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World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas exploration

Only 20 years too late ....

"The World Bank will end its financial support for oil and gas exploration within the next two years in response to the growing threat posed by climate change. In a statement that delighted campaigners opposed to fossil fuels, the Bank used a conference in Paris to announce that it “will no longer finance upstream oil and gas” after 2019. The Bank ceased lending for coal-fired power stations in 2010 but has been under pressure from lobby groups also to halt the $1bn (£750m) a year it has been lending for oil and gas in developing countries."

The Bank said it saw the need to change the way it was operating in a “rapidly changing world”, adding that it was on course to have 28% of its lending going to climate action by 2020. At present, 1-2% of the Bank’s $280bn portfolio is accounted for by oil and gas projects."

Moody’s Warns Cities to Address Climate Risks or Face Downgrades

Welcome to the future.

"Coastal communities from Maine to California have been put on notice from one of the top credit rating agencies: Start preparing for climate change or risk losing access to cheap credit."

"In a report to its clients Tuesday, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. explained how it incorporates climate change into its credit ratings for state and local bonds. If cities and states don’t deal with risks from surging seas or intense storms, they are at greater risk of default."

GISS Land-Ocean Global Means Temperature, 1880-2016

The average land and ocean temperature globally between 1951-1980 was 56.7 degrees fahrenheit. NASA, with it's vast earth monitoring system of satelites and ground based equipment measure temperature around the globe to follow trends over time. They put out GISS numbers monthly and yearly, that look at the difference in temperature between the 1951-1980 average compared to today. Those numbers are widely cited on climate change blogs. While scientifically accurate, their analysis is confusing to the layman who finds it hard to understand negative and positive Celsius numbers of a few degrees.

Most of us know the weather only by Fahrenheit, and rather then use negative numbers and departure from the average, I used actual global temperature averages. In 2016, the global temperature was 58.42 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, in 1960, the global temperature was 56.2 degrees Fahrenheit. While 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit difference in global temperature over 66 years doesn't seem like a lot, it does mean spring comes earlier across the globe, areas freeze up later, and summer days are somewhat hotter. As the oceans are a powerful heat sink, actual global land temperature changes are less then 2.2 degree Fahrenheit difference between now and 1960, but still there is a noticeable increase there too.

Forces like el nino and la nina, and other weather patterns do change global temperatures a bit from year to year. But as carbon dioxide emissions have rapidly increased, so have temperatures. Within the next 20-30 years, it's almost certain global yearly temperatures will exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a big jump from 56.25 degrees Fahrenheit at the turn of the 20th century.

Data Source: Combined Land-Surface Air and Sea-Surface Water Temperature Anomalies (Land-Ocean Temperature Index, LOTI). https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

InsideClimate News: Global CO2 Emissions to Hit Record High in 2017

"The world is on its way to record-high carbon emissions in 2017, after three straight years in which human-caused emissions appeared to be leveling off, new research shows."

"The projected 2 percent increase in emissions this year adds urgency to the UN climate talks this week in Bonn, where 197 countries are negotiating how to implement the 2015 Paris climate agreement to slow global warming."

"There's not much time left to cut emissions and keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, let alone 1.5 degrees," said Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, who led the emissions research presented Monday in Bonn. The aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times. For that to happen, studies have shown that emissions must peak within the next decade and then decline to net zero."

Trump administration report attributes climate change to ‘human activities’

"A significant federal government study released Friday finds "no convincing alternative explanation" for the changing climate other than "human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases."

"This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th Century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence," the report said.

Trump administration releases report finding ‘no convincing alternative explanation’ for climate change

"The Trump administration released a dire scientific report Friday detailing the growing threats of climate change. The report stands in stark contrast to the administration’s efforts to downplay humans’ role in global warming, withdraw from an international climate accord and reverse Obama-era policies aimed at curbing America’s greenhouse-gas output."

"The White House did not seek to prevent the release of the government’s National Climate Assessment, which is mandated by law, despite the fact that its findings sharply contradict the administration’s policies. The report affirms that climate change is driven almost entirely by human action, warns of potential sea level rise as high as 8 feet by the year 2100, and enumerates myriad climate-related damages across the United States that are already occurring due to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming since 1900."

Carbon Dioxide Levels Grew at Record Pace in 2016

"The amount of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere grew at record rate in 2016 to a level not seen for millions of years, potentially fuelling a 20-metre rise in sea levels and adding 3 degrees to temperatures, the United Nations said on Monday."

"Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main man-made greehouse gas, hit 403.3 parts per million (ppm), up from 400.0 in 2015, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said in its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. That growth rate was 50 percent faster than the average over the past decade, driving CO2 levels 45 percent above pre-industrial levels and further outside the range of 180-280 ppm seen in recent cycles of ice ages and warmer periods."

