You want change? You got it with the climate

'Increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond"

A sailboat sits on a sidewalk at Dinner Key in Miami after it was washed ashore by Hurricane Andrew.  (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

A sailboat sits on a sidewalk at Dinner Key in Miami after it was washed ashore by Hurricane Andrew. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

When it came time to deliver a new federal report detailing what global warming is doing to America and the dire forecast for the future, President Barack Obama turned to the pros who regularly deliver the bad news about wild weather: TV meteorologists.

“We want to emphasize to the public, this is not some distant problem of the future. This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now,” Obama told “Today” show weathercaster Al Roker. “Whether it means increased flooding, greater vulnerability to drought, more severe wildfires — all these things are having an impact on Americans as we speak.”

Climate change’s assorted harms “are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond,” the National Climate Assessment concluded, emphasizing the impact of too-wild weather as well as simple warming.

Still, it’s not too late to prevent the worst of climate change, says the 840-page report, which the Obama administration is highlighting as it tries to jump-start often-stalled efforts to curb heat-trapping gases. Said White House science adviser John Holdren, “It’s a good-news story about the many opportunities to take cost-effective actions to reduce the damage.”

Release of the report, the third edition of a congressionally mandated study, gives Obama an opportunity to ground his campaign against climate change in science and numbers, endeavoring to blunt the arguments of those who question the idea and human contributions to such changes. Later this summer, the administration plans to propose new regulations restricting gases that come from existing coal-fired power plants.

Not everyone is convinced.

Some fossil energy groups, conservative think tanks and Republican senators immediately assailed the report as “alarmist.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Obama was likely to “use the platform to renew his call for a national energy tax. And I’m sure he’ll get loud cheers from liberal elites — from the kind of people who leave a giant carbon footprint and then lecture everybody else about low-flow toilets.”

Since taking office, Obama has not proposed a specific tax on fossil fuel emissions. He has proposed a system that caps emissions and allows companies to trade carbon pollution credits, but it has failed in Congress.

Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana said the report was supposed to be scientific but “it’s more of a political one used to justify government overreach.” And leaders in the fossil fuel industry, which is responsible for a large amount of the heat-trapping carbon dioxide, said their energy is needed and America can’t afford to cut back.

“Whether you agree or disagree with the report, the question is: What are you going to do about it? To us that is a major question,” said Charlie Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. He called the report “overblown.”

The report — it’s full of figures, charts and other research-generated graphics — includes 3,096 footnotes referring to other mostly peer-reviewed research. It was written by more than 250 scientists and government officials, starting in 2012. A draft was released in January 2013, but this version has been reviewed by more scientists, including twice by the National Academy of Sciences, which called it “reasonable” and “a valuable resource.”

Environmental groups praised the report. “If we don’t slam the brakes on the carbon pollution driving climate change, we’re dooming ourselves and our children to more intense heat waves, destructive floods and storms and surging sea levels,” said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Scientists and the White House called it the most detailed and U.S.-focused scientific report on global warming.

The report looks at regional and state-level effects of global warming, compared with recent reports from the United Nations that lumped all of North America together.

“All Americans will find things that matter to them in this report,” said scientist Jerry Melillo of the Marine Biological Laboratory, who chaired the science committee that wrote it. “For decades we’ve been collecting the dots about climate change; now we’re connecting those dots.”

In a White House conference call with reporters, National Climatic Data Center Director Tom Karl said his two biggest concerns were flooding from sea level rise on the U.S. coastlines — especially for the low-lying cities of Miami; Norfolk, Virginia; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire — and drought, heat waves and prolonged fire seasons in the Southwest.

Even though the nation’s average temperature has risen by between 1.3 and 1.9 degrees since record-keeping began in 1895, it’s in the big, wild weather where the average person feels climate change the most, said co-author Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech University climate scientist. Extreme weather hits us in the pocketbook and can be seen with our own eyes, she said.

The report says the intensity, frequency and duration of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes have increased since the early 1980s, but it is still uncertain how much of that is from man-made warming. Winter storms have increased in frequency and intensity and have shifted northward since the 1950s, it says. Also, heavy downpours are increasing — by 71 percent in the Northeast. Heat waves, such as those in Texas in 2011 and the Midwest in 2012, are projected to intensify nationwide. Droughts in the Southwest are expected to get stronger. Sea level has risen 8 inches since 1880 and is projected to rise between 1 foot and 4 feet by 2100.

Climate data center chief Karl highlighted the increase in downpours. He said last week’s drenching, when Pensacola, Florida, got up to 2 feet of rain in one storm and parts of the East had 3 inches in one day, is what he’s talking about.

