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. From the beginning of 1800 to present the population has grown from 1 billion to 7 billion and with all the advancements in technology (production of steel, aluminum, electricity to name a few) energy requirements skyrocket.

    Even back then we were aware of ice melt and ocean rise. That was predicated upon a cycle in Earth’s climatology. In hindsight, it maybe, but exacerbated by the exponential industrial growth.

    I am of the opinion that we look for ways to ameliorate what is happening and plan for the long term. In Seattle we have one huge slumbering volcano that will wipe out the infrastructure with its lahar cutting right through everything just south of Seattle. Can’t stop it and it will happen. All bets are on “not in my lifetime.” Life goes on. But the cities’ sea walls are getting lots of attention. Pick the battles. Another effort —-cleaning up the car and industrial exhaust has been a huge success. Have to be careful with the industrial issue. I could mention Pittsburgh but others may point out that the cleaner air is because over 7 miles of steel plants no longer exist. Wasn’t EPA tho. They imploded economically. Japan lost in WWII but won big steel thanks to our B-29 urban and industrial clean-out efforts. No management or union fights about modernization.

    I digress. Acknowledge the changes, take steps that can build on each other, recognize the wins and losses.adjust.

    Remember though there is an asteroid out there with our name on it. It’s like Mt Ranier….it’s gonna happen, just not sure when and we can’t stop it. Work with what we can.

    1. Canon for Veterans Ministry – the Yellowstone supervolcano is overdue. That is what I am waiting on. It will take out most of WA, OR and CA as well as a few Western states. I am currently far enough south that I should not be directly effected. Still, there will be at least one nuclear winter. Reminds me, have to shop today. 🙂

  2. Mike A.,

    “We fail to recognize the concept of the commons, the notion that ownership of the environment is shared, because of the absurd libertarian conceit that the duty to account for our use of resources smacks of socialism.”

    Exactly so.

    1. gbk – any time you want to use the concept of commons and swim offshore of China to clean up their pollution, give me a heads up so I can see when you are arrested.

  3. happypappies:

    Sorry. I wasn’t responding to your comment. My concern is with the idea that we have no responsibilities to those peoples and nations with whom we share this planet.

  4. I am neither a paleoclimatologist nor a marine biologist, but I have been diving the coastal waters of Florida and the Bahamas for almost thirty-five years. Over that period of time I have observed the increasing pollution from onshore sources and the gradual destruction of coral reefs. I have seen fish kills. I have disentangled sea turtles from fishing line. Our refusal to make serious efforts to curb our abuse of our surroundings has nothing whatsoever to do with arguments over science. It is instead a product of basic human greed and selfishness.

    We fail to recognize the concept of the commons, the notion that ownership of the environment is shared, because of the absurd libertarian conceit that the duty to account for our use of resources smacks of socialism. We refuse to commit to the development of non-carbon based energy sources because the fair market value of the energy industry is based primarily on what’s still in the ground. And we are unwilling to consider the solution to any problem if we perceive that a potential consequence of the solution is that we might not be able to have as much stuff.

    So the Heartland Institute and its shills can continue to issue press releases and challenge scientific studies and urge caution, but it’s all a distraction. The motives are human at their base.

    1. Okay MIke, my last statement was ill considered – but I did say to get people out there that did not work in a work force in a task force to help clean this up and maybe teach their children a sense of values instead of a sense of despair. I don’t believe I included anything about the Heartland Institute. Mine was hard science.

    2. Mike A – you do know there is a difference between pollution and climate? And you are aware there is no correlation? The fishing line you run into in the ocean is not a direct result of the climate.

  5. As for Pope Francis – to me he is beginning to sound like a prophet of doom

  6. Can Carbon Capture Technology
    Be Part of the Climate Solution?
    Some scientists and analysts are touting carbon capture and storage as a necessary tool for avoiding catastrophic climate change. But critics of the technology regard it as simply another way of perpetuating a reliance on fossil fuels.

    For more than 40 years, companies have been drilling for carbon dioxide in southwestern Colorado. Time and geology had conspired to trap an enormous bubble of CO2 that drillers tapped, and a pipeline was built to carry the greenhouse gas all the way to the oil fields of west Texas. When scoured with the CO2, these aged wells gush forth more oil, and much of the CO2 stays permanently trapped in its new home underneath Texas.

