The US and climate

I did not want to have to write this post.


I listened with dismay to DT’s Rose Garden address yesterday, astonished at the level of misunderstanding of climate science, domestic and international economics, and the Paris climate agreement in evidence.


While the president made it seem that the United States is immediately leaving the Paris accord, that is not the case. There is a three year period starting in November, 2016 during which no signatory may exit the agreement. The one-year period in which the separation would occur can’t start until then, so the earliest date that the United States could officially leave would be Nov. 4, 2020, the day after our next presidential election. A lot can happen in three and a half years and my hope is that the United States will never officially withdraw from the Paris agreement.


Even without the federal government’s leadership, many of the states, cities, companies, and individuals in the US will be continuing reductions in carbon emissions and promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Over sixty mayors of large cities declared their intention to follow the climate agreement. The governors of New York, California, and Washington have started an initiative for states to continue working on their clean energy goals. Many companies, large and small, are committed to renewable energy sources for their operations. Many families, like mine, are weatherizing their homes, using energy efficient appliances and lighting, buying solar panels, and driving hybrid or all-electric vehicles like our Chevy Bolt.


The majority of the people of the United States believe in the Paris accord and will continue to work alongside the nations of the world to combat climate change. I hope we will soon return to official federal-level participation. It would not be the first time that the administration has had to backpedal after an unwise decision.


Leroy Added Jun 5, 2017 - 7:08am
The Paris "Accord" is dead, as far as the US is concerned.  It is a treaty by any other name.  As such, it was never approved by the Senate.  It has no means of enforcement.  People are suing to challenge the decision.  Hopefully, the Supreme Court puts the final nail in the coffin.
People and states were already moving towards "green" energy.  Nothing has changed other than the transfer of wealth to poorer nations.
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 5, 2017 - 8:44am
The Paris "Accord" has never been an agreement on 'climate change' but if you actually look at what it physically does is redistribute wealth by putting higher burdens on the countries of Europe and North America.  So China and India will have a market advantage, thus wealth will be redistributed favoring the products they produce.  The reason the Paris "Accord" is not an agreement about climate is that this skewed balance means coal the worst source of carbon dioxide will increase more then if the accord never existed.   
Do you liberal get this.  The Paris "Accord" actually increases the pollution you think is causing climate change, or is it the 1980's global cooling, or the 1990 global warming or today since the facts do not support cooing or warming "global climate change". 
The simple fact is that the climate was changing trillion years ago and will be changing until the sun goes supernova and consumes the earth.  And guess what man has only been around in minute portion of the earth's existence.  But climate change has never stopped from happening.  Ice ages have occurred and receded before man existed or was more then a stone tool using mammal.
I would like to see just one of the climate change scientist first define the range of  climate change naturally occurred before the industrial age.  So let me get you started.
Scientists have estimated that the Greenland ice sheet is between 400,000 and 800,000 years old. This means that the island today is unlikely to have been markedly different when Europeans settled there. However, there is evidence that the settled areas were warmer than today, with large birch woodlands providing both timber and fuel. This warmth coincided with the period known as the Medieval Climatic Anomaly, also known as the Medieval Warm Period,  During the Medieval Climatic Anomaly, some areas, most notably in the North Atlantic and parts of Europe, were at least as warm as today, if not warmer. However, other areas were colder, and overall evidence suggests that global temperatures during this period were similar to those at the beginning or middle of the 20th century, and colder than today.
Early 1800s, the situation was in diametric contradiction with everybody being worried about a global cooling that seemed to come out of nowhere.
It all peaked in 1816, when in most places of the world there was actually no summer at all ! That year’s chill was blamed by climatologists on the eruption of the Indonesian volcano called Tambora, but why the few years before 1816 were also way colder than usually remained a mystery. However, newly uncovered evidence from the ice of Antarctica and Greenland suggests that another volcanic eruption was probably responsible for it.   There is a good graph in the article.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jun 6, 2017 - 4:02pm
The trillion dollars in money that might not affect climate change could solve the lack of clean water for the bottom billion who lack it, lack of contraception, lack of vitamins, lack of power, lack of basic safe housing that doesn't collapse in an earthquake, lack of latrines and K-8 education. And deworming, basic foodstuffs and school uniforms for two billion.
We can either give the bottom 2 billion what they need and solve these problems - and create a society better able to adapt to ANYTHING. Or we can impoverish the top billion, fail to help the truly poorest among us, and feel moral for thinking we might or might not make a difference on the planet that was warmer 1000 years ago than today.
Joanne Corey Added Jun 14, 2017 - 5:47am
(I apologize for not being able to reply previously; my family has been dealing with several health issues.)
I wanted to share this link which has one of the best explanations of climate change/global warming I have ever read, compiled by knowledgeable scientists. 
In terms of social responsibility, I truly appreciate the visions and insights of Pope Francis. In his encyclical Laudato Si', he describes an integral ecology, which includes both care for creation (the environment) and care for people, especially those most vulnerable. One of the advantages of renewable energy is that it is often produced locally, eliminating the need for long-range distribution grids and powering other development needs.
A real-world example is a project in conjunction with my county's community college and a remote village in Haiti. Solar panels with battery storage power a pump for a community water well for safe drinking water and a modern bathroom near the church and school. The community has started a garden to grow staple crops to feed the schoolchildren. Solar ovens are allowing the cooks to bake extra goods for sale to people in the village. LED lighting, which does not need much electricity to operate, allows the children to gather at the church and school to do homework in the evenings. Adults and children are able to use computers. Communication can be accomplished with cellular networks rather than by hardwire. 
Climate change impacts are felt most acutely by those who are most vulnerable economically. Drought; collapse of native crops, fisheries, and wildlife; coastal, river, and flash flooding; and other climate and severe weather related problems disproportionately affect populations least able to defend against them. We are already seeing conflicts arise over water and other resources. Access to water and/or fossil fuels underlies many of the conflicts in the Middle East and in Africa. Natural gas transport is the subtext for the Russian land grab in Ukraine. The problems in Venezuela are connected to economic dependence on oil.
My personal viewpoint is that the United States, as one of the largest current greenhouse gas producers and historically the largest total greenhouse gas producer, should help people at home and abroad to deal with the effects of climate change as a moral responsibility. Doing so would not impoverish the wealthy or our country. We can re-prioritize our spending, especially in taking some of our current military budget and putting it toward human needs. Our military leaders have been speaking out for some time about the dangers that climate change poses to world stability and have been big advocates for using renewable energy as much as possible when they are in action. It makes sense to redirect some of the military budget to helping population around the world deal with climate change, hunger, water scarcity, pollution, sea level rise, and other problems, both because it is the just and moral course and because it will reduce causes of military conflict.   
