Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Saturday, 30 July 2016

PLAYING GOD? Tens of millions spent on huge project to change the WEATHER

From the Express:

Both China and the US are amongst 52 nations attempting to create rain by pumping chemicals into they sky as the impact of climate change starts to make itself felt. Droughts have heavily reduced farm yields and the capacity to cause rainfall would be of a great help.

It seems that there is some scepticism over whether these attempts will have the desired effect - the full article can be read here.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming

Vital Signs of the Planet: Global Climate Change and Global Warming. Current news and data streams about global warming and climate change from NASA.

Source: NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming

Climate scientists expected 'nothing like' this year's record-breaking global temperatures

Less than two months ago the Independent carried a report concerning Abrupt Climate Change explaining how Cambridge Professor, Peter Wadhams, had predicted that the climate was changing much faster than had been predicted by the IPCC - who use the average of a variety of data to produce their model [the one used by governments to develop their nation's response to tackle climate change] - today the paper reports:

"The planet’s record-breaking temperatures every month of this year have taken scientists by surprise, according to a leading expert who said they had expected “nothing like” this level of global warming."


"The first six months of this year averaged 1.3 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, compared to the ambition agreed at the Paris climate summit in December to limit warming to as close to 1.5C as possible."

Massive temperature hikes, extreme events, methane releases, 'heat domes', floods and droughts have shown that the climate has already changed and changed in a way that global leaders did not expect nor are prepared for - we are now into a time when we should expect the unexpected.

A time when preparing for this abrupt climate change far outweighs any other issue - but politicians, with a few exceptions, prefer to focus on what might further their careers - particularly in the UK.

The full article can be read here.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Crisis on high

From the Australian Broadcasting Company - at the top of the world a climate disaster is unfolding that will impact the lives of more than 1 billion people.

"Deep in the Himalayas sits a remote research station that is tracking an alarming trend in climate change, with implications that could disrupt the lives of more than 1 billion people and pitch the most populated region of the world into chaos.

The station lies in the heart of a region called the Third Pole, an area that contains the largest area of frozen water outside of the North Pole and South Pole.

Despite its relative anonymity, the Third Pole is vitally important; it is the source of Asia's 10 largest rivers including the Yellow, the Yangzi, the Mekong, the Irrawaddy and the Ganges — and their fertile deltas.

Flows from the glaciers that give the pole its name support roughly 1.3 billion people in China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan — and the glaciers are melting fast.

Chinese authorities have opened up a remote research station on the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau and revealed alarming research on the pace of global warming.

Half a century of research shows the temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees in the area, more than double the global average. More than 500 glaciers have completely disappeared, and the biggest ones are retreating rapidly."

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

June sets another global temperature record, extending a blazingly hot year

From the Washington Post:

This June has joined every other month of this year so far in setting an all-time monthly record for global temperatures, according to two separate federal science agencies — though the globe was not as extremely warm last month as it was earlier in the year.

“Warmer to much-warmer-than-average conditions dominated across much of the globe’s surface, resulting in the highest temperature departure for June since global temperature records began in 1880,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [more]

When Subpoenas Threaten Climate Science

A troubling story from Ken Kimmell in the NY Times - a subpoena issued by a Republican congressman to a science advocacy organization is a constitutional travesty:

He explains how his organisation - the Union of Concerned Scientists - received a subpoena from Lamar S. Smith of Texas, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology which orders him to hand over correspondence between his staff members and state attorneys general, and between his staff members and environmental organizations and funders. He points out how this demand impinges on his group’s constitutional rights, and how it would set a terrible precedent affecting many other advocacy groups if they were to comply.

The subpoena concerns their efforts to inform state attorneys general of their research into Exxon Mobil which details, among other things, how much Exxon Mobil knew about the dangers posed to the planet from carbon emissions from its products whilst at the same time spending millions to misinform the public about the science of climate change.

There is no claim that Kimmell's organization violated any law or regulation; Smith simply demands to see their correspondence. This request is deeply troubling as it is, in effect, a bullying tactic that threatens the work that advocacy groups like Kimmell's do under the protection of the First Amendment when they “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Kimmell asks "Are we to expect a subpoena every time we have a conversation with a public official if some committee chairman dislikes or disagrees with us?" The full story can be found here.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Climate change department killed off by Theresa May

From the Independent:

The decision to abolish the Department for Energy and Climate Change has been variously condemned as “plain stupid”, “deeply worrying” and “terrible” by politicians, campaigners and experts.

One of Theresa May’s first acts as Prime Minister was to move responsibility for climate change to a new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Only on Monday, Government advisers had warned of the need to take urgent action to prepare the UK for floods, droughts, heatwaves and food shortages caused by climate change.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Climate change causing clouds to rise higher in the sky and move towards poles

From the Independent.

"Clouds are moving towards the poles and getting higher in the sky as the planet warms, according to a new study that confirms predictions made by climate models for the first time. The researchers said the trend was partly caused by greenhouse gas emissions and was likely to continue – unless there were “large volcanic eruptions” that would help cool the Earth."

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Republicans Are Too Scared To Let The Pentagon Talk About Climate Change!

From YouTube:

"Thom [Hartmann] talks about the recent Republican vote to bar the Pentagon from dealing with climate change. "

Renewable energy: UK expected to miss 2020 targets

From the BBC:

"The UK is almost certain to miss its EU 2020 targets for renewable energy, the National Grid has said.

The firm has produced UK future energy scenarios covering four different approaches in policy.

Even in the most environmentally minded scenario, the UK is projected to fail in its target of producing 15% of total energy from renewables.

The government no longer claims the 2020 target will be hit but a spokesman said the UK was making good progress.

The National Grid also says the UK will not achieve its own independently set long-term CO2 reduction plans unless tougher policies are imposed very soon.

Legally binding

The Climate Change Act mandates emissions cuts of 80% by 2050.

The government spokesman said the UK was still committed to the act, and last week ministers announced a world-leading interim step towards that goal.

But its advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, pointed to a huge mismatch between ministers' aspirations and their policies.

The National Grid's report says Britain's progress on wind and solar-powered electricity has been quicker than some people expected.

But the rate of progress towards electric and hydrogen cars needs to almost treble (from 15 terrawatt hours (TWh) to 40TWh) to meet the EU 2020 target.

And the uptake of clean heating systems like heat pumps is also a massive challenge - needing to increase from 35 - 95 TWh.

On National Grid's low-ambition scenario, the UK will miss the targets by nine years.

Even the greenest scenario only reaches the targets by 2022. [More]