    More recently, drillers have tapped the Jackson Dome, nearly three miles beneath Jackson, Mississippi, to get at a trapped pocket of CO2 for similar
    Kemper County power plant near Meridian, Mississippi
    Gary Tramontina/Bloomberg/Getty Images
    This power plant being built in Kemper County, Mississippi, would be the first in the U.S. to capture its own carbon emissions.
    use. It’s called enhanced oil recovery. And now there’s a new source of CO2 coming online in Mississippi — a power plant that burns gasified coal in Kemper County, due to be churning

    See link for more

    Because we are working on solutions and we don’t need more taxes
    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/can_carbon_capture_technology_be_part_of_the_climate_solution/2800/

  7. No one is disputing that we need to clean up after ourselves better. I have a plan. Instead of just passing out welfare money to people because they just aren’t able to compete in today’s world, Lets have them start cleaning up. It’s easy. We can set them up all over the USA in workforce programs that Obama stopped and encourage them in saving the environment for their grandchildren and give them a sense of purpose. This would make it so there would not have to be new hires anywhere to clean things up. The program would take a while but I have faith in our great bureaucracy and Community Organizer to get this thing going.

    Now, the way I see it is that Issac is absolutely correct about the Ozone Layer. I was in the ecology club and in Chemistry in the same time and our Chemistry Teacher was the fearless leader of our own little 0 population group of 1970. It was a brave new world. But even then although we new about the fluorocarbons and that we would be down to 16 inches inthe year 2000. Yes, we knew that then and all about the Cancer back then, WE ALSO KNEW THAT GLOBAL WARMING SCIENCE WAS PSEUDO SCIENCE. Greenhouse gas emissions did not equal global warming. We discussed. We discussed why it was not enough and how it was apples to oranges. There is not a coorelation between the temperature going up and greenhouse gasses forming. >>>>> (Unless you want to compare it to a methane fart) <<<<<<< Now, be real, The temperature goes up and down and we just don't produce enough to keep it hot. Especially with the weather changing like it does. Common sense dictates that. Now, you have you stupid science trying so hard to hang on to it by claiming that the Atlantic Ocean cooled it off.

    Be that as it may, we are working on our energy problems

    1. (Happypappies I have to call you out for repeating a lie about Obama and work to welfare.” We can set them up all over the USA in workforce programs that Obama stopped a…”

      “On July 12, President Obama quietly ended the work requirement, gutting welfare reform. One of the most respected newspapers in the country called it ‘nuts,’ ” the (Romney) ad says.

      “Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and you wouldn’t have to train for a job,” the ad continues. “They just send you your welfare check. And welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare …”

      But the Obama campaign calls Romney’s ad “nuts

      CNN’s Fact-check agrees.

      Clinton calls out ‘disappointing’ Romney ad

      “Every single person here who’s looked at it says it’s patently false,” Obama said a news conference on Monday.

      So where did the notion of a major welfare reform overhaul come from?

      Where it didn’t come from is Washington but rather from Utah, Nevada, California, Connecticut and Minnesota.

      These states, some with Republican governors, asked the federal government for more flexibility in how they hand out welfare dollars. Their purpose was to spend less time on federal paperwork and more time experimenting with ways to connect welfare recipients with jobs.

      The Obama administration cooperated, granting waivers to some states from some of the existing rules.” http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/23/politics/fact-check-welfare/ )

      1. leejcaroll

        Not interested in lamestream media election year tactics.

        Under welfare reform, to get their block grants of federal TANF money, states have to show that 50 percent of welfare-receiving families — and 90 percent of two-parent families — are involved in work activities. What constitutes “work activities” is not necessarily a job; training, job-search assistance, volunteer work, vocational and skills training, and some forms of education and child-care work are included. But being counted as working is not as simple as checking one of those boxes; it’s a complicated formula that allows some activities only for a certain number of hours per week, or a certain number of weeks per year.

        Those advocating more flexibility say they could get more people into jobs if they had more freedom to get them there in the time allotted, generally two years from the start of receiving assistance. Utah, under Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, was one of five states to ask the federal government for more flexibility in determining work participation; the others were Republican-led Nevada and Democrat-governed California, Connecticut and Minnesota. “The expectation to participate fully in specific activities leading to employment is not the issue,” Utah’s director of workforce services wrote to the federal Department of Health and Human Services. “Full engagement is a powerful process that can lead to work. It is the narrow definitions of what counts and the burdensome documentation and verification processes that are not helpful.”

        In other words, unless you have ever been involved in applying for and receiving welfare, you can’t know how burdensome it is to receive the funds and be a productive member of society.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/what-obama-really-did-to-welfare-reform/260931/

        1. In other words, unless you have ever been involved in applying for and receiving welfare, you can’t know how burdensome it is to receive the funds and be a productive member of society.

