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Author Topic: Global Warming is WITH US  (Read 15568 times)

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AGelbert

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Amazon Becomes Net Emitter of CO2
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2013, 03:39:52 pm »
Climate Change Threatens Peru’s Economic Progress As Amazon Becomes Net Emitter of CO2  :(


Climate Change Threatens Peru’s Economic Progress As Amazon Becomes Net Emitter of CO2

Climate News Network | December 26, 2013 12:22 pm | Comments

By Alex Kirby

Peru is the country chosen to host the 2014 United Nations (UN) climate conference, a key meeting for trying to advance an ambitious plan to rein in greenhouse emissions which is planned for agreement in 2015.

Scientists think Peru’s role reversal from being a carbon sink to a net emitter of CO2 in 2012 is result of droughts in the western Amazon.

But the country has recently earned a rather more dubious distinction. In 2012, for the first time, the Peruvian Amazon became a net emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) rather than oxygen, according to the latest human development country report of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The Amazon rainforest usually acts as a carbon sink, absorbing atmospheric CO2 rather than releasing it. Scientists think this reversal of its normal behavior results from the droughts in the western Amazon in 2005 and 2010 and say it shows Peru’s vulnerability to climate change.

Peru has more than halved its poverty rate in the last decade, from 48.5 percent in 2004 to 25.8 percent in 2012. But the 2013 UNDP report said its vulnerability to a warming climate could cancel the progress it has made in directing economic growth into sustained poverty reduction.

Glaciers Going

One of the UNDP report’s authors, Maria Eugenia Mujica, said: “If we disregard [environmental] sustainability, whatever progress we have made in poverty reduction or improvement of human development will just be erased due to climate change.”

With a temperature rise in the Andes of 0.7 degrees Celsius between 1939 and 2006, Peru has already lost 39 percent of its tropical glaciers. Temperature rises of up to 6 degrees Celsius are expected in many parts of the Andes by the end of this century.

Peru’s economic success is in some cases directly linked to activities which contribute to climate change, for example illegal gold mining and logging, and the **** trade—all of them environmentally destructive, but lucrative.

“The growth does not come from education or health, but from predatory activities, like [resource] extraction and mining,” said Francisco Santa Cruz, another of the report’s authors.

Peru is trying to protect itself against the ravages of a warmer world, but the odds are against it. It recently announced plans to invest $6 billion USD in renewable energy projects: around the same time came predictions that climate change could cost between 8 percent and 34 percent of its GDP. A report by the Inter-American Development Bank has said the entire Latin American and Caribbean region will face annual damages from global warming of about $100 billion USD by 2050.

Taken for Granted

The Global Canopy Programme and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, describing climate change as “a threat multiplier,” called in a report this month for a new security agenda for Amazonia and the countries of the region.

Manuel Pulgar, Peru’s environment minister, said at the report’s launch: “Climate change is a global problem, but one that will multiply local and regional problems in unforeseeable ways.”

“In Latin America, we have taken Amazonia and its seemingly limitless water and forests as a given,” Pulgar continued. “But recent unprecedented droughts have shown us just what happens when that water security falters.

“It impacts food and energy production, it affects the wellbeing of entire populations, and it leaves governments and businesses with a big bill to pay,” Pulgar concluded. “The science is clear, so we cannot afford to miss the opportunity for positive action now.



http://ecowatch.com/2013/12/26/climate-change-threatens-perus-amazon-net-emitter-co2/
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 03:35:22 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2014, 09:54:36 pm »
New Report Affirms Dark Money Lines Utility Pockets

The rooftop solar industry closed out 2013 with a 4-0 winning streak against the monopoly utilities’ attempts to eliminate net metering. Net metering gives rooftop solar customers full retail credit for the excess electricity they deliver to the electric grid. The utility turns around and sells this electricity to homes and businesses nearby, and saves money on big costs like transmission and distribution.

