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April 16 News: Heat Wave Prompts ‘Dire Warnings’ From Boston Marathon Officials; Glaciers Still Shrinking Rapidly

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"April 16 News: Heat Wave Prompts ‘Dire Warnings’ From Boston Marathon Officials; Glaciers Still Shrinking Rapidly"

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Our round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Please post more links below.

A forecast for intense heat during Monday’s Boston Marathon prompted race officials to issue dire warnings over the weekend, along with the offer of a deferment for runners willing to wait until next year. [Wall Street Journal]

To figure out what is likely to happen to Earth’s climate this century, scientists are looking 3 million years into the past. [Reuters]

“The glaciers are still shrinking – and rapidly”: With glaciers and ice sheets covering such a diverse range of latitudes (from the tropics to the poles) and altitudes (from sea level to over 6,000 metres), it is not surprising that there are regional variations in their behaviour. Such variability should not, however, distract from the broader and more important story unfolding, which is one of profound and likely irreversible changes to global land and sea ice cover. [Guardian]

Scientists from the United States Geological Survey have cautiously weighed in on a subject that has sparked public concern in some parts of the country: spates of small earthquakes in oil- and gas-producing areas. [New York Times]

Solar panels prices have kept marching lower this year, extending steep declines seen in 2011 and keeping pressure on hard-hit manufacturers who have struggled to eke out profits, industry experts said. [Reuters]

To the world’s military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts. [Washington Post]

The recent setbacks in UK clean energy policy reflect deep confusion over the main governing party’s direction on green policy. One prominent Tory MP said: “As someone who’s convinced by the science, and wants to tackle climate change, I’m finding myself an endangered species within my own party.” [Guardian]

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23 Responses to April 16 News: Heat Wave Prompts ‘Dire Warnings’ From Boston Marathon Officials; Glaciers Still Shrinking Rapidly

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    I’m a little confused by the Washington Post citation that military leaders are aware of climate change through observing the melting Arctic, which is driving them to prepare for resource wars up there.

    The main resources in the Arctic are gas and oil. If the military was actually aware of climate change, they would suggest a globally negotiated moratorium on fossil fuel development in the Arctic. Instead, they appear to see it as a source of military “business”.

    • Brooks Bridges says:

      There you go being rational again.

    • prokaryotes says:

      I think you can not generalize “the military”. Aware they are since starting measuring sea ice thickness during the cold war area?

    • Mark E says:

      You’re overlooking

      (A) transportation routes,
      (B) migration of global agriculture poleward
      (C) super mass migration that direction too
      (D) strategic metals only now being located as ice recedes
      (E) new fisheries as ice recedes

      I do not blame the military for planning action up there. Their job is to anticipate likely orders in the real world. Instead of bashing those guys (mostly guys anyway) how about applauding them for being no-bullshit global warming realists? Their visionless leaders on the other hand…. I’d say what I think but I’m trying to keep my words polite.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      ‘Violence and death is our business, and business is good’.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Chinese Vice Energy Minister visits Vestas
    On Tuesday the 20th of September 2011, Liu Qi, the Deputy Director of China’s National Energy Administration visited Vestas to discuss China’s transition to a renewable energy future. http://video.vestas.com/video/3373476/chinese-vice-energy-minister

  3. Joan Savage says:

    Drought in U.K. Adds to Inflation Fears (WSJ)

    http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2012/04/16/drought-in-u-k-adds-to-inflation-fears/

    and

    Drought in England Could Last Beyond Christmas – agency
    “The impact of climate change on rainfall patterns is hard to predict – but it could mean more intense bursts of rain in summer and longer wet periods in winter.

    Hotter summers are also more likely, however, leading to droughts. Dry and compacted ground due to drought also means that there is a greater risk of flash flooding if there is heavy rainfall. Due to these extremes, the government is preparing a national adaptation plan which should be published next year.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/15/uk-drought-idUSL6E8FD1UP20120415

    • Sasparilla says:

      A tough situation in the U.K. – that forecast that the drought could last through the end of the year is a bit frightening.

      • nyc-tornado-10 says:

        It has been extremely dry in the new york area in recent months. Combined with the very warm winter, ground moisture is very low. We need significant rain soon, or the drought will become serious. Last year was the 3rd wettest year on record.

