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Author Topic: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️  (Read 36027 times)

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Surly1

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1920 on: September 19, 2019, 06:57:16 am »
'Dead tree after dead tree.' The case of Washington's dying foliage


Trees are shown through fog on Friday, April 5, 2019, in the Hoh Rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula.
CREDIT: KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER
When Jim and Judy Davis moved to their property in Granite Falls two and a half years ago, the trees in their 25-acre forest were healthy.

Then the hemlocks started to turn brown.

Now, “if we were to walk this path completely -- it’s about a quarter of a mile -- this is what you would see,” Jim Davis said, “just dead tree after dead tree.

“It’s just a feeling of sadness and helplessness."

News outlets around the country are providing special coverage this week of climate change. KUOW will have stories and interviews on the crisis and what to do about it. #ClimateCoverageNow

So the Davises called in Kevin Zobrist.

“I feel like I'm always coming out to a crime scene, you know: another dead tree, another one lost, coming out to investigate,” Zobrist said.

Zobrist is a forestry professor at Washington State University. He said this isn’t just a problem on the Davis’ property.

“When I drive up and down the highways around western Washington, I just see dead and dying hemlocks all up and down the roads,” Zobrist said. “We first noticed it right around 2016, and now I just see it everywhere.”

And it’s not just hemlocks. Western red cedars and big-leaf maples are struggling as well. All three species are native to western Washington.

Zobrist isn’t the only one seeing this: KUOW’s listeners have been writing in to ask about why they’re seeing so many dead trees.

Zobrist thinks the answer lies in climate change.

“At this point in time, my top suspect is drought — drought stress from climate change,” he said. “We've seen records being set for heat and drought in a number of years in a row now, starting with 2012.”

“This summer was a little bit better,” he said. “But that cumulative drought stress is really taking its toll.”

Thirst can weaken trees’ immune systems, and then something else, like an insect or fungus, can kill them.

It's not just happening in places we can see it, like gardens, parks and roadways. It’s happening deep in the forest as well.

Glenn Kohler, a forest entomologist for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, visits a forest near Bellingham where he spotted dead trees during an annual forest health survey.
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Glenn Kohler, a forest entomologist for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, visits a forest near Bellingham where he spotted dead trees during an annual forest health survey.
CREDIT: KUOW PHOTO/EILIS O'NEILL

Glenn Kohler, a forest entomologist for Washington’s Department of Natural Resources, and his colleagues fly over every forested acre of the state every year and measure how many trees have died.

“So the individual trees or a patch of dead trees are going to have the same kind of red color that's easy to see from an airplane,” Kohler said. “That's what we're mapping.”

“The amount of that is increasing right now,” he said.

In 2018, Kohler and his colleagues found that nearly 500,000 acres of Washington’s forests had some level of damage. That’s an area bigger than all of Kitsap County.

In short, western Washington’s forests are changing, Zobrist said. Some trees may be lost in places where they used to be able to survive.

“This is, I think, the first really visible impact of climate change in our area,” Zobrist said. “And it's kind of a warning of things to come.”

Jim and Judy Davis say, now that the initial shock of the dying hemlocks has worn off, they’ve come up with a plan. They’re going to take out some of the dead trees and limbs to reduce fire risk around their house, and they’ve started to plant new trees, choosing drought-tolerant native species.

Zobrist said other homeowners can do the same thing.

Also, he said, take a look around the tree, at what else might be competing for water.

“Grass is the worst,” he said. “I see lots of situations where there's a lawn or tall grass all the way up to the edge of the tree and that grass layer robs all the water, so get the grass out of there. Replace that with a good three to four inches of mulch.”

The Davises hope measures like these will help their forest survive for decades to come, for their kids and seven grandkids.

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 220 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.


