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Hundreds of business and government leaders from around the world, as well as experts, nonprofits, national officials, movie stars and celebrities will convene in San Francisco today and tomorrow for the Global Climate Action Summit. Missing is the US military. Heh. These folks are gathering ostensibly to find ways to meet the Paris Agreement goals. But, they will meet, talk, and what? Capitalists want profit. You do the math.

A parallel and alternative conference, sol2sol, reflecting social justice goals is also taking place this week. There is no difference between justice for Gaia and reverence for all people.

These activists realize that the GCA Summit presentations and their proposed solutions will largely be in the interest of big businesses and focused on profit.

“Business has certainly awakened to self-interest around climate,” said Kathy Gerwig (of Kaiser Permanente) … Kaiser donated $1 million to help fund the summit, as did the Schwab Charitable Trust, according to filings with the state. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation gave $1.25 million.

“There are business risks associated with climate change — infrastructure where facilities are located, storm damage. Those are real costs,” Gerwig said, referring to extreme weather and rising seas.



There are hundreds of official affiliate Summit events listed here.

You can watch the live stream some of the Summit conference here.

The Rise for Climate Protest on September 8th took place in ~95 countries. Around 30,000 people marched in San Francisco. There were over 260 events happening in the US and over 900 events in 90 countries...

Global protests unroll as key UN climate talks stumble
South China Morning Post September 9, 2018

From Bangkok to Paris and San Francisco, tens of thousands of people across the world took to the streets on Saturday to demand governments take action against climate change, as key UN talks attempt to breathe life into the Paris Agreement.

Nearly 1,000 events were organized in around 100 countries as part of the “Rise for Climate” protest movement that called on countries to end their reliance on fossil fuels and transition fully into renewable energy.

Organizers in France claimed 115,000 people turned out in what would be the largest environmental demonstration in the country’s history, with 50,000 marching in Paris, however police put the number in the capital at 18,500.

“This is the biggest day of climate action in France, it’s proof that the citizens are ready to demand commitments from our elected officials after a catastrophic summer when it comes to the climate,” said Clemence Dubois, the France campaigner for 350.org.

Dozens of Thai fishermen and labourers whose livelihoods are threatened by rising sea levels kicked off the day of protests in Bangkok, where the UN talks are being held.

Residents of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Join Climate Movement in Call for Environmental Justice
Desmog September 10, 2018

Thousands turned out at over 800 actions spearheaded by 350.org, an environmental advocacy group, Alaina Boyett, a member of 350 New Orleans, a local affiliate of 350.org, organized two events dubbed “Rise For Cancer Alley.”  Over 100 people were in attendance, which pleased Boyett. “Today Cancer Alley residents got a chance to tell their stories to a larger audience,” she told me, which was her goal. “I wanted to amplify the voices of people who often don’t feel they are being listened to.” 

350 New Orleans collaborated … In the afternoon, they joined with HELP Association of St. James, to hold a gathering and march in St James, a predominantly low-income, African-American town of less than 1,000, where Energy Transfer Partners’ controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline will terminate, about 60 miles west of New Orleans.



HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP

Recent Climate Legislation

Calif Gov. Brown signs 100% renewables bill to fight 'existential threat of climate change'
Washington Times September 10, 2018

Citing the “existential threat of climate change,” Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday making California the first state to set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, despite concerns about increased electricity costs.

“California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change,” Mr. Brown said in his signing message. “This bill, and others I will sign this week, help us go in that direction. But have no illusions, California and the rest of the world have miles to go before we achieve zero-carbon emissions.”

Mr. Brown signed the measure over the objections of the state’s utility and agricultural sectors, including the Agricultural Council of California, Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and the Western States Petroleum Association.

Australia signs declaration saying climate change ‘single greatest threat’ to Pacific
South China Morning Post September 6, 2018

Pacific Islands Forum countries commit to implement Paris agreement – a declaration that is awkward politically for Australia, with new PM Scott Morrison at odds with his own government over that commitment

Bangkok Meet Fails to Finalize Draft on Climate Change Rules
US News September 9, 2018

An international meeting in Bangkok fell short of its aim of completing fruitful preparations to help an agreement be reached in December on guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.

