World scientists – we can’t raise the temperature by more than two degrees Celsius

The official position of planet Earth at the moment is that we can’t raise the temperature more than two degrees Celsius.

Some context: So far, we’ve raised the average temperature of the planet just under 0.8 degrees Celsius, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. (A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.)

Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees.

We’re not getting any free lunch from the world’s economies, either. With only a single year’s lull in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, we’ve continued to pour record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, year after year. In late May, the International Energy Agency published its latest figures – CO2 emissions last year rose to 31.6 gigatons, up 3.2 percent from the year before.

  • America had a warm winter and converted more coal-fired power plants to natural gas, so its emissions fell slightly
  • China kept booming, so its carbon output (which recently surpassed the U.S.) rose 9.3 percent
  • Japanese shut down their fleet of nukes post-Fukushima, so their emissions edged up 2.4 percent.

 

Keep reading: Rolling Stone – Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

 

 

Continue reading World scientists – we can’t raise the temperature by more than two degrees Celsius

As environmental regulations boost seal populations in New England – great whites return as well

This week, several great white sharks were spotted off the coast of Chatham, Mass., and two more near Cape Cod were swimming just 30 feet from the shore. One of the sharks was measured at 12 to 15 feet.

The summer months induce a chain reaction for shark sightings: Warm ocean temperatures entice more gray seals to the New England shores, and with more seals come more sharks.

The sharks have been paying more attention to New England the past few years because of the larger concentrations of gray seals, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Researcher Greg Skomal said. The gray seal population off Cape Cod has grown from 10,000 to over 300,000 ever since environmental regulations were put in place to protect the seals.

The United States averages 16 shark attacks each year, with only one fatality every two years. According to the International Shark Attack File, you have a higher chance of being struck by lightning, which kills about 41 people a year.

Zimmerman said there hasn’t been a confirmed shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936.

 

More on thisGreat White Sharks Return to Massachusetts Shores

 

 

Continue reading As environmental regulations boost seal populations in New England – great whites return as well

La Niña leaves on Thursday – El Niño could be coming

Changes are brewing in the equatorial Pacific, and they could profoundly affect weather across the U.S. and much of the globe next winter and spring.

La Nina, which has held sway since last fall, will be officially declared a goner Thursday, an official at the Climate Prediction Center in Maryland told InsideClimate News. And while nobody is quite certain what will happen next, some long-range forecast models are pointing to the possible emergence of the opposite phenomenon: El Nino.

Climate scientists are still trying to determine what role climate change plays in the La Nina/El Nino cycle. One study by scientists with NASA and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle suggests global warming may already be affecting the intensity and impacts of El Nino.

Regardless of climate change’s role, a shift away from this year’s La Nina could dramatically alter temperature, precipitation and extreme-weather patterns.

…keep readingAdios, La Nina. Hola, El Nino?

 

// Photo – Vinoth Chandar

Climate Change in California means heats waves…lots of them

In the past 60 years, California has experienced two heatwaves – in 1955 and 2006 – in which temperatures in its urban centers were greater than 37.8 degrees C (100 degrees F) for three or more consecutive days.

A new analysis prepared by other Scripps researchers indicates that by century’s end, those kinds of heatwaves will be the norm. Scripps climate researcher David Pierce said the new data will be assimilated into a major climate report scheduled for release in 2013.

“We’ll start getting these kinds of heatwaves more frequently by 2020 and by 2070, they’ll become common,” Pierce said.

…in all scenarios, not only do episodes of 100-degree-plus temperatures happen more frequently (several times a decade), but events in which temperatures top 100 for seven or more days begin happening at least once a decade by 2060 in all the models.

via Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Continue reading Climate Change in California means heats waves…lots of them

Where’s the coldest surf spot in Orange County?

Surfing in Southern California means you hang out in water normally 55-65 degrees. Pretty cold and worth a wetsuit most of the time. Every once in a while the wind gets going and blows away the entire surface of the ocean, revealing the frigid lower layer. As that current comes up (upwelling) the water drops drastically, like 10 degrees or more.

It happened once last summer, in the middle of August. The water went from 65 to 50 overnight. I couldn’t believe it and, of course, nobody was in the water. Except for me, that is, I put on some booties and enjoyed the least crowded day all summer.

It turns out that these upwellings happen an awful lot in one particular spot.

 

 

So where’s the coldest surf spot in Orange County?

Blackies in Newport seems to be, thanks to the Newport Submarine Canyon trenched just offshore…. which explains why a wind/ water upwelling event like we had yesterday Sunday March 18, 2012, with 25-40 knots winds for a 24 hour period, turned the water from colder to coldest, at around 50 degrees at first light this morning…. But we’re over it. Can’t we just get our normal cold water back?

via Ghetto Juice