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Climate Change. Part 24:

During 2018-JAN to MAY:
2017 was one of the hottest years ever.
New temperature records in Toronto.
President signs bill increasing research.
"Onion's" amusing fake news.

Sea levels rising; cities under water.
Climate change beliefs as function of age.
Proposed Mount Trumpmore project.
Hawaii volcano: incorrect prediction.
How global warming is affecting California.
Animal, Insect, & Bird Ranges Shrink.
Nutrients in rice reduced.
California Governor's comments
.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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2018-JAN-18: 2017 was one of the hottest years on record.

NASA released a report, concluding that 2017 was the second warmest year on record. They found that global average temperatures were, on average, 1.62F (0.90C) above average temperatures from 1951 to 1980. NOAA released an independent report indicating that 2017 was the third warmest year on record. 1.51F (0.84C) above average temperatures from 1951 to 1980. The two agencies used slightly different averaging techniques, and so came up with slightly different values. But their calculations agreed that the five hottest years have occurred since 2010.

Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), said:

"Details of the analyses differ in the small details, but the overall picture is very clear and coherent. ... [Warming was] "pervasive across the planet ... [and] remarkably uniform." 18

2018-FEB-19: Temperature records expected to be broken in Toronto, Canada:

There have been many statements in the media that are similar to following type. However, this one caught our attention because Toronto is just upwind from our location on the Northern shore of Lake Ontario.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement predicting that daytime high temperatures during the early part of the week of FEB-18 will reach +5 degrees Celsius (or 41 F). The high temperature on FEB-20 could reach +15 degrees Celsius (or 59 F). This will cause rapid melting of snow drifts, flooded roads, and flooded basements. 1

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2018-MAR: President reluctantly signs bill to increase research into combating climate change:

During the week of MAR-28, President Trump reluctantly signed a bill into law that increases funding to three research groups within the Department of Energy:

  • The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy received a 14 percent bump.

  • The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy got a 16 percent increase.

  • The Office of Nuclear Energy got a 19 percent increase. 2

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2018-MAR-30: The Onion's comedic/fake/outrageous news story about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

The Onion web site is described on Wikipedia as a web site whose:

"... articles cover current events, both real and fictional, satirizing the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, op-ed pieces, and man-in-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press. ... In 1999, comedian Bob Odenkirk praised the publication stating, "It's the best comedy writing in the country, and it has been since it started." 3

On MAR-30, an Onion article commented on the EPA's relaxation of automobile emission standards which will accelerate the world's rate of climate change. Their article begins:

"In an effort to guarantee Americans the freedom to pick whichever mode of rapid ecological decay they desire, the Environmental Protection Agency rolled back federal emissions standards Friday to provide consumers with a broader choice over the type of apocalyptic hellscape Earth will inevitably become. “Bleak, post-industrial garbage desert, nightmarish inferno of eternal noxious flames, or glowing green toxic acid swamp -- no matter which unsurvivable wasteland you favor, eliminating fuel economy and automotive emissions standards will provide car buyers far more options as to how their imminent dystopias will look,” said EPA chief Scott Pruitt ..." 4

It is a priceless satire, uncomfortably close to reality, that is not to be missed.

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2018-APR-06: The city of Jakarta, Indonesia, is sinking fast. This will be a widespread problem for many costal cities in the future:

Jakarta is the largest city in Southeast Asia. It is also the fastest sinking city in the world, sinking almost ten inches a year. About 40% of the city is now below sea level. The main cause is the existence of private wells for drinking water. Only about one-third of the population is served with piped water, so some residents are digging wells deeper in the ground to access ground water. The land then sinks because of the weight of the city's concrete and buildings.

