Thursday 3rd of December 2020

humanity's choice...

homes

Homes devastated by Hurricane Sandy, on Oct. 30, 2012.

After a campaign season in which it was the missing in action issueclimate change roared back into relevancy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Bill McKibben, the writer-turned-activist behind 350.org, put it in stark terms. “This is an absolutely unprecedented storm,” he told POLITICO on Monday evening. “This entire year should be a seriously wake-up call—and the public’s beginning to get it.”

Some scientists and science writers, however, were just as quick to caution that we can’t really attribute any single weather event to climate change—and that tropical cyclones like Sandy have proved particularly hard to connect to global warming. Andrew Revkin of Dot Earth drew a clear line against attributing Sandy directly to recent man-made warming, noting that there had been periods in the past when strong hurricanes occurred during cooler years:

There remains far too much natural variability in the frequency and potency of rare and powerful storms — on time scales from decades to centuries – to go beyond pointing to this event being consistent with what’s projected on a human-heated planet.

Of course, we’ll be grappling with the effects of Sandy—which has already killed over 20 people in the U.S. and which could easily top $20 billion in damages—whether or not it has to do with climate change. But the argument over attribution alone misses the point. We know that climate change is real, that it’s happening and that it will make many natural disasters more severe, from coastal flooding to droughts to storms. But the real danger stems from the fact that we’re putting more and more people and property in harm’s way, in built-up coastal cities like New York or Miami or Shanghai. Along with cutting carbon emissions to reduce the risk from climate change, we need to build and maintain a society that is capable that will prove more resilient to extreme weather in the future.


(MORE: Flying Blind: America’s Aging Weather Satellites)

It’s true that Hurricane Sandy got an unusual boost from extremely warm waters off the East Coast—through the first half of 2012, sea temperatures from Maine to North Carolina were the highest on record. (Some of that warm water may be due to natural variability, however, rather than man-made climate change.) Warmer ocean waters provide more power for tropical cyclones, which is why hurricanes are more common in the tropics and why the Atlantic hurricane season runs roughly over the summer and early fall. A paper published earlier this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences made the case that warm years over the past several decades have been more active for cyclones than cooler years. Warmer air—and we’re on track to have the hottest year on record globally—can hold more moisture, which means storms can drop more rainfall. That’s one clear reason why many—but not all—atmospheric scientists believe global warming is likely to help cause stronger storms.

But the possible effect of warming on hurricanes is one of the less perfectly understood aspects of climate science, and there’s still a lot of natural variability at work that makes it difficult to fingerprint the human influence of a major storm. The last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report noted that scientists have “low confidence” in long-term increases in tropical cyclone activity due to man-made warming, and other studies have found evidence of massive storms that hit the Northeast thousands of years ago—well before humans began changing the climate. Sandy was also a truly freak event. The storm likely would have spun harmlessly out to the sea—as many late-season hurricanes do before they strike the East Coast—had it not met a blocking high pressure system that steered it towards the Northeast. That’s some seriously bad luck.

Over at the Houston Chronicle, science reporter Eric Berger noted the challenge of tying Sandy specifically to climate change:

The bottom line is that climate change is unquestionably having an effect on the weather around us by raising the average temperature of the planet. This is producing warmer temperatures and very likely increasing the magnitude of droughts. However, it is a big stretch to go from there to blaming Sandy on climate change. It’s a stretch that is just not supported by science at this time.



Read more: http://science.time.com/2012/10/30/climate-change-and-sandy-why-we-need-to-prepare-for-a-warmer-world/#ixzz2AxcEioUW

Gus: The bottom line is that climate change is unquestionably having an effect on the weather around us by raising the average temperature of the planet. This is producing warmer temperatures and very likely increasing the magnitude of droughts. However, it is NOT a big stretch to go from there to blaming Sandy on climate change. It’s a stretch that CAN BE supported by science, at this time.
If one looks at the hottest summer in some part of the US, drought, a mild winter, 240 tormadeos that destroyed many people's lives, a small but significant hurricane that hit New Orleans, a mega storm that destroyed many people's lives last year — Irene... And the list goes on JUST for the US.
Elsewhere the same tally applies, WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT...
What "global warming" did in Sandy's case was to change the patterns of high and low pressure ever so slightly, change the moisture content ever so slightly, changed the temperature differential ever so slightly, that we cannot see — or DON'T WANT TO SEE... The freak storm isn't a freak. WE ARE THE FREAK OF NATURE because we are interfering with it, in ways we DON'T WANT TO ADMIT — except for the scientists who know...

 

Note: I changed the picture at top. I have had the feeling that the newspaper where the first picture I used came from had made a horrible mistake and presented a shot from the Japanese tsunami marked as homes destroyed in New Jersey. I will investigate. 99 per cent of the time, I endeavour to use my own pictures as I know about them, even if I don't remember the dates as clearly as I should...

storm of the times...