          In fact I have been involved in it and was a recipient many years back, You make assumptions instead of asking.

          1. leejcaroll I probably should have used the pronoun one instead of you or your, I don’t even know you and I certainly was not meaning to attack you or make assumptions. If and when you take the time to know me better, you will come to know that. 🙂

  8. And furthermore……………..

    The manufacture of Chinese solar panels exported to Europe produce a carbon footprint twice the size of those made in Europe, a US study has found.

    It says this is because China has fewer environmental and efficiency standards and generates more electricity from coal and other non-renewable sources.

    The study was conducted by Northwestern University and the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and published in the Solar Energy Journal.

    “It takes a lot of energy to extract and process solar-grade silicon, and in China that energy tends to come from dirtier and less-efficient energy sources than it does in Europe,” said Seth Darling, a co-author of the report and Argonne scientist.

    The study analysed the “embedded” energy in Chinese- made solar panels, from mining of raw materials, the manufacturing process and shipping the finished products.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1523493/carbon-footprint-chinese-solar-panels-twice-size-those-made-europe

  9. I’m late to the party and ran into an ad hominem insult to which even I an ordained member of the Christian Anglican tradition take offense. (See below) Let’s not kid around here Dave. Your missive has no inaccuracies. He does wear a costume, and he is a mammal. You and I and he have much in common. However the end of your digestive track seems to have migrated to just below your nostrils. (Probably easier to breath than having your diminished cranial cavity enveloped by the rectum.). But the output of the current configuration is just ……… . Well, to be kind it smells worse than a bad case of halitosis. So go get cleaned up, find some manners and then come back to the party if you’re able.

    Just saying……

    on 1, January 19, 2015 at 2:26 pmDave
    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.

  10. Why are wind farms located far away from people, which makes it expensive to transmit the energy? Because they are loud and unsightly.

    That hardly sounds like a panacea.

    What I was really excited about 10 years ago was the invention of solar cells that were incorporated into roof tiles. They just looked like conventional roof tiles, but they were embedded with PV cells. I thought those would be mainstream by now, but they kind of faded away. I wonder what happened.

  11. And on the wind farms of Scotland:

    “But Dr Constable said: ‘Managing wind power is a very expensive business.
    ‘We built too much, too quickly. It is unpredictable and because it tends to be sited in a location a long way from people, it costs a lot to transmit.
    ‘Building more grid is given as the answer, but that is very expensive – it would have been cheaper not to build these wind farms in the first place.
    ‘They are charging very high prices to switch off – far higher than the cost of actually producing the power – but officials will not challenge them because this the Government’s pet technology.’”

    This is exactly what I’m talking about when I caution not to get too caught up in the excitement of the thought of green energy, without taking into consideration the logistics and outcome.

    We need more than just “feeling good” about green programs. We need results. And we can have that if we’re careful, prudent, and thoughtful in how we approach green energy. And, above all, we must remain mindful that we are spending other people’s money, the taxpayers, and we owe them a good result.

  12. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2827555/Wind-farms-paid-43million-stand-idle-far-year-producing-power-National-Grid-handle.html

    Here’s a problem in the UK where wind farms are paid a boatload of money (mainly in Scotland) to stand idle.

    Wind farms are unpredictable, creating power surges in windy weather, and then nothing when it’s becalmed. Since this is a cache new green energy, lobbyists have gotten the government to agree to large payments to wind farms to essentially stand fallow when it’s so windy it’s causing power surges.

    Again, this is something that needs to be resolved to taxpayers’ satisfaction.

    I am actually very eager to see green energy take off. I just want us to be intelligent about efforts, and not get carried away with good intentions. The road to hell and all . . .

    Currently, wind farms are a net environmental negative, because of its impact on wildlife and the annoying sound pollution, as well as the crushing subsidies we all pay for. I assume these hurdles can be overcome, but it’s premature to call wind energy a panacea until that happens.

  13. http://www.forbes.com/2011/07/19/wind-energy-carbon.html

    “subsidies to the wind sector are more than 200 times as great as those given to the oil and gas sector on the basis of per-unit-of-energy produced.”

    According to this report, the amount of carbon and sulfur reduced is very low if the wind energy is produced in a state that depends on cleaner energy, such as natural gas. It has more of a carbon effect in the states that still rely on coal, but the sulfur improvement is still disappointingly low.

    My main point of contention with wind is that it’s even more heavily subsidized than oil (which completely undercuts any “cost effective” argument) and that it’s a net negative for the environment. That loud, annoying chopping sound is not good for wildlife, and it actually kills birds.

    That’s true of all wind farms, so far.

