Thursday, January 7, 2016

El Nino Cometh

After great anticipation, the first storms of El Nino hit Southern California.  While the news focused on flooding incidents and traffic jams, I only had eyes for our local San Gabriel Mountains, recently designated as a national monument by President Obama.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Burning Dragon

Blackened skin and golden hair,
Lights upon the evening airs;
Raising fumes and tearing curls
before the darkness, taking turns.
Fire eats us, everywhere.

Blackened blood sustains its life,
An angered mind in hidden strife.
A half turned soul, a running wraith,
And blackened lips and harried step,
Consume a burden, held in despite.

Who stops the digging that stop the skies?

And empty mouths that spew and lie?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Comment on New Power Plant Rules

In accordance with President Obama's Executive Order last year, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new rules regarding the CO2 emissions from new power plants burning fossil fuels like natural gas and coal.  While the EPA acknowledges that the new rule will not significantly reduce CO2 emissions, it is an important prerequisite in further regulations that will reduce emissions and encourage the construction of new renewable power plants like Solar, Wind, and Geothermal, to meet the increasing demand for electricity.  These new renewable power plants will also encourage the rebuilding and modernizing of the existing power grid to efficiently move electricity to where it is needed, and help build out a new transportation network, which will rely more heavily on electric power, for the future.

To comment on the proposed rule, please follow the link below.  Comments will be accepted until March 5 of this year but people are encouraged to comment by February 7.!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0495-0001

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One Liners Against Climate Denials

The best way to refute climate denials is with a pithy and, hopefully, sarcastic response.  I've modified some of the original one liners. :)

Skeptic Rebuttal One Liners

 Skeptic ArgumentOne LinerParagraph
1“Climate’s changed before”But it won't change back if we don't do something about it.Natural climate change in the past proves that climate is sensitive to an energy imbalance. If the planet accumulates heat, global temperatures will go up. Currently, CO2 is imposing an energy imbalance due to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Past climate change actually provides evidence for our climate’s sensitivity to CO2.
2“It’s the sun”No, it's the temperatureIn the last 35 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate have been going in opposite directions.
3“It’s not bad”Not if you enjoy frying eggs on your forehead.The negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health, economy and environment far outweigh any positives.
4“There is no consensus”There's no stopping it, either.That humans are causing global warming is the position of the Academies of Science from 19 countries plus many scientific organizations that study climate science. More specifically, around 95% of active climate researchers actively publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position.
5“It’s cooling”A dumbfounded stare is probably the best response to such a foolish statement.Empirical measurements of the Earth’s heat content show the planet is still accumulating heat and global warming is still happening. Surface temperatures can show short-term cooling when heat is exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean, which has a much greater heat capacity than the air.
6“Models are unreliable”Gee, that's too bad but let's not get off the subject, shall we?While there are uncertainties with climate models, they successfully reproduce the past and have made predictions that have been subsequently confirmed by observations.
7“Temp record is unreliable”Since when is a fact unreliable?Numerous studies into the effect of urban heat island effect and microsite influences find they have negligible effect on long-term trends, particularly when averaged over large regions.
8“Animals and plants can adapt”But not humans.A large number of ancient mass extinction events have been strongly linked to global climate change. Because current climate change is so rapid, the way species typically adapt (eg – migration) is, in most cases, simply not be possible. Global change is simply too pervasive and occurring too rapidly.
9“It hasn’t warmed since 1998″I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the air conditioner.The planet has continued to accumulate heat since 1998 – global warming is still happening. Nevertheless, surface temperatures show much internal variability due to heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. 1998 was an unusually hot year due to a strong El Nino.
10“Antarctica is gaining ice”Really?  You've been to Antarctica recently?While the interior of East Antarctica is gaining land ice, overall Antarctica is losing land ice at an accelerating rate. Antarctic sea ice is growing despitea strongly warming Southern Ocean.
11“Ice age predicted in the 70s”Flying cars were also predicted in the 70's.  What's your point?1970s ice age predictions were predominantly media based. The majority of peer reviewed research at the time predicted warming due to increasing CO2.
12“CO2 lags temperature”Stop it.  You don't even know what that means.When the Earth comes out of an ice age, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth’s orbit. The warming causes the oceans to give up CO2. The CO2 amplifies the warming and mixes through the atmosphere, spreading warming throughout the planet. So CO2 causes warming ANDrising temperature causes CO2 rise.
13“Climate sensitivity is low”And neither one us knows what that means.Climate sensitivity can be calculated empirically by comparing past temperature change to natural forcings at the time. Various periods of Earth’s past have been examined in this manner and find broad agreement of a climate sensitivity of around 3°C.
14“We’re heading into an ice age”You're thinking of the movie trailer.The warming effect from more CO2 greatly outstrips the influence from changes in the Earth’s orbit or solar activity, even if solar levels were to drop to Maunder Minimum levels.
15“Ocean acidification isn’t serious”Why don't you add a little acid to your bathwater tonight and see if your opinion doesn't change.Past history shows that when CO2 rose sharply, this corresponded with mass extinctions of coral reefs. Currently, CO2 levels are rising faster than any other time in known history. The change in seawater pH over the 21st Century is projected to be faster than anytime over the last 800,000 years and will create conditions not seen on Earth for at least 40 million years.