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 14, 2017 - 9:11am
Joanne, do you really have an opinion about climate change or are you mirroring the lowest voices of the people you generally listen to?  What do you actually know about the subject beyond what they tell you?  
How anyone can come to the conclusion that man is that powerful is beyond understanding.  Consider that Krakatoa volcano has a "rating of 6 on the Volcanic Explosion Index and is estimated to have had the explosive force of 200 megatons of TNT. (For purposes of comparison, the bomb that devastated Hiroshima had a force of 20 kilotons. The Mount St. Helens explosion of 1980 had a VEI of 5.) ... explosions hurled an estimated 11 cubic miles (45 cubic km) of debris into the atmosphere darkening skies up to 275 miles (442 km) from the volcano. In the immediate vicinity, the dawn did not return for three days. Barographs around the globe documented that the shock waves in the atmosphere circled the planet at least seven times. Within 13 days, a layer of sulfur dioxide and other gases began to filter the amount of sunlight able to reach Earth. The atmospheric effects made for spectacular sunsets all over Europe and the United States. Average global temperatures were up to 1.2 degrees cooler for the next five years.""
So Joanne the climate recovered.  All that material and gas were handled by the planet.  And this is but a small event in the history of the planet.  Consider that two extinction events have occurred that killed more then half the plants and animals on the planet.  And again the planet recovered.  Those same plants and animals if put on the planet today would not know a difference.    The planet recovered from a flip in the magnetic poles and the motion of the continents.  We Joanne are insignificant actors on this stage.
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 14, 2017 - 9:17am
Joanne consider that " Mount Tambora on April 10, 1815 ...  is the only eruption in modern history to rate a VEI of 7. Global temperatures were an average of five degrees cooler because of this eruption; even in the United States, 1816 was known as the “year without a summer.”    The eruption of Krakatoa occurred August 1883.  And the planet recovered just fine.  ibid
Joanne Corey Added Jun 14, 2017 - 6:53pm
Although it was not my major field of study, I do have some university level education in geology, environmental science, meteorology, and climatology, as well as having several members of my family who are scientists, so I do have an understanding of the impacts of greenhouse gases on our atmospheric system and climate. The effects of volcanic eruptions are short-lived because much of those effects are due to ash and particulates. There is a dramatic impact on temperature, but it dissipates quickly.
The natural climate system plays out in geologic time, which is to say very, very slowly with changes over hundreds of thousands of years. What humans have done by unearthing and burning so many fossil fuels is to add carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases to the atmospheric system in a way that has upset the natural earth system and vastly accelerated global warming. I think that the link in my previous comment does a good job at explaining the science. So, yes, there may be another mass extinction event in the offing and the planet will survive. The question is will humanity survive it, will it remain a dominant species, or will it be supplanted by other species?
Leroy Added Jun 14, 2017 - 7:50pm
"One of the advantages of renewable energy is that it is often produced locally, eliminating the need for long-range distribution grids and powering other development needs."
Not true.  Sure, what you project entails is small scale and it may be local.  It can deal with interruptions and days without sunshine.  It may make sense on a single home, with enough subsidies.  On an industrial scale, it just doesn't work that way.  Take Germany, for example.  Heavy industry is located in the south.  The best wind is in the north.  The power has to be transmitted over vast distances.  New power lines often have to be run.  At peak times, there can be too much power available and it has to sell it at negative rates to other countries.  Foreign countries don't like this gift because they have to throttle back their fossil-fueled power plants, making them less efficient.  In the US, wind farms are nearly always located far away from the demand.
"Climate change impacts are felt most acutely by those who are most vulnerable economically."
Are you saying that nature discriminates against peoples of color?  I don't believe nature is a racist.  The true damage is forcing these countries to use expensive "green" energy when they could use cheap fossil fuel.  Cheap energy will help them more than anything else to become a more developed country.
"My personal viewpoint is that the United States, as one of the largest current greenhouse gas producers and historically the largest total greenhouse gas producer, should help people at home and abroad to deal with the effects of climate change as a moral responsibility."
What you are really saying is that the US has the deepest pockets and, therefore, should give its money to support the less fortunate because the income disparity is unfair.
Joanne Corey Added Jun 15, 2017 - 5:37am
1) The context of this comment is power sourcing in areas that do not already have power infrastructure in place, such as the village in Haiti that I wrote about. A microgrid makes much more sense in those contexts when the choice is between producing and using local renewable energy and laying miles upon miles of lines to reach a centralized power source.
In developed areas, the sense of distance for power transmission is relative. From the north to the south of Germany is not that far in those terms. Solutions to the current problems of balancing supply and demand are under development, including better storage batteries, molten salt, and compressed air underground pump storage. In the US, it makes sense to go to smaller regional grids, especially when employing a mix of renewable energy sources. For example, in the NY/NJ area, once offshore wind farms come online, studies show that over 90% of regional power needs can be met with the combination of wind and solar; hydro power can help with baseline and peak needs. In the US West, where transmission distances are longer, some distribution lines may use DC to cut transmission losses. In many markets, wind power is already cheaper than any fossil-fuel-based power. Even in Texas, which has lots of locally produced methane, wind power is the cheapest electricity source.
2) Of course nature is not racist, but, globally, people who are living in poverty tend to live in areas that are more vulnerable to natural disasters, such as low-lying river deltas. They are more likely to rely on subsistence farming, so a drought can easily lead to famine. They are more likely to be exposed to toxins. (Rich neighborhoods don't often have industrial facilities, mines, oil/gas wells, etc.) They are less likely to have a reliable source of clean drinking water and modern sanitation facilities. They are more vulnerable to disease, especially water- or insect-borne. The low-lying island nations who advocated so strongly for a 1.5 degree C. goal in Paris have largely indigenous populations who would literally lose their countries if sea levels rise several meters.
Nature doesn't discriminate, but human societies do. 
3) My personal viewpoint on this comes from my own grounding in Catholic social justice doctrine and environmental justice. It is essentially a moral argument and a recognition that the wealthy in the US and other countries have consumed and continue to consume a much higher proportion of available resources and produce a much higher proportion of pollution and waste, and, therefore, have a moral obligation to help those who have been injured by their actions.
 That is what I am saying. Your words are your own.
