As greenhouse pollution continues to build in the atmosphere, 2010 is entering the history books as the hottest year on record. A year of unprecedented extreme weather disasters, 2010 is ending with yet more climate disasters, from floods in Australia to winter tornadoes across America:
Parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee were on the lookout for more twisters after several touched down Friday — including one that killed three people in an Arkansas town. Two more people died in southern Missouri. Three people died in Cincinnati, a hamlet of about 100 residents about three miles from the Oklahoma border. An elderly couple died in their home, while a dairy farmer was killed while milking his cows.
The tornadoes are part of an “unusual” storm front fed by “warm, moist air in place over the region.” On the colder edge of the front, “the storm responsible for the deadly tornado is also bringing a dangerous winter storm to the West and Midwest,” with up to three feet of new snow from California to Idaho.
Meanwhile, Australia is being ravaged by unprecedented flooding, following tremendous rainfall for months, compounded by the Christmas Day landfall of Cyclone Tasha. Floods now cover an area “the size of France and Germany combined.” Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced millions of dollars of relief funding as she described the record-breaking floods:
Some communities are seeing floodwaters higher than they’ve seen in decades, and for some communities floodwaters have never reached these levels before [in] the time that we have been recording floods. For many communities we haven’t even seen the peak of the floodwaters yet, that’s a number of days away.
“Some sections of coastal Queensland received over four feet of rain from September through November,” meteorologist Jeff Masters reports. The floods, which have wiped out crops, drowned livestock, and disrupted the largest coal ports in the world, are expected to cause at least $1 billion in damage.
It’s looking like 2011 will thus continue the disturbing trend of rising disaster from our fossil-fueled climate.
What is your climate- and/or energy-related New Year’s resolution?
I’ll tell you mine:
Energy and global warming news for December 31: A primer on the Federal greenhouse gas regime; Chinese: In 2010, “we experienced extreme weather more often than in any other year in the past decade. And global warming was largely to blame.”
For 2 years industry officials, states, and environmentalists have had 2 January 2011 circled on their calendars. That’s the date greenhouse gases officially become regulated pollutants under the Clean Air Act””a direct result of a 2007 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under that law. The Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to control greenhouse emissions will only get more controversial as myriad lawsuits challenge the regime and Republicans, now ascendant in the House of Representatives, seek to stop EPA in its tracks.
A short primer follows, including some explanation of jargon you’ll no doubt hear regularly in the coming years….
Perhaps because I have been a Physical Chemist for more years than I care to mention, I have the idea that Physical Chemists have something important to contribute to just about any discussion about physical phenomena. I hope that I can convince you that this is in fact true in the case of global climate change.
Leaked cable warns of tar sands oil’s ‘higher environmental footprint’ as agency considers pipeline that would double U.S. dependence on it
Alex Moore and Kelly Trout of Friends of the Earth have the story in this repost.
A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed that a U.S. diplomat warned the Obama administration about significant environmental impacts stemming from Canada’s controversial tar sands oil production program.
The language in the cable contradicts recent statements by U.S. State Department officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that underplay the environmental impacts of tar sands oil while defending a proposed pipeline that would bring the extremely polluting oil from Canada to the U.S.
Welcome to the 2010 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award.
2010 saw widespread and growing evidence of rapidly warming global climate and strengthening scientific understanding of how humans are contributing to climate change. Yet on the policy front, little happened to stem the growing emissions of greenhouse gases or to help societies prepare for increasingly severe negative climate impacts, including now unavoidable changes in temperature, rainfall patterns, sea-level rise, snowpack, glacial extent, Arctic sea ice, and more. These physical impacts will lead to sharply increased disease, military and economic instabilities, food and water shortages, and extreme weather events, among other things. Without appropriate risk management action, the United States will be hit hard. There is no safe haven. Yet confusion and uncertainty about climate change remain high in the minds of too many members of the public and Congress.
