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It truly is a warming world. Scientists normally label hurricanes according to their strength from Category 1 to Category 5 (wind speeds 158 mph or greater). Some climate scientists are now proposing adding a Category 6 due to the increased strength of recent hurricanes.

The new Category 6 would be storms with wind speeds greater than 192 mph. When the researchers examined wind speeds from past storms, they found 5 storms that would have been reclassified as Category 6. And they all occurred in the past decade.

The researchers expect that as the world warms, the number of Category 6 storms will increase. Stronger storms = more destruction. Yikes!

By the way, hurricanes, tropical storms, and typhoons are essentially the same kind of storm. They are just called different names in different parts of the world.

From Science Daily: In a warming world, climate scientists consider category 6 hurricanes

For more than 50 years, the National Hurricane Center has used the Saffir-Simpson Windscale to communicate the risk of property damage; it labels a hurricane on a scale from Category 1 (wind speeds between 74 -- 95 mph) to Category 5 (wind speeds of 158 mph or greater). ...continue reading "Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger"

It became official this month - the year 2023 was the warmest year on record! The global average temperature was significantly warmer than any other year.

Uh-oh. This is climate change, and the temperature increase is fueled by the burning of fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, gas) - which releases large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the air.

Scientists think that 2023 is probably the hottest year going back 125,000 years. Will 2024 be another record-breaking year? The baseline is being set higher and higher, yet we keep breaking the new baselines. Important: "The 10 warmest years since 1850 have all occurred in the past decade."

Excerpts from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) - [do go to the site and see the graphics]: 2023 was the world’s warmest year on record, by far

It’s official: 2023 was the planet’s warmest year on record, according to an analysis by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

Along with the historic heat, Antarctic sea ice coverage dropped to a record low in 2023. ...continue reading "Will 2024 Be Warmer Than 2023?"

We knew it was hot in July. Record breaking hot. Europe's climate monitoring organization (Copernicus Climate Change Service) announced this week that July was the Earth's hottest month on record. By a wide margin.

The global average temperature for July was 62.51 degrees F (16.95 degrees C). The record for hottest month prior to this was July 2019. According to experts, July was the hottest month in about 120,000 years!

The global sea surface temperatures for July also broke historic records. The sea ice in the Antarctic broke the July record for below average sea ice. Do you see a pattern? Uh - oh. The world is really warming up...

According to a Climate Central report, more than 6.5 billion people  (or more than 81% of people on Earth) experienced hotter temperatures in July  than they would have without human-caused climate change.

Excerpts from World Meteorological Organization: July 2023 is set to be the hottest month on record

According to ERA5 data from the EU-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), the first three weeks of July have been the warmest three-week period on record and the month is on track to be the hottest July and the hottest month on record. These temperatures have been related to heatwaves in large parts of North America, Asia and Europe, which along with wildfires in countries including Canada and Greece, have had major impacts on people’s health, the environment and economies. ...continue reading "Scientists Report That July Was the Hottest Month On Record"

This past Monday (July 3) the average temperature on Earth was the hottest day ever recorded. But then...Tuesday broke Monday's records for hottest day for Earth. It hit 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit (17.18 degrees Celsius)

Welcome to the new normal. In fact, this summer could be the coolest summer of the rest of your life! Get ready for more and longer heat waves. For summer to start earlier, last longer, and be hotter.

Why is this occurring? Climate change. All the scientific predictions are coming true. And yet the US government, politicians, big business, and all of us are refusing to take real action. We need a huge reduction of fossil fuel emissions and new technologies to pull carbon dioxide out of the air to stop extreme climate changes from occurring.

Several good articles about what is going on: 1) From The Guardian: Tuesday was world’s hottest day on record – breaking Monday’s record

World temperature records have been broken for a second day in a row, data suggests, as experts issued a warning that this year’s warmest days are still to come – and with them the warmest days ever recorded.

2) From the Washington Post: This July 4 was hot. Earth’s hottest day on record, in fact.