Idaho, Louisiana, California, and Arizona all upheld net metering this year, siding with public opinion, consumer choice, and competition. The battle in Arizona was particularly heated, as Arizona Public Service (APS) took the fight to new levels with dark money tactics and a multimillion-dollar

campaign against rooftop solar. After reports from October exposed the utility for lying about funding anti-solar ad campaigns and phony grassroots organizations, a web of dark money surfaced.

In response, Arizonans came out in droves to support the energy choice and competition that rooftop solar provides. More than 30,000 Arizonans wrote to the state’s Corporation Commission to defend net metering, particularly notable considering there are only 18,000 rooftop solar customers in the state. On the day of the final hearing in November, more than 1,000 Arizonans descended on the Arizona Corporation Commission headquarters. Ultimately, Arizona Public Service failed to get the large solar tax they had requested, and net metering was upheld.

The Arizona activities make us question which other utilities are using dark money tactics in their state-by-state campaigns against rooftop solar. Yet other utilities and their trade association, Edison Electric Institute (EEI), remain silent on this issue, even after a request that they disavow such tactics.

A recent Washington Post article validates the pervasiveness of dark money in climate change denial and the fights against solar. The piece, titled, “The Dark Money in Climate Change,” reports:

The thrust of the study, done by Dr. Robert J. Brulle, is that climate-denial money has largely been driven underground to dark-money sources. About 75 percent of the money backing climate-denial efforts is untraceable, primarily via conservative foundations and shadowy tax-exempt groups that obscure their funding sources.

The story goes on to explain that untraceable funding to attack climate change has increased at the same time that publicly traceable funding from major industrial donors has decreased. Notable industrial donors whose public funding has dwindled of late include ExxonMobil and Koch Industries. As the Washington Post states, “You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what’s happening there.”

As we enter 2014, net metering battles are already underway in notable solar markets such as Colorado. Fortunately, while the solar industry doesn’t have the deep pockets of fossil fuel supporters, we do have the public on our side. According to a new poll, nearly four in five Colorado voters (78%) support solar net metering. What’s more, these results match other state-by-state findings across the country – including California, Arizona and Hawaii – that show overwhelming public support for rooftop solar.

The Washington Post affirms that there’s no shortage of dark money supporting monopoly utilities. It remains to be seen where and how it will surface in 2014.

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/07/new-report-affirms-dark-money-lines-utility-pockets/#s5p0Yr061R9AJgjQ.99



The above is climate denial funding. This is in LOCKSTEP with support for utility monopolies. So look to MKing's fossil fueler pals above who claim they are more "competitive" that Renewable Energy


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AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2014, 09:04:21 pm »

 NOAA: 2013 Was Tied For The Fourth-Hottest Year On Record


 By Ryan Koronowski   on  January 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm

While Americans deal with a wintery January and try to understand what a polar vortex is, one thing is clear: 2013 was one of the ten hottest years since records began in 1880. For the 37th consecutive year, global temperatures were higher than average.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported Tuesday that 2013 was tied with 2003 as the fourth-warmest year since records began in 1880 — annual land and ocean surface temperatures were 0.62°C (1.12°F) higher than average. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reported that along with 2009 and 2006, 2013 was tied for the seventh-warmest year on record, “continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.” NASA used essentially the same data — it just processes it slightly differently than NOAA does. Indeed, the difference between 4th place and 7th place is just two-hundredths of a degree. NASA had the “temperature anomaly” — how much the global temperature deviated from the average — pegged at 0.60°C and NOAA had 0.58°C.
 
The data from 2013 is just one report, but it is another data point in a trend that people can expect as the atmosphere gets more and more filled with increasing amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Gavin Schmidt, Deputy Chief at NASA GISS, told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that “long-term trends in climate are extremely robust — there is year-to-year variability, there is season-to-season variability, there are times such as today, when we can have snow, even in a globally warmed world.

“But the long-term trends are very clear, they’re not going to disappear, and people should be aware of that,” Schmidt said. He cautioned against allowing short memories and cold snaps to get in the way of the data.

Though cold weather might help people lose weight, it does not help them understand the reality of long-term trends like climate change. Studies in recent years have found that colder days make people less likely to be concerned about — and acknowledge — global warming.