Janjaap Brinkman, a Dutch hydrologist, said that an outer sea dike may delay the problem, but the eventual evacuation of 4 to 5 million people -- half the city's population -- seems inevitable. 5

A study by Cornell University concluded that, in 2060, about 1.4 billion people -- perhaps 14% of the world's population at that time -- will have to have relocated from costal areas to seek higher land. This will be mainly caused by a rise in sea level, which is itself caused by two processes:

  • The water in the oceans heating up and expanding due to the rise in the Earth's surface temperature, and

  • The partial melting of the Earth's existing glaciers.

Lead author, Charles Geisler, professor emeritus of development sociology at Cornell, issued a press release, saying:

"We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner that we think. The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet few policymakers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground." 6

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2018-MAY-11: Gallup releases information on the age gap in U.S. adults' beliefs about global warming:

Based on polls conducted from 2015 to 2018, Gallup has computed age differences in adults' beliefs about global warming. For example:

  • 70% of young adults from age 18 to 34 worry a great deal about global warming.

  • 56% of older adults aged 55+ years worry a great deal. 7

This variability is to be expected because the effects of climate change will proceed slowly in the future, and persons aged 55+ years only have about 25 years additional life expectancy or less.

Further data: 7

Americans' Attitudes About Global Warming, by Age
18 - 34 35 - 54 55+ Age gap
% % % %
Think global warming will pose a serious threat in your lifetime
51
47
29
22
Think global warming is caused by human activities
75
62
55
20
Think problem of global warming is underestimated in the news
48
38
31
17
Think most scientists believe global warming is occurring
73
69
58
15
Worry a great deal/fair amount about global warming
70
63
56
14
Think effects of global warming already begun
62
63
54
8
Understand global warming issue very/fairly well
82
80
76
6

The response to the second question is surprising. There have been many surveys of scientific papers about climate change in which the author(s) discuss the probable cause of global warming. They show that between 90 and 100% of the papers surveyed attribute the change to anthropogenic causes (originating in human activities) mainly those causing an increase in the emissions of greenhouse gasses. The percentage increases with the level of expertise of the authors on the topic. 4

Concern about climate change also differs by political party: 18% of Republicans and 66% of Democrats "worry a great deal."

The Skeptical Science website has a list of 197 "Global Warming & Climate Change Myths," sorted by popularity. The list compares climate myths with scientific findings. 8They also offer a free "Debunking Handbook," available in 12 languages, that can be downloaded from their site. 9

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2018-MAY-11: Activists in Finland are raising money to carve "Mount Trumpmore:"

A group called Melting Ice is fundraising 400,000 Euros (U.S. $473,000) to carve a 115 foot (35 meter) image of President Trump in a melting glacier somewhere in the Arctic. Over time, the image is expected to melt, providing a convincing indication of global warming -- which Trump still denies.

Mount Trump 10

Artist's simulation of what Mount Trumpmore would look like.

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2018-MAY-14: California is experiencing major adverse effects from global warming:

During 1988, when climate specialists were just beginning to warn of global warming/climate change, water expert Peter Gleick wrote:

"California will get the worst of all possible-worlds -- more flooding in the winter, less available water in the summer. 11

This prediction has come true. Between 2012 and 2016, California experienced the worst drought in over a millennium. This was followed in 2017 by its wettest year. 11

During 2018-MAY, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment issued a report that said, in part:

"The most dramatic impacts include wildfires that are larger and more frequent, and the most severe drought since record keeping began. Underlying these events is a long-term warming trend that has accelerated since the mid-1970s. In addition, spring snow melt runoff is decreasing, sea levels are rising, glaciers are shrinking, lakes and ocean waters are warming, and plants and animals are migrating." 11

Daniel Swain writing for Nature Climate Change said:

"... most of California will likely experience a 100 – 200% increase in the frequency of very wet November-March “rainy seasons” … California will [also] likely experience an increase of anywhere from 50% to 150% (highest in the south) in the frequency of very dry November-March periods ... Since California is so dependent on precipitation during its relatively brief winter rainy season, even a single dry winter can quickly lead to adverse drought impacts upon agriculture and the environment." 12

