See the Tabbed Pages for links to video tutorials, and a linked list of post titles grouped by topic.

This blog is expressly directed to readers who do not have strong training or backgrounds in science, with the intent of helping them grasp the underpinnings of this important issue. I'm going to present an ongoing series of posts that will develop various aspects of the science of global warming, its causes and possible methods for minimizing its advance and overcoming at least partially its detrimental effects.

Each post will begin with a capsule summary. It will then proceed with captioned sections to amplify and justify the statements and conclusions of the summary. I'll present images and tables where helpful to develop a point, since "a picture is worth a thousand words".

Friday, December 7, 2018

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue Increasing

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from sources all around the globe are estimated to be increasing at a renewed, distressingly rapid, rate for 2018 to date, 2.7% for the year, after having been determined to be lower, about 1.6% for the full year of 2017. This evaluation is part of a detailed accounting of all sources of CO2 emissions and of planetary processes that remove CO2 from the atmosphere.  The study is undertaken now an annual basis and reported in the “Global Carbon Budget 2018” (C. Le Quere and 70 coauthors, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 2141-2194, 2018).  The main sources of CO2 emissions are use of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) and the manufacture of cement.  The two largest factors that remove CO2 are absorption into the waters of the ocean, and plant and soil incorporation of CO2.  The net balance between all emitting and absorbing factors leads to the increase in man-made atmospheric CO2 that is the main concern when considering global warming.  The authors present the increasing trend of atmospheric CO2 in the following graphic:
Direct measurement of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 1958 to 2018. This graphic represents the difference between man-made sources of CO2 in the atmosphere and its removal by natural earth processes. The authors’ analysis shows that humanity’s use of fossil fuels is a main contributor to increased CO2, and is a main contributor to global warming.
Source: C. Le Quere and coauthors, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 2141-2194 (2018)
Why is CO2 emission such a problem?  This gas persists in the atmosphere for centuries, if not longer.  So the coal that was burned when the industrial revolution began produced CO2 that is still part of the atmosphere today, and the aggregate amount of fossil fuels we consume at present produces CO2 that will last for centuries.  The excess accumulation of CO2 shown above cannot be removed economically on the massive scale needed with currently existing technology: the annual growth of atmospheric in 2017 was 4.6±0.2billion metric tons measured as carbon/yr (or 16.8 billion metric tons measured as CO2/yr).

The increased heat-trapping ability of the additional atmospheric CO2 has alarmed scientists in the past couple of months.  They have issued two dramatic calls to action by the nations of the world (here and here) urging humanity to limit the overall rise in the long-term global average temperature to less than 1.5°C (2.7°F) by 2040 or 2050.  Voluntary national commitments were made by the members of the United Nations to reduce annual emission rates when the Paris Agreement was reached in 2015.  Even at that time, analysis of the commitments recognized that they were seriously insufficient to accomplish the limitation needed.  And in the succeeding three years, even those commitments have not been met.  This is made worse by President Trump’s intention for the U. S. to leave the Paris Agreement; the U. S. remains one of the three top annual emitters of CO2 in the world and its emissions would increase under the president’s policy.

Global warming depends on the total accumulated greenhouse gases (GHGs), not the annual emissions rate.  The heat-trapping effect of GHGs depends on their total accumulated amount in the atmosphere.  A goal of simply reducing the annual emission rate does not replace the need to stabilize the total accumulated amount as soon as possible at as low a level as possible.  As long as the emission rate is above zero, GHGs continue accumulating in the atmosphere, thereby raising the long-term global average temperature.  Only achieving zero GHG emission rates as fast as possible stabilizes the total GHG burden at the low level needed.  

