Climate Change Worse Than We Predicted, Says New Report

Climate Change Worse Than We Predicted, Says New Report

Climate Change

A new government report has summarized the present and future impacts of climate change on the U.S. and confirmed that some changes are happening faster than predicted.

The U.S. government has released its 2014 National Climate Assessment, a report produced by a team of more than 300 experts and reviewed by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences. The major conclusion? Human-induced climate change continues to strengthen, and its impacts are increasing across the country.

This is the same conclusion we've been hearing for years from various sources, but the report does highlight one finding it calls a surprise: that certain changes are happening faster than previously projected, such as sea level rise and the melting of Arctic sea ice.

The full report is a staggering 840 pages and can be downloaded from the official website, which offers a convenient overview. Some notable findings include the average temperature in the U.S. increasing by 1.3F to 1.9F since record keeping began in 1895, an increase in heavy downpours, heat waves, floods, and droughts, and the rise of global sea levels by eight inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880. Projections estimate sea levels will rise by another one to four feet by 2100, and the Arctic Ocean is expected to become ice free during the summer months before mid-century.

It's not all bad news, though. Between 2008 and 2012, there was a decline in the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted annually from energy use in the U .S. However, global emissions in 2011 were around 34 billion tons and have been rising by about 0.9 billion tons per year for the past decade. To mitigate the effects of climate change, the report assesses that global carbon emissions would have to peak at around 44 billion tons per year within the next 25 years; at present rates, we're expected to surpass that figure within a decade.

Personally, what I find most remarkable about all this is that the government managed to put together a website that isn't an eyesore.

Source: National Climate Assessment

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Ya to anyone with half a brain this isn't a surprise. We've been saying this for the past 30 years and then people act shocked that it's actually happening. If this keeps happening "Manbearpig" will be the least of our worries

It's never worse than expected. The nuts in the '90s were saying by 2014 we'd all be underwater. Then Al Gore had us underwater by 2050, this report pushes it to 2100. It's the same doomsday shit every time. We'll probably kill ourselves off some other way before our affecting the climate gets us. Even then, once we're gone, everything goes back to normal and the Earth gives no fucks.

I doubt the US conservatives would get a hint even if Florida sinks to the bottom of the ocean. They don't trust them scientist types. 'Murica and Jeezus!

The important thing is I eventually have beachfront property.

deth2munkies:
It's never worse than expected. The nuts in the '90s were saying by 2014 we'd all be underwater. Then Al Gore had us underwater by 2050, this report pushes it to 2100. It's the same doomsday shit every time. We'll probably kill ourselves off some other way before our affecting the climate gets us. Even then, once we're gone, everything goes back to normal and the Earth gives no fucks.

That's because "New York is underwater" is a more vivid image than "slightly longer droughts and more intense storms lead to a general trend of lower agriculture yields generally messing up the global economy. Also there will generally be more of those days in summer everyone hates but not every year because variance."

Although if they wanted to avoid hyperbole, the increased water consumption may ACTUALLY cause several western cities to crumble into dust when the aquifers dry up.

Rhykker:

Personally, what I find most remarkable about all this is that the government managed to put together a website that isn't an eyesore.

See? Always look on the bright side of things.

deth2munkies:
It's never worse than expected. The nuts in the '90s were saying by 2014 we'd all be underwater. Then Al Gore had us underwater by 2050, this report pushes it to 2100. It's the same doomsday shit every time. We'll probably kill ourselves off some other way before our affecting the climate gets us. Even then, once we're gone, everything goes back to normal and the Earth gives no fucks.

That is cute but we could easily perminately destablize the biosphere to the point where nothing bigger than bacterium could live here for millions of years or longer. You want to see the power of a run away green house effect? Just look at Venus.

synobal:

deth2munkies:
It's never worse than expected. The nuts in the '90s were saying by 2014 we'd all be underwater. Then Al Gore had us underwater by 2050, this report pushes it to 2100. It's the same doomsday shit every time. We'll probably kill ourselves off some other way before our affecting the climate gets us. Even then, once we're gone, everything goes back to normal and the Earth gives no fucks.

That is cute but we could easily perminately destablize the biosphere to the point where nothing bigger than bacterium could live here for millions of years or longer. You want to see the power of a run away green house effect? Just look at Venus.

Yeah basically this. Most worrying is the impact we're having on the oceans as biological diversity is dropping, species are dying off at an alarming rate, and the ocean is also becoming much less hospitable to life.

If that were to be pushed to the point that almost all life in the oceans die we're basically fucked since 80% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is there because the ocean is a thing that exists and supports life.

