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The Nitrogen Problem: Why Global Warming Is Making It Worse

"It t is a painful lesson of our time that the things we depend on to make our lives more comfortable can also kill us. Our addiction to fossils fuels is the obvious example, as we come to terms with the slow motion catastrophe of climate change. But we are addicted to nitrogen, too, in the fertilizers that feed us, and it now appears that the combination of climate change and nitrogen pollution is multiplying the possibilities for wrecking the world around us."

"A new study in Science projects that climate change will increase the amount of nitrogen ending up in U.S. rivers and other waterways by 19 percent on average over the remainder of the century — and much more in hard-hit areas, notably the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (up 24 percent) and the Northeast (up 28 percent). That’s not counting likely increases in nitrogen inputs from more intensive agriculture, or from increased human population."

We Have Less Than 5% Chance of Avoiding ‘Dangerous’ Global Warming

"Our chances of keeping warming under dangerous levels by the end of this century are increasingly slim, according to two new studies published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change."

"The first study took a statistical approach to examine likely warming scenarios by 2100, finding a less than five percent chance of holding warming below two degrees C and a less than one percent chance of keeping it under 1.5 degrees."

Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals

"The email in my inbox last week offered thirty suggestions to green my office space: use reusable pens, redecorate with light colours, stop using the elevator."

"Back at home, done huffing stairs, I could get on with other options: change my lightbulbs, buy local veggies, purchase eco-appliances, put a solar panel on my roof."

"And a study released on Thursday claimed it had figured out the single best way to fight climate change: I could swear off ever having a child."

"These pervasive exhortations to individual action — in corporate ads, school textbooks, and the campaigns of mainstream environmental groups, especially in the west — seem as natural as the air we breath. But we could hardly be worse-served."

"While we busy ourselves greening our personal lives, fossil fuel corporations are rendering these efforts irrelevant. The breakdown of carbon emissions since 1988? A hundred companies alone are responsible for an astonishing 71 percent. You tinker with those pens or that panel; they go on torching the planet."

"The freedom of these corporations to pollute – and the fixation on a feeble lifestyle response – is no accident. It is the result of an ideological war, waged over the last forty years, against the possibility of collective action. Devastatingly successful, it is not too late to reverse it."

How climate scepticism turned into something more dangerous

"Last month Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. For his supporters, it provided evidence, at last, that the president is a man of his word. He may not have kept many campaign promises, but he kept this one. For his numerous critics it is just another sign of how little Trump cares about evidence of any kind. His decision to junk the Paris accord confirms Trump as the poster politician for the “post-truth” age."

"But this is not just about Trump. The motley array of candidates who ran for the Republican presidential nomination was divided on many things, but not on climate change. None of them was willing to take the issue seriously. In a bitterly contentious election, it was a rare instance of unanimity. The consensus that climate is a non-subject was shared by all the candidates who appeared in the first major Republican debate in August 2015 – Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee and Trump. Republican voters were offered 10 shades of denialism."

If we stopped emitting greenhouse gases right now, would we stop climate change?

"If we stop our emissions today, we won’t go back to the past. The Earth will warm. And since the response to warming is more warming through feedbacks associated with melting ice and increased atmospheric water vapor, our job becomes one of limiting the warming. If greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated quickly enough, within a small number of decades, it will keep the warming manageable. It will slow the change – and allow us to adapt. Rather than trying to recover the past, we need to be thinking about best possible futures."

Rick Perry Denies Climate Change Role of CO2

"Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Monday he does not believe carbon dioxide emissions are the main driver of the earth's record-setting warming, a core finding of climate science. Instead, Perry said, the driver is most likely "the ocean waters and this environment that we live in."

"Perry became the second of President Donald Trump's cabinet members to go on television to publicly dismiss the importance of CO2 in global warming, ignoring the scientific evidence. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt rejected its role in answer to essentially the same question in March, also on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Two Government Agencies. Two Different Climate Maps.

"With gardens a-sprouting, a warm, wet winter behind us,1 and a hotter-than-average summer for much of the country ahead, we decided to look at whether and how climate change was affecting what plants can grow around the country. The easy data solution — or so it seemed — was to look at a series of maps dedicated to showing Americans what plants can survive in their neck of the woods. These are called plant hardiness zone maps, and they’ve been produced since the 1960s by the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

"But then we noticed something weird. The USDA’s website specifically asks people not to use these maps to document climate change. Meanwhile, it looked as if other parts of the federal government were doing exactly that in reports such as the National Climate Assessment."

"So what gives? It turns out, the government produces two hardiness zone maps — one made by the USDA and one made by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Both divide the country into segments, each of which represents a 10-degree increment of the average annual minimum temperature. But the underlying data used to build out the zones is different. Those differences are driven by the agencies’ goals, and they affect what the different maps are intended to be used for."

Carbon Emissions, Pie Chart

This is a graph of sovereign states and territories by carbon dioxide emissions due to certain forms of human activity, based on the EDGAR database created by European Commission and Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency released in 2014. The following table lists the 2014 annual CO2 emissions estimates (in thousands of CO2 tonnes) along with a list of emissions per capita (in tonnes of CO2 per year) from same source. The data only considers carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and cement manufacture, but not emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry. Emissions from international shipping or bunker fuels are also not included in national figures, which can make a huge difference for small countries with important ports. The top 10 largest emitter countries account for 68.2% of the world total. Other powerful, more potent greenhouse gases are not included in this data, including methane.

Data Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

Weekly Carbon Dioxide Readings, 2015-present

68% of the Earth's land is north of the equator in the Northern Hemisphere, while only 32% is south of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere. During the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, there are a lot more plants that become green and turn carbon dioxide and sunlight into sugars using chlorophyll.

Data Source: Mauna Loa Observatory Readings, Weekly Averages 2015-2017. ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txtftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_weekly_mlo.txt