'The Warm Air is Very Active This Year'


Cross-posted on USAToday

"The warm air is very active this year." So says Li Weijing, deputy director-general of China's National Climate Center, in reference to the massive snowstorm that has paralyzed his country.

The cause for the Chinese storms has been ascribed to the La Niña weather pattern, as forecast by the British Met (Meteorological) Office
. La Niña is a cooling pattern that is influenced and enhanced by warming trends:

La Nina enhances Arctic weather systems and causes a cold winter in Asia, including in China. As warm and moisture air from the south meets cold air in the north under freezing temperatures, snow forms.

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Climate 'Clearly Out of Balance'


The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has updated its policy on climate change with the pronouncement that changes to the Earth's climate system are "not natural."

The Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system—including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of precipitation, and the length of seasons—are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century...


2008 Temperature Prediction


The University of East Anglia (UK), in conjunction with the British Met Office, has made its annual temperature prediction for 2008:
2008 is set to be cooler globally than recent years say Met Office and University of East Anglia climate scientists, but is still forecast to be one of the top-ten warmest years.

Each January, the climate scientists at the university work with the British Met Office to forecast the expected temperature, taking into account conditions such as El Niño and La Niña, greenhouse gases, industrial aerosols, particulates, ocean trends and solar impact.

The assessment for 2008 is that there will be a "strong La Niña" event in the Pacific, which will limit the warming trend for the year (whilst still being one of the warmest years):

During La Niña, cold waters upwell to cool large areas of the ocean and land surface temperatures. The forecast includes for the first time a new decadal forecast using a climate model. This indicates that the current La Niña event will weaken only slowly through 2008, disappearing by the end of the year...


EPA sued over Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Cross-posted on Reuters

A suit against the Environmental Protection Agency has been filed in San Francisco's 9th Circuit Court after the EPA refused to grant California a waiver that would allow the state to establish its own auto emissions standard. As many as sixteen other states (Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Utah and Iowa) may join this latest suit in what has been a long series of legal actions to force the EPA to allow states tougher emissions standards than those dictated by federal law.

California sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday for denying its first-in-the-nation greenhouse gas limits on cars, trucks and SUVs, challenging the Bush administration's conclusion that states have no business setting emission standards. -snip-

In announcing his decision last month, [EPA Administrator] Johnson said the federal government was moving forward with a national solution and dismissed California's arguments that it faced unique threats from climate change. Link.

"There's absolutely no justification for the administrator's action. It's illegal, unconscionable and a gross dereliction of duty." California Attorney General Jerry Brown's statement.

"They [the EPA] are ignoring the will of millions of people who want their government to take action in the fight against global warming," California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's statement. "That's why, at the very first legal opportunity, we're suing to reverse the U.S. EPA's wrong decision" ...

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