Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Applying the Dharma for the preservation of planet Earth and its inhabitants
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:56 am

Washington's turn for an extreme weather event. I hope they learn from it.
Flooding Disrupts DC as Capital Receives Month’s Rain in 1 Hour

The Washington, DC region received a month's worth of rain in one hour Monday, leading to the most severe flooding in the area in recent years, The Washington Post reported.

The climate crisis has led to an uptick in extreme downpours, since warmer air can hold more moisture, according to the National Climate Assessment. ...
The flooding also reached the halls of power, causing leaks in the Pentagon and flooding in the White House basement.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr photographed water entering the second floor of the Pentagon from both rain dripping down from the fifth floor and the Potomac River seeping in from below.
:twothumbs:

:reading: https://www.ecowatch.com/washington-dc- ... 36988.html

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:47 am

Arctic Circle burns as heatwaves plague Europe and the US

Scientists have released alarming new satellite images showing enormous wildfires spreading across the Arctic Circle, with potentially dire consequences for the environment.

In recent years the earth's boreal forests — the world's northernmost forests, which stretch across vast swathes of land in Alaska, eastern Siberia and Greenland — have been burning at a rate that has not been seen in at least 10,000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

While wildfires are common in Alaska, the fires spreading across Siberia were "in northern areas where you don't usually expect these many fires," satellite photography expert Pierre Markuse told the ABC. ...

The fires are raging as heatwaves plague Europe and the US, and come after the planet experienced its hottest June on record. ...
:reading: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-25/ ... s/11344646

:thinking:
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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:11 am

Heatwave: think it’s hot in Europe? The human body is already close to thermal limits elsewhere

...When the air temperature exceeds 35°C, the body relies on the evaporation of water – mainly through sweating – to keep core temperature at a safe level. This system works until the “wetbulb” temperature reaches 35°C. The wetbulb temperature includes the cooling effect of water evaporating from the thermometer, and so is normally much lower than the normal (“drybulb”) temperature reported in weather forecasts.

Once this wetbulb temperature threshold is crossed, the air is so full of water vapour that sweat no longer evaporates. Without the means to dissipate heat, our core temperature rises, irrespective of how much water we drink, how much shade we seek, or how much rest we take. Without respite, death follows – soonest for the very young, elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Wetbulb temperatures of 35°C have not yet been widely reported, but there is some evidence that they are starting to occur in Southwest Asia. Climate change then offers the prospect that some of the most densely populated regions on Earth could pass this threshold by the end of the century, with the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and most recently the North China Plain on the front line. These regions are, together, home to billions of people.

... the places that are already heat stressed will see the largest absolute increases in humid-heat with the smallest safety margin before reaching physical limits, and they are often least-equipped to adapt to the hazard. It is therefore hardly surprising that extreme heat drives migration. Such mass displacement makes extreme heat a worldwide issue.
:reading: https://theconversation.com/heatwave-th ... ere-121003

Read it and follow the (many) links for supporting detail.

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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:51 am

Russia Sends Military Planes to Fight Wildfires in Siberia

The total area in flames equals the size of Belgium, and many industrial cities are blanketed by a layer of smoke. ...
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/01/worl ... beria.html
In June, I delivered a keynote presentation on Australia’s vulnerability to climate change and our policy challenges at the annual meeting of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the main conference for those working in the climate science community. I saw it as an opportunity to summarise the post-election political and scientific reality we now face.

As one of the dozen or so Australian lead authors on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) sixth assessment report, currently underway, I have a deep appreciation of the speed and severity of climate change unfolding across the planet. Last year I was also appointed as one of the scientific advisers to the Climate Council, Australia’s leading independent body providing expert advice to the public on climate science and policy. In short, I am in the confronting position of being one of the few Australians who sees the terrifying reality of the climate crisis.

Preparing for this talk I experienced something gut-wrenching. It was the realisation that there is now nowhere to hide from the terrible truth.

The last time this happened to me, I was visiting my father in hospital following emergency surgery for a massive brain haemorrhage. As he lay unconscious in intensive care, I examined his CT scan with one of the attending surgeons who gently explained that the dark patch covering nearly a quarter of the image of his brain was a pool of blood. Although they had done their best to drain the area and stem the bleeding, the catastrophic nature of the damage was undeniable. The brutality of the evidence was clear – the full weight of it sent my stomach into freefall.