Thomas Sutrina Added Jun 15, 2017 - 8:35am
Joanne then you should also know that these major volcanoes put as much carbon dioxide in the air in a day as man has done in history.   And a volcano keeps that up.  Also other gases like sulfur dioxide. It seems that more then one volcano erupts every year.
The strike of a meteor does not play out in years but in minutes.  We know the two extinction events were from these events.  The first extinction meteor they believe is under the ice I think Canada and the other Mexico.   So Joanne the advocates of humans causing significant climate change like Dr. Locklove of NASA (another article on WB mentioned him) that are in the range of these natural events even over a century just fall apart.
A human nuclear war is the only human caused event that would be sufficient.  The testing above ground of  the USA and USSR in the 50's were more significant then the slow drip drip of combustion of fuel.  The ocean and plants are the balancing elements and they show by the response time to volcanoes that they can easily balance out us humans.   So I want to see one just one analysis that takes into account the base line of natural events that add green house elements to the air.  I want to see them put in the numbers for similar time periods of natural vs human.   Do you have one?
Joanne Corey Added Jun 15, 2017 - 5:07pm
Sorry, Thomas, but your volcano info is totally bogus. Here is a scientific explanation of why. 
There have actually been five major extinctions, which have been caused by combination of factors. Mass extinctions are not short events either, sometimes unfolding over millions of years. This link discusses some of the major causes and has links to each of the five major extinctions and what is thought to have contributed to each. Here is another article on mass extinctions and the possible reasons for them. It's not just asteroids.
The original comment link that I posted has a lot of charts and links with data showing the atmospheric effects of fossil fuel extraction and burning as you can see the abrupt effects of the Industrial Era. It is not only the atmosphere which has been affected. For example, the oceans have been acidifying and glaciers and ice sheets have been melting.  
Mike Haluska Added Nov 15, 2017 - 3:27pm
Joanne - since you consider yourself "familiar" with "Human Caused Climate Change", please answer (without cheating):
1) What is the CO2 concentration in the Earth's atmosphere?
2) What percentage of the CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is attributable to Human Activity?
3) If we somehow "magically eliminated" ALL human attributed CO2, what would be the resulting change in CO2 concentration in the Earth's atmosphere?
Since I can tell from your writing that you have no clue, I will give you the answers:
1) CO2 concentration is 400 parts per million.  Since that is such a miniscule amount, I will give you visual reference.  Astronomers tell us that there are approximately 5,000 stars that are visible to the naked eye.  Imagine standing in a dark field and looking up the night sky - all 360 degrees around the horizon.  If those stars represented the gas makeup of the Earth's atmosphere, ONLY 2 STARS in the sky would be CO2!!!  CO2 is a rare TRACE GAS in the atmosphere, while another "greenhouse gas" called water vapor comprises 65% (or 3,250 "water vapor stars" compared to "2 CO2 stars").  To think that CO2 has any significant impact relative to water vapor is just stupid - not just unscientific!!!
2) CO2 attributable to human activity is less than 1.5%.  So if only a 400 ppm CO2 concentration wasn't a poor enough case for CO2 having a significant impact, ONLY 1.5% of the CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is attributable to human activity!!! 
3) CO2 concentration less human component is 396 ppm.  EVEN IF the pseudo-scientists got their wish granted and we eliminated ALL HUMAN CO2, the atmospheric concentration would only drop a few ppm!!! 
The reason CO2 was arbitrarily picked as a "bad guy" is because it can be associated with the petrochemical industry - period!!!  CO2 is essential for ALL LIFE ON OUR PLANET - it is not a TOXIN as Obama's politicized EPA declared!!!  CO2 levels and temperature have been widely varying for millions of years - long before humans walked the Earth.  And one thing is for certain - the US giving $2 TRILLION to the "Paris Accord" will have NO EFFECT on the climate!!!
Joanne Corey Added Nov 15, 2017 - 4:27pm
Sorry to burst your bubble, Mike, but I do know what the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is currently and what it has been historically. While you are correct about the current concentration, you are incorrect about the impact of that concentration and about the amount of it that is human-sourced. The pre-industrial age CO2 concentration fluctuated between 200 and 280 ppm depending on whether or not the earth was in ice age. Therefore, the modern human addition is about 120 ppm and climbing. The majority of this has been added through fossil fuel use, but other human impacts such as deforestation and agricultural practices have added some CO2 as well.
Additionally, atmospheric methane is also at record high levels. Methane is actually an even stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, about 86 times stronger when measured over a twenty-year timeframe. It does not persist in the atmosphere as long as CO2, though, so CO2 is usually cited as the benchmark in discussion of long-range climate change. Methane concentrations have increased rapidly since wide-scale extraction of tight oil/gas from shale and coal-beds from fracking began. Recent testing has proved that methane emissions from this process are much higher than was originally claimed by the companies involved.
Other human-related atmospheric pollutants, such as nitrous oxide and black soot, are implicated in climate change, as well.
And, yes, CO2 at ground level is necessary for plants to live and a vital part of the oxygen cycle that we need, but too high levels of atmospheric CO2 are climate changing pollutants. 
Higher levels of CO2 at ground level are also, unfortunately, having bad effects on food crops. A recent study shows that higher CO2 levels show reduction in protein and minerals in important staple food crops worldwide. The carbon cycle is complicated; saying that CO2 is good for plants is too simplistic, as temperature, water, soil conditions, and other factors are also involved in determining plant growth and health. 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 16, 2017 - 12:33pm
Joanne - your statement:
"Therefore, the modern human addition is about 120 ppm and climbing. The majority of this has been added through fossil fuel use, but other human impacts such as deforestation and agricultural practices have added some CO2 as well."
is blatantly false and is a poor attempt at basic logic.  Just because the CO2 concentration went up 200 ppm doesn't prove any human causality!  The figure I quoted (percent of CO2 from human activity) was from the IPCC (not Exxon) and is based on the known amounts of fossil fuels we extract from the ground and the resulting CO2 that can be physically produced from that known, fixed quantity.  That total is less than 1.5% of the CO2 concentration.
Besides - how do you explain similar or even much greater CO2 concentrations that occurred PRIOR to the Industrial Age which began just over 200 years ago?  I'm pretty sure that archeologists have yet to uncover an oil refinery, steel mill, coal fired electrical power generator, etc. built by Neanderthals.   
And methane is also a Trace Gas in the atmosphere!  The vast majority is produced naturally and human produced is insignificant in comparison. 
