Bless Their Hearts

REAL CLIMATE COMES THROUGH

I just love those guys at REAL CLIMATE. They keep me informed and keep me thinking. Now they have produced a primer for the conscientious folks of this world that want to:

“. . . get up to speed on the issue of climate change . . .”

They promise to: “. . . amend this as we discover or are pointed to new resources. Different people have different needs and so we will group resources according to the level people start at.” And, they’ve added a major heading at the top of their page entitled “START HERE” for the ongoing updates. Bless their hearts!

I’ve book-marked the page and plan to visit frequently. If you find yourself in a battle of wits with the 1/2 armed, this page will provide you with sources of insight and information. This is very similar to, and includes a reference to, the compilation by Coby Beck in the Grist Series How To Talk To A Climate Skeptic.”

I’m very thankful for people like these that do such hard and detailed work. Bless their hearts!! Keep both of these pages handy and you won’t be unarmed or uninformed.

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Also from Real Climate comes news about the G8 climate declaration.

They say that: “As usual we refrain from a political analysis, but as scientists we note that it is rewarding to see that the results of climate science are fully acknowledged by the heads of state.”

As an inveterate whiner I say check out the cartoon below.

Here’s Some AQ Poop

WANT TO SEE WHAT YOU’RE BREATHING?

nps-aq.jpgThe National Park Service Web Cameras Site currently lists just the cameras that provide AQ data. We hope it gets to all cameras and hope that eventually they all have AQ monitors. CHECK IT OUT.

There is also a monitoring station site, (I mentioned this before,) and the data is near real-time. CHECK IT OUT. By the way there is an ozone health advisory for Yellowstone National Park today!

big-yell-hg.jpgThe NPS is finally making their AQ programs public and have updated their “Explore Air” page with some nice images and some good information.

Sadly, the NPS page “Greening Of The National Parks” has been abandoned since June of 2004.

Finally, the USGS mercury monitoring guys have been working hard for Yellowstone. CHECK IT OUT.

Want to see the current status of in-park emissions inventories conducted to date? Click here.

Want to see the Executive Order for strengthening federal environmental, energy, and transportation management? Click here.

Climate Change & Skeptics

COBY BECK DID THE HARD WORK

hot-world.jpgI’m often asked “How do you know that . . . { pick one: . . . there is climate change, it’s bad, it is real, it’s not a hoax, computer models work, it’s not the volcanoes, etc., etc., etc.”}

I used to take a lot of time with the questions and even thought that I might have had some influence on the thought processes of the questioners. Now I just provide a short & simple answer, avoid arguments, and refer the questioner to the series by Cory Beck in Grist. Somehow it seems to have more credibility than do I.

I’ve grown to rely on this series, not so much because of it’s authority, but because it’s so perfectly suited to dealing with all levels of skepticism – from the stupid to the sublime and from the stubborn to the spurious.

No, it’s not perfect, (nor am I,) but damn, girlfriend, it’s a brilliant piece of hard work. There are a pair of companion pieces by Michael Le Page that need to be mentioned also:

CLIMATE CHANGE: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED,
CLIMATE MYTHS: THEY PREDICTED GLOBAL COOLING IN THE 1970s

There are many web sources that serve to illustrate the situation. One that is current and fairly straightforward is the Global Warming Blog.

I’ve copied the references to Cory Beck’s series on my DISTRACTIONS page under the title Talking To Skeptics, it’s also available in the sidebar. This is just in case Grist goes out of business.

The Climate Is What We Make It

WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY, NOW?

ipcc.jpg

It’s tough reading, and the site is a bit jumbled, but it’s worth the time: visit the IPCC page for a look at the How, What, Where, When and Who of Global Warming. It seems that an attitude adjustment is badly needed – and our decadent complacency being what it is may hurt us in the long run. If there ever was a non-partisan issue this is it. So I expect that action will take decades.

Given the pace that governments act, and the even slower pace of their constituent bureaucracies, we will see many parts of our government, including the National Park Service, playing catch-up for the next century.

I’ll have more to say — of course!!

IPCC: Part Two

WHO WINS? WHO LOSES? ALL OF US!

Photo, courtesy of Dr. Satish-Kumar

its-global-warming.jpg

Well guys, Friday is the big day for the “official release” of the second report from the IPCC: it’s mostly been leaked already. Working Group 2 will release it’s report on the positive and negative impacts of global warming – “Impacts, Adaptation, And Vulnerability.” This should cause a new chain of conversation and rhetoric.