... some scientists believe July 4 may have been one of the hottest days on Earth in about 125,000 years, due to a dangerous combination of climate change causing global temperatures to soar, the return of the El Niño pattern and the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.  ...continue reading "We’re On Track For Each Summer to Be Hotter Than Ever"

Holy moly! Our carbon dioxide levels are rising, really rising! Every year there is a new high, and this year is no exception.

According to NASA, in May at the Mauna Observatory in Hawaii the carbon dioxide measurement was 421 ppm. It's called the "global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration". This week the reading at Mauna Launa Observatory is 423.96 ppm. It's going up! And yup, this is climate change.

From the NASA Global Climate Change page on Carbon Dioxide (go to the link to see the graphs, and prepare to be shocked).

Carbon Dioxide  LATEST MEASUREMENT:  May 2023     421 ppm

Key Takeaway: Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere warms the planet, causing climate change. Human activities have raised the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide content by 50% in less than 200 years.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping gas, or greenhouse gas, that comes from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and natural gas), from wildfires, and from natural processes like volcanic eruptions.

Since the beginning of industrial times (in the 18th century), human activities have raised atmospheric CO2 by 50% – meaning the amount of CO2 is now 150% of its value in 1750. This is greater than what naturally happened at the end of the last ice age 20,000 years ago.

The animated map shows how global carbon dioxide has changed over time. Note how the map changes colors as the amount of CO2 rises from 365 parts per million (ppm) in 2002 to over 400 ppm currently. (“Parts per million” refers to the number of carbon dioxide molecules per million molecules of dry air.) These measurements are from the mid-troposphere, the layer of Earth's atmosphere that is 8 to 12 kilometers (about 5 to 7 miles) above the ground.

One big concern that needs to be addressed: What will high carbon dioxide levels do to our thinking processes? Over the years carbon dioxide levels have been rising, and are now at levels not experienced in several million years!

Think of a "stuffy room" where it is harder to think - this can already occur starting at about 600 ppm of CO2, and known to occur at 945 ppm and higher (in rooms with many people in them). While current CO2 levels are below that, we are faced with the possibility that if they keep rising we will get there eventually - and there will be no escape from the "stuffy room" feeling!

...continue reading "Carbon Dioxide Levels Are Higher Than Ever In the Atmosphere"

Are you ready for the world getting hotter over the next 5 years? And along the way setting record highs?

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) predicts that the next 5 years are likely to have temperatures soaring to record highs. The causes are climate change (from heat-trapping greenhouse gasses) plus a naturally occurring El Nino (which is expected to start this summer).

Thus WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas warns us:

“A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months and this will combine with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory,” he said. “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment. We need to be prepared.”

Why isn't everyone in the US government (including Senate and House of Representatives) taking serious steps about climate change? Our climate is changing!

From the World Meteorological Organization: Global temperatures set to reach new records in next five years

Global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years, fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases and a naturally occurring El Niño event, according to a new update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). ...continue reading "Record High Temperatures Predicted For Next Five Years"

Seven northeastern states in the US had a record warm month in January 2023. Europe had its warmest January. In fact, it looks like all of Earth had a warm January - it was Earth's seventh warmest January since record-keeping began in 1880.

Just keep in mind - whenever records are set, it moves the baseline for all further records higher. Temperatures are inching up! Climate change!

Excerpts from Dr. Jeff Masters (meteorologist, co-founder of Weather Underground) article in Yale Climate Connections: January 2023: Earth’s seventh-warmest January on record

January 2023 was Earth’s seventh-warmest January since global record-keeping began in 1880. It was 0.87 degree Celsius (1.57°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, NCEI, reported Feb. 14. ...continue reading "Seven States and Europe Had Record Warm January"

Greenhouse gas emissions by factory Credit: Wikipedia

It turns out that many companies are really, really underreporting the amount of  planet warming gases (greenhouse gas emissions) that they release into the air. These pollutants (carbon dioxide and other gases) are causing the world to have increasingly higher temperatures. Uh-oh...