  14. Another problem with the grid is that the utility companies want a cut when people go solar and stay mainly off the grid.

    I think we need a paradigm shift in how the grid is managed. Perhaps make it into a coop, if that’s possible.

    Because the trend is for power companies to charge solar homeowners just to be connected to the grid, which is required by law, even if the house functions off grid. That doesn’t sit well for homes that don’t buy any energy.

  15. Isaac:

    “You can cherry pick failures and represent the industry that way or you can do a complete over view.”

    I don’t think I cherry picked failures. I noted that the offshore Dutch wind farms were more expensive than onshore, but onshore was held up by lawsuits.

    And I listed the problems we have with wind farms here. The problem with wind farms is that they kill birds and they’re loud. I would know. There are huge commercial wind farms out here. I’ve driven by them. Plus, as I’ve stated, there are some small scale ones in our neighborhood.

    These are legitimate problems that we very likely will be able to overcome. But it needs to be done before we expand. Plus, affordability is critical.

    How is that cherry picking?

  16. Karen

    There are wind farms that are cost effective and those that aren’t. Back when Carter was President there was a push using tax incentives. The turbines were too small and broke down too easily. You can cherry pick failures and represent the industry that way or you can do a complete over view. If you take the time to do an overview you will find that the problem lies in the grid-typically the grid is reserved for conventional forms of energy, the guys that created it, the size of the turbine-smaller old style turbines are not immediately cost effective, etc.. New technology creates jobs. Jobs create wealth. A vibrant economy advancing beyond conventional systems is proving to enervate countries.

    In the US and Canada, where the wind blows well enough, over a twenty year period-the time the turbine takes to pay for itself, a 2.5 megawatt turbine is being proven to cost less than conventional forms of energy. The twenty year period for most turbines installed in the past ten years has seen a jump to 5 megawatt turbines with turbines up to 10 megawatts on the books.

    Ten megawatt turbines are under review with two having been installed in the North Sea using defunct oil platforms as staging platforms. Scotland is planning on getting 20% of its power from the proposed wind farm. An added bonus is that the area that built and installed the oil platforms went dry vis a vis labor when the platforms were built and the oil fields exhausted. Now Scotland is looking forward to a new industry in building and installing the 10 megawatt turbines.

    Also, just as with the introduction of the automobile over a hundred years ago, there will be much experimentation. The bottom line is that there are many, many wind farms that are cost efficient, new technology increases the viability of the industry, and as with the tech industry, this will continue.

    In order to make it to step two you have to take step one. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in this the infancy of the concept. Money moving is wealth. The status quo is death.

    The status quo is subsidized in ways that are not even imagined. The damage to the planet is also mostly overlooked, from mountain cropping destroying the environment in West Virginia, pollution from carbon emissions, to health problems that the industry forces on everyone.

    Tax the fossil fuel industry to develop alternative energy. Americans pay nothing for fuel compared to Europeans. Perhaps therein lies the problem. Cheap gas trumps common sense.

  17. Typically, people defend the billions of dollars to subsidize a fraction of energy production with phrases like “the hidden costs of coal such as carbon dioxide.”

    Nobody thinks to develop more efficient systems or otherwise actually solve the problems.

  18. Isaac:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/16/us-dutch-wind-idUSTRE7AF1JM20111116

    Well, this was disappointing. I was rather hoping the Dutch had solved the problem. From the article, “Faced with the need to cut its budget deficit, the Dutch government says offshore wind power is too expensive and that it cannot afford to subsidize the entire cost of 18 cents per kilowatt hour — some 4.5 billion euros last year.”

    Most of the wind farms are offshore, where they don’t bother any people. I can only assume they drive marine mammals crazy. They tried to build a huge onshore farm, but residents sued because it would spoil the view and be loud and annoying.

    At the time of the article (2011), renewable energy met just 4% of the Netherlands’ energy needs. It may have increased since then.

    But 4.5 billion Euros just to get 4% green energy???

    Do you guys see the problem with green energy being too expensive to take over at this point in time? There is always more and more that we need to spend our money on. There’s only so much we can do. And the Netherlands is tiny. Imagine what it would cost for our enormous country.

    We can’t be a nation of people who just hope something will work out. We have to be intelligent about developing clean renewable energy, which IS where the future lies.

    My uncle was just recently telling me about a wonderful wetland filtration system that also produced green energy, but there were roadblocks from government because of safety concerns.

    So, we’re working on it, but we’re not quite there yet.

    Meanwhile, it’s exciting to see progress, as long as over-zealous people don’t crash and burn the system by trying to enact it too much too soon.

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