidic dead zone." 01-09

  87. Data Analysis: Temperature "Hiatus" False (Time.com)
      "The 'newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data from NOAA's NCEI do not support the notion of a global warming "hiatus," ' wrote the study authors." 01-17

  88. Disturbing Rise in Ocean Temperatures (Grist.org)
      "This year’s biggest climate change news was that 2014 was hottest year on record. Turns out, there’s bigger news: It was also the hottest year in the oceans, which are warming so fast they’re literally breaking the NOAA’s charts."

      " While air temperatures can fluctuate on any given year, they are usually matched by an increase or decrease of the amount of heat stored in the oceans (which, by the way, absorb around 90 percent of total global warming heat). To know whether the system as a whole is getting warmer or not, scientists need to take into account the temperatures of the atmosphere, land, AND oceans.” 01-15

  89. Doctors Urge Action to Avoid Catastrophic Health Consequences (Time.com)
      "A weak response to climate change could be catastrophic for international health, leading doctors said in two British medical journals Wednesday."

      "In a letter jointly published in The Lancet and BMJ, presidents from 18 medical organizations worldwide called on doctors to pressure politicians meeting in Copenhagen in December to take decisive action on global warming."

      "In an accompanying editorial, Lord Michael Jay of the medical charity Merlin and Michael Marmot of University College London wrote that 'a successful outcome at Copenhagen is vital for our future as a species and for our civilization.' " 09-09

  90. Editorial: How Denmark Became Energy Independent (New York Time)
      "Unlike America, Denmark, which was so badly hammered by the 1973 Arab oil embargo that it banned all Sunday driving for a while, responded to that crisis in such a sustained, focused and systematic way that today it is energy independent. (And it didn’t happen by Danish politicians making their people stupid by telling them the solution was simply more offshore drilling.)"

      "...Danes imposed on themselves a set of gasoline taxes, CO2 taxes and building-and-appliance efficiency standards that allowed them to grow their economy — while barely growing their energy consumption — and gave birth to a Danish clean-power industry that is one of the most competitive in the world today."

      "Frankly, when you compare how America has responded to the 1973 oil shock and how Denmark has responded, we look pathetic." 08-08

  91. Evidence of Accelerated Climate Disruption (Truth-out.org)
      "This month's dispatch comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) recent report, and the news is not good."

      " 'No one on this planet will be untouched by climate change,' IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri announced. The report warned that climate impacts are already 'severe, pervasive, and irreversible.' "

      "The IPCC report was one of many released in recent weeks, and all of them bring dire predictions of what is coming. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a report warning that "the rate of climate change now may be as fast as any extended warming period over the past 65 million years, and it is projected to accelerate in the coming decades' "

      "The report went on to warn of the risk 'of abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes in the Earth's climate system with massively disruptive impacts' including the possible 'large scale collapse of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, collapse of part of the Gulf Stream, loss of the Amazon rain forest, die-off of coral reefs, and mass extinctions.' " 04-14

  92. Exactly How Hot Is Too Hot? (New York Times)
      "That raised the question of how much warming would be dangerous. In the mid-1990s, the German government picked up on the 2C finding as a way to breathe life into the treaty."

      "A decade of subsequent research added scientific support to the notion that 2C was a dangerous threshold. Experts realized, for example, that at some increase in global temperature, the immense Greenland ice sheet would begin an unstoppable melt, raising the sea by as much as 23 feet over an unknown period. Their early calculations suggested that calamity would be unlikely as long as global warming did not exceed about 1.9 degrees Celsius."

      "Those ice sheets now appear to be in the early stages of breaking up. For instance, Greenland’s glaciers have lately been spitting icebergs into the sea at an accelerated pace, and scientific papers published this year warned that the melting in parts of Antarctica may already be unstoppable."

      " 'The climate is now out of equilibrium with the ice sheets,' said Andrea Dutton, a geochemist at the University of Florida who studies global sea levels. 'They are going to melt.' ” 01-15

  93. Experts: Seafood Could Collapse by 2050 (MSNBC News)
      "If current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, by 2050 the populations of just about all seafood face collapse, defined as 90 percent depletion, a team of ecologists and economists warns in a study published in Friday’s issue of the journal Science." 10-06

  94. Four Disturbing Climate Facts (Union of Concerned Scientists)
      One of the four disturbing facts is this: "Over nine tenths of the excess heat from global warming is going into the ocean: The increase in the amount of heat stored in the ocean over the last 30 years is enormous – it is equivalent to the amount of energy from a bomb the size of the one dropped on Hiroshima being released every second for thirty years. A warmer ocean expands and results in sea level rise. This heat will eventually be released from storage over decades and centuries to further warm the atmosphere." 04-14

  95. Industry Leader in Coal Refuses to Use New Technology (New York Times)
      "Many scientists say that sharply reducing emissions of these gases [from coal processing] could make more difference in slowing climate change than any other move worldwide. And they point out that American companies are best positioned to set an example for other nations in adopting a new technique that could limit the environmental impact of the more than 1,000 coal-fired power projects on drawing boards around the world."

