Evidence, Dangers, Solutions and News
Evidence for Climate Change:
The climate records show how our climate has changed and is changing. For example sea level, which is the yardstick for global warming. (See below)
Dangers of Climate Change: Feedbacks are Amplifying the Warming
The main danger is that the current global warming could start a vicious spiral in which, again and again, warming would cause further warming. (More on Amplifying Feedback ..)
********* Musical Protests against Inaction on Climate: June 2016
See “Warm is Not Cool” Stephen Taberner
Safe Climate News
To scan the news items, click here or on “News” in the above menu. The 7 most recent items are:
- The war on renewables by “the Australian” newspaper
- Severe heatwaves show the need to adapt livestock management for climate
- Northern hemisphere sees in early spring due to global warming
- Massive permafrost thaw documented in Canada, portends huge carbon release.
- As global food demand rises, climate change is hitting our staple crops
- Malcolm Turnbull’s Trumpian disregard for the energy facts
- Electricity prices rises not driven by renewables
Considering solar panels: Does it stack up financially?
Click here for an evaluation method and free spreadsheet
Solutions to Climate Change
Australia could stop its emissions of carbon dioxide within ten years. The organisation “Beyond Zero Emissions” has developed detailed plans for this transition.
Australia and other countries need to act on these sorts of plans. Australia could:
- Generate all electricity from renewables. Renewables can generate electricity 24 hours a day. For example, the Nevada solar plant shown below. It collects and stores heat to generate electricity day and night. Australia will not need coal, gas or nuclear power. (More …)
- Use renewable electricity to power a high-speed rail service on the east coast. (More …)
- Modify land use, forestry and agriculture to cut emissions. (More …)
- Modify buildings to cut energy use. (More …)
Evdence for Climate Change: The key indicators:
The Carbon Dioxide Concentration in the Air: For 650 thousand years this concentration moved between 180 ppm and 300 ppm. Since 1950 it has soared to above 400 ppm and is increasing by about 2 ppm each year. (More ..)
Average Global Temperature: Risen 0.67 C per century since 1880. Hottest years on record: 2015 and 2014 (More ..)
Arctic Sea-ice: The average area of sea-ice each September has declined by 13.7 percent per decade. (More ..)
Antarctic Ice: Antarctica has lost 147,000 million tons of ice per year since 2003. (More ..)
Greenland Ice: Greenland has lost 258,000 million tonnes of ice a year since 2003. (More ..)
Sea Level: Risen 3.16 mm a year since 1993 and now rising faster.
“Sea level rise is the yardstick for global warming” (NASA).
Some claim that global warming has paused – but there has been no pause in the rise of sea levels. Sea levels suggest that warming continues apace.
The Acidity of our Oceans: Acidity is rising as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases. (More ..)
Conclusions of Climate Science
These key indicators are part of the evidence for concluding, beyond reasonable doubt, that:
- Our planet is warming
- Our climate is changing
- Human emissions are the cause
- The critical emission is carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels
Scientists no longer debate whether human emissions are behind global warming. (More ..)
The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change (Oreskes, 2007, page 9 of 36) from the website of the Department of Planetary Sciences: University of Arizona
The American Association for the Advancement of Science came as close as such a respectable institution can to screaming an alarm in March 2014. “As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do … but human-caused climate change [is threatening] abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes.” … The most distinguished scientists from the country with the world’s pre-eminent educational institutions were trying to shake humanity out of its complacency.
(Climate Change Deniers have Won: The Guardian: 22 March 2014)
Powerful lobby groups are campaigning to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge.
(The Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming: Oreskes & Conway)
For example, Some people say that since 1998 while carbon dioxide levels have risen, the “average global temperature” has not been increasing, so carbon dioxide is not causing warming and there is no need for concern about the climate.
This is a misleading argument in several ways. One response is in terms of the above range of climate indicators. Even if the global temperatures were moving to calm concerns, the other indicators of climate change also need to move to calm concerns. And, as shown above, each of the indicators provides another reason to remain concerned.
For the 800,000 years before about 1950, carbon dioxide levels stayed between 180 and 300 ppm. So we know the planet can keep a human-friendly climate while levels are in this range. However, now levels are above 400 ppm. While levels remain high the planet will continue to accumulate heat and we could well destroy our human-friendly climate.
The only solution that we can adopt with any confidence is to move our climate back to a state in which it has already demonstrated stability. We need to restore the above indicators of climate change to their values in about 1940:
- Cut carbon dioxide in the air from 400 ppm to below 300 ppm. One way to do this is to cut emissions by slashing the burning of fossil fuels. Another is to increase the drawdown of carbon dioxide from the air and storing it by expanding forests
- Cool the planet by 0.6 C from the 2014 average global temperature
- Restore the lost ice in the Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland,
- Decrease ocean levels and ocean acidity
We need to act with wartime urgency. This is to reduce the chances of the current warming tipping the climate into an irreversable warming spiral. (More …)
Science is clear about how to tackle climate change. And, as identified above, we have detailed plans for moving to a zero emissions economy.
The Benefits of a Zero Emissions Economy
- Reduce the impacts and risks of climate change
- Health and environmental benefits of clean air
- Jobs and knowledge in industries that can prosper long into the future.
Safe Climate News
Subscribe to our free Safe Climate News. (More …)
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