The early news is that food production in the temperate regions will increase. The tropics will suffer, and more species will become extinct. Initially the rich get richer and the poor become destitute.

bear.gifThere are many other ramifications charted by this second report, but the gist of it is that for a decade or two ameliorating climate feels like a good thing in the northern and temperate regions – then it all goes to hell in a most disturbing fashion.

One of the big changes for affluent nations and individuals will be the re-distribution of wealth from “eco-tourism.” Go to Africa now, then book your arctic tour – before there’s little to see.

Avoid Yellowstone – the courts and the diminishing snow will cause great uncertainty.

I’m going to wait for the report. If you want a sneak peek there are a few summary notes available at the sources listed below:
IPCC: Yeah, You Know Me,
Chaos & Effect,
Tropical Losers, Northern Winners From Warming?
Climate Draft Charts Extinctions,
Poor Nations To Bear Brunt As World Warms.

proof.jpg=======================

To keep abreast of climate related events just visit “GLOBAL WARMING” a Timely, Current, Succinct blog. To enjoy a bit of girl stuff visit “FUN WITH FEMINISM.” To ask questions about fishing visit By Hook & By Book.

new-coast.jpgBuzz over to Ralph Maughan’s Wildlife News and read the last four – five posts about things going on. Me thinks that we’re in deep trouble already.

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I’ll be shooting this weekend. I’m taking my fish pole and a camera, posts should continue, and the brevity will astound us both.

A New 100 Year Forecast

A CHANGE IN PARADIGM

tropic.jpgThe IPCC report recently released in X-Summary has produced an interesting spin-off. There may be climate changes that produce weather that humans have not seen before. Perhaps as much as 39% of the earth will have climate that we have no familiarity with.

And, It’s going to come in the tropical and subtropical portions of the world as we know it. This is a call for some serious consideration.

As pointed out at ScientificAmerican.com:

. . . ecologists John Williams of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Stephen Jackson of the University of Wyoming, along with U.W. Madison climatologist John Kutzbach compared global climate projections published last month by the fourth IPCC with current regional climates, looking specifically at average summer and winter temperatures and precipitation. They considered scenarios of either unchecked greenhouse gas emissions or a global reduction in the rate of emissions growth.
. . . Jackson says that prior studies have concentrated on ecological changes closer to the poles, but the tropical changes might be more dramatic. “If [the climate of] Memphis moves to Chicago, we have a Memphis there to say what Chicago will look like,” he says. “For an area where we don’t have a modern analogue, there’s really nothing to look at to say, this is what the environment will look like.”

So, it looks like there will be some interesting times ahead – even if we remove 100% of the anthropogenic component of global warming tomorrow. [If that happened the direction and magnitude of the current changes would continue for at least a century and probably more!]

One interesting aspect of the changes to come is the way we plan our social adaptive strategies. Everything from snowmobiles in Yellowstone to cropland for agriculture. And this completely side steps the concerns over the oceans, not to mention energy supply and distribution — to what new places?

For instance, the current debate over snowmobiles in Yellowstone is about to become irrelevant. What if there was not enough snow to support sleds and tanks? What would the planners come up with? Would they reinvent the wheel? Of course!

Or, what about the continued population growth in the United States of America? With each person requiring about 12 acres to be removed from the ‘natural’ setting, (for the necessary food production,) it will be interesting to see where these acres come from. Take a peek at The American Chronicle series, The Next 100 Million Americans.

And as the seas warm, and activate the supposedly dormant pollution that we have spewed into them what will the fishing industry do? Who will figure out this problem? Look at the IPS article about the disappearance of sharks and the collapse of the ocean’s food web.

dans-hans.jpgThen too, climate and weather are so tightly married in the popular mindset that maybe we won’t have any organized response. Perhaps we’ll just continue to ‘muddle along’ and hope.

Real Estate developers should look at the current conflict between Canada & Denmark. What’s that? They are peace lovers.

Well now, Hans Island, (go ahead and Google this for a bit of insight,) is smack in the middle of new arctic shipping routes and is currently uninhabited.

jams-hans.jpgIf it were not so serious it would be laughable. There is a rush by all manner of groups to claim the island. Will there be a war over this Frisbee – shaped island? Hells’ bells guys, the icebergs are bigger than the island.

