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Author Topic: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️  (Read 75421 times)

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #645 on: August 19, 2016, 09:48:11 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Those 'thousand year' floods and 'once in a lifetime' fires just keep happening over and over, for some reason.      But don't ask anybody from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (see Orwell) why that is. They are either too biosphere math challenged or too fossil fuel friendly to think intelligently.   

The picture below is from ONE year ago.
Cars in flames on Interstate 15 after winds drove a wildfire over the highway in San Bernardino County, California

Here's a headline from LAST year: California's Valley, Butte Fires Among Worst in State History

August 18,2016

‘Once in a Lifetime' Fire Shocks CA

With more than 25,000 acres still burning, firefighters managed to achieve four percent containment of the Blue Cut fire in California late Wednesday night. The blaze, which spread from a few acres to 30,000 in just 24 hours, was called a “once in a lifetime kind of fire” by the US Forest Service. Sizzling temperatures, tree die-off and the ongoing drought – exacerbated by climate change – created a perfect storm of conditions for the fire.

Wildfires of this magnitude don’t usually occur until the fall, but climate change is making wildfire season longer and more intense.


NOAA Confirms July Hottest Month Ever

July 2016 was the hottest month ever recorded NOAA data show, reaffirming findings released by NASA earlier this week. Global temperatures were 1.57°F above the 20th century average, beating last July’s record by 0.11°F. Since May 2015, every consecutive month has broken a monthly heat record.

Last month also marked the 40th consecutive July with temperatures above the 20th century average. There is a 99 percent chance that 2016 will be the third year in a row to claim the hottest ever title.


Ocean front property in Shishmaref, Alaska 

Alaska Village Votes to Relocate

The residents of Shishmaref, Alaska voted to leave their ancestral home and relocate to safer ground as climate change-driven sea level rise threatens to engulf the coastal village. Home to more than 600 Inupiat Inuit residents, the remote island in Alaska is experiencing rapid coastal erosion as sea levels rise and permafrost thaws. The estimated cost of relocation is $180 million, which the community could struggle to raise due to a lack of federals funds. In Alaska, 30 other villages face a similar threat.


Natural Gas Emissions to Surpass Coal

Carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas are projected to exceed emissions from coal by 10 percent this year for the first time since 1972, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Last year, natural gas use was 81 percent higher than coal, though their emissions were nearly equal. The EIA also noted that the country’s overall carbon intensity has fallen 10 percent since 2005, driven by a decrease in coal use and an uptake of renewables, along with natural gas.


Agelbert NOTE: The EIA downplays EVERYTHING BAD the fossil fuelers DO to our environment while insisting that fossil fuels are an energy REsource, not an energy  source (i.e. fossil fuels CANNOT be REUSED, unlike Renewable Energy). They are staunch defenders of the fossil fuel industry welfare queens, so it is prudent to assume the CO2 and other fossil fuel burning caused pollutant amounts damaging our environment are a LOT higher than they are admitting.

The Texan method, taught originally to Ronald Reagan, on how to select the 'right' people to head government regulatory agencies created to defend the environment.

Denier Promoted to Trump Advisor

 Early last week, The Hill published an op-ed that attacks the Clean Power Plan.

 It was nothing particularly special, authored by Kathleen Hartnett-White   , a long-time resident of (but usually minor player in) the deniersphere. As a former chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality    and current director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the oil, tobacco and other industry-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), her denial efforts rarely reach outside the Lone Star State.

 Not anymore. Just two days after her Hill op-ed, Hartnett-White was named to Donald Trump’s Economic Advisory Council, along with the president of the TPPF, Brooke Rollins.

 Hartnett-White’s book about energy policy is on the reading list that the Koch Brothers gave to their donors, and she’s well-connected in the Texas political realm as TPPF holds events which draw people like Ted Cruz    and Lamar Smith  .

She’s also well-connected in the deniersphere, holding an advisory position on the CO2 Coalition, the new incarnation of the George Marshall Institute that’s been more aptly described by John Mashey as the CO2 CoalOILition.

 With this promotion to the national stage, we can surely expect to see more of Hartnett-White in the future. Though everything’s bigger in Texas, it looks like her career’s going to be bigger once she gets out of it!

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #646 on: August 22, 2016, 07:34:46 pm »
The Collapse of Rome: Washington’s $6.5 trillion Black Hole
It recalls the final days of the Roman Empire which collapsed during the Fourth Century AD not from foreign invasion, but from internal moral rot and corruption.

Well, the western part collapsed in the 5th century, not the 4th, while the eastern part didn't completely give up the ghost for another millenium (though admittedly it also lost major chunks of territory after a couple of cenuries, mostly to the Arabs). And it did not collapse due to "internal moral rot and corruption". True, there was rampant corruption, but no more than there ever was. It collapsed because in the 4th century it got a major hit from the Persians, and though it recovered from that, it was not able to get strong enough to stop the ever-growing-stronger Germanic tribes. So basically, its problem was that it stayed the same, while its enemies got stronger.

The roots of the decline and ultimate collapse of the Roman Empire, in its day also the world’s sole superpower, lay in the political decision by a ruling aristocracy, more accurately, an oligarchy of wealth, boring old patriarchs of that day, to extend the bounds of empire through wars of conquest and plunder of foreign lands. They did so to feed their private wealth and personal power, not to the greater good of the state.