The six-day meeting, which ended on Sunday, was scheduled to step up progress in the battle against rising global carbon emissions by adopting a completed text that could be presented at the COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland, three months from now.

Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said Sunday at the closing press briefing for the Bangkok meeting that progress was made on most issues but nothing was finalized.

The meeting was attended by representatives of most of the countries party to the Paris agreement, as well as the United States, which has announced that it is pulling out of the pact.

Harjeet Singh, climate policy manager for ActionAid International, said Sunday that a vital component of the Paris agreement is for wealthy nations to provide financial assistance to developing countries as they fight natural disasters brought by climate change.
But he said wealthy and developed countries "led by the United States and including countries such as Australia, Japan and even the European Union" refused to clearly show "how much money they are going to provide and how that is going to be counted."

Massachusetts Can Legally Limit CO2 Emissions from Power Plants, Court Rules
Inside Climate News September 6, 2018

While the Trump administration tries to roll back pollution controls, states are setting their own climate change rules in a shift toward cleaner energy.



General Climate Change News

Coastal labs studying increased flooding consider moving because of increased flooding
Minnesota Public Radio September 6, 2018

Scores of coastal research labs around the U.S. are helping communities plan for sea level rise. But now many are starting to flood themselves, creating a dilemma: stay by the coast and endure expensive flooding, or move inland, to higher ground, but away from their subject of study.

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium lab is located along the state's fragile coast, about 80 miles southwest of New Orleans. The giant X-shaped building is at the end of a gravel road, surrounded by open water and grassy marshes.

NASA launching advanced laser to measure Earth’s changing ice
NASA August 22, 2018

Next month, NASA will launch into space the most advanced laser instrument of its kind, beginning a mission to measure – in unprecedented detail – changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice.

NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.



Climate Change’s Impact on Wildlife

Hedgehogs now found in just one fifth of rural areas as numbers plummet, study reveals
Independent September 7, 2018

Hedgehog numbers have plummeted across rural areas, and they face potentially “catastrophic” future conditions, a new study reveals.

Following estimates earlier this year that numbers had collapsed by as much as 97 per cent since the 1950s, the latest data indicates hedgehogs are suffering more in the countryside than in urban areas.

The research, led by a team at Reading University, and published in the journal Nature, reveals between 2014 and 2015 hedgehogs were only present at 55 of 261 sites across England and Wales.

Shining light on ancient global warming
Science Daily August 2018

The impact of global warming on shallow marine life approximately 56 million years ago is the subject of a significant, new paper by researchers at Syracuse University.

Linda Ivany, professor of Earth sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), is the lead author of an article in Science Advances(American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2018). Her team's research is the first to address the effects of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) -- a relatively brief period of global climate change, spanning 200,000 years -- on marine invertebrates, including snails, clams and other mollusks.

Caches of mummified penguins warn of climate-change impacts
Nature September 10, 2018

A throng of mummified penguins in Antarctica has been linked to long stretches of abnormally heavy precipitation, which caused the birds' deaths centuries ago.
..
Carbon dating revealed that the penguins perished in two die-offs that each lasted a decade or longer: one 750 years ago and another 200 years ago. Analysis of the sediment around the carcasses suggested that it was deposited over the course of several decades of unusually heavy rain or snow.

Birds retreating from climate change, deforestation in Honduras cloud forests: Bird diversity shifts upslope in tropical mountainous terrain
Science Daily September 6, 2018

The cloud forests of Honduras can seem like an otherworldly place, where the trees are thick with life that takes in water straight from the air around it, and the soundscape is littered with the calls of animals singing back and forth.

Otherworldly, yes, but scientists have found that the cloud forests are not immune to very down-to-earth problems of climate change and deforestation. A 10-year study of bird populations in Cusuco National Park, Honduras, shows that the peak of bird diversity in this mountainous park is moving higher in elevation. Additional land protection, unfortunately, may not be enough to reverse the trend, driven in part by globally rising temperatures. The study is published in Biotropica.