On a positive note, , writing for The Guardian, said:

"In 2016, California passed an update to the California Global Warming Solutions Act requiring a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas pollution by 2030 on the way to the target 80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. California’s annual per capita emissions (11.5 tonnes of CO2-equivalent per person) are currently on par with those of Germany and Japan, and 40% lower than the US average. ... More than half of the state’s electricity is generated by carbon-free sources (21% hydroelectric, 12% solar, 9% nuclear, 6% wind, 6% geothermal), and another 43% comes from natural gas." 11

Burning natural gas to generate electricity is much less polluting than burning coal.

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2018-MAY-16: Incorrect predictions about the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island, Hawaii:

An article by the Associated Press appeared to link the eruption of the Hawaii volcano with the "Ring of Fire." The latter refers to the hundreds of volcanoes that surround the edge of the Pacific Ocean where underground tectonic plates are converging. 16 The original version of the article suggested that the Hawaii volcano could trigger other volcanoes on the "Ring" to erupt. In reality, Kilauea -- and all the other volcanoes that formed the Hawaiian Island chain, are located in the center of the Pacific plate, not at its edge. So Kilauea cannot trigger eruptions elsewhere. 17 The article has been corrected.

A second piece of misinformation was posted on Twitter and has since been deleted. It had suggested that Kilauea might be about to blow with a force as devastating as the Krakatoa volcano did during 1883 CE in Indonesia. That killed more than 36,000 people. 17 In reality, the U.S. Geological Survey said that there is an increasing chance that a local steam explosion(s) could happen in the future at Kilauea like they did in 1924. However, the danger to local communities from steam explosions is limited.

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2018-MAY-17: Global warming's effects on the future range of plants, insects, and animals:

Scientists computed how the future ranges of more than 115,000 terrestrial species will be affected by various amounts of global warming. If the amount of warming is limited to 2 C above the pre-industrial levels, then, according to a report in Science:

"18 percent of insect species, 16 percent of plant species, and 8 percent of vertebrate species saw their geographic ranges shrink by more than half. Under 1.5 degrees C of warming, those numbers fell to 6 percent of insects, 8 percent of plants and 4 percent of vertebrates."

Rachel Warren, an environmental scientist at the University of East Anglia in Britain, said:

"Losing half the range is a pretty big impact, because that means [the organisms] stop contributing as much to the ecosystem."

Lauren Buckley, an ecologist from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, said:

“It’s very much the right question to be asking. ... Some organisms will be winners and some losers with climate change. Hopefully, a lot of biologists will start to ask this question, too." 13

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2018-MAY-23: Levels of nutrients in rice are expected to fall because of increasing Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere:

Susan Milius reports in Science News that by the end of this century, the levels of Vitamin B1, B2, B5, B9, protein, and some minerals will drop in rice as the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) level in the atmosphere rises from the present 410 parts per million towards the expected 570 ppm. Researchers in Japan have released CO2 within small patches of rice paddies to simulate this trend, and analyzed the rice harvest for vitamins, etc. 14

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2018-MAY-31: Gov. Gerry Brown (D-CA) commented on the U.S. exiting the Paris Accord being: "... far more serious than anyone is saying:"

He addressed the Carbon and Climate Neutrality Summit at the University of California.

Evan Halper, writing for the Los Angeles Times, said that President Trump's attempts to increase greenhouse emissions and climate change have partly failed. Halper wrote:

"... promised coal renaissance sputtered. Rollbacks of environmental protections are tangled in court. Even automakers aren’t on board for his push toward heavier-polluting cars.

But even so, a year after President Trump pulled out of the landmark Paris Accord on climate change, the struggle to contain global warming has grown considerably more complicated without the prodding and encouragement once provided by the U.S. government. And though many in the climate movement hope progress toward cutting emissions can continue despite Trump’s retreat, there are growing doubts about reaching the Paris agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, if Washington does not re-engage soon.

