We’ve been watching this situation with a sort of grim determination.

The determination is to know the truth, the somber attitude because we know what the truth implies about the future of our civilization.

There is far more to be concerned about in those two images (above) than anything the Romans faced when the Visigoth‘s rebelled.

All those projections, about what’s going to happen in 2050?  Those were based on theories about how we would act to stop Climate change. Well, we just broke the 2007 melt record, and we’re still melting.

The theories were too optimistic. There was always a worry about sounding an alarm, losing credibility. Well  Climate Change is only a “theory” in the sense that “The Theory of Gravity” is a theory. Calling it a theory doesn’t invalidate it’s effects. If you let go of something, it still falls. Climate change is here, it’s real, and it’s happening right on top of you no matter what you call it.

The melting of the Arctic Sea Ice isn’t just about sea level rise. It means record heat, droughts, floods, it means rain when you don’t want it and none when you need it. It means winters without snow, and springs that happen too soon.  That Sea Ice is part of the engine that drives the world’s weather, and losing it means our world must change along with it.

We know the cause, we know how to start fixing it, and we can easily do it. But we have to show enough sense, and enough care for each other to actually step up.

The time to step up is now. We best start steppin, or real soon there won’t be anywhere to go.

Climate Denial Crock of the Week

National Snow and Ice Data Center:

Arctic sea ice appears to have broken the 2007 record daily extent and is now the lowest in the satellite era. With two to three more weeks left in the melt season, sea ice continues to track below 2007 daily extents.

Please note that this is not an announcement of the sea ice minimum extent for 2012. NSIDC will release numbers for the 2012 daily minimum extent when it occurs. A full analysis of the melt season will be published in early October, once monthly data are available for September.

Arctic sea ice extent fell to 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles) on August 26, 2012. This was 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) below the September 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million square kilometers (1.61 million square miles).

Including this year, the six lowest ice extents in the satellite record…

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Siberian shelf methane emissions not tied to modern warming

English: Methane hydrate chunk with dissociati...

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Abstract

EOS, TRANSACTIONS AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, VOL. 92, NO. 49, PAGE 464, 2011
doi:10.1029/2011EO490014

RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT

Siberian shelf methane emissions not tied to modern warming

Colin Schultz

American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C., USA

Eight thousand years ago, a rising sea inundated the vast permafrost regions off the northern coast of Siberia. Comprising the modern east Siberian shelf, the region holds enormous quantities of methane hydrates bottled up in remnant subterranean permafrost zones that are, in turn, trapped beneath the ocean waters. Records of seafloor water temperature showing a 2.1°C rise since 1985, coupled with recent observations of methane emissions from the seabed, have led some scientists to speculate that the rising temperatures have thawed some of the subsurface permafrost, liberating the trapped methane. The connection is compelling, but an investigation by Dmitrenko et al. into the sensitivity of permafrost to rising temperatures suggests the two observations are not connected. Using a permafrost model forced with paleoclimate data to analyze changes in the depth of frozen bottom sediments, the authors found that roughly 1 meter of the subsurface permafrost thawed in the past 25 years, adding to the 25 meters of already thawed soil. Forecasting the expected future permafrost thaw, the authors found that even under the most extreme climatic scenario tested this thawed soil growth will not exceed 10 meters by 2100 or 50 meters by the turn of the next millennium. The authors note that the bulk of the methane stores in the east Siberian shelf are trapped roughly 200 meters below the seafloor, indicating that the recent methane emissions observations were likely not connected to the modest modern permafrost thaw. Instead, they suggest that the current methane emissions are the result of the permafrost’s still adjusting to its new aquatic conditions, even after 8000 years. (Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, doi:10.1029/2011JC007218, 2011)

Published 6 December 2011.

Citation: Schultz, C. (2011), Siberian shelf methane emissions not tied to modern warming, Eos Trans. AGU, 92(49), 464, doi:10.1029/2011EO490014.

This work does not discount the work due to be presented by Drs Semiletov and Shakhova sometime mid-year next year (2012). While the article from December 6th, above, indicates that the current evolution of methane may be from the condition change 8,000 years ago, it does not mean that we aren’t seeing some speed up due to localized warming, similar to stirring or scraping the bottom of a pan on the stove.