"A lot of these species are specialized to these mountain ranges," says study lead author Monte Neate-Clegg, a doctoral student at the University of Utah, "and they don't have a lot of options as to where to go should things go wrong."

Heads in the clouds: A cloud forest is an ecosystem that derives much of its moisture from water vapor in the surrounding air. Due to elevation and climate conditions, these forests are fed directly by clouds. Nothing ever dries, Neate-Clegg says.



Recent Climate Change Studies

This is a very long, well-written and easy to read article about two recent studies on the Gulf Stream...

Post & Courier September 5, 2018

The Gulf Stream is one of the mightiest currents on Earth. It moves at a rate of 30 billion gallons per second, more than all of the world’s freshwater rivers combined. On its way, it hauls vast amounts of heat; a hurricane that twists into it gets a blast of fuel. It’s a highway for migrating fish and a destination for deep-sea fishermen. It courses through an area that oil companies want to probe; an oil spill in the Gulf Stream would spread far and wide.

In 2009, the Atlantic’s system of currents, including the Gulf Stream, slowed by 30 percent in a matter of weeks. Sea levels in New England also rose 5 inches above normal. Scientists were stunned.

They found that amid a rapid increase of carbon dioxide levels, the Atlantic’s current system had weakened since the 1950s. The reduced flow was equivalent to roughly 14 Amazon Rivers. Researchers said a slower flow could have shifted the Gulf Stream farther north, created more storms in Europe and worsened droughts in parts of Africa.
The studies had different methods but similar conclusions: the Atlantic Ocean conveyor belt had slowed by 15 percent.

The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
Rolling Stone August 5, 2018

On July 20th, James Hansen, the former NASA climatologist who brought climate change to the public’s attention in the summer of 1988, issued a bombshell: He and a team of climate scientists had identified a newly important feedback mechanism off the coast of Antarctica that suggests mean sea levels could rise 10 times faster than previously predicted: 10 feet by 2065. The authors included this chilling warning: If emissions aren’t cut, “We conclude that multi-meter sea-level rise would become practically unavoidable.

Since storm systems and jet streams in the United States and Europe partially draw their energy from the difference in ocean temperatures, the implication of one patch of ocean cooling while the rest of the ocean warms is profound. Storms will get stronger, and sea-level rise will accelerate. Scientists like Hansen only expect extreme weather to get worse in the years to come, though Mann said it was still “unclear” whether recent severe winters on the East Coast are connected to the phenomenon.

And yet, these aren’t even the most disturbing changes happening to the Earth’s biosphere that climate scientists are discovering this year. For that, you have to look not at the rising sea levels but to what is actually happening within the oceans themselves.

Water temperatures this year in the North Pacific have never been this high for this long over such a large area — and it is already having a profound effect on marine life.

Atmospheric scientists increasingly believe that the exceptionally warm waters over the past months are the early indications of a phase shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a cyclical warming of the North Pacific that happens a few times each century. Positive phases of the PDO have been known to last for 15 to 20 years, during which global warming can increase at double the rate as during negative phases of the PDO. It also makes big El Niños, like this year’s, more likely. The nature of PDO phase shifts is unpredictable — climate scientists simply haven’t yet figured out precisely what’s behind them and why they happen when they do. It’s not a permanent change — the ocean’s temperature will likely drop from these record highs, at least temporarily, some time over the next few years — but the impact on marine species will be lasting, and scientists have pointed to the PDO as a global-warming preview.

Climate change: Humanity will reach the 'point of no return' in 2035
Daily Mail August 30, 2018

The 'tipping point' to save Earth from climate change lies within the next two decades. That's according to climate scientists, who claim that if governments fail to act decisively to fight global warming, humanity could cross a point of no return by 2035. ... Scientists from the Utrecht Centre for Complex Systems Studies and Oxford University wanted to find the 'point of no return' for climate action. By this they mean the latest possible year to start strongly cutting greenhouse-gas emissions before it's too late to avoid dangerous climate change. ... And, alarmingly, the cut off point for reaching the more ambitious 1.5°C goal has already been reached.

