Climate change and extreme weather

A new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) involving more than 80 scientists from a dozen countries says that soaring ocean temperatures are adversely affecting marine life.

The soaring temperature of the oceans is the “greatest hidden challenge of our generation” that is altering the make-up of marine species, shrinking fishing areas and starting to spread disease to humans, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of ocean warming.

The scale of warming in the ocean, which covers around 70% of the planet, is “truly staggering”, the report states. The upper few metres of ocean have warmed by around 0.13C a decade since the start of the 20th century, with a 1-4C increase in global ocean warming by the end of this century.

Warming is already causing fish, seabirds, sea turtles, jellyfish and other species to change their behaviour and habitat, it says. Species are fleeing to the cooler poles, away from the equator, at a rate that is up to five times faster than the shifts seen by species on land.

Seth Meyers looks at the problem created by Republicans going into complete denial mode when it comes to climate change despite the mounting evidence that it is a matter of grave and immediate concern. This attitude is perplexing in that climate change is not something that strikes such an emotional chord that one would expect ordinary people to have a strong ideological commitment to denying.

But thanks to the Republican party’s relentless assault on the idea as some kind of global conspiracy to somehow undermine the US, it has become litmus test for conservatism, like hostility to immigrants and opposition to abortion and same sex marriage.


  1. Chiroptera says

    Mano Singham: Seth Meyers looks at the problem created by Republicans going into complete denial mode when it comes to climate change despite the mounting evidence that it is a matter of grave and immediate concern.

    Local jurisdictions are starting to feel the bite of having to deal with the mess that Global Climate Change is creating, and this includes local Republicans -- especially in coastal areas which are now experiencing the rising sea levels that have been predicted for a long time.

    I wonder how long it will take for the local base to start screaming at their national representatives to quit being stupid? Are we going to have to wait until 2020 when a new demagogue who screams about Mexicans and climate change wins the Republican primaries?

  2. johnhodges says

    Simple enough. The long-term consequences of unabated CO2 rise are predicted to be globally catastrophic, and the obvious preventative measure is to quit burning fossil fuels. This is totally unacceptable to the fossil fuel companies, and the people who make their livings (and especially their fortunes) through them. “We’re not going to leave all those proven reserves in the ground! !! We’re going to dig up and sell every ounce of fossil fuel that this planet HAS!!” The fossil fuel companies are among the largest and richest corporations on the planet, and many of the richest people, in our country and elsewhere, have made their fortunes through that industry. They fund organized conservatism, so they have made it a litmus test to deny and delay any action toward replacing fossil fuels.

  3. says

    As an Albertan, I can attest that the siren song of “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” is more than enough for the ordinary workers to be as strong in their denialism as those making the billions of dollars.

    Not to mention that doing something about the problem means having lives that are a lot less convenient, especially for people with cars.

  4. dphuntsman says

    That’s among the problems, Tabby: hard to get so many vested interests -- including the populations associated with them -- to understand the importance of an issue, when their current paychecks and wealth depend 100% on them not understanding it.

  5. jrkrideau says

    @3 Tabby Lavalamp
    You don’t think the Calgary flood and the Fort McMurrey fire is having a effect?

  6. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To jrkrideau
    Your numbers are lies of various sorts. I’m not accusing you of lying. I’m accusing your sources of being fooled, or lying.

    These are my required 3 readings on this topic:

    Most sources that you see online touting renewables do so through various dishonest games, trickery, and sleight of hand.

    For example, a common tactic is to cite some obscure country somewhere that has 80%+ of renewables, or some other number, but the numbers are from a country with a low population density, and the “renewable” energy is almost all of that is water dams and burning waste farming biomatter, which is near-max already worldwide and cannot be grown further.

    Also, you’ll frequently see blogs and newspaper-like articles cite some countries that are part of an international grid, and they’ll give some number like “produced all the energy they needed for a whole week!” while leaving out that -- yes, it was net energy positive, but that can only happen in that case because they are connected to other countries that use reliable power generation. In other words, the catch-22 energy storage problem I cited above.

    Often, people will cite battery breakthrough technologies as a counterpoint, but it’s just something that they googled like 5 minute ago with no further research. I’ve seen half a dozen different battery techs designed to solve this problem being cited, and every single one of them is vaporware.

    The only solution with today’s technology is conventional nuclear fission reactors, and the only highly promising technology within a decade or two is better conventional nuclear fission reactors. I’m concerned about global warming and ocean acidifcation, especially ocean acidification, and that’s why I write posts like this promoting nuclear power. It’s the cleanest, safest, and about tied for the cheapest form of energy that we have, and if solar gets to say it’s renewable and sustainable, then so does nuclear because the available fuel on Earth will last longer than the sun’s lifetime (assuming a fuel efficient reactor aka breeder reactor).

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