Climate Change

Canadian wildfire smoke causes unhealthy air across much of North America

From the news story in the New York Times:

"In a country known for its picturesque landscapes and orderliness, the out-of-control wildfires have stoked unease and underlined the perils of global warming. Scientific research suggests that heat and drought associated with climate change are major reasons for the increase in bigger and more intense fires buffeting the country.

The fires have also underscored the interconnectedness between Canada and its neighbor to the south with smoke from the hundreds of wildfires blazing in eastern Canada casting a hazy pall over New York City and polluting air quality from Minnesota to Massachusetts."

From the reader comments to the NYT news story:

"We’ve been seeing numerous impacts catching many scientists by surprise with how soon they are occurring. In 2014 two independent teams of scientists reported that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is likely irreversibly retreating. 3.3 meters of sea level rise equivalent of ice there is being destabilized by a warming ocean.

The paleoclimate record indicates that increasing global temperature by just 1.5-2 °C above preindustrial temperature commits the system to an eventual 6-9 meters of sea level rise, a large fraction of which could arrive within the next 100 years.

Corals may not survive this century of warming and acidifying oceans, and droughts and floods linked to global warming—and conflict linked to those droughts—have already caused four countries to face famine.

Because of the decades to millennial long lag between a climate forcing and our feeling the full effect, due to the thermal inertia of the ocean and response time of the ice sheets, the effects we are feeling now are largely just the beginning of the result of emissions from the 20th century. And emissions have been increasing steadily for decades.

We are also seeing numerous amplifying feedbacks: loss of albedo (heat reflectivity) from ice melt, permafrost melt, methane release and massive wildfires; the Earth is starting to wrest any possible further human control of the climate away.

We're about out of time on this, if not already, and leaders are still acting as if this is not a planetary emergency."

-Erik Frederiksen
 Asheville, NC

UN Panel on Climate Change says earth close to passing point of no-return on catastrophic global warming

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a major report indicating that the world is blowing past its chances to retain control over global warming.  The situation is already dire.  All hope will be lost if the industrial nations do not take immediate critical action to move away from fossil fuel usage.

Washington Post article .