The economic model of the Empire of Rome was based on the plunder of conquered territories. As the empire expanded, it installed remote military garrisons to maintain control and increasingly relied on foreign mercenaries to man those garrisons

The maximum extent of the Empire came in the 2nd century AD, and it didn't collapse for another three hundred years. So how did it survive for three hundred years without conquering new territory?[/size]

In the process of military expansionism the peasantry, the heart of the empire, became impoverished. Small farmers were bankrupted and forced to flee to Rome to attempt a living as proletarians, wage laborers. They had no voting rights or other citizen rights. In the eyes of the rich, they were simply the ‘mob’ that could be bought, manipulated, and directed to attack an opponent; they were the ‘demos,’ the masses, the public. Roman ‘democracy’ was all about mass manipulation in the service of empire.

The peasantry was always impoverished, in Egypt, Babylonia, Greece, everywhere. The only "democracy" in all this was in some Greek city-states, and even there it just meant a larger oligarchy than was usual.

When the two brothers Gracchus tried in the second century AD to ease the growing gap between rich and the rest by introducing agriculture reforms that limited the powers of the wealthy Senators, they were assassinated by the men of wealth.

That occurred in the 2nd century BC, not AD -- a hundred years before Caesar conquered Gaul, or six hundred years before it all collapsed.

Higher taxes forced many more small farmers to let their land go barren. To distract its citizens from the worsening conditions, the Roman ruling oligarch politicians handed out free wheat to the poor and entertained them with circuses, chariot races, throwing Christians to the lions and other entertainments, the notorious “bread and circuses” strategy of keeping unrest at bay.

The phrase "bread and circuses" was coined about 100 AD, or almost four centuries before the collapse.

So, all in all, I guess if we are going to learn a lesson from history, we should expect the American empire to last about another three or four hundred years, at which time about half of it will collapse. I personally think it will be different this time.

Ka is right that It will be different this time. When Rome collapsed over a period of centuries, the biosphere was not being relentlessly degraded by the massive industrial pollution that ushered in the sixth Great Extinction.

 ‘The Sixth Extinction,’ by Elizabeth Kolbert  New York Times Sunday Book Review Snippet:  In  ............  of both the atmosphere and the ocean, which Kolbert notes has absorbed about one-third of the carbon  ............  of civilization. “By disrupting these systems,” Kolbert writes, "we’re putting our own survival in danger. ......

Organic life, we are told, has developed gradually from the protozoan to the philosopher, and this development, we are assured, is indubitably an advance. Unfortunately it is the philosopher, not the protozoan, who gives us this assurance. --  Bertrand Russell

We are a banker constructed Imperialist nation, ruled by a consortium of global psychopaths, hell bent on destroying the very planet itself in their selfish quest for money, power and the control of all of us. At this rate the human race may not even be here for the 22nd century.

Psalm 52:7 Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #647 on: August 22, 2016, 10:09:36 pm »

The Madhouse Effect

How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy

Michael E. Mann 
 and Tom Toles   

Columbia University Press

The award-winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize–winning political cartoonist Tom Toles have been on the front lines of the fight against climate denialism for most of their careers. They have witnessed the manipulation of the media by business and political interests and the unconscionable play to partisanship on issues that affect the well-being of billions. The lessons they have learned have been invaluable, inspiring this brilliant, colorful escape hatch from the madhouse of the climate wars.

The Madhouse Effect portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that human activity has changed Earth's climate. Toles's cartoons collapse counter-scientific strategies into their biased components, helping readers see how to best strike at these fallacies. Mann's expert skills at science communication aim to restore sanity to a debate that continues to rage against widely acknowledged scientific consensus. The synergy of these two climate science crusaders enlivens the gloom and doom of so many climate-themed books—and may even convert die-hard doubters to the side of sound science.   

About the Author

Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University. He is the author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines (Columbia, 2012) and a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Tom Toles is the Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist of the Washington Post. He has a particular interest in climate change science and has worked consistently to advance understanding of this subject, including its political context, since the 1980s.


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #648 on: August 24, 2016, 08:28:18 pm »

Seals Uncover Climate Threat

Elephant seals have helped uncover a new threat from global warming --  melting Antarctic ice sheets are slowing the production of “bottom water,” which could affect the global flow of ocean heat.

For a new study in Nature Communications, scientists used instruments fitted on seals in East Antarctica to measure the fresh water leaching from melting ice, which hinders the formation of deep, cold water.

This could disrupt the ocean's "conveyor belt,” which would trigger increased sea level rise and change weather patterns in some places.


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #649 on: August 25, 2016, 03:22:30 pm »
Water Is Life, Oil Is Death: The People vs. the Bakken Pipeline in Iowa and the Dakotas

Posted on Aug 22, 2016

By Paul Street
People opposing the Dakota Access pipeline project, also known as the Bakken pipeline, rally in Des Moines, Iowa. (Barbara Rodriguez / AP)

The American version of democracy focuses on elections and candidates. As the venerable left intellectual Noam Chomsky observed in June, “Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It’s a very destructive ideology … a way of making people passive, submissive objects.” Chomsky added that we “ought to teach kids that elections take place, but that’s not [all of] politics.” There’s also the more urgent and serious politics of popular social movements and direct action beneath and beyond the election cycle.

