Thursday, September 18, 2008

climate review September

The UN talks at Accra went well (pdf), and progress was made in Ghana. Postmodern minds may be tempted to deconstruct the meaning of "progress." Yet human hopes, in the face of climate change, invest the word with a simple sense, its opposite being "regress".

Possibly more significant than the good climate news from Africa are the bad climate news, from America, of the McCain/Palin ticket. McCain and Palin have made their doubts about climate change and their desire for fossil fuel exploration clear. Palin, a creationist wed to an oil corp spouse, wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling and denies climatology data. Now, if one rejects one science, evolutionary biology, one might as well reject another.

Palin embodies the cognitive distortion that informs the American Disenlightenment. Her agenda reflects what I call the Gringo Square. She manages to integrate into her political persona the four corners of Adam Smith, David Hume, Ayn Rand, & the red-eyed Baby Jesus. She fights for the total free market, doubts climate forcing, enacts a policy of selfishness, and favors creationism. What I drew, in 2007, as a conceptual cartoon, is now in 2008 acquiring political reality. If Palin wins, the awful specter of a planetary climate shift that is not only anthropogenic but also and crucially Amerigenic will solidify.

Three things happened in the past month, or, this just in:

The decade 1997-2006 was found to be the warmest in 1,300-1,700 years.

Sea levels are now conservatively expected (read: assuming no runaway events) to rise 80-200 cm/2.5-6 ft. by 2100.

Arctic sea ice has passed its summer minimum and was in 2008 at its the second lowest extent; overall, the polar cap has shrunk by a third since 1979, and the Northwest Passage opened in August, as it did in the year of records 2007. For details, please scroll to "climatology" below.


Edward Gonzalez-Gaudiano forwarded this from Bob Jickling and Lucie Sauvé: We warmly invite you to submit your abstract to the 5th World Environmental Education Congress to be held at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal from May 10 to 14, 2009. The 5th World Congress will draw a large attendance, potentially becoming one of the field's most significant gatherings on environmental education. The mobilization of support behind the organization of this Congress is further evidence of the tremendous enthusiasm at play. Your proposal must be submitted online. Detailed instructions are available at the Congress site: under "Call for Papers." Submission deadline is September 30, 2008. We encourage you to submit your proposal as soon as possible. For more information on the Congress or your trip to Montreal, please visit the Congress site. Further details will be added to the site in the coming months. We look forward to seeing you in Montreal!


"Learning from the rest is no longer a matter of morality or politics. Increasingly, it is about competitiveness."
Fareed Zakaria, "How America can survive the rise of the rest," Foreign Affairs May/June 2008 (p. 7)

"No better illustration exists of a culture where private gain has eclipsed the public good, public service, even public decency, and where the cult of the individual has caused the commonwealth to wither. That's the culture we've lived with. It's over now. Some new American beginning is needed."
Roger Cohen, "The king is dead," International Herald Tribune 17 Sep 08 (p.1)


Chris Carlsson, "Building an anti-economy," Orion Sept/Oct 2008


... arctic ice no new record; now one third below normal 9.16.
... Texas effects of hurricane Ike 9.16.
... Ohio might lose its buckeye trees 9.12.
... Caribbean effects of hurricane Ike 9.7.
... Haiti deaths of storm Hanna 9.6.
... Ellesmere ice sheet breaks off 9.3.
... Indian and Nepali flood effects 9.2.
... India suffers worst flood in 50 years 8.30.
... Siberian methane leaks in permafrost thaw 8.30.
... arctic ice melts faster than ever 8.28.
... arctic ice drops to 2nd lowest level 8.27.
... India effects of weirdo monsoon 8.24.
... Florida effects of storm Fay 8.24.
... Greenland new cracks in ice 8.21.
... Greenland glaciers still disintegrating 8.21.
... Greenland glaciers going, going ... 8.20.


... UN says less meat better for climate 9.7.
... US McCain/Palin on climate 9.3.
... London climate strategies 9.30.
... Canada tightens arctic grip 8.28.
... Hamburg climate strategies 8.28.
... UN Accra climate talks succeed 8.27.
... South Korea climate strategies 8.25.
... UN Accra climate talks update I 8.22.


