Global Warming, An Update

Numerous major publications have highlighted the global problems with increasing temperatures. Recently, complete issues of major magazines including National  Geographic August 2019, have featured the worldwide problems, include human misery and resulting mass-migrations which result from rising sea levels, crop failures in densely populated countries, civil wars, and nationalistic fervor.

The very next month’s National Geographic highlighted the dramatic mass glacier melting underway in the polar regions and the warming of the arctic (September, 2019). In addition to the obvious, vast amounts of fresh water pouring into the oceans in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are affecting fishing yields. Several of the Earth’s largest glaciers are becoming unstable. Some of the Earth’s most densely populated countries, including Bangladesh and India, are seeing lessening of fresh water flows in rivers as glaciers in the Himalayas decrease in size; some are nearing their ends.

These are not “Pie in the sky” cries, but realistic problems of today. Crop yields are changing … some for the better and some for the worse. Mass migrations are affecting world stability. Nationalistic leadership movements in numerous countries are apparent with “Us First” and “Make Us Great Again” familiar themes. When immigration, especially when the newcomers are many in number, different in physical appearance, speak different languages, and believe in different spiritual values, exceeds a certain level, domestic unrest and many problems arise. Wars have been fought over the years for these basic themes.

Several of my most widely read blogs dealt with climate changes. This original posting in April, 2016 that included a comprehensive view resulted in some of the most feedback:

https://authorjkgeorge.com/thoughts-global-warming/

I’d love for you to go back and read this, but the “Cliff Notes” version is this:

  1. The Earth’s climate has changed radically, much before mankind ever existed. One million years ago it was much warmer, then several hundred thousand years ago, a glacial ice period dominated, followed by slightly warmer (than today) temperatures around 120,000 years ago. The most recent Ice Age followed. Only 12,000 years ago, it was cold enough that modern mankind walked across the land bridges between Asia and North America, as well as into what now is the UK from continental Europe. Sea levels were significantly lower because so much water was tied up in ice. Water levels now are around 400 feet higher, and have been relatively stable over modern history since the melting of a large surface portion of that glacial coverage (which covered much of North America as far south as the USA Midwestern states).
  2. Changes up to the present are not fully understood, but one major variable is the increase in Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere of Earth. While some of this is naturally occurring, man-made CO2 is being generated now, and the data show a significant modern increase.

A three-part series in July, 2018 expanded on the April 2016 comments with more data and backup:

https://authorjkgeorge.com/climate-change-part-1-actual-physical-changes-1980-to-the-present/

https://authorjkgeorge.com/climate-change-part-2-the-science-behind-the-data/

https://authorjkgeorge.com/climate-change-part-3-implications-and-predictions-for-the-future/

Parts 1 and 2 show the data and science behind modern understanding of climate change. Part 3 shows the implications and predictions. Again, the Cliff Notes are these:

  1. If the current warming trend continues, the Earth will be ice-free within 200-300 years. This would (definitely, not hypothetically) result in increased sea levels of around 240 feet higher than today.
  2. If 250 years from now sounds like “somebody else’s problem,” then consider the year 2100, since more than half of all kids now in elementary or high school now will be alive. Sea levels will rise at least one foot by then and the changes affecting New Orleans, Miami, NYC, Norfolk and many international metropolitan centers will be catastrophic. In addition, the agriculture region of the USA Midwest breadbasket will have lost a significant portion of its productivity.
  3. Mass-migrations underway if this were to happen will shake world stability in many unpredictable ways.

These additional tidbits are, scientifically random, and you can discard them as not fitting into rigorous order, but just to re-post some of the news from the past few months:

  • July was the hottest month world-wide since human records have been kept. (WSJ 8/16/2019)
  • The ten hottest years overall since 1880 have occurred since 1998. (WSJ 1/16/2020)
  • Parts of India are running out of water due to reduction in glacial melt from the Himalayas. (WSJ 8/20/2019)
  • Economic impact of Climate Change poses a huge threat of economic crisis, (WSJ Op-Ed 1/17/2020)
  • Russia rethinks the threat of Climate Change and ratifies the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. (WSJ 8/23/2019)
  • Austin bakes in hottest September since temperatures have been recorded. (Austin American Statesman 10/28.2019)
  • Antarctica sees its warmest temperature ever recorded (65 F). (Washington Post, 2/2020)
  • Nepal’s Glaciers melting at a dramatic rate .. half will be gone in fifty years. (CNN 6/19/2019)

I can’t understand why the current US Administration continues to deny climate changes, and the clear threat they post to humanity -- indeed to the economy. To have anyone, no matter how powerful, use the term “hoax” is shameful. Why do we Americans tolerate that?

