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Editorial: Crossing a threshold on global warming

A sobering new study published Oct. 9 in the journal Nature charts how hot our planet will get in the years ahead. The large-scale study out of the University of Hawaii predicts when the world’s cities and ecosystems will be subject to unprecedented warming — and find themselves in entirely new climates.

The report says that starting in about a decade, average temperatures in Kingston, Jamaica, will hit levels not yet seen and will not decline. Other places will join Kingston: Singapore in 2028. Mexico City in 2031. Cairo in 2036. Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043.

And the whole world in 2047, the report’s authors say, unless world governments act immediately to limit emissions of greenhouse gases from the burning of coal, oil and natural gases. If they do respond, irreversible temperature shifts could be delayed until 2069.

The research, guided by biological geographer Camilo Mora in Hawaii, finds that major change will arrive not some time in the future, but within a generation. A former head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called Mora’s work both innovative and sobering.

This month, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey. D-Mass., and others discussed climate change research adopted by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. The senator and his cohorts said failure to address climate change could cost Massachusetts $9 billion in gross domestic product and nearly 38,000 jobs between 2010 and 2050, and $22 billion and nearly 100,000 jobs in New England.

“Massachusetts is already feeling the impact of climate change,” Markey said. “Sea levels are rising, storms are becoming more severe, precipitation more erratic.”

No matter what governments do, the report suggests, global warming can only be slowed, not stopped. The finding is grim and the need for action against greenhouse gases remains clear.

Today - Record global sea ice since records began 35 years ago: From NASAs own website: "Antarctic sea ice reached record high levels, culminating in a Southern Hemisphere winter maximum extent of 19.47 million square kilometers (7.52 million square miles) on September 22 2013. The September 2013 monthly average was also a record high, at 19.77 million square kilometers (7.63 million square miles) slightly higher than the previous record in 2012." After 35 years of record global warming we have record sea ice levels. How will the seas rise 6 feet if all the water is freezing? Maybe in 40 years Springfield will be where Long Island Sound starts but the ice sheets better start melting fast for that to happen.

Like the caged monkey that he is, Gary is determined to relieve stress by flinging volley after volley of his own filth at the wall that is the Hampshire Gazette. I am too busy to keep this up, so I'll leave cleanup to the other zookeepers for the time being. My final squeegee for now is just to observe that anyone interested in the last "fact" can see what discussion of the ice expansion looks like without the idiot filter here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/09/23/antarctic-sea-ice-hit-35-year-record-high-saturday/ note especially the line: "The increasing ice is especially perplexing since the water beneath the ice has warmed, not cooled." also note: "ultimately, it’s apparent the relationship between ozone depletion, climate warming from greenhouse gases, natural variability, and how Antarctic ice responds is all very complicated. In sharp contrast, in the Arctic, there seems to be a relatively straight forward relationship between temperature and ice extent." Of course, Gary's mind can't really wrap itself around "very complicated," so maybe we can excuse him. Fling away, buddy.

Sorry to keep beating a dead horse, but the particular way in which Gary was wrong this time provides a teachable moment on what happens when real scholarship gets misrepresented to gullible people by cynical right wing bloggers. So, I looked at the individual authors of the article that is grossly mis-represented by Gary's hero MArc Murano. Here's an additional text by Lee Kump, which opens with "Surprising new evidence suggests the pace of Earth's most abrupt prehistoric warm-up paled in comparison with what we face today." it is titled THE LAST GREAT GLOBAL WARMING and is available online free. See here on modeling by Ying Cui that further demonstrates fast hearing trend: http://www.planetnext.net/index.php/tag/ying-cui/. And here's Andy ridgewell et. al with a pro-active solution for how to deal with the fact that "The likelihood that continuing greenhouse-gas emissions will lead to an unmanageable degree of climate change" http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(08)01680-1 These are the facts. Marc Murano twists these people's work to make it look like they are climate change deniers. And dumb people like Gary are only too happy to believe him.