The report says “climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways.” Those include smoke-filled air from wildfires, smoggy air from pollution, and more diseases from tainted food, water, mosquitoes and ticks. And the ragweed pollen season has lengthened.

Flooding alone may cost $325 billion by the year 2100 in one of the worst-case scenarios, with $130 billion of that in Florida, the report says. Already the droughts and heat waves of 2011 and 2012 have added about $10 billion to farm costs, the report says.

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Associated Press writers Josh Lederman and Nedra Pickler contributed to this report.

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Online:

The National Climate Assessment: http://www.globalchange.gov/

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Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at http://twitter.com/borenbears

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Copyright  © 2014 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2014 The Associated Press  All Rights Reserved

34 Responses to "You want change? You got it with the climate"

  1. Keith  May 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Perhaps the Feds (in their infinite wisdom) can also explain why geologists (of which I am one) keep finding tropical fossils in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.

    The truth is that “climate change” on our Earth has been going on for eons. We are also STILL coming out of a mini-ice age that happened over 10,000 years ago.

    What’s more, one major volcanic eruption on the planet spews more “greenhouse gas” and other such crap into our atmosphere than mankind has done since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

    The other truth that nobody is talking about is that the so-called climate change “models” these clowns keep holding up as “evidence” are so complex that changing any one of the myriad of assumptions that go into the calculations skews the results dramatically.

    Or, to put it another way, it’s yet another case of “garbage in, garbage out”.

    Clearly, all this “sky is falling” rhetoric has FAR more to do with University “egg heads” obtaining more federal grant money for their continued research than in finding out the real truth of what’s actually happening…and why.

    “Climate change” has now become something akin to a religion, and anyone who challenges what now passes for “conventional wisdom” in that regard is speaking blasphemy.

    Guilty as charged.

  2. blutodog  May 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Your no geologist or you’d never make such a stupid statement as the one you opened your mindless rant with. “Perhaps the Feds (in their infinite wisdom) can also explain why geologists (of which I am one) keep finding tropical fossils in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.” I guess at the Biblical school of geology you got your degree at also doesn’t believe in plate tectonics either. Your right about the garbage part, because your whole post is nothing but ignorant trash.

  3. Keith  May 7, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Spoken like (yet another) “true believer”.

    I’d suggest doing a search on the “Burgess Shale” or “tropical fossils found in Antarctica”, but that would only further confuse you with facts. And the geology degree on MY wall says “University of New Hampshire”. Where’s yours from?

    • blutodog  May 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      That doesn’t make you any less an idiot. Take your head out of your ass.

      • Keith  May 8, 2014 at 9:20 am

        So, no degree, eh?

        Or, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But they are NOT entitled to their own facts.

  4. woody188  May 8, 2014 at 6:53 am

    How many climatologists have to get stuck in Antarctica (50+ so far) and how many years does the Earth have to cool (14 years thus far) before this nonsense ends?

    The reason for the urgency is because the current cooling trend is becoming too significant to deny.

    • Keith  May 8, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Right on, Woody!

      And, am I the only one who noticed that the “true believers” in the mainstream media kept referring to those 50+ climatologists who got stuck in that supposedly vanishing Antarctic sea ice as “tourists”?

      Clearly, anyone with a cell phone these days now thinks they are a photographer. And anyone with a laptop thinks they are are a journalist.

      Unfortunately, “belief” has now become a very sorry substitute for “education”.

    • Jon  May 8, 2014 at 9:55 am

      PS – There is no cooling trend. Land temperatures are only part of the equation, and the ocean temperatures more than rose enough to counteract any oscillaction in land temperatures. J.

      • blutodog  May 8, 2014 at 10:15 am

        Jon don’t waste your time with these two trolls.

      • Keith  May 8, 2014 at 11:22 am

        Hmmmm…..so the sea that’ snow frozen solid around the Antarctic is now land?

      • Jon  May 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        I come here, blutodog, mostly for the contrary opinions. Sometimes they have something useful to add, if only a better idea on how they got a perspective that skewed.

        Keith’s reply is completely incoherent. Ice is now land? what?

        No, the whole point is ‘climate change’. Some places will get warmer. Some places will get colder. See the ‘Gulf Stream’ and note that London is roughly the same latitude as Calgary, and observe the differences in climate due to all kinds of interesting differences.

        The whole world, however, is getting warmer, and it’s because of human activity. Nobody qualified to comment upon the matter disagrees at all.

        Not all qualifications are the same. A PhD in physics does not qualify you to comment on biology. A PhD in Chemistry does not qualify you to comment on automotive repair. A PhD in Geology does not qualify you to comment on climate change.

