[GWSG] FERC; insurance & cc; calving ice; modeling melt; Venus syndrome; cc & violence; cc rate

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Fri Aug 2 07:30:29 EDT 2013

1.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will shortly decide whether to authorize the new transmission lines which will get renewable energy distributed.  They are under pressure not to do that.  http://grist.org/climate-energy/the-five-most-important-people-for-renewables/?utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&sub_email=atilley@unf.edu

2.  The Geneva Association has published “Warming of the Oceans and Implications for the (Re)Insurance Industry” (32 pages).  It calls for a shift from an historical to a predictive base for insurance rates.  Further, to avoid market failure, risk transfer must be coupled to risk mitigation.  That is to say, the insurance industry must become engaged in climate disruption mitigation efforts.  https://www.genevaassociation.org/media/616661/GA2013-Warming_of_the_Oceans.pdf
The insurance industry has calculated risk on an historical basis with a horizon of only one or two years.  Price signals are therefore not expected to aid climate adaptation efforts by, say, alerting coastal property owners to the impending destabilization of their communities.  An extensive study by Australia’s CSIRO supports this point of view. http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/2013.17.pdf   The Geneva study calls on the industry to make changes which would alter that.  In a previous email I referred to this study’s questioning the insurability of Florida for wind storms (page 21).

3.  A new understanding of the processes by which ice sheets calve should help attempts to include it in models.  As it is, calving, which accounts for about half the contributions of ice sheets to sea level rise, is not modeled.  The new study finds that the Pine Island Glacier in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet fits the criteria for catastrophic disintegration.  http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/videos/21600-sea-level-rise-new-iceberg-theory-points-to-areas-at-risk-of-rapid-disintegration

4.  A Danish study finds that greenhouse gas release from melted permafrost is greatly slowed by high soil moisture.  The findings should help in modeling the effects of thawed permafrost.  http://www.enn.com/climate/article/46259?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClimateChangeNews-Enn+%28Climate+Change+News+-+ENN%29

5.  Venus is in a permanent superheated state from a runaway greenhouse effect.  While earth has such a future, it is unlikely that we could manage to inspire it (as James Hansen, who did his dissertation on the climate of Venus, has feared).  http://grist.org/climate-energy/could-greenhouse-gases-turn-earth-into-venus/?utm_source=syndication&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed
On the other hand, the Venus syndrome is more easily triggered that we had supposed.  http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/3246/20130731/runaway-greenhouse-stage-more-easily-triggered-planets-once-thought-study.htm

6.  A Science study finds a strong correlation between climate changes and violence, whether by persons or groups.  http://climatedesk.org/2013/08/global-warming-could-cause-50-percent-increase-in-violent-conflict/  A Bloomberg editorial puts the finding into US political context.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-01/our-hotter-wetter-more-violent-future.html

7.  Climate change this century will be as great as anything in the last 65 million years but “orders of magnitude” more rapid, with implications for the extinction rate as species fail to adapt.  The article observes that we have it in our power to moderate the situation.  http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6145/486
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