So, since I am a paleontology buff and have access to academic journals through work, I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at the article Gary mentioned and see if it says what he and Mr. Morano think its says. Now, to access this article, you need an institutional password or have to pay 30 bucks. So Mr. Morano is safe in assuming that someone like Gary is too lazy to actually check for himself, and dumb enough to believe anything he is told by a safe right-wing source. Mr. Morano quotes the article as saying: "The total amount of carbon needed [to cause a mass extinction] exceeds the modern fossil fuel reservoir.’ This is predictably misleading, and misrepresents the article entirely. Note that the text in the brackets is Mr. Morano’s. In fact, the article isn’t about mass extinctions in general, it is about a specific extinction event, the End Permian extinction, which wiped out 90 percent of the species on earth, and is generally attributed to massive volcanic activity (not an asteroid, like with the dinosaurs). So, yes, this particular catastrophic event, which involved massive geological events that lasted millions of years, managed to pump more carbon into the atmosphere than a hundred years of human activity. The only thing that the article says about contemporary climate change is that this ancient event might not be the best way to model it, since, you know, it was caused by volcanic eruptions that lasted millions of years and not fossil fuel burning. This is must to give anyone not familiar with Mr. Morano’s clown show an idea of the type of garbage that Gary and his ilk consider to be “science.”

I went to the linked article too and either way the conclusion is that there is not enough fossil fuel reserves to release enough CO2 to cause mass extinctions. Thats what I quoted and thats what Mr. Murano summarized. I don't get your point.

No. There is not enough CO2 to cause the PERMIAN MASS EXTINCTION, not mass extinctions in general. That's what the article says. Also, the "linked" article was a post by another blogger, not the actual academic article, which I had to title search on another database. Did you even finish middle school? Do you not realize that the text in the brackets is not original to the article and was inserted by your buddy?

No mass extinction - even if all the fossil fuels available are burned - according to new research (taken from an article linked to at Climatedepot.com). "Climate alarmists have claimed that Earth is on its way to the 6th mass extinction as a result of use of fossil fuels. However, a paper published today in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology finds that "The total amount of carbon needed [to cause a mass extinction] exceeds the modern fossil fuel reservoir." In other words, even if the highly-exaggerated effects of CO2 on climate were correct, and even if the entire reserve of fossil fuels was burned, a mass extinction from climate change still would not occur." In other news today I see the government of Brazil sold development rights to 12 billioin barrels of oil to a group lead by Shell, France's Total and CNOOC, the Chinese state oil company. It is estimated that over 100 billion barrels of oil exist in the Brazilian offshore field. Drill baby Drill!

GOOD Gary! Stick to the misinformation spoonfed to you by Mr. Morano on Climatedepot.com. That's more your speed. Does Mr. Morano even wipe your chin when you dribble? I bet he does! And Marc will never betray you like those mean ol' legitimate scientists from the UN study did. They're jerks for having led you on into believing you could cite legitimate science. Also, why does whatever the Brazilian government chose to develop or not to develop have to do with your being wrong or with the facts of climate change? Is it supposed to hurt the delicate sensibilities of environmentalists to know that the stewards of developing economies are making certain choices that they think are prudent even if environmentalists might not agree with? If anything, it's situations like this that environemtalists tend to turn into causes. So why even bring it up in this particular argument. Is it that, when you lack the ability to make a real argument, you turn to saying "Hahahaha! It doesn't matter what you think because people will drill anyway! Nana nana boo boo!" Good, solid, six-year-old argument.

My point about Brazil is that no matter what the greenies and warmists hope for, the demand for fossil fuels and cheap energy, particularly in the developing world, is insatiable. Get used to a planet with 8-10 billion people and 6 degrees hotter if thats where global warming caused by the buildup of man made CO2 is headed. We in the first world (the white world I might add) have no right to tell the other darker skinned 6 billion people on earth that they have to live a life that uses a fraction of the energy that we use (unless you are a racist). They have every right to the same material lifestyle and same energy that everybody in Northampton enjoys. Are you going to tell a billion people in Africa that they have to continue to live on a dollar a day for ever? What about the 1.2 billion Indians? What about a billion South Americans? What about a billion Chinese? All of these people are developing and have an insatialbe desire for the same material comforts we have which are made possible by cheap carbon based energy. As for dismissing climate depot, Murano just links to other articles like the one in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology which is an academic journal so I don't know how you can dismiss him outright just because move on dot org does. Please- thats George Soros's website. Nothing more than socialist propoganda. Same thing with media matters.

