The Climate Change Thread

czsz

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Seems like something's eroding some of America's most treasured traditions, and it's shockingly not the specter of gay marriage!


Climatologists predict winters with little snow, making scenes like these youngsters sledding on grass in January more likely.

Report: Quintessential N.E. at risk
Warns region to stem global warming's pace
By Felicia Mello, Globe Correspondent | July 12, 2007

Imagine Vermont without maple syrup, Maine with fewer lobsters, and New Hampshire without the brilliant red foliage that enlivens fall mornings. Unthinkable?

A new study by some of the region's top climate scientists projects that many of the things that define New England -- from knee-high snow drifts to lobster rolls -- could disappear if global warming continues at its current pace.

"The character of this region is at stake," said Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Cambridge-based environmental group that produced the report in collaboration with dozens of climate specialists, other scientists, and economists. "The emissions choices that we make today will lead to starkly different futures in our lifetime and certainly the lifetime of our children."

Previous research has used climate models to forecast regional weather changes in the coming decades, but the report released yesterday marks one of the few times researchers have tried to identify how global warming could affect the economies of specific states, and presents ways individuals can help combat it.

The study is the most detailed projec tion yet of the effects of climate change on the Northeast.

Cod, the fish that jump - started the region's economy, could vanish from the waters around Georges Bank, the study found. Stressed-out cows could produce up to 12 percent less milk in the summer. And the number of snow-cover days could decrease by more than half across New England by 2100, forcing many ski resorts to close.

Average annual temperatures in the Northeast have increased by more than 1.5 degrees, and winter temperatures by more than 4 degrees, since 1970 in a worldwide warming trend. Scientists contend the warming is due in part to emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars and power plants. The pollutants linger in the atmosphere, causing it to trap more heat.

The scientists looked at two different emissions scenarios: one in which greenhouse gas output continues to grow unchecked and the other in which it increases more slowly and begins to decline by mid century as countries adopt fuel-efficient technologies.

Under the first scenario, average temperatures in Massachusetts would rise 8 to 12 degrees in winter and 6 to 14 degrees in summer by the end of the century.

In Boston, more frequent heat waves and a fourfold increase in days with poor air quality could endanger the elderly and children. Floods that now occur on average once every 100 years could happen every other year by mid century, topping the Charles River Dam and inundating Faneuil Hall, the Back Bay, and parts of Cambridge.

The lower-emissions scenario would cut temperature increases in half, reducing some of the damage, the report said. Some changes are unavoidable, however, because they stem from past emissions.

"This report is as damning as its predictions are disastrous," Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said in a statement. "Climate change is real, and we're approaching a deadly tipping point if we don't act now."

The report paints a grim picture for New England's farms and fisheries. Annual droughts could plague historically water-rich Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Cranberries would no longer grow in Southeastern Massachusetts under the high emissions scenario, and apple farmers could be forced to abandon popular varieties like McIntosh and Granny Smiths. Under either scenario, the waters south of Cape Cod would become inhospitable to lobsters, and crustaceans in Maine would grow more susceptible to disease.

Maple and beech forests could flourish initially under warmer conditions, but they could decline dramatically by late in the century. Reducing emissions could save many of New Hampshire's spruce and fir trees, but the high emissions scenario could wipe them out, hurting the paper industry.

The report's authors called on consumers to buy more - efficient cars and appliances in order to reduce emissions throughout the Northeast, a region that produces more carbon dioxide than entire nations such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy.

Massachusetts officials said the study's findings, while gloomy, provide an opportunity for the state to be a leader in developing environmentally friendly technology for the rest of the world.

"Our energy future is going to be considerably different than the past," said Ian Bowles, secretary of the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. "It will involve a lot of turnover in capital stock -- our transportation fleet, our building fleet, our energy production. In all those areas there will be investment and innovation, and Massachusetts is disproportionately well positioned to take advantage of that economy."

Governor Deval Patrick has made clean energy a priority of his administration. The energy and environmental affairs agency, for example, yesterday released new guidelines requiring developers to include information about greenhouse-gas emissions when they submit projects for review.

Some specialists said more drastic measures are required.

