Day to Day Politics: Newspoll. Is that right?

Tuesday 20 February 2018'As one year merges its way into the next…

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A Fragmented Review of Climate Change

By Keith Antonysen

Munich Re which underwrites insurance companies has indicated that 2017’s high costs for climate change are the “new normal”. It could be regarded as merely an argument to increase premiums; except, a number of climate parameters suggest otherwise. Carbon Brief provides a summation of situations which have progressed over time:

  • Oceans act as a sink for warmth, it takes them a long time to warm or cool through their sheer volume.  In 2017 they were the warmest  ever recorded.
  • 2017 was the second or third warmest year recorded, depending on which dataset was used. Of significance, 2017, was the warmest year recorded without the influence of an El Nino event.
  • The Arctic sea ice extent and volume have continued to decrease, the lowest extent in September was the eighth lowest ever recorded. Volume has changed downward by about 80% since 1979.
  • Antarctic is being investigated quite profusely at present, its sea ice has been at low levels. The huge 5,698 square kilometre Larson C ice sheet  broke clear in July 2017. A number of major ice sheets are considered to be at risk as grounding lines are moving shorewards.

The significance of the Arctic, Antarctica and oceans are that they virtually act as a thermostat influencing global temperature

Oceans warming is causing coral reefs to be severely damaged, dead spots  are beginning to form in Oceans, a slight decrease in ocean oxygen production, a slight slowing down of the AMOC (Gulf Stream), and phytoplanton dying; these are matters of huge concern.

The cryosphere also presents huge concerns … thawing of permafrost, release of methane and CO2, has an influence on climate generally. The Siberian continental shelf and tundra have a huge potential to release copious amounts of CO2 and methane. The clathrate explosion scenario is a remote possibility; though, we have already had explosions of pingos in Siberia. Arctic sea ice is in poor condition with the bulk of multi year ice having been lost and about 80% of volume having  gone since 1980. Arctic sea ice could be lost within two years, a somewhat remote possibility; but, being lost in ten plus/minus years is a real possibility (follow the maths); regardless, the situation is not good.

Attribution has been an area scientists have been researching lately, the terrible hurricanes experienced in 2017 have the finger print of climate change though not caused by climate change.

California has had wild fires in winter.

With continuing use of fossil fuels more aerosols are pushed into the atmosphere; ironically, once fossil fuels are no longer used aerosols will dissipate and the atmosphere will warm initially.

A number of hyperlinks have been provided which give only an extremely small fragment of information in relation to climate change, thousands of papers are published in reputable science journals each year.

Climate change is already having an impact on individuals, communities and countries through extreme storms, drought, and huge wildfires. The dollar costs of climate change are increasing, hardly a legacy to pass onto younger people.



  1. guest

    Meanwhile, right-wing media continues to publish long-debunked climate nonsense supporting the fossil fuel industry and the coal-hugging Coalition government (along with Trump’s ideological nightmare as if he is now the ideal exemplar for all things political and economic). It is enough to make one weep rivers of tears.

    How can we bring litigation against these wilful economic and environmental vandals?

  2. johno

    Oz’s cabon footprint is a disgrace.

  3. Keith


    Litigation and potential litigation is happening in the US. Dr James Hansen, along with a group of young people started litigation against President Obama; the case had been held up through various legal procedures, it is continuing against Trump. Also, ExxonMobil and some other companies are being tackled legally by US States, share holders and young people.

    Any adverse decisions made against the US government and fossil fuel companies will have a wide impact elsewhere I would expect.

  4. johno

    I have been doing some looking into my own carbon footprint. My deisel hilux is the big one. When my business was in full swing I was doing up to 30,000 km annual. A rough calc gave my CO2 output at 8 tonne, which put me almost double the world mean just on car use alone.
    The Australian average is about 16 tonne.

  5. Andreas Bimba

    What greater proof do you need that powerful segments of the corporate oligarchy and plutocracy have siezed control of our governments, parliaments and civil service as well as much of the mass media.

    Either the world’s electorates reinstate genuine democracy or we face the abyss.

  6. LOVO

    ” Extremely Warm Cyclone Predicted to Drive 50-60 F Above Average Temperatures Across North Pole

    Our lexicon of what’s considered to be normal weather does not include February days in which temperatures at a North Pole shrouded in 24-hour darkness cross into above freezing ranges. But that’s exactly what some of our more accurate weather models are predicting will happen over the next five days.”

  7. LOVO

    Not Even the Briefest of Pauses for Human-Forced Global Warming — Oceans During 2017 Were the Hottest on Record

    “Where does most of the heat trapped by human fossil fuel and other greenhouse gas emissions ultimately end up? Given our fixation on global surface temperatures, many people would say ‘the atmosphere.’ But this answer is incorrect. The vast majority ends up in… ”

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