Volcano under ice sheet suggests thickening of West Antarctic ice is short-term
Science Daily September 6, 2018

Volcano under ice sheet suggests thickening of West Antarctic ice is short-term
A region of West Antarctica is behaving differently from most of the continent's ice: A large patch of ice there is thickening, unlike other parts of West Antarctica that are losing ice. Whether this thickening trend will continue affects the overall amount that melting or collapsing glaciers could raise the level of the world's oceans.

A study led by the University of Washington has discovered a new clue to this region's behavior: A volcano under the ice sheet has left an almost 6,000-year record of the glacier's motion. The track hidden in the middle of the ice sheet suggests that the current thickening is just a short-term feature that may not affect the glacier over the long term. It also suggests that similar clues to the past may be hiding deep inside the ice sheet itself.

"What's exciting about this study is that we show how the structure of the ice sheet acts as a powerful record of what has happened in the past," said Nicholas Holschuh, a UW postdoctoral researcher in Earth and space sciences.

The data come from the ice above Mount Resnik, a 1.6-kilometer (mile-high) inactive volcano that currently sits under 300 meters (0.19 miles) of ice. The volcano lies just upstream of the thickening Kamb Ice Stream, part of a dynamic coastal region of ice that drains into Antarctica's Ross Sea.

Studies show Kamb Ice Stream has flowed quickly in the past but stalled more than a century ago, leaving the region's ice to drain via the four other major ice streams -- a switch that glaciologists think happens every few hundred years. Meanwhile the ice inland of Kamb Ice Stream is beginning to bulge, and it is unclear what will happen next.



QMS: Time to disconnect greed from the welfare of earth, if survival means anything. I like trees.

Paul Beckwith: "I declare a global climate change emergency to claw back up the rock face to attempt to regain system stability, or face an untenable calamity of biblical proportions."

Kevin Hester: "There is no past analogue for the rapidity of what we are baring witness to. There has been a flood of articles ... 2C is no longer attainable and that we are heading for dangerous climate change"

Guy McPherson: "The recent and near-future rises in temperature are occurring and will occur at least an order of magnitude faster than the worst of all prior Mass Extinctions. Habitat for human animals is disappearing throughout the world, and abrupt climate change has barely begun."

me… We need to turn on a dime at mach nine!


Enjoy!
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QMS's picture

Needs to be shared! And something from the heady days of hope...

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Question authority = civil disobedience

magiamma's picture

@QMS
great songs, love quicksilver ! Smile We knew back then. But not so many realized how it was a train wreck on its way to happening.

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enhydra lutris's picture

doing things is all well and good, but we've seen this movie. Spending millions to fund the summit is not the same as spending millions on solutions. Markets are not the answer. It is really that simple. Market incentives too are not the answer.

Brown signed a bill to be carbon free and the exploiters bellowed. The utilities and the coal crew. The coal crew is not really about coal production here, but about selling coal mined elsewhere to us. What is produced here is a tiny amount of shit coal, lignite. Nonetheless, there is a market for it, so there is constant clamor for more coal, for reducing what tiny potential gain we have. Any margin whatsoever generates a market and no matter how much we berate them, capitalists will kill your mother if they can profit so much as a penny from it.

Before I forget, 2 quick links on coal in CA, both short:
First, one from 1989 http://articles.latimes.com/1989-12-27/business/fi-1158_1_coal-mining
Next, from 2016 http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-california-coal-collapse-2016may05-story.html

All it will take is for anybody to blink, to listen to the siren song of "cheaper" and the coal trains will roll. Meanwhile, they just sell it elsewhere. The shift to methane isn't the answer, especially if the system is not leak proof, but meanwhile we will throw millions at a forum for discussing how to profit further from this disaster rather than how to solve it at all costs.