In an interview, Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledged the hope felt by many climate activists because of efforts from states like his and by private companies. But he also said the world is only just beginning to feel the environmental harm inflicted by the Trump administration." 15

Governor Brown compared the planet under Trump’s climate policies to a person who has just fallen from the top of the Empire State Building. He said:

"He has set in motion initiatives that will cause damage. You are falling down four stories, but have 80 [sic] to go. Maybe you are not damaged yet, but it is certain you will die."

Not that it matters much, but the Empire State Building actually has 102 stories.

Gov. Brown believes that global progress has stalled. He said:

“This is real. It is far more serious than anybody is saying."

Nigel Purvis, a climate negotiator during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and CEO of Climate Advisers is more positive. He said:

"Teddy Roosevelt talked about speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Donald Trump is tweeting loudly and carrying fiddlesticks. The level of damage is not as much as one might have thought, given all the tweeting and speeches."

Marc Hafstead, an economist at Resources for the Future, said:

"If we are going to take this [Paris Accord] target seriously, we need federal action. ... There is still time. We can still do something in 2020 or 2021 or after."

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This topic continues in the next essay, with developments later during 2018

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Rain and spring-like temperatures expected in Toronto this week ," Toronto Star, 2018-FEB-19, at: https://www.thestar.com/
  2. Brad Plumer, "C_IMA__ _HA_G_," New York Times's "Climate Fwd" newsletter, 2018-MAR-28, at: https://static.nytimes.com/
  3. "The Onion," Wikipedia, as on 2018-APR-09, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  4. "EPA Rolls Back Emissions Standards To Increase Consumer Choice Over Type Of Apocalyptic Hellscape Earth Will Become," The Onion, 2018-MAR-30, at: https://politics.theonion.com/
  5. Pam Wright, "Jakarta Is the World's Fastest-Sinking City and It May Have Only a Decade Left," The Weather Channel, 2018-APR-06, at: https://weather.com/
  6. Pam Wright, "2 Billion Could Become Climate Refugees From Rising Seas by 2100, Study Says," The Weather Channel, 2017-JUN-28, at: https://weather.com/
  7. RJ Reinhart, "Global Warming Age Gap: Younger Americans Most Worried," Gallup, 2018-MAY-11, at: http://news.gallup.com/
  8. "Dana1981," "The 97% consensus on global warming," Skeptical Science, 2017-JAN-29, at: https://www.skepticalscience.com/
  9. John Cook, "Global Warming & Climate Change Myths," Skeptical Science, 2018, at: https://www.skepticalscience.com/
  10. Benjamin Brown, "Trump sculpture on Arctic glacier planned as climate-change protest," Fox News, 2018-MAY-11, at: http://www.foxnews.com/
  11. Dana Nuccitelli, "California, battered by global warming’s weather whiplash, is fighting to stop it," The Guardian, 2018-MAY-14, at: https://www.theguardian.com/
  12. Daniel L Swain, et al., "Increasing precipitation volatility in twenty-first-century California," Nature Climate Change, 2018-APR-23, at: https://www.nature.com/
  13. Carolyn Gramling, "Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees C helps most species hold their ground," Science News, 2018-MAY-17, at: https://www.sciencenews.org/
  14. Susan Milius, "As CO2 increases, rice loses B vitamins and other nutrients, Science News, 2018-MAY-22, at: https://www.sciencenews.org/
  15. Evan Halper, "Gov. Brown says fallout from Trump quitting Paris accord is 'far more serious than anyone is saying'," Los Angeles Times, 2018-JUN-01, at: http://www.latimes.com/
  16. Nicholas K Geranios, "Hawaii volcano raises concerns of eruptions along West Coast," Associated Press, 2018-MAY-13, at: https://apnews.com/
  17. Carolyn Gramling, "No, Kilauea won’t cause mass destruction," Science News, 2018-MAY-16, at: https://www.sciencenews.org/
  18. "Scorcher! 2017 Ranked Among Three Hottest Years Ever," Live Science, 2018-JAN-18, at: https://www.livescience.com/

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The following reports in this section that discuss environment and climate change may be of interest to you:

  • Part 1: 2013: Quotes. Background. Bay of Bengal incident. Decline in Canada's arctic ice cover.

