…The new California agreement would take industry fuel efficiency to around 50 mpg in 2026, vs. the Obama era rules which targeted 51 mpg in 2025, significantly more than the [Trump’s] SAFE rule’s proposed 37 mpg. It would eliminate costly industry uncertainty and align automakers with the very certain direction the rest of the world has moved toward since Trump’s announcement in 2017: much more stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas targets.
Ellie’s note: Good work by CA with automakers but 50 mpg by 2026 is not enough to meet what the climate science and reality are telling us. We must phase out fossil fuel powered cars sooner to secure a safe climate. The EU is further ahead but still needs to do more- “vehicles have to effectively achieve around 57 mpg” starting in January and new rules would reduce CO2 emissions by almost 40% by 2030 from 2021 levels with cars getting 90 mpg. Around 35% of new EU car sales are expected to be EVs by 2030.
In medieval times, the US Southwest was routinely struck by decades-long droughts. Those megadroughts stopped around 1600, but climate change could bring them back.
In a study published on Wednesday in Science Advances, researchers from Columbia’s Earth Institute used climate models to study what caused the megadroughts. Using historical climate data, they determined that two things were to blame: changing ocean temperatures and excess energy trapped inside the Earth’s atmosphere (called radiative forcing)….
“Having paleoclimatic evidence shows you what happened in the past,” lead author Nathan Steiger said over the phone. “It helps verify projections that say the American Southwest is almost assured to have a megadrought in the next few decades.” …
According to the study, the biggest driver of these historical megadroughts were La Niña events, which made the Pacific Ocean unseasonably cold, pushing the storm path north towards Washington and British Columbia. A warmer Atlantic played a smaller role, shifting a high pressure system that blocked storms from rolling over the continental US. “Both a warm Atlantic and a cold Pacific change where storms go,” Steiger said. “They both result in fewer storms going to the Southwest.”
Matt McGrath BBC Read full article hereThe speed and extent of current global warming exceeds any similar event in the past 2,000 years, researchers say. They show that famous historic events like the “Little Ice Age” don’t compare with the scale of warming seen over the last century.
The research suggests that the current warming rate is higher than any observed previously. The scientists say it shows many of the arguments used by climate sceptics are no longer valid….
No evidence for globally coherent warm and cold periods over the preindustrial Common Era Letter | Published: 24 July 2019
Earth’s climate history is often understood by breaking it down into constituent climatic epochs1. Over the Common Era (the past 2,000 years) these epochs, such as the Little Ice Age2,3,4, have been characterized as having occurred at the same time across extensive spatial scales5. Although the rapid global warming seen in observations over the past 150 years does show nearly global coherence6, the spatiotemporal coherence of climate epochs earlier in the Common Era has yet to be robustly tested. Here we use global palaeoclimate reconstructions for the past 2,000 years, and find no evidence for preindustrial globally coherent cold and warm epochs. In particular, we find that the coldest epoch of the last millennium—the putative Little Ice Age—is most likely to have experienced the coldest temperatures during the fifteenth century in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, during the seventeenth century in northwestern Europe and southeastern North America, and during the mid-nineteenth century over most of the remaining regions. Furthermore, the spatial coherence that does exist over the preindustrial Common Era is consistent with the spatial coherence of stochastic climatic variability. This lack of spatiotemporal coherence indicates that preindustrial forcing was not sufficient to produce globally synchronous extreme temperatures at multidecadal and centennial timescales. By contrast, we find that the warmest period of the past two millennia occurred during the twentieth century for more than 98 per cent of the globe. This provides strong evidence that anthropogenic global warming is not only unparalleled in terms of absolute temperatures5, but also unprecedented in spatial consistency within the context of the past 2,000 years.
Ellie comment: From climate scientist Peter Kalmus on Twitter : “The correct “12 years” claim: We have 10 yrs, 5 months, 4 days until we must cut global emissions in half for a 50/50 chance to stay under 1.5°C of mean global heating according to IPCC SR1.5. Many scientists, including me, feel this underestimates irreversible global change.”