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Living with Climate Change

In 1957, two scientists at California's Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Roger Revelle and Hans Suess discovered that "the upper layer of the oceans where air and sea meet and transact business would absorb very little of the excess carbon dioxide produced by man." This meant the atmosphere, not the oceans, was Earth's largest carbon sink. Real concern for the effects of greenhouse gases and global warming began with that revelation. Now, after fifty years of study, and fifty years of denying what those studies have said, we are being told that global warming is, in fact, happening and that climate change is the most serious problem of our time.

Enjoying Climate Change

The climates of the earth usually evolve at glacial rates. Within the system of the sun, the moon, the oceans, the desert expanses, the forested land, and the polar ice caps, regional climates tend to sustain through a flexing stasis with rhythms in the thousands of years. Weather patterns are determined by a more dynamic equilibrium connected to the daily global rotation, seasonal changes, and yearly variations. The rhythms of the weather and the climatic zones enmesh in further patterns and secondary rhythms, forming a reasonably stable, though highly changeable, periodicity of temperature and moisture around the world. Adding the human factor of global industrialization to this system, however, has proven significant; so much so that carbon dioxide emissions have increased our atmosphere's ability to capture heat from the sun, causing the planet's temperature to rise and polar ice mass to diminish visibly over the course of a human lifetime. This is apocalyptic.

Table of Contents

Overview:

GLOBAL WARMING
Of all our environmental debts the production of carbon dioxide through automobile exhaust and industrial emissions looms as our presiding usurer. While real concern for climate change is finally awakening in the general public, few truly understand how relatively small increases in atmospheric or oceanic temperatures can produce large scale effects. The underlying principle that amplifies all that global warming means is the subtle and far-reaching interconnectedness of all life systems on this planet. Understanding this is critical to understanding climate change. MORE.

Related Articles:

BIG MELT MEETS BIG EMPTY: RETHINKING THE IMPICATIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND PEAK OIL
This excellent article by Richard Heinberg provides a comprehensive overview of the relationship of climate change to peak oil and how various proposed plans to deal with one effect the other.
CO2 LEVELS IN ATMOSPHERE RISING AT DRAMATICALLY FASTER RATE
Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose at a record-shattering pace last year. A new United Nations report shows a surge that surprised scientists and spurred fears of an accelerated warming of the planet in decades to come.
CLIMATE CHANGE PREDICTION: Erring on the Side of Least Drama?
"Over the past two decades, skeptics of the reality and significance of anthropogenic climate change have frequently accused climate scientists of 'alarmism': of over-interpreting or overreacting to evidence of human impacts on the climate system. However, the available evidence suggests that scientists have in fact been conservative in their projections of the impacts of climate change."
ASSESSING "DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE": Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations, and Nature
Climate Scientist James Hansen's 2013 assessment of the changing climate.
GEOENGINEERING THE CLIMATE: WEIGHING THE RISKS
Is it possible to counteract global warming through the intentional modification of the climate? If so, what do we risk?
THE TWENTY-NINTH DAY
Adapting to Climate Change. Mud City Press reviews the Bush administration's Climate Action Report of 2002.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND PEAK OIL: Two Facets of the Same Problem–Overshoot
Mark Robinowitz: "Peak Oil and global warming are two ways of looking at overconsumption."
THE PENTAGON'S 2003 CLIMATE REPORT
An abrupt climate change scenario and its implications for United States National Security: Imagining the Unthinkable.
PETROLEUM WARS IN AN AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, Mud City Press Blog, 2/19/2007.
WILD SPECIES TRY TO OUTRUN CLILMATE CHANGE
As the Bush administration drags it feet on global warming, butterflies and ski-lift operators, polar bears and hydroelectric planners are on the move.
GREAT FORESTS HOLD FATEFUL ROLE IN CLIMATE CHANGE
Nearly half of the carbon that exists on land is contained in the sweeping boreal forests, which gird the Earth in the northern reaches of Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia and Russia. Scientists now fear that the steady rise in the temperature of the atmosphere and the increasing human activity in those lands are releasing that carbon, a process that could trigger a vicious cycle of even more warming.
CONSEQUENCES OF EXCESS NITROGEN IN ATMOSPHERE
Carbon dioxide gets the ink when it comes to climate change, but nitrogen concentrations in the atmosphere are critical also. What are the environmental and social implications of disturbing the global nitrogen balance?
FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change could be stopped in its tracks using existing technology, but only if politicians do more to force businesses and individuals to take action.
LONG CONCENSUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Scientific research on carbon dioxide and climate dates to the 19th century, when Irish scientist John Tyndall established that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, meaning that it traps heat and keeps it from escaping to outer space. Naomi Oreskes' report provides a brief history of the study of climate change.
ARCTIC CLIMATE IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT
Read the entire Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Report online.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE
This is a link to the IPCC website.
IPCC CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION: AGRICULTURE
Read IPCC's report on climate change mitigation through agriculture as PDF.
IPCC CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION: FORESTRY
Read IPCC's report on climate change mitigation through forestry as PDF.

Many of the essays, stories, and reviews at Mud City Press are formated as ADOBE PDF files. If you don't have ADOBE's Acrobat Reader on your computer, you may download their free software at the ADOBE website.

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