Summaries (mostly by the Press)

2021-2024 Articles

Most Earth System Models Are Missing Permafrost, a Key Part of Climate Change 0124

James Hansen Is Back with Another Dire Climate Warning 1123

Earth Nears 6 ‘Risk Tipping Points’, Damaging Our Ability to Fight Climate Crisis 1023

Earth Exceeds Its ‘Safe Operating Space for Humanity’ in 6 of 9 Key Ways 0923

World Unlikely to Limit Temperature Rise to 2°C, Warns Former IPCC Chairman 0723

‘We are damned fools’ - Scientist Who Sounded Climate Alarm in 1988 Warns of Worse to Come 0723

When It Comes to Climate Change, There's No Such Thing as a New Normal 0723

Humans Started a New Geologic Era, the Anthropocene, in 1950 - 0723 - Some debate about exactly when, much less where.  Based on nuclear fallout, industrial chemicals such as pesticides and plastics, as well as rapid atmospheric GHG growth and warming from fossil fuel use.

Ecological Tipping Points Could Occur Much Sooner than Expected 0623

Here’s Why It’s Time to Pursue Climate Restoration 0623

The Oceans Are the Hottest on Record. Here Are 6 Things to Watch for. 0423

Climate Impacts Trigger Tipping Points in Earth System Faster than Forecast 0423

Corporate Interests ‘Watered Down’ the Latest IPCC Climate Report, Again 0323

World ‘Population Bomb’ May Never Oo Off as Feared, Finds Study 0323

Warming above 1.5°C Likely in Near Term unless World Acts Now 0323

World Risks Climate ‘Doom Loop’ - $ to Fix, not Prevent, Damages 0223

Stopping Climate Change Isn’t Enough – We Need to Reverse It 1122

Climate Change Threatens ‘Things Americans Value Most,’ U.S. Assessment Says 1122 (National Climate Assessment) - “Over the past 50 years, the U.S. has warmed 68% faster than the planet as a whole,” the report finds.  It noted that the change reflects a broader global pattern, in which land areas warm faster than the ocean, and higher latitudes warm more rapidly than lower latitudes.  That shift means significant parts of the country now must grapple with growing threats to safe drinking water, housing security and infrastructure.  A hotter atmosphere creates a litany of health hazards, makes farming and fishing more difficult and unpredictable, and imperils key ecosystems.
    The frequency of billion-dollar disasters has now increased from once every 4 months in the 1980s to once every 3 weeks in the present.  It finds that the United States is experiencing some of the most severe sea-level rise on the planet.
    In the short term, the assessment finds, communities must do more to adapt to the changes that already are here — and some are doing just that.  But over the long term, the only real solution is for humanity to muster the political and technological will to stop polluting the atmosphere.
    Stifling heat waves in the Midwest to deadly floods in the Southeast, from warming oceans along the Northeast coast to raging wildfires in the West.
    A warming world threatens reliable water supplies.  Deluges and drought.  Climate change is making our food, water and infrastructure worse.  Droughts are projected to increase in intensity, duration and frequency, mostly in the Southwest.
    Extreme events are wreaking havoc on homes and property.  The United States has experienced an average of 7.7 billion-dollar disasters annually over the past 4 decades.  In the past 5 years, that average has jumped to nearly 18 events each year, or about one every 3 weeks.  Those disasters also don’t hit all Americans equally.  Homes with poor insulation or inefficient cooling can make it harder for low-income residents to heat or cool their homes.
    The U.S. can expect more forced migration and displacement.
    Climate change is a growing public health threat.
    It’s not just humans who are feeling the effects.
    There is good news and opportunity to still shape the future.

Can the Climate Be Restored? 1022

World on Brink of 5 ‘Disastrous’ Climate Tipping Points 0922 - collapse of Greenland ice cap, collapse of main North Atlantic current (Gulf Stream +), disrupting rain for billions of people, and abrupt thaw of permafrost, and dramatic changes to vast northern forests.

‘Soon the world will be unrecognizable’ – Is it still possible to prevent total climate meltdown? 0722 - This summary of Bill McGuire’s book, Hothouse Earth, mentions neither CDR nor SRM [Carbon Dioxide Removal and Solar Radiation Management].   If one throws away these tools, McGuire’s analysis is broadly correct.  But we should not throw these vital tools away.