We might refine Chomsky’s maxim to read “and let rich guys run the world into the ground” or “let rich guys ruin the world.” With anthropogenic (really “capitalogenic”) global warming, the nation and world’s corporate and financial oligarchs are bringing the planet to the brink of an epic ecosystem collapse.

We might also put some meat on the bones of Chomsky’s pedagogical advice by “teach[ing] kids” about the people’s politics being practiced in the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains by citizen activists fighting to help avert ecological calamity by blocking construction of what North Dakota Sioux leader David Archambault II calls “a black snake” of “greed.” The snake in question is the planet-baking Dakota Access/Bakken pipeline, what Iowa activists call “The Next Keystone XL.”

While Iowa Berned, Dakota Access Worked Behind the Scenes       

As progressives flocked to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ impressive rallies in Iowa over the past year, the Texas-based company Dakota Access LLC, a division of the ecocidal corporation Energy Transfer Partners LP, moved methodically ahead with its plan to build the Bakken pipeline. This $3.8 billion, 1,134-mile project would carry 540,000 barrels of primarily fracked crude oil from North Dakota’s “Bakken oil patch” daily on a diagonal course through sacred North Dakota Sioux tribal sites and burial grounds, South Dakota, Iowa, the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and many other major waterways, to Patoka, Ill. It would link with another pipeline that will transport the black gold to terminals and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico for export to the global market.

In March, five weeks after Sanders essentially tied Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucus, the corporate-captive Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) approved the giant Iowa portion of the project, granting Dakota Access eminent domain across the entire route through 18 counties—the last major administrative hurdle for the project. The “regulatory” boards in the other three states had already signed off. There was still some slim hope that the Army Corps of Engineers could be persuaded to block the project. That hope was dashed July 25. 

Dakota Access construction crews have begun moving dirt and tearing up farmers’ crops along the pipeline’s projected path. Pipeline workers with out-of-state license plates are showing up in hotels, motels and camps—and on dating sites like “Plenty of Fish”—along the route. Construction began in South Dakota, North Dakota and Illinois in May. Pipe has been laid in Lee County in Iowa’s southeast corner and Lyon County in the northwest. Last week, a pipeline trench crossed the popular Chichaqua Valley Trail in central Iowa. A young woman from central Iowa reports that a local dating website is “swarming” with out-of-state pipeline workers staying in campsites and elsewhere.

Dakota Access first applied to the IUB for a pipeline permit in the fall of 2014, just before Sanders’ first visit to Iowa. Slowly but surely, as media-driven popular excitement over the largely Iowa-focused presidential contest built last year, the company quietly pressed ahead with a public relations offensive (with a strong emphasis on “jobs for Iowans”) against the opposition of environmentalists and concerned citizens. There was only one formal IUB public hearing, and it lasted just one day. The opponents of the pipeline represented a cross-section of Iowans. The proponents were almost entirely from construction unions, many from out of state. Opponents who attended multiple “informational meetings” staged by Dakota Access reported numerous blatant inconsistencies, contradictions and lies in the “facts” presented by the company. While the state dived further into the quadrennial caucus commotion, Dakota Access moved the pipeline through the required administrative and public relations hoops under the media-politics radar.

The stakes are high in the fight against the project. “If the Bakken Pipeline is built,” the progressive lobbying organization Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) notes, “it would seriously harm Iowa’s already impaired water quality, threaten the integrity of the fertile farmland of thousands of everyday Iowans, and contribute to our dependence on fossil fuels. This steers us away from developing renewable energy infrastructure and curbing the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.” CCI is part of a broad statewide anti-Bakken group called the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition (BPRC) that includes more than 30 organizations. BPRC is engaged in the difficult work of grass-roots politics and direct action—both legal and extra-legal—beneath and beyond the major-party and candidate-centered presidential election extravaganzas that take early root in Iowa (thanks to its first-in-the-nation caucuses) every four years.

A Fake ‘Public Utility’

The IUB’s decision in March was rich with Orwellian irony. Iowa law forbids the condemning of agricultural land for private development. It is true, as Dakota Access argues, that the law excludes utilities under the jurisdiction of the IUB from the private development limitation. And that includes pipelines if they serve a “public purpose.” But this pipeline would simply transport oil through Iowa and therefore serve no discernible public good for the state and, in fact, promises to do considerable harm to the state’s environmental and financial health. Opponents rightly point out that like all pipelines, it will eventually spill, and Dakota Access LLC will leave Iowa holding the bag for the cleanup.

Like something out of Kafka, the IUB will have no power to enforce any kind of public regulations whatsoever on the operators of the private interstate pipeline they approved as a “public utility.” 

The IUB’s decision was another example among many that Iowa is up for sale to big business under the right-wing administration of Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.

