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This Week Will Be the Last Time Anyone Alive Experiences a CO2 Level Below 400 ppm


November 24, 2015
Pakalolo / Daily Kos & FishOutofWater / Daily Kos

Having recently passed both the 400 ppm concentration of atmospheric CO2 and (potentially) the 1°C threshold temperature rise makes it clear we are already living in a different world. We have significantly reduced the options available to us in the future. If we aren't going to blow past the next set of thresholds -- 500 ppm and 2°C -- within just a few more decades, we have a lot of work to do at the critical climate conference in Paris.

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/11/21/1453032/-This-week-will-be-the-last-time-anyone-alive-experiences-a-CO2-level-below-400



This Week Will Be the Last Time Anyone Alive Experiences a CO2 Level Below 400 ppm
Pakalolo / Daily Kos

"As a human, though, passing both the 400 ppm and (potentially) the 1°C threshold within such a short time period makes it clear we are already living in a different world. We have blown past targets that were being considered as viable when I entered graduate school. We have significantly reduced the options available to us in the future. If we aren't going to blow past the next set of thresholds -- 500 ppm and 2°C -- within just a few more decades, we have a lot of work to do in Paris in two weeks and beyond."
-- Katharine Hayhoe, atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University responding to a question posed by Climate Central


(November 21, 2015) -- The Scripps CO2 measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory on the big island of Hawaii have shown that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels climbed above the 400 parts per million (ppm).

Because CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a very long time, some scientists say for millennia, our global fever has reached the point that no one alive today, and those that follow us, will ever know a world below 400 ppm again.

Even after the horrific events in Paris, over 120 world leaders will still attend the upcoming climate conference, Though a huge march on Nov. 29 by supporters of an agreement to reduce carbon emissions has been cancelled by the French government.

In Paris, the most vulnerable among humanity will be pushing for a UN climate goal of 1.5C.

Such a goal would be an ambitious one. Some negotiators and onlookers already seem to have given up hope of limiting warming to less than 2°C, much less 1.5°C. Fossil fuel burning, deforestation and other climate-changing hallmarks of industrialization have elevated temperatures 1°C since the 19th century, pushing tides up more than 8 inches. Pledges submitted by nations ahead of the meeting to take steps to slow climate change could yet allow warming to soar to 3°C or more.

The longing by low-lying nations to limit warming to 1.5°C has been overshadowed since 2010 by a preoccupation by many with the less ambitious goal. On Wednesday, the U.N. released the latest report to confirm that goal -- to limit warming to 2°C, compared with preindustrial times -- could be reached through massive globally cooperative efforts that overhaul energy supply chains and reform farming and forest management.

Goddard Media simulates carbon dioxide world wide dispersal.

Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern and southern hemispheres and distinct swings in global carbon dioxide concentrations as the growth cycle of plants and trees changes with the seasons.

The carbon dioxide visualization was produced by a computer model called GEOS-5, created by scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.

The visualization is a product of a simulation called a "Nature Run." The Nature Run ingests real data on atmospheric conditions and the emission of greenhouse gases and both natural and man-made particulates. The model is then left to run on its own and simulate the natural behavior of the Earth's atmosphere. This Nature Run simulates January 2006 through December 2006.

While Goddard scientists worked with a "beta" version of the Nature Run internally for several years, they released this updated, improved version to the scientific community for the first time in the fall of 2014.





(November 17, 2014) -- An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.

Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern and southern hemispheres and distinct swings in global carbon dioxide concentrations as the growth cycle of plants and trees changes with the seasons.

The carbon dioxide visualization was produced by a computer model called GEOS-5, created by scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.

The visualization is a product of a simulation called a "Nature Run." The Nature Run ingests real data on atmospheric conditions and the emission of greenhouse gases and both natural and man-made particulates. The model is then left to run on its own and simulate the natural behavior of the Earth's atmosphere. This Nature Run simulates January 2006 through December 2006.

While Goddard scientists worked with a "beta" version of the Nature Run internally for several years, they released this updated, improved version to the scientific community for the first time in the fall of 2014.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: ‪http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11719


Look Out California:
El Nino Does Something It's Never Done Before

FishOutofWater / Daily Kos

(November 16, 2015) -- The weekly average equatorial Pacific ocean sea surface temperature was 3 degrees or greater (5.4 degrees F) above normal in the key region from 170 degrees west to 120 degrees west for the first time on record.

Tropical Pacific water temperatures are shockingly hot. Last week equatorial Pacific water temperatures averaged 3 degrees Celsius above normal for the first time ever in the key Nino 3.4 region. The previous weekly high Nino 3.4 value of 2.8 degrees was tied last week with Nov. 28, 1997.

The Nino 3.4 region, used to measure the strength of an El Nino ranges from 170W to 120W from 5 degrees north to 5 degrees south of the equator. If temperatures continue to rise, or plateau for a few more weeks, this will be the strongest El Nino in history.

When warm water stored below the surface of the western Pacific ocean moves east along the equator it moves the earth's tropical atmospheric convection cells with it. Responding to the eastward shift in the tropical convection, the jet stream moves south on normal on the west coast bringing heavy winter rains to California in strong El Nino years.

With this year's El Nino at record or near record strength NOAA's CFS climate model predicts a strong southward drop of the storm track off the west coast. A very stormy winter can be expected from California, across the gulf states and up the east coast. This year's intense jet stream pattern will bring much warmer than normal temperatures to the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.

This winter, California can expect heavy rains, floods and mudslides, but snow levels (elevation of rain snow line, not amounts) will be high because moisture flows from the tropics in an El Nino winter are warm and wet.

California's water situation will improve but ground water levels are unlikely to rebound to levels seen before the drought began. One year's rains will not alleviate the long-term water problems caused by the record California drought but reservoir levels will rebound.

Heavy rains are forecast for California and the southeast from January through March 2016 by NOAA's CFS model.

The extraordinary surge of heat in the equatorial Pacific continues to push from the dateline towards the Americas. Temperatures anomalies are predicted to peak over the next month by a number of climate models, but the effects of the excess oceanic heat will continue to grow in the atmosphere into the winter months.

2015 is already crushing records as the warmest year on record but 2016 may be even warmer because the peak in atmospheric temperatures is months later than the peak in sea surface temperatures.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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