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Glaciers Melted and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rose In 2010

Glaciers Melted and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rose In 2010

Climate change is affecting the world. The world’s mountain glaciers lost mass for the 20th year in a row, according to the State of the Climate 2010 report. Greenland glaciers lost more mass last year than any other year on record. The report states that “water from melting glaciers and ice sheets around the world contributes to acceleration of the water cycle and sea-level rise.” Levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) continued to increase. Carbon increased at a faster rate last year than in 2009, and faster than the average rate over the last 30 years.

Last year an atmospheric climate change phenomenon called the Arctic Oscillation switched to its negative phase, and that switch caused frigid air flows out of the Arctic. That switch caused warmer temperatures in the Arctic, but brought colder weather to the Northeastern U.S. Examples cited by the recently released State of the Climate for 2010 include the unusually heavy snow in northeastern states last year. Several cities, including New York City, had their snowiest months on record in February. The Arctic Oscillation’s negative switch also contributed to Britain’s coldest winter since the winter of 1978/79. However, it caused Canada to have its warmest winter since records began in 1948.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • A La Nina climate pattern brought heavy rains which caused floods in Australia, which experienced the wettest spring in 2010 since record keeping began 111 years ago. In December, rain in the state of Queensland was more than double the average amount.
  • Russia had a heat wave from late June through mid-August, with 62 days of above-average heat, and Russian officials attributed almost 14,000 deaths to the high temps. However, the good news is that the report attributed the heat wave to a “persistent blocking pattern, which climate scientists do not currently see as part of any repeating or trending climate pattern.”

“The indicators show unequivocally that the world continues to warm,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center, while announcing the release of the report.

“There is a clear and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” said Peter Thorne of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, North Carolina State University.

 

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4:34PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

William G. Why should I be interested in the views of 1% of the scientific population? They know nothing not already known to climate scientists. I wouldn’t be interested if 30,000 scientists said they didn’t believe in relativity either.

Give me one reason for being concerned about “dangerously low levels of CO2”. 600,000 years is a damn good test of whether or not the past 200 to 280 ppm CO2 cycle is dangerous. It obviously isn’t. Man appeared and thrived in these “dangerous” years. It is more true to say, “Never in human history has man been exposed to such high levels of CO2. We must be concerned about the possible future effects of an environment never before seen by humans.”

“Interpreting the short term CO2 and temperature data as long term trends is very dangerous.”
Why? Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is a win-win. If global warming is real, we MAY be able to ameliorate its impact. If global warming is not real, we’ve improved our national security by more energy independence, the quality of our air by limiting coal combustion. These are not dangerous to mankind or to the US. It IS dangerous to ignore the possibility/probability that man is adversely affecting his environment.

It’s frightening that climate change deniers, mostly Republican, make us lag China and Europe in research and implementation of alternate energy sources. They are killing our technological lead.

3:21PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

David C - If you do not have interest in the scientifically based arguments of 30,000 scientists and others not directly involved in the field, I assume that the arguments of a single analyst are fruitless; although I would like you to understand this position. The long range temperature graphics indicate we are entering a long term cooling cycle. The very short term temperature trend indicates we are in a warming cycle. That is akin to a warm week in the fall, winter is still coming. The long range CO2 graphics indicate we are at dangerously low historical levels of CO2. The short range CO2 graphics indicate a small rise in CO2 levels during this short term temperature warming cycle. One must read and verify these conclusions by looking at the graph. CO2 is essential to plant growth, and therefore essential to both humans and other animals. The oceans have only risen a small amount (expansion by heating) because the melting glaciers in the Arctic are equaled by the accumulating glaciers in the Antarctic. David, if you review my past inputs you will find the references that attest to these proven scientific facts. The scientists studying rocks and sediment composition, sea shells, plant growth, ice cores, the ocean floors, the earth and ocean temperature variations, the complex atmosphere, should all be celebrated. The issue here is how the data has been interpreted and used. Interpreting the short term CO2 and temperature data as long term trends is very dangerous.