The giant Canadian pipeline company Enbridge and Marathon Petroleum are impressed by Dakota Access’ success in gaining the approval of “regulators.” The two corporations recently put up $2 billion ($1.5 billion from Enbridge and $500,000 from Marathon) to purchase 49 percent of the Bakken pipeline. A likely consequence if the project is completed is that Canadian tar-sands oil will flow through the pipeline—and Iowa—toward the Gulf Coast. That oil is one of the most carbon-rich, planet-cooking fossil fuels on earth. Dire environmental concern about the mining of Canadian tar sands oil was the main reason climate activists like Bill McKibben engaged in high-profile protests of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline—a leading news story a few years ago.

Read the other two pages of this three page article at link below:


Agelbert NOTE: The concentration of Mens Rea Criminal Corporate Corruption of the Federal and many State Governments in the USA (and the world, for that matter) based in TEXAS is evidence that the Nietzsche style Empathy Deficit Disordered Territorial Imperative is an integral part of the MORALLY BANKRUPT Texan culture and world view. TEXANS, of all people on the planet, are the greatest threat to the biosphere that humanity has ever faced.

One way or the other, the TEXAN Oil & Gas worshipping culture will soon end.

TEXAN has his morning coffee

The Fossil Fuelers in general, and TEXANS IN PARTICULAR,    DID THE 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! 
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #650 on: August 26, 2016, 03:09:41 pm »
Figure 3. The map shows average ocean sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice concentration for August 7, 2016. SST is measured by satellites using thermal emission sensors, which produce global data adjusted after comparison with ship and buoy data. Sea ice concentration is derived from NSIDC sea ice concentration near-real-time data. Also shown are drifting buoy temperatures at the ocean surface (colored circles); gray circles indicate that temperature data from the buoys are not available.

Credit: M. Steele, Polar Science Center/University of Washington

What is quite unusual this year is the early ice retreat and resulting ocean warming in the western Beaufort Sea and in the western East Siberian Sea. The extent of warming to the north of these two seas is also unusual, as well as the extent of this warming to the north.

These two areas typically melt out later in the season, when atmospheric heating rates have declined from their mid-summer peak. Thus the exposed ocean warms, but not all that much. This pattern was true during the record-setting year of 2012, when by the end of summer, these areas were substantially cooler than surrounding seas that had melted out earlier.

This year, however, the melt out was early and extensive enough that the ocean has already warmed substantially in these two areas.


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #651 on: August 28, 2016, 06:00:26 pm »
NTSB: El Faro Master Gave Order to Abandon Ship, VDR Data Reveals
August 24, 2016 by gCaptain


The stern of the El Faro is shown on the ocean floor taken from an underwater video camera on November 1, 2015. Image courtesy NTSB via Reuters

Twenty-six hours of data and audio pulled from the El Faro’s voyage data recorder is providing investigators with important clues about the ship’s sinking during Hurricane Joaquin last October, including that the Master gave the order to abandon ship about 10 minutes before the data cuts off.

The new details were released Wednesday by the National Transportation Board after it revealed that it successfully recovered about 26 hours worth of information from the VDR, which was recovered earlier this month off the coast of the Bahamas.

Information recovered includes bridge audio, weather data and navigational data. The NTSB said that it will be convening a voyage data recorder group to help develop a detailed transcript of the sounds and discernible words captured on the El Faro’s bridge audio.

The voyage data recorder from El Faro, the American cargo ship that sank during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015 with loss of all 33 on board, was successfully recovered from the ocean floor Aug. 8, 2016, and transported to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, D.C. for review. Information from the El Faro’s VDR was successfully recovered Aug. 15.

The NTSB said Wednesday that numerous events leading up to the loss of the El Faro are heard on the VDR’s audio, recorded from microphones on the ship’s bridge. The quality of the recording is degraded because of high levels of background noise, and there are other when the content of crew discussion is difficult to determine, the NTSB said. At other times the content me be able to be determined using audio filtering.

A few key points outlined today by the NTSB:

•The recording began about 5:37 a.m., Sept. 30, 2015 – about 8 hours after the El Faro departed Jacksonville, Florida, with the ship about 150 nautical miles southeast of the city.

•The bridge audio from the morning of Oct. 1, captured the master and crew discussing their actions regarding flooding and the vessel’s list.

•The vessel’s loss of propulsion was mentioned on the bridge audio about 6:13 a.m. Also captured was the master speaking on the telephone, notifying shoreside personnel of the vessel’s critical situation, and preparing to abandon ship if necessary.

•The master ordered abandon ship and sounded the alarm about 7:30 a.m., Oct. 1, 2015.The recording ended about 10 minutes later when the El Faro was about 39 nautical miles northeast of Crooked Island, Bahamas.

The times are preliminary and subject to change and final validation by the voyage data recorder group, the NTSB noted.

The VDR group’s technical experts will continue reviewing the entire recording, including crew discussions regarding the weather situation and the operation and condition of the ship.

Families of the El Faro’s crew were briefed about the results of the audition Wednesday prior to the NTSB’s release to the public.

The NTSB said it remains unknown how long it will take to develop the final transcript of the El Faro’s VDR. The length of the recording and high levels of background noise will make transcript development a time consuming process, the NTSB said.

Federal law prohibits the NTSB from releasing the audio from the VDR, but they plan to make a transcript of its contents public likely by the end of this year, the NTSB told gCaptain.