Can we all just finally look at France, agree nuclear power isn't so bad, and fucking save ourselves already? Because we're getting pretty close to the point of no return here, and I'd really prefer that we don't have to watch while cities fall apart and millions of people starve to get the nay sayers to finally admit there's a problem.

How I see this: "We need more money for sciency stuff". Seriously, they can say whatever the heck they want for more budget, no one will make them accountable for what they say.

Back when I was in school it was acid rain that was going to kill us all and melt our babies and now we have global warming...

What no one mentions is that we're still coming out of an Ice Age, the planet is warming up on its own regardless of what we do, like cutting CO2 emissions - a volcano or two and we're back to square one. Nature will do its own thing and will probably kill us off at some point and there will be nothing we can do about it.

Humans have been on this planet for not even the blink of an eye for Earth, and it will still be a big blue marble spinning in space *long* after we kill ourselves off or the planet does it first...

I'm not saying "Fuck it! Burn all our coal and trees!", I'm actually hoping we get Hydrogen production nailed down, adopt nuclear energy properly (that means using modern reactors and not Soviet era sheds!)and put more effort into exploring options for dealing with spent nuclear fuel instead of pratting about with bloody windmills...

MCerberus:

deth2munkies:
It's never worse than expected. The nuts in the '90s were saying by 2014 we'd all be underwater. Then Al Gore had us underwater by 2050, this report pushes it to 2100. It's the same doomsday shit every time. We'll probably kill ourselves off some other way before our affecting the climate gets us. Even then, once we're gone, everything goes back to normal and the Earth gives no fucks.

That's because "New York is underwater" is a more vivid image than "slightly longer droughts and more intense storms lead to a general trend of lower agriculture yields generally messing up the global economy. Also there will generally be more of those days in summer everyone hates but not every year because variance."

Although if they wanted to avoid hyperbole, the increased water consumption may ACTUALLY cause several western cities to crumble into dust when the aquifers dry up.

No they will then be forced to do what they should have 30 years ago and start building desalination plants and get water from the ocean rather than roll the dice every year and hope for a good snowpack in the mountains to fill up the lakes. The water can then be pumped back to the lakes on draught years to ensure farmers have enough water for crops and can also be pumped to good farmland that's not close enough to a water source to make a viable farm. Cities have plenty of water and farmers wont need to worry about droughts but it costs money that everyone's afraid to spend even though it would be a huge benefit in creating jobs, helping the environment by not draining rivers every year, and allow for more food production that's not dependent on rainfall.

JET1971:

MCerberus:

deth2munkies:
It's never worse than expected. The nuts in the '90s were saying by 2014 we'd all be underwater. Then Al Gore had us underwater by 2050, this report pushes it to 2100. It's the same doomsday shit every time. We'll probably kill ourselves off some other way before our affecting the climate gets us. Even then, once we're gone, everything goes back to normal and the Earth gives no fucks.

That's because "New York is underwater" is a more vivid image than "slightly longer droughts and more intense storms lead to a general trend of lower agriculture yields generally messing up the global economy. Also there will generally be more of those days in summer everyone hates but not every year because variance."

Although if they wanted to avoid hyperbole, the increased water consumption may ACTUALLY cause several western cities to crumble into dust when the aquifers dry up.

No they will then be forced to do what they should have 30 years ago and start building desalination plants and get water from the ocean rather than roll the dice every year and hope for a good snowpack in the mountains to fill up the lakes. The water can then be pumped back to the lakes on draught years to ensure farmers have enough water for crops and can also be pumped to good farmland that's not close enough to a water source to make a viable farm. Cities have plenty of water and farmers wont need to worry about droughts but it costs money that everyone's afraid to spend even though it would be a huge benefit in creating jobs, helping the environment by not draining rivers every year, and allow for more food production that's not dependent on rainfall.

The US doesn't do anything that they should have done earlier until AFTER a disaster. We're going to have somewhere run out of water before any change in water policy.

Eh, quite frankly the matter is much more complicated than it's made out to be in those reports. The truth is, there projections are completely bullshit. Not because they are definitely wrong, but they are running projections on an extremely complex system that can't reliably be understood except in hindsight. Those projections are fantasies based on an extension of the hindsight bias.

Once again, not saying it's wrong, but all of those projections should be taken with a grain of salt.

Also, saw people talking about water desalination: On that matter, large farms already rely not on irrigation to supply water to their crops, but using groundwater to supply the needed water. Farming will eventually fail if this is not fixed because groundwater has a substantially higher salt content than rain water or runoff. It is barely detectable at all, but over years and years of watering crops this way, the earth is very slowly being salted, making it harder for crops to grow. That is not including the issue resulting from the earth being deprived of all the nutrients, meaning the need for chemical fertilizers is ever growing.