This is shown in the model image below.  It assumes that we start at a value of 100 for the atmospheric GHG level.  From year 0 to year 10 the annual emission rate, shown in blue, is 4% of the amount of the previous year (in the image the rate is multiplied by 25 to scale it to 100).  Over this period the cumulative GHG amount, shown in orange, rises by the 4% amount based on the previous year’s level, resulting in a line curving upward: 

Magically, after year 10 all net atmospheric emission rates fall to zero (blue) – including those originating from electricity generation, transportation, heating and cooling, and cement manufacture. No new GHGs are added to the atmosphere.  As a result, the total accumulated GHG burden (orange) flattens out, stabilized at the year 10 level.  It’s important to note that reducing the annual emission rate to zero cannot lead to a reduction in the total atmospheric GHG level.  This idealized model illustrates the important fact that the sooner annual emission rates approach zero, the lower the stabilized GHG level will be, with the result that the long-term global average temperature likewise will stabilize at a lower value.
The relationship between the accumulated GHG level and the  global average temperature.  The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, issued in 2013-2014, modeled the relationship between total accumulated CO2 in the atmosphere and modeled temperature increases (referred to the value during the early industrial revolution (1861-1880)).  The modeling included four “scenarios”, ranging from the most stringent (zero annual emission rate after 2030-2040; shown in navy blue in the image below), to a “business as usual” scenario (no meaningful policy to reduce emission rates; shown in red below).

Historical (black; 1870-2010) and modeled (2010-2100) temperatures (°C) projected for four “scenarios” of differing trends for man-made CO2 concentrations with greatest to essentially no limitations on annual emission rates.  Data point dots are given every 10 years.  The most stringent (navy blue) falls to a near zero emission rate by 2030-2040; the light blue and orange lines are progressively less stringent, and the red line models the absence of meaningful constraints on emission rates.

Three important conclusions emerge from the modeling shown.  First, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere at any point along the horizontal axis does not depend on the scenario, that is, it is independent of the annual emission rate.  Second, all four scenarios follow more or less the same path along the CO2-temperature relationship.  This dependence is nearly a linear one: the higher the CO2 level in the atmosphere, the higher the projected temperature.  Indeed, the most stringent scenario (navy blue) shows no significant increase in CO2 level between 2050 and 2100 (those points are all bunched together in the image) and consequently no further increase in projected temperature in those decades.  This projection mirrors the results in the model image shown further above.  Conversely, the unconstrained scenario (red) continues to emit CO2 to 2100, leading to a drastic temperature increase of more than 4.5°C (8.1°F) by the end of the century, a truly frightening possibility.
Third, bringing annual emission rates to near zero does not reduce the accumulated CO2 level after reaching a plateau, nor does this lower the projected global average temperature.  It only keeps the CO2 level and the temperature stabilized.  

Many countries in the world are not fulfilling the pledges they made under the Paris Agreement.  The New York Times reports,  based on the most recent evaluation by the International Energy Agency, that major emitting countries around the world, including China and India, are continuing to build new coal-fired electricity plants instead of migrating to renewable energy on the scale needed. In fact, China and Japan are exporting them, building new coal plants in many developing countries.  The United States is reneging on its emissions-reducing policies put in place under former President Obama, and is opening federal lands to new fossil fuel extracting leases.  France is showing how difficult  the political scene is for pursuing policies to address global warming; rioting citizens are opposing a small, scheduled increase in taxes on vehicle fuels.


This post demonstrates that continuing to emit GHGs at high annual rates inexorably adds to higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere, which leads to higher long-term global average temperatures in a straight-line fashion.  Currently there are no technologies ready to be deployed at scale to remove CO2 from emitting facilities or from the air, and permanently to store it away from the atmosphere.  Only reducing annual emission rates to near zero in the coming two decades, according to the two reports cited at the outset, (some advocate an even shorter schedule) will keep the world from entering a regime of unacceptably high global average temperatures.  All stakeholders need to coalesce around this objective to achieve this goal. 

© 2018 Henry Auer



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Faster Ocean Warming Means We Need Net Zero Emissions Sooner

The total amount of heat added to the Earth’s oceans since 1991 is about 60% higher than mean values previously measured, according to a new study published in the journal Nature on October 31, 2018.  The authors, Laure Resplandy and a team of coworkers from the U. S., China, France and Germany, made this evaluation using a completely alternative way of measuring how much heat is retained by the oceans (see Details below).