So why do you conveniently ignore the most predominant (by several order of magnitude over trace gasses) "greenhouse gas" . . . water vapor?  Here's why - you can't pin water vapor on those mean industrialists and there's little we can do as humans about it!  This whole movement to "Fight Climate Change" is as pointless as trying to "fight gravity" or "fight orbital mechanics"!!!
Here are the factors impacting the Earth's climate, ranked in order of influence:
1) the large thermonuclear furnace called the Sun, whose output and intensity randomly varies over time and there is NOTHING we can do about it. (ALL of the energy, 97% of the influence)
2) the chaotic variations in the orbit of the Earth around the Sun which randomly vary over time and there is NOTHING we can do about it.
3) the concentration and distribution of cloud cover/water vapor around the Earth that is also chaotic and randomly varies over time and there is NOTHING we can do about it.
4) major geological disturbances such as volcanoes that release more CO2 in a single eruption than all of the human CO2 produced in the Industrial Era that are chaotic and randomly vary over time and there is NOTHING we can do about it.
5) major warming/cooling ocean currents that are chaotic and randomly vary over time and there is NOTHING we can do about it.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 16, 2017 - 12:43pm
Joanne - finally, you can present all the "charts and graphs" you want.  There is no proof of CAUSALITY in a chart/graph!  Using your "correlation is the same as causality" reasoning, I could "prove" anything I want! 
Consider a fancy graph that plots "Frequency of Leaves Changing Colors" vs. "Squirrel Nut Gathering Activity".  The two lines would follow each other in an uncanny fashion, sure to impress Al Gore and others who don't know the Frakkin' difference between science and bullshit.  Using your "Fancy Graph Interpretation Technique", I could conclude that my "Leaves and Squirrels" graph proves CONCLUSIVELY that:
Thomas Sutrina Added Nov 16, 2017 - 1:48pm
I have no idea how you took a two year change in climate from a volcano as and even close to an extinction event.  The last being 11000 years ago which matches a low carbon and temperature on your chart.   In north America animals over about 100 lb died off.  
What is not know is the effect of high carbon in the atmosphere since the ice core data does not go back that far.  So I did some simple digging.  "The extinction occurred between 251.941 ± 0.037 and 251.880 ± 0.031 Ma, a duration of 60 ± 48 ka. A large (approximately 0.9%), abrupt global decrease in the ratio of the stable isotope 13C to that of 12C, coincides with this extinction. . . . Further evidence for environmental change around the P–Tr boundary suggests an 8 °C (14 °F) rise in temperature, and an increase in CO2 levels by 2000 ppm (for comparison, the concentration immediately before the industrial revolution was 280 ppm.) There is also evidence of increased ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth, causing the mutation of plant spores. . . . [general extinctions] The extinction primarily affected organisms with calcium carbonate skeletons, especially those reliant on stable CO2 levels to produce their skeletons.  These organisms were susceptible to the effects of the ocean acidification that resulted from increased atmospheric CO2. 
. . . No coal deposits are known from the Early Triassic, 250 M years. "
Climate has always been changing and man after the industrial age is capable of changing climate but natural changes still have far more depth and breath then man has shown.  Coal has not existed forever so if you believe that the amount of carbon on the planet is fixed then that carbon had to be in the ground in other forms, the oceans, or in the air and carbon oxygen molecules.  We should see the effect in the data.  No effect was presented.
Solar radiation varies and the change in the tilt of the earth and its precession change in relationship to the elliptical orbit that also has changed.  These far exceed the capacity of man and the effect of green house gases.   
My conclusion is that we should tend to not increase green house gases but also not consider an increase a dooms day event or even close to one.  
Joanne Corey Added Nov 16, 2017 - 2:51pm
Given that neither Mike nor Thomas are climate scientists, I prefer to believe the scientific studies of those who are. I have enough background in geology and climatology to understand what those scientists are telling us. I do understand how the greenhouse effect works and that what Mike considers trace amounts and small differences actually have a large impact on atmospheric and climate systems. 
Scientists have also been able to study the sourcing of the increased atmospheric carbon. They can tell, for example, the different signatures of methane leaked from extraction wells from that produced by landfills or agriculture. Yes, the graph may show just the change in concentration over time, but there is science to show that the large increase in the modern era is primarily due to the addition of fossil carbon, which had been safely sequestered underground, to the atmospheric system.  Humans added excess carbon to the surface system through fossil fuel extraction and use and the resulting changed atmosphere is responding with climate impacts. It has nothing to do with the existence of coal; it has everything to do with whether that coal is underground or brought to the surface and burned.
The sun, our orbit and axis, volcanoes, etc. are constant/recurring parts of the system. They are continuing their influence on the climate system within their usual parameters. What has changed is human impacts. I trust the climate scientists and the paleoclimatologists over bloggers who are not climate scientists. 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 16, 2017 - 3:33pm
Joanne - I guess my formal scientific and engineering education, certification and 40 years of practical experience should take a back seat to your "background in geology and climatology".  Except my argument with the "Climate Change" frauds has NOTHING to do with their conclusions and everything to do with their methods - which are crappy science!  If these pseudo-scientists claimed that "everything is fine with the climate and our computer models say we have 5,000 years of great climate" . . .it wouldn't change my opinion of their crappy science practices!
Joanne Corey Added Nov 16, 2017 - 3:59pm
If you are a climate scientist, you are among a handful that disagree with the rest, who have published hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on human impacts to climate. If you are not a climate scientist, it is likely that you do not understand the science practices that are particular to the discipline. If the science really is "crappy" as you assert, then the entire field of climatology/paleoclimatology is suspect, unlikely, given that data exist to back up their conclusions.  You are obviously going to believe whatever you choose, but I and millions of others will believe the recent Fourth National Climate Assessment
Mike Haluska Added Nov 17, 2017 - 11:08am
Joanne - again, just because you say so doesn't make it a fact!  If you actually LOOK for contradicting data, you'll find it all over the place.  You also need to examine the underlying motives of both proponents and opponents on an issue. 
When you check with "scientists" who have no stake in the outcome, you'll find an overwhelming percentage that came to the same conclusion I did:
1)there is no legitimate Scientific Method in place
2)their conclusions can't be reproduced
3)their forecast vs. actual is NOT remotely within acceptable range of experimental error 
4) NO CAUSALITY has been established. 
Your insistence of "peer reviewed papers" as "proof" of anything is patently absurd!  You are advocating that science be "voted on" instead of rigorously tested using experiments that RULE OUT the theory!  This is "Consensus Science" - NOT Scientific Method!  Without fail, every paper on "Human Caused Climate Change" relies exclusively on presuming that graphs that show a correlation are "proof" of causality - which is simply FALSE! 
