'Extremely likely' humans responsible for global warming

breakingnews:

AP: It is ‘extremely likely’ that human activity is responsible for global warming observed since the 1950s, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.

It is the strongest language that the group has adopted since its 2007 assessment in which it said global warming was ‘very likely’ man made.

Perhaps the least surprising research of the year:

Researchers looked at soot and various greenhouse gases that don’t last very long in the atmosphere, such as methane, ozone in the lower altitudes and the factory-made refrigerants known as HFCs.

Previous studies have shown that cutting these types of air pollution could slow climate change, buying time to bring carbon dioxide emissions under control. The new research shows that such cuts would also significantly slow the rate of sea level rise—by more than 20 percent per year, which could keep the rise under a meter by the end of the century.

Cutting these so-called short lived climate forcers by 30 to 60 percent would prevent roughly a degree Celsius of additional warming, meaning less thermal expansion of ocean waters and less meltdown of ice sheets.

Wonk Blog reports on a new study that uses computer simulations to predict what trade routes will be open in the arctic, given current rates of shrinking Arctic sea ice.
the researchers found that open-water vessels will be able to, in theory, cross the Northwest Passage and North Sea Route regularly in the summer by 2050 without icebreakers. And icebreaker ships may be able to ram right through the North Pole
he change here is quite striking. Right now, no commercial shipping goes through the Northwest Passage that hugs northern Canada. Yet by mid-century, those routes could potentially be clear for open-water vessels every other summer. Likewise, the Northern Sea Route that hugs Russia is projected to be open in late summer 90 percent of the time, up from 40 percent today. 

Wonk Blog reports on a new study that uses computer simulations to predict what trade routes will be open in the arctic, given current rates of shrinking Arctic sea ice.

the researchers found that open-water vessels will be able to, in theory, cross the Northwest Passage and North Sea Route regularly in the summer by 2050 without icebreakers. And icebreaker ships may be able to ram right through the North Pole
he change here is quite striking. Right now, no commercial shipping goes through the Northwest Passage that hugs northern Canada. Yet by mid-century, those routes could potentially be clear for open-water vessels every other summer. Likewise, the Northern Sea Route that hugs Russia is projected to be open in late summer 90 percent of the time, up from 40 percent today. 
"Over the past two decades, as Lessig notes, sixteen different new laws have passed that ad additional teeth to copyright restrictions, while not a single one has passed restricting industrial carbon output. There are genuine debates to be had over music piracy and global warming, but surely the vast majority of us would agree that factories pumping carbon into the atmosphere with impunity are a more pressing concern than illegal Kanye West downloads. Yet the congressional record is clear: sixteen to zero. Why? Because content business and carbon polluters spent billions of dollars supporting candidates from both parties over that period. So we have a political class that spends its time protecting Mickey Mouse and Lady Gaga instead of the planet."

— Steven Johnson on page 158 of his book, Future Perfect

"We don’t, in a sensible world, want to hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world to our grandchildren, to leave them with the real problem. I don’t want to be confronted by my future grandchild and (have) them say: ‘Why didn’t you do something?’"

— Prince Charles • On the issue of climate change and why he doesn’t want his soon-to-be-born grandson to question why he didn’t do more about it. (via shortformblog)

(via shortformblog)

"Between March and September, 4.57 million square miles of Arctic sea ice—an area larger than the size of the continental United States—melted. On September 16, the Arctic ice sheet hit its lowest extent ever, which was nearly 20 percent smaller than the previous record low on Sept. 18, 2007. The minimum ice cover of 1.3 million square miles was about half of the average cover between 1979 and 2000."

UN Report: 2012 Arctic Ice Melt Larger Than Size of United States (via usnews)

goingovertherainbow:

Suddenly, the importance of addressing climate change becomes very clear and yet neither candidate has talked about it (for the first time since the 80s) during this cycle. 

goingovertherainbow:

Suddenly, the importance of addressing climate change becomes very clear and yet neither candidate has talked about it (for the first time since the 80s) during this cycle. 

(via willssingalongblog)

(via Yes, Mitt Romney Is a Global Warming Wingnut. Why Do You Ask?)
shortformblog:

NOAA report: Last 12 months have been hottest in U.S. history
With an overall rise in temperatures of approximately 3.3 degrees, the 12-month period from August 1, 2011 - July 31, 2012 is now the hottest such period in U.S. history. It also becomes the fourth 12-month period in a row to set a new record for high temperatures. The news was revealed in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual State of the Climate report. (Photo via NCDC) source
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shortformblog:

With an overall rise in temperatures of approximately 3.3 degrees, the 12-month period from August 1, 2011 - July 31, 2012 is now the hottest such period in U.S. history. It also becomes the fourth 12-month period in a row to set a new record for high temperatures. The news was revealed in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual State of the Climate report(Photo via NCDC) source

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Bloomberg reports:

The condition of U.S. corn and soybean crops deteriorated to the worst since 1988 as the country’s most widespread drought in 56 years caused damage to plants across the Midwest.

One interesting thing is that crops aren’t declining at as fast as they did in previous droughts: 

A drought in 1988 led to a 31 percent drop in corn production from a year earlier and a 20 percent decline for soybeans, USDA data show. Corn output will fall 13 percent this year and the soybean harvest will shrink by 11 percent because of the hot, dry weather, Doane Advisory Services Co. forecast last week.

I assume part of this is due to better technology and practices. It is nice to think that we have to power to adapt to climate change. Right now, that seems more likely than real, global, efforts to stop warming.