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Global Warming: March heat burns record as scientists warn time running out


By Philippine News Agency

A new study suggests that actions must be taken now to limit the effects of global warming, as humanity has just 10 years to begin the process of balancing out Earth’s climate. It’s a warning brought home by just-released reports showing that March was the second-hottest month since record keeping began.

(AP Photo/ Reed Saxon / MANILA BULLETIN)

(AP Photo/ Reed Saxon / MANILA BULLETIN)

Following reports that February was the second hottest month, and before that January was the third hottest, since temperature record-keeping began in 1850, additional warnings have been released by the scientific community, which include recommendations on how to go about stopping, and potentially reversing, the process of global warming, as detailed by Climate Central.

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has completed a paper published by Nature Communications documenting the necessary moves that must be implemented to stave off the threat of increasingly hot temperatures on the surface of the planet, a result of global warming brought about by human-induced climate change, according to

Last year was the hottest year recorded and, while 2017 is on track to come close — due to the lingering effects of last year’s El Niño — no one who understands the overwhelming data can dispute that the effects of unchecked global warming will have catastrophic consequences for humanity.

“If there is one thing the record of past climate events teaches us is that [current] unabated fossil fuel burning will have severe and long-lasting consequences,” said Richard Zeebe, a paleoclimate researcher at the University of Hawaii, according to Climate Central.

Meteorological records detailing worldwide temperature averages dating back some 137 years have been brought into play by NASA, which reported Friday that March 2017 was 2.02°F (1.12°C) warmer than the average temperatures recorded in the period between 1951 and 1980, a close second place, behind only March 2016, which was 2.29°F (1.27°C) above average.

According to the IIASA study, the current level of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the gas creating the greenhouse effect increasing temperatures on Earth, is currently at unprecedented levels, and if not checked could reach levels not seen since core samples revealed similar figures some 50 million years ago. At those levels, according to the report, humanity would find existence difficult.

During that paleontological epoch, life on Earth was very different.

“The early Eocene was much warmer than today: global mean surface temperature was at least 10°C (18°F) warmer than today,” said Dana Royer, a paleoclimate researcher at Wesleyan University and co-author of the new paper.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been on the increase since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Using late-18th century soil samples, scientists and climatologists measured carbon dioxide levels at the time averaging about 280 parts per million (ppl). Now, those same levels are at least 400 ppm, a statistical benchmark according to Scientific American, with the expectation of reaching 410 ppm in just the next few weeks.

Those numbers are not expected to decrease without some kind of intervening action on the part of humanity, in the form of a shift in the behavior of people, corporations and countries. Some of those actions are listed in the IIASA paper, entitled Pathways for Balancing CO2 Emissions and Sinks.

Among suggestions are a reduction of the global use of fossil fuel to less than 25 percent of the world’s energy supply, down from its current lofty peak of 95 percent. Also recommended to decrease emissions is an increase of carbon sinks in the form of forests, especially by ending the practice of clearcutting.

Renewable energies, including solar, hydropower, wind, and bioenergy sources must also increase globally by at least five percent annually, for at least the next five years, according to the IIASA report.

Of the last 17 hottest recorded years on Earth, 16 have been in the 21st century, as recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has announced that it will release new global climate data April 19, expected to to parallel the recent NASA findings.

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  • Rick Kooi

    “Climate Change was theorized in 1799, Alexander von Humboldt.”
    Please notice that that was 1799!
    “Climate Changed Scientifically tied to Global Warming & Human Activity by physicist & astronomer Simeon Denis Poisson, 1811-1827.”
    He lectured, extensively, on this threat by 1827 !
    “George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) author of the 1847 lecture that predicted > “human-induced climate change.” > CO2 traps heat. <<
    According to radiative physics & decades of laboratory measurements, increased CO2 in the atmosphere is expected to absorb more infrared radiation as it escapes back out to space.

    ** In 1970, NASA launched the IRIS satellite measuring infrared spectra.
    ** In 1996, the Japanese Space Agency launched the IMG satellite which recorded similar observations.

    ** Both sets of data were compared to discern any changes in outgoing I.R. energy radiation over the 26 year period

    SOURCE: (Harries 2001).

    What they found was a drop in outgoing radiation at the wavelength bands that greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane (CH4) absorb energy.
    The change/reduction in outgoing radiation was consistent with Global Warming theoretical expectations.

    ** Thus the paper found "direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth's greenhouse effect" and Global Warming.