Let me give you a real life example of how legitimate science is conducted:
Einstein's Theory of Relativity turned the entire field of Physics and our understanding of the Universe upside down.  It flew right in the face of the ideas of one of the greatest minds in history - Sir Isaac Newton.  Most physicists of that era dismissed Relativity because it made no sense to them in their "Newtonian Clockwork Universe" paradigm where everything (including the climate) was predictable and could be understood if we found the right equations to explain them. 
A British astronomer named Arthur Eddington read Einstein's paper and was intrigued.  The problem was how do you prove/disprove the theory?  The way to do it was through a controlled experiment repeatable by anyone that would show that reality was in agreement with Relativity.  According to Einstein, gravity "warped" the space around massive objects like stars and planets.  As a result of this "warping" a ray of light passing through the warped space would also be deflected from its normally straight path. 
Relativity predicted mathematically how much of a deflection would occur based on the mass of the star/planet and how close the light ray came to the star/planet.  In other words, if an experiment could be designed that would accurately measure the deflection (if any) and showed the amount of actual deflection was equal (within experimental error) to predicted deflection, we would have either confirmation or flat-out rejection of Relativity. 
The criteria above is important to Scientific Method - ONE CASE that shows that the theory's predicted value doesn't agree with reality INVALIDATES THE THEORY!  No "Do-Overs" - it either works in all places at all times or it's not a valid theory.  Arthur Eddington designed such an experiment using a Total Solar Eclipse to see stars close to the Sun without being drowned out by the Sun's light.  A certain star with a know position in the sky was chosen and its position was measured during the Solar Eclipse.  If Einstein was right, the astronomer's measurement of the star's location during the Solar Eclipse should be deflected by a certain amount.  It turns out of course that the light from the star was deflected by that amount and the rest is history.   
If Eddington's experiment showed NO deflection, Einstein would have had to pull his theory and try to figure out what went wrong.  As I said before, ONE case where theory and reality don't jive and the show is off!  How many chances have the "Human Caused Climate Change" pseudo-scientists had to show that their "Imminent Doom Forecasts" matched up with reality?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Have they EVER got one right in the past 40 YEARS??? 
Twenty years after Einstein was proved right, another brilliant scientist came along named Neils Bohr.  Bohr developed Quantum Theory, which further explained the true nature of light, energy and matter.  Bohr's theory was not immediately accepted by Einstein because the theory advocated that nature was inherently unpredictable.  This unpredictability lead Einstein to make his famous quote:
                   "God does not play dice with the Universe". 
During the early 1960's a scientist name
Mike Haluska Added Nov 17, 2017 - 11:16am
During the early 1960's a scientist named Edward Lorenz from MIT who was studying the possibility of using computers to model and predict the weather.  His story is described in a book I highly recommend you read called "Chaos" written by James Gleick.  In a nutshell, a new branch of mathematics was developed to describe the "unpredictability" of naturally occurring phenomena like orbital mechanics, ocean current, weather and climate.  All of these systems have the following in common:
1) they are complex, non-linear, non-deterministic
2) they are highly sensitive to initial conditions
3) they never repeat themselves
It makes NO DIFFERENCE how much data you gather, how accurate the data is, how powerful the computer processing the data is . . . these systems cannot be forecast beyond a very short interval with any accuracy - PERIOD!!!
Yet EVERYTHING  the "Human Caused Climate Change" base their research on is in direct conflict with the above immutable laws of physics and mathematics!  Nobody can predict the future - especially in times where technology is exploding faster than we know what to do with it.  Think about how fast technology has changed in the past 17 years!  Think about what a man in the year 1900 would think the world would be like in the year 2000.  Now think about you predicting what the world will be like in the year 2100!!!  And we're supposed to believe that Al Gore "knows" the world's polar ice caps will be melted due to trace gas??? 
Joanne Corey Added Nov 17, 2017 - 11:52am
From the opening of the executive summary of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (link in comment above):  "This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence." There are 600 pages in this report, including appendices about methodology. 
I find it convincing, as do the vast majority of scientists, both those in climate science and those in other branches of science. The vast majority of people in the world believe it, too. You don't. That's fine. I am unconvinced by your arguments in opposition and others can make their own judgments.  I am not asking anyone to take my - or Al Gore's - word for it. I refer people to the most recent US climate assessment because it is an authoritative source based on the most up-to-date scientific sources.   
Mike Haluska Added Nov 17, 2017 - 2:53pm
Joanne - I respect your decision to believe in the proponents of Human Caused Climate Change.  However, I don't agree with the Federal Government deciding for me that it is legitimate science and should be funded with my tax dollars. 
You probably wouldn't appreciate the opponents of Human Caused Climate Change going into your bank account and withdrawing "involuntary contributions" to the tune of $26 Billion last fiscal year, would you?  Well, that's exactly what was done - and has been done since the 1980's resulting in a cumulative total of $510 BILLION for "Climate Change" research and activities.  Guess how much was allocated for contrary research? - ZERO!!!
If the Human Caused Climate Change proponents were self funded I couldn't care less what they publish or preach.  A Hillary Clinton presidency would have cost the US $2 TRILLION this year alone in monetary support.  But keep believing that these guys are all about "the Science" and money has nothing to do with it! 
Joanne Corey Added Nov 17, 2017 - 3:39pm
The funding was for the studies, not to reach a particular conclusion. Like all scientific study, climate scientists collect data, study variables, and test hypotheses before reaching their conclusions. The recent climate assessment is the result of many, many studies over time, some government funded and some not. The evidence led to the conclusions that they published. The funding was for research - not pre-supposing what the outcome would be.
In reading studies, it is always instructive to see who funds them. As you may recall, fifty to sixty years ago the tobacco companies insisted that there were no science studies that proved smoking caused cancer and lung disease. They funded "studies" and "experts" to back them up. Unfortunately, many people believed the companies and suffered serious health conditions and death due to smoking. Industry funded studies are usually only made public if they agree with the message the industry wants to convey. Academic and government funding tends to let the scientists do their work and publish their conclusions without interference.
I prefer that my tax dollars are used for scientific research than for nuclear weapons and other things that harm people, but none of us get to choose, other than by voting for a member of Congress who has a certain viewpoint. Even then, those priorities may not make it into the budget bills.  
