On the Path to “Hothouse Earth”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Aug. 14, 2018 Excerpts from "Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene" Will Steffen, Johan Rockström, Katherine Richardson, Timothy M. Lenton, Carl Folke, Diana Liverman, Colin P. Summerhayes, Anthony D. Barnosky, Sarah E. Cornell, Michel Crucifix, Jonathan F. Donges, Ingo Fetzer, Steven J. Lade, Marten Scheffer, Ricarda Winkelmann, and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber PNAS August 14, 2018 115 (33) 8252-8259; published ahead of print August 6, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1810141115 Edited by William C. Clark, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and approved July 6, 2018 (received for review June 19, 2018) Abstract We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the

The Danger of a “Hothouse Earth”

Self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth past the threshold of climate stabilization and into an ongoing path to a "Hothouse Earth", even if emissions were reduced. That is the conclusion of an international group of 16 scientists published Aug. 6, 2018, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. "Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene," the authors report. "We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. "If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values." See the complete study

Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets

In order to keep global warming below 2oC, two-thirds of the world's proved fossil energy reserves will have to remain unburned. Nevertheless, oil, gas and coal companies are continuing to invest in exploration and are underestimating the risk of large stranded investments. In this seminal study, Carbon Tracker describes the "carbon bubble" and what it means for shareholders in fossil energy companies. Read more

October 10th, 2016|Science and Analysis|

A 2016 Survey of American Meteorological Society Members About Climate Change

This report provides initial findings from the national survey of American Meteorological Society (AMS) member views on climate change conducted by George Mason University and AMS, with National Science Foundation funding. Our survey was administered via email between January 6 and January 31, 2016. After making an initial request to participate, we sent up to five additional requests/reminders to participate to those people who had not yet completed a survey. A total of 4,092 AMS members participated, with participants coming from the United States and internationally. The participation rate in the survey was 53.3%. We wish to sincerely thank all AMS members who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in this research. We hope the following report is useful to them.

College-Educated Views on Global Warming

March 2015 - via Gallup An aggregate poll conducted by Gallup shows that educated Democrats are less skeptical of global warming, whereas 74 percent of educated Republicans believe that the seriousness of global warming is “generally exaggerated”. This suggests that higher levels of education reinforce core partisan positions. It also suggests that partisanship is the main indicator in shaping American views on global warming, rather than education. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Educated Reps more likely than less educated Reps to doubt global warming Democrats with college degrees tend to be less skeptical Education related to self-reported understanding of issue for both parties   Read more here: College-Educated Republicans Most Skeptical of Global Warming

Regional climate prediction

February 2015 - by Alastair Brown - via Nature Climate Change Uncertainty about the spatial distribution of future climatic changes is dominated by differences in projections that result from climate model differences. Much of the model variance can be attributed to the representation of climate feedbacks that alter radiative flux by reinforcing, or attenuating, external climate forcing.… Read more here: Regional climate prediction

NRDC Interactive Map and State Profiles

From the National Resources Defense Council website: Every state in America can produce its own energy from clean, renewable sources, keeping millions of energy dollars in-state, reducing pollution, and creating new jobs and new sources of income. With the right policies in place, states and localities can harness their own natural resources -- from farmland and sunshine to wind and skilled labor -- to develop a local renewable energy industry. See the interactive map here: NRDC Renewable Energy Interactive Map See state profiles here: NRDC Renewable Energy State Profiles

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Services – Renewable Energy

From Bloomberg New Energy Finance website: The rapid adoption of wind, solar and other renewable technologies is transforming markets and business models around the world, while creating both opportunities and challenges in the supply chain. Our global service covers the entire value chain from technology components to project development and operations, giving an end-to-end view of these fast-growing sectors. Proprietary indices give up-to-date views into changing equipment prices, backed up by fundamental analysis on supply and demand. Policy and regulatory developments are tracked and analysed to provide immediate forward-looking clarity, and our models and analytical tools provide insights to support asset valuation, market size forecasting and business strategy decisions. Read more here: Bloomberg New Energy Finance - Renewable Energy Services

Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming

January 2015 - by Jennifer A Francis and Stephen J Vavrus - via IOP Science  Abstract New metrics and evidence are presented that support a linkage between rapid Arctic warming, relative to Northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, and more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns. We find robust relationships among seasonal and regional patterns of weaker poleward thickness gradients, weaker zonal upper-level winds, and a more meridional flow direction. These results suggest that as the Arctic continues to warm faster than elsewhere in response to rising greenhouse-gas concentrations, the frequency of extreme weather events caused by persistent jet-stream patterns will increase. Read full article here: Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming