Posting in Cities
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability offers framework for assessing unique risks and setting achievable goals.
The non-profit organization ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA has developed a set of tools and best practices for for towns and local governments that might be paralyzed by the daunting process of planning strategies to combat potential climate changes. And, frankly, that probably have a lot of other worries -- like the economy -- aside from the environment.
The framework, called the Climate Resilient Communities Program, includes what is called the Adaptation and Database Planning Tool (ADAPT). ADAPT provides a series of questions and assessments that help a city or community identify its unique risks, set goals and develop strategies to meet there. The framework is available to all 600 or so ICLEI member communities. There are 8 communities that will receive extra guidance to accelerate their efforts. That's because they have stepped forward to get started. They are:
- Cambridge, Mass.
- Flagstaff, Ariz.
- Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Lee County, Fla.
- Miami-Dade County, Fla.
- San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
- Tucson, Ariz.
Martin Chavez, ICLEI USA Executive Director (and the former three-term mayor of Albuquerque, N.M.) says in the press release:
"Local governments have a responsibility to protect people, property, and natural resources, and these leading communities wisely recognize that climate change is happening now, and that they must begin planning for impacts that will only become more severe in the coming decades."
ICLEI is also involved with another initiative emerging over the weekend, called the carbonn Cities Climate Registry. The registry will allow cities to compare their actions, performance and commitments relate to the climate. It will be the official reporting platform for the Global Cities Covenant on Climate (aka the Mexico City Pact), which is supported by cities including Bogota, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Jakarta, Sao Paola, Nagoya, Montreal, Curitiba, Dakar, Los Angeles, Quito and Nagpur. The data will be used to produce a public gauge of progress called the Climate 100 in about a year's time. Other organizations backing this initiative include the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting kind of confused about the number of initiatives that are taking a stab at helping communities and cities measure their environmental impact. This one seems like a main alternative to the Carbon Disclosure Project Cities initiative, on a potentially much larger scale.
Nov 21, 2010
HI (27) give it up--climategate was thoroughly debunked despite your unnamed source's protestations. Muir Russell, who headed this investigation is a retired civil servant and educator and has no connection whatsoever and is not in the emails. The Penn State investigation that exonerated Mr. Mann was headed up by Dr. Eva Pell, Senior VP for Research and Dean of Graduate School at Penn State and was also completely independent. I could go on, but I'm getting the distinct impression that you are holding onto this as a matter of faith, not fact, so there is no amount of clearance that will be adequate in that case. Like riverat has already said, the overwhelming data sources that indicate climate change come from so many additional directions that the arguments for it in no way rest on the East Anglia data anyway. If you (or more likely other readers) are interested in a few, check out this source: http://www.skepticalscience.com/its-not-us-advanced.htm
HI, (#27) Well, by the "head of the cabal" I assume you mean Phil Jones. He has since be rehired for a somewhat modified position that is more science oriented and reduces the administrative work he was doing. Could you give me a link or direct quote that supports your allegations? I've never heard anything from EAU/CRU that says data, either altered or unaltered, shows a temperature drop. Raw data is always "altered" in a process called normalization. It's seldom very useful to try and use unnormalized data. Yes, their data handling could have been better. I'm not sure you couldn't say that about lots of scientific studies. It's just that this area is so politicized that you have to dot all the i's and cross all the t's or you get nailed. To be fair the stuff you are talking about happened back in the 1980's long before it started getting the level of attention it is now.
The head of the cabal made several admissions, but the major media outlets have chosen to ignore them. The only North American report on it was with the Canadian Free Press. They had video and a transcript. FYI, several of the people who allegedly cleared them in an allegedly OUTSIDE review of their actions were among the people who were listed in the emails so they are not valid to me to perform an honest review. That is like asking a wolf to investigate if a fox stole chickens. A true outside review of their actions did find that at best their data handling was sloppy and their peer review process was seriously lacking credibility. They essentially provided their own peer review by having friends review their reports. Then they altered their findings AFTER the peer review was performed and before their reports were released. Their friends doing the peer reviews knew about the changes, yet failed to question them. There were also no charges ever made over the HACKING of these emails because police determined it was an inside job. No laws were broken releasing the information because someone with direct access leaked the information. They might have violated a confidentially agreement, but no laws were broken. There is now a push to have East Anglia investigated for fraud in the spending of government money for global warming research that was based on false information. When the country is rocked with protests over hikes in collage fees there is not much of an appetite to protect professors who commit fraud.
