Droughts, forest fires, El Niño keep CO2 ppm in atmosphere rising even though overall CO2 emissions are close to constant

August 17th, 2017 by The Beam  It seems to confound logic – despite CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels and industry remaining at a constant level, the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere has experienced a record-breaking increase. This might lead you to believe that the measurement of CO₂ emissions is wrong or that the data is incorrect. But as Senior Researcher at …

Highlights from Fred Pearce and Joe Romm

Fred Pearce – notes from With Speed & Violence, references are to the Kindle page number “Concern about our raw materials casts a dark shadow over mankind,” he wrote, in an early outburst of twentieth century environmental concern. “Our descendants surely will censure us for having squandered their just birthright.” His great fear was that oil supplies would dry up, …

‘Shit Is Hitting the Fan,’ Climate Scientists Warn

By Andrea Germano The “shit is hitting is the fan,” said noted climate scientist James Hansen, countering “this narrative out there…that we have turned the corner on dealing with the climate problem.” Hansen is lead author of a new study that warns that there “is no time to delay” on climate change efforts and argues that they must go beyond just slashing emissions of CO2—”the dominant …

Increasing droughts, lower crop yields (just 40% already in Utah and forecast to go to 10%), and increased stress and conflict

A new study by MIT climate scientists, economists, and agriculture experts finds that certain hotspots in the country will experience severe reductions in crop yields by 2050, due to climate change’s impact on irrigation. The most adversely affected region, according to the researchers, will be the Southwest. Already a water-stressed part of the country, this region is projected to experience …

Inequality link to climate change

Income is may explain 30 percent of the total household carbon emissions in Europe (likely more in the US where inequality is higher).  Rising incomes are expected to increase greenhouse gas emissions because people will have greater purchasing power. “It makes sense that the richer you are, the greater your purchasing power and the environmental impacts associated with it,” she …

Allowable ‘carbon budget’ most likely overestimated

While most climate scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, implicitly define “pre-industrial” to be in the late 1800’s, a true non-industrially influenced baseline is probably further in the past, according to an international team of researchers who are concerned because it affects the available carbon budget for meeting the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit agreed …

7 reasons to be alarmed by record-setting levels of CO2

By Joe Romm, Climate Progress, June 2017:  Trump puts humanity back on track to CO2 levels not seen since it was 5° to 10°F warmer and seas were 75 to 120 feet higher.   Despite the best efforts of the Trump administration to ignore or contradict scientific reality, carbon dioxide levels continue to soar far outside the bounds of what Homo …

Declining precipitation in Colorado River Basin worsened by rising temperatures

Scientists found that another factor affected the runoff ratio: temperature. Over the last few centuries, the runoff ratio was reduced when temperatures were warmer. And the influence of temperature strengthened during drier years: When the snowpack was shallow, warm temperatures reduced the runoff ratio more than when the snowpack was deep, further exacerbating drought conditions. The low runoff ratios seen …

Ancient carbon in the tundra, an Arctic carbon-freezer, is melting

By Joe Romm, Climate Progress, 15 May 2017 The permafrost, or tundra, has been a very large carbon freezer. For a very long time, it has had a very low decomposition rate for the carbon-rich plant matter. But we’ve been leaving the freezer door wide open and are witnessing the permafrost being transformed from a long-term carbon locker to a …