Leading Scientist Warns  “People do not understand the magnitude of what is going on.... we will not have anything left that we value, if we [don’t act.]” 0622 - Katherine Hayhoe

Why Some Climate Models Are Running Red Hot - Clouds, Water, Ice 0522

The 1.5° Goal Is All But Dead 0422

The World Is Running Out of Options to Hit Climate Goals - U.N. Report 0422

Planet’s Breakneck Warming Likely to Pass 1.5°C, UN Scientists Warn 0422

Climate and the IPCC Report 0222

IPCC Issues ‘Bleakest Warning Yet’ on Impacts of Climate Breakdown 0222

Climate Report - 6 Key Findings for Water 0322

Climate Change Is Harming Earth Faster than We Can Adapt, U.N. Warns 0222

Tipping Points Passed? (4) Forests and the Amazon - a Faltering Carbon Sink 0122

Tipping Points Already Passed? (3) Greenland and the Arctic - Abrupt Change 0122

Have Tipping Points Already Passed? (2) West Antarctica and the "Doomsday" Glacier 0122

Have Tipping Points Already Been Passed for Critical Climate Systems?  (1) The Basics 0122

The Crucial Ingredients for Decarbonizing and Safeguarding Cascadia 1221 - Decarbonize electricity and electrify everything, plus other actions

More Articles

On the Climate Crisis, Delay Has Become the New Form of Denial 1021

The Costs of Climate Tipping Points & How They Could Compound One Another 0821

Feedbacks and Tipping Points - Big Uncertainties about Future Warming 0821

Major Climate Changes Inevitable and Irreversible – IPCC’s Starkest Warning Yet 0821 - take 6

Humans Have Pushed the Climate into ‘Unprecedented’ Territory, IPCC Finds 0821 - take 5

UN Climate Report - All Is Not Well—but All Is Not Lost 0821 - take 4

A Hotter Future Is Certain, IPCC Warns.  But How Hot Is Up to Us. 0821 - take 3

It’s Grim 0821 - take 2 on IPCC's 6th Assessment, part 1

Major Climate Changes Inevitable and Irreversible – IPCC’s Starkest Warning Yet 0821 - take 1 on IPCC's 6th Assessment

Critical Measures of Global Heating Reaching Tipping Point 0721 - Some 16 out of 31 tracked planetary vital signs, including greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean heat content and ice mass, set worrying new records.

Yep, It’s Bleak, Says Expert Who Tested 1970s End-of-Civilization Prediction 0721 - Limits to Growth, from 1972.  An update study shows that the 1972 study was essentially on target.  It finds that, coming amid a cascade of alarming environmental events, from western US and Siberian wildfires to German floods, and the Amazon rainforest may no longer a carbon sink.  Herrington’s work predicted that the collapse of civilization could come around 2040, if current trends held.
    The other scenario, "comprehensive technology, modeled stalled economic growth without social collapse.  Both scenarios “show a halt in growth within a decade or so from now….  pursuing continuous growth is not possible.”

Engineers - You Can Disrupt Climate Change 0621 - About 85% is about the challenges of decarbonization, 12% about those of CO2 removal (to 350 ppm or less) and 3% of solar radiation management.  Carbon pricing is addressed up front.  Decarbonization challenges addressed are especially the more difficult energy uses: aviation fuel; the production of metals; industrial process heat for cement, fertilizer, glass, etc.; infrastructure such as sewage; energy sources from advanced photovoltaic and batteries to advanced fission and fusion.  Some CO2 removal methods need good engineering, as done subterranean disposal.  More white surfaces can help with the “3%" solar radition management needed.

     You can find one general summary of gloabl warming and climate change at  It takes 15-30 minutes to read.  I have only a handful of quibbles with what it says.

Climate Change Tipping Points Are upon Us. Draft U.N. Report Warns - 'The Worst Is Yet to Come’ 0621

Crushing Climate Impacts to Hit Sooner than Feared - Draft UN Report 0621

Australian Inventor Wants to Stop Global Warming by Electrifying Everything 0521

U.S. Has Entered Unprecedented Climate Territory, EPA Warns 0521

How Not to Solve the Climate Change Problem 0722 - by Kevin Trenberth, a leading climate scientists for 4 decades who helped write IPCC assessments, influence exceeded only by Jim Hansen, in Dr. Fry's eyes.

     Paraphrasing: We are well on the way to 1.5°C hotter than 1880; damages will get even worse above 1.5°C.  We need net-zero by 2050 to limit warming to 2°C.  The changeover to renewables has been slow.  Solar radiation management (SRM), by imitating major volcano eruptions, has the bad side effect of moving monsoon rain offshore.  It is also expensive.  For CO2 removal (CDR), CCS has proven to be too expensive - as well as ineffective, because it is mostly used for enhanced oil recovery.  Direct air capture is also too expensive so far, as it uses a lot of energy.  RemovING our legacy CO2, even at a hoped-for $100 / ton, would exceed the Gross World Product (GWP).  Trees are cheaper, but impermanent; forests burn.  “The arithmetic highlights the tremendous need to cut emissions.  There is no viable workaround.”