HI, (#23) How can they be cleared when they admitted they altered data and they admitted that the unaltered data shows a temperature drop? Where did they do that? If you think it's in the "climategate" emails there is no such thing there.
HI, Oh, I seriously doubt I have a better grasp on the complexities than most climate scientists who have dedicated their lives to that study. I've just always had a deep interest in science and have been paying attention to the global warming debate since the late 1980's so I'm aware of the issues. As I've said before there are a myriad of factors that go into determining what the climate is but just a few of them control the general conditions that pertain and the rest of them are either major feedbacks of the controlling factors or just tweak the results a little bit. Of the controlling factors the two biggest currently are insolation (a fancy word for INcoming SOLar radiATION) and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. We have not observed any substantial change in the level of insolation in the past 50 years but we have observed a massive change in the level of atmospheric CO2 and we can easily show most of that is due to human activities, primarily burning fossil fuels. You can't called the warming trend "unproven". Climate scientists use 30 year periods* for defining their trends. The current trend is that the 1980's were warmer than the 1970's. The 1990's were warmer than the 1980's. The 2000's were warmer than the 1990's. 2010 is likely to become the new "warmest year on record" and is certain to be in the top 3. That is by definition a well "proven" warming trend. * 30 years because it is long enough that short term natural variations such as the solar cycle and ENSO tend to wash out leaving the long term trends more obvious. As far as EAU goes I don't believe they have "admitted to a minor cooling trend". If you're referring to Phil Jones statement that there had been no statistically warming between 1995 and 2009 you should seek out the full quote. The bar for statistically significant is 2 standard deviations or 95%. The warming trend Phil Jones found from 1995-2009 was greater than 90% significant but not 95%. But, throw out all of the EAU/CRU results it doesn't change anything. There are other parallel efforts that show much the same thing as their research.
The results of the exhaustive inquiry questioned the behavior of some of the scientists' behavior, particularly in regards to requests from the commission, but the inquiry completely vindicated the validity of the data, concluding that they found absolutely nothing that would change the results of the IPCC conclusions. Like I said, the results of this inquiry was not reported nearly as widely as the charges of malfeasance, but the conclusions mirrored two other inquiries into the situation and the conclusion of all were the same. Here's a link to the initial report by the Guardian, which has a link to the full report: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/08/muir-russell-climategate-climate-science
How can they be cleared when they admitted they altered data and they admitted that the unaltered data shows a temperature drop? An admission of guilt is not being cleared.
The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the oldest and well respected scientific journal on the planet, recently made the unprecedented advance publication (due out in Jan. '11) available FOR FREE so that its papers would be available for the Cancun COP16 talks on climate change. This latest synthesis is grim, predicting a 4 degree Celsius (note: MORE than Fahrenheit) increase in planetary temperature within many of our lifetimes. Download these papers at: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934.toc
HI, Of course, you are aware that the East Anglia charges cleared of any scientific malfeasance, a conclusion that was not reported nearly as widely as the charges of corruption. You certainly have the right to disagree with this clearance, although I must say that the review and conclusions of this clearance seemed quite exhaustive and convincing to me. Those who think that AGW is a scientific consipracy to gain more dollars and power by the climatological community don't really appreciate the depth of understanding that the scientific community DOES have of the climatological dynamics of the earth. The driving force behind the conclusions of virtually all of the climatological community is the fact that they simply cannot explain the dynamics of the system WITHOUT including the effects of millions of tons of carbon injected into the atmosphere by human activity. The models are based on physical properties and biological processes that are very well understood scientifically (absorption of carbon by primary producers, albedo and absorption by the earth's various surfaces, the greenhouse properties of various gases and water vapor, etc.). These models are run many, many times with varying assumptions each time to check the robustness of the results, and the resolution of the data has been increasingly refined to capture more and more nuances of the system. New data from current measurements is being incorporated into the models all the time, and it can take weeks on a supercomputer to run the model. The bottom line is that without the influence of the human generated atmospheric carbon, all of the models show that global temps should have been dropping, not rising. The only way that the current increases can be accounted for, with all of the other factors included (solar irradiance, albedo, water vapor, etc.) is to include the influence of human generated carbon. Period. So as a scientist, what would you do? Propose that some unknown process is causing the observed effects? Even if you did this, you would have to explain why this unknown process is needed, as the human-injected carbon also explains the results. Don't think that the scientific community isn't looking for refinements of the models, because they are. But scientists who are in the field have looked at the data and the models and are virtually unanimous in their conclusions about the reality of our impact today on the atmosphere and climate. And these conclusions do not rest solely on East Anglia data, either, in case you are continuing to think that this data is bogus. If anything, the new data coming in is indicating that the models may be UNDERestimating the problem.
