Daily Archives: February 17, 2014

Rapid and extensive warming following cessation of solar radiation management

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/2/024005/

Paper

Solar radiation management (SRM) has been proposed as a means to alleviate the climate impacts of ongoing anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, its efficacy depends on its indefinite maintenance, without interruption from a variety of possible sources, such as technological failure or global cooperation breakdown. Here, we consider the scenario in which SRM—via stratospheric aerosol injection—is terminated abruptly following an implementation period during which anthropogenic GHG emissions have continued. We show that upon cessation of SRM, an abrupt, spatially broad, and sustained warming over land occurs that is well outside 20th century climate variability bounds. Global mean precipitation also increases rapidly following cessation, however spatial patterns are less coherent than temperature, with almost half of land areas experiencing drying trends. We further show that the rate of warming—of critical importance for ecological and human systems—is principally controlled by background GHG levels. Thus, a risk of abrupt and dangerous warming is inherent to the large-scale implementation of SRM, and can be diminished only through concurrent strong reductions in anthropogenic GHG emissions.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Climate change effects on agriculture: Economic responses to biophysical shocks

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/12/12/1222465110.abstract

  1. Gerald C. Nelsona,1,
  2. Hugo Valinb,
  3. Ronald D. Sandsc,
  4. Petr Havlíkb,
  5. Helal Ahammadd,
  6. Delphine Derynge,
  7. Joshua Elliottf,g,
  8. Shinichiro Fujimorih,
  9. Tomoko Hasegawah,
  10. Edwina Heyhoed,
  11. Page Kylei,
  12. Martin Von Lampej,
  13. Hermann Lotze-Campenk,
  14. Daniel Mason d’Croza,
  15. Hans van Meijll,
  16. Dominique van der Mensbrugghem,
  17. Christoph Müllerk,
  18. Alexander Poppk,
  19. Richard Robertsona,
  20. Sherman Robinsona,
  21. Erwin Schmidn,
  22. Christoph Schmitzk,
  23. Andrzej Tabeaul, and
  24. Dirk Willenbockelo

Author Affiliations

  1. Edited by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany, and approved August 31, 2013 (received for review January 31, 2013)
  1. Abstract
  2. Authors & Info
  3. SI
  4. Metrics
  5. PDF
  6. PDF + SI

Significance

Plausible estimates of climate change impacts on agriculture require integrated use of climate, crop, and economic models. We investigate the contribution of economic models to uncertainty in this impact chain. In the nine economic models included, the direction of management intensity, area, consumption, and international trade responses to harmonized crop yield shocks from climate change are similar. However, the magnitudes differ significantly. The differences depend on model structure, in particular the specification of endogenous yield effects, land use change, and propensity to trade. These results highlight where future research on modeling climate change impacts on agriculture should focus.

Abstract

Agricultural production is sensitive to weather and thus directly affected by climate change. Plausible estimates of these climate change impacts require combined use of climate, crop, and economic models. Results from previous studies vary substantially due to differences in models, scenarios, and data. This paper is part of a collective effort to systematically integrate these three types of models. We focus on the economic component of the assessment, investigating how nine global economic models of agriculture represent endogenous responses to seven standardized climate change scenarios produced by two climate and five crop models. These responses include adjustments in yields, area, consumption, and international trade. We apply biophysical shocks derived from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s representative concentration pathway with end-of-century radiative forcing of 8.5 W/m2. The mean biophysical yield effect with no incremental CO2 fertilization is a 17% reduction globally by 2050 relative to a scenario with unchanging climate. Endogenous economic responses reduce yield loss to 11%, increase area of major crops by 11%, and reduce consumption by 3%. Agricultural production, cropland area, trade, and prices show the greatest degree of variability in response to climate change, and consumption the lowest. The sources of these differences include model structure and specification; in particular, model assumptions about ease of land use conversion, intensification, and trade. This study identifies where models disagree on the relative responses to climate shocks and highlights research activities needed to improve the representation of agricultural adaptation responses to climate change.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

Kerry urges developing nations to face climate change perils


PBS NewsHour

Published on Feb 17, 2014

Secretary of State Kerry spoke in Jakarta on Sunday about the “most fearsome” weapon threatening the world: climate change. Indonesia ranks as the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind the U.S. and China, where Kerry also addressed the need for partnership in cutting emissions on Saturday. Judy Woodruff reports.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

So, Oil barons just threatened the President of the U.S.

The Big Picture RT

Uploaded on Jan 6, 2012

Speaking at a conference this week – Jack Gerard – the head of the American Petroleum Institute – which is the nation’s largest lobbying organization for oil and gas corporations – told President Obama, “I think it would be a huge mistake on the part of the president of the United States to deny the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline…Clearly, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest. A determination to decide anything less than that I believe will have huge political consequences.” Do what the oil barons say – build the damn pipeline – or suffer “huge political consequences.” The sad part is – in today’s post Citizens United world – we have to take these threats seriously

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

KXL and tar sands escalation call

350duncan

Streamed live on Feb 4, 2014

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

STOP THE PIPELINE: The Rise Against Keystone XL


StopKeystoneXL

Uploaded on Oct 18, 2011

A ten-minute film capturing the grassroots movement against the Keystone XL, a 1700-mile pipeline that would transport tar sands oil from Alberta, CA across the United States for refinement and export on the Gulf Coast. Join us at the White House on Nov. 6 to tell President Obama to say no to the pipeline. More information at tarsandsaction.org.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Former FCC Commissioner Warns About Comcast-Time Warner Merger, “Mindless” Media Consolidation

democracynow

Published on Feb 17, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – Comcast has announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable at a cost of more than $45 billion in stock. The takeover would allow Comcast to provide cable service to a third of American households, and give it a virtual monopoly in 19 of the 20 largest media markets. While Comcast has claimed the deal will be “pro-consumer,” the group Free Press warns the deal would be a “disaster” for consumers. Analysts predict Comcast will launch a lobbying blitz similar to when it won approval to take over NBC Universal in 2011. Comcast has already hired FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who signed off on its NBC deal. We speak to another former FCC commissioner, Michael Copps. He now leads the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Media