Mike Haluska Added Nov 20, 2017 - 10:29am
Joanne - your claim:
" Like all scientific study, climate scientists collect data, study variables, and test hypotheses before reaching their conclusions."
is what SHOULD happen - it never did with "Climate Change"!  Unlike you, I actually researched the National Science Foundation grants for "Climate Study" and found that EVERY GRANT was made to research that presumed that humans were responsible for "Climate Change".  You also have NO PERSPECTIVE on how much money $510 Billion is.  In 2016 the Federal Government allocated $26 Billion to "Climate Change" - and only allocated $2 Billion to Cancer Research.  Which do you consider as more of a known, immediate and pervasive threat?
All public and private sponsored research funding should be conducted using a "Double Blind" method.  The individual/agency funding the research should not be know where their funds are going nor should the people doing the research know where the funding is coming from.  This way the funders can't "direct" research in a direction that favors them and since the researchers don't know whose funding is supporting them they have to be honest and objective.      
Joanne Corey Added Nov 20, 2017 - 12:07pm
Climate change is the largest threat to our country and the world. This is not to dismiss the threat of cancer, to which large amounts of both public and private research dollars have been allocated for years. (Full disclosure: my sister just retired from a career in health research, including cancer research.) The various types of cancers will, over time, affect some percentage of the human population. Some people will be treated successfully, while some will eventually succumb to cancer. However, 100% of the world population is affected by climate change and there is no escape from it. 
I am not sure where you are sourcing the $26 billion figure in 2016 from. It is obviously not a research funding figure. Does it include climate change related mitigation and disaster recovery? Or infrastructure projects that are being undertaken to address sea level rise, river flooding, etc.? In trying to figure out the source of this amount, I visited this site, which is from someone who, like you, is critical of climate change research, and found this quote:  "When the budgets for FY 2015 & FY 2016 of the U.S. Global Change Research Program are included, the total expenditures for “climate science” from FY 1993 to FY 2016 come to $47.56 billion, with international assistance amounting to $8.24 billion." If the combined expenditures for climate science over 23 years are $47.56 billion, it is impossible that $26 billion was spent in FY2016, especially given sequestration. I also wonder about the origin of $510 billion figure you cite. Does it include recovery funding from hurricanes, floods, wildfires, droughts, etc.? Subsidies for nuclear power, hydropower and other renewable energy, and carbon capture? Projects undertaken to address sea level rise and salt water encroachment? Levees and sea walls?
Do you know if any climate scientists who do not think that global warming is tied to human activity have applied recently for National Science Foundation grants? There are relatively few of them, so they may not have turned to NSF as a funding source. While I know you disagree, anthropogenic effects on climate are considered settled science, so it makes sense that the vast majority of recent research proposals will be building on that basis. 
Your proposal for double blind funding is interesting, but it would require a totally new approach to scientific funding. Now, researchers spend a lot of time and effort in applying for grants from both public and private entities to fund their research. There is no way for the parties involved not to know each others' identities. Meanwhile, scientists must continue to disclose their funding sources.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2017 - 11:10am
Joanne - your claim:
"However, 100% of the world population is affected by climate change and there is no escape from it."
is certainly true, but your assumptions that:
1) humans are responsible for "negative" climate change
2) we can somehow "control" the climate
3) the Earth has only recently had climate change
are simply bogus.  Here are answers to your questions:
-  The Federal expenditures are found in the Federal Budget Office reports.
-  I asked the National Science Foundation for a list of grants given to "non-human caused climate change research" and they had awarded NONE
-  AGW is "settled science" only to those who don't want the "AGW Research Grant Gravy Train" to end.  NO LEGITIMATE SCIENTIST would ever claim that any branch of science is "settled" and further debate is unnecessary! 
- "Double Blind" is absolutely necessary if you want legitimate, unbiased, non-politicized science.  Do you honestly believe that the Director of Grants at a major university is going to decline accepting a $30 million grant because the desired conclusion is apparent?  Do you think that "publish or perish" research professors are going to produce a report for the Obama administration that contradicts the Paris Climate Agreement?  If they did, they would never see another government research grant! 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2017 - 11:49am
Joanne - I just checked the 2016 data on the Federal General Accounting Office website:
As it turns out, a LOT more money was spent on "Climate Change" than I thought.  Federal funding for climate change research, technology, international assistance, and adaptation has increased from $2.4 billion in 1993 to $11.6 billion in 2014, with an additional $26.1 billion for climate change programs and activities.  That is a total of $37.1 BILLION!!!
Just to put that amount of money in perspective, in 2016 ALONE we could have diverted those dollars and:
1) provided worldwide immunizations so that poor people everywhere no longer suffer and die from diseases that were eradicated in the developed nations decades ago (smallpox, polio, malaria, etc.)
2) provided fresh water and sanitation to third world nations and prevented the spread of parasitic diseases and septic infections which are a major killer of children
3) provided modern planting, fertilization and harvesting technology to third world nations and ended starvation once and for all
4) installed satellite communications systems worldwide and provided access to the Internet and resulting education resources
5) commissioned dozens of naval hospital ships around the globe to handle epidemic outbreaks, earthquake injuries, etc.
6) built tens of thousands of schools in third world nations and provided teachers
7) built tens of thousands of family homes around the world and provided instruction on carpentry, plumbing, etc. so they could become self-sufficient and prosper
That's just my short list - with $37 Billion to spend we have plenty left for other worthy endeavors.  But people like you think that "Climate Change" is a more immediate threat.  Be glad you're not the person that has to tell a young child he can't have food because a bunch of "scientists" need to study the climate and meet at luxury hotels every six months to discuss how to get more government funding.
Joanne Corey Added Nov 22, 2017 - 1:07pm
Your assumptions about me are incorrect. I know that the climate system is complex and that the climate of the earth has changed many times over billions of years. The concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is critical; it keeps earth from being as cold as the moon or as hot as Venus. The level of greenhouse gases and the rapidity of the rise in the industrial era are causing global warming.
Human activity does not "control" climate, but it does affect it. Climate scientists over decades of study have found that human activity, primarily fossil fuel extraction and burning, but also deforestation, agricultural practices, etc., have added enough greenhouse gases to the atmosphere to cause about one degree Celsius warming, with inherent effects on ocean temperature, weather, drought, upper atmosphere steering currents, etc. These highly trained scientists have determined that no other natural variation, such as fluctuations in solar radiation, can account for the level of warming observed in that timeframe. 
This is not about grant money; it's about the science. When scientific papers are subjected to peer review, the reviewers analyze the study for errors in method, execution, and data analysis. Any paper - or grant proposal - that is built on the premise that greenhouse gases are at such small concentrations that they can't really be that important, as you have alluded to in prior replies, is not going to pass muster.    
The term "settled science" is not a term that scientists use; it is used more in socio-political discussion. It's real meaning is "high enough degree of certainty to warrant action." For instance, when the surgeon general reported that smoking caused diseases, tobacco companies insisted that there was no "proof" of the mechanism or everyone who smoked would get lung cancer and on and on. Fortunately, the increased health risks of tobacco use have come to be looked upon as "settled science" and lives have been saved by taking action to protect people from tobacco smoke. I am the one using the term as a shorthand, not the scientists themselves, who would use terms like high degree of confidence or certainty.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2017 - 4:42pm
Joanne - your "pontificating" that:
"The concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is critical; it keeps earth from being as cold as the moon or as hot as Venus. The level of greenhouse gases and the rapidity of the rise in the industrial era are causing global warming."
doesn't make it so!  The atmosphere of Mars is 99% CO2 - why isn't Mars even close to being habitable?  So-called "greenhouse gases" supposedly retain heat in the manner that your windshield does with your car.  The glass allows radiant energy to enter but also keeps it from escaping.
The most predominant "greenhouse gas" in our atmosphere is water vapor.  Water vapor itself is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 and the sheer volume of it.  Over 4% of the atmosphere (much more in the tropics and equatorial regions) is H2O, less than 0.04% is CO2!  That is several orders of magnitude as much as CO2.  In addition, only 1.5% of the CO2 in the atmosphere is attributable to human activity.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2017 - 4:52pm
Joanne - your statement:
"Any paper - or grant proposal - that is built on the premise that greenhouse gases are at such small concentrations that they can't really be that important, as you have alluded to in prior replies, is not going to pass muster."
just proves my point!  In order to get grant funding or "acceptance", any study done on "Climate Change" BY DEFINITION must have a pre-determined conclusion!!!  What the Frakk kind of "Science" is that???? 
If science was practiced your way, any research that contradicted "accepted thinking" would never get done!  In your "Scientific Community" we would still be treating illness with blood-letting, navigators wouldn't sail past the "edge" of the flat Earth, Alchemists would still be trying to turn lead into gold, etc.   
You really need to get an understanding of Scientific Method because you are clueless about how legitimate science is practiced.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2017 - 4:54pm
Joanne -
You have totally dodged the points I was making about the expenditure of $37 Billion.  People are dying every day that could be saved with the signing of a piece of paper.  Explain why we should continue blowing huge sums of money while little kids suffer and die all over the world.
Joanne Corey Added Nov 22, 2017 - 9:23pm
Mike, not ignoring, but I am not online every moment. The $37 billion is not just climate change research, but covers many different aspects related to climate change, including renewable energy, infrastructure hardening/updating, and USAID. Climate change has affected many agricultural, oceanic, and health programs; climate change programs are already helping with agriculture, disease vectors, disaster preparedness and recovery, electricity generation in remote areas, and many other areas that increase well-being both here in the US and around the world. This fact sheet from the World Health Organization points out the impact of climate change on human health. Many of the items on your list are already being supported under the auspices of climate change spending, while some are also being funded by other government and charitable initiatives. 
Your characterization of the concentrations of greenhouse gases and the effects of humans do not match the historical data and the fundamentals of climate science. As you know, science builds on the foundation of science that has come before. Any proposed research that does not accept the very well-established science of how the various atmospheric greenhouse gases affect climate is not going to be funded.
By necessity, some climate study has to be done by math and modeling. It's not as though we can conduct planetary atmospheric studies on spare earths. Other studies can be done under more controlled conditions and their results then lead to other studies that offer further refinements. For example, some of the early studies on the effect of increased carbon dioxide concentrations on plants revealed that, besides controlling moisture and temperature, another important parameter was the microbial and carbon composition of the soils. Further studies have helped to better understand how to increase soil and plant health and yields as carbon dioxide levels rise. 
I believe that humans have affected our climate because of science! This scientific basis has been arrived at by thousands of climate scientists around the world working on this issue over the course of decades. Playing off one of your analogies, I am using targeted drug therapies while you are using leeches.
Joanne Corey Added Nov 22, 2017 - 9:25pm
Wishing everyone in the US a very happy Thanksgiving and everyone elsewhere a day of peace and joy! I will be offline and unable to answer comments in order to spend time celebrating with four generations of family.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 27, 2017 - 9:37am
Joanne - your comment:
"Your characterization of the concentrations of greenhouse gases and the effects of humans do not match the historical data and the fundamentals of climate science. As you know, science builds on the foundation of science that has come before. Any proposed research that does not accept the very well-established science of how the various atmospheric greenhouse gases affect climate is not going to be funded."
just shows you keep stepping in it!  My data on human generated CO2 is taken from established worldwide economic data on fossil fuel extraction, consumption and usage.  We KNOW how much oil and other fuels are extracted and we can accurately determine how much was burned/processed by automobiles, trucks, planes, etc.  The laws of chemistry tell us the by-products of combustion so we KNOW the theoretical limit of how much CO2 can be produced by human activity - less than 1.5% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere!  Not only do I use this data, but so did the IPCC, so your argument is simply wrong.
In addition, historically the CO2 level has ranged from 220 ppm to well over 1,500 ppm.  We have only been engaged in industry for 200 years - so your insistence that the rise in CO2 MUST BE CAUSED BY HUMANS is proven wrong in history and wrong today! 
Finally - your remark that proposed research depends on "well-established greenhouse theory" is pure sophistry.  If all we did was fund research based on what we already "know" we would NEVER EXPAND OUR UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE! 
You can "believe" whatever you want - just don't call it "science".  Not even legitimate scientists can "proclaim something is science because they say so"!
Mike Haluska Added Nov 27, 2017 - 11:07am
Joanne - just so you are aware of what you are doing when you base your position and argument on "climate science and consensus":
Stressing status and appealing to authority
March 28, 2012

You can trust the word of any scientist on anything scientific can’t you? No, that’s a red flag

How to recognise this tactic
People who use this tactic try to convince you by quoting some ‘authority’ who agrees with their claims and pointing to that person’s status, position or qualifications, instead of producing real-world evidence. The tactic is known as the argument from authority.

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

Albert Einstein, German physicist , 1901
Why do people use this tactic?