Comments are welcome and will be published, pro and con without the writer's identity. Make your comments below, or send to me via email at n3bb@mindspring.com

Enjoy life; it's the only one we will get.

J.K. (Jim) George

**********************************************************************

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www.authorjkgeorge.com

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13 Responses

  1. As always, well thought out, well reasoned, well written. As always, the people who really need to read and think about these facts will not. I'm not feeling optimistic for the future of our children and their children. Please keep writing and pointing out these "inconvenient truths."
  2. JK James George
    From email: Well stated. I do not understand the rationale for denials as well given the scientific evidence. I am not sure we can alter it much even if we reduce CO2 but why not try? Thanks again for your logical and civil posts.
  3. JK James George
    From email: Its so tragic. Asking mankind to come to its senses is the same thing as asking capitalists to slow down making money. They are actually the same. "Me First" will likely be the echoing cry heard in the fog as humanity exterminates itself. I am not optimistic. So sad, took so long to evolve this perfect environment we know as Earth. The lack of recognition of how unique our home is in the universe is further clouded by absurd religious dogma. I see it getting worse not better, especially as the folks shouting the truth increasingly become pariahs.
  4. JK James George
    From email: Read it again! Still spot on. I know it’s political suicide to voice it, but someday, someone is going to have to step up and put a limit on population growth. We’re down to a 1 billion population increase about every 12 years and a doubling every 50. Pretty scary stuff.
  5. JK James George
    From email: Always enjoy your well-written blogs even though I'm not as liberal when it comes to politics..... But on climate warming, I'm a big believer. I think the administration official "deniers" are doing so mainly to counteract the over-reaction by the extremists among the "believers" that want to throttle the economy by declaring fossil fuel use "evil" and relish the demise of Big Oil. You have to believe the ice core data that shows the cyclical nature of ice ages and CO2. Mother Nature has been the cause of global warming and cooling for a long time and, IMHO, will continue to do so. The emissions of the 20th/21st century will only contribute to the rate of increase. The only hope for future generations will be that Mother Nature intervenes once more and kicks in the cooling cycle. Humankind will survive because of its adaptability. Economies will be affected, positive and negative. Some will suffer, others prosper. We won't be here to experience it. I am not sanguine that international cooperation will work in the future to have a mitigating effect without enforcement. Good luck on enforcement. It's up to individual countries to deal with their own situations. The US is leading by example with the reduction in emissions that have been occurring. But, we're just a drop in the bucket compared to the increase in CO2 from natural sources (methane release, loss of forestation, fires, volcanoes, etc). If you think China and India and other free-wheeling nations are going to throttle their economies and threaten the dictators, think again. The US should continue to shift to renewable energy generation that makes economic sense, and only then. In the long run that principle will prevail, e.g. recycling is being abandoned. I will be interested in seeing what the future of lithium battery vehicles is. Cities that are at sea level had better start planning to dike like New Orleans. We should all buy land in Canada as the bread basket will move North. There will be solutions as the warming is gradual and gives us a chance to minimize damage. Those of us in Texas may start living underground if it gets any hotter!
    • Well said, my thoughts as well, only it took me a lot more words to say the same thing.
  6. JK James George
    From email: The Trump Administration is denying global warming so they can continue to brag about their terrific economy. Moving away from tremendous fossil fuel production would threaten Trump's wealthy supporters.
  7. JK James George
    From email: Thank you for writing this! So insightful. I'm voting accordingly.
  8. JK James George
    From email: Thank you. I believe we agree on the same goals and likely diverge occasionally on tactics. Whatever our differences I respect your thoughts and viewpoints immensely. I always ask myself when I might disagree with you: what is Jim seeing that I am missing? Might he be totally or mostly right? So you influence me even you don't realize it!
  9. As usual, very well written and informative . Thanks Jim
  10. JK James George
    From Keith Essency on Facebook: Great blog, Jim. Very factual and totally agree we as all person-kind must work together to reduce CO2 and other harmful emissions to reduce the sea level rise, have clean air and ensure there is life on this planet for hundreds of years more.
