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Metrics for "Dangerous Change"

Climate change metrics help us make more effective changes, and faster.

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California water conservation measurement with metering Metrics for "Dangerous Change" was presented to the AIA conference

Dr. James Hansen is arguably the world's leading scientist on global warming. He is the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

MAJOR ISSUE #1
How big a change can be tolerated?

The last big one was 55 million year ago the planet warmed 6 degrees celsious and 90% of the species went extinct.

If we drive species to extinction, it will be a much more desolate planet than humanity has ever experienced.

MAJOR ISSUE #2
Impact of global warming on ice sheets and snow pack.

Greenland is already experiencing significant ice sheet melts. It finds low spots and it flows to the base of the ice sheet and lubricates the base to make large masses speed up on their movement to the ocean.

We have more snow as the earth warms because of moisture in the air and the center of the ice sheet grows. Losing 150 cubic kilometers of mass per year for the last three years ...and western Arcticia is losing almost as much ice.

Hydrologic cycle changes

Tropical rainbelt: more evaporation and heavier rain, intensified hydrologic conditions

Subtropical: rainfall will decrease (Western US, Mediterr, and Middle East and parts of Africa.) Seeing hints of it in the western US which in the past has had super droughts.

Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences said of Dr. Hansen’s climate science work, "I can't think of anybody who I would say is better than Hansen. You might argue that there's two or three others as good, but nobody better.”

The United Nations Framework Convention on climate change's aim is "Useful Metrics

Extermination of Animal & Plant species is irreversible

1. Extinction of Polar and Alpine species
2. Unsustainable Migration Rates

Ice Sheet Disintegration: global sea level is also irreversible

1. Long-term change from Paleoclimate data
2. Ice Sheet response time

Regional Climate Change can also be very important in some places.

1. General
2. Droughts / Floods

High latitude species have no place to migrate as the climate gets warmer. Will lose all the sea ice in the Arctic during summer and fall seasons. Other latitudes will also be affected.

One example of wildlife territory changes is "Armadillos in Arkansas!" They are moving in response to climate change. Thy are tough critters -- 50 million years of survival evolution. Armadillos will be one of the species that can survive climate change, but other will have a harder time.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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