NOAA Climate Update

This article contains a link to the new report from the US government agency the NOAA. The article from Common Dreams, an independent journalist outlet, laments the denial of the Trump administration of the science coming from the country’s own agencies, including the EPA and NOAA that the current administration is rolling back as budgets are cut, giving a wicked  priority to pro-business ideology ahead of science.

And this article also based on reports from 13 US agencies looks at the dangerous implications of following Trump’s climate policies.

Flood of books on sea level rise

Michael Svoboda here on Yale Climate Connections provides outlines of twelve recent books on rising sea levels predicated as a result of global warming.  This is on the same day as the New York Times reports on a new meta analysis in a government report on over 1000 scientific papers that document unequivocally the rise in temperatures in the USA. The NYT has revealed the existence of the study that has not yet been approved by the Trump administration. The newspaper fears that the report may be tampered with or even suppressed by the climate change denying ruling clique in Washington. The report directly contradicts Trump administration claims about global warming and concludes that temperatures have risen rapidly since 1980.

Wet bulb temperatures & survivability

This article outlines a report that gives a tangible illustration of what global warming will do to South Asia if it continues and green house gas emissions are not brought under control. Wet bulb temperatures of 35C are the threshold for survivability for we humans whose 37C normal temperatures cannot be maintained at the 35C wet bulb reading as body heat cannot be dissipated. Climate models suggest that the overpopulated sub-continent of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh would be the most affected regions by the end of this century.

This study really makes very concrete the disatrous consequences of continuing inaction to curb carbon emissions made worse by the powerful fossil fuel lobby that has persuaded the US President and Congress to maintain ‘business as usual’.

My Overshot Ecological Footprint

A new Ecological Footprint calculator has just been launched in time for EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY which this year is August 2nd. Earth overshoot day is a calculation of the date each year at which a year’s supply of the earth’s sustainable resources has been fully used. Current global use of resources means that 1.7 planets would be required to sustain current human population long-term.

The sophisticated new calculator can be quickly used to find out one’s personal ecological impact on the earth. I was shocked to discover that my own life style, in particular my flights to see my family in England four times a year, locate my personal Earth Overshoot Day as early as April 21, much earlier than the global average. To sustain lifestyles of my type would need 3.3 planets! 5.6 ‘global hectares’ (the land and resource unit on which the ecological footprint is based) are needed to support just me, modest  though I assume my thrifty living in an affluent society to be. According to the calculator, I am responsible for adding 10.6 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere annually. This comprises about 65% of my entire ecological footprint. By fathering only two children, I at least avoided compounding the problem by contributing to more than replacement level of the human population, though the lifestyles of  both my sons are not my personal responsibility!

The website offers many ways in which individuals can lower their impact and push back their Earth Overshoot Day. It invites people to pledge to make some effort to do this and to publicise the new Ecological Footprint calculator.