Girl Elf: Santa, it’s gone! Papa Elf: It’s gone, It’s gone! Santa: What’s gone? Girl Elf: Tell ‘em, Dad! Papa Elf: The North Peak. Santa: A mountain? A mountain’s gone? How is that possible? Ella the polar bear: Santa, sir, that’s why I’m here. That’s why we’re here. The ice is melting! Santa: Yes, my dear, we know, the climate is changing. There’s bound to be a little melting. Ella: It’s worse than that, Santa, a lot worse! At the rate it’s melting, the North Pole will be gone by Christmas!” Santa: My, my…all of this gone by next Christmas? I don’t think so. Ella: No sir, not next Christmas, this Christmas! The day after tomorrow!You may view the three videos by clicking here, here and here. What is your opinion? Will global warming force Santa to move? What about the millions of other potential climate refugees? Help protect Santa, the elves and the millions of potential climate refugees all over the world. Reduce what you can, and offset what you can't!
The Mid-Atlantic is yet again being blasted with snow. This current blizzard is going to add up to 16 inches to our standing snow pack of about 2-3 feet, likely making this the snowiest winter on record in the Washington, DC area (and Baltimore, and Wilmington.. you get the point). Federal government offices have been closed for several days. The mail is not going to be delivered. The bodega across the street is closed. And your devoted Carbonfund.org staff cannot make it into the office and need to work from home.But there is a perception that is held by some that these extreme blizzards contradict evidence of global warming. While one cannot argue with anecdotal evidence it is inappropriate to try and explain global climate variations with weather events. The big difference is that weather is what happens now or this coming weekend, and climate is the long-term trends that take place over years and decades. With that said, there are experts out there that create a pretty sound logic for how global warming can actually make blizzards more common in winter. Dr. Jeff Masters with Weather Underground sums it up well:
...record-breaking snowstorms are not an indication that global warming is not occurring. In fact, we can expect there may be more heavy snowstorms in regions where it is cold enough to snow, due to the extra moisture global warming has added to the atmosphere--an extra 4% since 1970. Snow is not the same as cold, and we have to look at global temperatures, not snowfall, to evaluate whether global warming is occurring.So there is actually a reasonable rationale for how global warming and blizzards can coexist. Please add your comment on this post.
"If adopted by the end of the year , the new rule could produce greenhouse gas statistics by the end of 2010. The EPA requirements would apply to large industrial sources that emit 25,000 metric tons or more a year, including oil and chemical refineries; cement, glass, pulp and paper plants; manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines; and confined animal feeding operations."Setting the bar for inclusion in this mandatory reporting at 25,000 metric tons means that virtually all small and medium sized businesses would not be required to report their emissions. Carbonfund.org, for example, estimates that many standard businesses with less than 20 employees are responsible for about 140 metric tons of CO2 a year. Businesses range in size and activity, but one can reasonably assume that most small and medium sized businesses not engaged in industrial practices would be under the reporting limit. A GHG reporting system is yet another step in the right direction for American action on global warming. By understanding our nation's carbon footprint, our government will be able to intelligently devise a cap-and-trade system that will produce real world emissions cuts. To better understand your carbon footprint or to estimate your business' GHG emissions, go to Carbonfund.org.
According to the World Meterological Organization (WMO), the earth is continuing to get warmer. 2009 is in line to be the fifth hottest year on record (the exact ranking may change depending on how these last weeks of the year play out), and the decade from 2000-2009 has been the warmest in recorded history.
The hottest decade on record before the 2000s was the 1990s, and before that the 1980s. Temperature records have been kept using precise instruments since 1850.
The recent WMO press release also states:
"This year above-normal temperatures were recorded in most parts of the continents. Only North America (United States and Canada) experienced conditions that were cooler than average. Given the current figures, large parts of southern Asia and central Africa are likely to have the warmest year on record."Though the US and Canada experienced cooler temperatures this year, our weather is not indicative of global trends. This release coincides with the Copenhagen climate meetings, where global leaders are well positioned to work out the framework for a legally binding emissions reductions target.