Climate change/ global warming: the first in a series

Extreme weather events are named as possible results of climate change.

Extreme weather events are named as possible results of climate change.

 

This information is the first in a series on climate change and global warming with references to several scientific sources. The Fort Independence Environmental Climate Change Working Group, which is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, will present this series for Sierra Wave. Dennis Mattinson is the chair of the Working Group.

Part I – An introduction to Climate Change

Provided by the Fort Independence Environmental Climate Change Working Group

What is Climate Change?

“Climate change refers to any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among other effects, that occur over several decades or longer.” 1

“Summers are longer and hotter, and periods of extreme heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours, though in many regions there are longer dry spells in between. Other changes are even more dramatic. Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more flooding, especially in the Midwest and northeast. Hotter and drier weather and earlier snow melt mean wildfires in the west start earlier in the year, last later in the fall , threaten more homes, cause more evacuations, and burn more acreage.” 2

 Global Warming is part of Climate Change. What is Global Warming?

“As the sun’s energy warms up the Earth, our planet radiates some of this heat back out towards space. Certain gases in the atmosphere act like the glass in a greenhouse, allowing the sun’s energy in but preventing heat from escaping. Some greenhouse gases, such as water vapor – the most abundant greenhouse gas – are naturally present in the atmosphere; without them, the Earth’s average temperature would be an unbearably cold -18ºC instead of the 15ºC it is today. However, human activities are releasing immense additional amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, enhancing the greenhouse effect and warming the climate. The greenhouse gas most commonly produced by our activities is carbon dioxide (CO2). It is responsible for some 63% of man-made global warming. One of the main sources of CO2 in the atmosphere is the combustion of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas. Over the past couple of centuries, our societies have burnt increasing amounts of fossil fuels to power machines, generate electricity, heat buildings and transport people and goods. Since the Industrial Revolution the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by around 41%, and it continues to rise.”

References

  1. USEPA
  2. National Climate Assessment Development Committee – http://www.globalchange.gov/about/agencies
  3. European Commission Development Committee
55 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
johnjcampnfish
johnjcampnfish
9 years ago

So, what are all of you “believers” doing about it? The carbon footprint required to enable people to live in Mammoth Lakes and other Eastern Sierra communities is much, much larger than it would be if you all lived in downtown LA and stayed there. With the exception of ranching,… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
9 years ago
Reply to  johnjcampnfish

@ johnj When you quote “believers” in your first sentence it’s hard to view the rest of your response as objective. The term “believer” is generally reserved for religious references. Does accepting the opinions of the overwhelming majority of experts in a field of science make one a “believer”? If… Read more »

johnjcampnfish
johnjcampnfish
9 years ago

If you believe that humans are responsible for causing, and thus responsible for correcting global warming, then walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. Nothing religous about it except for the way theories are followed as fact based on faith that scientists have never been wrong.

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
9 years ago
Reply to  johnjcampnfish

John, I don’t think anyone here has made the claim or even the implication that “scientists have never been wrong” – so that notion is a red herring. I’m curious though, If you are in disagreement with the overwhelming majority experts in the study of climate science, do you harbor… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

I don’t see he was referencing religion .. I think it is merely terminology. Yeah has it made a believer out of you yet .. or are you a believer in the twinkie theory. Is it still working for you? Will you still believe tomorrow?

Just saying …

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

I’m sorry Al, I have no idea what you’re trying to say.

Failure to communicate
Failure to communicate
9 years ago

That makes two of us, Charles O.

LOL!

sierragrl
sierragrl
9 years ago

All I know is I want my good asthma inhaler back. The inhalers had an aerosol propellant in them, which was banned by the EPAin 2008 due to the “Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer”. The replacement inhalers do not propel the medicine into one’s lungs near… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  sierragrl

Anything is too much any more Sirragrl, some sense has to be played into things like this so a issue like you have can be addressed, but there is no sense in anything it is just …. ban everything .. period!