From a personal point of view, I wonder about the following things: Where will the best California Cabernet come from? Where will the best Burgundy come form – certainly not Burgundy. Will the Firehole River become a world famous Blue Gill fishery? Will I have to go to Barrow, Alaska to catch a Brook Trout? Will ballistics change with the different densities of the atmosphere and will my current rifles still shoot their current loads? How long will it take to hard-boil an egg at this elevation? Will the rich of Malibu, California build sea walls? Where will the new Wall Street be? I, have many more, but you get the idea. The trivial and the not-so-trivial will be changing in the very near future.

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Interesting Reading

Antarctic Melting May Be Speeding Up, Scientists Say,
Global Warming and New Technology Heat Up Race for Riches in Melting Arctic
As Sharks Vanish, Chaotic New Order Emerges
The Ladonia Commonwealth
It’s Mine! No, Mine!
Canada island visit angers Danes
Man bites shark

Greatest Yellowstone Fishing – 1870’s – 1890’s?

IMAGINE A CUTTHROAT GORGED ON LOCUST

The new six inches of snow has given me time to chase records and historical accounts for climate during the early years of Yellowstone National Park. rml-extinct.jpgIt’s became apparent that the years from the 1870’s to the 1890’s are pivotal in my understanding of the weather during this time period. This is when the accounts are most frequent and everything is “new.”

An interesting byproduct of the research was my discovery of the continued references to the Rocky Mountain Locust and the enormous swarms noted during that era. This insect is now extinct.

The reports of fishing done in the park by the early explorers invariably mention the efficacy of using grasshoppers. haynes-yell.jpgThis is not a coincidence. Yellowstone’s famous Grasshopper Glacier, (and several others,) give testament to the hoards blown into the region that was to become Yellowstone.

In my background page on Yellowstone’s Current Trout Species is an article by John Byorth excerpted from The Magazine of Western History. In it he makes mention of the early explorer Gustavus Doane and his advice on catching trout.

“Despite present-day lamentations that wealthy outsiders are ruining western fishing sites with high-priced garb and outsider ideals, the greater Yellowstone region has been an elite fishing hole from the git-go. These men spread the word about Yellowstone’s exceptional fishing, writing in their journals, gabbing at cocktail parties, and blowing cigar smoke over fine Scotch about their piscatorial exploits. While the smoke has long since cleared, their journal entries preserve those classic park fishing stories. Gustavus Doane, for example, wrote in 1870 that “the Yellowstone trout … numbers are perfectly fabulous. [U]sing [grasshoppers] for bait, the most awkward angler can fill a champagne basket in an hour or two.” Nathaniel Langford described “catching forty of the fine trout,” a particularly successful day for his fishing partner Cornelius Hedges. Soon national and local newspapers, as well as periodicals such as Forest and Stream, American Angler, and Outdoor Life, regularly reported Yellowstone fish stories-some humorous, most glorious.”

Several things can be noted from this brief quote: Yellowstone Fly Fishing has always had an elitist-tinge to it, it is written about by people from distant places, it is a male activity, the catches of fish are exceptional, grasshoppers work.

I wonder, and speculate, if the extinction of the Rocky Mountain Locust, and the gradual and continual decline of the Yellowstone fishery has as much to do with global warming as it does with human intervention.

Certainly overfishing, invasive species, and low water levels are contributory to the recent poor fishing on the Yellowstone River. mammothdining.gifCertainly increased agricultural pressure, drought, and fire contributed to the extinction of the great locust. I just wonder if these are not part and parcel of the same very large event that we are just now beginning to comprehend?

Anyway, just how wonderful would it have been to catch a bushel basket full of 25″ cutthroat, and have them prepared by the kitchen staff at Mammoth for me and a few friends.

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A few years ago National Geographic ran a special on the tube about the Rocky Mountain Locust. I vaguely remember it – should have paid more attention! Below are some references to the insect and it’s demise – and entombment in the Grasshopper Glacier.

Wikipedia – Rocky Mountain Locust

National Geographic – The Perfect Swarm (1)

National Geographic – The Perfect Swarm (2)

The Death Of The Super Hopper

The Great Locust Mystery

The Rocky Mountain Locust – Extinction and the American Experience

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