These posts are intended to share information and ideas about climate change and hence act as a roundtable for readers to contribute items of interest. Again, I do not want to spend time in comments rehashing whether human activity causes climate change.
This edition links to some summary posts of the year and of several important conferences.
I always write this introduction last, so here I’ll shed a ceremonial tear, as this will be the last Climate clippings, at least for a while.
1. Cool rooves in LA
That’s what I’d say, they say “roofs”. Anyway they’ve voted for cool ones.
earlier this week [ie on December 17], the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted [pfd] to update the municipal building code to require all new and refurbished homes to have “cool roofs,” or roofs using materials that reflect sunlight rather than absorb it. In making the change, Los Angeles became the first major city to require “cool roofs” on new homes.
The reason behind the change is that, in cities where buildings are clustered together, roofs absorb sunlight, leading to the urban heat island effect and higher temperatures concentrated in urban areas. Researchers expect temperatures in Los Angeles to rise 3.7-5.4 degrees Fahrenheit by midcentury.
2. Ice sheets may be more fragile than thought
That’s according to a video by Peter Sinclair posted at Climate Citizen.
Research published in March 2012 showed that the Global Warming threshold for Greenland Ice Sheet collapse is about 1.6 degrees C, although we may be seeing the start right now.
Repeated reference is made to the Pliocene when CO2 levels were similar to today and the sea level was some 25 metres higher.
BTW Takver Takvera at Climate Citizen is blogging up a storm. Good to see.
3. Naomi Klein lambasts mainstream environmentalists
Basically she sees them as fellow travellers of dominant political ideology of market fundamentalism. Radical GHG emissions policies need radical social movements to back them. Klein was speaking at Radical [greenhouse gas] Emissions Reduction conference in London organised by the Tyndall Centre. The rest of the post goes on to summarise the sessions at the conference, some of them quite practical in nature.
4. Summing up 2013
Dana Nuccitelli has had a go at summing up 2013.
Overall, 2013 was a productive year in terms of reducing the consensus gap and debunking the ‘pause’ myth. Climate policies were a mixed bag, with some steps backwards and some steps forward. Climate media coverage was likewise a mixed bag, with continued false balance and inaccurate reporting from the politically conservative media, also seeping into the BBC. The New York Times eliminated its environment desk, but The Guardian stepped in to fill the gap with its new Environment Blogs.
A lot of interesting new climate research was published during the year, including a new IPCC synthesis report. However, progress toward solving the climate problem remained far too slow. Here’s to 2014 being a more productive year for climate solutions.
Dana also reported on the giant American Geophysical Union Conference which meets towards the end of each year.
One item mentioned in both is a widget released by Skeptical Science which calculated the energy absorbed by the planet in global warming as equivalent to 4 Hiroshima atomic bomb detonations, 2 Hurricane Sandys, or 4 magnitude 6.0 earthquakes per second. Make that 7,409,177,820,267,687 kitten sneezes:
That’s 7.4 quadrillion if you want to say it fast.
Climate blogging pause
When you see this post you will also see a Goodbye, again post on the front page with Larvatus Prodeo signing off again. I do feel a bit sad, but Buddhist wisdom suggests that one shouldn’t spend emotional energy beating oneself up about what is inevitable, rather save one’s energies for the next task at hand.
Whilst I’m going to be attending to some other matters for the next three months one of those matters will be working on a new blog, focussing on climate but also other stuff. It actually exists in prototype and I’m quite fond of it. As I said in the Goodbye post, I reckon if, come April, you Google ‘climate plus brian’ you’ll find me if I’m there. I say “if” because the future is by definition uncertain.
So it’s hopefully not goodbye, rather au revoir, auf Wiedersehen or just “seeya!”
Thanks for the support and the company.