Where was the extra warmth in 2013 concentrated? Almost everywhere except the middle of North America and parts of the Pacific Ocean. This map shows how observed temperatures in 2013 compared to the 1951-1980 average:


NASA2013temperaturemap
CREDIT: NASA/GSFC/Earth Observatory, NASA/GISS

A map of where these hot and cold temperature anomalies occur can help give a picture of what is happening on a global scale, and just how odd it was for parts of North America to be colder than normal. Much of the rest of the globe had blooms of reds and pinks, signifying hotter-than-average temperatures.

Watching a video that puts six decades of these maps in one constant flow shows quite clearly the warming trend facing everyone on Earth, even if some parts experience periodic cold snaps:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaJJtS_WDmI&feature=player_embedded

NASA’s Schmidt said that “the warmth that we’ve seen in the last decade clearly makes this decade the warmest in the historical period.” Videos like this help bring a trend like that to life. The complete year-by-year animation of 1880-2013 takes longer, but can be viewed here.

The geographic breakdown shows that recent warming has been concentrated in parts of the Arctic, Australia, South America, and large swaths of Asia and Africa. Many of these areas experienced record warms. January 2013 was the hottest month ever observed in Australia — last summer was the hottest one ever, followed by the third-warmest winter and warmest-ever spring. Despite some slightly colder-than-average periods in the middle of North America and over the Southern Pacific Ocean, not one region of the globe experienced record colds.



Even still, most of North America experienced warmer-than-average temperatures. Alaska had its second-warmest summer on record. Mexico had its hottest summer on record.


This trapped energy in the atmosphere does not just manifest as heat, it also affects the water cycle. Areas that tend to be wet often get wetter, because the heat allows the air to hold more moisture, increasing the strength of precipitation events. Dry areas, as they get hotter, yield more and more of their trapped moisture to evaporation, which often gets blown away, sometimes worsening droughts. In 2013, precipitation was close to average on the whole for the globe, but this fact can hide how some regions experienced record drought and some saw record flooding.

In addition to the massive flash floods on Colorado’s Front Range, many parts of the world experienced damage from extended precipitation or flash floods of their own, including: the coast of Queensland, Australia; La Plata, Argentina; Mozambique and Mali; Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland; Northwest India and Nepal; the Russian-Chinese border, and much of Mexico. Higher-than-average snowfall hit Moscow, Russia, the United Kingdom, Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Other parts of the planet had a lot less water than normal, and suffered serious and sometimes record droughts, including: Northeastern Brazil, large parts of the Amazon Basin, and the Brazilian Plateau; the Marshall Islands; New Zealand; Angola and Namibia; Southern China, and parts of California.

Another remarkable thing about 2013′s heat is that there was no El Nino — a long-term weather pattern that results in periodic warming of the equatorial Pacific region. Gavin Schmidt said Tuesday that that the long-term trends caused by an increase in greenhouse gases will continue whether there is an El Nino or a La Nina. La Nina years are going to be slightly cooler than normal, El Nino years are going to be slightly warmer than normal. 2013 was one of the warmest neutral years (not a strong El Nino or La Nina) on record.

James Hansen, now an adjunct professor at Columbia University (and formerly head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies) noted that because of the likelihood of a strong El Nino this year, 2014 or 2015 would probably see another global temperature record.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/21/3187581/noaa-nasa-2013-temperature/
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The California drought is bad. REALLY bad!
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2014, 08:43:49 pm »
The California drought is bad. REALLY bad. :(


You can see the obvious lack of snow pack from one year to the next but look closely at the valley where all the fruit and vegetables is grown: IT'S BONE DRY!  :P  :(



 California Drought Could Trigger Food Inflation
Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 06:49 AM

By Michael Carr

A lack of rainfall in California could have a nationwide impact on food prices. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the state produces almost half of U.S.-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables.

