Background on Global Warming

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Primer on the mechanism for global warming: the Greenhouse effect

The following animation by NOAA shows the alarming trend in warming from the 1800s to 2014. Year 2015 was hotter still.  Below are my picks for the most compelling articles & videos on the impact, causes, and urgent need to address it. Science-based Background


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Primer on the mechanism for warming: the Greenhouse effect

The mechanism for global warming is well understood by scientists. … Indeed, recent discovery of internal documents shows that Exxon scientists also predicted problems related climate change to emerge in about 50 years ... back in the 1970s.   
Simply, the mechanism for global warming:  sunlight passes through greenhouse gases (co2, methane).  The light converts to infrared heat energy on the surface of our planet.  That heat energy cannot pass back through the greenhouse gases.  

… The result is that more heat enters than can leave the planet.  Similar to how our cars heat up in a parking lot when the windows are closed.   Notably, the planet mercury, which is much closer to the sun than earth reaches extreme low temperatures – far lower than planet earth, because it has no greenhouse gases.

The accumulation of heat within our atmosphere has been steady since the industrial revolution … but difficult to notice locally … until now … because the oceans have sequestered most of it … and much of the c02.  

… The clearest evidence of a significant change in global temperatures is the steady increase in ocean acidity (from c02 absorption) and sea level.   Each of these indicators are relatively easy to measure and record by international teams of scientists.  For example, sea level in NYC has risen about 1 foot since I was born.   

The public is starting to notice the marked changes in weather patterns and extreme weather events, such as the intensity of storms on the east coast and that major flooding events from Nor Easters have become routine.  

Just in:  North Pole could be warmer than Southern California today

Expect 230mph winds "roaring across the North Atlantic at aircraft cruising altitudes," and lots more rain for an already soaked UK.

Dr. Jennifer Francis, Rutgers notes that the decreased temperature gradient due to rising arctic temperatures is slowing the jet stream, leading to longer lasting weather patterns (droughts) and extreme storms (such as Sandy, and more recently the historic rains in SC, Texas and Colorado). 

… She notes that the polar vortex is usually centered at the pole can wobble out of its common location due to a decrease in the temperature gradient … causing extremely cold weather – as it did in the winter of 2014-15 on the east coast.   

Similarly, the slow and meandering jet stream directed the atypical path of hurricane Sandy (making a sharp and devastating left turn).. a storm that was fueled also by higher ocean temperatures and higher sea level.   

Tipping points?  The rate of sea level rise is increasing exponentially due to feedback mechanisms, such as dramatic release of methane from a warming arctic region and enormous land ice melting of Greenland.   

2016 was the hottest year ever recorded by NOAA - globally.  2015 and 2014 were  the prior records. January 2016 has set yet another all time record.  The best and most complete reporting source for this data is NOAA:
Global Analysis State of Climate National Centers for Environmental Information  (President Trump may censor this information soon)

Notice that for this month, the NE was warmer than normal, and the West cooler (blue).   Note the cold patch in the North Atlantic – attributed by scientists to cooling of the ocean due to rapid melting of Greenland land ice.   Note that this data is compiled by teams of scientists across different countries - making it implausible for it to be a conspiracy.

Update: September 2016:

Finally, please take time to watch at a minimum the outstanding video providing the critical background on the greenhouse effect.  It’s critical that the public is provided this information so that an informed public policy will follow in order to decrease the degree and rate of damage from global warming in the coming years. 

We owe it to the next generation to at least read what the scientists in the field are saying about this threat to our way of life.   The mainstream commercial media has failed us in this regard.

Video Global Warming 101 (1 of 5) - The Greenhouse Effect

An outstanding primer.  Become familiar with the fundamentals of the man-made global warming theory and the vital role the atmospheric greenhouse effect plays in moderating the Earth's climate.

 ~ Karl Schwartz, planet advocate.