Google Maps: Average Yearly High Temperature In New York

The average yearly high temperature is the average of daily high temperature throughout the year in New York State. A cold weather climate state, the average high temperature is between 35 and 55 degrees depending on what part of the state you are in. It is on average 20 degrees warmer in New York City then in the High Peaks of the Adiroondacks. This interactive map can be zoomed in see the average temperature where you live in the state.

Data Source: This coverage contains data representing areas (polygons) of Average Temperature for the period 1971-2000. The data has been converted from grids to polygons. Purpose: Display and/or analyses requiring spatially distributed Average Temperature for the climatological period 1971-2000. From the The PRISM Group at Oregon State University. https://datagateway.nrcs.usda.gov/GDGOrder.aspx?order=QuickState

Methane to Its Madness

"You don’t often find oil and gas companies lining up to take business advice from a bunch of tree huggers—especially when it comes to climate change. But that’s exactly what happened when the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) decided to tackle the problem of leaking methane, a rarely mentioned but extremely potent greenhouse pollutant. Methane, the main constituent of natural gas, is a lot cleaner than coal when used to make electricity, but when it gets into the atmosphere unburned it behaves like an invisible blanket. At least 10 million tons of methane escapes from the nation’s sprawling oil and gas system every year, resulting in about a good portion of the warming the planet is currently seeing."

NOAA: Assessing the U.S. Climate in September 2017

"Since June 2017, six additional weather and climate events impacted the nation that had direct, total costs exceeding $1 billion. These new events included the western U.S. wildfires, the Northern Plains drought, a severe weather event in the Midwest, and major Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. This brings the year-to-date total to 15 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, tying 2011 for the record number of events during January–September. The record number of billion-dollar disasters for a calendar year is 16 events set in 2011. Cost estimates associated with the 2017 hurricanes will be available in January 2018."

"The September nationally averaged temperature was 66.3°F, 1.4°F above the 20th century average, and ranked among the warmest third of the historical record. Near-record warmth was observed in parts of the Great Lakes and Northeast. The year-to-date U.S. average temperature was the third warmest on record at 57.7°F, 2.7°F above average. Only January–September of 2012 and 2016 were warmer. Above-average temperatures spanned the nation for the first nine months of the year."

The idea that climate scientists are in it for the cash has deep ideological roots

"This brings us back to the notion that cancer doctors might have a personal interest in not finding a cure. Proponents of public choice – including those who worked with Buchanan - have made just those claims.

In 1992, two academics from the Center for the Study of Public Choice at George Mason University (a centre established and led by Buchanan), wrote a book called The Economics of Smoking. In the book, economist Robert Tollison argued that the “anti-cancer bureaucracy will face weaker incentives to find and develop effective treatments of and cures for cancer, as well as facing incentives to magnify the risks of cancer”.

“A cure for cancer would put many cancer bureaucrats out of work,” Tollison wrote.

So the argument goes that these anti-cancer “bureaucrats” were not so much motivated to protect people from painful and deadly conditions linked to smoking, such as cancer and heart disease. Instead, they might work a bit less stringently to find a cure in return for a wage.

Analysis Irma and Harvey lay the costs of climate change denial at Trump’s door
The president’s dismissal of scientific research is doing nothing to protect the livelihoods of ordinary Americans
Read more
There’s an irony in this accusation of people acting in their self-interest. Before and after writing that book chapter, Tollison was paid consultancy fees by the tobacco industry.

In the archives of tobacco documents released as part of US litigation, you can find a 1989 invoice sent to the Tobacco Institute for Tollison’s work on a “media tour”.

In 1993, the archives reveal, Tollison and his GMU colleague Robert Wagner, who co-wrote The Economics of Smoking, pitched to the tobacco industry a report attacking the World Health Organization, which would cost $20,000."

End-of-Summer Arctic Sea Ice Extent Is Eighth Lowest on Record

"Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its yearly lowest extent on Sept. 13, NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder have reported. Analysis of satellite data by NSIDC and NASA showed that at 1.79 million square miles (4.64 million square kilometers), this year’s Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the eighth lowest in the consistent long-term satellite record, which began in 1978."

"Arctic sea ice appears to have reached a record low wintertime maximum extent for 2017, according to scientists at the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. Observations indicate that on Sept. 13, 2017 ice extent shrunk to the eighth lowest in the satellite record, at 4.64 million square miles, or 1.79 million square miles."

"Arctic sea ice, the layer of frozen seawater covering much of the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas, is often referred to as the planet’s air conditioner: its white surface bounces solar energy back to space, cooling the globe. The sea ice cap changes with the season, growing in the autumn and winter and shrinking in the spring and summer. Its minimum summertime extent, which typically occurs in September, has been decreasing, overall, at a rapid pace since the late 1970s due to warming temperatures."