How does air pollution relate to climate change?

“Air pollution in the form of aerosol particulates . . . play an important role [in climate change], but because they are washed out by rainfall, their average lifetime is in the order of a week. Hence their effects are not global but rather regional, and their production has to continue for their effects to be present. Their effects are also complex because some reflect the sun and cause cooling, some (carbonaceous) are dark and absorb the sun’s rays, and many become involved in clouds and affect the brightness, lifetime and disposition of clouds; in general, they cause a cooling effect.

“In contrast, even if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere today, the elevated concentrations already established would persist for some time, thus underscoring the need for urgent reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Hence, changes in atmospheric composition, and particularly the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations, enhance the greenhouse effect, although with important regional effects from aerosol particulates.”

2018 Ludwick Lecture — Dr. Kevin E. Trenberth, a distinguished senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

West Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier could contribute to significant sea level rise.

According to a recent article in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Longmont Times-Call, “There’s no question that ice is flowing rapidly out of western Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier, threatening to contribute to dangerously rising sea levels in coming decades that could swamp cities and irrevocably upend the lives of people around the globe.

“The key uncertainties surrounding the dynamic now unfolding there and making the region something of a glaciology wild card, are simple; how much, and how fast?” Read more . . .

For more information, visit the The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration

Paleoclimate perspectives of 21st-23rd centuries, IPCC projections and tipping points

Andrew Glikson
Earth and paleo-climate scientist
Australian National University

According to NOAA (2018) Arctic surface air temperatures continue to warm at twice the rate relative to the rest of the globe, leading to a loss of 95 percent of its oldest ice over the past three decades. Arctic air temperatures for 2014-18 have exceeded all previous records since 1900 and are driving broad changes within the Arctic as well he sub-Arctic through weakening of the jet stream which separates the Arctic from warmer climate zones. The recent freezing storms in North America represent penetration of cold air masses through a weakening and increasingly undulating jet stream barrier. This weakening also allows warm air masses to move northward, further warming the Arctic and driving further ice melting. The freezing storms in North America are cheering those who refuse to discriminate between the climate and the weather.” Read more . . .

James Anderson: Feedbacks that Set the Time Scale for Irreversible Change & The moral Imperative

This is an advanced presentation from 2016. A layperson will not have an easy time with many of the concepts that are discussed. But, for those who are adventurous and don’t mind, it is very interesting and informative. One of the key concepts to understand in this presentation is convective injection.

Toward the end, Anderson lays out the moral imperative. Here is the summation:

The Moral Imperative of Climate Change

·         At the foundation of the moral imperative is that changes in the climate structure are inherently irreversible.

·         This in turn means that we are bequeathing to our children and subsequent generations an unknown, unstable, unpredictable global scale circumstance over with they have little or no control.

·         Our parents did not have the information to directly link scientific understanding with public policy. In sharp contrast, this generation does.

·         Our parents in large measure deserved the designation: “The Greatest Generation.” What will history say about this generation currently in power?

·         Those least able to defend against changes to the climate structure, to sea level rise, to changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, are those who will suffer the most serious impacts, and yet they are the ones who had the least to do with it.

Donald Trump and Company: Incompetent, malignant and treacherous.

Climate Scientist Michael Mann and Bob Ward, writing in the Guardian:

“Americans should not be fooled by the Stalinist tactics being used by the White House to try to discredit the findings of mainstream climate science.

“The Trump administration has already purged information about climate change from government websites, gagged federal experts and attempted to end funding for climate change programs.

“Now a group of hardcore climate change deniers and contrarians linked to the administration is organising a petition in support of a new panel being set up by the National Security Council to promote an alternative official explanation for climate change.” Read more . . .