Global warming has become perhaps the most complicated issue facing world leaders. Warnings from the scientific community are becoming louder, as an increasing body of science points to rising dangers from the ongoing buildup of human-related greenhouse gases — produced mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and forests.

Global emissions of carbon dioxide jumped by the largest amount on record in 2010, upending the notion that the brief decline during the recession might persist through the recovery. Emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010, according to the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists. The increase solidified a trend of ever-rising emissions that scientists fear will make it difficult, if not impossible, to forestall severe climate change in coming decades.

However, the technological, economic and political issues that have to be resolved before a concerted worldwide effort to reduce emissions can begin have gotten no simpler, particularly in the face of a global economic slowdown.

For almost two decades, the United Nations has sponsored annual global talks, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international treaty signed by 194 countries to cooperatively discuss global climate change and its impact. The conferences operate on the principle of consensus, meaning that any of the participating nations can hold up an agreement.

The conflicts and controversies discussed are monotonously familiar: the differing obligations of industrialized and developing nations, the question of who will pay to help poor nations adapt, the urgency of protecting tropical forests and the need to rapidly develop and deploy clean energy technology.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html

 

Gus: All this issue needs is simply a leader. A US leader. And in Romney we'll get zero. Actually we'll get minus. In Obama we might be able to swing it... Should the US DO NOTHING IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS about global warming, the USA will become irrelevent. It will become the laughing stock of the world. It will become the "former" super power... It will sink very quickly into a quagmire of illusions and little wars it cannot win — and there are strong odds, it will be swamped with stronger storms and other climatic calamities...

bloomberg supports obama...

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Obama on Thursday, citing climate change as the primary factor and Hurricane Sandy as the event that impelled him to make a choice. 

“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of next Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” the political independent wrote in an op-ed on Bloomberg View, part of his media empire. “Our climate is changing. … We need leadership from the White House.” Obama, he said, “has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption.” 

Many experts say that the increasing likelihood of extreme weather due to climate change and the prospect of future sea level rise means a rising risk of floods for much of the country. 

Bloomberg turned down an offer from Obama to visit New York City this week, saying he didn’t mean to “diss” the president but was simply too busy dealing with storm fallout. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/11/01/michael-bloomberg-endorses-obama/?hpid=z1

As I wrote above: All this issue needs is simply a leader. A US leader. And in Romney we'll get zero. Actually we'll get minus. In Obama we might be able to swing it... Should the US DO NOTHING IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS about global warming, the USA will become irrelevent. It will become the laughing stock of the world. It will become the "former" super power... It will sink very quickly into a quagmire of illusions and little wars it cannot win — and there are strong odds, it will be swamped with stronger storms and other climatic calamities...

climate is changing faster than we think...

... We'll need to be. Thanks to a combination of factors--more people and property in vulnerable coastal areas as well as climate change--we're likely to experience disasters on the scale of Sandy more often in the future. That's a future we're not ready to handle, and judging from the near total absence of debate about global warming on the presidential campaign trail, it's a future we're not even thinking about. The good news is that there's still time to prepare--if we heed the lessons of the storm.

Make sure you can see ahead.

When the infamous Long Island Express hurricane hit the Northeast in 1938, there was little warning and less preparation. As many as 800 people died, making it one of the deadlier storms in U.S. history. We'd never be so unprepared today, thanks to the more than two dozen U.S. weather and environmental satellites that peer down on the planet and help predict its weather.

But in September, NASA's GOES-East satellite--one of a pair of orbiting spacecraft that provide the backbone for advanced weather forecasting--suddenly winked out. Fortunately NASA had a backup GOES satellite already parked in orbit, and forecasting capabilities were unaffected in the month leading up to Sandy's formation. But that near miss was a scary reminder that the U.S. satellite fleet is in peril, threatened by budget cuts and government short-sightedness. "Gaps are opening in both our operational and research satellites," says J. Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric-sciences program at the University of Georgia and president-elect of the American Meteorological Society. For every $1 spent on space infrastructure, about $5 in disaster-damage costs are saved--proof that it makes economic sense to keep our eyes in the skies operating.


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2128304,00.html#ixzz2B4zOlxDk

 

As I wrote above: All this issue needs is simply a leader. A US leader. And in Romney we'll get zero. Actually we'll get minus. In Obama we might be able to swing it... Should the US DO NOTHING IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS about global warming, the USA will become irrelevent. It will become the laughing stock of the world. It will become the "former" super power... It will sink very quickly into a quagmire of illusions and little wars it cannot win — and there are strong odds, it will be swamped with stronger storms and other climatic calamities...


move to the appalachian mountains...

 

A Shared Determination to Rebuild and Restore the Jersey Shore

By

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. — John Schaad, 53 a longtime Jersey Shore resident, was staring out to the sea and looking shellshocked on the Boardwalk just across from what is known as the Sinatra House, where the sounds of big-band music waft into the air all summer long as an endless parade of people sashay by.