2:04PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

William G

There are more than 3 million scientists and engineers in the US - (probably closer to 4 million). As you know, I am one of those 3 million. 30,000 is 1% of that total. I cannot get excited when 1% of the scientists in a single country sign a petition.

I would become skeptical if a significant fraction of the climate research community - say 30% - questioned warming. I'm not very interested in the opinions of those not directly involved in the field - just as I give little weight to my own views although my qualifications fit within the pedigrees of those you list who signed the petition.

I listed each of the "facts" you posted that convinced you global warming was not real. You have answered none of my comments. Nor have you addressed the human vs geological time scale point I raised.

12:28PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Global Warming Petition: We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

This petition has been signed by over 31,000 American scientists:
Global Warming Petition. One needs to keep in mind the following regarding this petition:
• over 2/3rds of the signatories had advanced degrees,
• 2,660 were physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists
• 5,017 were scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences

12:26PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

David C - I apologize not responding to your previous remarks adequately. I have spent several hours (weeks) in attempting to respond more accurately. You said 'Those who think 90% of climate scientists could conspire to come up a hoax don't know science' and You say “controversies are splitting our scientific community”. They aren’t. The only community that’s splitting is the American public. We have Republican pols, Fox News etc claiming warming is a hoax or unproven. People who know what they’re talking about don’t agree.' I considered the following a scientific split. 1997, at the Conference of Parties III (COP3), Kyoto, Japan, the Kyoto conference on climate change took place. There, developed countries agreed to specific targets for cutting their emissions of greenhouse gases. A general framework was defined for this, with specifics to be detailed over the next few years. This became known as the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol lead to the Global Warming Petition. 31,000 American scientists strongly apposed the scientific views expressed in this protocol. I am sorry to have referred to this is a 'split' in the scientific community. Please give me the 'political correct' version. More details on the next entry.



11:36AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

William G. is brain dead, he is a Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Republican moron! He has this big ring in his nose so the can pull him around!

9:07AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Care2 truncated my comment. Last sentence:

Those who think 90% of climate scientists could conspire to come up a hoax don't know science.

9:05AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Willim G, You have not addressed any of my points.

I didn't question the accuracy of current measurements of temperature - I questioned the accuracy of your quoted average temperature in 1210, particularly when you said that NOAA used "antique" equipment in the 21st century
.
You have not addressed your claim that we have a dangerously low CO2 level today. 500,000 to 1,000,000 years of experience with less CO2 than we have today is a superb indicator that levels are not "alarmingly low".

You argue in geological time scales. 100 years is a long time for man, a pico-second to nature. If you knew Miami would be flooded in 2100 AD, do you think Floridians would think “Don’t worry, Miami will be habitable again in 12,100 AD” (when the ice age returns).

You say “controversies are splitting our scientific community”. They aren’t. The only community that’s splitting is the American public. We have Republican pols, Fox News etc claiming warming is a hoax or unproven. People who know what they’re talking about don’t agree.

No one on this site is qualified to have an opinion on warming. A few days Googling does not qualify someone to decide they know better than scientists with a lifetime of study. Science is not democratic – it has two settings – true and not true. Nature doesn’t care what a majority of Americans think.

Those who think 90% of climate scientists could conspire to come up a hoax don

6:25AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Marco C - Very well put, few could say it better. You said 'it would be prudent change our behavior to enhance our survivability'. It seems likely that the underlying cause of mankind's abuse of the planet is over-population and wasteful expenditures of the resources. We can do much to improve these conditions. Stop wars, control the population expansion, recycle everything we use, protect the environment, etc.

When it comes to 'manipulating the environment' I believe we must be very prudent. I believe the atmosphere is not adequately studied. I believe that the 'greenhouse effect' scientists do not have adequate data and have jumped to conclusions. The physics and chemistry of our planet are very complex. We must make decisions and actions based on universally agreed upon scientific discovery, not fear and propaganda.

5:37AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

It is impossible to say that human behavior has had no influence on nature, it is only possible to discuss whether what we have been up to has put us in harms way or not enough to make a difference one way or another.

Unleash the boulder or not? The planet is indifferent, it exists with us or without us.

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