It has been understood for many years that about 90% of the heat retained by the Earth system (ocean, melting glaciers, land and air) is absorbed by the oceans.  This is graphically depicted in the following image, which shows the excess amounts of heat from each of the four main contributors to the total increase in heat content of the entire Earth system since 1971.
Accumulation of heat in the Earth system’s components over 1970-2011, referenced to assigning zero for 1971, in zettajoules (where “zetta” signifies 1021, i.e., 1 followed by 21 zeros, or one trillion billion joules of heat).  One joule is the amount of heat needed to warm 1 gram of water by 0.24°C (0.43°F).  Following the color code scheme shown at the top, it is seen that the ocean (light gray) accounts for more than 90% of the total incremental heat and that the air (deep red), our atmosphere, accounts for only about 1-2% of the total in 2011.
Now the authors conclude that the rate at which the Earth system has been warming, i.e., the excess rate at which the Earth retains heat from the sun’s radiation instead of re-radiating that heat out into space, is about 60% higher than previously evaluated; a recent such estimate appears in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued in 2013-2014.
To help understand this result, Dr. Resplandy says “[i]magine if the ocean was only 30 feet deep. Our data shows that it would have warmed by 6.5°C (11.7°F) every decade since 1991. In comparison, the estimate of the last IPCC assessment report would correspond to a warming of only 4°C (7.2°F) every decade.  This means that the amount of excess heat absorbed by the Earth system because of man-made global warming increases the global average temperature more than earlier estimated. This finding is a warning that Earth’s temperature is more sensitive to absorbed heat, so that humanity has less leeway remaining for limiting the increase in the global average temperature.
The latter global average, the surface air global average, is the value commonly broadcast to the public about global warming, not the increasing oceanic heat content.  The Paris Agreement of 2015 set as its goal limiting the increase of the global average air temperature to less than 2.0°C (3.6°F) above the pre-industrial value by the end of this century, with a strong recommendation to be more ambitious by aspiring to limit warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F).   
This new finding reported by Resplandy and coworkers provides strong support for the IPCC’s most recent warning to humanity.  In October 2018 it separately reported that our annual rates of emitting greenhouse gases (those that contribute to warming of the planet such as carbon dioxide) are increasing even more rapidly than thought as recently as 2015 when the Paris Agreement was reached.  The IPCC now declares that it is very urgent that, to avoid worse consequences, the countries of the world have to work toward limiting the total global temperature increase to 1.5°C by 2050, which is lower and sooner than the 2.0°C limit originally set as the goal for 2100 in the Paris Agreement.  This has to be accomplished by worldwide reduction of annual emission rates toward zero by that date. 
The reason for this urgency is that the global average temperature depends, in almost a straight-line fashion, on the total accumulated atmospheric burden of greenhouse gases.  It does not depend on annual emission rates.  To keep the total greenhouse gas level as low as possible – thus limiting temperature rise – annual emission rates have to fall toward zero as soon as possible.  
The authors’ results support their conclusion that “ocean warming is at the high end of previous estimates, with implications for policy-relevant measurements of the Earth response to climate change, such as [how rapidly the Earth responds] to greenhouse gases and the thermal component of sea-level rise” (recognizing that part of sea-level rise is due to expansion of the water in the ocean as its temperature increases).   
A main policy consideration would be that humanity has to drastically reduce the annual rate at which we emit greenhouse gases, by as much as 25% faster than previously recommended.  Many groups are working to achieve a net emission rate of 0% by 2050, i.e., transforming the world’s entire energy economy to use of only renewable energy (including also other contributions such as increasing forestation and permanently injecting carbon dioxide deep underground).  We all have to transform our individual actions, and subscribe to dramatically different policies, in order to establish this radical new energy economy. 
The method for obtaining ocean temperature measurements since 2007 uses robotic buoys dispersed across the oceans that directly measure the temperature; they automatically descend to various depths in the ocean for their measurements, then resurface to relay their data to land databases.  Earlier data were gathered from fewer buoys on the surface or at only shallow depths.  Such measurements provide results such as shown in the image above. 
Resplandy and coworkers instead relied on measurements of the concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide gases in the air around the globe, evaluating data that had already been collected back to 1991.  Over 78,000 data points were available for use.  These measurements serve as a substitute, or proxy, for ocean temperature because the amount of these gases that can dissolve in water depends on the temperature of the water: the warmer the water, the lower the amount of gases the water can hold and the more the gases are returned to the air.  Measuring the gas amounts in air provides direct information about the temperature of the Earth’s oceans.
© 2018 Henry Auer

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

IPCC Report on Global Warming Warns of Need for Immediate Action

Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emission Rates and Global Temperature Increases.  A new report on the state of the global climate (see Notes) finds that the world has not made enough progress in minimizing the increase in the long-term global average temperature (referenced to the temperature in pre-industrial times).  Restraining the temperature increase to the necessary extent demands rapid, widespread technological and socioeconomic changes to the world’s energy economy, leading to elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, that are unknown in human history. 

