New Report Finds 2014 The Hottest In 135 Years of Record-Keeping While Another Study Warns Of “A Major Extinction Event” Due to Climate Change

earth-screensaver_largeA new study in the journal Science suggests that humanity is on the very of causing “a major extinction event” in our oceans while another study has found that 2014 was the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping. In the meantime, Pope Francis has again raised climate change and called environmental destruction a “sin” and affront to God.

120px-Pope_Francis_in_March_2013_(cropped)Pope Francis has made it clear that in his view man-caused climate change is real and threatening humanity. In the Philippines, he called out to youth to rally behind environmental protection: “This is not only because this country, more than many others, is likely to be seriously affected by climate change. You are called to care for creation, not only as responsible citizens, but also as followers of Christ!”

His view is getting new support this month. In the ocean study by Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and their colleagues, the results show an accelerating level of damage but also found that it was possible to reverse this course.

They combines data from a wide range of sources from fossil records to fish catch rate to seabed mining. They found overwhelming evidence of over harvesting as well as habitat loss and coral reef destruction. While fishing and mining were found to be major threats, it was climate change was the major culprit in the long run. The 40 percent reduction in coral reefs were viewed as tied to climate change.

NOAA logoNASALogoIn the meantime, the data out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA is not encouraging. The data show that 2014 was they hottest year in 135 years of record-keeping. This follows similar findings by the Japanese and an independent group out of University of California Berkeley.

The respected NOAA scientists reported 2014 averaged 58.24 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.24 degrees above the 20th-century average. (NASA only differs slightly in its finding of 58.42 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.22 degrees above their average).

NOAA also found that last month was the hottest December on record and that six months last year set marks for heat. Nine of the 10 hottest years in NOAA global records have occurred since 2000. According to University of South Carolina statistician John Grego, the odds of this happening at random are about 650 million to 1.

94 thoughts on “New Report Finds 2014 The Hottest In 135 Years of Record-Keeping While Another Study Warns Of “A Major Extinction Event” Due to Climate Change”

  1. Isaac – it’s funny that you mention Denmark. That reminds me of the Dyson fan, which is circular, and does not chop the air. I’m always asking why they can’t employ such technology with wind farms. I wonder what the Dutch are using.

  2. Jill:

    “I wanted to add this. Many hunters and fishers, most of whom are considered “Red meat” Republicans, are pro conservation and environmentalism.”

    You are absolutely correct. I’m a fiscal conservative, and have been an environmentalist since I knew the meaning of the word. And we have hunters in our family and friends who also are conservationists. And for some, it is a religious responsibility.

    It’s an urban legend that conservatives don’t care about the planet. I complain all the time about pollution on this blog.

    What many proponents of green energy are completely unaware of is that there are serious problems with many methods that we are still working out.

    There is the infamous concentrated energy solar array that literally fries all bird life like ants in a magnifying glass. There are the solar farms that chop birds to pieces, including endangered species. Plus, they “chop” the air which makes a really annoying buffeting on your eardrums, and they are LOUD. We considered buying a house that had a wind generator. Not only was it LOUD (did I mention they are LOUD? ALL the TIME? ALL NIGHT?) but it also was prohibitively expensive to maintain or repair. Some of my neighbors have personal wind generators, and there are several commercial wind farms around that I’ve visited. I was horribly disappointed. I’ve had my heart set on going solar here in sunny CA, but they are mostly made in China, in a method that creates a LOT of toxins. The ones made in America were prohibitively expensive when I last checked. I like the tax credits for buying them, but the darn solar companies just jack up the price equal to the credits, so you still end up paying the same. Too much. And I dislike the idea of renting solar, and having my energy depend on a rental agreement. Let’s see . . . hydroelectric power is an oldie but goodie, but it of course disrupts riparian ecosystems. And, in general, green energy is far and away more expensive than traditional, PLUS they don’t have the infrastructure yet to take over all energy production. If we were to shut down all coal today (and that is my eventual goal, as it is a dirty and limited resource. By definition, it will run out if it is never replaced), energy prices would skyrocket and there would be shortages.

    I don’t want to enact a “green” policy that would just make people chop down trees to warm their homes, for a net negative environmental effect.

  3. davidm2575

    Solar and wind are well out of their infancy. Denmark exports 40% of the world’s heavy wind turbines-Vestas and this contributes in a substantial way to the economy. This is also the case in Germany, Spain, India, and China. One of the largest logistics companies in the world-Prologis, weathered the economic downturn and continues to be profitable due to their incorporation of solar and other green technologies. They can beat the competition by offering warehouse space at cheaper rates, not having to pay through the teeth to head or cool them. Think for a moment and consider the hundreds of square miles of warehouse roof area from Miami to Los Angeles. These buildings use gargantuan amounts of energy to cool most of the year. They are in the grid. In an advanced society they would be exporting energy. California still has ‘brownouts’ in the summer due to the drain on the system. That is the fault of a weak central government either in Sacramento or Washington. This is certainly nothing to be proud of vis a vis free enterprise or the Constitution. Just stupid.

