The Climate Science Special Report was Released on 11/3/2017

by Duane Nichols on November 5, 2017

Many urgent lessons for all ...

National Climate Assessment Report brings Essential Information to Society

From Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University, November 3, 2017

The new Climate Science Special Report confirms what we’ve known for decades:

~~ Climate is changing!
~~ Humans are responsible!
~~ The risks are serious!
~~ The time to act is now!

Here is a thread on the most important findings of our new climate science report:


The contents of the report contradict claims by President Trump and his team, who have continually downplayed the human contribution to climate change and questioned the ability of scientists to predict its effects.

Earlier this year, Trump said he planned to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement, which requires countries to establish ambitious targets to reduce the greenhouse gasses that cause global warming.

There are no policy recommendations in the report, only scientific information, according to coordinating lead author David Fahey of NOAA. There was also no interference from policymakers, he said.

In addition, the White House Office of Science and Technology signed off on the report, said Virginia Burkett, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and acting chair of the subcommittee on Global Change Research.

The report was prepared by hundreds of scientists from 13 federal agencies, who assessed more than 1,500 scientific studies and reports to write it. It was also peer reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences.

Some of the report’s findings included:

>>> Global average sea level has risen by about 7–8 inches since 1900, with almost half (about 3 inches) of that rise occurring since 1993.

>>> Global average sea levels are expected to continue to rise — by at least several inches in the next 15 years and by 1–4 feet by 2100. A rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out.

>>> Heavy rainfall is increasing in intensity and frequency across the United States and globally and is expected to continue to increase.

>>> The incidence of daily tidal flooding is accelerating in more than 25 Atlantic and Gulf Coast cities.

>>> Heatwaves have become more frequent in the United States since the 1960s, while extreme cold temperatures and cold waves are less frequent.

>>> The incidence of large forest fires in the western United States and Alaska has increased since the early 1980s and is projected to further increase.

>>> Annual trends toward earlier spring melt and reduced snowpack are already affecting water resources in the western United States.

The report noted that the global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has now passed 400 parts per million, a level that last occurred about 3 million years ago, when both global average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today.

The only solution to the problem is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) that are emitted globally.* – See Note below.

For the first time, the report also included a list of climate-related “surprises,” or unanticipated changes, in which tipping points in the Earth’s systems are crossed or climate-related extreme events happen at the same time, creating “compound extreme events,” multiplying the potential damage and destruction. They include large-scale shifts in major worldwide climate patterns that would wreak havoc on the global climate system.

The report concludes that “climate models are more likely to underestimate than to overestimate the amount of long-term future change.”

The second part of the assessment — which focuses on the impacts of climate change on human systems and ecosystems — was also released as a draft for public comment Friday.

“The Climate Science Special Report is the most up-to-date comprehensive report on climate science available right now anywhere on the planet,” said Robert E. Kopp, a climate and sea-level rise expert at Rutgers who helped write the report. “It confirms that climate change is real, occurring today, and principally caused by human emissions.”

Rachel Licker, senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said “the assessment is like a doctor’s report that evaluates a patient’s vital signs and uses that information to diagnose a medical condition. In this case the medical condition is climate change and the symptoms are rising temperatures, higher sea levels and more extreme weather events,” she said.

“Experience tells us, and the Climate Science Special Report confirms, the United States is experiencing recurring heat waves, heavy rainfalls, more intense wildfires, and greater flooding from rising seas,” Licker said.

“The National Climate Assessment is only further proof that the Trump Administration can no longer attempt to misrepresent climate science of the country’s highest caliber as ‘fake news,’ said Ken Berlin, president the Climate Reality Project. “The American people deserve to know the truth about the reality staring us square in the face, and I urge the Trump Administration to seriously consider scientists’ findings and the input of the American people.”

Former Vice President Al Gore also chimed in on Twitter, noting that “if the Administration won’t listen and if the federal govt won’t act, states, cities, businesses, investors, & citizens will.”


Reference Citation — USGCRP, 2017: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I [Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, 470 pp, doi: 10.7930/J0J964J6.

* – NOTE: Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

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Stephen Hawking November 8, 2017 at 10:45 am

Stephen Hawking Says Earth Will Become ‘Sizzling Ball of Fire’ in 600 Years

By Phineas Rueckert, Global Citizen, November 8, 2017

Last year, scientist Stephen Hawking gave humans a shelf-life of 1,000 more years on Earth. Apparently, 2017 hasn’t been to his liking—as Hawking shaved another 400 years off that prediction.

The world-renowned scientist said Tuesday that he believes humans will only last another 600 years before Earth becomes a “sizzling ball of fire” that marks the end of humanity, The Sun reported.

Hawking’s comments came as part of the Tencent WE Summit in Beijing. The scientist, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and speaks with a speech-generating device, dialed into the conference with a video call urging humans to instead look toward colonizing a neighboring star system called Alpha Centauri, according to Metro UK.

So, how does he want humans do this?

Hawking believes something called the “Breakthrough Starshot” project may offer a way to find life beyond Earth. The project aims to reach the nearest star system to our own, Alpha Centauri, where last August scientists discovered a “potentially habitable Earth-like planet,” by sending out ultralight nanobeams that would reach Alpha Centauri in a couple of decades.

“Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years,” Hawking said Tuesday.

“Maybe if all goes well, sometime a little after the middle of the century, we’ll have our first picture of another planet that may be life-bearing orbiting the nearest star,” he added.

As for this planet, Hawking was not so hopeful. Hawking warned that “soaring population sizes and increasing demands for energy” would lead to Earth’s eventual demise, according to the Daily Mail.

The relationship between population growth and climate change is clear. Rapidly industrializing countries like India and China are expected to contribute half of all CO2 emissions by 2050, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

Global Citizen advocates for countries to adopt the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, including goal number 13: climate action. You can take action here.

“If we cannot stabilize climate and we cannot stabilize population, there is not an ecosystem on Earth that we can save,” the nonprofit Worldwatch Institute told Scientific American.

Hawking has been critical of U.S. climate change policy under President Donald Trump. The U.S. will soon be the only country to not sign the Paris agreement, which aims to put a cap on global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Trump’s action could push the earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid,” Hawking said in an interview with BBC this past July.



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