The results coming out of the climate science community at the moment are, even for experts, similarly alarming.

One common metric used to investigate the effects of global warming is known as “equilibrium climate sensitivity”, defined as the full amount of global surface warming that will eventually occur in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations compared to pre-industrial times. It’s sometimes referred to as the holy grail of climate science because it helps quantify the specific risks posed to human society as the planet continues to warm.

We know that CO2 concentrations have risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 parts per million (ppm) to approximately 410 ppm today, the highest recorded in at least three million years. Without major mitigation efforts, we are likely to reach 560 ppm by around 2060.

When the IPCC’s fifth assessment report was published in 2013, it estimated that such a doubling of CO2 was likely to produce warming within the range of 1.5 to 4.5°C as the Earth reaches a new equilibrium. However, preliminary estimates calculated from the latest global climate models (being used in the current IPCC assessment, due out in 2021) are far higher than with the previous generation of models. Early reports are predicting that a doubling of CO2 may in fact produce between 2.8 and 5.8°C of warming. Incredibly, at least eight of the latest models produced by leading research centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France are showing climate sensitivity of 5°C or warmer.

When these results were first released at a climate modelling workshop in March this year, a flurry of panicked emails from my IPCC colleagues flooded my inbox. What if the models are right? Has the Earth already crossed some kind of tipping point? Are we experiencing abrupt climate change right now? ...

So how is the Paris Agreement actually panning out?

In 2017, we reached 1°C of warming above global pre-industrial conditions. According to the UN Environment Programme’s “Emissions Gap Report”, released in November 2018, current unconditional NDCs will see global average temperature rise by 2.9 to 3.4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century.

To restrict warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the world needs to triple its current emission reduction pledges. If that’s not bad enough, to restrict global warming to 1.5°C, global ambition needs to increase fivefold. ...

Increasingly after my speaking events, I catch myself unexpectedly weeping in my hotel room or on flights home. ... But these days my grief is rapidly being superseded by rage. Volcanically explosive rage. Because in the very same IPCC report that outlines the details of the impending apocalypse, the climate science community clearly stated that limiting warming to 1.5°C is geophysically possible.

Past emissions alone are unlikely to raise global average temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC report states that any further warming beyond the 1°C already recorded would likely be less than 0.5°C over the next 20 to 30 years, if all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions were reduced to zero immediately. That is, if we act urgently, it is technically feasible to turn things around. The only thing missing is strong global policy.
:reading: https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/201 ... ate-change

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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:12 am

What the latest IPCC report really says - and some of what it should have said but didn't.

https://jeremyleggett.net/2019/08/09/th ... te-crisis/

:reading:
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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:56 am

New research says that fracking, not cows, should be blamed for the recent spike in methane levels. The good news about that is that we can immediately reduce emissions simply by shutting down the frackers.
... commercialisation of shale gas and oil in the 21st century had dramatically increased global methane emissions.

Dr Howarth said carbon dioxide and methane were critical greenhouse gases, but they behaved quite differently in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide emitted today would influence the climate for centuries to come, as the climate responded slowly to decreasing amounts of the gas.

Unlike its slow response to carbon dioxide, the atmosphere responded quickly to changes in methane emissions.

"Reducing methane now can provide an instant way to slow global warming and meet the United Nations' target of keeping the planet well below a 2-degree Celsius average rise," Dr Howarth said.

"This recent increase in methane is massive.

"It's globally significant.

"It's contributed to some of the increase in global warming we've seen and shale gas is a major player.

"If we can stop pouring methane into the atmosphere, it will dissipate.

"It goes away pretty quickly, compared to carbon dioxide. It's the low-hanging fruit to slow global warming."
:reading: https://www.theland.com.au/story/632998 ... ane-spike/

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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:15 pm

Images, and a few figures, of the Amazon on fire - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-19/ ... s/11478580

:jawdrop:
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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:15 am

Confirming and extending what we've known for a while -
World's oceans at a tipping point, indicates UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report

..."While sea level has risen globally by around 15 centimetres during the 20th century, it is currently rising more than twice as fast — 3.6 mm per year — and accelerating," the IPCC report reads.

