El Nińo 2015: Largest ever?

Despite last year’s false alarm, there are several reasons to believe that this year’s version of El Niño is the real deal.

First off, it’s rapidly intensifying. El Niño is about self-reinforcing feedbacks between the ocean and the atmosphere, and from all accounts, this one has its foot on the accelerator pedal.

via El Nińo 2015: Largest ever?.

What Are We Doing?

For 800,000 years before the twentieth century, carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere never exceeded 300 parts per million. Then the Industrial Revolution began, and modern human civilization started burning through millions of years of fossilized carbon in the geological blink of an eye.

via Monthly carbon dioxide levels hit new milestone | NOAA Climate.gov.

Highest levels in 800,00 years…and even if we completely quit producing it at these levels, it would take thousand(s) of years to be removed from the atmosphere.

I worry for my grandkids.  What kind of world are we leaving them?

Warming Up

“This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120 parts per million since pre-industrial times,” added Tans. “Half of that rise has occurred since 1980.”

via Record global carbon dioxide concentrations surpass 400 parts per million in March 2015 — ScienceDaily.

 “Elimination of about 80 percent of fossil fuel emissions would essentially stop the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but concentrations of carbon dioxide would not start decreasing until even further reductions are made and then it would only do so slowly.”

How Geography Shaped American History, Law and Politics

How Geography Shaped American History, Law and Politics

From an interview with  Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, and author of the book The Law of the Land: a Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic

How was Lincoln a product of the Midwestern landscapes where he was raised?

If you are from the Midwest at this time, you believe that the union gave birth to the states. If you’re from Virginia, you believe the states gave birth to the union. Virginia was up and running since the 1620s, so it’s 150 years old by the time the American Revolution comes along. So, of course, Virginia comes first.

But if you’re from Illinois or Indiana, these were federal territories in the wilderness before the government created them as states. You are likely to be more of a nationalist for that reason. You are also going to believe that the federal government should create railroads and canals to connect you to the rest of the world. So you’re going to be in favor of infrastructure projects. You’re also going to oppose slavery, because these lands were proclaimed free from slavery back in 1787. So that’s Lincoln in a nutshell.

via How Geography Shaped American History, Law and Politics.

Who Owns Antarctica?

More Ice Loss Than We Thought

“We have a solution that is very solid, very detailed and unambiguous,” said co-author Frederik Simons, a Princeton associate professor of geosciences. “A decade of gravity analysis alone cannot force you to take a position on this ice loss being due to anthropogenic global warming. All we have done is take the balance of the ice on Antarctica and found that it is melting — there is no doubt. But with the rapidly accelerating rates at which the ice is melting, and in the light of all the other, well-publicized lines of evidence, most scientists would be hard pressed to find mechanisms that do not include human-made climate change.”

via Gravity data show that Antarctic ice sheet is melting increasingly faster — ScienceDaily.

Solid evidence that the ice loss is increasing.  Hope you don’t live on a low island in the Pacific, or near a coast, because you’d be in real trouble.

Measuring Social Progress – A TED Talk

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