Lots of studies and reports have come out recently. Reports and studies are only useful if people read them. So let’s get started.
State of the Climate in 2013
“In 2013, the vast majority of worldwide climate indicators—greenhouse gases, sea levels, global temperatures, etc.—continued to reflect trends of a warmer planet, according to the indicators assessed in the State of the Climate in 2013 report, released online today(July 17, 2014) by the American Meteorological Society.
Scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., served as the lead editors of the report, which was compiled by 425 scientists from 57 countries around the world.
“These findings reinforce what scientists for decades have observed: that our planet is becoming a warmer place,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D. “This report provides the foundational information we need to develop tools and services for communities, business, and nations to prepare for, and build resilience to, the impacts of climate change.””
Some of the highlights include:
Greenhouse gases continued to climb:
Weekly average concentration of carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa between 2010 and early 2014. Graph by NOAA Climate.gov, based on data provided by NOAA ESRL. Mauna Loa photo by Mary Miller, Exploratorium.
Warm temperature trends continued near the Earth’s surface:
Sea surface temperatures increased:
Sea level continued to rise:
The Arctic continued to warm; sea ice extent remained low:
Sea ice concentration in September 2013 compared to the median extent from 1981-2010 (gold line) and the 2012 record low (gray line). Map by NOAA Climate.gov, based on data provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Exclusive: Coastal flooding has surged in U.S., Reuters finds:
I guess you can call this an analysis but it will soon become a NOAA Report due out this Summer.
“(Reuters) – Coastal flooding along the densely populated Eastern Seaboard of the United States has surged in recent years, a Reuters analysis has found.
During the past four decades, the number of days a year that tidal waters reached or exceeded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flood thresholds more than tripled in many places, the analysis found. At flood threshold, water can begin to pool on streets. As it rises farther, it can close roads, damage property and overwhelm drainage systems.
Since 2001, water has reached flood levels an average of 20 days or more a year in Annapolis, Maryland; Wilmington, North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Sandy Hook, New Jersey; and Charleston, South Carolina. Before 1971, none of those locations averaged more than five days a year. Annapolis had the highest average number of days a year above flood thresholds since 2001, at 34.”
An Annapolis statue commemorating Roots author Alex Haley during Hurricane Isabel in 2003
A couple of articles backing up this analysis are:
Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away. I’ve written about Miami several times.
“The streets of Norfolk, Virginia, regularly flood now at high tide, often trapping people in their homes and preventing them from getting to work.
The City’s $24 million Chrysler Museum of Art was forced to empty its basement and move its HVAC system to the top floor of the building.
Churches in Norfolk now post tide charts on their web sites so people can determine whether they can even get to church. Some churches are being sold because they can’t pay their skyrocketing flood insurance premiums.”
Here in the west we have are own problems. Do we only take interest or hear about our local problems? If we don’t know what’s happening in the world how can we pull all this information together and come to any conclusions? Do the people in the west even know about the massive fires to the north of us?
Report Details Climate Change Effects on 289 National Parks:
“On July 2, the National Park Service released a report by two of its scientists that confirms that 289 of America’s parks and historic sites are experiencing climate change. That is, many are getting and staying hotter for longer, enduring more severe spikes in temperature, experiencing biblical deluges, or losing beach to erosion and rising tides.”
The full report which is only for the data enthusiasts can be found here.
Dovetailing with this report is one by the Union of Concerned Scientists called, “National Landmarks at Risk“.
“From Ellis Island to the Everglades, Cape Canaveral to California’s César Chávez National Monument, these sites symbolize values that unite all Americans — patriotism, freedom, democracy, and more — and together help weave the very fabric of our shared history.
Today these sites face a perilous and uncertain future in a world of rising sea levels, more frequent wildfires, increased flooding, and other damaging effects of climate change.
We must prepare our cherished landmarks for these worsening climate impacts and take steps to make climate resilience a national priority. At the same time, we must work to minimize these risks in the future by reducing the carbon emissions that are causing climate change and its accompanying impacts.”
To show how important these national parks and monuments are we have a study titled, “Study says national parks boost economy in West”.
“On Friday, the National Park Service released a report that says spending on hotels, restaurants, gas and supplies by visitors to U.S. national parks in 2013 contributed $14.6 billion in economic benefits to communities within 60 miles of the parks nationwide.”
America’s poor showing is sobering for a nation accustomed to being a world leader, and it could have economic consequences. “How can the United States compete in a global economy if it continues to waste money and energy that other countries save and can reinvest?” said Rachel Young, the principal author of the energy efficiency report card.
Energy efficiency must provide more than half of the world’s carbon emissions reductions to avoid a catastrophic temperature increase, according to the International Energy Agency”
I guess that’s all the reports and studies I have for you today but it looks like there’s more to come. Stay tuned!