Overview: Global warming and climate change

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Authors: Derek Paul and Metta Spencer

This planet is gradually warming, mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere. The increased temperature changes the climate in other ways too, including the rise in sea levels; ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide; shifts in the times when flowers bloom; and extreme weather events.

Life on Earth is dependent on a layer of gases, primarily water vapor, in the lower atmosphere that trap heat from the sun, while radiating some of it back and keeping our planet at a temperature capable of supporting life.

The sunlight that remains trapped is our source of energy and is used by plants in photosynthesis, whereas the remainder is reflected as heat or light back into space. Climate forcing (or “radiative forcing”) is the differential between the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the amount of energy radiated back to space.

Several factors determine the size and direction of this forcing; for example light surfaces are more reflective than dark ones, so geographical regions covered by ice and snow reflect back more than areas covered by dark water or dark forests; this variable is called the “albedo effect.”

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Paul Dowsett

Why are climate deniers so hostile to women? comment image
Here’s an article from The New Republic.

https://newrepublic.com/article/154879/misogyny-climate-deniers?fbclid=IwAR2dvYQ66CzooVCbU-s9gCAAzeZ86dpfBKJqiWjkHqr30mWjessS7SJDraccomment image?

Adam Wynne

Several nations have explored options of artificial islands to mitigate climate change and other political situations. One of the most famous at present is China’s activity in the South China Sea around the Paracel Island. Interesting, the Maldives constructed an artificial island via dredging a shallow area of sea several years ago. This allegedly is to mitigate congestion on the main capital island of Male. “A Flood-Resistant Island: You catch a ferry from a part of Male where motorcycles clog the narrow streets and fishermen gut their morning catch on the sidewalk. A few minutes later, you arrive in a… Read more »

Adam Wynne

Several urban areas have begun seawall construction to try and mitigate regional flooding and/or evacuation. Are there similar ecosystem options to mangroves for areas where mangroves are not native and/or the climate is not welcoming to them? Malé in the Maldives has begun an artificial seawall construction around the city – funded partly by Japan. New York has additionally begun investigating (if not constructing) systems to mitigate flooding on Lower Manhattan. Is there opportunity for a mix of artificial and natural seawalls and seawall alternatives? Other nations – such as Fiji (and potentially Kiribati and Tuvalu)- have begun looking for… Read more »

Howard Wells

I gained a huge amount of surprising knowledge from this extraordinary article. It explains how the whole carbon cycle works in nature and why we’re not going to run out of oxygen — though humankind is doing something terrible.

The Amazon Is Not Earth’s Lungs
Humans could burn every living thing on the planet and still not dent its oxygen supply.
By Petet Brannen. The Atlantic Aug 27, 2019

Paul Dowsett

The Green Old Deal. By William Hawes There are a lot of things to like about the recent resolution for the Green New Deal. The commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the acknowledgment of the catastrophic events that will occur if the world does not act soon- these are all healthy signs. Like Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign which removed many stigmas about socialism, raising public consciousness about the structural changes needed to lessen the impacts of global warming are to be commended. However, there are very serious problems with the language of the resolution, as well as the underlying assumptions,… Read more »

Remember the California wildfires…now we have the amazon wildfires…why are these fires happening all of a sudden. CNN is reporting on the situation and its looking pretty grim for global warming. We need trees because they convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, not to mention protect wildlife and provide the ecosystem they need to survive. Hopefully someone will develop a strategy for dealing with these catastrophic events so that action can be taken when something like this occurs. With all the incredibly technology we have we could at least help save some of our important worldly resources. How is fire fighting… Read more »

how Climate Change Could Trigger the Next Global Financial Crisis By Robinson Meyer . The Atlantic . 1 August 2019 “In other words, the success of the delaying tactics of the carbon lobby create a situation in which we’re then faced with the possibility of a sudden regulatory shock, something that really inflicts major losses.” Many ideas discussed in this outstanding interview with the financial historian Adam Tooze. “Tooze: I mean, that’s been the green-modernization agenda of climate politics, certainly in Europe, since the 1980s, right? This is not simply a zero-sum game; this is a structural transformation that has… Read more »

“Climate Reality” is the organization that Al Gore founded. They recently held a big conference in Minneapolis. It’s good to know that there is a branch operation in Montreal that is apparently run mostly by francophone youth. You can see the Canadian group on Facebook as “Climate Reality Canada / Réalité climatique Canada.”

Mark Fabian

‘This Is Not Normal’: Record-Smashing European Heat Wave Sparks Demands to Combat Climate Emergency
“The climate is changing. Use your voice, wallet, and votes to fight it.”

byJessica Corbett, staff writer
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/25/not-normal-record-smashing-european-heat-wave-sparks-demands-combat-climate?fbclid=IwAR1CMrOkx2hVQUubedJzEXz_wR81Kerljn7rGXbuoIPWxLiwRIb3uHEV8p0

Adam Wynne

Are there still extensive wild fires throughout Europe? I heard they were particularly bad in Portugal among other regions.