Wednesday, June 15, 2016

May is the 8th consecutive hottest month EVAH!

At least since before the records have been kept, and probably since the Eemian period a hundred-ten-thousand years ago.

Anyway, here's the latest from Robertscribbler with tips o' th' hat to: Ryan in New England, June, and dtlange.

May Marks 8th Consecutive Record Hot Month in NASA’s Global Temperature Measure

Image source: NASA GISS.
May of 2016 was the warmest May since record keeping began for NASA 137 years ago. 
It is now the 8th record hot month in row. In other words, since October, every month has been the hottest such month ever recorded (October vs October comparison, November vs November etc). And May’s record is just the most recent high mark during a period that has now vastly exceeded all previous measures for global temperature tracking. 
The month itself was 0.93 C above NASA’s 1951-1980 baseline measure. It’s the first month since October that readings fell below the 1 C anomaly mark. A range that before 2015 had never before been breached in the 136 year climate record and likely during all of the approximate 12,000 year period that marks the Holocene geological epoch. 
It’s a reading that is fully 1.15 C above 1880s averages.  
A 1.2 C annual 2016 departure is firmly within the range of estimates for global temperatures that occurred within the Eemian climate period around 115,000 years ago. At that time, global ocean levels were between 16 and 25 feet higher than they are today. And if such warm temperatures continue for any significant duration, we could expect oceans to at least rise by as much (especially considering the fact that about 15-20 feet worth of sea level rise is locked into the ice of glaciers that are now in the process of heading into the global ocean).
 Image source: The Keeling Curve.
Atmospheric CO2 levels peaked at 407.7 parts per million in May as well. A jump of about 3.8 parts per million above peak readings during May of 2015.
If carbon dioxide levels were to remain so high we could expect global temperatures to, over the course of 300-500 years, hit near 3 C above 1880s levels and oceans to rise by as much as 60-120 feet. Adding in methane and other greenhouse gasses — current CO2 equivalent for all global heating gas estimates are now in the range of 490 parts per million. Enough to warm the Earth by about 4.6 C over hundreds of years and to, among other things, eventually raise oceans by 120 t0 200 feet.
For more click here.
Now speaking of destabilised glaciers and ice sheets, the Larsen 'C' Ice Shelf, right next door to the Larsen 'B' one which collapsed and shattered in 2004, is now in a more fragile and unstable state than previously thought.
From dtlange:
Antarctic Discovery Reveals Larsen C Ice Shelf Weakness 
Researchers report discovery of a massive subsurface ice layer, at least 16 km across, several kilometres long and tens of metres deep, located in an area of intense melting and intermittent ponding on the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica which may suggest the ice shelf is even more fragile than thought.

Well here's a bit of good news: Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reports that that “coal and gas will begin their terminal decline in less than a decade.”

June links to the Bloomberg News article (peak fossil fuels for electricity by 2025); this from Ryan in New England:
Here is the core finding of BNEF’s “annual long-term view of how the world’s power markets will evolve in the future,” their New Energy Outlook (NEO): 
"Cheaper coal and cheaper gas will not derail the transformation and decarbonisation of the world’s power systems. By 2040, zero-emission energy sources will make up 60% of installed capacity. Wind and solar will account for 64% of the 8.6TW [1 Terawatt = 1,000 Gigawatts] of new power generating capacity added worldwide over the next 25 years, and for almost 60% of the $11.4 trillion invested." 
And the reasons?

First, renewable energy benefits from manufacturing economies of scale. Second,  Fossil fuels are finite resources that are dependent upon extractive mining. Third, Cheaper coal, oil and gas, due to increased renewables and lower demand otherwise, means that less oil, coal and gas will be extracted: this means Peak Oil, Peak Coal and Peak Gas will be passed. Fourth, Once this begins to happen, the fossil fuel industry is put on death ground and will have to switch to renewables or squash them through political control. (Credit Robertscribbler)

But the caveat is that the manufacture and build-out of renewable energy infrastructure is dependent upon fossil fuels! Which means if there is a future shortage of fossil fuels, especially if Hillary or Trump gets us into World War 3, renewables may get the short end of the stick so that shorter-term needs are met instead.

Even with the Bloomberg forecast of 60% catchment of all electricity by zero-carbon energy sources by 2040 (a huge feat by itself if it happens) still runs bad risks from the perspective of climate change, because it implies we'll be stuck with 435 to 460 ppm CO2 and around 510 to 570 ppm CO2e by then.

And another thing we need to beware of: Wall Street is still investing in fossil fuels: they are betting that fossil fuels will continue to be extracted and consumed, perhaps even at the expense of zero-carbon sources.

From June:
World’s Banks Driving Climate Chaos with Hundreds of Billions in Extreme Energy Financing 
Wall Street continues to back the most polluting fossil fuel industries “at the expense of some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet,” states new report.
The report, $horting the Climate: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2016 (pdf), put forth by Rainforest Action Network (RAN), BankTrack, Sierra Club, and Oil Change International, evaluates the private global banking industry based on its financing for fossil fuels… 
So big extreme fossil fuel investments are massive bets that governments won’t stop climate change.
Some of the big playaz are Citigroup, Bank of America, JP[irates]Morgan Chase, and Barclays. And our candidates, where do they stand? Let's see, now.... Donald Trump doesn't believe Global Warming is for real and promises to end all funding for climate monitoring by the US. Hillary, although she says a good line, is in the pockets of Wall Street, especially Goldman Sachs, and has considerable backing from Fossil Fuels interests. Which means she'll give lip service to combatting climate change but pursue "Drill, baby, drill!" policies once elected, just like Obama. Oh, great. So these two pose to threaten Near Term Extinction upon us not only by World War 3, but also the utter collapse of civilisation by Dangerous Climate Change - the Fossil Fuels Derivatives Beast. At least with the latter we won't go extinct! 

For more, click here.

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