        Take your appeal to your irrelevant authority and stuff it where the sun don’t shine. Perhaps it’ll warm up there.

        Jon

        • woody188  May 9, 2014 at 8:38 am

          I’m sure Keith can defend himself, but I wanted to point out that the USGS does study climate.

          Geologists also have an understanding of scientific method, and how science is rarely settled.

          I also wouldn’t say, “Nobody qualified to comment upon the matter disagrees at all.” when 31,487 American scientists have signed a petition broken down into the following categories:

          1. Atmosphere (579)

          I) Atmospheric Science (112)
          II) Climatology (39)
          III) Meteorology (343)
          IV) Astronomy (59)
          V) Astrophysics (26)

          2. Earth (2,240)

          I) Earth Science (94)
          II) Geochemistry (63)
          III) Geology (1,684)
          IV) Geophysics (341)
          V) Geoscience (36)
          VI) Hydrology (22)

          3. Environment (986)

          I) Environmental Engineering (487)
          II) Environmental Science (253)
          III) Forestry (163)
          IV) Oceanography (83)

          4. Computer Science (242)

          5. Math (693)

          I) Mathematics (581)
          II) Statistics (112)

          6. Physics (5,225)

          I) Physics (2,365)
          II) Nuclear Engineering (223)
          III) Mechanical Engineering (2,637)

          7. Aerospace Engineering (587)

          8. Chemistry (4,822)

          I) General Chemistry (3,129)
          II) Chemical Engineering (1,693)

          9. Biochemistry (744)

          I) Biochemistry (676)
          II) Biophysics (68)

          10. Biology (1,438)

          I) Biology (1,049)
          II) Ecology (76)
          III) Entomology (59)
          IV) Zoology (149)
          V) Animal Science (105)

          10. Agriculture (783)

          I) Agricultural Science (296)
          II) Agricultural Engineering (114)
          III) Plant Science (292)
          IV) Food Science (81)

          12. Medicine (3,046)

          I) Medical Science (719)
          II) Medicine (2,327)

          13 General Engineering (9,833)

          I) Engineering (7,280)
          II) Electrical Engineering (2,169)
          III) Metallurgy (384)

          14. General Science (269)

          It seems our definition of “Nobody” also does not align with one another. We should agree on some baseline facts to have an actual productive discussion on climate.

  5. woody188  May 8, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Let’s put it another way. The typical thermometer is accurate to +/- 2 degrees. That means at 75 degrees one could have 10 thermometers lined up and have readings from 73 degrees to 77 degrees. Is also means a supposed rise of 1.3 and 1.9 degrees is within the instruments margin or error, which makes it a NEGLIGIBLE rise that could be due to instrument calibration. DOH!

    • woody188  May 8, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Funny thing to note, if it is due to instrument calibration, then it really is a man-made increase in temperature…temperature reading that is! LOL!

    • Jon  May 8, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Funny, I don’t think what they are using are “typical” thermometers. Furthermore, even if they were, one can get valid results just through statistical analysis.

      The world has been warmer in the past.

      And humans weren’t involved.

      But the dinosaurs didn’t have six billion of them relying on highly climate-dependent agriculture. The dinosaurs didn’t have to deal with climate changing at anywhere near the rate is it now (aside from the asteroid (which killed most of them)).

      Maybe you’re happy with a world full of six billion starving people and global chaos involving nuclear weapons, but somehow I don’t think that’s exactly an optimal outcome for you, for me, and for the human race.

      Jon

    • Jon  May 8, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      I just have to go off on this again. woody188, do you honestly believe that those responsible for measuring the global temperature just went down to Walmart and bought whatever thermometer was on the shelf? No. I wasn’t a part of it, but there’s a department of my University called ‘Millidegree Physics’, meaning they’re not only measuring, but acting upon, temperatures accurately measured to one thousanth of a degree Centigrade.

      Yeah, the crap you buy ain’t that great. Those who know what they are doing know at least enough to purchase or build better measuring tools.

      Jon

      • woody188  May 9, 2014 at 8:18 am

        They place these stations and then never check them again. I have to calibrate my instruments at least once per year. I would not be surprised if they discovered many of their high resolution instruments have become very inaccurate.

        Likewise, I don’t believe modelling is science. And as the models have already been proven wrong as indicated by snow in England, Great Lakes frozen well in to spring, and ice build up in Antarctica and the the Arctic. The models said these things would never happen after 2013. Oops!

        Besides, we can’t predict the weather out 24 hours, and you knuckleheads want to believe these climate predictions up to 100 years ahead.

