Thursday, November 29, 2012

Climate Change; Fact's About The Future

Former Oregon Secretary of State – Bill Bradbury [whose term ended in 2009]
·         28% in population within the next 25 years
·         Increased electricity use due to personal electronics
·         Fuel of the future; plug in hybrid will increase demand for electricity
o   Not using fossil fuels to power car but may use fossil fuels to charge those cars
·         Coal plants burns fossil fuels to make electricity, which creates excess carbon
·         Deeper and longer droughts are killing animals a people
·         Temperatures are rising with global warming
·         Fires are spreading hotter and longer
·         Winds and storms are getting more destructive
·         Rainstorms are getting bigger
·         Bigger floods are wreaking havoc
·         We are seeing significant changes in the climate, which is creating a huge problem
o   Hurricane Sandy [end of October], massive and deadly storm
§  Huge waves and more than thirteen feet of water in NYC
§  Overflowed subway stations
§  Homes, properties and businesses were washed away
§  More than 8 million people lost power
§  Outside the U.S. six Caribbean countries were affected
§  Will cost 50+ billion dollars
·         All happened within a short period of time 
·         These events will become much more common as our climate continues to change
·         The Great Australian flood covered an area the size of Germany and France combined
·         “Brazil is feeling climate changes that are happening in the world; where there is severe drought where it doesn’t rain. . .”
·         “We didn’t used to get weather patterns like thus in Vermont we didn’t used to get tropical storms. . .”
·         “The only plausible explanation for the rise in weather related catastrophes is climate change.”
·         As CO2 increased so does the temperature
·         CO2 comes from:
o   Cars
o   Factories
o   Mining operations
o   Industrialization
·         As temperatures increase, the oceans evaporate more moisture into the sky
o   Heavy precipitation
o   The average humidity of our planet has increased by 4% [than 30 or 40 years ago]
o   Warmer air holds more water, carbon warms the air
·         Causing bigger downpours, and causing longer and deeper droughts
o   Snow melts earlier
o   Longer intervals of severe weather
o   More water evaporates more quickly from the soil, etc.
·         Much of China is extremely or severely dry, as is Europe
·         Droughts in the U.S. are high, near central America
·         Droughts increases the frequency of fires
·         AS temperatures go up, so does forest fires
·         As the weather dries out,  dust will often consume areas
·         Every national academy of science of every major country of the world confirms anthropogenic effects
o   NONE take an opposite view
·         The need for urgent action against climate change is now
·         Hottest month ever measured was July 2012, its effects on the arctic are:
o   Decline in polar bears, 21% since 1997
o   Polar bears are used to a frozen world, when it is becoming liquid
o   Ice caps have been cut in half, due to melting
o   Greenland glaciers are melting twice as fast now
o   Permafrost region have lakes bubbling with gas, where a layer of ice has thawed; this is a chemical reaction
§  Underneath the permafrost layer that is starting to thaw, the organic matter is starting to rot; which produces methane
·         Rapid melting of ice affects the sea level; which rises
·         In 1975 the average wave height was 3 meters and now it is 4 meters, which causes more onshore damage
·         All the glaciers on Mt. Hood have shrunk:
o   Some 30%, some as much as 60%
·         Ann Nolan [OSU] has been studying how much water has been coming from melting glacier and snow
o   75% of water from Hood River comes from melting resources
o   This water is used for agriculture, human usage!
o   Used to water crops and supply people with a water source
§  Elliot Branch 88%
§  Coe Branch 88%
·         When water s come down from mountains they destroy man-made objects, eat out embankments, and bring tons of debris
o   i.e. a new delta was formed via Columbia river in Oregon
·         The Ocean dead zone [of the Central Oregon Coast]:
o   Between Lincoln City and Florence
o   Dead zone is due to extremely low oxygen levels in the ocean
§  Kills of animals and ruins their environment
o   Dead zones are directly related to climate change; they are caused by changes in wind patterns
§  Changes in wind patterns are very consistent with climate change
o   Dead zones leave tons of dead marine mammals, who are die in the bottom of the ocean