California produces about one-eighth of the nation's total farming output. The state accounts for more than 90 percent of the U.S. production of artichokes, broccoli, celery, almonds, grapes, walnuts and other crops.


http://www.moneynews.com/MichaelCarr/California-drought-fruit-vegetable/2014/01/22/id/548289#ixzz2rBQw2jp5
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AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2014, 09:13:43 pm »
UB said when questioning climate change skeptic Snowleopard (fossil fuel defender),
Quote
Why doesn't the weather you mention suggest warming due to jetstream breakout due to polar vortex weakening?

This is the part that always gets me too. The slower Jetstream due to less difference in temperature in the equatorial atmosphere and the polar one was predicted by climate scientists nearly a decade ago! I have brought this up but Snowleopard refuses to believe it. It is an effect, not a cause. The temperature gradient is reduced between the poles and the equator. That takes energy OUT of the Jetstream's velocity. The Jetstream begins to meander and produce oxbows that move along the northern hemisphere producing horrendous temperature extremes. This was ALL PREDICTED by climate scientists as an EFFECT of the CO2 CAUSE that brings Global Warming.

That SAME oxbow pattern, since it has been so extreme in sending arctic air at us in the past 50 days or so will probably give us a February that will break all records for being so HOT.

That's the way it works, Snowleopard. As to early frosts, I can tell you that the frosts in Vermont are consistently coming later, not earlier. But the main issue here is that NOAA figures show a warming planet and you don't believe their figures. We can sit here and through anecdotes at each other until the cows come home but the fact reminds that the average temperature is rising, not descending.

I realize that none of us here have the power to do much about it but regardless of how much you think the facts are "fixed" to hoax a GW scenario, Cui Bono (i.e. Who stands, or stood, to gain from a crime, and so might have been responsible for it?)???

DOING NOTHING and adopting a WAIT AND SEE attitude BENEFITS THE CORRUPT STATUS QUO! WHY don't you see that?  Do you LIKE the way our laws and government and energy policy are NOW? According to everything you write here, the answer is NO! But then you turn around and advocate doing NOTHING. That does not compute!

EVEN IF the global warming thing was bull**** ( I WISH!), destroying the fossil and nuclear fuel industries is a noble goal, is it not? Al Capone was finally nailed on income tax evasion even though he had murdered hundreds. Get it?  ;)

It will be a cold day in hell before the energy you use to feed yourself will be at a reasonable price unless the centralized energy monsters running this planet into the ground are not taken apart. By advocating inaction, you are cutting off you nose to spite your face. Think about it.
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7EHvfaY8Zs&feature=player_embedded


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en9Cz-kdbvc&feature=player_embedded
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 10:32:20 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2014, 02:24:03 pm »
Psalm 27

7  Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice:
have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
 
 
8  When thou saidst, Seek ye my face;         
my heart said unto thee,
Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
 
 
9  Hide not thy face far from me;       
put not thy servant away in anger:
thou hast been my help;
leave me not, neither forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
 
 
10  When my father and my mother forsake me,         
then the LORD will take me up.
 
 
11  Teach me thy way, O LORD,         
and lead me in a plain path,
because of mine enemies.
 
 
12  Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies:     
for false witnesses are risen up against me,
and such as breathe out cruelty.
 

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2014, 11:26:47 pm »


Exploring CRUTEM4 with Google Earth

Filed under: Climate Science Instrumental Record — group @

4 February 2014 -

 See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/02/exploring-crutem4-with-google-earth/#sthash.KazZ5CWj.dpuf
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Why You Shouldn’t Hope for an Early Spring
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2014, 02:12:48 pm »
"False springs" lethal to vulnerable plants, animals

Why You Shouldn’t Hope for an Early Spring


Increasingly common false spring events are leaving crops and plants vulnerable to subsequent freezes, creating a cascade of consequences for ecosystems

www.ensia.com, Feb, 2014

February 10, 2014 — Observers in Massachusetts and Wisconsin reported that flowering came earlier than it had since Henry David Thoreau took note of when plants began to bloom near Walden Pond in the 1850s or since Aldo Leopold observed flowering times at “The Shack” in Sauk County inThe spring of 2012 was the earliest recorded across the United States since 1900. In many states, signs of spring arrived almost three to four weeks earlier than expected. Unseasonable warmth prompted unusually early blooms, particularly on fruiting trees in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions.  the 1930s and ’40s.