J-Frog
J-Frog
9 years ago

Two groups who promote anti climate change data; “The knowledge and Progress fund” (supported by) The Donor Trust and Donors Capital Fund (Financed By) = Yep you guessed it! Billionaires Charles and David Koch (Koch industries)! Anybody see a problem with that? So we have individuals with deep pockets giving… Read more »

Karen
Karen
9 years ago

Here is an upcoming event on this subject: Climate Change in the Eastern Sierra: What’s Already Happening, and What Might Happen in the Future? By Holly Alpert, Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Program Wednesday, June 5 from 12 – 1pm Eastern Sierra Land Trust Garden 176 Home St. Bishop For… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago

My understanding is that the other major contributor to greenhouse warming is methane, of which livestock raised for food contributes in abundance. The release of methane could accelerate as polar regions warm and tundra unfreezes. Serioiusly, how can anyone see the air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley, the LA… Read more »

Steve
Steve
9 years ago

The Earth is approximately 8,000 miles in diameter. We all live form sea level to about 15,000 feet in elevation, or about 3 miles. So the the habitable zone is very thin at best. That is why small changes can and will make a difference to all of us living… Read more »

MJA
MJA
9 years ago

There are 7 billion people burning up the planet and the Earth’s temperature or fever is rising. The solution is not a matter of science and technology, but rather simply self-control.

=

Jimmy D
Jimmy D
9 years ago

I stopped reading after the second sentence, …”funded by the EPA”…

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy D

Why is that?
BK

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Why is that you ask? Do keep up with current events dear. For starters, because the EPA is part of the same administration that includes the Justice Department (under Congressional investigation for search warrant shenanigans and more), the State Department (under Congressional investigation for Benghazi inconsistencies), and the IRS (the… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

No thanks. I prefer people to explain themselves, dear.
Benett Kessler

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Ordinarily, in America it is the authoritarians who are expected to explain themselves. Unless, apparently, the authoritarians are Leftists, in which case our vaunted Fourth Estate demands that challengers to authoritarianism explain themselves. You are truly a citizen of your Brave New Word, Benett.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Apparently you don’t know me too well. I have poked sticks in the eyes of authority in the Eastern Sierra and beyond for 38 years now. Just ask them. I still want to know why the poster has a problem with EPA. Then, we can go from there. Let’s hear… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

It’s because the EPA along with a lot of other agencies have become biased. They started out as something good, but people don’t trust them. As Tourbillon says, as well, they are a govt. agency. The old saying .. I’m from the Govt, I’m here to help you … yeah… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

How about a few more facts and not just suspicion.
BK

No facts, please.
No facts, please.
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

I wonder why it is Big Al (and the other right-wingers on this blog (and there are lots of them) hates the presentation of facts?
Could it be they would rather fight than switch?
What does fighting with everyone prove?
LOL!

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

No Benett that is not suspicion, that is learned truth. People do not trust the Govt. and rightly so with such items fresh in our minds as the Benghazi incident. The wall St. fiasco, that was big money bailing itself out with our money. And the big money dictated to… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Dear Al, et al, If you read Bureaucrat Beat, you know we are aggressively suspicious of government. It is wearisome to hear rhetorical accusations without back-up, even on government agencies. We might note that without the EPA, there would likely have been no clean-up of the Owens Dry Lake. Does… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Benett I left off a lil steam with a couple comments there. but What I say are not thoughts rolling out of my head like gum balls rolling out of a machine .. what is up with that? I guess my words of thought are either like that or not… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

But Gee Whiz Big Al, The U.S.E.P.A was created because rivers and streams were catching on FIRE! “Umm Something’s not here?” Pollution! Do you remember that? I don’t I just remember reading about it and thinking what the —- ?? Whether or not we all feel the urgency to step… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

“Umm somethings not right here?” was the intended quote of my own thoughts, when trying to understand how a river can catch fire. (Pollution and No respect for MotherEarth) But I hear you “loud and clear” on the no trust of any Gov’t entity, but we as individuals can pick… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

@Big AL, Benghazi? What about all the terrorists attacks under Reagans term and the nothing they really did about it?? Wheres the outrage on that, way more Americans lost there lives in similar situations. Is it just because “Benghazi” is what the establishment media is feeding us, so it rolls… Read more »

A question for Tourbillon
A question for Tourbillon
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Dear Tourbillon,

Just curious if you “questioned authority” when your right-wing administration invaded Iraq in search of WMDs that never existed and bankrupted the country trying to pay for it?

A simple yes or no will suffice … dear.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

A question for Dr. Facts …

Do you secretly have a fancy for Rush … a simple yes or no. or is it just jealousy that he has more fans and a higher rating .. hehe

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

An investigation is not an indictment. Especially in our political system. An investigation in Washington is simply political theater. You name three investigations as if their mere existence proves wrongdoing — which is exactly what the Republicans want you to believe. For example “Benghazi” Do you know that the Republicans… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Well said Mr. Warner.

