2012 was the worst year for the environment in living memory.
It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year for the natural world in the past half century.
Three weeks before the minimum occurred, the melting of the Arctic’s sea ice broke the previous record(1). Iconic remnants of the global megafauna – such as rhinos and bluefin tuna – were shoved violently towards extinction(2). Novel tree diseases raged across continents(3). Bird and insect numbers continued to plummet, coral reefs retreated, marine life dwindled. And those charged with protecting us and the world in which we live pretended that none of it was happening.
Their indifference was distilled into a great collective shrug at the Earth Summit in June. The first summit, 20 years before, was supposed to have heralded a new age of environmental responsibility. During that time, thanks largely to the empowerment of corporations and the ultra-rich, the square root of nothing has been achieved. Far from mobilising to address this, in 2012 the leaders of some of the world’s most powerful governments – the US, the UK, Germany and Russia – didn’t even bother to turn up.
The signals could hardly be clearer: climate change is on the way, driven largely by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activity
This coming year, according to the Met Office, could be one of the warmest ever. This forecast is the latest in a cascade of ominous observations. Just in the last month US scientists warned that West Antarctica was warming twice as fast as expected, and three times faster than the average for the planet as a whole; and the European Space Agency revealed that snow cover in Europe and Asia in June had been the lowest since satellite observations began 45 years ago. It has been a year of extremes, in which the Arctic summer sea ice fell to its lowest ever; in which the 48 contiguous states of the US experienced the hottest ever temperatures and protracted drought; in which wildfires in the tundra darkened snow over Greenland and precipitated melting at an unprecedented rate. The largest Atlantic hurricane on record crippled New York, while Britain, which began the year with one of the driest winters on record, then experienced what for some counties proved to be the wettest year ever.
In global terms, 2012 was probably only the ninth warmest on record. But 11 of the 12 warmest ever have fallen in this young century. The signals could hardly be clearer: climate change is on the way, driven largely by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activity. More than two decades ago, scientists warned that these things would happen: they are happening, and faster than anybody expected.
ClimateDepot.com founder Marc Morano has been called "the Matt Drudge of climate denial," the "king of the skeptics," and "a central cell of the climate-denial machine," and he revels in these descriptions. Although he has no scientific expertise, he is adamant that manmade global warming is a "con job" based on "subprime science." Morano gained prominence working for two of the most vocal climate deniers in the U.S.: Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who notoriously called climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," and Rush Limbaugh, who we named Climate Change Misinformer of the Year in 2011 for his steadfast denial of climate science and wild conspiracy theories about the climate change "hoax."
These days Morano is paid by an industry-funded group to run the climate denial website ClimateDepot.com. At Climate Depot, Morano serves as the de facto research department for the right-wing media's attacks on climate science, and mobilizes his readers to target individual scientists and reporters for telling the public about climate change threats. The site was instrumental in manufacturing the 2009 "Climategate" controversy, which Morano incorrectly claimed exposed "deliberate manipulation of facts and data" by climate scientists. Morano is a darling of the organization most committed to climate denial, the Heartland Institute. He regularly speaks at their conferences and defended their controversial billboard comparing those who accept climate science to "murderers, tyrants, and madmen" including the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
Review of 2012 - environment: shrinking Arctic sea ice, record temperatures, flooding, droughts, hurricane Sandy and super-typhoon Bopha; the year abnormal weather became normal
When in September the Arctic sea ice that freezes and melts each year shrank to its lowest extent ever recorded and then contracted a further 500,000 sq km, the small world of ice scientists was shocked. This was unprecedented, yet there was nothing unusual about the meteorological conditions in the Arctic in 2012, no vast storms to break up the ice, or heatwave to hasten the retreat. Only widespread warming of the atmosphere could have been responsible for less ice growth during the winter and more ice melt during the summer, the scientists concluded.
It was, said the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), just one of dozens of major physical events in 2012 that convinced many people that the extremes have become normal.
The most dramatic event was possibly hurricane Sandy, which swept through the Caribbean and up the east coast of the United States, leaving hundreds dead and thousands without power or shelter. But just a few weeks later it was possibly surpassed in strength by super-typhoon Bopha, which roared across Mindanao in the Philippines killing at least 900 people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
With the global total of emissions likely to come in at around 52 gigatonnes this year, we're already at the edge, according to new research
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Dec 17 2012 (IPS) - The most important number in history is now the annual measure of carbon emissions. That number reveals humanity's steady billion-tonne by billion-tonne march to the edge of the carbon cliff, beyond which scientists warn lies a fateful fall to catastrophic climate change.