Surly1

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1921 on: September 19, 2019, 07:05:58 am »
Sea Level Rise Maps
Speculative maps showing the changes to our world from an 80m sea level rise. Effectively all ice on earth having melted. Created with a variety of climate science reference, digital elevation models, and Photoshop.
Vancouver Sea Level Rise
Bay Area Sea Level Rise
Toronto Sea Level Rise
Europe Sea Level Rise
North America Sea Level Rise
Asia Sea Level Rise
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 02:37:35 pm by AGelbert »

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1922 on: September 19, 2019, 02:49:42 pm »
Great visuals on the sea level rise maps! 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 10:43:49 pm by AGelbert »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1923 on: September 22, 2019, 08:37:21 pm »
September 16, 2019 by Jennifer Hermes

Investors to Biz: You Say You Support Climate Goals, but Your Lobbying Begs to Differ

More than 200 investors are calling on America’s biggest publicly traded companies to align themselves with the Paris Climate Accords approach to climate change, rather than the Trump administration’s denial, by raising concerns of significant economic damage. And they are making a pretty strong argument, through their $6.5 trillion value in assets.

Click Here To Read The Story
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1924 on: September 22, 2019, 08:47:40 pm »
Inside Conservative 🦕🦖 Groups’ Effort to 😈 ‘Make Dishwashers Great Again’

Among some of big special interests pushing environmentally unsustainable livelihoods, 🦕🦖 Koch-backed dishwasher coalitions – yes, your disarming Whirlpool or Kitchenaid appliance – are some of the fiercest climate change enemies.

Click Here To Read The Story
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1925 on: September 23, 2019, 02:22:12 pm »

Greta gives 🐉🦕🦖 TPTB a REALITY CHECK! 

Quote
This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

You say you “hear” us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you fully understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And I refuse to believe that.

The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C degrees, and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

Maybe 50% is acceptable to you. But those numbers don’t include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of justice and equity. They also rely on my and my children’s generation sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist. So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us – we who have to live with the consequences.

To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5C global temperature rise – the best odds given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the world had 420 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide left to emit back on 1 January 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatonnes. How dare you pretend that this can be solved with business-as-usual and some technical solutions. With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone in less than eight and a half years.

There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures today. Because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.


 The 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon 👹 Hellspawn Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME, but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or   PAYING THE FINE! Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Long PITCHFORKS!
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1926 on: September 23, 2019, 03:45:47 pm »
SEP 23, 2019OPINION|TD ORIGINALS

Saving the Planet Means Overthrowing the 🦕😈💵🐉🎩🦖👹🦍 Ruling Elites


Friday’s climate strike by students across the globe will have no more impact than the mass mobilizations by women following the election of Donald Trump or the hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets to denounce the Iraq War. This does not mean these protests should not have taken place. They should have. But such demonstrations need to be grounded in the bitter reality that in the corridors of power we do not count. If we lived in a democracy, which we do not, our aspirations, rights and demands, especially the demand that we confront the climate emergency, would have an impact. We would be able to vote representatives into power in government to carry out change. We would be able to demand environmental justice from the courts. We would be able to divert resources to the elimination of carbon emissions.

Voting, lobbying, petitioning and protesting to induce the ruling elites to respond rationally to the climate catastrophe have proved no more effective than scrofula victims’ appeals to Henry VIII to cure them with a royal touch. The familiar tactics employed over the past few decades by environmentalists have been spectacular failures. In 1900 the burning of fossil fuel—mostly coal—produced about 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year. That number had risen threefold by 1950. Today the level is 20 times higher than the 1900 figure. During the last decade the increase in CO2 was 100 to 200 times faster than what the earth experienced during the transition from the last ice age. On May 11 the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded 415.26 parts per million of CO2 in the air. It’s believed to be the highest concentration since humans evolved. We will embrace a new paradigm for resistance or die.

The ruling elites and the corporations they serve are the principal obstacles to change. They cannot be reformed. And this means revolution, which is what Extinction Rebellion seeks in calling for an “international rebellion” on Oct. 7, when it will attempt to shut down city centers around the globe in acts of sustained, mass civil disobedience. Power has to be transferred into our hands. And since the elites won’t give up power willingly, we will have to take it through nonviolent action.