     Dr. Fry’s comments: Achieving net zero would be wonderful, but it is very far from sufficient to hold global heating to 2°C.  When Earth last wore 420 ppm CO2, millions of years ago, global temperatures were 4-8°C above 1880’s.  This further (past and future, beyond 2°C) heating was, is and will be driven mostly by feedbacks from albedo (reflectivity) changes from snow, ice, and sulfates, plus their water vapor and clouds multiplier.  The impacts of 5°C are far worse (several multiples of world GWP) than the cost of SRM and CDR.  We indeed have a tremendous need to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but cutting them to zero, even immediately, is way not enough.  Small companies, recent start-ups, are devising ways (no fans, no heat to regenerate catalysts) to cut DAC energy use (and cost) by 95% or so.  For SRM, the costs are measured in billions rather than trillions of dollars.  Perhaps better SRM than imitating volcanoes is marine cloud brightening (MCB), targeted in the Arctic.  There, warming has caused the polar jet stream to meander, bringing long dry hot spells, long rainy spells (floods), and deep excursions of polar air into temperate zones in winter.  MCB probably would not affect monsoons much

West’s ‘Dust Bowl’ Future Now ‘Locked In’, as World Risks Imminent Food Crisis 1219

     Past climate emissions mean the US and Europe will experience devastating drought in 80 years, and a global food crisis could be triggered in the 2020s — yet it’s not too late to build resilience and avert the worst.

Research sponsored by global credit ratings agency Moody’s concludes that, by the end of century, parts of the US and Europe are now bound to experience severe reductions in rainfall equivalent to the American ‘dust bowl’ of the 1930s, which devastated Midwest farming for a decade.  These consequences are now ‘locked in’, as a result of carbon emissions which we have already accumulated into the atmosphere.

But that’s not all.  A spate of new scientific research released through 2019 has thrown light on nearer-term risks of a global food crisis in coming decades, such as a multi-breadbasket failure — due not just to climate change, but a combination of factors including population growth, industrial soil degradation, rising energy costs, and groundwater depletion, among other trends.

Taken in context with a number of climate change models produced over the last decade, the heightened risk of droughts in the 2020s means that a global food crisis could be imminent.  Over 1,700 published climate models examined by the University of Leeds point to the risk of a global food crisis after 2030; 12 models point to this risk emerging and amplifying in just 3 years.

None of this research shows that the destructive impacts on human societies are unavoidable.  With foresight, planning, mitigation, adaptation and cooperation, it’s possible for us to not simply build resilience to coming crises by minimizing disruptions and protecting the vulnerable; but to pave the way for a sustainable food system that can operate as a solution to climate catastrophe.

The ‘locked in’ impacts of climate change are bound to produce “severe” impacts on societies over the next decades, according to new research sponsored by one of the world’s biggest financial agencies.  Among those impacts, the degradation of global freshwater supplies in particular threatens to destabilize the global food system.  Historic carbon emissions appear to have made it inevitable that, by the end of this century, some of the world’s most important agricultural producers will experience conditions similar to the ‘dust bowl’, the worst human-induced ecological disaster in American history.

     and so on, in great detail

A simple stick-figure cartoon video about how warming happens and what its effects are and WILL BE.  It's titled "Wake Up, Freak Out".

Holistic Management Can Save Our Soils and Reduce CO2 Levels 0913

     This picture is from a piece of land (left side) in Africa managed with Holistic Management grazing practices, used by locals taught by the Savory Institute.  It stores far more carbon (and water) than land not so managed (right side of fence).

     “China faces extremely grim ecological and environmental conditions, under the impact of continued global warming and changes to China's regional environment.”  Assuming no measures to counter global warming, grain output in the world's most populous nation could fall from 5 to 20% by 2050.  "But steadily, as the temperatures continue to rise, the negative consequences will be increasingly serious….  For a certain length of time, people will be able to adapt, but costs of adaptation will rise, including for agriculture.”
    "Climate change will lead to severe imbalances in China's water resources, within each year and across the years.  In most areas, precipitation will be increasingly concentrated in the summer and autumn rainy seasons, and floods and droughts will become increasingly frequent….  Without effective measures in response, by the latter part of the 21st century, climate change could still constitute a threat to our country's food security,"

     A simple video about risk of taking action vs not taking action.

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