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Climate Change Economics

by Climate Change Economics LLC

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Our glaciers are shrinking


Editorial by Barry Piacenza

An Editorial from Climate Change Economics LLC - August 1, 2010

Lessons Learned

The demise of the 2010 climate bill in whatever flavor it was discussed has been a difficult learning curve. The press will be turning out many articles soon on the political rhetoric that failed within the context of this necessary law. The bottom line is that better packaging is needed that the science needs to lead the way and not be mired by political or special interests who wish to defeat the reality by using the tobacco lobby strategies and tactics.

One needs to take home the fact that having a climate bill is necessary for national security, national financial policy, and to be used a means to end the global recession. We will be shortly producing a series regarding regions and their response to climate change in the post Copenhagen world.

The Science Does Not Change

“Global warming, though, is a negotiation between human beings on the one hand and physics and chemistry on the other. Which is a tough negotiation, because physics and chemistry don't compromise” Bill McGibbon -- Eaarth -- 2010.

Despite all of the public policy issues and rankering the science does not change. The CO2 levels at Mauna Loa continued to climb to historical highs. The oceans continue to warm as does the planet's atmosphere at record levels, these facts are unalterable greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, Arctic and Antarctic ice melt continues at a rampant race and glacial loss continues unabated. The loading factors for climate change continue to grow at their normal exponential rate and we all keep our fingers crossed that we do not cross a magical tipping point somewhere on the horizon. In the meantime the European satellites Cryostat two and GOCE are on mission- Courtesy European Space Agency (ESA).

Click on the links below for the exciting news -

ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS), GOCE is delivering where it promised: in the fine spatial scales," GOCE Mission Manager Rune Floberghagen said. "We have already been able to identify significant improvements in the high-resolution 'geoid', and the gravity model will improve as more data become available." Courtesy European Space Agency (ESA).

The geoid is the shape of an imaginary global ocean dictated by gravity in the absence of tides and currents. It is a crucial reference for accurately measuring ocean circulation, sea-level change and ice dynamics – all affected by climate change. Courtesy European Space Agency (ESA).

Click on the link below for the exciting news -

In summary Hansen et al. find that

On the contrary, we conclude that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s. (Global Surface Temperature Change J. Hansen, R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York, USA, 2010).

The Cost of Doing Nothing Will be the Crime of the Ages

The cost doing nothing will be greater than anybody imagined the moral crimes of the Nazis in World War II or Pol Pot will pale as miniatures because of the devastation. Inaction is not an answer.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency provides the following estimate -

Zero (0) feet to 4.9 foot rise in sea level would result in 22,393 +- square miles of land lost in the United States. A sea level rise of between 4.9 ft and 11.5 ft would add an additional 12,909 +- additional square miles of land lost. This is just on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Total Estimate 35,302 +- Square Miles of Land Lost. Source- EPA Maps of Lands Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise - Titus and Richman.


Comparative Analysis – Size of the Country in Square Miles Source
  • Switzerland = 15,992 square miles
  • Siam - 28,554 Square Miles. Miles
  • Scotland- 29,820 Square Miles
  • Ireland - 32,531 Square Miles
  • Dominican Republic - 20,596 Sq Miles
  • Greece - 25,111 Square Miles
  • Bulgaria- 24,360 Square Miles
  • Nubia – 35,000 Square Miles
States of the United States -
  • Maine - 33,128 Square Miles
  • South Carolina - 31,117 Square Miles
  • West Virginia - 24,231 Square Miles
  • Maryland - 10,455 Square Miles
  • Vermont - 9,615 Square Miles
  • New Hampshire - 9,283 Square Miles
  • Massachusetts - 8,262 Square Miles
  • New Jersey - 7,790 Square Miles
  • Hawaii - 6,459 Square Miles
  • Connecticut - 5,006 Square Miles
  • Delaware - 2,026 Square Miles
  • Rhode Island - 1,213 Square Miles:


A Report of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

This summary, approved in detail at the Sixth Session of IPCC Working Group II (Geneva, Switzerland.

13-16 February 2001), represents the formally agreed statement of the IPCC concerning the sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and vulnerability of natural and human systems to climate change, and the potential consequences of climate change.

Based on a draft prepared by:
Q.K. Ahmad, Oleg Anisimov, Nigel Arnell, Sandra Brown, Ian Burton, Max Campos, Osvaldo Canziani, Timothy Carter, Stewart J. Cohen, Paul Desanker, William Easterling, B. Blair Fitzharris, Donald Forbes, Habiba Gitay, Andrew Githeko, Patrick Gonzalez, Duane Gubler, Sujata Gupta, Andrew Haines, Hideo Harasawa, Jarle Inge Holten, Bubu Pateh Jallow, Roger Jones, Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Murari Lal, Emilio Lebre La Rovere, Neil Leary, Rik Leemans, Chunzhen Liu,Chris Magadza, Martin Manning, Luis Jose Mata, James McCarthy, Roger McLean, Anthony McMichael, Kathleen Miller,Evan Mills, M. Monirul Qader Mirza, Daniel Murdiyarso, Leonard Nurse, Camille Parmesan, Martin Parry, Jonathan Patz,Michel Petit, Olga Pilifosova, Barrie Pittock, Jeff Price, Terry Root, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Jose Sarukhan, John Schellnhuber, Stephen Schneider, Robert Scholes, Michael Scott, Graham Sem, Barry Smit, Joel Smith, Brent Sohngen, Alla Tsyban, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Pier Vellinga, Richard Wa rrick, Tom Wilbanks, Alistair Wo o d w a rd, David Wratt, and many re v i e w e r s .
Click here to view / download.

Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability 7
Table SPM-1: Examples of impacts resulting from projected changes in extreme climate events.

Projected Changes during the 21st Century in Extreme Climate Representative Examples of Projected Impacts Phenomena and their Likelihood (all high confidence of occurrence in some areas)

Simple Extremes
  • Higher maximum temperatures;
  • more hot days and heat waves over nearly all land areas (very likely)
  • Higher (increasing) minimum temperatures;
  • Fewer cold days, frost days, and cold
  • Waves over nearly all land areas (very likely)
  • More intense precipitation events (very likely over many areas)

Complex Extremes

  • Increased summer drying over most Mid-latitude continental interiors and associated risk of drought (likely)
  • Increase in tropical cyclone peak wind intensities, mean and peak precipitation intensities (likely over some areas)
  • Intensified droughts and floods associated with El Niño events in many different regions (likely) (see also under droughts and intense precipitation events)
  • Increased Asian summer monsoon precipitation variability (likely)
  • Increased intensity of mid-latitude storms (little agreement between current models) Likelihood refers to judgmental estimates of confidence used by TAR WGI: very likely (90-99% chance); likely (66-90% chance). Unless otherwise stated,
  • Information on climate phenomena is taken from the Summary for Policymakers, TAR WGI.
  • These impacts can be lessened by appropriate response measures.
  • High confidence refers to probabilities between 67 and 95% as described in Footnote 6.
  • Information from TAR WGI, Technical Summary, Section F.5.
  • Changes in regional distribution of tropical cyclones are possible but have not been established.
  • Increased incidence of death and serious illness in older age groups and urban poor [4.7]
    • Increased heat stress in livestock and wildlife [4.2 and 4.3]
    • Shift in tourist destinations [Table TS-4 and 5.8]
    • Increased risk of damage to a number of crops [4.2]
    • Increased electric cooling demand and reduced energy supply reliability
  • [Table TS-4 and 4.5]
    • Decreased cold-related human morbidity and mortality [4.7]
    • Decreased risk of damage to a number of crops, and increased risk to others [4.2]
    • Extended range and activity of some pest and disease vectors [4.2 and 4.3]
    • Reduced heating energy demand [4.5]
    • Increased flood, landslide, avalanche, and mudslide damage [4.5]
    • Increased soil erosion [5.2.4]
    • Increased flood runoff could increase recharge of some floodplain aquifers [4.1]
    • Increased pressure on government and private flood insurance systems and
  • Disaster relief [Table TS-4 and 4.6]
    • Decreased crop yields [4.2]
    • Increased damage to building foundations caused by ground shrinkage [Table T S - 4 ]
    • Decreased water resource quantity and quality [4.1 and 4.5]
    • Increased risk of forest fire [5.4.2]
    • Increased risks to human life, risk of infectious disease epidemics, and many
  • Other risks [4.7]
    • Increased coastal erosion and damage to coastal buildings and infrastructure
  • [4.5 and 7.2.4]
    • Increased damage to coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves [4.4]
    • Decreased agricultural and rangeland productivity in drought- and flood-prone
  • Regions [4.3]
    • Decreased hydro-power potential in drought-prone regions [5.1.1 and Figure T S - 7 ]
    • Increased flood and drought magnitude and damages in temperate and tropical
  • Asia [5.2.4]
    • Increased risks to human life and health [4.7]
    • Increased property and infrastructure losses [Table TS-4]
    • Increased damage to coastal ecosystems [4.4


On the heels of the failure of the Copenhagen conference mayors of major cities worldwide decided to begin to take matters into their own hands. Many cities including but not limited to New York, New York, Rizhao, China, Chicago, Illinois, Stockholm, Sweden, (Hammarby Sjostad), London, Portland, Oregon, Cleveland, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, San Francisco, California, Boston, Massachusetts, Chicago, Illinois, Seattle, Washington and many others are all moving to fight greenhouse gases and diminish their urban CO2 domes. The Clinton Foundation is working with 40 cities around the globe to reduce carbon emissions. . The efforts are as many and varied as the cities themselves however they break down into categories of reducing greenhouse gases, increasing green space, recycling, green urbanism and a movement toward green economic development opportunities more on this and upcoming articles related to cities and regions. One of the key factors however regions are discovering is that without a coherent national policy the sums are not greater than the whole the parts.

There'll be many more fights ahead including the developing fight now to take away EPA's capability regarding greenhouse gases this may be the next great congressional fight in United States.

Meantime the science marches on and so must the continued pressure on governments, businesses, industries to rethink themselves regarding climate change and its interface to energy and the biosphere of the planet. For without this process humans will soon find themselves on the brink of extinction.

Not since the end of World War II has the fate of mankind been in the hands of we humans. Not since discovery of the atomic bomb has there been a time when humanity needs to pull together and to understand that we all live on a planet from which we cannot escape. The nearest possible M. class planet has been discovered to be about 50 percent bigger than Earth and about five times more massive. The new "super-Earth" is called Gliese 581 C, after its star, Gliese 581, a diminutive red dwarf star located 20.5 light-years away that is about one-third as massive as the Sun1.

1Major Discovery: New Planet Could Harbor Water and Life By Ker Than,, posted: 24 April 2007