    ((If Infra Red Energy, does not escape, it is retained in our Earth System as rising temperatures…(( in the Oceans, soil and atmosphere ))

    This result has been confirmed by subsequent Research papers using data from later satellites.
    SOURCE: (Griggs 2004)
    SOURCE: ( Chen 2007 )
    Change in spectrum from 1970 to 1996 due to trace gases.
    'Brightness temperature' indicates equivalent blackbody temperature
    SOURCE: (Harries 2001).
    When greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation, the energy heats the atmosphere which in turn re-radiates infrared radiation in all directions.
    Much of it makes its way back to the earth's surface.
    Hence we expect to find more infrared radiation heading downwards.
    Surface measurements from 1973 to 2008 find an increasing trend of infrared radiation returning to earth.
    SOURCE: (Wang 2009)
    A regional study over the central Alps found that downward infrared radiation is increasing due to the enhanced greenhouse effect.
    SOURCE: (Philipona 2004)
    Taking this a step further, an analysis of high resolution spectral data allowed scientists to quantitatively attribute the increase in downward radiation to each of several greenhouse gases.
    SOURCE: (Evans 2006)
    The results lead the authors to conclude that "this experimental data should effectively end the argument by skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming."
    Spectrum of the greenhouse radiation measured at the surface.
    Greenhouse effect from water vapor is filtered out, showing the contributions of other greenhouse gases.
    SOURCE: (Evans 2006)
    The planet is accumulating heat
    When there is more energy coming in than escaping back out to space, our climate accumulates heat. The planet's total heat build up can be derived by adding up the heat content from the ocean, atmosphere, land and ice.
    SOURCE: (Murphy 2009)
    Ocean heat content was determined down to 3000 metres deep.
    Atmospheric heat content was calculated from the surface temperature record and heat capacity of the troposphere.
    Land and ice heat content(eg-the energy required to melt ice)were also included.
    Total Earth Heat Content from 1950.
    SOURCE: (Murphy 2009)
    SOURCE: (Ocean data taken from Domingues et al 2008.)
    From 1970 to 2003,
    the planet has been accumulating heat at a rate of 190,260 gigawatts with the vast majority of the energy going into the oceans.
    Considering a typical nuclear power plant has an output of 1 gigawatt, imagine 190,000 nuclear power plants pouring their energy output directly into our oceans.
    What about after 2003?
    A map of of ocean heat from 2003 to 2008 was constructed from ocean heat measurements down to 2000 metres deep .
    SOURCE: (von Schuckmann 2009)
    Globally, the oceans have continued to accumulate heat to the end of 2008 at a rate of 0.77 ± 0.11 Wm?2, consistent with other determinations of the planet's energy imbalance.
    SOURCE: (Hansen 2005)
    SOURCE: (Trenberth 2009).

    The planet continues to accumulate heat.

    1. So we see a direct line of evidence that we're causing global warming. Human CO2 emissions far outstrip the rise in CO2 levels.

    2. The enhanced greenhouse effect is confirmed by satellites and many surface measurements.

    3. The planet's energy imbalance is confirmed by summations of the planet's total heat content and ocean heat measurements…."
    Although temperatures had been running lower than the central estimate of IPCC projections in recent years, they were, and are, still within the projected ‘envelope,’ as shown in the figure above and discussed at length in the linked articles.
    Moreover, I added, there was and is a long track record in the scientific literature of successful predictions by climate models. It was collected and documented by Barton Paul Levenson (also linked in sidebar.)

    I quoted Barton as follows below,
    Multi National Global Climate Computer Models
    have SPOT-ON-ACCURATELY predicted:
    That the globe would warm, &
    about how fast, &
    about how much.
    That the troposphere would warm and the stratosphere would cool.
    That nighttime temperatures would increase more than daytime temperatures.
    That winter temperatures would increase more than summer temperatures.
    Polar amplification (greater temperature increase as you move toward the poles).
    That the Arctic would warm faster than the Antarctic.
    The magnitude (0.3 K) and duration (two years) of the cooling from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
    They made a retrodiction for Last Glacial Maximum sea surface temperatures which was inconsistent with the paleo evidence, and better paleo evidence showed the models were right.
    They predicted a trend significantly different and differently signed from UAH satellite temperatures, and then a bug was found in the satellite data.
    The amount of water vapor feedback due to ENSO.
    The response of southern ocean winds to the ozone hole.
    The expansion of the Hadley cells.
    The poleward movement of storm tracks.
    The rising of the tropopause and the effective radiating altitude.
    The clear sky super greenhouse effect from increased water vapor in the tropics.
    The near constancy of relative humidity on global average.
    That coastal upwelling of ocean water would increase…."

    Seventeen correct predictions?
    Looks like a pretty good track record to me.
    47% of Species have already been disturbed/driven out of their native habitat.