      "But most in the industry are not making that bet. Among them is Gregory H. Boyce, chief executive of Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal producer in the world thanks in part to its growing operations here in Wyoming and with aspirations to operate coal-fired plants of its own. Mr. Boyce's company alone controls reserves with more energy potential than the oil and gas reserves of Exxon Mobil." 05-06

  96. Insurance Companies Required to Disclose Climate-Change Response Plans (New York Times)
      "Insurance commissioners in California, New York and Washington State will require that companies disclose how they intend to respond to the risks their businesses and customers face from increasingly severe storms and wildfires, rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change, California’s commissioner said Wednesday."

      "Last year’s level of natural disasters was unprecedented, according to an August report by the A. M. Best Company, which rates the financial strength of insurers. By late June, the estimated $27 billion in losses suffered by the American industry exceeded the 2010 total." 02-12

  97. Is China the "Good Guy" on Climate Change? (Time.com)
      "Now the world's fastest growing big economy is ready to move into one of the world's fastest growing financial markets: carbon-trading. The China-Beijing Environmental Exchange (CBEEX) and the French emissions exchange BlueNext announced on Sept. 23 that they were putting together a carbon market standard for China." 09-09

  98. Is a Sixth Mass Extinction Likely? (Grist.orgI) >
      "The New Yorker writer and acclaimed author Elizabeth Kolbert has a penchant for depressing topics. Her 2006 book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, helped push climate change into the mainstream (with bonus points for not mincing words in the title)."br>
      "Now that climate change is safely keeping most of us up at night, Kolbert turned her pen to another big bummer: the sixth extinction. We’re currently losing species at a rate of 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than unassisted nature wiping out the occasional newt. While humans weren’t responsible for the last five mass extinctions, our fingerprints are all over this one." 02-14

  99. Kerry and Lieberman Reveal Strong Climate Bill (IGSD.org)
      "The Senate climate bill unveiled today by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) contains a section entitled “Achieving Fast Mitigation” to address non-CO2 climate forcers, including black carbon soot, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These non-CO2 greenhouse gases and pollutants, together with others like ground-level ozone, make up 40-50 percent of total climate forcing."

      "One of the non-CO2 forcers’ most important attributes is that they are short-lived in the atmosphere – days to a decade and a half – meaning reductions will produce benefits fast and help to avoid the tipping points for abrupt climate change." 05-10

  100. Polar Ocean Soaking Up Less CO2 (BBC News)
      "One of Earth's most important absorbers of carbon dioxide (CO2) is failing to soak up as much of the greenhouse gas as it was expected to, scientists say."

      "This effect had been predicted by climate scientists, and is taken into account - to some extent - by climate models. But it appears to be happening 40 years ahead of schedule." 05-07

  101. Raising the Bar on Climate Change (Time.com)
      "A 2008 Stanford University study found that between one-third and two-thirds of carbon offsets under the U.N.'s Clean Development Mechanism — which oversees offset projects under the Kyoto Protocol — do not represent actual emission cuts. In addition, the USCAP proposal recommends that many of the initial carbon emission allowances under a cap-and-trade system should be given to industry free, rather than auctioned — even though auctioning would push carbon reductions faster." Visitors may call it cap and trade. 05-09

  102. Research: Amazon Forest Crisis Can Create "Incalculable Consequences" for Earth (The Independent)
      "The vast Amazon rainforest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world's climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year."

      "Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences, spinning out of control, a process that might end in the world becoming uninhabitable." 07-06

  103. Runaway Climate Change (Wikipedia.org)
      "The phrase 'runaway climate change' is used to describe a situation in which positive feedbacks result in rapid climate change.[7] It is most commonly used in mass media and popular science literature and by environmental organizations,[8][9] is occasionally used in the social sciences.[10] It is particularly used in the popular media and by environmentalists with reference to concerns about rapid global warming.[7][8] Some astronomers use the similar expression runaway greenhouse effect to describe a situation where the climate deviates catastrophically and permanently from the original state - as happened on Venus.[11][12]. 11-09

  104. Scientist: We Are on the Path to a Catastrophe (CBS News)
      According to Michael MacCracken, chief scientist of the Climate Institute, " 'We're on a path to exceeding levels of global warming that will cause catastrophic consequences, and we really need to be seriously reducing emissions, not just reducing the growth rate as the president is doing.' " 03-07

  105. Scientists Take Steps to Defend Work on Climate Change (New York Times)
      "For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media and on the Internet, accused of hiding data, covering up errors and suppressing alternate views. Their response until now has been largely to assert the legitimacy of the vast body of climate science and to mock their critics as cranks and know-nothings."

