climate science

The Degree of Global Warming

I’ve shared before how climate scientists have a very hard time getting the public to accept and understand the reality of our present and future situation.

Now here’s another recent look at the current and projected scale of global warming and how it compares to the agreements and actual international practices regarding emissions.

Trump-Era Environmental Damage

In case you haven't been following along (I do understand the appeal of attempting to ignore that Trump is in charge of the USA), here's a list put together by The New York Times compiling twenty-three environmental laws, regulations, and policies that Trump has overturned in the first hundred days of his presidency.  At least Elon Musk is trying his best to get humanity to Mars, since it seems like it'd be best if we just left Earth to the rest of the species that inhabit it and move to a lifeless planet that won't suffer as much from our short-sighted and morally questionable leadership.

Deleting a Climate Change Webpage Doesn't Actually Stop Global Warming

Right after Trump assumed the presidency, the White House's webpage on climate change was deleted.  

Meanwhile, Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, which beat the previous record that happened in 2015, which beat the previous record which took place during 2014.  We've had three years in a row of highest temperatures on record for our planet.

Climate Science in the Public Eye

I was sick recently, so I had the time to watch the television series Newsroom.  One clip really stuck with me:

Now given that this is from a fictional television series, viewers could be forgiven for thinking it an exaggeration.  But the facts check out, though sadly a few are outdated and have increased negatively in the meantime.

What really interests me apart from the immediate content is that the whole reason it's funny (admittedly in a macabre sense) is because most scientists are a little less depressingly stark about our situation.  Why is that?

It turns out that a recent paper "Duality in Climate Science" published in Nature Geoscience takes scientists and the media to task for underselling our ecological position due to fear of politically and professionally calamitous ramifications.  The paper summary reads:

Delivery of palatable 2 °C mitigation scenarios depends on speculative negative emissions or changing the past. Scientists must make their assumptions transparent and defensible, however politically uncomfortable the conclusions.  

What that's saying is that unless we can time travel backwards or develop technology in the future that we don't know exists yet, we're screwed.  Here's another not-at-all-comforting review of this and other papers saying in part, "The latest installment of depressing news is the delightful prediction that dozens of American cities are at risk of drowning before the century is out, turning places like New Orleans and Miami into the lost kingdom of Atlantis."