Global temperatures spiked during the last half of 2015 as a result of the strong El Nino and were still at very high levels relative-to-normal as recently as last month. In addition, global sea ice appeared to be impacted by El Nino as it took a steep dive during much of 2015 and remained at well below-normal levels going into this year. In the past couple of months, however, El Nino has begun to collapse and will likely flip to a moderate or strong La Nina (colder-than-normal water) by later this year. In rather quick fashion, global temperatures have seemingly responded to the unfolding collapse of El Nino and global sea ice has actually rebounded in recent weeks to near normal levels. –Paul Dorian, Vencor Weather, 11 April 2016
That cold blob in the North Atlantic just keeps getting bigger. For the last couple of years, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have been tumbling and are now back to 1980 levels. –Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 11 April 2016
On Earth Day, April 22nd, President Barack Obama plans to sign the Paris Climate Agreement along with representatives from about 130 other countries. It is the position of the Obama Administration that the Paris Agreement is not a formal treaty requiring Senatorial advice and consent, so issuing an executive agreement is supposed to be enough to commit the U.S. to abiding by its provisions. For a would-be president who aims to force Mexico to build a border wall, the consequences of ignoring the Paris Climate Agreement would be pretty small potatoes. Consider what happened to countries – Canada and Japan – that violated their solemn treaty obligations to cut greenhouse gases under the “legally-binding” Kyoto Protocol. Nothing. –Ronald Bailey, Reason Online, 12 April 2016
Ban Ki-Moon: “Climate Change Should Not Be A Subject Of Political Debate”
MR. BAN: This is an international agreement; thus, it’s obligatory. It’s not that all the clauses, all the articles, are obligatory. But core elements are. For example, the national targets, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, are not binding. But every five years, this will be monitored and reviewed, and in 2018, the parties will gather to review what happened from 2015 until 2018. From then on, every five years there will be monitoring and reporting. This is mandatory. And there is much, much more possibility that member states will have an opportunity to verify which country has done how much. This is an obligatory clause. —Wall Street Journal, 12 April 2016
Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are accelerating the growth of B.C.’s forests by one to three per cent a year, enough to cancel out the impact on the climate from the mountain pine beetle outbreak by 2020, according to a new study from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. The effects of global warming — rising temperatures, higher rainfall, and an atmosphere richer in carbon dioxide — have created a “fertilization effect” which has accelerated the growth of trees, especially in the high-latitude forests that cover much of Canada, Russia and Europe. –Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun, 11 April 2016
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