Protests can be the beginning of political consciousness. But they can also be empty political theater. They can be used to celebrate our moral probity—advertisements, especially in the age of social media, for ourselves. They can be a boutique activism in which protesters allow themselves to be funneled through police barricades and arrests are politely choreographed, resulting in a few hours in jail and the credentialing of the demonstrators as radicals. They can be used to distance ourselves from a repugnant political figure such as Donald Trump, while leaving us silent and complicit when the same policies are carried out by a supposed progressive such as Barack Obama. This is a game the state has learned to play to its advantage. As long as we do not disrupt the machine, as long as we protest according to their rules, the elites will let us march through the streets of Washington in **** hats or walk out of school for a day.

When power is threatened, as it was in the sustained protests during the Occupy encampments and at Standing Rock, the ruling elites react very differently. They employ the full weight of the surveillance state to demonize the protesters, arrest and detain the leadership and infiltrate agents provocateurs to carry out violent assaults to justify the use of the police and security forces to shut the protests down.

Preemptive efforts by the security forces to harass and thwart Extinction Rebellion’s planned October occupation of city centers, an action designed to negatively affect commerce and bring parts of major cities to a standstill, have already begun. Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, was arrested Sept. 14 and charged with attempting to cause a disruption at Heathrow Airport by using a drone. Hallam has called Heathrow—which climate activists say emits 18 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, more than the total emissions of 118 countries—“a crime against humanity.” He and other activists have vowed to halt the airport’s plans to build a third runway. Hallam’s case will be heard at the Isleworth Crown Court on Oct. 14, meaning he will not be released until after the Oct. 7 protests. In addition, other Extinction Rebellion organizers, including Andrew Medhurst, have been arrested in England, and police have seized their phones and computers.

It does not matter who is the public face of the corporate state. This is not about political personalities. It was Obama, after all, who oversaw a coordinated national effort to eradicate the Occupy encampments and place the water protectors at Standing Rock under siege. Obama’s environmental policies, despite his lip service to curbing global warming and his support of the nonbinding Paris climate accord—which the climate scientist James Hansen called a fraud—were appalling. U.S. oil production rose every year he was in office, an increase of 88%. It was the largest domestic increase in oil production in American history. Obama opened offshore drilling to American oil companies as if he were Sarah Palin. “American energy production, you wouldn’t always know it, but it went up every year I was president,” Obama told an audience at Rice University last year. “And you know that … suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer … that was me, people.”

Democrats, like Republicans, serve corporate power. They will not end government subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and the extraction industries. They will not impose carbon taxes to keep fossil fuels in the ground. They will not limit overconsumption. The technologies they invest in—fracking, hybrid cars, genetically modified food—are designed to maintain or expand consumption levels, not reduce them. They will not redirect the trillions of dollars and scientific and technical expertise from the military and corporations toward saving us from environmental catastrophe. The rhetoric and gimmicks they use to placate the public, from carbon credits to wind turbines and solar panels, are, as the scientist James Lovelock says, the equivalent of 18th-century doctors attempting to cure serious diseases with leeches and mercury.

The creation of ever more complex bureaucratic and technocratic systems in an age of diminishing resources is a characteristic of dying civilizations. Civilizations in their final phase frantically search for new methods of exploitation rather than adapt to a changing environment. They repress and exploit the lower classes with greater and greater ruthlessness to maintain the insatiable appetites among the elites for power, luxury and hedonism. The worse things get, the more the elites retreat into their private enclaves. The more out of touch the elites become, the more catastrophe is assured. This self-defeating process degrades the ecosystem until catastrophic systems collapse.

The ruling elites, trained in business schools and managerial programs, are not equipped to confront the existential problems caused by climate catastrophe. They are trained to maintain, no matter the cost, the systems of global capitalism. They are systems managers. They lack the intellectual capacity and imagination to search for solutions outside the narrow parameters of global capitalism.

Those living in the global south are already suffering and dying from the effects of global warming, for which the wealthy industrialized nations of the global north bear most of the responsibility. The richest 0.54%, or 42 million people across the world, are responsible for more emissions than the poorest half of the global population, or 3.8 billion people. These elites are sacrificing the poorest on the planet first as they work up the social and economic hierarchy to extinguish us all.