·         The average temperature of the Columbia river in Oregon in August in September is 68 degrees; at 70 degrees salmon are stressed by the water
·         The Columbia basin of Oregon is now too hot for salmon to survive in
o   As the planer warms, the streams warm; which is not supportive of our native species
·         Because winters aren’t as cold as they used to be pine needles live through the winter, which extend their reach; which causes incredible devastation, dead trees!
·         Willapa Bay in Washington:
o   Produce 1/6 of that nations oysters, harvest them naturally
o   Oysters spawn – larvae swim, then attach [called a set]
o   Most oysters fail to reproduce naturally through 2005-2009
o   Oregon Oyster Hatchery had a similar problem:
§  80% of oyster larvae died in the hatchery
§  Caused scientists to question what was going on
·         6.3 billion metric tons of carbon are released every year:
o   Half of that is absorbed by the soil, ocean and trees
o   Half of what is left is stored up in the atmosphere
·         The buildup of carbon in the ocean builds up the acidity level:
o   Causes ocean acidification
o   From the adsorption of CO2
o   Cause of oyster shortage, and so much more!
·         Rogue Valley Oregon Climate Change:
o   Temperatures will increase by 15 degrees by 2080
o   Snow will come later and will melt earlier
o   More rain rather than snow
o   Cause flash and winter floods
o   Major hazard in the Rogue Basin
o   Decreased snowfalls causes dry summers
o   Dry streams = dead fish
o   Increases bacteria and disease which causes dead animals
·         Klamath River Basin, Southern Oregon:
o   Oregon is mostly agriculture, lakes, and wildlife refuges
o   As the climate warms snowpack will decrease 73-90% by 2075
§  Leads to a dramatic reduction in water supply
o   By 2075 scientist except water in the Klamath Basin to go up 12 degrees
§  This causes less water, and warmer water
·         This kills animals!
·         Willamette Valley of Oregon:
o   Intense weather will put a lot of developed property at risk
o   If no action is taken for this damages will amount up to millions of dollars
o   Consequences of human health
§  Air quality
§  Recommended cooling centers for health safety
§  Changes in growing conditions
·         Hottest year on record was 2010
·         The deniers of climate change seem certain that the worlds scientists are wrong; and that the carbon in the atmosphere has nothing to do with “climate change”
o   They want to talk about global warming as a theory, not a fact
·         It took the CEO of Exxon Mobile to say “we will adapt to this” – climate change
·         If a 14 year-old boy in Africa can build a wind mill for his village; we [as a society] can fix climate change
·         Wind turbines and solar are significant industries
·         In Oregon solar energy has been huge
o   In march of 2007 Hillsboro Oregon got a plant that employed 14,000 people; and is more earth-friendly
·         Wave energy buoy is in the ocean [in Oregon on the southern coast]
o   Produce energy, stay in ‘farms’
o   An alternative to traditional methods
·         Geothermal energy is hot water harvested from the earth and tuned into usable nergy, part of “hot zones”
o   Warm water is a result
·         For the first time in 2010 investments in renewable energy were more than those of fossil fuel investments
·         In 2008 a bunch of coal plants were proposed for the U.S., where ton of them were cancelled for more efficient ways of producing energy
·         Older homes lose much more energy than more eco-friendly homes
o   Ways to save energy is swapping out energy consuming appliances
o   Home heating and cooling and water heating are huge sources
·         Renewable energy is a huge part [and a new part] of our economy
·         An estimated 62,000 jobs will be available if switching to more earth-friendly energy production
·         Very few areas are expected to avoid severe weather; western Oregon, western Washington, part of California, southern Florida, a small area of Texas, part of Tennessee, and part of Pennsylvania
o   Oregon and Washington are some of the best candidates for avoiding extreme disasters

This is the only Earth that we will ever have, and that is the reality. If we keep abusing Mother Nature, we will be left with depleted resources. The younger generation would appreciate it if would all work together and keep this place a livable planet.
·         Is it too late?
o   No, it is not too late, especially if we team u[; but there will be lasting effects of what has already happened. The temperatures will remain higher, but we can fix climate change.
·         Is hurricane Sandy a wakeup call?
o   More and more people are coming to understand that climate change causes severe weather reactions, including the governor.