“You know,” he said on Thursday, “used to be no one wanted to say they were from Jersey. Now everyone knows the Jersey Shore. There’s no place like it, there’s nothing like being on the Boardwalk in the summer.”

“We’ll rebuild it,” said Mr. Schaad, who owns a landscaping business, “and it will still be a fabulous place. It won’t be the same, but we’ll be back.”

It is not entirely clear when the 127 miles of coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May went from funky seaside phantasmagoria to a sliver of American myth. But for the hordes of the curious, the awe-struck and the traumatized who swarmed Jenkinson’s Boardwalk here on Thursday, and for hundreds of thousands of visitors for whom memories of the Shore are a part of their emotional wiring, Gov. Chris Christie got it right this week when he said: “The level of devastation at the Jersey Shore is unthinkable.”

In Point Pleasant Beach, a blue-collar, family-oriented resort community, where the Boardwalk constitutes the front yard for dozens of modest brick houses facing the ocean and where other cottages are crammed in a few feet apart, the shock was palpable.

People stopped and stared in shock at what was left of Martell’s Tiki Bar, where perhaps 70 feet of pier was ripped off and tossed into the sea. Most of the houses on the Boardwalk are boarded up but intact. Cascades of floodwaters inundated houses blocks from the sea and the Boardwalk had the air of a carnival turned house of horrors. The Fun House and the rest are now dark, dirty and forlorn.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/nyregion/at-the-jersey-shore-a-shared-...       

 

I will be your bookie for next year :

The odds are:

 

  • even for another devastating storm in the Caribbean
  • 5 to one for another devastating hurricane on New Orleans
  • 10 to one for another Sandy
  • 12 to one for one hundred tornadoes in the mid west
  • 20 to one for massive floods in Britain
  • 25 to one for record breaking heat in Siberia
  • 2 to one Australia's east coast is going to suffer a massive heat wave.
  • Sure thing that 2012 and 2013 are going to be the warmest years yet
In regard to the Jersey shore, I would build at least 3 metres above the sand dunes in super reinforced concrete, with legs going down to the bedrock. That would take care of the next 100 years. After that, my guess is that you may have to move on the slopes of the Appalachian mountains...

 

 

shocking news...

 

 

THE next United Nations climate report will ''scare the wits out of everyone'' and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said.

Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/former-un-official-says-climate-report-will-shock-nations-into-action-20121106-28w5c.html#ixzz2BTa4l5Qo

To my bets (see comment above)  I meant to add:
  • 2 to one for a devastating storm in Florida next year
  • other record storms and hurricanes of various (large) sizes, around the world

 

 

I wrote this in january 2010...

"For those who think that an average increase of 2 degrees C would be "beneficial", let me say this: such an increase is likely to raise the sea level by around 70 cm worldwide... This "modest" rise would only be an average and would affect high tides. It would flood low laying lands regularly. The Thames barrier for example would have to be raised. Piers and jetties in Sydney would have to be raised. Low lying island in the pacific and Indian Ocean would become totally unliveable. Places like the Ganges delta may loose up to 20 per cent of its area. Cities like New York would get flooded basements on a regular basis. Not only that, an increase of 2 degrees C will lead to an increase in the number and the strength of extreme climatic events. For example a low pressure system and king tide combined could lead to the sea rising more than 5 metres above present level in affected areas. In hurricane-prone zones, this could lead to a rise of 12 metres above present sea level at the centre. This would (will) lead to the destructive flooding of cities like New Orleans and Venice like we've never seen before. Some places like Hobart, Tasmania may enjoy warmer climes..."

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/8985

on the waterfront...

t’s so obvious we forget it: an extreme-weather event becomes a disaster only if it hits where people and their possessions are. Of the 19 tropical storms that were tracked during this summer’s Atlantic hurricane season, 10 veered off harmlessly into the Atlantic Ocean, never making landfall. But when a storm like Sandy tracks over the most heavily populated stretch of land in the western hemisphere, the damage to people and property can be immense. Sandy wasn’t the strongest storm — it was just barely a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall at the end of last month — but both its death toll and its economic damage were high simply because so many people were in its path. Storm plus people equals natural disaster. The hurricane is the spark, but population is the tinder.

That’s why, as the Northeast begins the long process of rebuilding, we need to think about what we can do to minimize the number of people and the value of the property that might be in the way of the next storm. So far, most of that discussion has settled around the possibility of building multibillion-dollar seawalls and barriers that might be able to shield Manhattan and other vulnerable places from the kind of storm surges that caused so much destruction during Sandy. Seawalls do have their place — the Connecticut town of Stamford escaped major damage thanks in part to its own barrier — especially as the climate warms and seas rise. But if people didn’t live in so many high-risk places, we wouldn’t have to put any protective infrastructure there at all.



Read more: http://science.time.com/2012/11/20/after-sandy-why-we-cant-keep-rebuilding-on-the-waters-edge/#ixzz2CqLNMVQe

 

see pic at top...