What do I think, What can I do?

Posts tagged ‘climate’

1ºC is 20 m, sea level rise

I read this post recently and found it a terrific explanation of one of the most direct and frightening consequences of climate change: sea level rise. (I also bought his book High Tide on Main Street but I will try have to read it later).

One of the figures he gives is the best summary for me: Roughly sea level raises 20 m for each ºC, based on historic data. It does not happen immediately, the huge ice sheets need time to thaw but once the temperature is fixed it is unstoppable. Considering a moderate target of 2 ºC for our future warming if we do things relatively well and stop current business as usual in a reasonable time, this would lead to a terrifying figure of 40 m sea level rise. Others sources mention basically 21st century predictions as this article ( Antonio Zecca, Luca Chiari, Global and Planetary Change.). It calculates a lower limit of 80cm this siecle and more for the next 200 years; or the NOAA, witch estimates between 20 cm and 2m.

The problem to solve in order to predict the sea level rise is very complicated. Even knowing the exact amount of water coming from Greenland or west Antarctica, or the exact temperature rise and subsequent water dilatation it would be complex as the seas are filling the land floating in the magma. So, we have to be conscious or the great error margins and the difference between coasts.

But anyway, going back to the 40 m, I think my house would be included there, some years ago, in some floods just 3 m were enough to reach the lower floor, so I will not be here to see it but it could be sad to my grandsons to say this part of the sea was our grandfathers house.

A long time before that, with much less, it is likely that some housing market will realise about that and the wonderful coastal second houses or investment values will drop sharply causing an economical and maybe financial crack, and even before the strong storms will become a great problem for inhabitants owners and insurance companies.


The coldest May

Photo in the train near Bilbao

I have taken this photo today in the train in Bilbao, the weather was quite hot and the discussions about air conditioning pasionate.

17 of the last posts in ClimateRealists refer to the “coldest may” for example in this one. I was surprised to read this forecasts about the whole month from April 25th?. But who knows, maybe they are starting to believe in models.
In some of those posts they make clear they refer to UK but not in all. So today, after suffering this hot weather during two days, I decided to take this photo to show that some parts of the world are not so cold, because when we talk about climate change, it refers to the planet climate, not to somewhere’s weather. If this is the coldest may, I don’t want to imagine the hottest one.
Anyway, we will know better at the end of the month, because data matter, don’t they?

Snow at home

This week has been unusually cold in the whole Europe, and also for me. I am not used to see all this snow around me, and even if some snow around Bilbao is not strange every winter I do not remember it lasting so long. My memories of childhood remember a friend always asking for snow to avoid going to school as it happened once, but regrettably for him no more in our school years.
Anyway I may be wrong because I do not trust too much my weather memories, nor the memories of people surrounding me, because it is easy to listen many people explaining how extreme has been any weather condition every year. Nevertheless, as I frequently discuss with my wife climate change is not about our vague memories or climate feelings, it is about data, long term and geographically widespread data. For this reason I do not read with much interest the frequent posts in skeptic blogs about cold winter in India, or in Nebraska, or this time in Europe.
The skeptic posts about those freezing temperatures are widespread, here, here, here , and here, as it is cold is not warming. The answer in climate hawks blogs is that more energy in the atmosphere means more extreme weather events and I remember a conference about climate change where the speaker say precisely that, more extreme events in Europe would occur due to changes in wind regimes could be a consequence of higher global temperatures.

I think that it is important to distinguish weather tfrom global climate, wonderfully explained in this video. This winter is not a probe against climate change and it is not a probe of it although matches with some of the predictions. Even having extreme events doesn’t probe anything, the increasing number of extreme events is the key index to check, along with many others.

Transantartika, going to the south pole in low carbon way

Image from the official web

Transantartika is a sportive even, a tough adventure of three excellent climbers to conquer the south pole in a low carbon way. They celebrate the 100 anniversary of the Amundsen and Scott race for the south pole going with skies and kites. They are going really fast in some days driven by the wind. It would have been wonderful for Scott to have such a resource. It is not the only renewable energy they are using, they also power their electronics with solar panels.