The temperature increase depends, in almost a straight-line fashion, on the accumulated burden of added carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere: the more GHGs, the higher the global average temperature becomes.  In other words, the world has made insufficient progress in recent years in reducing the use of coal, petroleum and natural gas (fossil fuels, which produce CO2 when burned), so that the atmospheric burden of GHGs continues to increase without meaningful restraint.

The Earth has already warmed by about 1.0°C (1.8°F) above preindustrial levels, causing many harms around the world.  Even without further GHG emissions, the man-made GHG already added will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years, causing continued long-term climate effects. 

Comparing A Stringent Emission Goal to an Earlier, More Relaxed Goal.  To avoid worse consequences, the countries of the world have to work toward limiting the total increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F) by 2050, which is lower and sooner than the 2.0°C (3.6°
F) originally set as the goal for 2100 in the Paris Agreement.  Some comparisons of differences in projected changes between the two global average temperature increases, given in the report, are summarized here: 
·        Global sea level increases by 2100 would be 10 cm (4 in) less at 1.5°C than at 2.0°C warming.  This is significant because shorelines are most vulnerable not just to increased sea levels in calm weather, but to flooding from higher and stronger storm surges in extreme weather. Regardless, sea levels will continue rising beyond 2100;

·        Global coral reefs would be destroyed because of warmer water temperatures and a more acidic ocean composition, to the extent of 70-90% at 1.5°C, but essentially completely lost at 2.0°C.  This is important because reefs are complete ecosystems that support marine life, ultimately providing much of the seafood that humans consume;

·        Climate-associated effects to human livelihoods and health, food availability, water supplies, and economic growth will be less at 1.5°C than at 2.0°C; and

·        Extremes of climate and weather on land that we are already experiencing around the world (such as more intense rainfall, worse flooding, more intense heat and drought, and worse forest wildfires) would be worse at 2.0°C than at 1.5°C.

Rapid reductions in annual rates of GHG emissions must be undertaken immediately to keep the increase in global average temperature below 1.5°C.  CO2 emission rates must fall by about 45% below 2010 rates by 2030, and reach zero by around 2050.  In contrast, less stringent reductions, about 20% by 2030, not reaching a zero rate until about 2070, would result in an average temperature increase of 2.0°C.

The 1.5°C trajectory requires “rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems”.  It also necessitates development of new technologies not yet industrialized to ensure success.

The Greenhouse Effect Was Identified in the 1800s.  The scientific understandings of the greenhouse effect, that CO2 was a greenhouse gas, and that CO2 emissions threatened a worsening greenhouse effect, were identified initially in the nineteenth century.  Charles Keeling was the first to measure the increase in atmospheric CO2 directly, beginning in 1958.   

More recently climate scientists have understood the threats posed by increased GHG emissions and global warming.  For example, Rafe Pomerance began warning as early as 1979, of the impending harm from continued burning of fossil fuels, but his urgings and those of colleagues were ignored (Nathaniel Rich, New York Times Magazine, August 5, 2018). 

IPCC Assessment Reports. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), created under the United Nations (UN) Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization, has been issuing Assessment Reports presenting scientific data and discussing mitigation and adaptation methodologies beginning in 1990, at intervals of 5-7 years.  The most recent one, the fifth, appeared in three parts over 2013-4. 

The basic conclusions throughout this series have not wavered from those presented in the first Report; the difference over this 24-year period has been rather that a) the number of climate scientists at work, and our understanding of climate science based on their results, have grown dramatically; and b) technologies that permit more extensive and more accurate gathering of data, as well as the power to analyze large bodies of data, has likewise grown significantly.  This has permitted the conclusions and recommendations made in the Fifth Assessment Report to be offered with the highest levels of certainty and confidence, compared to those in the previous versions.  Even so, over this interval the world has not embraced these recommendations as energetically and as early as would have been needed to respond to the climate crisis.