"I think we need to much more aggressively address public transportation," among other issues, said Ray Bradley, a climatologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst who did not contribute to the report. Individuals can make a difference, but state and federal governments need to be more proactive, too, he said.

"Everybody can change their light bulbs and carpool, but fundamentally, this is a problem that needs to be solved at a much higher level."
 

whighlander

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Re: Climate change puts quintessential New England at risk

It's December 1 -- Autumn by the Calendar and according to Astronomy

It's also 19.2 deg F at 4 PM EST

Tomorrow, we may see 3 to 6 inches of the white somewhat sticky SNOW flakes of an early season NE storm

We've already had 2 small SNOW falls in the month of November, before Thanksgiving -- although none of it persisted for more than a 1 day

If I didn't know better -- I'd start thinking of moving south to avoid the glacier?s advance

Ok -- NOW --- Tell me where the GLOBAL WARMING is!!!!

Westy
 

lexicon506

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Re: Climate change puts quintessential New England at risk

^please tell me you aren't being serious....
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Re: Climate change puts quintessential New England at risk

Andy: Oh man, it's so warm out. Global warming, am I right?

Jim: Yeah, I bet it was supposed to be cold today.
 

timsox6

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

Do any of the developers-- or the city or state-- have any plans for comprehensive flood or searise prevention for the Seaport neighborhood? Reading up today about how Hoboken is taking an approach that includes both hard elements (seawall, etc) and soft elements like parks, green roofs, and bioswales. All of these shiny renders are pretty useless if the whole place is under water in fifty years.
 

SeamusMcFly

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

So, based on available data. Sea levels have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches per year since 1990. That means, if things stayed on that pace, sea levels would be 7 inches higher in 50 years.

What will we do then, when the next rock up the seawall is getting wet??????
 

Mongo

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

So, based on available data. Sea levels have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches per year since 1990. That means, if things stayed on that pace, sea levels would be 7 inches higher in 50 years.

What will we do then, when the next rock up the seawall is getting wet??????
The problem isn't the average level rising, it is that storm surges will be that much higher.
 

bigeman312

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

So, based on available data. Sea levels have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches per year since 1990. That means, if things stayed on that pace, sea levels would be 7 inches higher in 50 years.

What will we do then, when the next rock up the seawall is getting wet??????
Scientists are not predicting things to stay "on that pace." Here is some scientific research:

http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_proj_21st.html
 

coleslaw

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Arlington

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

The problem isn't the average level rising, it is that storm surges will be that much higher.
^ This. "Superstorm Sandy"-type events are already fairly probable and will get moreso. Mortgage payments on a barrier are cheaper than insurance and casualty costs over time.
 

SeamusMcFly

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

The problem isn't the average level rising, it is that storm surges will be that much higher.
But, they will be higher by the same relative difference no? Unless you want to convince me that global warming is creating more 'super storms' rather than assumptions and or coincidence. I'm not a global warming denier, but Boston and new England haven't had a super storm to rival those on record from the 30's and 50's in my lifetime.

I recall Gloria and that couldn't hold a candle to Donna or Connie and Diane.

I was being flip, but we are also not in the same situation as some coastal cities in the world. The seaport will not be under water in 50 years, but it May well be in 250 years. Happy 625 anniversary time. Old iron sides will be riding higher that week.
 

SeamusMcFly

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SeamusMcFly

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

Exactly there are numerous positive feed back loops. The sea level is going to rise faster and faster. Real scientists and not fox news is where you should get your information.
I listen to both sides (well not really Fox type garbage) most scientific estimates are worst case scenarios based on not changing our current crash course method of doing things. I'll put it somewhere between the scientists and Fox, but on Bill Nye's side of the curve.
 

coleslaw

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

I listen to both sides (well not really Fox type garbage) most scientific estimates are worst case scenarios based on not changing our current crash course method of doing things. I'll put it somewhere between the scientists and Fox, but on Bill Nye's side of the curve.
Well what you said is no where near where you seem to place yourself.
 