  4. Spike says:

    Desperate times for farmers in SE England as drought tightens its grip

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/16/drought-farm-water-desperation

  5. From Peru says:

    Nature bombshell:

    “Aerosols implicated as a prime driver of twentieth-century North Atlantic climate variability”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10946.html

    Now it seems, according to the improved climate model called HadGEM2-ES(Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model version 2 Earth System configuration) that THE ATLANTIC MULTIDECADAL OSCILLATION(AMO) IS MAN-MADE, not an oceanic oscillation like ENSO or PDO!

    The model considered in the simulations the strong influence of the indirect aerosol effect on clouds. 80% of the climate variability, in particular the 1910-1940 warming and the 1950-1970 cooling periods in the North Atlantic are explained by the aerosol forcing(of wich 66% is man-made aerosols from North America and Europe).

    This remind me of this BBC documentary (Global Dimming) where it’s said that pullotion “turned the clouds into giant mirrors” over the Indian Ocean:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueaib127Ebk&feature=relmfu

    AMO is blamed for increased Atlantic hurricanes. If AMO is man-made, high North Atlantic hurricane activity are man-made. If this study is confirmed by more work, is is really a big finding.

    The most disturbing thing here is that while the North Atlantic SST(NASST) warmed by 0.6ºC, aerosol pollution masked 0.5 ºC of warming. Any continuation of clean air regulations (that are of course good for human health and acid rain mitigation)can result in a surge of NASST that will cause extreme hurricane activity and drought in the Amazon.Even worse, any reduction in fossil fuel consumption will have the same short-term WARMING effect, because the aerosols will disappear in weeks while CO2 will take centuries to leave the atmosphere!

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Is it true that the average temperature in the USA rose one degree Celsius after 9/11 as a result of the flight ban and the absence of reflecting clouds caused by con-trails, or is this an urban myth?

  6. nyc-tornado-10 says:

    Interesting article about the growth of solar energy in under-developed parts of india, where people pay very high prices for electric and lighing, because they rely on oil powered epuipment. By replacing these generators with pv solar, they save alot of money. The article claims that 30 gigawatts of power is fueled by deisel, and can be replaced by solar systems in india.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-11/farmers-foil-utilities-using-cell-phones-to-access-solar.html

  7. Sasparilla says:

    EPA Report shows 2010 US greenhouse gas emissions up 3.2% with transportation emissions up 1%:

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/04/epaghg.html

  8. Paul Magnus says:

    Help! This is just plain wrong and incorrect. When we have major programs like this one for canada on the CBC no less with this garbage it sucks….

    April 16 & 23
    DEMON COAL, Part 1 & 2
    Coal is dirty, toxic, abundant and cheap. Mining it disfigures the earth. Using it for fuel or electricity generation is unsustainable. Burning it emits deadly pollutants and greenhouse gases, and is the major cause of global warming. Right? Max Allen talks with environmentalists and energy scientists about why much conventional wisdom about coal in the 21st century is just plain wrong.

    Listen to Demon Coal, Part 1

    Listen to Demon Coal, Part 2

    http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/ideasintheafternoon/

    • Paul Magnus says:

      BTW Judith Curry stars in the 1st part. Amazingly blinked and completely off the wall with her view on GW.

      Needs a reply.

    • Paul Magnus says:

      34mins we dont know how to model the climate complexity very well… we dont have a consensus.

      Host: In this situation of uncertainty like this …. the stakes are very big… isn’t it best to be very cautious.

      Guess what… Curry was stymied. She states the precautionary principle should be applied… then she realized what she said and there was an awkward silence….

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        No problemo. She just needs more coaching. Here, the Murdoch MSM swamp has turned the ‘precautionary principle’ on its head to argue that we must not take any steps to avert climate destabilisation, lest it adversely effect the holy economy. Easy, really. Or you could consider Murdoch’s own nonsense pronouncement, that his Empire’s frantic climate destabilisation denialism was evidence of ‘giving the planet the benefit of the doubt’. They also turned ‘freedom of association’, the long-held term for the right to form or join trade unions, into the right to not join a union, to be bullied by your Boss into not joining a union and scabbing on the other workers. Numerous other examples abound.