      "But the volume of criticism and the depth of doubt have only grown, and many scientists now realize they are facing a crisis of public confidence and have to fight back. Tentatively and grudgingly, they are beginning to engage their critics, admit mistakes, open up their data and reshape the way they conduct their work." 03-10

  106. Snows of Kilimanjaro Melting Fast (Time.com)
      "For the first time in almost 12,000 years, based on ice-core analysis, Africa's highest peak probably will be ice-free as early as 2022 or as late as 2033, says glaciologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University, who led the study." 11-09

  107. Study: Global Warming Is Irreversible (TruthOut.org)
      "As carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, the world will experience more and more long-term environmental disruption. The damage will persist even when, and if, emissions are brought under control, says study author Susan Solomon, who is among the world's top climate scientists." 01-09

  108. Study: Reducing Emissions Not Enough (MSNBC News)
      " 'People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 years; that's not true,' lead author Susan Solomon told reporters."

      "Instead, the team concluded, warming tied to higher CO2 'is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop.' "

      "Before the industrial revolution the air contained about 280 parts per million of carbon dioxide. That has risen to 385 ppm today, and politicians and scientists have debated at what level it could be stabilized." 01-09

  109. Teenagers Take Global Warming to Court (TheAtlantic.com)
      "Alec Loorz turns 18 at the end of this month. While finishing high school and playing Ultimate Frisbee on weekends, he's also suing the federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C."

      "While skeptics may view the case as little more than a publicity stunt, its implications have been serious enough to attract the time and resources of major industry leaders. Last month, Judge Wilkins granted a motion to intervene in the case by the National Association of Manufacturers, joined by Delta Construction Company, Dalton Trucking Inc., Southern California Contractors Association, and the California Dump Truck Owners Association."

      "The plaintiffs contend that they have standing to sue under the 'public trust doctrine,' a legal theory that in past years has helped protect waterways and wildlife. It's the reason, for example, that some state government agencies issue licenses to catch fish or shoot deer, particularly when populations are declining. The doctrine has never before been applied to the atmosphere, and it's a trickier prospect, not least because the sources of atmospheric pollution are so diffuse and wide-ranging, extending to other countries whose actions the United States may not be able to influence." 05-12

  110. The Amount of CO2 Taken Up by Plants Is Dropping Slightly (Chistian Science Monitor)
      "A new study recorded a slight dip in the amount of CO2 taken up over the past 10 years. If the trend continues, scientists say it could signal a tipping point in earth's ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere." 08-10

  111. Two Great Lakes at Lowest Recorded Levels (CBS New)
      "Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation."

      "The low water has caused heavy economic losses by forcing cargo ships to carry lighter loads, leaving boat docks high and dry, and damaging fish-spawning areas. And vegetation has sprung up in newly exposed shoreline bottomlands, a turnoff for hotel customers who prefer sandy beaches."

      "The corps' report came as shippers pleaded with Congress for more money to dredge ever-shallower harbors and channels. Shippers are taxed to support a harbor maintenance fund, but only about half of the revenue is spent on dredging. The remainder is diverted to the treasury for other purposes. Legislation to change that policy is pending before Congress." 02-13

  112. Union of Concerned Scientists: ExxonMobil Paid to Confuse Public on Global Warming (USA Today)
      "ExxonMobil (XOM) gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998 and 2005 in an effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science behind global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists asserted Wednesday." 01-07

  113. Volcanic Sulfur Aerosols Affect Climate and Destroy Ozone (USGS.gov)
      "The primary role of volcanic sulfur aerosols in causing short-term changes in the world's climate following some eruptions, instead of volcanic ash, was hypothesized by scientists in the early 1980's."

      "The most significant impacts from large explosive eruptions come from the conversion of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to sulfuric acid (H2SO4), which condenses rapidly in the stratosphere to form fine sulfate aerosols. The aerosols increase the reflection of radiation from the Sun back into space and thus cool the Earth's lower atmosphere or troposphere; however, they also absorb heat radiated up from the Earth, thereby warming the stratosphere."

      "The sulfate aerosols also promote complex chemical reactions on their surfaces that alter chlorine and nitrogen chemical species in the stratosphere. This effect, together with increased stratospheric chlorine levels from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) pollution, generates chlorine monoxide (ClO), which destroys ozone (O3)."

Projects
  1. -Climate Change Quiz (Christian Science Monitor)
      "Think you know the odd effects of global climate change? Take our quiz." 05-14

  2. President Bill Clinton's Climate Quiz (Change.org)
      Take the quiz and $2 will be donated on your behalf. 05-10

   
   


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