Then, in what has come to be recognized as a characteristic of climate change — unusual variability — the exceptionally early warm temperatures were followed abruptly by a hard freeze.

“We thought 2010 was weird. But 2012 was really weird,” says Jake Weltzin, executive director of the USA National Phenology Network.

Unusually early warming, known as “false spring,” is becoming increasingly common as climate changes. Its effects are also prompting increasing concern. For when warm temperatures awaken dormant plants and animals prematurely, they can throw the timing of seasonal events crucial to an entire ecological food web off kilter. The results can cause devastating harm to both wild and cultivated species. False spring events have caused enormous losses in U.S. fruit crops, damaged large swaths of forest and decimated sensitive California butterfly populations.

Distinct Trend

Naturalists and scientists, farmers and gardeners have long taken note of when plants leaf out and bud each year — part of the study of seasonal events known as phenology. Scientists and more casual backyard observers alike have noted an ongoing shift toward earlier springs across North America over the past 50 to 100 years. At the same time, a growing number of scientific studies have documented the advancing emergence of buds, blooms and hibernating animals.

Since the early 1900s, about two-thirds of the species studied have shifted toward earlier spring blooming, breeding or migrating. This is true for every major group of species studied, including amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates and mammals as well as trees, nonwoody plants, corals and plankton. These changes have been observed on every major continent and ocean, according to Camille Parmesan, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, whose research focuses on the biological impacts of climate change.

Early buds and blooms killed by a hard frost can mean failure to flower and fruit for the rest of that year.  :P  :( The USA National Phenology Network, which gathers leaf-out and bloom data along with information about when species migrate and reproduce from across the U.S., has helped confirm that the advancing onset of spring and precipitous shifts between warm and cold temperatures are part of ongoing trends. While the network was officially established in the mid-2000s, observations recorded by its contributing scientists and volunteers date back to the 1950s. Some of the longest running records, which chronicle first leaf growth of honeysuckle and lilacs across the lower 48 states, show a noticeable shift toward earlier dates since the 1980s. Like the temperatures recorded as part of climate change research, the leaf-out dates show great variability from year to year but the trend is distinct — earlier warmer temperatures and earlier first buds and blooms.

While occasional false springs are not new, what is new in recent years is the combination of increasingly warmer springs and extreme temperature swings, overall shorter times throughout fall and winter of below-freezing temperatures, and the altered precipitation patterns associated with global climate change.

The fall and winter warm spells in both 2010 and 2012, for example, were longer than others. This phenomenon increases the likelihood that plants will emerge from dormancy prematurely, producing young leaves, buds and blooms. When unusually mild temperatures and subsequent plant growth are followed by freezing temperatures, early buds and blooms killed by a hard frost can mean failure to flower and fruit for the rest of that year. And, in addition to the acute impacts on fragile plant parts, early warming can also cause problems by truncating the winter cooling period many plant seeds need for proper germination, plants need for budding and blooming, and hibernating animals need to complete their yearly cycles in good health.

Ripple Effect

The prospect of a freeze after a crop has leafed out, bloomed or set fruit presents obvious problems for farmers. The 2007 false spring, for example, hit agricultural crops and deciduous trees in the U.S. Midwest to Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions particularly hard, causing crop damage — particularly to fruit trees and berries — that prompted a request for a disaster declaration in North Carolina. In 2012, losses in fruit tree crops in Michigan due to the false spring bloom and freeze cycles were estimated at half a billion dollars.

The timing of leaf and flower development has effects that ripple throughout an ecosystem because these changes prompt the flow of sap, nectar and nutrients within plants and so affect the availability of shelter and sustenance for other organisms. False spring can harm not only the plants that put forth early sprouts, leaves or blooms, but other species and entire ecosystems. The timing of leaf and flower development has effects that ripple throughout an ecosystem because these changes prompt the flow of sap, nectar and nutrients within plants and so affect the availability of shelter and sustenance for other organisms. This can have profound consequences, particularly when species emerge from hibernation or during migration.