    Toyota lost money for several years getting the Prius off the ground. Now Japan profits by having made this investment. A friend of none bought one of the first Prius and saved over a thousand a year in gas. It has over 250k on it and has never been a problem. A Tesla is practically free to drive. So if you pay a 100k for a Jaguar or a 100k for a Tesla, the Tesla pays back thousands each year in free fuel.

    The countries that coordinated government and industry are making money now and will be at the vanguard in the future. The US simply is too narrow minded and short sighted. This is illustrated in companies like Vestas setting up maintenance schools in the US to teach Americans how to service the five and ten million dollar wind turbines that are being installed by Denmark in the US. The high paying jobs are in Denmark and a few service jobs for the US.

    You can say what you want but the more advanced and collectively intelligent countries are making lots of money off of those countries that are buying their products. As for Solyndra and the other companies that lost money, even taxpayer money, that is the way things start off. Nobody made any money off of the Stanley Steamer. What about the grocery delivery start up?

    The US simply is too dysfunctional a society to coordinate the way the 21st Century will demand. Oligarchs, two party system, ignorant voters, and too many with their heads in the sand.

    In all of the countries that now have successful wind and solar industries, many companies failed. Review the tech revolution that was primarily created in the US. Two thirds of the stuff was garbage in and garbage out. Stuff, no one would want today cost $5k 25 years ago. My first lap top was an Apple at $2,700. Today it is a joke.

    1. Issac wrote: “Solar and wind are well out of their infancy. Denmark exports 40% of the world’s heavy wind turbines-Vestas and this contributes in a substantial way to the economy.”

      Sorry, Issac, but you are not presenting an accurate picture. Back in 2007, Vestas held 29% of the market share, but in 2013, they only had 13% (still top position though). Nevertheless, none of this says anything about profitability. They are highly subsidized by the Denmark government. This is because Denmark imports 90% of its oil and shortages and price increases made them realize how vulnerable they were. For security reasons, not the environment, they put in a plan to become energy independent. Despite all your talk about how the technology is there and works at a profit for everybody involved, they still project that it will be 2050 before the achieve that goal. Why so far off in the future?

      Also, despite the heavy subsidies, the 2013 annual report still shows the company profit at an $82 million dollar loss, and the report sounds very apologetic to investors who have lost their money investing in the company.

      Try to name any green energy company that does not use government subsidies and operates at a profit. I don’t think you can do it. You mentioned Vestas, but it is not what you claimed.

      I recommend you look at the following analysis. It is a cost and benefits analysis that takes a candid look at wind energy. It points out how Denmark still uses all their conventional power plants, despite glowing reports about their successes. Here is one quote from that report: “In 1998, Norway commissioned a study of wind power in Denmark and concluded that it has ‘serious environmental effects, insufficient production, and high production costs.’ Denmark (population 5.3 million) has over 6,000 turbines that produced electricity equal to 19% of what the country used in 2002. Yet no conventional power plant has been shut down. Because of the intermittency and variability of the wind, conventional power plants must be kept running at full capacity to meet the actual demand for electricity. Most cannot simply be turned on and off as the wind dies and rises, and the quick ramping up and down of those that can be would actually increase their output of pollution and carbon dioxide (the primary “greenhouse” gas). So when the wind is blowing just right for the turbines, the power they generate is usually a surplus and sold to other countries at an extremely discounted price, or the turbines are simply shut off.”

      Better yet, why don’t you just put your money where your mouth is and get off the grid yourself? Others have done it. Why don’t you? Buy what you need so that you do not need the energy company anymore. What is that you say? You haven’t done it yet? Why not? Costs too much? Don’t want it bad enough?

      I don’t know anybody who does not want green energy. I am more eager than most to get away from dirty fuels. The problem is that the technology is not mature enough and provided at a cost that makes sense. I suspect, however, that I will be moving off the grid before you do. I am constantly monitoring pricing for these things and making plans to make that jump when the technology has matured enough for it to make sense.

    2. issac, your other comments about Toyota Prius (yes, I have owned several and have one now) and the tech industry simply prove my point. The field has not yet matured to a point of profitability. I trust it will, but your tirade about faulty politics or poorly functioning government or the U.S. society being too dysfunctional as being the causative reasons is way off base.

