Study: Loss of Stratocumulus Clouds Could Precipitate Extreme Global Warming

56 million years ago, the Earth experienced a brief, cataclysmic hot spell now known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM.

After heat-trapping carbon leaked into the sky from an unknown source, the planet, which was already several degrees Celsius hotter than it is today, gained an additional six degrees.

The PETM another episodes of intense warming were more extreme than theoretical models of the climate have been. Even after accounting for differences in geography, ocean currents, and vegetation during these past episodes, paleoclimatologists realized that an important but unknown factor was missing from their models.

Now, a new study in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience indicates that hitherto unknown factor is cloud cover. According to the study, decks of stratocumulus clouds, which cover about 20 percent of the low-latitude oceans, become unstable and break up into scattered clouds when CO2 levels rise above 1,200 parts per million.

This instability triggers a surface warming of a stunning 8 degrees Celsius globally.

For The Real News Network, I spoke to a co-author of the study, Professor Tapio Schneider. Our discussion can be watched and listened to here:

New Poll Shows Increased Bipartisan Desire to Act on Climate Change

According to a new poll by researchers at George Mason and Yale Universities, climate change concerns are more bipartisan than political elites would have us believe.

Among other things, their study found that 81% support the congressional Green New Deal.

For The Real News, I spoke to Dr. John Kotcher of George Mason University about the data. Our discussion can be seen and heard here:

Americans’ Concern About Climate Change Surging to Record Levels

For the Real News, I speak Dr. John Kotcher of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication.

As Dr. Kotcher explains, a new poll has revealed that Americans’ belief that climate change is happening and is human-caused, and their concerns about how climate change will affect them, have surged to record levels.

My interview of Dr. Kotcher can be watched and listened to here:

There Still Is Time to Limit Global Temperature Rise To 1.5 °C

For The Real News, I speak to Dr. Christopher Smith of Leeds University who explains that, according to a new study he has co-authored, it remains possible to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord if we end meat consumption and build no new fossil fuels infrastructure.

My discussion with Dr. Smith can be seen and listened to here:

Outrage In Canada After Militarized RCMP Arrest 14 Wet’Suwet’en Land Defenders on Sovereign Indigenous Land

After militarized RCMP officers arrested 14 land defenders on the sovereign territory of the Wet’Suwet’en people, solidarity protests erupted across Canada.

For The Real News, I attended one of those protests, which took place on January 8, 2019 in front of the riding office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal.

This is my report on the Montreal protest and the public’s reaction to the arrests: