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January 14 News: U.S. ‘Climate Assessment Reveals The Full Horror Of What’s Happening To Our Planet’

By Joe Romm

"January 14 News: U.S. ‘Climate Assessment Reveals The Full Horror Of What’s Happening To Our Planet’"

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Now no one can deny that the world is getting warmer.” The federally commissioned report [by over 240 scientists] reveals that the US is already reeling under the impact of global warming. [UK Guardian editorial]

Heatwaves, droughts, floods, intense downpours, rising sea levels and melting glaciers are now causing widespread havoc and are having an impact on a wide range of fronts including health services, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture, transport and flood defences.

Nor is there any doubt about the cause of these rising temperatures. “It is due primarily to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuel,” the report states. As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere soar, temperatures rise and chaos ensues. Air pollution intensifies, wildfires increase, insect-borne diseases spread, confrontations over water rights become more violent and storm surges rise. This is the near future for America and for the rest of the world. Earth is set to become a hotter, drier, unhealthier, more uncomfortable, dangerous and more disaster-prone place in coming years.

… After poring over the 1,146 pages of the assessment, readers will be under no illusions about what is happening to our planet. The robustness of its rhetoric is especially striking because it contrasts so noticeably with the debate – or to be precise, lack of debate – on climate change that occurred during last year’s presidential campaigning.

Related Post: “Assessment Warns Of Devastating 9°-15°F Warming Over Most Of U.S.”

Emergency rock blasting on a portion of the Mississippi River and a change in weather is giving the Army Corps of Engineers increasing confidence it can keep the river—a major conduit of bulk materials like grains, fertilizer and fuel oil—open to shippers through spring. [WSJ]

The question of whether Vermont’s only nuclear plant can continue operating without the approval of state regulators goes before a federal appeals court Monday in a dispute that has gained increasing attention nationally about the boundaries of federal authority over a controversial power source. [NYT]

The world could avoid much of the damaging effects of climate change this century if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed more sharply, research showed on Sunday. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first comprehensive assessment of the benefits of cutting emissions to keep the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, a level which scientists say would avoid the worst effects of climate change. [Reuters]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Senate’s top Republican lawmaker on energy policy, will shortly travel to Japan for meetings about nuclear power and exporting natural gas from her state. [The Hill]

Auto makers wrestling with ambitious mileage goals have touted hybrids and electrics as the wave of the future, but they have found a quicker path to improved fuel efficiency, reinventing the way traditional gas-powered cars are built. [WSJ]

BP wants a federal judge to rule that the roughly 800,000 barrels of oil that the government says was collected at the head of its runaway undersea Gulf of Mexico well in 2010 should not be counted in determining the company’s civil fine for Clean Water Act violations. [Fuel Fix]

‹ New York Times Widely Cricitized For Dismantling Its Environment Desk, Eliminating Editorial Positions

Manmade Global Warming Has Increased Monthly Heat Records By A Factor Of Five, Much Worse To Come ›

11 Responses to January 14 News: U.S. ‘Climate Assessment Reveals The Full Horror Of What’s Happening To Our Planet’

  1. Superman1 says:

    There is a serious legal issue here that I have not seen addressed. Fossil fuels are weapons of mass destruction. They use the atmosphere as a transmission medium. Their combustion unleashes these weapons against the USA (and all other countries), and will eventually destroy their populations. Does not our Constitution tell us the government’s job is to “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare” of the USA? Are we not constitutionally-bound to take whatever action is necessary to eliminate these weapons and protect out collective security?

  2. Superman1 says:

    We are probably seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in these formal national assessment documents. We need to have a better understanding of the extent of the ‘iceberg’. Maybe we have been misled by the common wisdom, and need to re-think the implications of what we are seeing. The gap between 1) the extremely dire predictions of even the conservative feedback-free models for temperatures later in this century and 2) the complete inaction and silence by the Administration is far too large to be attributed to chaotic thinking or ineptitude. I have dealt with the ‘black’ communities who I am sure are monitoring this situation closely, and they are quite precise in analyzing and finding solutions to problems of far less importance. What type of explanation for the above gap would show a coherent plan?

    Suppose the ‘black’ community has predicted ‘game over’. The Administration, in keeping with the tradition of ‘kicking the can down the road’, would not want to inform the American people of this situation, but would rather transfer data gathering and analysis to the ‘black’ world, while decreasing unclassified efforts. This would explain the absolute silence on the part of the Administration on this issue, and the efforts by the deniers in Congress to take funding away from e.g. Arctic monitoring, and climate studies in general. The deniers may, in fact, be key components of the Administration’s effort to conceal the truth from the American public.

  3. dave says:

    Would like to say I’ve reached a different conclusion on the matter…(would like to, I really would). But alternative conclusions seem so lacking in plausability by now…(especially post Rio).

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The only rational conclusion, in my opinion, when pondering the ruling elite’s behaviour and keeping their psychological makeup in mind, is that this catastrophe has been deliberately contrived. The only questions remaining, in my mind, are why, and how do we stop them and save ourselves and our descendants?

      • Superman1 says:

        Why would it be deliberate; wouldn’t they want to protect their descendents as well?

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          They think that they will be able to ‘ride out’ the catastrophe in elite compounds, which are already being established in various places. They also do not care much about their descendants, being intensely egomaniacal, and totally disinterested in the world after they are dead.

      • atcook27 says:

        I would suggest that the “black” operation has been largely financed by the sale of fossil fuels to the masses over the last 50 odd years. They have ruthlessly ensured this coarse using extreme measures (lying, cheating, waring, killing). This “Titanic” is near impossible to turn around even with the strength of current scientific assesment.
        Either that or they intend to rollout the reversed engineered ET power poduction technology they’ve had since the 50′s any time soon.

  4. Guest says:

    Is it just me or has that Nature Climate Change paper seriously down played the impacts of warming above 2C?

    e.g. “Global average sea level rise could be reduced to 30cm (12 inches) by 2100, compared to 47-55cm (18-22 inches) if no action to cut emissions is taken, it said.”

    I thought no acton meant we’d see 1m+ of sea level rise by 2100?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise-predictions.htm

    Intuitively, at least, it seems to me that stabilising at 2C would reduce impacts by way more then 65% compared to a buisness as usual scenario leading to 4-6C, especially if you accpet that we are more likley to trigger tipping points.

    Am I missing something, I can’t access the paper to read it – bloody pay wall!

    • David B. Benson says:

      Last time it was 2 K warmer was during the Eemian interglacial. Sea stand was about 6 meters higher.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      These ‘soft denialist’ screeds always downplay. I suspect it to be a deliberate tactic.