        The hubris shown thinking humans can change the climate of a planet is amazing. Maybe if one blows opposite the wind and the wind changes direction, then that person had a hand in changing the wind. Ha, absurd!

        I guess butterflies in Africa cause hurricanes to form in the Atlantic!

        See how dumb ya’ll sound?

        • Jon  May 9, 2014 at 9:08 am

          “They place these stations and then never check them again.”

          citation needed

          “I would not be surprised if they discovered many of their high resolution instruments have become very inaccurate.”

          citation needed

          “Likewise, I don’t believe modelling is science.”

          I do.

          ” And as the models have already been proven wrong as indicated by snow in England, Great Lakes frozen well in to spring, and ice build up in Antarctica and the the Arctic. The models said these things would never happen after 2013. Oops!”

          citation needed

          “Besides, we can’t predict the weather out 24 hours, and you knuckleheads want to believe these climate predictions up to 100 years ahead.”

          The weather is not the same as climate.

          “The hubris shown thinking humans can change the climate of a planet is amazing. Maybe if one blows opposite the wind and the wind changes direction, then that person had a hand in changing the wind. Ha, absurd!”

          Tell that to nuclear warfare. Oddly enough, a deliberately induced nuclear winter might be an interesting way of curing global warming and climate change.

          “I guess butterflies in Africa cause hurricanes to form in the Atlantic!

          See how dumb ya’ll sound?”

          No. Actually, I’d say the opposite. And a citation for your ‘petition’ would be nice too, considering also that not all scientists are equal.

          I’ll grant you one thing: It’s quite possible to find a few kooks in any field. Most of the fields you listed are entirely irrelevant anyhow. But I’d call 97% a pretty overwhelming majority, and here’s a citation:

          http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

          Have fun,

          Jon

          • woody188  May 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

            Here is the a href=”http://www.petitionproject.org/”>petition project website.

          • woody188  May 9, 2014 at 1:23 pm

            Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

            However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

            “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

            • Jon  May 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

              “These things would never happen after 2013″ and “,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. are not the same statements. Hello nuance.

              Jon

          • woody188  May 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm

            Haha, your link said,

            We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW

            In other words, the actual majority of scientific papers don’t assert that man is causing climate change. Thanks for supporting my argument!

            • Jon  May 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

              Um, expressed no position because it wasn’t relevant to the topic at hand?

              I don’t expect a paper on mathematics to express an opinion on neurosurgery. Do you?

              Jon

              • woody188  May 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm

                Wrong. It clearly states climate abstracts. It’s your link buddy. Thanks for sharing it!

        • Bill Cravener  May 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

          [Woody188 quote] I guess butterflies in Africa cause hurricanes to form in the Atlantic!

          You really are funny! There is if I am not mistaken an estimated 500,000 scientists in the US.

          For every link you post that says a scientist disagrees with the human effect on climate change I can post 10 that say that we are the direct cause of climate change.

          Yep, I can post links too.

          “more than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines contributing to studies of our climate, accept that climate change is almost certainly being caused by human activities.”

          http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

          • woody188  May 20, 2014 at 11:45 pm

            Yes, one should always link to the website of a cartoonist when debating science consensus versus science fact. Thanks again for your inciteful input.

  6. Glenn Klotz  May 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Yea, its all just a Lol instrument calibration error. If this situation wasn’t as dire as its turning out to be both of you idiots might be mildly entertaining, but your arrogance added to your ignorance on the topic is just annoying.

    • woody188  May 20, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      Hi Glenn. I recycle and compost. My landfill bag is less than one kitchen bag a week for !my family of four. I care for the Earth and our environment. I’Be read John Muir and others. I’ve given money to save the whales. I’ve “adopted” wild animals. I’ve worked to keep domestic animal populations in check to give wild animals a better chance against unnatural predators. I maintain a natural space on my farm that is untouched by humans.

      I don’t care for lies and manipulation of data to promote a political agenda disguised as science. I don’t care for threats and intimidation. If it is occurring, share the raw data, allow for repeatability in the experiments, or STFU. Real science not globalist “just trust us because we destroyed the data and went on a campaign to suppress opposing views but we have a consensus so you should just stop looking” propaganda. If consensus was fact the Earth would be flat and be the center of the universe.

      • Bill Cravener  May 21, 2014 at 2:11 am

        [Woody188 quote] “I recycle and compost.”

        Are you speaking of your many posts?

        I can agree with you there.

        • woody188  May 21, 2014 at 7:50 am

          You could probably lower your carbon footprint by not trolling the Internet all night. Wonder how much coal was burned to power your computer, your router, modem, ISP node, trunk line, and so forth to post such nonsense.

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