J-Frog
J-Frog
9 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy D

Well Jimmy, then close your eyes tight, hold your hands to your ears and go “I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you”

Where they get their BS (ERA)
Where they get their BS (ERA)
9 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy D

Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh repeated a debunked theory that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations banning Freon and other chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) caused the February 1, 2003, destruction of the space shuttle Columbia. An independent review board investigated the Columbia disaster and found that that the accident occurred because a… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago

Mr. Limbaugh’s education ended in high school. He has zero college education. What do you expect? He is really nothing more than a glorified radio DJ with a drug problem.. Same for Mr. Beck, who has taken exactly one post secondary course which he did not complete, yet people hang… Read more »

Ellen Wilson
Ellen Wilson
9 years ago

Engine combustion machines that emit CO2s are not part of the natural environment. The Earth and her regulatory systems cannot keep up with these excesses. You can check this basic scientific fact out in this neat handy dandy diagram of the carbon cycle: http://dilu.bol.ucla.edu/home.html Everyone should have this basic education.… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

I’m looking forward to the second ,third,fourth etc. installment of this knowledge and discussion. Thanks FIECCWG ,Dennis M. and the Sierra wave

Dan Nilsen
Dan Nilsen
9 years ago

I have no doubt that the temperatures are changing. However I would like you to explain why you think CO2 is the cause. Recently I saw an article if correct stated that at the beginning of the industrial revolution CO2 was approx., 230 ppb ( parts per Billion and now… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan Nilsen

Dan Nilsen, We’ll see if we can get a response. We appreciate dispassionate questioning but not the name-calling and patronizing I edited out of your comment.
Also, what are your credentials?
Benett Kessler

Steve
Steve
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Benett, have you ever question scientist that don’t agree global warming is caused by human activity. If you look at history, the earth has gone through both warming and cooling periods. Also have you ever looked at NASA data that is showing Venus and Mars warming as well and I… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Rather than just write vague rhetoric, cite some evidence that supports your assertions. It’s not hard to find. And it makes a more convincing argument.

Like these:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/19/eco.globalwarmingsurvey/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/31/study-climate-change/2377179/

Oh, no! Not more facts!
Oh, no! Not more facts!
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Uh-oh!
Ken Warner is presenting facts.
One of the posters on this blog is not going to like another “Dr. Facts.”

Steve
Steve
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast09feb_1/ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling I also recall that most people thought the earth was flat and the stars/sun went around the earth. Those we had a different point of view were excommunicated or denounced. We humans always think we are so smart and we know exactly what’s going on, but 50… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

HeHe Dr. good one.

Everything is political today
Everything is political today
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Like it or not, everything has become political. Everything. In so far as the climate change thing, it boils down to this point of view: Liberals are concerned about climate change and how it may affect humanity and … Conservatives believe Liberals are nothing more than “enviro-wackos” (a popular Rush… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

Do I detect a secret affection for Rush here Dr. ? I have seen people from both sides do just what your referring to. It doesn’t matter what someone believes, if they are passionate enough about it or they think they are right and everyone else is wrong … they… Read more »

Help our MotherEarth!
Help our MotherEarth!
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan Nilsen

The way the earth reacts to carbons in the atmosphere is a natural reaction (carbons hold heat), BUT the way the carbons has been recently introduced (last 150 years) to the environment is NOT!

Paul
Paul
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan Nilsen

Hello Dan, I have no climate credentials, I’m a Computer Engineer by trade. However the Scientists agree CO2 is a major issue and I trust them more than random people on message boards. Therefore I accept their statements. However I think I can address some of yours. You state that… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  Paul

And there is a tipping point. If CO2 rises and warms the Earth to the point where the frozen tundra starts melting and begins to release it’s sequestered methane stores — which is an even more potent greenhouse gas — and the Earth warms even further to the point where… Read more »

Where they get their BS from
Where they get their BS from
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan Nilsen

Once again we have the usual neocon subjects speaking the same BS their neocon hero speaks of.

See for yourself where they get the BS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxV9kvRIEiA

And watch for the usual:

“Stop bringing up Limbaugh all the time!”

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

And we have the same neocon rhetoric about neocons and their heros and BS and what ever. Please “Stop bringing up Limbaugh all the time!”

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan Nilsen

@Dan, Asking questions as you did in your second sentence is a good thing IMO. We all should be asking questions in an attempt to learn more. Yet coming to your own unsupported conclusions as you did further down your post is just foolish. Keep asking questions! But be patient… Read more »

JaneE
JaneE
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan Nilsen

CO2 blocks a different portion of the infrared spectrum than other green house gasses. Satellites measure the outgoing radiation and have recorded a decrease in outflow from the wavelengths associated with CO2, which is consistent with the calculated effects of the additional amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.