Desynchronization of seasonal events has been reported around the world, from the American Southeast to New England, and the Rockies to the Tibetan Plateau and across Europe. Rocky Mountain marmots have emerged to find the plants they rely on for food buried beneath not yet fully melted snow. Butterflies in California’s Sierra Nevada have wriggled out of their cocoons in what seemed like spring warmth, only to be felled by the freeze that followed.

Another disturbing effect of false spring is the damage it can cause to plant and tree cover.
If a false spring freeze substantially reduces the success of trees’ summer leaf cover across wide swaths of landscape as it did in the U.S. Southeast in 2007, it can also reduce the amount of carbon and other nutrients those trees can process. This can lead to impaired soil health and also jeopardize the health of insects and other organisms that rely on plants’ nutrient cycling. And depending on which plants a false spring freeze affects, such events could also alter the balance of under- and overstory plants, thus introducing other potential ecosystem disruptions.

Anthony Barnosky, University of California, Berkeley professor of integrative biology and author of Heatstroke: Nature in the Age of Global Warming — a 2009 book that examines the effects of climate change on various species in the wild — says when trying to understand global warming’s implications, including those related to the false spring phenomenon, it’s important to consider how different affected species interact. “There are all sorts of complexities we need to be looking at in more detail,” he says.

Trying to Adjust

“Species’ primary response to climate change is to move around the landscape and try to reclaim their climate space,” Barnosky explains. In other words: they try to find conditions that replicate those of the places where they had previously thrived. Indeed, University of Texas at Austin’s Parmesan reported in 2013 that a summary of numerous research studies conducted around the world over the past 10 years shows that since the early 1900s, approximately half of all species studied have shifted their ranges closer to the poles — between about 30 and 995 miles poleward — or upwards in altitude, as much as about 1,300 feet, seeking cooler temperatures.

From a food production standpoint, farmers around the world are trying to adjust to the growing likelihood of false springs by planting in ways that accommodate both early warming and temperature and moisture extremes, says Sharon Muzli Gourdji, postdoctoral fellow in energy and environment at Stanford University. Varieties of wheat are being bred for heat tolerance and other variables that come with climate change so they can endure warming temperatures in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South America as well as the challenges of both warming and extreme variability in the Northern Hemisphere. “Farmers are adapting,” says Parmesan.

Meanwhile, wild species are on the move in search of conditions suitable for their entire life cycle under increasingly unpredictable circumstances. But when success at a particular life stage depends on a steady transition from one season’s conditions to the next — a progression false spring disrupts — that’s when many species are now beginning to encounter difficulties. “The phenology issue could be a really big problem,” says Barnosky.

The consensus among scientists studying climate change is that the disruptions in what have been considered normal patterns of seasonal temperature and precipitation set in motion by the build-up of greenhouse gases are with us for some time to come.According to Parmesan, we “don’t have any evidence yet of any evolutionary changes of the kind that would suggest species are adapting” to extreme temperature swings despite the fact that some species may already be capable of dealing with such extremes. Some species are responding to or accommodating these changes, she explains, but that does not necessarily mean an evolutionary adaptation. Weltzin, at the USA National Phenology Network, uses the term “adjustment.”

The consensus among scientists studying climate change is that the disruptions in what have been considered normal patterns of seasonal temperature and precipitation set in motion by the build-up of greenhouse gases are with us for some time to come. Even if there were a precipitous decrease of such emissions worldwide, what’s now in the atmosphere would continue to affect global climate patterns for years to come. Given this reality, early and false springs are also likely to become increasingly familiar phenomena. So among scientists’ next steps are to learn not only more about how species are responding to these events but also how to predict them.