Agelbert NOTE: The container ship El Faro sank during Hurricane Juaquin on October 1, 2015. All 33 crewmembers perished. The lifeboats on El Faro were also 65 feet above the water line. From the condition of the lifeboat that was recovered, the evidence indicates a giant wave sank the El Faro. The authorities have not admitted this as of yet. But I am not the only one that strongly suspects that the condition of the lifeboat is evidence that a giant wave sank El Faro (Spanish for "Lighthouse"). 

"A heavily damaged lifeboat from the El Faro was discovered, with no one ..."

Coast Guard Investigates El Faro Life Boat
Published on Oct 5, 2015
A Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew investigates a life boat Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, that was found from the missing ship El Faro. El Faro lost propulsion and communications prior to Hurricane Joaquin passing directly over it. U.S. Coast Guard video.

Warming oceans are with us now and increasing the violence of the oceans. By chance, I recorded the SST (Sea Surface Temperature) off the East Coast of the USA the day before Hurricane Juaquin sank the El Faro container ship. Here's the September 30, 2015 (8 day average - proof  that it was really consistently hot out there!) screenshot:

Here's two days later (one day after the El Faro Container ship sank). I superimposed the hurricane location. It is a one day average SST so the conditions when the El Faro sank are displayed.  I was not aware that the El Faro had been lost at the time I made these screenshots. Notice the cooler spot on the ocean precisely where Hurricane Juaquin is lashing El Faro. A hurricane transfers several degrees of water temperature directly to the atmosphere, which, in turn, increases the ferocity of the winds. Ferocious winds produce ferocious waves.

El Faro departed Jacksonville en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The El Faro was one of TWO cargo ships that went down because of Hurricane Juaquin (the 215 ft. MV Minouche that went down didn't make national headlines, because people, perhaps, might start to get "unnecessarily alarmed" about the increasing shipping losses from our increasingly violent oceans). All 12 crew of the MV Minouche were rescued.

MV Minouche

The Coast Guard pilot's voice shakes as he describes conditions they have never before experienced in rescue attempts when they were searching for the El Faro and rescuing the crew of the MV Minouche.

US Coast Guard search for El Faro; 12 rescued from MV Minouche
Published on Oct 5, 2015
A US Coast Guard C-130 pilot describes a flight through Hurricane Joaquin in 100 knot winds and over 40-foot waves in search of the cargo ship El Faro, which has been reported sunk after debris was found. Part two of this video features footage from an Oct. 1 rescue of 12 people from the MV Minouche near the Bahamas.

The El Faro, that went down with a crew of 33, all lost, 294 cars, trailers and trucks, along with hundreds of containers, had a type of lifeboat that is a death boat in stormy seas.

Here's a comment by a fellow who's handle is deckofficer:

Hurricane Joaquin vs. M/V El Faro's final voyage, weather and decision-making...

I guess the only point I would like to make is some owners don't seem to value the lives of their crews. Schedules are tight and safety equipment is in many cases the bare minimum for certification. In the case of SS El Faro (it is my understanding this is a steam ship, not diesel) the open life boats as high on the super structure as they were meets requirements but certainly doesn't offer the all sea state conditions of deployment as free fall enclosed life boat capsules. If these souls are lost at sea, it is maddening that the simple added investment of better emergency egress would have saved their lives. I have done more lifeboat drills than I can remember, and for the older style gravity systems there was a good reason these drills only occurred on calm days.

When sea state is overwhelming and you have lost propulsion and need to abandon ship, do you want this....

Or this....

USCG Unlimited Tonnage Open Ocean (CMA)


Free fall enclosed life boat capsules are a great idea. They should be mandatory. The fact that they aren't is mute evidence of the neoliberal Empathy Deficit disordered "cost/benefit analysis" that values goods more than lives. As long as people continue to line up to crew the ships, management will cut corners on life support.

And the Libertarians will cheer them on demanding all those "government regulations" be eliminated so the shippers can make more money without "government interference".   

But the greedball shippers are increasingly going to have a bit more to worry about than whether they have a labor force or not. Thanks to the fossil fuel industry socialized cost of CO2 pollution (even though Big Oil is getting a bit of payback from the oceans with oil rig difficulties and tanker losses), this is no longer going to be about whether the "demand" for products "justifies" cargo shipping.

I am grateful to Paul Beckwith of the University of Ottawa for alerting me to the threat from violent oceans that mankind faces.

Paul Beckwith is a part time professor at the University of Ottawa and a post graduate studying and researching abrupt climate change, with a focus on the arctic.

An Ocean Full of 30 meter Tall Waves

by Paul Beckwith

Published on Jul 23, 2015

"Near the end of the previous warm period (Late-Eemian) when the sea level was +5 to +9 meters higher than today, persistent long period long wavelength waves 30 meters high battered the Bahamas coastline. Will we see these massive storm generated waves soon? No ship could survive this..." 

If the ships cannot handle the seas (NO ship is designed, or can cost effectively be designed, to handle anywhere near 100 tons per square meter of force on her hull), shipping itself will no longer be cost effective unless cargo ships morph into cargo submarines. The cost of doing that is staggering. Even if they designed them to ride just beneath the wave turbulence, they still would have to submerge to one half the wavelength of ocean waves.