... Russia threatens to seize part of Arctic 9.18.
... 350 ppm CO2 viable maximum (2008 385 ppm) 9.16.
... Oil drops to $ 91 9.16.
... UK jury decides climate threat justifies breaking law 9.11.
... Switzerland: glacier melt yields stoneage info 9.5.
... UK climate activists defended for sabotage 9.4.
... Oil back down at nearly $ 100 9.2.
... Bush says hurricane Gustav reminder to drill for Oil 9.2.
... US lags behind the new global bicycle boom 8.31.
... Australia commercializes water 8.31.
... worldwide fireflies are vanishing 8.30.
... Amazon deforestation up 69% from Aug 07 to Aug 08 8.30.
... German eco-wander by an American 8.29.
... internet traffic begins to bypass the US 8.29.
... Italy meeting on risks to Earth 8.24.
... America in the world, silenced by Bush 8.21.


... Europe's clean tech 100 list 9.18.
... R Cohen: the king is dead 9.17.
... I Bell: a letter to America--you cannot be serious 9.14.
... NYT editorial: the anti-climate candidate 9.7.
... C Carlsson: building an anti-economy 9.6.
... J Dolan: the anti-climate VP candidate 9.5.
... Americans without television 9.4.
... T Friedman: the anti-climate party 9.2.
... the Kilkenny letter on Palin's policy record 9.1.
... German NGO foodwatch site
... D Lindorff: USA, the land of the silent 8.27.
... Japan's Honda makes most efficient cars 8.25.
... J Kunstler: the party that wrecked America 8.25.


... US House approves of offshore drilling 9.17.
... Florida without hurricane protection system 9.7.
... US: crackdown on journalists at Republican convention 9.5.
... US: the Wasilla Assembly of God 9.2.
... US: wind/solar energy in US built on temporary tax breaks 8.31.
... US natural gas boom 8.25.


... Climate 2008/Klima 2008 conference in Hamburg 11.3-7
see also UN FAO climate events

... linear sea level rise estimate 80-200 cm until 2100
cf. W. Pfeiffer et al., "Sea-level rise" Science 321:1340-1343
see also Realclimate 9.4. blog post "how much?"

... positive feedback: more heat = less CO2 uptake 9.17.

... Arctic ice summer minimum reached 9.16.
cf. W. Chapman Polar Research Group U Illinois Urbana-Champaign
see also Dot Earth 9.17. blog post "misses last year's mark"
see also Colose 9.18. blog post "second-lowest"

... 1997-2006 warmest decade in past 1,300-1,700 years 9.7.
cf M. Mann et al., "Reconstructions" PNAS 105: 13252-13257
see also Tamino 9.7. blog post "brand new hockey sticks"
see also Nature 455 9.10. highlights "hockey stick holds up"

... warming oceans "are the engine driving stronger hurricanes" 9.4.
cf J. Elsner et al., "Intensity" Nature 455: 10.1038/nature07234

... Asian soot, smog may boost global warming in US 9.4.
cf H. Levy et al., "Aerosols" NOAA CCSP 2008 3.2.

... federal prognosis of climate effects on Germany until 2100 9.2.
cf D. Jacobi et al., "Klimaauswirkungen," Umweltbundesamt 11/08

... climate threats of Nitrogen 9.2.
cf B. Houlton et al., "Unifying framework" Nature 454: 327-330

... Oekolandbau kein Klimaretter 8.25.
cf J. Hirschfeld et al., "Klimawirkung," IOW 186/08 (pdf)

... UK's coastal hotspots at risk now 8.24
cf P. Dyke, "UK top 10 coastal hotspots," National Trust 8/2008

... global warming time bomb trapped in arctic soil 8.24.
cf C. Ping et al., "Soil organic C" Nature Geoscience 1: 615-619

... West Africa's coastline to be redrawn 8.22.
see also Accra Climate Change Talks 21-27 Aug 2008