Thanks for the essay and enjoy the day

EDIT: Changed coal in SA to coal in CA

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@enhydra lutris
Good morning to you. Smile

capitalists will kill your mother if they can profit so much as a penny from it.

Extraction bad. Capitalism depends on extraction. Mother Earth does not like extraction. Extraction causes carbon and methane emissions. Carbon and methane cause global heating.

But millions are spent on a conference to talk about it, not to mention all the fuel that it took to get to the conference. Call me jaded, but I have, at this point, seen way to many protests and marches where people come out, go home, and nothing changes. Nada.

Did you know that the IPCC is run by consensus. So climatologists or their representatives come and lobby for the lowest common denominator. That's how they ended up with 1.5 to 2 degree centigrade temperature rise above preindustrial. By, iirc, the turn of the next century. And every week now there are new studies that bring this date closer. 2035 now.

But António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN say we have until 2020 to have a plan in place to lower emissions. That's two years from now.

End rant. That first article about lignite really got me going. Thanks for that too. Smile

California lignite was first mined in 1861 near Mt. Diablo, east of San Francisco. It fueled much of the rapid Gold Rush growth of the San Francisco Bay Area until yielding to better fuels around the turn of the century.

The next significant production resumed about 1948 near the town of Ione, about 100 miles east of San Francisco, by American Lignite Products Co., which uses it to make montan wax, used in shoe polish, carbon paper, candles and makeup.

The mining of lignite for its wax does not have to be reported to the federal government. But mining it as a fuel does. So here's how the federal government got into the picture, and California got on its list:

After nearly 40 years of mining--recently about 50,000 tons a year--American Lignite had a stockpile of waxless lignite covering 20 acres to a depth of 30 feet. Despite its low ranking on the scale of combustible mineral solids, the million-ton pile still represented a considerable mass of BTUs. So the company decided to build a steam plant and burn the lignite to produce electricity.

The $38-million plant went on line in 1987 and, presto, California re-emerged as a coal-producing state.

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lotlizard's picture

@magiamma  
were being removed and arrested by police all day today, in the Hambach Forest in Germany.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=hambach+forest+occupation

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magiamma's picture

@lotlizard
The impact of the processing of materials extracted from the earth is mind boggling. Lignite is just one example. Every product we consume has an upstream chain of production impacts.

Besides California, Germany is the only other major location for lignite mining. Lignite is a low grade brown coal and is processed by solvent extraction for montan wax, a fossilized plant wax.

It is widely used in these industries: chemical industry, wax polish industry, carbon paper industry, electrical industry, machinery industry and many other industries using wax. A third of what is produced globally is used for car polish. It is also used in lipsticks, baby products, eye and facial makeup, as well as nail care, skin care, suntan, sunscreen, fragrance, and noncoloring hair preparations.

Each product has a long list of environmental impacts beginning with the machinery need to extract and process the lignite, the factories needed produce the products, the packaging and transportation of goods - sometimes across an ocean and back, depending.

Multiply that by all the products in the world.

I find it harder and harder to divorce myself from seeing products as process.

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lotlizard's picture

@magiamma  
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=rwe+germany+lignite

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lotlizard's picture

@magiamma  
https://www.dw.com/en/hambach-forest-battleground-for-climate-action/a-4...

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magiamma's picture

@lotlizard
It's like a rabbit hole. Smile I will read them later today. So many things contribute to the problem of global warming, environmental degradation and pollution. But the root cause of much of this is capitalistic extractive industries.

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magiamma's picture

@lotlizard

Looks like today is the day for more protests

Activists are calling for nationwide demonstrations on Friday and saying they expect thousands of people to join sit-ins in the forest itself.

hurry, hurry, before its too late...

the German government looks to be making the most of its lignite resources while it still can.

"They've hyped up the fact that they're switching to renewables, but they've actually been increasing brown coal extraction because they know that under the Paris Agreement, they will not be able to do this in the future," Spash said. "So they're trying to extract it as fast as possible and burn it as fast as possible."

