[GWSG] AMOC unstable?; CH4 heat remains; solar trains; climate refugees; new Koch program; Tillerson talking

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Jan 10 11:07:13 EST 2017

1.  The AMOC may be less stable than supposed, and may not even need pulses of meltwater from Greenland to collapse.  The finding is disputed.  The article provides a clear summary of scientific opinion on the issue.  https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/01/what-a-real-debate-looks-like-in-climate-science/512444/

2.  Methane in the atmosphere converts to CO2, but the extra heat it generates before it converts persists in the ocean, causing sea level rise for hundreds of years.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/09/methane-may-not-last-long-in-the-atmosphere-but-it-drives-rising-seas-for-hundreds-of-years/?utm_term=.c70e3bb6b0cf   Though methane converts to CO2 in the atmosphere within a decade or so, its heating potential over twenty years is 72 times that of CO2.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane

3.  An English project is evaluating using track-side solar panels to power electric trains, bypassing the grid.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/10/solar-panel-research-power-trains-imperial-college-london-1010

4.  140 million people have been forced to move by climate events in the last six years.  The number is expected by the UN to grow to one in thirty by midcentury.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/09/desperate-exodus-of-the-climate-refugees

5.  The Koch brothers are mounting a campaign aimed at turning public opinion against the energy transition.  Minorities are among those they are attempting to abuse.  http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/business/energy-environment/koch-brothers-fossil-fuels-minorities.html?_r=0

6.  As people across the US rally and lobby against climate denial, it is worth paying some attention to Rex Tillerson's statements on climate.  https://climatecrocks.com/2017/01/09/this-is-a-serious-risk-rex-tillerson-on-climate/  Tillerson delivers some standard propaganda points.  Science is not about proof as he says, it is about developing theories, and consensus does apply to those.  Climate models do not develop predictions, they indicate probabilities and ranges, and they have done so with admirable accuracy.  People in developing countries will be much better served by renewable energy than by newly constructed fossil fuel plants.  Neither minorities nor anyone else will save money by sticking to fossil fuels.  ?

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