In regards to planting, I think that large vertical hydroponic farms will ultimately prove more effective for growing a great many crops, at least ones that can be grown in such a manner.

Edit: Forgot, I doubt I need to point out how useless an "average temperature increase" is. It should never exist without reference to both mean and median temperature numbers. They tend to be more useful.

I know this is also not science, but we have been having unseasonably cool temperatures in New Jersey for a few years now. But of course... as I understand it... human induced climate change (ie. global warming) is also responsible for cool temperatures... which doesn't actually make any sense. But I'm not a climatologist... so I definitely don't know everything about that.

JET1971:

No they will then be forced to do what they should have 30 years ago and start building desalination plants and get water from the ocean rather than roll the dice every year and hope for a good snowpack in the mountains to fill up the lakes. The water can then be pumped back to the lakes on draught years to ensure farmers have enough water for crops and can also be pumped to good farmland that's not close enough to a water source to make a viable farm. Cities have plenty of water and farmers wont need to worry about droughts but it costs money that everyone's afraid to spend even though it would be a huge benefit in creating jobs, helping the environment by not draining rivers every year, and allow for more food production that's not dependent on rainfall.

Desalination Plants need energy to run, energy that is probably going to come from burning fossil fuels. It's like putting out a burning house by flooding the town.
Plus agriculture uses more than 4 times the amount of water as a residential does, and it doesn't take that much more energy input to produce potable water instead of non-potable.

Once again, a reason for me to recycle as much stuff as possible and not buy a car...

The cool thing about this Global Warming, is that my country's farming output is expected to increase by a 100% due to the increase in median yearly temperatures. However... the countries south to mine will see a large decline...

Cha-ching!

Better yet, we're not responsible for the warming as our carbon production is not that high.

Thanks America and China - keep the fossil flame burning strong!

predictions are hard to make. even the most sophisticated models can't take into account the entirety of all the minute factors (chaos theory etc), and that's even before you estimate how human activity might change

which is why we get graphs that look like this

image

kanetsb:
The cool thing about this Global Warming, is that my country's farming output is expected to increase by a 100% due to the increase in median yearly temperatures. However... the countries south to mine will see a large decline...

Cha-ching!

Better yet, we're not responsible for the warming as our carbon production is not that high.

Thanks America and China - keep the fossil flame burning strong!

where you from?

Pretty much everything I've heard related to climate change has been that things will be/have gotten worse than predicted. To the point where maybe instead of predicting and trusting that, we should add another 20% or something, just so we know what we're dealing with.

But really we should be doing something. Don't look at me though, my Prime Minister doesn't believe in Climate Change, you guys have to do the rational thought on this one.

So far, this has yet to render any significant change to Pittsburgh weather, as Pittsburgh weather is ALWAYS nuts. However, it's strangely a rather nice day today, so I'm actually going to ramp the snark down a bit and say the LACK of clouds has a silver lining every now and then.

AnarchistFish:

kanetsb:
The cool thing about this Global Warming, is that my country's farming output is expected to increase by a 100% due to the increase in median yearly temperatures. However... the countries south to mine will see a large decline...

Cha-ching!

Better yet, we're not responsible for the warming as our carbon production is not that high.

Thanks America and China - keep the fossil flame burning strong!

where you from?

Poland...

This is an older graph from 2007 -
image
I've seen a newer one which rated the increase at 75-100% but can't find it. This one's at around 30% but the projected temp increase was lower back then.

Again, I am being cynical there of course but hey - it's not us who will get screwed by this. /cheers

I seriously don't get why people are opposed to fighting global warming.

Lets say you're believe that hardest core, shit-kickingest models that the Earth isn't heating up. You're one of those Drudge Reporters who say it "Global Warming can't exist because we had a polar vortex." You don't understand how hot and cold air interacts, but fine. You believe that.

What do you have to lose by swapping your economy from fossil fuel based to cleaner, more efficient models? Nuclear power is statistically way cheaper and way safer then fossil fuels. Contrary to popular belief, you can't get a nuclear explosion from a power plant - the compounds are no where near enriched enough. I'm no expert, but I believe reactors have gotten a lot safer since then - Fukishima wasn't that bad, and that was a reactor that was built on a fault line in an Earthquake/Tsunami prone portion of the world.

Solar and Wind power are fantastic. You're using nature to power things. Not only do you open up jobs in building and installing these, but you open up entire markets for selling and developing these. Investing in newer forms of energy is literally a newer market with tons of economic opportunities.

