We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Global warming’s record-breaking trend continues

Click here to access article by Alex Kirby from Climate News Network.
The authoritative report by the NOAA’s Centre for Weather and Climate at the National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI), published by the American Meterological Society, draws on contributions from 413 scientists in 58 countries to provide a detailed update on global climate indicators.

“The variety of indicators shows us how our climate is changing, not just in temperature but from the depths of the oceans to the outer atmosphere,” says Thomas R. Karl, director of the NCEI.
Notice the language that this director uses to describe what is happen with great rapidity when considered in the framework of geologic time--which it should be. After all the alarming data presented in this major study, all that director Thomas Karl can say is that the study "shows us how our climate is changing". So, we can all go back to sleep, keep drilling for, and burning more, fossil fuels to keep the voracious engines of expanding capitalism as it devours everything in sight in order to accumulate more power and profits for a tiny class of "owners".

One only needs to peruse the text of the study (contained in a PDF document) to determine that what these world 413 scientists from all over the world have seen in their research is that the tremendous amounts need to fuel these capitalist engines are rapidly warming the Earth from the bottom of the oceans to the highest mountain peaks all over our planet-home. From this document I read the following:
Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—the major greenhouse gases released into Earth’s atmosphere—once again all reached record high average atmospheric concentrations for the year. Carbon dioxide increased by 1.9 ppm to reach a globally averaged value of 397.2 ppm for 2014. Altogether, 5 major and 15 minor greenhouse gases contributed 2.94 W m–2 of direct radiative forcing, which is 36% greater than their contributions just a quarter century ago.

Accompanying the record-high greenhouse gas concentrations was nominally the highest annual global surface temperature in at least 135 years of modern record keeping, according to four independent observational analyses. The warmth was distributed widely around the globe's land areas, Europe observed its warmest year on record by a large margin, with close to two dozen countries breaking their previous national temperature records; many countries in Asia had annual temperatures among their 10 warmest on record; Africa reported above-average temperatures across most of the continent throughout 2014; Australia saw its third warmest year on record, following record heat there in 2013; Mexico had its warmest year on record; and Argentina and Uruguay each had their second warmest year on record. Eastern North America was the only major region to observe a below-average annual temperature.

But it was the oceans that drove the record global surface temperature in 2014. 

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