      You might note that the invention of the Prius involved a competition between 7 design teams located in the U.S.A., Europe, and Japan. The CALTY design team in California won. California is in the U.S.A.

      Also, check out Texas (yeah, that’s in the U.S.A.). They rival Denmark in windpower. I remember a wealthy Texan a few years ago, can’t remember his name right now, but he was eager to fund Wind Power and make a lot of money. He believed the rhetoric, but the next year, his tail was between his legs and he complained about how the technology just doesn’t work. All the turbines he bought would explode or break down. He lost millions and felt deceived by those in the industry selling the wind turbines.

      And last time I was in Hawaii, I noticed lots of wind turbines. Good place for it because they always have a nice breeze. Yeah, that State is in the good ole U.S.A. too. It reminded me of Amsterdam over there. I would say Denmark perhaps, but Denmark’s wind turbines are all offshore, so no, it did not look like that.

      We are getting there. The U.S.A. is not behind. The technology still has a ways to go.

  4. Lee:

    “There is enough evidence that we are hurting the plant to make changes. People having to walk around with masks because of smog and pollutants, Fracking that has more and more evidence coming out seems almost daily about the damage it is doing, corporations are people so the politicians kowtow to them but corporations don’t get cancer, emphysema, other diseases where the environment can have a causative impact.”

    You have succinctly captured my frustration that anthropogenic climate change gets all the money and attention.

    China pollutes the atmosphere so abominably that it gets blown over here. If the entire world stopped buying anything made in China until they cleaned up their act, they would clean up their act. We’ve polluted the entire ocean with mercury. We remove massive amounts of the vegetation which produces our oxygen. And so on.

    But we spend almost NOTHING on the clear and present dangers of pollution, deforestation, devegetation, etc.

    We spend it ALL on carbon. We use it to create more taxes, and more unaccountable government boards.

    Meanwhile, no one seems to understand that the Earth’s climate has always changed. If everyone left the Earth in a spaceship, the climate would continue to change. CA used to be a humid tropical rainforest. And after that, it was a desert with droughts lasting hundreds of years. This was BEFORE the industrial revolution.

    Anyone who thinks you can suddenly stop a planet’s climate from ever changing, or that today’s climate is the morally superior one (compared to all the other ecosystems which evolved) is fooling themselves.

    If we focus on today’s perils – all the contamination that contributes to asthma, cancer, and myriad other health problems, we will help heal the planet, make it more livable for man, flora, and fauna. Everyone would win.

    But instead, we ignore all that and focus on one thing. Carbon. We could be making the planet a better place today, but we fail to do so.

    True, we need to keep our gaseous profile optimal for mammalian life. No matter what, too much carbon in our atmosphere will eventually be detrimental to us.

    Oh, and a word on this study. I’ve looked at it. The increase is less than the margin of error. Which means that in a scientific study it literally cannot be considered. The authors themselves admitted as such when asked. This is kind of like those gossip magazines. The headline will scream that So-And-So is pregnant, but the article inside reads that they really like kids and hope to have one someday. You basically have to ignore the media hysteria and actually read the paper, as well as interviews with the study authors. What you can actually take away is that the climate MIGHT be warming, but you cannot statistically say yet.

    What the heck is going on in academia?

  5. David sez, ” The problem is that the technology is in its infancy and so nobody can make money on it.”
    Let’s see if we can make sense of that. I think he is saying, “Embrace the paradigm and tune median sticky customer glidepaths. Don’t criticize your manager unless you aggregate strategic extensible bandwidths. I run a business; therefore, I chart value-added data mines. The quality team will opportunity strategic priceless commission opportunities. We will endeavor to remedy dimensional green living documents. Religiously, fulcrum tactical matrixed e-customers!”

  6. I’m learning about Chaos. Things can move along at a predictable pace and state until something different enters the picture. Sometimes the predictable becomes a different predictable. Sometimes the predictable becomes unpredictable, i.e. chaos. When messing with climate, we’ve already seen an alarming increase in extremes. At what point will chaos be the result?

  7. If 2014 was the Hottest in 135 years, which means that 1880 was even hotter than 2014, then what caused it. There weren’t cars, A/C, appliances, oil or gas heat. Just wondering.

    1. Jerry Dolan – they have only been tracking temperatures world wide (actually not) for 135 years.

  8. The pope is a costumed mammal who pretends to know the will of a particular sky-father. Let’s just stick with what the data tell us and try to stop polluting the planet, for our own sake. Why that needs inspiration is beyond me.

  9. Over 3/4 of what’s categorized as pharma advertising consists of sales reps’ visits to MDs and sample drugs. If you think you know a lower-cost, more-effective way to disseminate info about new products then you ought to apply for a job in pharma.

