.@Reuters jumps PNAS embargo & utterly botches story on new @PIK_climate study of sea level rise per degree warming.
Story headline: “Models point to rapid sea-level rise from climate change”
Paper title (italics added): “The multi-millennial sea-level commitment of global warming”
Paper: “[W]e are committed to a sea-level rise of about 2.3 meters [per 1ºC] within the next 2000 years.”
At least Reuters got in a solid quote from lead author Anders Levermann that makes the right point on the right time scale:
"Continuous sea-level rise is something we cannot avoid unless global temperatures go down again," Levermann said. “Our results indicate that major adaptation at our coastlines will be necessary. It’s likely that some currently populated regions can’t be protected in the long run."
Things I learned in journalism: 1) Journalists do not understand anything with numbers and 2) Journalists do not understand science. The effects: No one knows why the Dow Jones is up/down for the day nor do they know if caffeine is good/bad for you.
Looks to be the same principle here: Reporter skims a report, snags a few quotes from author interview, and runs the piece by their editors. Editors have no clue about science (nor how to fact check it), and kick it out with polished sentences.
Expects 14 inches of sea level rise by 2050, which is faster than previous projections. I’m particularly skeptical of this line:
California is officially bracing for seas to rise 14 inches by 2050, inundating everything up to a foot above high tide.
The author is being a bit disingenuous, confusing his readers. Which policies have been updated or issued that demonstrates California is “officially bracing”? A slew of dire sounding reports doesn’t do much with out actual changes to building and land use regulations. The author goes on to make a list of recommendations, which again, just causes confusion. There’s nothing in his list that’s “official.” Sure, SLR is on the radar of politicians, planners, land owners, etc. But is California doing the following? No. It is not. So, where is the “official” in the article? Such annoying reporting.
Enormous water gates could protect bays from storm surges. They already work in places like the Netherlands and Britain. Buildings can be raised on stilts like those that are now common in tropical Australia and are required in New Orleans, or tethered to the earth and saddled to floats. Shorelines may need to be vacated, with buildings toppled and wetlands restored. Some shoreline will evolve and build up in height without help if they are given back to nature.
Anyone can ask questions about climate change. To clear up confusion, apparently.
The initial aim is for the Guardian team – with help from various partners and, crucially, our readers – to amass the world’s best layman-friendly online guide to all aspects of climate change, from the science to the politics, economics and more. We will also be looking to partner with expert organisations and individuals to inform the project, and are pleased to announce the first of those organisations is the Met Office, which will be offering scientific advice.
View it, here.
Social farming via Internet voting. Loony.
Inspired by the popular game, MyFarm will allow up to 10,000 members to vote on all the major matters at the Wimpole Estate farm
A large working farm will be taken over for the first time by web users across the world on Wednesday, who will vote on every key decision taken on its cattle, pigs, sheep and crops.
Governor Perry asks both God and Obama for relief from wildfires scorching Texas. You can read Perry’s letter to President Obama, here PDF. He asks for millions of dollars in federal assistance, and declared a state of emergency. Yet at the same time, he calls for three Days of Prayer (text below and here). Ultimately, it’s really up to the Federal Government to stop and clean up the fires. See my previous post on the fires, here.
WHEREAS, the state of Texas is in the midst of an exceptional drought, with some parts of the state receiving no significant rainfall for almost three months, matching rainfall deficit records dating back to the 1930s … NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.
The question, for me, is whether this type of response (God or government?) should go on in perpetuity. We know droughts, water shortages, and wildfires will increase from climate change impacts. As politicians like Perry insist on misinforming his constituents, should the public continue to clean up and fund their misguided environmental policies?
True story: Jindal now wants to use some of the BP $20 billion clean-up fund to throw a party. Recall, it was Jindal who said, “We don’t want your BP checks!” Video, here.
Recall also, certain politicians and pundits vigorously derided BP’s offer to Louisiana as a “slush fund” and “extortion.” See dozens of politicians reject the BP funds, here.
And now this, from the good folks at GOOD:
According to the Associated Press, Jindal has asked Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne to spend some of the money Dardenne’s office received from BP after the oil spill—money to be used for, you know, the cleanup efforts—on the 200-years party. Dardenne oversees the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, which got $6.5 million for spill-related advertising, not, one would think, for Jindal’s celebration plans.
25% of all life will go extinct within this century. And we’ve already killed around 20% of species.
Thus, should we just give up our environmental efforts? What should we focus on instead?