People use this tactic when they don’t have or can’t produce evidence. They hope that those in their audience who are unfamiliar with the particular field will accept what the ‘expert’ says simply because of his claim to authority. The spiel includes things like “professor of X at Y university”, “advisor to the prime minister”, “awarded the Z prize”, “ John Smith, B. Med. Sc., Ph. D.” and anything else that tries to boost the authority of the expert without any reference to evidence.
What’s wrong with this tactic
There’s nothing wrong with mentioning an expert’s position, awards, qualifications etc. It’s when this is not followed by real evidence that there’s a problem. You are expected to defer to their opinion simply because of their authority. If their expertise is not within the field being discussed, their opinion is worth no more than anyone else’s. Science does not work on the authority of scientistsOnly real-world evidence counts.
What to do when confronted by this tactic
Basically the only thing you should trust is the evidence. But lay people usually have to accept someone’s word, even when evidence is provided. Scientists are like everyone else. Many are very well-respected and honourable. Some are dishonest. The scientific community knows this and that’s why it doesn’t defer to pronouncements from anyone.
If you have to place your trust in someone, first look at their qualifications and publications. Are they relevant to the field of study? If not, you can disregard the opinion. If they are relevant, ask to see evidence. There may be possible conflicts of interest or ideological positions that may colour their opinion. (e.g. need for government research grants)  Also ask how this expert’s stance fits with the accepted science in the field. If it doesn’t fit, they should be able to supply some extraordinary evidence in support.
Joanne Corey Added Nov 27, 2017 - 2:10pm
Mike, you are arguing against your own position. The IPCC is a large international group of climate scientists. They are the experts in the their field. They were convened to study the factors that underlie the observed warming of the earth's climate. If you read their earlier reports, you will see that they did not begin with the supposition that humans were causing climate change. They came to that position over decades of study by the IPCC members and other climate scientists. It's the SCIENCE that led them to write their more recent reports that assert the impact of human activity on the climate.
"Also ask how this expert’s stance fits with the accepted science in the field. If it doesn’t fit, they should be able to supply some extraordinary evidence in support." You are not a climate scientist, and so, not an expert in climate science. What you are saying does not fit the accepted science in the field. You tend to cherrypick a small data point - some of which are scientifically valid and some of which are not - and try to use it to disprove a whole body of science relating to an incredibly complex climate system with many, many variables.
I do not ask people to believe what I say on my own authority. I invite anyone to read the IPCC report or the US Climate assessment that I linked to earlier. I know they mean nothing to you, Mike, but others can make their own judgments on the scientific validity of these reports and the  hundreds of climate scientists who produced them. 
Bill H. Added Nov 28, 2017 - 10:59am
Joanne - There are many of us out here that have done research on the changing climate, have seen obvious proof, and are aware of the contrast in the present rate of warming versus prior "natural" events.
I wouldn't waste time arguing with those who follow a political mandate for their "beliefs" concerning this subject.
Joanne Corey Added Nov 28, 2017 - 2:04pm
Thanks, Bill. I was planning to move on at this point. Too much else to do and think about...
Bill H. Added Nov 28, 2017 - 3:30pm
Stick around and enjoy the interaction. Some of those out here are so locked into their political platform bubbles that they won't budge an inch, or rely sources that are comfortable to their views.
If you look outside of the US, close to 100% of climate scientists agree that humans are at least partially responsible for our current warming cycle. When you do a consensus inside of the US, it is about 50/50. One can attribute this to both political platforms and efforts by the oil industry and their own "scientists" to "educate" the public.
Joanne Corey Added Nov 28, 2017 - 7:26pm
I think the percentage of climate scientists in the US is similar to the international percentage. Public polling suggests that the general public has lost some of its understanding of climate change over the course of this year. I was comparing this Gallup poll from March with this Yale/George Mason report from October.  After the wildfires, extreme heat, and  powerful hurricanes this year, though, more people are connecting extreme weather to global warming, even if they don't believe that humans have damaged the climate system. 
Bill H. Added Nov 28, 2017 - 10:42pm
It's very obvious to me. Many would wish (and therefore believe) that it is not true so they can live their lives in they way that they are accustomed and wish to, but every year it becomes more real.
It is hard for many to consider the reality of sacrificing certain things, along with making some changes for the betterment of the planet. They simply want to live a life with all of the latest perks before they turn into fertilizer (which is really the only contribution man makes to the Earth).
Bill H. Added Nov 29, 2017 - 1:20am
Joanne, thanks for the links. The Yale report was very interesting.
It does indeed look like the awareness level here in the US is improving. Back in the early '80s I worked with some climate scientists and oceanographers on the effects of changing ocean currents, temperatures, and the effects on phytoplankton as a communications engineer. Even back then they were seeing many rapid changes from what the considered "normal", and related many of them to the warming cycle. Of course, changes in plankton work their way up to the top of the food chain, supplying valuable information concerning the health of the oceans. This data was matched with core samples from the ocean floor and produced even then some shocking results.
Joanne Corey Added Nov 29, 2017 - 2:43pm
A better understanding in the role of the oceans in climate science is definitely one of the fruits of the research that has been ongoing. Atmospheric CO2 would be even higher had not the oceans absorbed so much, with the resulting acidification causing so many dire consequences.  The warming of the waters and changes of the currents that you cite have had their own impacts as well, along with changes in salinity from river discharge and melting glaciers/icepack. 
I appreciate your comments about seeing the evidence of climate change and about needing to make changes. My home area has seen impacts to our weather patterns and growing season, including two record river floods. The changes are consistent with what is expected with global warming. Our family has been consciously working at reducing our carbon footprint with weatherization, panels in a community solar array, and a plugin electric vehicle, among our conservation/renewable energy initiatives. I admit that it is discouraging to see the Trump administration turn back from our climate change commitments under the Paris accord, but heartening to see so many individuals, companies, cities and states coming forward to make necessary changes for our future.
Bill H. Added Nov 29, 2017 - 7:43pm
As far as a community solar array, I have heard that the concept was recognized by local utility companies in various communities who made early efforts to prevent the construction of these by having cities pass regulations to prevent it, such as not allowing conductors to be run between houses or on fence lines.
I had always thought it was a very good idea.
Joanne Corey Added Nov 29, 2017 - 11:18pm
New York State was very late getting into community solar. Laws allowing it only went into effect in 2016. We had looked into rooftop solar, but the south side of our home is shaded by large trees, some ours and some our neighbors'. Community solar is great for home and business owners who don't have an appropriate site (actually the majority of properties) and for renters. There are also options for people who can't afford to buy panels to purchase green power from company owned panels at a lower rate than is available from the utilities.