Regardless, this problem and the apparent acceleration of methane release has to be added to the efforts to deal with carbon gas emissions. So an increase now is not helping.

A Call to Arms on Climate Change

I found this in Forbes, to my personal surprise. Perhaps I’ve become too jaundiced from the insanity that now passes for “reality” inside Washington D.C.‘s Beltway these days. I no longer expected a prestigious magazine like Forbes to permit a truly balanced comment. I must thank William Pentland for posting this in such an elite publication, and thank Senator Whitehouse for taking a strong and informed stand, where so many have lacked the moral substance, or just the plain backbone to say what needed to be said.  I hope he does not end up retreating or recanting, and I hope the people of Rhode Island see fit to re-elect someone who is so clearly a leader.

Enough of my babble, first the comments from Mr. Pentland, and then the Senator’s statement. Ooooorah! Senator!


I  explain my allegiance with Al Gore the way John F. Kennedy explained his relationship with the Vatican.

“I don’t speak for Al Gore and Al Gore doesn’t speak for me.”

I would not say the same about Rhode Island’s Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Sheldon Whitehouse

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In a speech delivered before the U.S. Congress a few days ago, Sheldon argued that America has a duty to respond to the risks posed by global warming.  Sheldon concluded:

Right now I must come before the Chamber and remind this body that we are failing in that duty. The men and women in this Chamber are indeed catastrophically failing in that duty. We are earning the scorn and condemnation of history — not this week, perhaps, and not next week. The spin doctors can see to that. But ultimately and assuredly, the harsh judgment that it is history’s power to inflict on wrong will fall upon us . . .

It is magical thinking to imagine that somehow we will be spared the plain and foreseeable consequences of our failure of duty. There is no wizard’s hat and wand with which to wish this away. These laws of nature are known; the Earth’s message to us is clear; our failure is blameworthy; its consequences are profound; and the costs will be very high.

I have posted the entire transcript of Sheldon’s speech below.

Thank you, Senator.

Semper Fi.

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A Very Simple Poll.

Devils Punchbowl Waterfall at Arthurs Pass in ...

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Clearly people stumble across this blog, it’s not like it’s sitting out in the middle of the “information superhighway” with barricades and flashing lights.

Up the winding path

Image by Steve-h via Flickr

So I became curious. What do the people who eventually arrive here actually think on my primary subject, that being Global Warming / Climate Change / Global Climate Disruption / Climate Weirding.

Why so many names? Because, with the possible exception of Climate Weirding, all of these names have been politicized and I’m not sure people realize which parts are scientific fact, which are politician’s wishful thinking, and which parts are lies spread to confuse the issue.

I think anyone who has read any of my posts knows how I feel about the subject. But I want to know, in simple terms, what the people who arrive here think about it. So I’m going to release several simple questions, and see if I get answers.

Climate change

Image by jeancliclac via Flickr

House “Gang of 70-Plus” to Senate “Gang of Six”: We Outnumber Your Plan to Slash Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today released the following statement on the Senate “Gang of Six” budget proposal:

“This terrible plan could cut Medicare and Medicaid to unsustainably low levels and put seniors’ well-being at risk. Anyone who wants to pass it through Congress should remember that more than 70 House Democrats have already pledged their opposition, and more are signing on every day. The letter we sent to Leader Pelosi July 8 vowing to oppose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid as part of these budget negotiations has become a growing wave of House resolve to protect these programs. We’re keeping it open for more signatures, and our Gang of 70-plus has the ‘Gang of Six’ completely outnumbered. Newly minted Rep. Janice Hahn signed on as one of her first official acts as a Congresswoman – that’s how quickly it’s picking up momentum.

Republicans have already said they won’t vote for any package, period, because of their opposition to a functional economy. House Democrats hold the key to whatever plan can pass Congress. That’s why the Senate ‘Gang of Six’ proposal is dead on arrival. Instead of toying with ways to slash vital programs in just such a way as to make different budget numbers align on paper, Congress and the White House should follow the path of our People’s Budget: creating jobs, protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, ending corporate subsidies and millionaire tax giveaways, and ensuring our economy works for everyone rather than a greedy few.”