The report also concluded sea levels would continue to rise for centuries, and could surge by up to 60cm by the year 2100, even if greenhouse gas emissions were sharply reduced and global warming was limited to well below 2C.

If emissions continue to rise rapidly, those levels could rise by up to 110cm by the end of this century.

Driving the expansion of our oceans is the rapid thawing of ice in Greenland and the Arctic. ...
:reading: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-25/ ... t/11547454

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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:37 am

July was the hottest month since we started keeping records.
According to new data just released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), July 2019 has broken all records for the hottest month, with temperatures 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average.

NOAA’s calculations confirm the findings of three other recently released data sets. Independent findings from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (a European climate agency), Japan Meteorological Agency, and Berkeley Earth all show that last month was the warmest on Earth since record-keeping began.
:reading: https://thinkprogress.org/its-official- ... 3b1096696/

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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:15 am

An odd corner of climate change research: what the heat does to athletes.
Researchers are using the world athletics titles in Qatar to test athletes' heat and body-core temperatures during competition

The stopwatch is only one way to measure the gains athletes are making at the world championships this year.

About 200 runners volunteered to swallow red-and-white capsules that contain data transmitters. It's part of an IAAF research project on the effects of heat and body-core temperatures.

They couldn't have picked a better time or place — in Doha, where the temperatures reach 38 degrees Celsius every day, and less than a year removed from the Olympics in Tokyo, where conditions are expected to be every bit as stifling.

Most of the volunteers for this study come from endurance events such as the marathon, 10,000 metres and race walks.

The marathon and race walks are being held outside the air-conditioned stadium. Temperatures have been around 32 C with humidity above 70 per cent each night. ...

Heat is also expected to be a factor in next year's summer Olympics, to be held in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9 ...
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-05/ ... s/11576588

:coffee:
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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:06 am

xkcd's climate timeline for those who haven't seen it ...

https://xkcd.com/1732/

:namaste:
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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:24 am

A National-Geographic style photo-essay: Siberia under the influence of climate change.
Longish but well done.
... A Washington Post analysis found that the region near the town of Zyryanka, in an enormous wedge of eastern Siberia called Yakutia, has warmed by more than 3 degrees Celsius since preindustrial times — roughly triple the global average.

The permafrost that once sustained farming — and upon which villages and cities are built — is in the midst of a great thaw, blanketing the region with swamps, lakes and odd bubbles of earth that render the land virtually useless.

“The warming got in the way of our good life,” said Alexander Fedorov, deputy director of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in the regional capital of Yakutsk. “With every year, things are getting worse and worse.”

For the 5.4 million people who live in Russia’s permafrost zone, the new climate has disrupted their homes and their livelihoods. Rivers are rising and running faster, and entire neighborhoods are falling into them. Arable land for farming has plummeted by more than half, to just 120,000 acres in 2017. ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics ... e-siberia/

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Re: Climate science and statistics - omnibus thread

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:53 am

No, folks, it wasn't your imagination - this was the hottest (northern hemisphere) summer on record:
Following the hottest summer on record, 2019 continues to head for the history books. Last month was officially the hottest September on record, just slightly hotter (.04 degrees Fahrenheit) than the previous record-holder, September 2016.

Last month was officially the hottest September on record, just slightly hotter (.04 degrees Fahrenheit) than the previous record-holder, September 2016.

Last month was 1.02 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average September from 1981-2010 and about 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit above the preindustrial level, according to data released Friday by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, an organization that tracks global temperatures.

According to AFP, the organization is treating the two months as joint record-holders because the difference is negligible. ...

September follows a record-setting summer, which recorded the hottest June and July, and the second hottest August. This July was the hottest month on record since record-keeping began 140 years ago. ...

Scientists continue to warn that human activity is heating the planet at a dangerous rate, and high temperatures pose a more lethal threat to humans than any other type of extreme weather event. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recently warned the threat posed by extreme heat "will only become more serious and more widespread as the climate crisis continues." ...
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/earth-just ... 019-10-04/

:cry: <-- you can read that a sweat or tears - both are appropriate.

Kim

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