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Sobering 2018 National Climate Change Report is Leaked to the NY Times

Government climate scientists take action

Think about that last number. Imagine average temperatures where you live in summer rising by 9 degrees. This year, the temperature in Phoenix has been hitting 120. Adding nine degrees to that would make it a fatal risk to go outside for most people, even briefly. Even in the Northeast, it would mean many 100+ degree days in summer, which would preclude outdoor work like construction, roadwork, yard work or farming.

The study, in terms of its global conclusions, was based upon the last report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in 2014. That data, though, has already been overtaken by events, from the unanticipated thawing of the ice sheet in Antarctica, to the ongoing pace of melting of both the ice sheet on Greenland and the ice sheet that covers the Arctic Ocean, now close to disappearing during the summer months, and even this past winter suffering some melting episodes. Also not anticipated in the last IPCC report was the dramatic melting of permafrost, both in the Siberian and North American tundra regions, and also under the shallow parts of the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia, Alaska and Canada. That melting is starting to release vast quantities of long-trapped CO2 and worse yet, methane gas — a global warming chemical that is anywhere from 20-80 times as powerful as carbon dioxide and which could set off a runaway warming that could make the planet more like Venus than Earth.

The government scientists don’t talk about that possibility, but they do say that a 9-degree increase in global and US temperatures by then end of this century is a possibility if nothing is done soon to slow or reverse the continued pumping of more carbon into the atmosphere. And that is now increasingly likely given the Trump administration’s troglodyte and anti-science insistence on rolling back all Obama and Bush-era efforts to reduce carbon-based fuel use in cars, trucks and power plants.

But the report doesn’t limit itself to talking about temperatures rising.

It talks too about sea-level rise, increasing ocean acidification, and weather changes such as more powerful storms, worsening droughts and flooding, and of course threats to food supplies as droughts and intense weather events expand and increase in severity and frequency.

In the case of sea-level rise, the report says seas worldwide have risen an average of 7 inches since 1900. That might not seem like a lot to an landlubber, but for someone with a home near the shore it can mean the difference to having your house survive a major storm or wash away. Furthermore, they note that sea levels are rising at the fastest rate they have risen in 2000 years, and that the pace is accelerating. Using 2014 IPCC data, the projections are for sea level to rise by another 1-4 feet by 2100, but that doesn't include new evidence of melting in Antarctica, which if it continues could mean a sea-level rise of 8 feet globally by the end of this century! Moreover that would not be the end of it. The rise would continue as increased global warming in turn leads to an increased rate of ice melting at both poles (which between them have enough water to raise the world's oceans by over 200 feet).

story | by Dr. Radut