The IPCC Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C summons the world to take extensive, radical and immediate actions to keep the rise in global average temperature below about 1.5°C.  Because of earlier inaction it now foresees the need to reduce global GHG emission rates to zero by 2050.  This will require committed technological development and deployment, and the exercise of political will that reflects scientific necessity and moral responsibility across the globe. 

This transformation must account for three factors in future global energy demand.  First, all power generation, transportation, and heating and cooling of the built environment must be furnished from renewable sources.  Second, raising the living standards of less developed nations imposes additional demands for renewable energy.  And third, the anticipated increase in the world’s population likewise is a major source of increased energy demand.   
Failure to act decisively is likely to result in worsening climatic consequences as time passes whose effects will continue indefinitely.


The IPCC issued this report at the direction of the UN conference that led to the Paris Agreement on the climate in 2015. 

Press Release and Headline Statements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the Summary for Policymakers of the full Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C and

© 2018 Henry Auer

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

New Storage Technologies for Renewable Energy

Electric storage batteries based on zinc instead of lithium are now in widespread usage around the world, even though their existence is poorly recognized.  A report in the New York Times describes a zinc-air battery produced by the company NantEnergy.  The company received development grants of US$5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.  It has already deployed its batteries in Asian and African villages, and in cell towers in the U.S., Latin America and Southeast Asia.  Its founder, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, stated that 110 villages have established local microgrid systems, using electricity generated on site by solar arrays.  Dr. Soon-Shiong anticipates that use of the batteries will expand greatly in telecommunication towers, and expects use to spread to home energy storage and electric vehicles as well.  He foresees a potential market of US$50 billion.

The zinc battery has several advantages over lithium-based batteries.  Zinc has a high abundance in the earth, and is already heavily mined and used in many applications; its ore also includes other metals that are profitably extracted.  Its annual production rate is projected to reach a maximum between 2020 and 2030, with a high projected cumulative production tonnage being possible.  Zinc batteries cost about US$100 per kilowatt-hour of stored electrical energy, whereas lithium batteries cost in the range of US$300-400 per kilowatt-hour, according to the New York Times report.  Elon Musk, the head of Tesla, believes he can get the price down to the same level as the zinc battery.  Lithium likewise is abundantly found around the world, but active lithium mining is limited to a few countries, constraining its price to high values.  Its main demand is limited to batteries for fixed and vehicular electric storage.

An important advantage for zinc is that its batteries contain water-based electrolyte fluids, which are not flammable.  Lithium batteries, in contrast, operate using flammable solvent-based electrolyte solutions.  This is the reason that lithium batteries have been known to ignite and burn, sometimes spontaneously.

Recently an ambitious plan was announced for Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, reported in the New York Times.  The dam, 726 feet high and harboring 17 huge electricity generators that supply power to Los Angeles and much of southern California, holds back a large lake created from the river.  One way of storing electricity is to pump water from a low elevation back up to a higher one, so that the pumped water can be used to generate new electricity on demand.  In the Hoover Dam proposal, massive pipes further downriver from the outflow from the dam and generators would capture some of the water and pump it back up to the reservoir lake behind the dam.  The electricity to drive the pumps would come from renewable sources, solar and wind energy.  Currently the project is expected to provide electricity from the stored water at about 20% higher than current electricity rates, but for 40% less than provided by commercial scale solar electricity, according to the report.  The project’s cost is estimated at US$3 billion.


The United Nations-sponsored Paris climate agreement of December 2015 set the goal of keeping Earth’s projected increase in long-term average temperature to less than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial times by the end of this century.  It also set a preferred more ambitious goal of keeping that temperature increase to less than 1.5°C (2.7°F). 

In order to contribute to achieving these global objectives, many cities in the U.S. have established voluntary or statutory objectives of reducing the annual emission rate of all greenhouse gases to near zero as soon as possible; many cities seek to accomplish this by midcentury.  The movement to adopting these policies has become more urgent since federal policy in the U.S. has actually regressed in the last two years.  The government is actually undoing previously implemented regulations limiting emission rates in electricity generation and passenger vehicles.  That backtracking increases the greenhouse gas emission rate in the U.S.

