The Washington Times talks greenhouse law
by grypo, Skeptical Science, March 24, 2011
According to the complaint, carbon-dioxide emissions from various power plants around the country “increase smog and heat-related mortality”; “raise sea levels, thereby inundating low-lying property such as much of New York City’s infrastructure”; “lower water levels in the Great Lakes, harming commercial shipping and hydropower production in New York”; and “make it impossible for several species of hardwood trees to survive in Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island.” It goes on to claim “even one degree of global warming will double the number of heat-related deaths in New York City, to 700 per year.”
They [plaintiffs] alleged that carbon dioxide emissions from defendants’ power plants contribute to global warming, causing a wide range of current and threatened injuries to plaintiffs and their citizens. Among other things, plaintiffs alleged that the emissions and resulting global warming would:
A few GCM studies have examined more specifically the effect of changing climate on regional ozone air quality, assuming constant emissions. Knowlton et al. (2004) use a GCM coupled to a Regional Climate Model (RCM) to investigate the impact of 2050 climate change (compared with 1990) on ozone concentrations in the New York City metropolitan area. They found a significant ozone increase that they translated into a 4.5% increase in ozone-related acute mortality.
Hayhoe et al. (2004) produced a standard set of statistically downscaled temperature and precipitation scenarios for California; under both the A1F1 and B1 scenarios, they find overall declines in snowpack.
In the Corn and Wheat Belt of the U.S., yields of corn and soybeans from 1982 to 1998 were negatively impacted by warm temperatures, decreasing 17% for each 1 °C of warm-temperature anomaly (Lobell and Asner, 2003).
Lower water levels in the Great Lakes are likely to influence many sectors, with multi-dimensional, interacting impacts (Figure 14.2) (high confidence). Many, but not all, assessments project lower net basin supplies and water levels for the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Basin (Mortsch et al., 2000; Quinn & Lofgren, 2000; Lofgren et al., 2002; Croley, 2003). In addition to differences due to climate scenarios, uncertainties include atmosphere-lake interactions (Wetherald & Manabe, 2002; Kutzbach et al., 2005). Adapting infrastructure and dredging to cope with altered water levels would entail a range of costs (Changnon, 1993; Schwartz et al., 2004b). Adaptations sufficient to maintain commercial navigation on the St. Lawrence River could range from minimal adjustments to costly, extensive structural changes (St. Lawrence River-Lake Ontario Plan of Study Team, 1999; D’Arcy et al., 2005).
Recent models and analyses of paleoecological records suggest that tree populations are capable of rapid migration when climate warms. Fossil pollen is commonly interpreted as suggesting that the range of many temperate tree species expanded at rates of 100–1000 m/yr during the early Holocene. We used chloroplast DNA surveys to show that the geography of postglacial range expansion in two eastern North American tree species differs from that expected from pollen-based reconstructions and from patterns emerging from European molecular studies. Molecular evidence suggests that American beech (Fagus grandifolia) and red maple (Acer rubrum) persisted during the late glaciation as low-density populations, perhaps within 500 km of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Because populations were closer to modern range limits than previously thought, postglacial migration rates may have been slower than those inferred from fossil pollen. Our estimated rates of ,100 m/yr are consistent with model predictions based on life history and dispersal data, and suggest that past migration rates were substantially slower than the rates that will be needed to track 21st century warming.
[G]lobal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the 21st century will not only influence SLR in the next ~90 years, but will also commit Earth to several meters of additional SLR over subsequent centuries. In this context of worsening prospects for substantial SLR, we apply a new geospatial dataset to calculate low-elevation areas in coastal cities of the conterminous U.S.A. potentially impacted by SLR in this and following centuries. In total, 20 municipalities with populations greater than 300,000 and 160 municipalities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000 have land area with elevations at or below 6 m and connectivity to the sea, as based on the 1 arc-second National Elevation Dataset. On average, approximately 9% of the area in these coastal municipalities lies at or below 1 m. This figure rises to 36% when considering area at or below 6 m. *Weiss SkS article
- Satellite measurements show sea-level is rising at 3.4 mm per year since these records began in 1993. This is 80% faster than the best estimate of the IPCC Third Assessment Report for the same time period.
- Accounting for ice-sheet mass loss, sea-level rise until 2100 is likely to be at least twice as large as that presented by IPCC AR4, with an upper limit of ~2 m based on new ice-sheet understanding
Your March 17th editorial titled “Ending the global-warming argument” has confused science with politics. There is no informed debate that humans are overloading the air with too much carbon and that this carbon is causing the planet to dramatically warm. There is no informed debate that increasing carbon will cause this warming to continue. (For perspective, the amount of CO2 that is added to the air every day by human activities, primarily from burning fossil fuels, is equal to the amount of oil spilled by 8,000 Gulf Oil Spills per day.) Virtually every publishing scientist and all international science academies agree on this.