  • Part 2: 2013/2014: Canada loses its seasons. 316 North American cities to be under water.

  • Part 3: 2013/2014: Christians, Republicans' & Democrats' beliefs differ. Volcanoes cause pauses in global warming. Americans' views on climate change.

  • Part 4: 2014/2015: How Americans viewed climate change. HFC limits. Groups abandoning ALEC. Paris Conference reaches agreement.

  • Part 5: 2016-FEB to AUG: Climate change concerns: Ocean levels rising. Displacement of animal species. Greenland glacier melting. "Third Pole" glaciers melting.

  • Part 6: 2016-SEP: Flooding on the U.S. East coast. U.S. and China ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Pres. Obama: trends are "terrifying."

  • Part 7: 2016-SEP: Obama comments on warming (Continued). 31 countries ratify Paris agreement. Trump zigzags on Climate Change.

  • Part 8: 2016-Summer/Fall: Events showing that climate change is adversely affecting life on Earth

  • Part 9: 2016-OCT: Did God send Hurricane Matthew as an anti-LGBT message to humanity? Alternate opinions. Hurricane Matthew re-enters Atlantic Ocean.

  • Part 10: 2016-NOV: U.S. Costal real estate threatened. Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. Very large poll about climate change.

  • Part 11: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's climate change beliefs. New heads of federal government departments. Extinction of 11 species.

  • Part 12: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's 16 promised plans on energy and the environment.

  • Part 13: star 2017-JAN: 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.

  • Part 14: star 2017-JAN: Recent climate change measurements.

  • Part 15: star 2017-JAN to APR: Climate Change beliefs are changing; more people accept it as real, and are now debating its cause.

  • Part 16: 2017-JAN to APR: Donald Trump Becomes President. EPA Foe Installed as Head of EPA! Hundreds Die During Flood in Colombia. Carbon Dioxide
    in Atmosphere Reaches New High.


  • Part 17: 2017-JAN to APR: Studies of the effects of sea-level rise in California between now and the year 2100.

  • Part 18: President Trump severs the U.S. from the Paris Accord. U.S. and world leaders react.

  • Part 19: 2017: More Reactions to the U.S. Withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

  • Part 20: star2017: Group of 20 summit meeting. Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas.Is climate change increasing the severity or frequency of hurricanes?

  • Part 21: Can government regulations help? Is Harvey a message from God? U.S. record high temperatures. Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas.
    Hurricane Irma attacks Caribbean, FL, SC, & GA.


  • Part 22: 2017-SEP/OCT: The most expensive recent hurricanes to attack the United States. Does God use Hurricanes to send a message? Conflicts; climate change causes rise in hunger.

  • Part 23: All UN states have signed the Paris Agreement. Government report contradicts the President. Comment by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Temperature records broken. Some fake news about the EPA that is too good to miss.

  • Part 25: 2018-JUN to now: A very few encouraging signs. Hurricanes slowing as winds increase. Changes in Antarctic ice and environment. Norway's growing season increased. New highest temperatures.

  • Part 26: 2018-JUL Another new highest temperature. New York City reports to the UN. Impacts of humans burning up all our fossil energy.
    WWW.CLIMATECENTRAL.ORG's tools. Death Valley, CA, sets new record. Dissapearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern lands.


  • Part 27: 2018-AUG & SEP: Disappearing wetlands in Louisiana Climate change affecting Northern countries. Hurricane Florence hits the Carolinas.

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Copyright 2017 & 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2017-JUN-10
Latest update: 2018-JUL-08
Author: B.A. Robinson


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