Rapid Arctic sea ice loss is probably the most visible indicator of global climate change; it leads to shifts in ecosystems and economic access, and potentially impacts weather throughout the northern hemisphere.James Overland, of the NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory • Speaking on summertime Arctic ice levels, and how they portend the future of climate change. According to Overland, the time when the Arctic will see a nearly ice-free summer is creeping faster than expected — likely in advance of 2050, and perhaps sometime over the next two decades. His full report, authored with NOAA colleague Muyin Wang, was published online for Geophysical Research Letters, and is available to read here. source
Now is not the time to gut these new job-creating innovations… today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy. After years of talking about it, we’re poised to finally control our own energy future. …But for the sake of our children, we must do more to combat climate change.President Obama, segueing from praising increases in American oil and gas production, to speaking more solmenly of the dangers of climate change. Obama cited the recent glut of hottest years on record, and referenced numerous, unusually forceful weather incidents – Superstorm Sandy among them – as reasons he will seek to wield executive power to act on climate reforms, even if congress passes.
We don’t, in a sensible world, want to hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world to our grandchildren, to leave them with the real problem. I don’t want to be confronted by my future grandchild and (have) them say: ‘Why didn’t you do something?’Prince Charles • On the issue of climate change and why he doesn’t want his soon-to-be-born grandson to question why he didn’t do more about it.
This is not where we wanted to be at the end of the meeting, I assure you. It certainly isn’t where we need to be in order to prevent islands from going under and other unimaginable impacts.Kieren Keke, Foreign Minister of Nauru • Speaking on the agreement at a UN conference in Qatar today to extend provisions of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change through 2020. This may sound hopeful on its face, but the agreement is far short of of the level of coordination needed to impact the changing climate, as it only covers about 15% of global emissions. Canada, Russia, New Zealand, and Japan (where, notably, Kyoto is located) all opted out of the deal. A major sticking point in the negotiations — how new emissions standards would impact wealthy, industrialized nations versus developing ones, and securing funding from the richer states to help the poorer meet those marks. The conference reaffirmed a pledge to come to a global treaty by 2015, a lofty goal considering the competing interests involved, and also not a delay anybody like the minister quoted above wants to consider. For tiny islands like Nauru or Kiribati, the climate change debate isn’t just academic. source
» Some evidence in his favor: In a groundbreaking 1988 study, Hansen claimed that by the 2010s, Washington DC would become so warm that it’d have nine days of heat above 95 degrees per year. So far this year, the District has had 23 days that hit this mark — and now he says he underestimated his own work.
Just keep in mind that Mars, and say, ‘How many SUVs, how many oil refineries are there on Mars?’ And yet, it’s the relationship to the sun that is affecting the climate on Mars.Televangelist Pat Robertson • Heaping dirt on fears of climate change by way of an odd suggestion — that because there are no SUVs on Mars, which shows some signs of ice cap melting, we therefore know that global warming isn’t our fault. At least, that’s what we took his argument to be. If that sounds a little strange to you, you’re not alone. Climate scientists have suggested that wobbles in the Martian orbit can account for this melting, one of many possible explanations that doesn’t aim to invalidate the climate research done here on Earth. source (via • follow)
I didn’t sit on a couch with anybody.Rick Santorum • Speaking at a campaign event at the USS Alabama Battleship Park, during which he also proudly declared that global warming “is not climate science, it was political science.” The couch line was a reference to a 2008 video that his opponent, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, did with the then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi on climate change. Gingrich was not the only target of Santorum’s speech, the candidate quickly reminded those in attendance that Mitt Romney imposed the nation’s first CO2 cap during his time as governor. “We don’t need somebody who changes when the climate changes,” Santorum said, “We need somebody who looks at science with a clear head and a level eye.” source (via • follow)
It smells a lot like a certain quadrant of the denier community. They pretend to be concerned that we are impeding development in poor countries. Only certain think tanks think that way and play that way.Greenpeace research director Kert Davies • Discussing who he thinks might be behind an infamous 2009 hack that led to the distribution of over 1,000 e-mails from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, timed in such a way to undercut research being done on global warming. The story, on the backburner for nearly two years, is suddenly starting to simmer again as a result of further e-mail releases and word of an investigation in Britain. During the most recent leak of e-mails, the leaker offered up just enough details in cryptic messages to give investigators something to grasp onto. Many in the climate change community — skeptics, activists and so on — have different views on the motives of the person who released the e-mails, but it’s a whodunit which should keep things interesting in the coming weeks. source (via • follow)
In a time of constraints, in a time of crisis, in a time of tough budgets, people are saying that charity starts at home, that we cannot deal with something noble but medium and long-term like the environment.Angel Gurria, chief of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development • Discussing the stumbling inaction by the global community in adequately addressing the issue of climate change. 194 nations are currently convened in Durban, South Africa for a major conference on climate change, one which strives to reach agreements on carbon control to continue the process begun by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol; the EU has said they will not renew their emissions reduction standards unless measures are adopted so that all countries (most importantly the United States and China, the world’s worst polluters) must hold to certain emissions standards as well. This has caused turmoil in the discussions, as many less developed nations insist they haven’t been to blame for the surge in carbon to date, and thus shouldn’t be penalized as they now strive to industrialize. source (via • follow)
There is — there are questions about the validity of the science, evidenced by one university over in Scotland recently. I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation.Jon Huntsman • Betraying his earlier stance on climate change, which had won him some respect in environmentally-minded quarters. To be clear, this is in stark contradiction to the Jon Huntsman of months past. For instance, in August: “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Honestly, we’re surprised by this. Huntsman’s prior stance impressed us, despite a very skeptical GOP base. We thought his conviction on this issue was pretty strong, especially as he voiced it during a televised debate, but now it seems he’s flip-flopped to add juice to a recent polling uptick. source (via • follow)