Deep-Water Waves

If the water depth (d) is greater then the wave base (equal to one-half the wavelength, or L/2), the waves are called deep-water waves. Deep-water waves have no interference with the ocean bottom, so they include all wind-generated waves in the open ocean. Submarines can avoid large ocean waves by submerging below the wave base.

The wave that hit the Draupner platform in 1995 was over 90 ft. high and had a wavelength of 231 meters (which it covered in only 12 seconds! - 45 mph). To avoid these waves, a submerged cargo vessel or tanker would have to withstand pressures at a minimum of 116 meters below sea level.

That may be a piece of cake for a normal submarine but it would cost multiples of what cargo and tanker vessels cost now to make cargo submarines and tankers capable of routinely submerging to 400 or 500 feet.

And in water that is too shallow to get under the wave action, they will not avoid being damaged or sunk. Those waves Paul Beckwith mentions will be visiting the coastlines regularly in a ΔT = plus 2C (and beyond) world.

During WW2 the Germans actually made submarine tankers. They nicknamed them "Milk Cows". The German type XIV U-Boat could resupply other boats with 432 t (425 long tons) of fuel. I'm sure ExxonMobil will look into it when the going gets REALLY rough on the oceans, instead of doing the right thing and giving up fossil fuels. They aren't known for their ability to consider the wider consequences of their greed based, short term profit motive stupidity. But I digress.  ;D

Besides the large increase in sea level, the wave action predicted makes every hull design of modern shipping inadequate. It will be very hard to sustain our level of civilization without the benefits of modern shipping.

Redesigning hulls will not work for the simple reason that the waves, now called "rogue" waves, of those oceans will be routine. 30 to 35 meter tall waves exert forces on a hull of about 100 tons per square meter. No modern hull design exceeds 30 tons per square meter.
Hellespont Alhambra (now TI Asia), a ULCC TI class supertanker, which are the largest ocean-going oil tankers in the world

To give you a better idea of the huge threat a giant wave or three is to a large tanker or cargo vessel,  I took some screenshots from a video of a wave laboratory testing the effects of 72 ft. waves on a modern supertanker. I'm sure Big Oil is paying attention, regardless of what they say in public.  ;)

The tanker completely capsized. In a real world situation, this is a death blow to the crew because it happens too fast to get survival gear on or reach the lifeboats, even if they are the emergency egress sealed type you saw earlier. That is why both tanker and cargo ships do everything they can to avoid being broadsided. In the real world, when the engines are lost in these types of seas, the only way to survive is to immediately abandon ship on a free fall enclosed life boat capsule.

If the above series of screen shots are not convincing enough to the reader of the threat shipping faces from giant waves, the following video series will leave no doubt in your mind that world shipping is incapable of handling the routine 30 to 35 meter waves that the Hansen et al June 2015 paper predicts for a ΔT = plus 2C (and beyond) world.

The following video series is the first of an excellent BBC series that describes the difficulties that shipping faces with giant waves. Some of the material I have covered is presented with some added background provided. You will learn much from these videos. You will learn that absolutely nothing I have told you is exaggeration or hyperbole.

The threat is real and it is getting worse. I urge you to set aside some time to view them because this concerns our future as a civilization. We are not prepared for a ΔT = plus 2C  world (and beyond).

Global Civilization is threatened within 25 years or less by the scientifically predicted ocean surface wave activity in the Hansen et al June 2015 study * and the Dutton et al July 2015 study ** evidencing a 6 to 25 meter (19 to 82 feet!) sea level increase in the geological record when the CO2 parts per million (PPM) atmospheric concentration was between 300 and 400PPM. As of October of 2015, the CO2 concentration is at 400PPM. It is increasing at over 3PPM per year.

* Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 15, 20059–20179, 2015 doi:10.5194/acpd-15-20059-2015 © Author(s) 2015. CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 C global warming is highly dangerous
J. Hansen1, M. Sato1, P. Hearty2, R. Ruedy3,4, M. Kelley3,4, V. Masson-Delmotte5, G. Russell4, G. Tselioudis4, J. Cao6, E. Rignot7,8, I. Velicogna8,7, E. Kandiano9, K. von Schuckmann10, P. Kharecha1,4, A. N. Legrande4, M. Bauer11, and K.-W. Lo3,4


** Science 10 July 2015: Vol. 349  no. 6244  DOI: .1126/science.aaa4019 

Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods
A. Dutton1,*,  A. E. Carlson2,  A. J. Long3,  G. A. Milne4,  P. U. Clark2,  R. DeConto5,  B. P. Horton6,7,  S. Rahmstorf8,  M. E. Raymo9

Furthermore, the rate of increase is also rising, evidencing, not only the lack of concerted action by the governments of the industrialized nations of the world to stop using fossil fuels, but an increase in their use, along with the incredibly destructive policies of subsidizing the exploration for fossil fuels.

If drastic action is not taken to avert this violent oceans catastrophe for human civilization, our global civilization will collapse into "sea-locked" regions unable to conduct trade across the oceans except via air transportation, a method that is not economically feasible to use for bulk cargo.

Port facilities and coastal airport facilities will become unusable. In addition, the salt water fishing industry would also collapse, both from the violent oceans and the increasing rate of marine extinctions, creating joblessness, food shortages and widespread hunger.

At least 25 percent of the world's arable land, all of which is low lying and near sea coasts, will be lost due to salt water invasion of the water table, even several miles from the coasts.