We have to let go of our relentless positivism, our absurd mania for hope, our naive belief that with grit and determination we can solve all problems. We have to face the bleakness before us. We live in a world already heavily damaged by global warming, which will inevitably get worse. Refusal to participate in the further destruction of the planet means a rupture with traditional politics. It means noncooperation with authority. It means defying in every nonviolent way possible consumer capitalism, militarism and imperialism. It means adjusting our lifestyle, including becoming vegans, to thwart the forces bent upon our annihilation. And it means waves of sustained civil disobedience until the machine is broken.

The biosphere, including the Amazon rainforest, the oceans and the polar ice caps, is visibly deteriorating. Heat waves are crippling Europe, Australia and the American Southwest. Floods devastate the Midwest. Last week, southeast Texas suffered heavy flooding and deaths when it was hit by the seventh-wettest tropical cyclone in U.S. history, with some areas receiving more than 40 inches of rainfall within three days. Monster hurricanes ravage the Caribbean and the shores of the United States. Wildfires consume the forests of the West Coast. But despite the tangible signs of a climate emergency, the elites continue to assure us we can live as we have always lived.

The mathematical models for the future of the planet have three devastating trajectories: a massive die-off of perhaps 70 percent of the human population and then an uneasy stabilization; extinction of humans and most other species; an immediate and radical reconfiguration of human society to protect the biosphere and make it more diverse and productive. This third scenario, which most scientists admit is unlikely, is dependent on a halt to the production and consumption of fossil fuels, converting to a plant-based diet to destroy the animal agriculture industry—almost as large a contributor to greenhouse gases as the fossil fuel industry—and greening the deserts and restoring rainforests. We know what we have to do if our children are to have a future. The only question left is how do we empower leaders who will save us.

Climate scientists warn that we will soon reach a tipping point when the biosphere becomes so degraded no effort to save the ecosystem will halt runaway climate change. We may already be there. The tipping point, many believe, is a further increase in global temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius. At that point “feedback loops” will see environmental catastrophes exacerbate each other.

We must embrace a new radicalism. We must carry out sustained civil disobedience to disrupt the machinery of exploitation, even as we prepare for the inevitable dislocations and catastrophes ahead. We must alter our lifestyles and consumption to cut our personal carbon footprints. And we must organize to replace existing structures of power with ones capable of coping with the crisis before us.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/saving-the-planet-means-overthrowing-the-ruling-elites/

 

Quote
"There is a terrible desperation to the increasingly pathetic rationalizations from the climate denial camp. This comes as no surprise if you take the long view; every single undone paradigm in history has died kicking and screaming, and our current petroleum paradigm 🐉🦕🦖 is no different. The trick here is trying to figure out how we all make it tothe new ⚡ paradigm without dying ☠️ right along with the old one, kicking, screaming or otherwise." - William Rivers Pitt

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1927 on: September 24, 2019, 01:28:41 pm »
Greta GLARES at Hydrocarbon 🦖 Hellspawn Trump  at UN on September 23, 2019.


Sep. 23, 2019 02:16PM EST


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1928 on: September 24, 2019, 02:16:30 pm »
EcoWatch

By The Conversation Sep. 21, 2019 07:00AM EST


I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change

By Caroline Hickman

Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?

Talking with children gives a fresh perspective on the absurdity of doing so little about climate change, but it also exposes a troubling disconnect between what we say and what we do.

Adults are often guilty of cognitive dissonance when it comes to climate change. The UK parliament declares a climate emergency after voting to expand an airport. Scientists conclude that the Amazon rainforest is one of the world's best assets for storing climate-warming gases while large swathes of it are burnt deliberately to make room for methane-belching cattle. A vast coal mine is approved near Australia's Great Barrier Reef while its condition is downgraded from "poor" to "very poor."

Perhaps young people are simply less cynical and more capable of seeing clearly how irrational these decisions are. When I interviewed teenagers in the Maldives, one said:

Quote
We saw online that people in Iceland held a funeral for a glacier today, but who is going to do that for us? Don't they see that we will be underwater soon and our country will be gone? No one cares. How can you grieve for ice and ignore us?