SeamusMcFly

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

Sure it is. You say accelerating, so maybe the water is 9 inches higher instead of 7 inches. Its not going to be 2 feet higher to put the seaport under water. Thats over the top al gore stuff that is not backed up. Im firmly in favor of environmental protection and whatnot, but i prefer it based in reality. So in response to the seaport being underwater in 50 years, i reply with sarcasm because it's a silly statement or idea.
 

coleslaw

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

Sure it is. You say accelerating, so maybe the water is 9 inches higher instead of 7 inches. Its not going to be 2 feet higher to put the seaport under water. Thats over the top al gore stuff that is not backed up. Im firmly in favor of environmental protection and whatnot, but i prefer it based in reality. So in response to the seaport being underwater in 50 years, i reply with sarcasm because it's a silly statement or idea.
You are actually very wrong thats why I respond to you with sardonicism.
 

whighlander

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Re: Seaport Square (Formerly McCourt Seaport Parcels)

Colelaw -- if I was you -- I would be seriously worried about a globally cooler place at least for the next few decades

The planet has not warmed in 18 years -- the models are broken and can not be reliaed upon for prediction -- our recourse is to look at the past -- and what we see both near term and long-term is cooling is coming

see for example
" Global Cooling is Here

Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades

By Prof. Don J. Easterbrook
Global Research, June 28, 2014
Department of Geology, Western Washington University and Global Research
originally published November 2008

INTRODUCTION

Despite no global warming in 10 years [[[ now 18 and counting] and recording setting cold in 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century. IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1° F per decade and 5-6° C (10-11° F) by 2100 (Fig. 1), which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly.

Figure 1. A. IPCC prediction of global warming early in the 21st century. B. IPCC prediction of global warming to 2100. (Sources: IPCC website) [not shown]

However, records of past climate changes suggest an altogether different scenario for the 21st century. Rather than drastic global warming at a rate of 0.5 ° C (1° F) per decade, historic records of past natural cycles suggest global cooling for the first several decades of the 21st century to about 2030, followed by global warming from about 2030 to about 2060, and renewed global cooling from 2060 to 2090 (Easterbrook, D.J., 2005, 2006a, b, 2007, 2008a, b); Easterbrook and Kovanen, 2000, 2001). Climatic fluctuations over the past several hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling, on a general rising trend from the Little Ice Age "


and

and


Indeed if you want to put it in context -- "Hide the Decline" -- aka aka the Climategate e-mails are akin to "Americans are stupid" -- aka the Grubergate videos -- they both expose the mendacity and arrogance of the Government - Academic Complex -- mediated and exacerbated by a math and scientifically ignorant media unable to challenge the statements of the players

Ultimately guided by Holmes -- we should follow the money and see who is feeding at the public trough
 

Arlington

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Betting on any one model is like putting your whole retirement savings in one stock. We should be doing something, but it looks more like hard work and long-term asset-building than calling a trend 50 years in advance.

Even within the "overall warming" and "overall sea rise" scenarios, Precipitation and temperature could locally "invert" the seasons or make them more extreme--we're not sure of that, either.

In all these things, a little intellectual modesty is called for. You're unlikely to be a brilliant stock picker and you're unlikely to have just the right climate model, so a portfolio approach is called for.

And we face a spectrum of threats. Terror attacks on the grid, for example.

So *resiliency* and investments that pay off under most scenarios are what's called for. That translates first to things like:
- A smart, multi-source grid
- Utility protection / relocation
- Waterproofing/hardening stuf
- More electric transport (transit, cars)...as much because they're multi-fuel as because they've got a low carbon footprint.

And probably a storm barrier...which produces big payoffs during "black swan" events.

Passive solar (shade in the summer, thermal in the winter) and energy efficient buildings work under all scenarios too. The payoffs are biggest if climate changes very adversely, but using more sun and less "bought" energy has a modest payback under all but the most drastic solar-tech drives energy-deflation scenarios.

Massachusetts is fortunate under ALL rainfall scenarios (from drought to too much) that we have the waaay-overbuilt Quabbin reservoir. We have a highly resilient water supply--pristine watershed, too big to poison, gravity-fed, and built to supply a much bigger population (that's nowhere in sight) and that's without even applying "normal" water-conservation measures like lower-flush toilets and lawn-watering bans.

I'd like to feel as good about our other infrastructure as I do about the Quabbin.
 

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