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** Evidence for Climate Change
Seeing how critical things, like sea level, have changed, shows how our climate is changing.
This evidence comes from competent organizations, like the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Sea Level Rise
“Sea level rise is THE yardstick for global warming”.
So let’s consider measurements of sea level first.
The blue line shows how the sea level has risen since 1993. It has risen an average of 3.16 millimetres a year. This “yardstick for global warming” shows a clear upward trend, a warming trend. (Read More …)
See below for data on other key indicators of climate change.
** Dangers of Climate Change:
The main danger of the current global warming is that it could:
- cause more warming,
- which will cause further warming,
- which will cause further warming and so on,
In this way, the current warming could become an uncontrollable, vicious cycle of escalating temperature. I detail several ways ways in which this could happen. (Read about these amplifying feedback processes … )
** Solutions to Climate Change
Australia can become a renewable energy superpower. This is a realistic vision for a prosperous Australia. We have the advantages of:
- abundant quality solar and wind resources,
- a widespread electric grid,
- a skilled workforce and industry sector,
- capable research organisations,
- closeness to growing Asian markets,
- a secure stable society, and
- abundant mineral resources.
Australia can grasp a secure, prosperous future by rapidly taking up renewable energy and moving to a sustainable, low-emissions economy. We could export clean energy like hydrogen, rather than fossil fuels like coal.
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. (Read More …)
- Use renewable electricity to power a high-speed rail service on the Australian east coast. (Read More …)
- Modify land use, forestry and agriculture to cut emissions. (Read More …)
- Modify buildings to cut energy use. (Read More …)
** Evidence for Climate Change: The key indicators
Sea Level Rise
Sea Level rise is discussed at the top of this page.
Carbon Dioxide Concentration in the Air
The orange line shows how the “concentration of carbon dioxide in the air” has moved over the last 400,000 years. For the 400,000 years before about 1930, the level only moved between 180 ppm and 300 ppm. Since 1930, the level has soared to above 400 ppm – and is increasing by about 2 ppm each year. (Read More ..)
Average Global Temperature
This shows how the “average global temperature” has risen between 1880 and 2015. Temperatures have risen by 0.67 degrees Centigrade per century since 1880. The hottest years shown on this record were the last two: 2014 and 2015. Note, 2016 was hotter again and 2017 was another very hot year. (Read More ..)
Arctic Sea Ice Area
The blue line shows how the “average area of Arctic ice in September” has dropped over time. The average area of sea-ice has declined by 13.7 percent per decade. (Read More ..)
Antarctica Mass Variation
The purple line shows how the “mass of ice over Antarctica” has dropped between 2002 and 2013. Antarctica has lost 147,000 million tons of ice per year – and this water is contributing to sea level rises. (Read More ..)
Greenland Mass Variation
The purple line shows how the “mass of ice over Greenland” has dropped since 2002. Greenland has lost 258,000 million tonnes of ice a year since 2003. (Read More ..)
The Acidity of our Oceans
The Acidity of our oceans is rising as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases. (Read More ..)
** Conclusions of Climate Science
The above key indicators of climate change are part of the evidence for concluding 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. (Read More: Convergence as The Basis for Scientific Confidence.)
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)
** Climate Restoration
For the 650,000 years before about 1930, 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 above about 320 ppm, the planet will continue to take in more heat from the sun than it loses to outer space, and temperatures will keep on increasing. We could easily 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 reinstate the conditions similar to those in about 1930, as suggested by the above indicators of climate change, that is:
- Cut carbon dioxide in the air from above 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 draw-down 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 irreversible warming spiral. (Read 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
- Generate jobs and skills in industries that can prosper long into the future.
- By not burning fossil fuels, our air will be cleaner. This will bring significant health and environmental benefits
- Reduce the impacts and risks of climate change
** Will solar panels save you money?
Click here to see a way of checking whether solar panels are a good investment for your home. There is a free spreadsheet to help you do the sums.
** Musical Protest
Musical Protests against Inaction on Climate: June 2016
See “Warm is Not Cool” Stephen Taberner
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2018