Gary my dear, I would saythat the first part of your rant comes close to making a valid argument, if I thought for a second that you gave a rat's behind for the people that you so charmingly refer to as " darker skinned 6 billion people." Believe me, I am a lot more sympathetic for people in the developing world who strive for better lives than I am for smug bourgeois liberals. But I am not sympathetic for disingenuous conservative hacks who presume to speak for these folks in one breath and rant against their tax money being spent on social safety nets at home in another. And I have even less patience for people who think that their misinformed opinion trumps science, and who seek out junk sites to "prove" their point. A propos to that, I read the climate article a little while ago. See my previous post.

By the way, this is a really spurious connection. The "mass extinction" is not really a fair representation of the full range of o climate change arguments. OK, there are not enough fossil fuels to fill the air with the same ammount of CO2 that you get then the earth gets hit an asteroid the size of Texas. But it could still get pretty bad, even with the fossil fuels we have left, what with sea levels and all. And, I don't know about you, but if the bar for ecological damage is being set at the earth being hit by an asteroid the size of Texas, we probably really are doomed.

Don't believe everything you read. In the 70's the Libtards were preaching global cooling. A scurilous frontman such as Al Gore for global warming. You folks are unbelievable, at best.

And you're so articulate that you're clearly a very smart person who thinks through their own political ideals. Is it safe to guess from your handle that you're one of that sad little cluster of a half dozen cattle that gets together for an occasional "don't tread on me" playdate on the corner of Main and King street?

By the way, the "climate depot" page you linked is run by a laughing stock called Marc Morano. He is well known for a list of 500 "scientists" who deny climate change. The list includes such luminaries as a number of local network news weathermen.

I just picked up on another sad little "trick" of yours. You try to sneak the sentence "As for the UN science report what I predicted is exactly what happened" in after 4 lines of incoherent rambling. That's just a lie. You were, in fact, saying that the study would show that there was no long-term climate change, and when it proved otherwise, you did the classic pathetic shift to blaming a conspircy. Because it's always a conspiracy when you are proved wrong or fail. Yes, you're right, there are people there who dispute climate change, and some of them are even qualified scientists. But really, the most prominent climate skeptics are part of a shrinking minority. I know the idea of a climate skeptic who is the "lone sane voice in the wilderness" is near and dear to the hearts of conservatives like you. It's consistent with an identity from which you seem to draw most of your self-esteme. But the sad part is that you conservative sheep don't realize how the "lone voice in the wilderness" ideal has been cultivated among the ignorant by the conservative media as a way to make dimwits like you feel empowered--and essentially bulletproof to argument--despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It helps the small minority of Americans who identify as teabaggers to deny that they are a minority, and enjoy the delusion that the dregs sent to congress by gerymandered districts represent "the american people." And no ammount of argument convinces them otherwise. Gary, buddy, this is no special insight, everyone who responds to you is aware of exactly what I just described about your mentality. If people humor you at all, it's because teabagger baiting is an entertaining way to kill five minutes. Sort of like getting a cat to chase a laser pointer.

I never said they were going to change their conclusion that global warming was going to happen. I said they were in a panic because the empirical evidence from the past 10 years did not support any of their models and that the governments (that want to impose carbon taxes) pushed them to change their language to play down the results that were inconsistent with their models. Thus they changed the likely range of future global warming to 2-6 degress. They also changed the time span over which their models will work to 40 years. Its all consistent with what I was saying. Over time this is going to be a damaging report to the warmist agenda no matter how it was spun. Espeically if we see no more significant global warming over the next 10 years.

"Over time." Hmmm. I see you learned a thing or two about trying to hide your ignorance since September. Back then you posted, "More news on how Global warmng is not happening as predicted by the climate experts (see link below). The world is actually predicted to enter a cooling phase in the next 15 years according to a yet to be released UN study." Maybe there is some way that you can twist this into some bizarre argument that you actually were just pointing out minor re-adjustments of expectations. But the fact is, in the context of everything else you wrote, you were referring to the "yet to be released" study that would apparently debunk climate change. Of course, said study is actually seen as a landmark in demonstrating global warming, notwithstanding shorter-term cooling trends. At least this time, you seem to have deferred "proof" of your argument to something that would be evident "in the next ten years." I guess you've prudently provided yourself with a decade long grace period before you are definitively proved wrong. Clever! Although admitting to everyone that you get your science from Marc Morano's site gives pretty definitive insight on your IQ right now. But it's OK. Maybe you and "freedom" can get together for tea. I think you'd find each other comforting.

