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Cracks in the Earth

THERE ARE THREE MEASUREMENTS that tell us how we are doing.

1. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE of the atmosphere.

2. THE CONCENTRATION of carbon dioxide.

3. THE RATE increase or decrease of emission of CO2.


Temperature is measured in relation to before the industrial period. 1.5°C has been considered the maximum acceptable and it was the target of the Paris Accords. There is no hope of meeting this target. The Paris Accords are voluntary and no one is meeting their targets and the United States is increasing its output. If there was to be any hope of keeping a reasonably comfortable Earth, this has dashed it. Period. No if ands or buts.

The fall back target was 2.0°C and there is now virtually no chance of meeting this target. This will lead to increasing weather anomilies such as drought, deluge, and fire.

3.0°C is what we are likely to achieve and this will lead to catastrophe. I cannot define exactly what that means except much more of what we have. Not more storms, for global warming doesn't cause storms but it affects them in three profound ways that can result in a year like 2016 or worse.

1. The storms cover a larger or much larger area.

2. The storms are stronger due to the greater humidity over the ocean do to the warmer water. The 2016 storms were category 4 and 5 and these are for all intent and purposes enormous tornedoes. I lived through several hurricanes as a child, one of which (Carol) had winds of 120 mph and this brought down many tree branches and trees but did no damage to our home. Category 5 storms are 200 mph or higher. I am not sure of the relationship, but typcaly a factor of 2 increase will lead to at least a factor of 4 in damage.

3. The storms drop much more rain, up to 60 inches in Houston (that is sixty inches) or five feet of water. When this gets channeled into the deepest and steepest part of the land, the flow is a very serious flood.

It is quite possible that President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Accords and to use more coal will be the "staw that broke the camel's back." His understanding of the problem is zero and he made a truly terrible decision.

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