Monday, June 27, 2016

The Climate…In Your Backyard

Dr. James Hansen
  The Open Mind, Hosted by Alexander Heffner <>   I’m Alexander Heffner your host on The Open Mind. Joining me today is perhaps the world’s most famous climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, Director of Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Formerly the leader of NASA’s Space Studies, Hansen recently returned from the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Conference, where he pitched Warren Buffett and fellow investors on a carbon fee. His discussion, “Energy and Climate Change: How justice can be achieved for young people,” focused on the inter generational imperative of climate change and the harm climate disruption poses to us, Millennials and their children and grandchildren. Hansen’s newest study, alongside his European counterparts, projects more melted ice sheets, rising sea levels, and superstorms. As we have explored here on this program, the consensus of modeling forecasts, a dangerous doom and gloom, that puts in jeopardy the habitability of the planet, just decades from now. I want to welcome Jim, James, Dr. Hansen. Thank you for being here today.   HANSEN: Thank you for having me.     HEFFNER: Now, we were talking off camera. And in, in The Guardian, you said, in response to the Paris talks, “It’s really a fraud, a fake.” And I said, uh, well… More

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Global Extreme Weather in June 2016

Understanding Climate Change.  As air temperatures get hotter more evaporation takes place leading to greater precipitation and flooding.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Economic and Social Sustainability of the Cayman Islands

The next four decades are going to be extremely challenging in many ways. They will be challenging not only economically and socially, these islands will also be challenged by a changing climate, exposing us to much higher levels of risk, as well as exposed politically to violent winds of change. There are also the issues of energy security and sea level rise that will have to be addressed .   The leadership of these islands have time and again proved themselves incapable of visualizing and planning for the future, and the concomitant issues that we are going to faced with in the medium and long-term. I often feel overwhelmed by complacency, given that the only forward thinking runs in four year cycles and is politically driven.  The Cayman Islands have never liked planning and as I often repeat "failing to plan is planning to fail".      

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Has veteran climate scientist James Hansen foretold the ‘loss of all coastal cities’ with latest study?

Has veteran climate scientist James Hansen foretold the ‘loss of all coastal cities’ with latest study?
Firstly, Hansen says they may have uncovered a mechanism in the Earth’s climate system not previously understood that could point to a much more rapid rise in sea levels. When the Earth’s ice sheets melt, they place a freshwater lens over neighboring oceans. This lens, argues Hansen, causes the ocean to retain extra heat, which then goes to melting the underside of large ice sheets that fringe the ocean, causing them to add more freshwater to the lens (this is what’s known as a “positive feedback” and is not to be confused with the sort of positive feedback you may have got at school for that cracking fifth grade science assignment). Secondly, according to the paper, all this added water could first slow and then shut down two key ocean currents – and Hansen points to two unusually cold blobs of ocean water off Greenland and off Antarctica as evidence that this process may already be starting. If these ocean conveyors were to be impacted, this could create much greater temperature differences between the tropics and the north Atlantic, driving “super storms stronger than any in modern times”, he argues.   “All hell will break loose in the North Atlantic and neighbouring lands,” he says in a video summaryMore