Because of sea level rise, people in the low-lying Maldives have more to fear from climate change than most. The sense of injustice that young people felt here was palpable.

Quote
Climate change is like Thanos, wiping out half the world so the rest can survive … we are being sacrificed.

There's moral clarity in the things young people say about climate change, but even at their age, there's a weariness. After all, young people use social media and are bombarded with bad environmental news as much as adults. Some may begin to normalise the mass extinctions they read about. A 10-year-old in the UK told me:

Quote
It's normal for us now to grow up in a world where there will be no polar bears, that's just how it is for us now, it's different than it was for you.

My dilemma was in trying talk to children about climate change without upsetting them even more. But I also wanted to know how they really felt, subconsciously. Rather than hearing them repeat what they're told in school or hear from adults, I wanted to hear what this generation — people who have never known a world without the looming threat of climate catastrophe — thought about what's happening to the planet and their futures.

Healing the Generational Rift

I asked the children to personify climate change — to see it as an animal and give it a voice. If climate change could talk, what would it say? I hoped that by externalizing that voice, they could talk more honestly than they otherwise would. Even so, I wasn't fully prepared for their responses.

Quote
You created me, and now you must face the consequences… You spoilt the planet for the children and animals, now I'm going to spoil it for you… Adults have made the world a worse place, so now I'm here for revenge.

Anger was the most common emotion that surfaced with this technique. These complicated emotions about climate change — perhaps difficult to express or articulate in conversation — surprised me, but they probably shouldn't have. Given the severity of climate change and biodiversity loss predicted in their lifetimes, anger seems appropriate.

What was also uncovered in these conversations was an enduring empathy for the creatures they share the world with. These children could recognize their own vulnerability in the face of climate change, but it didn't eclipse their concern for the natural world. Instead, they expressed solidarity and empathy with other species. One said:

Quote
Climate change is like the bug spray of nature, and people are the bugs.

I believe children are bearing the emotional burden of climate change more courageously than adults, but we owe it to them to share it. Listen to your children when they talk about climate change, you'll learn more about how we should take responsibility for the mess, say sorry, and start to act.

This story originally appeared in The Conversation. It is republished here as part of EcoWatch's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

https://www.ecowatch.com/psychotherapist-children-climate-change-2640397348.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1929 on: September 25, 2019, 01:09:58 pm »


By Brian Kahn

September 24, 2019 5:05pm Filed to: US VS. THEM

Quote
And all of sudden we’re talking about peripheral issues instead of what really matters: stopping the climate’s disastrous trajectory.


Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1930 on: September 25, 2019, 07:59:33 pm »

BLACK BEAR NEWS 9.24.19 Lack of context for climate change
1,064 views•Sep 24, 2019


Black Bear News
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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1931 on: September 26, 2019, 08:56:46 pm »
Naomi Klein's Burning Case For A Green New Deal!
1,656 views•Sep 25, 2019


Thom Hartmann Program
181K subscribers

Our house is on fire. Our forests are on fire. Our politics are on fire.

What is the correction between the far right and the crisis on our planet?

The climate strikes in September 2019, especially with youth and the speech from Greta Thunberg focus on climate change.

Is Green New Deal a single policy for climate change?

Naomi Klein joined Thom in the studio to work it all out.

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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1932 on: September 27, 2019, 06:04:51 pm »
 
Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

September 27, 2019 

SNIPPET:

High-level oil and gas executives have concluded that "the ship has sailed" on manipulating the public with climate denial, the Washington Post reports.

In a recording of a closed-door June meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America obtained by the Post, Mark Barron, a chief energy litigator at Baker Hostetler, told gathered executives that everyone under the age of 40 thinks climate change is "an existential crisis that we need to address...

Full newsletter:

 
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AGelbert

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1933 on: September 28, 2019, 03:40:55 pm »
September 28th, 2019 by Ritesh Pandey

Farmers in Ambedkar Nagar burn the remnants of the wheat harvest in April to prepare their fields for the rice crop; this crop-burning sometimes spreads to neighboring villages by gusts of blistering winds called loo, causing damage to property and wildlife – Photo Sonali Chauhan

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

Surly1

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1934 on: September 29, 2019, 10:51:06 am »

W. Antarctica's crumbling ice sheet to redraw global coastline

by Marlowe Hood

In Antarctica, 99 percent of all ice loss occurs when ice slides into the ocean

The fate of the world's coastal regions and the hundreds of millions of people who inhabit them depend on a block of ice atop West Antarctica on track to lift global oceans by at least three metres.