Have a nice day.

Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #652 on: August 28, 2016, 06:29:20 pm »

Lightning strike kills 323 wild reindeer in southern Norway
PUBLISHED Sun, August 28, 2016 - 1:21pm EDT 

 Photos: Håvard Kjønholt/Norwegian Environment Agency 
More than 320 wild reindeer have been found dead after a single lightning strike struck a mountain plateau in southern Norway, local officials say, making it one of the deadliest lightning strikes ever recorded. (more)
The incident is believed to have happened on Friday afternoon when thunderstorms hit Hardangervidda National Park, which is located in southern Norway and is a popular destination for tourists, featuring one of the country's largest glaciers.

 The incident was first reported on Friday evening after a hunting supervisor found the group of dead reindeer on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, but it took until Sunday before officials could visit the site to assess the situation.

 "Our people in the field have found 323 dead reindeer, of which 5 had to be put down due to injuries," said Elin Fosshaug Olsø, a spokeswoman for the Norwegian Environment Agency. All of the dead reindeer were found in a radius of just 50 meters (165 feet).

 "We believe all reindeer were killed as a result of one single powerful lightning strike, because of the way they were positioned," Olsø explained. "We have never experienced such a large number of reindeer killed by lightning at the same time before. This is as far as we know a unique incident."

 Lightning strikes sometimes kill groups of animals if they are gathered tightly together, but Friday's incident in Norway involved a remarkably high number of dead animals, possibly one of the highest ever recorded.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #653 on: September 11, 2016, 01:45:18 pm »


stephen whitaker

Talking about FAIRNESS, as much as LAW:

The PSB, being a court, and the Rising Tide folks not being a party, the Board is required to hear from the ‘public’ only by written comment filed with the Clerk or at a duly warned public hearing.

The current ‘Modus Interruptus’ is not entirely a result of a few people not playing nice, but by a continuing grievous failure of those supposed to be representing the interest of the public, the Department of Public Service, simply not doing its job.

When the public feels that the system is rigged, the protections failed, the fix is in, and the captains of industry are going to have their way, with collusion from the Governor and his Commissioner of Public Service, protest and even revolt is a time tested tool of bringing broader attention to the injustice.

The DPS lost it years ago and corrective measures are needed. The statutes provide for the appointment of an Independent Public Advocate. The Board should exercise this option.

up votes  31  |  down votes -11 

Margolis: Drowning in a tide of arrogance

Sep. 4, 2016, 7:54 pm by Jon Margolis 25 Comments

Demonstrators from Rising Tide Vermont   and the Vermont Workers’ Center gather at the Public Service Board building in Montpelier last year. File photo (at link) by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger

(Editor’s note: Jon Margolis is VTDigger’s political columnist.)

In early August, a federal judge ruled that the Public Service Board’s decision to ban the public from a hearing “cannot be sustained under the First Amendment.”

The board complied.

Sort of.  ;)

Told that it must allow “public attendance” at its Aug. 4 hearing about extension of a gas pipeline through a park in Hinesburg, the PSB decided to allow six members of the public into the hearing room.

“It turned out to be eight,” said Lisa Barrett, the retired lawyer who was the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed after the board first said it would permit no one (later amended to allow reporters) to enter the hearing room in Berlin, a “training room” of the Agency of Natural Resources that has space for about 70 spectators.

The PSB, Barrett said, “complied with the letter of the court order.”

Now, to be fair to the Public Service Board, it should be noted that some of its antagonists appear equally indifferent to the First Amendment. Members of a group called Rising Tide Vermont have attended earlier hearings neither to listen nor to speak but to shout, thereby depriving others of the right to listen or to speak.

As U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss noted in her ruling, “There is, of course, no First Amendment right to disrupt adjudicatory proceedings. … To the extent disruptive participants make it difficult to see or hear the board’s proceedings, they may impair the First Amendment rights of other members of the public.”

The First Amendment exists primarily to limit the power of the government. Rising Tide is not the government and so may not, strictly speaking, be bound by those limits.

Then again, perhaps private individuals should follow the spirit of the Constitution even if not bound by its letter. John Franco, the lawyer who argued the case in court on Barrett’s behalf, said, “People have a First Amendment right to go to hearings, to speak and to listen. Interfering with (that) right is a very, very bad thing to start doing.”

Rising Tide does not see it that way.

“This is frankly an unjust process,” said Will Bennington, the Rising Tide spokesman. Bennington denied that the protesters had shouted; they were singing. But he did not deny that the aim was to “prevent (the process) from going forward.” In the view of Rising Tide, Bennington said, pipeline owner Vermont Gas Systems is “stealing from 80-something-year-old widows. We have no intention of letting them make their argument.”

Hmm. Let’s parse this for a minute. A small, un-elected band of devoted — arguably zealous — people has arrogated to itself the power to interrupt if not to halt the legal proceedings of a state agency operating according to laws passed by the elected representatives of the people.

The difference between this zealotry and fascism is … just what?

Especially because there is no evidence that the zealots speak for a majority. No one has taken a poll, but state legislators tend to know what their constituents think (otherwise they don’t stay in office), and two who represent the area to be served by the pipeline, Sen. Chris Bray, D-Addison, and Rep. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven, report that most of their constituents seem to have accepted the PSB’s earlier decision that the pipeline is in the public good.