While predicting false springs can’t help wild species in the same ways it can agriculture — or solve the root causes of the problem — it may point the way to conservation efforts that could help protect some vulnerable species. As Parmesan said of farmers’ adaptive strategies, “It may be very important to get that right.”

http://ensia.com/features/why-you-shouldnt-hope-for-an-early-spring/
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AGelbert

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Satellite data reveal the rapid darkening of the Arctic

Forty-five years after scientists hypothesized that global warming would make Arctic Ocean surfaces darker, Scripps team determines how much the planet’s albedo has diminished
Feb 17, 2014

The retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is diminishing Earth’s albedo, or reflectivity, by an amount considerably larger than previously estimated,  :o according to researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

As the sea ice melts, its white reflective surface is replaced by a relatively dark ocean surface. This diminishes the amount of sunlight being reflected back to space, causing the Earth to absorb an increasing amount of solar energy.

The Arctic has warmed by 2° C (3.6° F) since the 1970s. The summer minimum Arctic sea ice extent has decreased by 40 percent during the same time period. These factors have decreased the region’s albedo.

Scripps graduate student Kristina Pistone and climate scientists Ian Eisenman and Veerabhadran Ramanathan used satellite measurements to calculate changes in the albedo of the Arctic region associated with the changing sea ice cover. Albedo is measured as a percentage. A perfectly black surface has an albedo of zero percent and a perfectly white surface has an albedo of 100 percent. The albedo of fresh snow is typically between 80 and 90 percent whereas the albedo of the ocean surface is less than 20 percent. Clouds and other factors also influence the albedo of the Earth.

The researchers calculated that the albedo of the Arctic region fell from 52 percent to 48 percent between 1979 and 2011. 

 “It’s fairly intuitive to expect that replacing white, reflective sea ice with a dark ocean surface would increase the amount of solar heating,” said Kristina Pistone. “We used actual satellite measurements of both albedo and sea ice in the region to verify this and to quantify how much extra heat the region has absorbed due to the ice loss.  It was quite encouraging to see how well the two datasets – which come from two independent satellite instruments – agreed with each other.”

The National Science Foundation-funded study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 45 years after atmospheric scientists Mikhail Budyko and William Sellers hypothesized that the Arctic would amplify global warming as sea ice melted.

The Scripps study is the first to use direct satellite measurements to assess the changes in albedo associated with retreating sea ice. Previous studies have relied on computer models. The Scripps team used NASA’s CERES satellite instruments as well as observations of sea ice cover made with other satellites.

The researchers found that the magnitude of surface darkening has been two to three times as large as that found in previous studies. They also compared their results to model simulations to assess the capability of computer models to portray and forecast albedo changes.

“Scientists have talked about Arctic melting and albedo decrease for nearly 50 years,” said Ramanathan, a distinguished professor of climate and atmospheric sciences who has previously conducted similar research on the global dimming effects of aerosols. “This is the first time this darkening effect has been documented on the scale of the entire Arctic.”


 “Based on our results, the albedo forcing from Arctic sea ice retreat is quite large,” said Eisenman, an assistant professor of climate dynamics. “Averaged over the entire globe, it’s one-fourth as large as the direct radiative forcing from CO2 during the same period. This suggests that Arctic sea ice retreat has been an important player in the global warming that we’ve observed during recent decades. Although more work is needed, a possible implication of these results is that the amplifying feedback of Arctic sea ice changes on global warming is larger than previously expected.”

 

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About Scripps Institution of Oceanography Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today on every continent and in every ocean. The institution has a staff of about 1,400 and annual expenditures of approximately $170 million from federal, state, and private sources. Scripps operates robotic networks and one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration. Birch Aquarium at Scripps serves as the interpretive center of the institution and showcases Scripps research and a diverse array of marine life through exhibits and programming for more than 425,000 visitors each year. Learn more at scripps.ucsd.edu.

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news
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AGelbert

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Research Highlight: Scripps and NOAA Researchers Take Flight to Observe Atmospheric River

Precipitation provided partial relief to drought-stricken West
 
Feb 25, 2014

Nice graphic at link:   8)

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/research-highlight-scripps-and-noaa-researchers-take-flight-observe-atmospheric-river
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