With the global total of climate-disrupting emissions likely to come in at around 52 gigatonnes (billion metric tonnes) this year, we're already at the edge, according to new research.
To have a good chance of staying below two degrees C of warming, global emissions should be between 41 and 47 gigatonnes (Gt) by 2020, said Joeri Rogelj, a climate scientist at Switzerland's Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich.
"Only when we see the annual global emissions total decline will we know we're making the shift to climate protection," Rogelj told IPS.
This was an interesting YouTube in as much that Prof Stephen Belcher of the Met Office, talks about their work at the Hadley Centre and that they can still pridict how the climate will be in 50-100 years time! They then go on to state "Climate Change" doubled the odds regarding the hot UK Summer of 2003. But then forget to mention that we now have more CO2 since 2003 and that the UK Summers have been cooler!
Another missing part of this YouTube was that there was no mention of the Sun being part of the climate equation? How can they forget this minor detail and state they know what it will be like in 50-100 years?
Climate sceptics' claims that UN climate science panel's AR5 report show the sun is causing global warming don't stack up
Alec Rawls, an occasional guest poster on the climate contrarian blog WattsUpWithThat who signed up to review the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (as anyone can), has "leaked" a draft version of the report and declared that it "contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing." This assertion was then repeated by James Delingpole at The Telegraph (with some added colorful language), and probably on many other climate contrarian blogs.
If the IPCC were to report that the sun is a significant player in the current rapid global warming, that would indeed be major news, because the body of peer-reviewed scientific literature and data clearly show that the sun has made little if any contribution to the observed global warming over the past 50+ years....
...The supposedly "game-changing admission" from the IPCC report is this:
"Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR [galactic cosmic rays] or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system...The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link."
This Weather Documentary for the UK Climate during 2012 made by Channel4, puts a predictable emphasis on "man made" climate change". As far as I'm concerned it shows how powerful some of the recent solar events have been, namely the Wettest Drought and the December of 2010. One day in the future (sooner then later I hope) when it is common knowledge that the Sun is responsible for extreme weather changes to our climate, we will be able to look back on these documentaries and see how silly people thought co2 was the cause of these events - NOTE This Documentary may not be available outside the UK and there is a time lock after 30 days...
In Britain we love to moan about the weather. And over the past decade we have experienced some extraordinary weather conditions, with 2012 no exception.
It has led many people to wonder if our weather really is getting worse.
The year started with storms and gale-force winds tearing across much of the UK, before our driest spring in a century left 35 million people in the UK suffering from drought.
DOHA (Reuters) - Cheap, short-cut ideas to cool the planet such as shading sunlight are failing to win support from U.N. delegates looking to improve on the slow progress made by existing technologies.
Many scientists say the proposed solutions, known as geo-engineering, are little understood and might have side effects more damaging than global warming, which is projected to cause more floods, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels.
Let's first use what we know," said Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, dismissing suggestions that it was time to try geo-engineering to halt a rise in greenhouse gas emissions.
"There are so many proven technologies we know exist that are tried and true that have not been used to their maximum potential," she told Reuters. "To begin with, the simplest is energy efficiency."
Geo-engineering options include adding sun-reflecting chemicals to the upper atmosphere to mimic the effect of big volcanic eruptions that mask the sun, or fertilizing the oceans to promote the growth of algae that soak up carbon from the air.
Click source to read FULL Opposing View from Alister Doyle
The world is losing the race to keep global warming in check, the Energy Secretary has conceded.
Ed Davey delivered the candid assessment of the international community's collective failure on the eve of major UN negotiations in the Gulf state of Qatar on a new treaty to combat climate change.
The Liberal Democrat minister said attempts to prevent global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level, generally regarded as global warming's danger threshold, were not on course to succeed.
"As things stand, the world is plainly not on track to keep the global temperature increase from climate change below two degrees," Mr Davey told The Independent before leaving for Qatar. "The UN Environment Programme said last week that at best, current commitments [to cut greenhouse gases] would take us somewhat short of half way towards a climate-safe trajectory; and a World Bank report published the same week showed some of the dangers of a world warmed by four degrees.