@River You have a far better grasp on the complexities involved with global climate than most of the alleged scientists who shout about global warming. I still do not see how there can be a million natural variables at play that have run the earth through hundreds of heating and cooling cycles before mans industrial age began and they still feel safe to confidently say man is the cause of the current still unproven warming trend. I say unproven because you must remember that our friends at East Anglia, the global weather experts, FIXED their previously corrupted global temperature trend data and admitted to a minor, they called statistically insignificant, cooling trend. That one issue solidifies why all this global warming talk irrelevant.
HI, Actually the Earth has been on a slight cooling trend since about 7,500 years ago until recent increases in CO2 reversed that. The factors for Milankovitch cycles include orbital eccentricity, axial tilt, axial precession, apsidal precession and orbital inclination. Another factor that comes into play is the distribution of land surface on the Earth and the fact that most of the land area is in the Northern Hemisphere. The fact is though that none of the elements of the Milankovitch cycles operates on a short enough time scales to be a factor in the present warming trend but they do have some effect on the cycles of the past when looked at in time scales of thousands of years. I don't see at all how this blasts AGW. As I said, the time scales of Milankovitch cycles are long enough that we can ignore them in the present situation. They only need to be considered once you start examining thousands of years of climate. So all I can say is try again.
Than we should be coming out of a warming trend and moving into a cooling trend as the earths eccentricity is at its minimum, causing more even temperatures year round, and is also at it?s closest precession during the winter months leading to warmer temperatures in the winter. As its eccentricity increase we will see more temperature variations between summer and winter for the next 50,000 years and then the cycle reverses it?s self as the earths orbit flattens again. As its precession changes we will see the variation between summer and winter temperatures widen for the next 10,000 years until the cycle reverses it?s self. So in one response you just blasted man made global warming to hell, explained the warming trend seen since the last ice age and validated the lower global temperatures seen by East Anglia in their post scandal adjusted numbers. Thanks.
One more comment. Unfortunately this story is old enough that it has aged off the SmartPlanet front page so not many people are likely to read my reply to HI.
HI, (#15) The cycling between glaciations and interglacial periods over the last 500,000 years (really more like the last 2 million years) has been driven primarily by changes in the Earth's orbit and rotation, commonly called as Milankovitch cycles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles Once those changes are started they are amplified by feedbacks such as CO2 being released by a warming ocean and increasing water vapor driven by warming temperatures. When the Milankovitch cycles switch back then the process reverses itself. Among the reasons that Milankovitch cycles don't apply to the warming we are seeing today is that they don't change that fast, the various components having periods ranging from around 20,000 years to 400,000 years. Also, despite the fact that the oceans are currently warming they are still absorbing CO2 because the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased enough that the oceans are not yet saturated with CO2 for their current temperature. The increase in atmospheric CO2 is driven by human emissions from burning fossil fuels (mostly). Other evidence that the current warming is different is that the expected change in global temperatures that we have seen and will be seeing in the next few hundred years would normally take several thousand years in the natural glacial/interglacial cycles. The simple fact is that the global climate of the Earth is normally driven by two primary factors, the rate of incoming solar radiation (insolation) and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Milankovitch cycles change the insolation but they don't operate fast enough to account for current changes. The Sun itself could change its output but we haven't measured any change significant enough to account for the changes we are seeing lately. The only factor that has changed enough to account for most of the change we are seeing is the increase in atmospheric CO2 which is caused primarily by human burning of fossil fuels. I know the above doesn't sound much like crickets. Sorry to disappoint you.
