What bubbles in the Antarctic can tell us

This excerpt from the New York Times reports on CO2 emissions from historical perspective and societies efforts to curb emissions in our atmosphere the last few decades. Expect recent (a relative term) severe weather patterns of drought, flooding, fluctuations of water levels (large and small bodies of water) to persist and increase in intensity.

“From studying air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists know that going back 800,000 years, the carbon dioxide level oscillated in a tight band, from about 180 parts per million in the depths of ice ages to about 280 during the warm periods between. The evidence shows that global temperatures and CO2 levels are tightly linked.

For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future.”

Read on about CO2 emissions in the atmosphere exceeding 400 at:


Watertown Daily Times | Environmentalists urge Gov. Cuomo to support IJC’s Bv7 water management proposal

This is an excerpt from Watertown Daily. With so many stakeholders supporting Plan Bv7, it may do better yo replace old management plan. Read on: “In a joint letter to Gov. Cuomo, four conservation groups — Save the River, Clayton; the Nature Conservancy; Audubon New York, and Citizens Campaign for the Environment — asked the governor to support Plan Bv7, a water regulation proposal by the International Joint Commission that could replace the existing half-century-old management plan. “Expressions of support for Plan Bv7 from Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River community have more than quadrupled since July 2012,” they said. “Much of the new support for Plan Bv7 came from the south shore of Lake Ontario.” So far, the groups gathered a total of 9,170 letters and petition signatures supporting Bv7 — an additional 7,000 “expressions” since July. The lake’s south shore has been where most of the complaints have been coming from because of the increased the risk of erosion under Bv7. At a panel discussion on the topic Saturday in Clayton, Sodus Point Mayor Christopher Tertinek argued that higher water levels allowed under Bv7 would flood waterfront properties and cause the village’s sewer infrastructure to fail. In an economic impact study, IJC estimated an additional $3 million per year in shore protection cost to coastal residents under the new management plan. But advocates argue that Bv7 is a balanced plan that finally takes into consideration environmental and recreational boating interests neglected under the original management plan. “Plan Bv7 will replace over 50 years of water level management that has significantly altered the Lake and River’s natural processes and dramatically reduced habitat diversity,” environmental advocates said in their letter to Gov. Cuomo. “Plan Bv7 will achieve these benefits through a return to more natural flows. It will provide a longer recreational boating season by avoiding the rapid draw down of the Lake and River in the fall, increase warm-water recreational fishing opportunities, increase hydropower production and lead to conditions that rebuild beaches naturally, all while continuing to provide significant protection to shoreline property owners.” http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20130416/NEWS03/704169884

Reliably unpredictable

Extreme weather patterns merit action on a micro & macro scale. 2013 had tge coldest Easter on record in England/UK. Droughts, floods in USA are more frequent and severe. Treaties address these problems by focusing on ways country states can reduce their carbon emissions (CE). As with Kyoto signatories, we have seen drops in carbon production, e.g., in UK and elsewhere. However, a pattern is emerging, i.e., decreased emissions are often followed by decreases in domestic manufacturing. As with the case of Britain, this decrease has happened along side the building up of financial, banking sectors in their economy. This strategy is emerging as a pattern along with austerity, high unemployment and debt. When looking at spending trends we see carbon emission increases shift to developing countries, a decrease in CE from UK is accompanied by increased in carbon footprint by consumers importing products once made locally. So what appears to be positive results in reducing CE are actually increases in CE elsewhere. Here is an excerpt from The Guardian on climate change (or if you dislike that term rather call it – “increases in weather patterns producing droughts and floods as well as extreme temperatures and rising seas and lower lake levels. “:
Our weather, always unpredictable, is now  becoming increasingly harder to forecast short term. The challenge for meteorologists is to explain these unexpected outbreaks of climatic unpleasantness. “There is no doubt that the recent weather has been highly changeable – on both sides of the Atlantic,” said meteorologist Nicholas Klingaman of Reading University. “We have blizzards and flooding. America has had droughts and scorching temperatures.” Nor is it difficult to pinpoint the immediate cause, Klingaman said. The problem lies with the jet stream, a narrow band of strong winds that sweeps round the planet between the tropics and the Arctic. “Its behaviour has changed dramatically in the past few years and has produced these lengthy bouts of extreme weather. The real question, of course, is an obvious one: why has the jet stream changed its behaviour?” The answer is very worrying, for it transpires that meteorologists may find it increasingly hard to make long-term assessments of future weather with their former confidence. The planet’s weather systems are being stirred and shaken and the cause is closely linked to climate change, the result of the trillions of tonnes of carbon that we have been pumping into our atmosphere…” Read on @: http://m.guardiannews.com/uk/2013/apr/07/science-behind-britain-coldest-easter