As noted, the municipal policies strive to reduce annual emission rates to near zero.  This means that electricity must be provided essentially completely from renewable sources, that cars and trucks be powered by electric batteries or by hydrogen fuel cells, and that space heating and cooling in the built environment be provided exclusively by electric-powered heat pumps.  This migration away from coal, natural gas, diesel, fuel oil and gasoline (fossil fuels) will increase the demand for renewable electricity by 2-3 times its present level.

This is the reason that new technologies such as zinc-air batteries and pumped water storage acquire such high significance going forward.  The coming changes in our energy economy will be challenging; indeed they are nothing short of revolutionary.  The unequivocal needs for these changes will provide broad new business opportunities and new jobs for American workers.
© 2018 Henry Auer

Monday, July 30, 2018

Republicans and Democrats Really Do Agree on Climate!

On July 29, 2018 an op-ed by the social psychologists Leaf Van Boven and David Sherman reported that majorities of both Republicans and Democrats agreed that “climate change is happening, threatens humans and is caused by human activity — and that reducing carbon emissions would mitigate the problem.”

They summarize the results of two national polls, in 2014 and 2016, that they administered (together with a third colleague; here we’re omitting some details of the way the experiments were carried out).  Important conclusions they present include:
·        “…most Republicans were in basic agreement with most Democrats and independents on this issue.”

·        Probably the “problem is not so much that Republicans are skeptical about climate change, but that Republicans are skeptical of Democrats — and that Democrats are skeptical of Republicans.”

·        In experiments with different input information, “Republicans supported climate policies that they [were told were] backed by Republicans and were neutral toward policies backed by Democrats. Democrats supported policies that they [were told were] backed by Democrats more than they supported policies backed by Republicans.”  This emphasizes that members of both parties succumbed to intensified tribalism on this issue.

·        “Among social psychology’s fundamental lessons is that people are profoundly affected by what other people think. In their desire to be upstanding members of their political tribe, people are pulled toward embracing the stances of their peers and loath to publicly disagree with them.”

·        The authors found “a consistent, if somewhat surprising, pattern: Political disagreement was substantially smaller when it came to Republican-backed policies.  In particular, there was very little distance between Republicans and Democrats when evaluating a Republican-proposed carbon tax.”
As a result, the authors surmise there may be bipartisan support for a plan proposed last year by six Republican economists and statesmen, former cabinet members and high-level officials in former Republican administrations.  This writer described this proposal in a previous post.  Its essence is a revenue-neutral carbon fee imposed on all fossil fuels (coal, petroleum and natural gas) in proportion to the amount of carbon dioxide each produces when burned.  It is revenue-neutral because all fee proceeds are distributed back to American taxpayers.   

A similar proposal has just been introduced in Congress by Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo.  The carbon fee is US$24/metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted, increasing with time.  The difference is that this proposal is not revenue-neutral, but uses the proceeds for highway construction, climate research and support to low income households.
The social psychology results described above are likely not outliers in public attitudes on climate change.  The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (working with George Mason University‘s  Center for Climate Change Communication, and other research organizations) has been surveying American public opinion on this subject for many years.  In a report on May 8, 2018 they found:

·        “Most registered voters (73%) think global warming is happening, including 95% of liberal Democrats, 88% of moderate/conservative Democrats and 68% of liberal/moderate Republicans, but only 40% of conservative Republicans.

·        A majority of registered voters (59%) think global warming is caused mostly by human activities, including 84% of liberal Democrats, 70% of moderate/conservative Democrats, and 55% of liberal/moderate Republicans…, but only 26% of conservative Republicans.

·        A majority of registered voters (63%) are worried about global warming, including 88% of liberal Democrats, 76% of moderate/conservative Democrats, and 58% of liberal/moderate Republicans, but only 30% of conservative Republicans.”

·        Most registered voters support policies that would reduce use of fossil fuels and promote investing in renewable energy to replace the lost conventional energy.

Tribalistic outlooks separating Republicans and Democrats concerning global warming and its effects may be resolving, in favor of collective action to address the issue.  It is indeed critical to embark on meaningful policies at the federal level as soon as possible, in order to minimize the continuing rise in the global average temperature.  Popular attitudes and Congressional approaches are coalescing to promote political action.
© 2018 Henry Auer