Not to mention - even if you don't believe in global warming, you can't deny that burning fossil fuels isn't clean. Its still harmful to the environment, and the consolidation of oil powers across the world has basically sowed an international cartel that's only motive is to screw you out of as much money as possible. Want efficient cars? Fuck you, enjoy your 20MPG. OH, you'll make an electric car? Yeah, good luck when we shut down all of your plants due to congressional buyoffs. Whats that, you want another price raise? YOU GOT IT.

We have a monopoly on power. Monopolies are bad. If you invest in new forms of energy, you get cheaper prices, more jobs, less crime, and a cleaner environment. EVEN IF the globe isn't heating up, those are some pretty good outputs.

And, if you're wrong? Well, we've cataclysmicly destroyed the environment, forcing humanity to limp gimped into the 22nd century compounded by issues of mass starvation, famine, poverty and war. That's a pretty heavy debt stacked against you.

kanetsb:

AnarchistFish:

kanetsb:
The cool thing about this Global Warming, is that my country's farming output is expected to increase by a 100% due to the increase in median yearly temperatures. However... the countries south to mine will see a large decline...

Cha-ching!

Better yet, we're not responsible for the warming as our carbon production is not that high.

Thanks America and China - keep the fossil flame burning strong!

where you from?

Poland...

This is an older graph from 2007 -
image
I've seen a newer one which rated the increase at 75-100% but can't find it. This one's at around 30% but the projected temp increase was lower back then.

Again, I am being cynical there of course but hey - it's not us who will get screwed by this. /cheers

you will be eventually

funny how the countries that will benefit are generally more advanced industrial or service based economies and many of those that will suffer currently rely on agriculture..

This is all bullshit. What this whole crap is is a group of "scientists" who have just over a century of data at most*, and are extrapolating it into absurd values for the future, ignoring the fact that there have been massive temperature fluxuations over the past centuries. Perhaps we are simply getting OUT of a COLD period.

Historical examples:
Between AD 1550 and 1850 the median temperatures were much lower than, say, in the 1950s, but nobody was whining about global warming then.

And between AD 800 and 1200 temperatures across Europe were even higher on average than they are now. So who's to say that we're not simply moving back to more normal temperatures after a lull that started ~1550 and only ended ~1850?

*weather stations only started around AD 1900 in the Western world so we have no reliable data from prior to that, and for some African and Asian areas most measurements only started around the 1950s. That's why I scoff at the "worst weather ever", "warmest July in history" crap -- at best we can say "since measurements began".

JET1971:

No they will then be forced to do what they should have 30 years ago and start building desalination plants and get water from the ocean rather than roll the dice every year and hope for a good snowpack in the mountains to fill up the lakes. The water can then be pumped back to the lakes on draught years to ensure farmers have enough water for crops and can also be pumped to good farmland that's not close enough to a water source to make a viable farm. Cities have plenty of water and farmers wont need to worry about droughts but it costs money that everyone's afraid to spend even though it would be a huge benefit in creating jobs, helping the environment by not draining rivers every year, and allow for more food production that's not dependent on rainfall.

Desalinization Plants wouldn't help.

1) Most US Agriculture that needs water the most is over 1000 miles from an ocean.
2) Desalinization is extremely cost prohibitive because of the energy required (just boiling water takes a large amount of energy because water has excellent thermal capacity).

erbkaiser:
This is all bullshit. What this whole crap is is a group of "scientists" who have just over a century of data at most*, and are extrapolating it into absurd values for the future, ignoring the fact that there have been massive temperature fluxuations over the past centuries. Perhaps we are simply getting OUT of a COLD period.

Historical examples:
Between AD 1550 and 1850 the median temperatures were much lower than, say, in the 1950s, but nobody was whining about global warming then.

And between AD 800 and 1200 temperatures across Europe were even higher on average than they are now. So who's to say that we're not simply moving back to more normal temperatures after a lull that started ~1550 and only ended ~1850?

Aye.
The problem with trying to study and explain climate change is that we're looking for the empirical effects of something (rising oceans and melting glaciers is one such effect; and it's easily measured at that) while knowing only some of the specific triggers.

We know how greenhouse gases work.
But we don't know all the specific triggers and finding them is hard just because of how enormous and complicated the global atmosphere is.

On the other hand, I can safely assert that the game has changed considerably since the middle ages; we weren't producing greenhouse gases nonstop at a growing non-stop rate back then, and we had a lot more plant life back then.
(not to sound like a tree hugger, but plants are essential; they absorb greenhouse gases and more incoming sunlight than open ground)

deth2munkies:
It's never worse than expected. The nuts in the '90s were saying by 2014 we'd all be underwater. Then Al Gore had us underwater by 2050, this report pushes it to 2100.