I never saw a study that predicted an ice free Arctic ocean for this year (which of course doesn't mean such a claim was not made). I do know that in September 2012 the Arctic ice shelf reached its lowest extent in modern records, and for the first time in centuries it would have been possible to circumnavigate the Arctic circle. September 2013's ice limit was greater than September 2012's but still well below the 1981-2010 average. I believe the report Mr. Gary is garbling is for the ANTARCTIC ice shelf. According to the website for the National Snow and Ice Data Center (a website of scientific data, not of political agendas): "Antarctic sea ice extent reached 7.52 million square miles on September 22 [2013], a record high maximum extent relative to the satellite record, and ... 3.6% higher than the 1981 to 2010 average Antarctic maximum, representing an ice edge that is 35 kilometers (approximately 22 miles) further north on average." Of course September in Antarctica is the end of winter, whereas it's the end of summer in the Arctic. How all this fits in with the overall global climate change scenario is complicated and, yes, involves some hypotheses as well as factual data. It also requires critical thinking, something his constant correspondence with the Gazette leads me to believe is not Mr. Gary's strong suit.

You guys pick and chose in your response as always. What about the overall concept of a failed model? You didn't really address that point. Thats what I was trying to get at. You ignore that basic fact because you know its true (that all the previous models were complete failures). All the scientific models that were supposed to be accurate 10-15 years ago are now discarded so are we supposed to think the current models are any better because they come from scientific experts? Maybe the underlying assumptions that the models are based on are the problem. Thats what I'm getting at. And you fail to respond to the issue of governmental calls for carbon taxes and what affect that will have. You pick and choose what to see. As for the UN science report what I predicted is exactly what happened. The politicians influenced the final report to make it seem like less of a change but it did lower the range of estimates to more like a 2 degree increase and also said we need to use 40 year ranges before making any conclusions (except of course when they conclude its imperative to implement carbon controls - for that we have enough information from the current models to know the world is coming to an end. Heres a good site to go to for alternatives to the warmist version of the global warming debate. And lets not forget, the gazette opinion was that the world is going to get very hot very soon and we need to do something now about it, which the science just does not support. http://www.climatedepot.com/

Did this study use the same "scientific" modeling that predicted an ice free artic ocean for this past summer - when in fact the artic ice shelf reached a new maiximum? Did it use the same models that predicted much higher temperatures for the past decade when in fact global warming has stopped? How valuabe are these 'scientific' models they are using when every prediction they've led to proved inaccurate at best? Maybe we should spend bilions of more research dollars to find out. But don't panic yet (please). The world is not coming to an end either way. But I'm sure we'll need lots of carbon taxes imposed on us in the name of saving the world.

Your memory seems to be as limited as your ability to come up with your own argument. Just a few months ago, you were harping about how an upcoming and very authoritative scientific study would disprove global warming by demonstrating a recent cooling trend. Of course, when that study came out, it established that the cooling trend was a short-term process within a longer trend of climate change. People may dispute that study--and a couple well-known contrarians in the field have--but my point is that you are only too happy to refer to science when it seems to back up your point, but dismiss it when it doesn't. That defeats the whole purpose of objectivity. But of course, like I've said, everything you post is more about the release you acchieve through barfing contemptuous language in front of an audience than about any actually message that can be derived from your post. I wonder if you actually realize that putting quotation marks around "science" does not invalidate it. The fact that the English language gives you tools for refering to science in contemptuous terms doesn't mean that you automatically have some magical ability that trumps the proof of people who actually study these things. Also, like most Fox news people, you are very adept at using weasly language to mis-represent these arguments. You use the phrase "modeling that predicted an ice free artic ocean for this past summer." I assume that you are referring to the NASA study released last summer which predicts, at some point decades in the future, that the arctic will be ice free in the summer. Given that the NASA people admitted that there was uncertainty about the long term impacts of the trend, and are simply pointing out that a trend is evident, the jury is still out on that one. And, given that you have some investment, real or imaginary, in fracking stocks, you sort of undermine your own credibility on this one.

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