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smiley7's picture

busy day with medicare red tape and phone calls this morning and afternoon with a couple of friends; one fighting cancer, the other a ski buddy.

Thank you for another informative post; waiting here to see the impacts of the storm, coal ash and pig lagoons and so on most likely will contaminate the water across a broad swath of earth in NC and SC, including radioactive waste.

Sure my friends at App Voices are gearing up to travel and monitor the water and report. Wish i were on the way.

Really loved your artwork when i first saw it many moons ago and again this week. Please bring it often.

A belated thanks for the Willow advice; thinking next month is a good time for that project.

Cheers.

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magiamma's picture

@smiley7
Smile Thank you. Be safe and keep us posted if at all possible. I am sending you good thoughts. Very glad those folks are monitoring the water.

You are welcome. Willows are very forgiving or very willing to grow. Try one branch now just to see if it will work. There are lots of kinds of willows. But they are willows, so I am guessing they all have undifferentiated tissue in their branches waiting for the right conditions to become roots. Take good care.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma
a million, billion, grabillion of the damn things, 1 inch diameter up to a max of mabbe two, choking the living shit out of the only steady flowing creek around. Bought my first machete then, sorry gaia, but we need to share that H2O

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

@enhydra lutris
before?

Here mountain laurel can make any area not passable, especially stream banks and i've witnessed no stream flow interference in my lifetime of fishing small streams from riparian growth of any kind. Am i missing something in your post?

Riparian vegetation growing along the edges of streams, creeks, and rivers is critical for controlling erosion and providing wildlife habitat. This vegetation includes grasses, fortes, and woody plants such as willows and aspen. Willows are among the most common woody plants found in riparian areas. They are an important source of food and cover for wildlife. Their roots hold the stream banks in place and provide a place for
fish to hide. They also provide shade to help reduce stream
temperatures.
Many riparian areas would benefit from more willows. Improving management practices such as grazing often results in more willows but on some riparian areas willows must be
planted. Planting willows can be an effective technique to quickly reestablish new populations. However, it requires a lot of hand labor which can be expensive. Consequently,
volunteers are often used to assist in willow planting projects. Volunteers, however, are normally available for a limited time and are oftentimes inexperienced. This fact sheet provides some tips which are proven to increase the chances of
successfully collecting and planting willows.

https://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ho/other/fs9709.pdf

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enhydra lutris's picture

@smiley7
whatever reason, these things formed an impenetrable thicket.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Your hard work on summarizing what is happening is appreciated.
I'll forward to friends that I know are doing their best to stay abreast.
I suspect they might have missed some of the news you linked. I know that I hadn't seen over half of the news you posted, and I try to stay informed on this.
It's good to have a pretty complete summary of up to date climate news in one page.
Thank you.

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Hawkfish's picture

At no point in the geologic record do we see that temperature. Not because the world has never warmed that much but because it is not a stable temperature. We can either be above it or below it, but not at it.

Once again, centrist gradualism runs into physical reality.

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We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

magiamma's picture

@Hawkfish @Hawkfish
This cannot be said often enough. Past climate history shows us that warming never stops at 2 degrees C. 1.5 is dangerously close.

From last weeks blog: The Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene study was exactly about that.

They examined what a two-degree temperature rise above the pre-industrial level might mean - since the Paris Agreement, a political agreement, set this as the maximum temperature threshold to avoid crossing.

The scientists looked at the Earth’s history and found that there never was a period when the Earth’s temperature was stable at two degrees above pre-industrial.

They found that whenever the temperature reached two degrees above the pre-industrial level in the past, it did not pause, it kept pushing upwards until it got to around four to five degrees above the pre-industrial level. ... As they looked closely at the interactions between these different processes, they found that the result looked like a cascade, almost like a row of dominoes falling, where one process would trigger another process and then the next one and the next one.

Richardson, one of the participating scientists, said that once you get into a chain reaction like that, it’s just like a nuclear reaction, you can’t stop it. edit.

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lotlizard's picture

@magiamma

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