It is not, according to available science, a matter of "if" but "when".

Anders Levermann, a professor at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research in Germany and a top expert on Antarctica, spoke to AFP -– days before the release in Monaco of a major UN report on oceans and Earth's frozen zones -– about how is impacting the world's coldest region.

Q. Does global warming affect Greenland and Antarctica the same way?

No. In Antarctica, 99 percent of all ice loss occurs when ice slides into the ocean. There is practically no ice melt on the surface –- it is simply too cold.

In Greenland, half of the ice loss is due to melt water that runs into the ocean.

When ice in Antarctica or Greenland slides into the ocean and becomes an ice shelf, it comes into contact with surface water. Even a tenth of a degree increase in the temperature of the water can lead to a significant imbalance.

Greenland's ice sheet is much smaller than Antarctica's –- seven metres of sea level equivalent vs. 55 -– but sheds even more mass. That is because Antarctica, even if its topography has fewer barriers, is so much colder.

West Antarctica's ice sheet has shed about 150 billion tonnes of mass every year since 2005

Q. What do we know about Antarctica that we didn't know a decade ago?

Ten years ago the modelling of Antarctica showed no significant ice loss within this century. Indeed, there was some debate as to whether the continent might add ice mass.

Today, all the ice sheet models lose ice at a significant rate. The continent's ice sheet has shed about 150 billion tonnes of mass every year since 2005, virtually all of it in West Antarctica. Ice loss in both Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating.

There is no longer any ambiguity. The studies we have in hand tell us that West Antarctica has passed a tipping point. It has become unstable and will discharge all its most vulnerable ice into the ocean. Period.

Q. How much will Antarctica add to sea level rise by 2100?

A study I did with numerous colleagues in 2014 estimated that we could get 50 centimetres of sea level from Antarctica by 2100 –- which is huge. The last assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said 16 cm was the upward limit.

In 2016 an important study published in Nature –- introducing new physical processes –- proposed an even higher contribution, of up to more than a metre. That study has been much criticised, and the findings may be revised.

Q. What will happen after 2100?

In 2100, nothing stops.

If we keep to the Paris Agreement, sea level rise will at best slow down. If we don't, it will still be accelerating at the end of the century.

The most vulnerable part of the West Antarctic ice sheet -– equivalent to 3.5 metres of sea level rise -– sits in depressions below sea level, where ocean water infiltrates and erodes the ice sheet from underneath.

Q. How long will it take for the ice sheet to disappear?

I think we are underestimating the speed. That said, for all of the W. Antarctic ice sheet to discharge, it will take centuries. But it won't stop.

Q. How worried should we be?

Nobody should fear for their life because of rising seas. But if New York winds up five metres below sea level behind dikes and levees, I don't know if people will want to live there.

The most vulnerable part of the West Antarctic ice sheet -– equivalent to 3.5 metres of sea level rise -– sits in depressions be

The real impact is what we will lose. Hong Kong is currently a beacon of democracy in China. New Orleans is a bastion of culture, and New York of culture and business. Hamburg, Calcutta and Shanghai -– we are going to lose them all to if we do not stop emitting carbon into the atmosphere.

Q. Why is Antarctica harder to figure out than Greenland?

Unlike the Greenland ice sheet, ice loss in Antarctica is not due to melting, but to a discharge of icebergs into the ocean. Getting it right is difficult -– at first, we were unable to model and observe this process.

The first satellite images for West Antarctica are from 1992. So when we began to see there a decade ago, we had less than 20 years of data. That's not long enough to detect long-term trends.

Ice sheets change over a long time scale, so observations can be very misleading.

Antarctica is shielded from the rest of the world by the strongest current on the planet, and the situation is similar for the atmosphere. That is also hard to factor in.


 

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