You're comparing outliers to actual scientists and peer-reviewed studies, though. Let's be honest: when the grown-ups are talking, it can be worse than expected. The discourse is not dictated solely by some alarmists on the left and Fox News on the right.

It's the same doomsday shit every time. We'll probably kill ourselves off some other way before our affecting the climate gets us. Even then, once we're gone, everything goes back to normal and the Earth gives no fucks.

Of course, climate change is already killing us, so that's absurd. But more to the point, we're not doing this because we think the earth cares. So what if the earth doesn't care?

Rabid_meese:
I seriously don't get why people are opposed to fighting global warming.

Inaction beats actin, frankly. If Global Warming is true, we have to do stuff. Better to make excuses and deride it.

erbkaiser:
This is all bullshit. What this whole crap is is a group of "scientists" who have just over a century of data at most*[....] And between AD 800 and 1200 temperatures across Europe were even higher on average than they are now.

Wot.

You criticise climate scientists for insufficient data, then go and cite a period where one of the primary possible issues is a lack of sufficient data?

Are you joking?

Zachary Amaranth:

erbkaiser:
This is all bullshit. What this whole crap is is a group of "scientists" who have just over a century of data at most*[....] And between AD 800 and 1200 temperatures across Europe were even higher on average than they are now.

Wot.

You criticise climate scientists for insufficient data, then go and cite a period where one of the primary possible issues is a lack of sufficient data?

Are you joking?

We may not have day-to-day data, but we know for a fact rivers like the Thames froze over in summer in the "little ice age" period. And we know that there were vineyards even in the Netherlands around AD 1000, something which climate made impossible until recently again. So it's not like we have no data from that period.
My point stands. Climate "scientists" are using a deliberately limited data set and are ignoring any facts that do not fit, in order to spread panic over what is essentially economic reasons. Look at the lobby's behind the climate scientists and you know why it is so important we are continually told the sea levels will rise by several metres and the world will become uninhabitable unless we do what they tell us.

Naysayers, please read at least the major conclusions of the report or other scientific studies on the subject. It seems like you make up your mind without reading any of it. Sadly, human activity does drive global warming even if it's hard to admit. The scientists agree, and the ones who benefit financially from not doing anything are the ones pumping money into convincing you otherwise.

I leave you with this:

image

Hafnium:
image

This picture reminds me of an old argument I once found on youtube.

Don't worry. It's actually worth the 10 minutes of your time.

What really kills me is that they think this a a new thing. This has been on a cycle for billions of years, the only thing we did was manage to speed it up. As for stopping it, I would say that is similar to putting the cat back in the bag. I seriously doubt it will happen, and if you do manage it, you will have plenty of scars to remember it by.

synobal:
That is cute but we could easily perminately destablize the biosphere to the point where nothing bigger than bacterium could live here for millions of years or longer. You want to see the power of a run away green house effect? Just look at Venus.

Not a chance. Changing the Earth to anything like Venus is way outside our capabilities, likewise, killing every ulti celled organism. Not going to happen.

However, you don't have to kill every multi celled organism on the planet to be doing something very wrong.

Rabid_meese:
Solar and Wind power are fantastic. You're using nature to power things. Not only do you open up jobs in building and installing these, but you open up entire markets for selling and developing these. Investing in newer forms of energy is literally a newer market with tons of economic opportunities.

You open up new jobs in selling anything, mind.

And, currently, they really aren't fantastic, they are impractical for most large scale use. Main problem is storing power for solar, without a good way of doing that they aren't going to catch on. Having said that, certain applications don't require constant power...you could run a factory or something intermittently.

erbkaiser:

Are you joking?

We may not have day-to-day data, but we know for a fact rivers like the Thames froze over in summer in the "little ice age" period. And we know that there were vineyards even in the Netherlands around AD 1000, something which climate made impossible until recently again. So it's not like we have no data from that period.[/quote]

We have less data than we do on the period where you're pooh-poohing the data. That's just bizarre. We don't even know if it was global or regional, and we don't know what the triggers were. These are not things that can be applied to today's claims.

My point stands. Climate "scientists" are using a deliberately limited data set and are ignoring any facts that do not fit,

[citation needed]

in order to spread panic over what is essentially economic reasons.

Ah yes, the lucrative peer review scene.

Look at the lobby's behind the climate scientists and you know why it is so important we are continually told the sea levels will rise by several metres and the world will become uninhabitable unless we do what they tell us.

So it's the lobbyists who profit? I'm confused here, help me out.

 

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