It is interesting to see how related is the power of wind or other renewables with sport evens (also for sailings for example, or bicycles) and how far is from more common and everyday transport options. I know it is not the same, but it has to be quite reliable if they are risking their lives in Antantica. It is curious but Scott, who died in his expedition was a pioneer in using motorized sleights and nowadays with all the possible technology the wind has been chosen. Of course the technology has evolved a lot for the motors, for the materials and for the kites too, fortunately.

One final thought, will it be so interesting to do this in some decades? The temperatures may have risen noticeably although it could be even more unpredictable due to climate extreme events.

My own climatechangemeter

One of the targets of starting this blog was explaining my point of views to exert an influence in public opinion about this subject I consider very important.
Of course, the main index to measure this effect are the views, comments,. in the blog itself. In these first moments of the blog I am not doing anything to make it too public, so visits and comment are not too encouraging. I am not worried, I am mostly practicing.  But the real key question is not this blog or any other one, is public opinion, and subsequent actions.
I will try to measure it indirectly recording google result figures for two searches: “climate change ” and “climate change skeptics”. From some date in the second one I am trying also some orthographic possibilities , sceptic, skeptic, skeptics and sceptics to make it more general. This index is under construction like this blog, so it should be expected to evolve considerably in the previous stages. This climatechangemeter is really a measurement of interest more than any other feeling, but it is a beginning and I will informally continue doing it, just to see. Maybe the searches could be tuned, and suggestions are welcome, although I want to maintain it simple.

Here you have the fist figure. It is curious, but from initial measurement a month ago climate change has suffered a low peak but has recovered strongly in recent days. The skeptics in single form however suffered the same peak but a weaker recovery. We will go on checking the trend.


Will lemons grow in my garden?, For the prof needers

My wife and me bought a small land to plant trees and maybe some vegetables,… We do not have time to take care of it too much but some trees are getting adoult enought to give us some delicious fruits.

Nevertheless we failed completely in some trials: the attempt to plant lemon tree was really tragic due to the winter cold and our lack of knowledge. However, our luck is about to change, a recent research has shown that many vegetables are NOW moving due to actual climate change. The strongest changes are about to come, next generation or perhaps later, but some are happening right now. The good part is that I hope to get wonderful lemons and oranges, the counterpart is that ecosystems maintaining 1000 million people are in risk. And we still go on discussing about climate change, or worse, about who should pay the economy/society change we need. Meanwhile CO2  continues to grow in our atmosphere and the change is becoming more inevitable and stronger.

The source of my information is this interesting spanish scientific blog, concretely this link http://neofronteras.com/?p=3163

Earth Day

Today is the earth day. I do not know if this day is more to ask for improvements or to welcome the achievements, but I feel myself quite pessimistic. I do not consider myself pessimist about climate change in general, just feel pessimistic today.
Maybe one reason is that I listened in the TV to Xavier Sala-i-Martin, an important economist teaching at Columbia university. He talked mainly about economy and it is quite interesting in this subject, but at the same time he is convinced that climate change should be the least important of human global priorities, far behind of malaria or AIDS.

I agree with him in one point: we can not solve everything at the same time, the resources are limited, and many important problems have to be faced. However, I am convinced that this issue is more a mid to long term investment than an expenditure because if we do not act it will worsen many other problems and create new unexpected ones. And the poorest ones will be the first to notice it, after them we will all be affected in some way. Because climate affects harvests, food security, malaria mosquito scope,…

Nevertheless, likely investing to reduce hunger or many illnesses will help to do more actions against climate change because people starving is not able to worry about mid to long term risks with strange names.

What is first, the hen or the egg?

Maybe the actions/projects that help for globally satisfactory improvements.