Why? In large part because of a concerted, coordinated, aggressive campaign by a small group of well-funded climate change deniers and contrarians focused on intentionally misleading the public and policymakers with bad science about climate change. Much of this effort is based on intentional falsehoods, misrepresentations, inflated uncertainties, and pure and utter B.S. about climate science. These efforts have been successful in sowing confusion and delaying action – just as the same tactics were successful in delaying efforts to tackle tobacco’s health risks.
To counter this campaign of disinformation, we are issuing the first in what may become a series of awards for the most egregious Climate B.S.* of the Year. In preparing the list of nominees, suggestions were received from around the world and a panel of reviewers – all scientists or climate communicators – waded through them. We present here the top five nominees and the winner of the 2010 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award.
Here are all the posts written in 2010 that were clicked on by more than 25,000 people — not counting “More conclusive proof of global warming,” the blow-out winner for 2010.
7. 26,000 views: Graham says GOP should stop demonizing climate change: You’re risking “your party’s future with younger people” by calling it a “hoax”; The SC Senator asks, “Are we the party of carbon pollution forever in unlimited amounts?”
[Note to Graham -- Yes, you are!]
Nationalized Snow and Ice Data Center reports large quantities of frozen sea ice in the Arctic. Confirmed by ground and satellite observations. Ships unable to circumnavigate Greenland. Warmists baffled.
Another satirical masterwork from Inferno at DenialDepot in September. This is for all those who suffered through a full year of disinformation and tortured misanalysis from the now-discredited Anthony Watts and the never-credited Steven Goddard at WattsUpWithThat (see Fastest disinformer retraction: Watts says Goddard’s “Arctic ice increasing by 50000 km2 per year” post is “an example of what not to do when graphing trends” and links below).
Energy and global warming news for December 30: Paris to test banning gas-guzzlers (yes, SUVs!) in city core
Prokaryotes and others can post links here to interesting news/links.
Why are many European carmakers now planning to build electric vehicles? Because many European cities are widely expected to ban high-emissions vehicles from their city cores over the next decade–perhaps even vehicles with any emissions at all.
By Auden Schendler, author of “Getting Green Done.”
On Christmas Eve 2009, the peak of the ski season in Aspen Snowmass, all was not quiet at the resort’s new flagship restaurant, Sam’s Smokehouse. At 10,600 feet in the Colorado Rockies, the weather can be extreme. On that night, things got brutal. It was minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and the wind was howling.
Unfortunately, heating equipment failed, so it wasn’t much warmer inside the restaurant (27 degrees), and as a result, two pipes froze solid and burst.
NOAA reports 2010 hottest year on record so far, while Arctic sea ice extent hits a stunning December low
Head of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center: Climate change to intensify winter weather
Following fast on the heels of NASA reporting the hottest January to November on record — despite the deepest solar minimum in a century — NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center has released its State of the Climate: Global Analysis for November. It finds this was the second warmest November on record (after 2004) and
- For the 2010 year-to-date (January-November), the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average””the warmest such period since records began in 1880.
- The November 2010 Northern Hemisphere land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest November on record….
- The November 2010 global land surface temperature was the warmest on record, at 1.52°C (2.74°F) above the 20th century average…
It may have been cold in Great Britain, but NOAA’s November chart shows that over most of the NH land it was hot, hot, hot:
And while climate activists may see 2010 as a year of austerity in which our efforts were refudiated by the anti-science, pro-pollution crowd, at least we got a name that beats ‘activist’.
Climate Progress names ‘climate hawk’ the phrase of the year!
“When you warm up the planet, you experience that through changes in weather that makes up the climate,” says Dr. Benjamin Santer at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. In a video interview with Climate Science Watch, Santer answers the questions: What is the most appropriate way for reporters and scientists to make a distinction between climate and weather when discussing the attribution of specific weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, and intense precipitation to climate change? What do you think is the most important message for the public to take away from witnessing these events?
Reinsurer Munich Re, whose natural catastrophe database is “the most comprehensive of its kind in the world,” has said “The only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change.” A recent Journal of Climate Study found global warming is driving increased frequency of extreme wet or dry summer weather in southeast, so droughts and deluges are likely to get worse. And it remains an amazing, though clearly little-known, scientific fact: We get more snow storms in warm years!
