Showing posts with label john-cook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label john-cook. Show all posts

Monday, June 24, 2013

Four Hiroshimas Every Second

The heat contributed to the atmosphere over the past 15 years due to rising CO2 levels is equivalent to four Hiroshima atomic bombs per second. So said John Cook at the Climate Action Summit in Sydney this weekend.

That puts it in context, doesn't it?

It doesn't leave me feeling relaxed and comfortable. Not at all. Most of this added heat has gone into the oceans rather than into the atmosphere, land, glaciers, ice sheets or sea ice.

Ocean temperatures affect world weather patterns because they drive ocean currents.  It's one big planetary system, and we're pumping an extra four Hiroshimas of heat into it, every second.

There's no time for complacency, no time to be relaxed and comfortable. You're not sitting on the sidelines. You're right in the middle of this big planetary system. It's time to tell policy-makers that we want strong action to cut back from four Hiroshimas every second to zero.

Send your elected representative a letter today telling her/him that you care. If YOU don't speak up, they'll never know you care. Instead, they'll only hear the loud and persistent voices of oil, coal and gas businesses telling them that this isn't happening and people don't care anyway.


News from the Transformation tab.   

Coal India, the largest coal mining company in the world, will invest in solar power in order to reduce energy bills and to diversify. Unlike ExxonMobil, Coal India is preparing a succession plan for the post-carbon world.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Open the fridge door

How does a warming Arctic cause winter cold in Europe and Northern America? Or, in other words, if the globe is warming, why the cold freeze?

It's because the Arctic refrigerator door has been opened and the cold air spilled out at the bottom, according to John Cook of Skeptical Science.

The refrigerator door is the jet stream that marks the differences in atmospheric pressure in higher latitudes (20N) compared with mid-latitudes (37-45N). This difference in pressure is measured by the Arctic oscillation (AO)  index or Northern Annular Mode/Northern Hemisphere Annular Mode (NAM).

NASA climatologist Dr. James E. Hansen explains the mechanism by which the AO affects weather at points far from the Arctic:
The degree to which Arctic air penetrates into middle latitudes is related to the AO index, which is defined by surface atmospheric pressure patterns. When the AO index is positive, surface pressure is low in the polar region. This helps the middle latitude jet stream to blow strongly and consistently from west to east, thus keeping cold Arctic air locked in the polar region. When the AO index is negative, there tends to be high pressure in the polar region, weaker zonal winds, and greater movement of frigid polar air into middle latitudes.
So warmer temperatures in the Arctic mess with the air pressure and this tends to make the refrigerator door swing open. Sometimes it just chinks open a little bit, other times it's like a teenager came to raid the fridge. That's when Europe really freezes!