This underreporting has been exposed by Climate Trace - a project to measure at the source (of the pollution) the true levels of carbon dioxide and other global heating gases. Climate Trace released a report this week showing that oil and gas facilities around the world are emitting greenhouse gas emissions about three times higher than their producers claim. (Are you surprised that the big companies are lying?? Hah!)

In fact, half of the 50 largest sources of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane) in the world were oil and gas fields and production facilities.

Climate Trace (a non-profit group of academic scientists, environmental groups, technology companies) used evidence from satellites, remote sensors and other sources, and artificial intelligence to track who is polluting and how much throughout the world.

It's a big deal that finally there is monitoring of big polluters rather than we (including governments) taking them at their word. Will this finally result in serious action taken to reduce the amount of air pollutants being released by big companies? Hopefully.

Two  good articles. 1) From NY Times: Who’s Driving Climate Change? New Data Catalogs 72,000 Polluters and Counting

A nonprofit backed by Al Gore and other big environmental donors says it can track emissions down to individual power plants, oil fields and cargo ships.

Upstream from Shanghai along the Yangtze River, a sprawling factory complex in eastern China is churning out tens of millions of tons of steel a year — and immense quantities of planet-warming gases.
...continue reading "Factories Underreport Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions"

General Sherman, a giant sequoia tree. Credit: Wikipedia, Kimon Berlin

Trees that are several thousand years old in California's Sequoia National Park are in danger of being destroyed in this month's wildfires. Things are currently so bad that the base of some of the world's largest trees are being wrapped in aluminum fire-resistant blankets.

The trees being wrapped are giant sequoias, and the largest tree of all is called General Sherman. This tree is about 2200 to 2700 years old, 275 feet tall, over 36 feet in diameter at the base, and with a circumference of 102.6 at the base. (Almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty!).

Giant sequoia trees are adapted to fire, but both drought conditions and fires are getting more intense (climate change!) and can overwhelm them. Last year's Castle Fire destroyed an estimated 7500 to 10,600 mature giant sequoia trees that ranged in age from hundreds to 3000 years old. This is about 10 to 14% of these trees on Earth!

Giant sequoia base wrapped in fire-proof blanket. Credit: National Park Service, Sept. 16, 2021

From The Guardian: World’s largest tree wrapped in fire-resistant blanket as California blaze creeps closer

As flames crept closer to California’s cherished sequoia trees firefighters took an unusual step to protect them, wrapping the giant bases in fire-resistant blankets.

The shiny material that helps quell flames, commonly used to protect structures, is rarely applied to natural features, but crews fighting the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia national park said they are doing everything possible to protect the iconic trees. ...continue reading "Giant Sequoia Trees Wrapped In Fire Resistant Blankets"

Congratulations America! The contiguous (lower 48 states) United States just had its hottest summer ever! This is not something to brag about, but a taste of coming attractions due to climate change. This year we've had heat wave after heat wave, drought in the west, humid tropical-type heat in the east, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, and so on. Whew...

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report on Thursday pointing out that for the 2021 meteorological summer (June, July, August) the average temperature in the lower 48 states of the U.S. was 74.0 degrees F (2.6 degrees above average). This exceeds even the record heat of the 1936 Dust Bowl Summer.

Bottom line: We need to deal with climate change. Because otherwise the heat and extreme weather will just get worse and worse and worse.

Excerpts from Weather Underground: Summer 2021 Was Hottest on Record in the Contiguous U.S., NOAA Says

Four of the five hottest contiguous U.S. summers have now happened in the past 11 years.

Regardless of where it ends up on the list, summer 2021 will continue the long-term trend from climate change.

Eight of the nation's top 10 warmest summers have occurred in this century, according to NOAA. Only two summers in the 21st century were cooler than average – 2004 and 2009.

Since 1970, much of the U.S. has seen a warmer trend in summer, according to an analysis from Climate Central. This is particularly the case from Texas to the West and also in much of the East from Florida to Michigan to New England.

Excerpt from NOAA: Summer 2021 neck and neck with Dust Bowl summer for hottest on record

Last month brought Hurricane Ida, numerous wildfires and devastating floods, capping off a summer of record heat and rainfall for many states throughout the country.