This is a 12/1/10 re-post from the World Affairs Blog Network by Bill Hewitt.
I went to a debate on nuclear energy on Monday evening sponsored by the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia. The Center is headed by Mike Gerrard, a force of nature in environmental law for over thirty years.
“Should nuclear power be an important component of U.S. strategy to combat climate change?” The pros, as ’twere, for nuclear were Susan Eisenhower, an old hand in power and proliferation circles, and Barton Cowan, a lawyer who’s been representing the industry for decades. The skeptics — it’s not an inherently bad word, it’s just been tarred by those who would make you believe the earth is flat — were represented by Peter Bradford, a long-time utility industry regulator and a member of the Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar focused on nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies at the Institute for Policy Studies.
The proponents, I’m sorry, but not surprised, to tell you, had nothing in the least convincing to say.
I’ve added a new graphic to the list of Hi-rez Climate Graphics: a composite of all the major global temperature records, going back to 1890 (obviously the satellite records [RSS and UAH] only begin in the late 20th century). Many thanks to Benjamin Franz who sent me the spreadsheet of all the data
I’m reposting some pieces by physicist John Cook, who runs Skeptical Science.
Energy and global warming news for December 29: The full list of profitable publicly-held fuel cell firms; New wind-turbine can be placed much farther from shore; Can social science combat climate change?
Year-End Reflections on the Fuel Cell Industry in 2010: GreenTechMedia’s never-changing ‘short’ list of profitable fuel cell firms….
First, here’s an updated list of the top three profitable publicly-held fuel cell firms:
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, incoming energy chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) joined Americans For Prosperity (AFP) president Tim Phillips — a global warming denier who pushes the dumbest denier myth — to support the lawsuits by global warming polluters against climate rules. One of the companies leading the charge against the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas endangerment finding is Koch Industries, the private pollution giant whose billionaire owners have been directing the Tea Party movement through its AFP front group.
Brad Johnson has the story.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, incoming energy chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) joined Americans For Prosperity (AFP) president Tim Phillips, a global warming denier, to support the lawsuits by global warming polluters against climate rules. One of the companies leading the charge against the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas endangerment finding is Koch Industries, the private pollution giant whose billionaire owners have been directing the Tea Party movement through its AFP front group.
Upton once considered a “moderate on environmental issues,” but has worked hard to refashion himself as a hard-right defender of pollution in recent months. Some Tea Party groups tried to block Upton from taking the gavel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, attacking his past support for energy-efficient light bulbs. Upton previously claimed that “climate change is a serious problem” and that “the world will be better off” if we reduced carbon emissions. However, in the course of the past two years — as he received $20,000 from Koch Industries — Upton has shifted to oppose not only cap-and-trade legislation but any form of limits on climate pollution whatsoever, instead supporting investigations against climate scientists and lawsuits against the EPA and its supposed “unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs”:
April 2009: Climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions.
June 2009: We have a unique opportunity and a responsibility to reduce emissions and preserve our economy – the American public is desperate for solutions, but a national energy tax is not the answer.
December 2009: I think we can lower our emissions. I think the world will be better off if we did that, and we can do it without cap and trade.
January 2010: No matter what we did between now and 2050, it, there was no real science to verify that it would reduce the temperature rise that some predicted. And that’s why we do need hearings.
December 2010: Moreover, the principal argument for a two-year delay is that it will allow Congress time to create its own plan for regulating carbon. This presumes that carbon is a problem in need of regulation. We are not convinced.
“We think the American consumer would prefer not to be skinned by Obama’s EPA,” Upton and Phillips wrote in the Wall Street Journal, invoking the grisly image of the president murdering his fellow citizens. The world would be better off if Upton went back to believing instead in serious solutions to serious problems.
Progressives should know the most commonly used arguments by the disinformers and doubters “” and how to answer them.