@river and klass. I have posted many questions here regarding the problems found with man made global warming data and its supporters run for cover from them. Mario brought up the biggest and simplest unanswered question. It is one that has been asked by many people. Given the known history of the earths frequent and dramatic temperature changes over the past 500,000 years, what was causing that change before humans? Cue the crickets from the global warming crowd.
klassmann6, Thanks, I've noticed and appreciate your responses as well. I think a lot of deniers have a problem understanding the time frames of what's going to happen and when scientific projections don't happen in a few years they just assume it's not a problem. They don't realize that it may take 30 years for some effect to become completely engaged and if it reaches that point it may take hundreds of years to reverse. Like so much of the culture in our world we need instant gratification and don't deal with long term issues very well.
By the way, river, thanks for the clarity in your responses. I've noticed that when this is done well enough, most deniers pick up their soapboxes and move elsewhere, since they are not really interested in examining their assumptions or looking more broadly at the wider trends that are becoming more and more clear. Science News, Nature, Science, the climate pages at the NOAA website are all pretty good at pointing me to good data analyses. In my experience, most deniers have a continual problem distinguishing between the uncertainty of meteorological predictions and the much greater certainty of climatological predictions, which I characterize as the difference between trying to predict the path of a kayak down a whitewater river vs. trying to predict the path of an ocean liner across the Atlantic.
Mario, The fact is we know very well what the over all outcome of rolling a pair of dice 10,000 times will be within a percentage point or two. We just don't know the specific order they will come in. You are not likely to beat the tables in Vegas because the casinos use their knowledge of the odds to rig the outcome in their favor. Even though the casinos rig it in their favor there will still be some people who hit a big payoff. Economic modeling is very different than climate modeling. Economic outcomes depend on the actions of human beings which are not always easy to predict. Climate models on the other hand depend on actual physical effects that are not subject to the whims of human nature (except as they affect the physical effects such as adding CO2 to the atmosphere). We may not know all of the details of the variables that go into climate but as I said before not all of the variables are of equal importance and it appears we have pretty good knowledge of the more important of these variables. James Hansen used a relatively primitive model in 1988 for his congressional testimony. A recent look back at his results found that his Scenario B was most accurate regarding the forcings that occurred (the biggest being the level of CO2 in the atmosphere) and the predictions from the model came within 10% of what actually occurred. I'd have to say that's not bad for the time it was created. There is a more detailed analysis of it here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/ The agenda as far as I am concerned is to save our modern civilization. Global warming won't lead to the extinction of the human race any time soon but it could lead to the collapse of our civilization and a big reduction of the human population if some of the worst hypothesized effects come to pass. I don't really give a damn about Al Gore. I've never seen his movie or read any of his books. I prefer to go more directly to the source of knowledge about global warming. But you guys keep bringing him up. It's a strawman argument. I bet his carbon footprint is considerably lower than many on your side of the argument who have a similar station in life. BTW, I don't begrudge Al Gore the extra security he has. As a former Vice President and the focus of so much vitriol from global warming deniers he has security issues that the average person doesn't have. By flying privately he avoids inflicting the needs of his security on others who would be flying with him on a commercial flight.
