Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Labor Day is often thought of as the traditional end of summer.  That is changing.  Within a few decades when even I may still be alive summer may simply not end hereabouts, at least, not until long after September has passed by.  While the climate deniers hang on for dear life, and Romney and company make jokes about healing the earth and rising oceans, scientists are increasingly coming to the conclusions that the predictions they have made in the past regarding global climate change are...TOO CONSERVATIVE.

Maybe you would like to spend months on end with temperatures over one hundred degrees, no rain is sight, and with fires burning everywhere.  Maybe that is a dream of yours.  I would like to say, I'll pass.  However, I don't really think I have any choice in the matter anymore.  Some say there is still time.  I don't think so.  More importantly Capital doesn't care, can't be bothered with that sort of nonsense.  Kill the grandkids is the battle cry of the Empire.

After all these years, those strange folks hollering the end is near sound like the only one's who really get it.

Pisses me off!

The following is from ThinkProgress Climate Progress.

Labor Day 2040: Endless Summer

Who ever would’ve guessed that there would be a Labor Day card for global warming?  But that is what SomeEcards are for:

But “The Onion” of e-card companies makes a serious point:  In the not-too-distant future, people are going to be amazed that anybody ever thought Labor Day signified the unofficial end of summer.  As Climate Progress discussed in “Mother Nature is Just Getting Warmed Up” last year:

Stanford climate scientists forecast permanently hotter summers

The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists….

“According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years,” said the study’s lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh.

And this could happen even sooner since, “actual GHG emissions over the early 21st century have exceeded those projected in the SRES scenario used here, suggesting that our results could provide a conservative projection of the timing of permanent emergence of an unprecedented heat regime.”

Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe has a figure of what staying on the business as usual emissions path (A1FI or 1000 ppm) would mean for the end of this century (derived from the NOAA-ledimpacts report):

Yes, absent a sharp and deep reduction in national and global emissions, by century’s end, Kansas (!) could well be above 100°F for three full months.  Labor Day will mean a return to those pleasant mid-to-upper 90s!

It truly will be an endless summer over much of Texas and Arizona and the Central Valley of California (see also NASA’s Hansen: “If We Stay on With Business as Usual, the Southern U.S. Will Become Almost Uninhabitable”).

Not only will it be hot, but if we don’t reverse emissions trends ASAP, it will be very, very dry :

The maps use a common measure, the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which assigns positive numbers when conditions are unusually wet for a particular region, and negative numbers when conditions are unusually dry. A reading of -4 or below is considered extreme drought.  More details on this figure are here.

The PDSI in the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl apparently spiked very briefly to -6, but otherwise rarely exceeded -3 for the decade (see here).  So the numbers projected by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are catastrophic by the 2060s (see New study puts the ‘hell’ in Hell and High Water).

The NCAR study warned, “The United States and many other heavily populated countries face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decades … possibly reaching a scale in some regions by the end of the century that has rarely, if ever, been observed in modern times.

This drying creates a vicious circle.  The heat dries out the land.  Then Dust-Bowlification exacerbates the warming because when large tracts of land are dry, the warming doesn’t go into evaporating moisture from the soil, but into heating up land.  It bakes.  That’s why, for instance, the U.S. set so many temperature records in the 1930s Dust Bowl.  And it’s why in July 2011, drought-stricken Oklahoma saw the highest average temperature of any state in the continental United States for any month since statewide average temperature records began in 1895.

It’ll be a hellish summer for much of the West by mid-century — see Climate change expected to sharply increase Western wildfire burn area — as much as 175% by the 2050.

Here’s the grim wildfire projection from a presentation made by the President’s science adviser Dr. John Holdren in Oslo in 2010:

This is the “plausible worst case scenario” for around 2060 from the Met Office that occurs in 10% of model runs of high emissions with the carbon cycle feedbacks [temperature in degrees Celsius, multiple by 1.8 for Fahrenheit]:

Now that is an endless global summer.

Note: While that is the plausible worst-case scenario for 2060, it is in fact just business as usual for 2100!

Related Post:

No comments: