Tuesday, March 15, 2016

NOAA Says Hottest Ever

More:  A hard rain is going to fall and six southern states are already getting a sample.  Flooding due to torrential rains has reached record proportions.  The flood waters have reached a level not seen in three decades with more than twenty-four inches of rain in the hardest hit areas.  In Mississippi 5000 homes have been damaged. Climate scientists have predicted global warming will intensify the Earth's water cycle. Global warming increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere causing much heavier rainfall.  A new study published in Nature says dry regions where normally dry soil is unable to absorb heavy downpours will be the most adversely affected, but it is hard to predict where flooding will occur.  The increased precipitation trend is expected to continue until at least 2100.  According to UN statistics, floods already account for half of all weather related disasters in the world.

{11.03.16} A huge spike in greenhouse gas emissions is responsible for driving global temperatures higher, and the US is playing a leading role in creating the problem.  A new study by Harvard University published in Geophysical Research Letters says the United States alone could be responsible for between 30-60% of the growth in human methane emissions since 2002 probably due to its fracking boom.  The data cannot identify specific sources, but the timing of the releases of large amounts of methane coincides with large amounts of methane leaking from wells and pipelines nationwide.  The Aliso well in Southern California which went unplugged for four months spewed enough of the potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere to equal the gases emitted by more than 440,000 cars in one year.  Over a century methane is 35 times more potent than carbon dioxide in driving climate change.   According to the study the US emitted 39 to 52 million tons of methane between 2002 and 2012.

NOAA also reports that CO₂ levels rose by the biggest amount since record-keeping began. You have to go back eleven millennium to find a similar sustained increase. A combination of continued fossil fuel burning and a strong El Niño caused the level to increase to 403.50ppm, breaking the previous record set in 1998. Climate scientists are watching the Keeling curve, a plot of global CO₂ recorded at Mauna Loa, Hawaii since 1958 with alarm. Has anyone shown this curve to Ted Cruz?