    A former pharma sales rep thinks you won’t find one.

    As for the cheaper prices abroad, that’s called “free riding”. Those cheap SOB’s in Canada and other places can negotiate low prices b/c US consumers pay full freight. I’m not necessarily opposed to a law requiring US firms to charge the same price in the US as they do elsewhere, which would reduce US prices by some amount (not necessarily huge) and raise prices abroad by a lot.

  10. issac – there are only a few paleoclimatologists. The field is very incestual. The rest are scientists who are out of their fields who are agreeing with the few dominating in their field. We know from the stolen emails that Michael Mann and his band of merry minions rigged the game in their favor. They made sure that no article that opposed them got in a peer reviewed journal. Hence their cry of ‘peer review’ but peer review is them reviewing each other. The field is not big enough for real critical review. Peer review is not what you think it should be. It is a shell game played for advancement in universities and colleges.

  11. Paul

    Does the joke where the mother is watching the young soldier recruits march along and exclaims, “Look, there’s my son. He’s the only one in step.”, remind you of anything. 95% of the world’s scientists are out of step, if we listen to you.

  12. Paul

    The pharmaceutical industry spends 20% of its budget on advertising. The US government is blocked by puppet originated laws from buying in bulk or doing any of the cost saving efforts that other countries do to keep drugs less expensive. Buy your inhalers from Canada. If enough people make the right move then the big boys will either lobby the government and pull strings to protect their market or change and compete. What’s your guess?

  13. Jill

    I am, as is obvious, a liberal, not necessarily a Democrat. I tend to look forward and not allow the anchors of ‘it was good enough for the past, so it’s good enough for me’ or ‘if it ain’t broke why fix it’ insult my intelligence, what limited amount I have. The Democrats are puppets, bought and paid for by the oligarchs as much as the Republicans, but not to the same degree and not with so much nonsense.

    The real problem lies, and you hinted well at it, in the voter and the education of the voter. When the ozone layer was diminishing it was able to physically illustrate this with views from satellites. Also, it affected everyone with the threat of skin cancer and the statistics that came with that. Everyone remembered growing up without sunscreen.

    Perhaps the same formulas are needed here. The main threat to our advancement as a people is the status quo or the oligarchs world wide that see alternative energy as a threat to their money and power supply. When the tech boom happened there was no real entity to argue against it. Perhaps pencil manufacturers got the short end. With alternative energy the biggest and worst of the oligarchs are the obstacle.

    Americans need to get down off of their high horse and rediscover themselves by looking outward. Denmark, Germany, Spain, India, and now China have developed mammoth wind and solar industries by involving government, investors, and labor. We simply don’t seem to do that. In fact there is, and this is hard to believe, almost half of the population that can’t seem to fathom moving forward, the same half that thinks it’s unAmerican to look at successful paradigms that did not originate from the US.

    Main problems: money in politics, only two parties, uneducated voters, oligarchs buying politicians, and the rear view mirror.

  14. There are several types of active climate change deniers. None of them are scientists. The two or three percent of ACTUAL scientists debating the issue either work for the coal and oil industry, or are suffering from some kind of emotional disorder.

    1. The dominionists: These are so-called christians, like Senator Inhofe, who believe that god put the earth here for humans to use as they please, and that nothing can possibly go wrong unless god ordains it.

    2. As a subset of the true-believers are the end-timers who don’t actually car about the earth because heaven is the only thing that matters and when Jesus comes back (any day now, really, it’s true), he’s going to set everything straight.

    3. People who hate Al Gore and Liberals in general and will deny climate change facts on that basis alone.

    4. The corporations and investors who have realized that there is a problem, but have also realized that if they hold out long enough the cost of the actual solutions will be socialized and they will be able to keep their money. e.g. the building of sea-walls, carbon sequestering plants, etc. will be paid for the public much like we bailed out the banks, savings and loans, auto manufacturers, etc.

    What a sad state of affairs. This is the only planet we have. And even if the 98% of scientists who concur on climate change are wrong, wouldn’t it be prudent to take better care of the planet?

    1. PhillyT – then you have the people like me who think Michael Mann is hiding and massaging data for his own ends.

  15. I was going to chime in, but we’ve done this before, and I can see that there is a good showing countering the nonsense.
    Global who cares —-> Global cooling —> Global warming —-> Climate Change.
    Chicken Little and Turkey Lurkey.

  16. I think Reagans…

    “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

    Needs to be replaced with the seven words “The govt. says the science is settled”. It is beyond creepy to hear a politician say this.

Comments are closed.