riverat1, You do not need to explain statistics or modeling, as an Economist plus a bachelor's degree in science I am well aware of these. Fact is climate models are as accurate as the economic ones used to predict the nature or health of the economy which are poor due the complexity of the model. In part this is due to our current limited computing power and part to the fact we cannot determine how an organic system by it's very nature designed to change dependent on what seems to be an infinite amount of variables will be tomorrow. At best it is a roll of the dice or flipping of the coin as you say and as such no one can say what by rolling the deice 10,000 or 100,000 times that a definite pastern of numbers will emerge in a sequence since the outcome is always different-it is a random outcome. If it were not the case we could then all beat the tables at Vegas with enough time however in fact that is a statistical impossiblity. First year stat students are tought this. Therefore why change policy, cause disruption in peoples lives, increase utility bills, tell people for certain a statistical uncertainly, essentially lie in manner that is terrorizing in nature via we must to this or else we will cease to exist message? What is the agenda? To save lives? If so the U.S. (and others like the U.N.) would leave Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, support Palestine not Israel and work to reduce military hardware around the world not be a leading manufacture and exporter of it. I've said this before to others and say it again, riverat1 do not allow yourself to be a "useful idiot." Gore lives in a mansion by the sea and consumes far more CO2 a month then the average middle class American family in a year. He is not worried about increase in water levels or the supposed affect of CO2. I guess by you consuming less allows him to keep consuming more. Well someone has to fly in private gets and avoid Airport security, Better him than you, correct?:)
HI, Do you have some reference for the 2009 Chilean earthquake changing the planet's orbit? I understand how it can change Earth's rotation, similar to the way a skater can speed up a spin by pulling their arms in but I've never heard of it actually changing the orbit around the Sun. A change of +/- 100 miles in the orbit isn't all that significant when you consider it's about 93 million miles from the Earth to the Sun. That's like a 0.00011% change in the orbit. It's not true that no one has studied the effects of orbital changes on Earth's climate. Perhaps the most famous one is Milutin Milankovic for whom Milankovich Cycles are named for. He was doing that work in the 1910's. Over time our understanding of it has become more sophisticated but there is more to learn.
Mario, Climate is the statistical compilation of weather over time. A simple analogy is the rolling of a pair of dice. You don't know with any certainty what the result of a single roll of the dice will be except that it will be somewhere between 2 and 12. However, if you roll them 10,000 times you can predict with good accuracy what the distribution of the rolls will be. Weather is similar to the single roll of the dice, difficult to predict but within a limited range. Climate is similar to 10,000 rolls of the dice, the results of which is much easier to predict within a margin of error. Global warming is a perfectly good name to call it. Globally the planet is getting warmer. There is no doubt about that. Some areas of the planet are warming faster than others but over climatological time scales it is warming everywhere. Climate change works as well since the climate is changing. I use them interchangeably but prefer global warming. The human race's effect on the climate is the subject of intense study. Just because we can't give answers accurate to 5 decimal places doesn't mean we don't know anything. It's a simple fact that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen by about 40% since 1830. It's a scientifically proven fact that human burning of fossil fuels is responsible for nearly all of that rise in CO2 levels. It's absurd to think that such a significant change in the level of the #2 greenhouse gas won't have a significant effect. The tools we have today for measuring climate may not be perfect but they are vastly superior to what was available even 40 years ago. No climate scientist would ever claim they can be 100% certain what the climate will be 50 years from now. But they might say that if solar radiation doesn't change significantly from what it's been for the last 50 years and if CO2 levels in the atmosphere keep rising as they have been and if there are few major volcanic eruptions then I'm 95% certain the climate will be within this range in 50 years. As you say there are a myriad of variables in determining climate but some are far more significant than others. The big ones set the general climate level and the smaller ones tweak that value but don't change it a lot. The big variables are the incoming solar radiation, the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, clouds and geography. The lesser variables are small enough they can be ignored for the sake of the big picture. The climate of Earth is driven by the energy balance of the planet. Incoming solar radiation (over 99% of incoming energy) gets absorbed or reflected to various degrees depending on the nature of the surface it strikes. The absorbed energy eventually gets re-emitted, mostly as infrared (heat) radiation. The greenhouse gases, clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere intercept that outgoing infrared radiation slowing down its egress off the planet thus heating up the atmosphere. That is what the GCM's model. They're not perfect but they're more right than wrong.
