Happy Holidays: Oil To The World & All That

The U.S. National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its updated Arctic Report card earlier this week. Like many other recent reports about the condition of the north, the canary in climate change coal mine, the news is sobering; new records have been set for snow extent, sea ice extent and ice sheet surface melting. The report summarizes the findings in this unemotional and scientific way:

Multiple observations provide strong evidence of widespread, sustained change driving Arctic environmental system into new state.



Meanwhile in the rest of the world, the insanity continues. Luckily there are people like Marcy Shaffer over at Versus to parody our disconnect from reality, and help us laugh rather than run to the hills screaming (although I’m still keeping that option open for myself). In keeping with the season, here’s Oil To The World, which came to my attention via FireDogLake.com.



The lyrics are available on versusplus.com.

For the full NOAA Arctic report card, click here.

The World Keeps Getting Hotter and Hotter

The annual “State of the Climate” report has just been published by the U.S. government and demonstrates that the past decade has been the hottest on record. Global warming is “undeniable”, the report asserts. The National Geographic reports:

An in-depth analysis of ten climate indicators all point to a marked warming over the past three decades, with the most recent decade being the hottest on record, according to the latest of the U.S. National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s annual “State of the Climate” reports, which was released Wednesday. Reliable global climate record-keeping began in the 1880s.

The National Geographic article goes on to state:

And for the first time, scientists put data from climate indicators—such as ocean temperature and sea-ice cover—together in one place. Their consistency “jumps off the page at you,” report co-author Derek Arndt said.

“This is like going to the doctor and getting your respiratory test and circulatory test and your neurosystem test,” said Arndt, head of the Climate Monitoring Branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

“It’s testing all the parts, and they’re all in agreement that the same thing’s going on.”

The 2009 State of the Climate report released on Wednesday draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. Unlike other climate publications, because it’s based on observed data, not computer models, making it the “climate system’s annual scorecard,” the authors wrote.

The indicators the 300 scientists involved in the NOAA study looked at included humidity, sea-surface temp, sea ice cover, snow cover, ocean heat content, glacier cover, air temperature in the lower atmosphere, sea level, temperature over land, and temperature over the oceans.

It’s past time to address this issue – we’re like the frog in the pot of boiling water who dies although it could have jumped out before the temperature got too hot, just because it didn’t notice the gradual increase in water temperature. Are humans smarter than frogs? We’ll soon find out, because our window to act is rapidly closing.

And what are the solutions? There is no one answer, but many varied responses. It’s clear global emissions of fossil fuels need to decrease dramatically in the next decades. I will quote Kelly Blyn from 350.org again:

The truth is, there is no silver bullet to stopping the climate crisis, no single technological solution that can fix everything at once. We don’t just need solar power, or wind power, or efficiency. We need all of these things and more. What we need, in a word, is diversity.

Take time to call, email, or write your elected representatives and let them know you support swift action on moving towards renewable energy and away from dirty oil. You want to be able to look your children and grandchildren in the eyes 20 years from now, and tell them you did everything you could to avert the climate crisis. Or go to “Put Solar On It” and tell your national leader to put solar on his or her roof.

More links:

Global warming “undeniable”, U.S. Government Report Says

The Earth is hotter than ever, global warming real: researchers

International Scientists Confirm Climate Change is “Undeniable”