The last few weeks have been chock full of climate change and environmental news.
Tuesday, May 1 – Earth’s greenhouse gas approaches milestone levels. Carbon dioxide in the environment officially passed 400 ppm. This story was nothing more than an excuse to drag out all the old gloom and doom climate stuff that we all have been witness to for the last 30 years.
Carbon dioxide has been steadily rising for 200 years and man is probably responsible for most of it, but if there ever was a predictable event this one was it.
Tuesday, May 14 – A Washington Post story noted that the Obama administration allows wind farms to kill eagles, birds despite federal laws. Mr. Obama has decided that global climate change is more important than the Endangered Species Act. This should be interesting to watch.
Friday, May 17 – The Guardian posted Obama’s climate strategy sets off climate a time bomb. The article is critical of the compromises the administration has made in the Arctic.
Friday, May 17 – Weather.com posted an article detailing the record cold in Alaska titled Where Winter Won’t End. My favorite part of that article was a map showing how cold it has been in Alaska for the last 44 days. Here it is:
Map of temperature anomalies from April 1 through May 14, 2013. Strongest cold anomalies (4-5 degrees C or more) indicated by deep purple contours. (Image: NOAA/ESRL Physical Science Division)
Saturday, May 18th – Anchorage sets new records for snow and cold as documented in the Anchorage Daily News article titled Late-May snow sets multiple records.
Sunday May 19 – At 7:00 AM this morning it was 21 degrees F at my house. The high yesterday was new record low temperature for a daily high by a whopping 7 degrees. Today will be the 46th consecutive day it has been colder than average in Fairbanks.
Record high carbon dioxide, record low temperatures, and lots of environmental news. Alaska was supposed to be one of the places most impacted by global warming as this chart prepared by the IPCC in 2007 shows:
Most of the lawsuits relating to the Arctic environment in the US revolve around the shrinking Arctic ice pack. And the Arctic is melting in the summer despite the cold in Alaska. But here’s an interesting sidebar. It’s melting more off Asia and Europe than off Alaska as this map of the current Arctic Ice condition demonstrates:
US lawsuits about the disappearing Arctic Ice will abound and will be largely ineffective because they are regional in nature and the problem being addressed in international in nature. It matters not what the USA does, if Russia, Norway, Denmark and Canada don’t go along. Recent history would indicate that actions off the coast of Alaska have had very little to do with the current Arctic Ice disappearance.
Such is the nature of climate science and environmental law as it sits today. The subject is very complex and does not fit well into 30 second time bites. Carbon dioxide is steadily rising, the world is not warming and all the IPCC projections to date have proven to be wrong. We are running well below the temperatures the IPCC predicted just 6 years ago as this recent IPCC chart demonstrates:
AR4 (orange) was prepared in 2005 and published in 2007. Virtually every year since has been colder (the black bars) than their predicted range and 2012 continued the trend. So far 2013 has been a bit colder than 2012. So what’s going on?
I don’t know.
It does emphasize something I think I have been right about since day one of this blog. Where climate is concerned everybody with a strong opinion on the subject is guessing. I see guesses here, guesses there, guesses everywhere whenever climate science is discussed.