Manmade global warming proponents try to simplify incredible complex systems to finger man as the blame for any type of climate change. For example. Geologists have reported that the 2009 earthquakes in Chile and Haiti altered the earths diameter. This tiny change altered the earth rotation disrupting the day/night balance and moved the earths orbit closer to the sun by several feet. Tracking these orbital changes is a recent development, but there are already geologists who say that the cumulative effect of tectonic activity could move the earth as much as 100 miles closer to or further away from the sun. No one has studied the effects of such a shift in orbit on the earths climate, but all scientists asked on the matter feel that the change would be severe. We know from historical archives, ice cores and a host of other data that the earth has been substantially warmer and colder in the past than it is now. The Medieval Warming Trend and the Little Ice Age are recent examples of this long running see-saw in global temperatures. So how do you prepare for this?
rudy2d, Don't assume on the internet that everyone is a U.S. national and therefore a conservative from that perspective simply because they do not share your view point. Try to THINK beyond what your media seems to have hypnotized you into believing. It is rare that everyone in the "scientific community" agrees on any particular theory (especially when introduced and unproven) as answer to an unknown or rarer, arrives at the same consensus. You must not be from such a community nor have bothered to inform yourself, thus why you speak in such absolutes. Further the oil industry has never made so much money than now over this false notion of impending scarcity, or global warming. Also keep your terms straight, global warming says the climate IS getting warmer while climate change implies the weather can get warmer or colder or anything in between. So which is it? Since no one knows for sure those who were pushing global warming ?theory? (means not a fact) are now saying climate change. What is new with climate change? For one fact, nothing since it has been occurring since the being of our planets time and most of that time has been without humans. Fact #2, it cannot be accurately determined (as far as I know) what affect and the degree of that effect if any, humans are having on the climate. Further if we do not have the tools today to determine all variables and how those variables will interplay with each other to determine without error the climate for the next seven days how can anyone predict 100% what it will be 50 years from now when there are a significant amount of affecting variables both known and unknown and both on this planet and beyond it affecting its outcome? Therefore how can it be said unequivocally to the fact the earth?s climate changes, humans are the main and some cases the sole cause of that change? Then what was causing that change before humans?
A quick test to determine if someone is a Republican fanatic is to ask them about their opinion on Global Warming / Climate Change. No wonder GOP stands for Grand Oil Party. Ironically President Bush acknowledged human induced climate change through global warming. This is supported by facts and by virtually 100% of world scientists. Only the fossil fuel interests and their supporters oppose the facts. Some anti-science people even confuse weather, which is short term and variable, with climate which is measured over 50 and more years
Repeal, When there is a void of thought combined with bias reporting from Heather and Joe, what can be expected, the truth; they can't handle the truth! I ask Heather and Joe, what tools exist to tell us the weather accurately for the next seven days let alone the next seventy? P.S. I won't hold my breath waiting...
The worst form of pollution is poverty! Ultimately global warming is a political question and only secondarily a scientific question! Only wealthy nations can afford to deal with pollution. Ask yourself this question: would all the best efforts of mankind have prevented the tropical heat of the dinosaur era? Obviously not because mankind came much later! And mankind is not the source of global warming in the 21st century: it is a repeating natural cycle! America has 1/4th of the coal on planet Earth and 200 years worth of natural gas. Let?s burn it, regain our wealth and fund research for alternate fuels from a position of strength; instead of sending $640 billion a year to our OPEC enemies and fighting foreign wars that have recently cost over a trillion dollars! Bring the jobs and money back home to America!!!
Frankly, the Transition Town is a much more interesting approach, partly from the fact that it is a bottom-up approach rather than a top down approach, which, I take, is the previous poster's main objection. Maybe you can look at some of this movement's activities and see what's happening at the grassroots level. Climate change is real, but by approaching it from this perspective, folks can actually have a say as to the kinds of futures and communities that they'd like to live in.
With the threat of man made global warming vanishing under an avalanche of real science and the fraud revealed at East Anglia, it is funny to see the global warming crowd now rushing around trying to find work. The latest scam, helping people prepare for the more generic CLIMATE CHANGE. So what are these bright stars going to do in Massachusetts? Teach us how to deal with blizzards? After 2 generations living in New England most of us are all set, thank you. Teach us to deal with 90-degree heat waves? Been there, done that several times in the past 40 years. Thank you. Hurricanes? Covered. I doubt that these guys will be able to help us deal with much. The soft liberals in Cambridge are another story. They love their nanny state telling them what to do. 6 inches of snow shuts down their life for days if they do not have a government program to tell them what to do and help them to do it.