  11. Jim, As usual I have a bit of a different view. As I've said in the past, is the globe warming, it's undeniable. However it's the net effect that's debatable. It seems that one only needs to have the title of Scientist to make a perceived valid prediction about Climate Change. We are trusting meteorologists, who can't get tomorrows weather correct, with predictions decades distant. There are a history of these failed predictions that no-one seems to want to acknowledge, below are just a few. Biologist Paul Ehrlich predicted in the 1970s that: “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” and that “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….” In January 2006 Al Gore predicted that we had ten years left before the planet turned into a “total frying pan.” We made it. In 2008, a segment aired on ABC News predicted that NYC would be under water by June 2015. In 1970, ecologist Kenneth E.F. Watt predicted that “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder by the year 2000, This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” In 2008, Al Gore predicted that there is a 75% chance that the entire north polar ice cap would be completely melted within 5-7 years. He at least hedged that prediction by giving himself “75%” certainty. On May 13th 2014 France’s foreign minister said that we only have 500 days to stop “climate chaos.” The recent Paris climate summit met 565 days after his remark. In 2009, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center head James Wassen warned that Obama only had four years left to save the earth. On the first Earth Day its sponsor warned that “in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” And another Earth Day prediction from Kenneth Watt: “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” It's these historically incorrect "doomsday" forecasts that can lead one to the the term hoax, which ultimately the above predictions were. When reading any of the climate change predictions they are all prefaced with the work "could", "might", if/then". Then their predictions are taken as absolutes by the doomsday climate change community, not for guesses, which they really are. After Katrina, National Geographic ran a big article that basically said, from now on, Katrina category hurricanes will be the norm and that we could count on these type of destructive hurricanes annually. We went through a 1,000 day period after that when a hurricane didn't even make landfall in the US. There is little accountability in climate change predictions and if I'm making a 100 year prediction, how can I ever be held accountable in my lifetime? If I need to raise funds for my environmental cause, I simply make a doomsday prediction to move people to contribute. This is well documented. Why would we want to make political decisions on predictions which have proven to be incorrect? I enjoy bird-watching and all of the birding publications are quick to blame climate change on loss of species who are in decline. But not once have I seen climate change given credit for the increase in populations of a species. It's presented in such a one sided fashion as to be irritating. What most people believe is that the US is the main culprit, nothing could be further from the truth. I worked for a company that had international operations. Every country we operated in, outside the US, had fewer environmental standards that the US does, even some of the bellwether EU countries. We need to start working on dealing with climate change rather than arguing about it. Unless we want to live with 19th century carbon footprint the cat is out of the bag and all the complaining and rhetoric won't change it. Quit developing coast lines and start figuring out where newly arable land will be. We once had land bridges that are now submerged, how did we ever survive that? How many who complain about US climate policy have: Stop driving their vehicle, stopped heating/cooling their house with fossil fuel generated energy, raise their own food to minimize required transportation, etc.... If a person hasn't done this, it's hard for me to take their concern about climate change seriously. For most it's about what they want the other guy to do. I respect a guy who actually practices what he preaches. I admire someone who rides their bicycle to a Climate protest rather than drive their SUV, covered with "Save the Earth" bumper stickers. There are far more hypocrites at a climate rally than at a Baptist Church. The earth is 3.9 Billion years old. Humans have survived on this planet in all manners of climate. There is nothing that is predicted that would preclude human existence. However, it might prove inconvenient for those that will have to change their lifestyle and don't want to. .
  12. JK James George
    From email: Never fear when Bernie gets elected and shuts down the entire power grid and gets all those wind machines cranking and the solar panels going full blase we will be in Fat City

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