“It hasn’t been a hot topic,” Smith said.

Bray, citing cost overruns and apparent inconsistency with state’s renewable energy goals, has his own reservations about the wisdom of the project. But while he noted that a vocal minority in his district opposes the pipeline, “in general, most people accept it as reasonable.”

As long as fairness is in the air, let’s show a little toward the pipeline opponents, too. The Public Service Board, while it operates within the law and its proceedings are available online, is perhaps the most aggravating, imperious and haughty agency in all of state government.

This does not mean the three commissioners and their 24-person staff are imperious and haughty people. They may or may not be. It’s the law that makes the board — a quasi-judicial body — all but impervious to public sentiment. Its job is to determine whether a proposed project is in “the public good.” With precious few exceptions, it decides that it is.

Just the other day, for instance, it ruled that a proposed solar project in Morgan met that “public good” test. The residents of Morgan were almost to a person opposed to the project. That didn’t matter. Perhaps it shouldn’t. The PSB’s decision may have been the right one. But it’s easy to see why many rank-and-file folks don’t like it.

They dislike it even more because, as in the case of the gas line, utilities whose projects get PSB approval often resort to eminent domain, seizing (and paying for) property — or the limited use of property, through easements — whose owners do not want to sell it.

The board itself has no power of eminent domain. The utilities do. The law gives it to them. But it’s all part of the same process, and not everyone makes the distinction. Eminent domain is often necessary. The constitutions of both the United States (Fifth Amendment) and Vermont (Chapter 1, Article 2) specifically authorize it. But it is a sweeping exercise of government power, often maddening to the affected property owners and their friends and neighbors.

To some extent, then, the board and its staff are not responsible for their bad rep. But some of their actions exacerbate it. Just consider its original order to close that hearing:

“Access to the hearing site will be controlled by law enforcement officials, who will only permit the entry of the parties, their counsel, their witnesses, the board members, board staff, and the court reporter. All persons who attend … will be required to present a form of valid photo identification (e.g., a driver’s license, a passport, a government employee badge) in order to enter the hearing site.”

And no one on the PSB staff thought to say something like, “Uh, boss, won’t somebody point out that this sounds like the directive of an agency of a police state?”

Not if an agency doesn’t care what anybody thinks.

Furthermore, as Judge Reiss’ decision points out, the PSB did not bother to take other steps to deal with its (legitimate) concern about protesters disrupting the hearing. It didn’t even bother to ask the disrupters to stop disrupting, or, failing that, to leave the hearing room. It could have arranged with law enforcement to have the disrupters ejected.

It did not. Instead, it just ordered the meeting closed. Two of the three board members, including Chairman James Volz, are lawyers. So are at least six members of its staff. It boggles the mind to suppose that not one of them knew their order could not stand.

Asked whether that had been discussed, PSB chief counsel June Tierney, generally cooperative and accommodating in an interview, declined to answer.

Perhaps the Public Service Board and Rising Tide Vermont deserve each other. 


Barbara Alsop

As you point out, Mr. Margolis, utilities get what they want before the PSB, even when they don’t do due diligence. This has been true from the time of rural electrification, when the naysayers were the current ratepayers who didn’t want to subsidize extension of electricity to rural towns. Then the “public good” was not in much doubt since electricity was obviously the path to the future.

The issue of utilities is not so clear any more. The regulators and the companies have reached an agreement that more is generally better, and they get along just fine without public input. But times are changing, as is the climate, and when the state won’t work to stop the changes, someone else has to assert the true public good. In 1992, the world first tried to slow the leviathan of climate change in Kyoto, and the US said no dice. In the years since, science has become a dirty word in this country, and the people have to protect themselves when their government doesn’t do it any more.

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #654 on: September 11, 2016, 01:52:02 pm »
A thick blanket of smoke rises from fire in the Amazon rainforest.

Forest fires in the Amazon region are reaching record levels as Brazil’s government fails to tackle the deforestation that fuels the country’s high rate of emissions.

SÃO PAULO, 9 September, 2016 – Brazil’s new president, Michel Temer, will next week sign up to the Paris Agreement on climate change by committing Brazil to a reduction of 37% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and of 43% by 2030.

But critics say that the commitment glosses over the government’s failure to address the legal and illegal forest clearance that is adding to global warming.

Brazil’s emissions are the seventh highest in the world, and they come mostly from what is called land-use change − in other words, deforestation.

The government has promised that all illegal deforestation will be ended by 2030 – which, as critics point out, allows for it to continue for another 14 years − and sidesteps the thorny question of legally-permitted deforestation.

Scientists from the US space agency NASA and the University of California, Irvine, warn that lower rainfall in the Amazon basin because of the 2015-2016 El Niño phenomenon’s climate effects means that the region is now even drier than it was in 2005 and 2010, which were years of unprecedented drought.
Amazon biome

It is heading for a very bad fire season, fed by dieback − a process in which the forest dries out, storing less carbon, producing less rainfall, and worsening global warming.

The dry season in Brazil now extends from July to November, and a record number of 53,000 forest fires – mostly in the Amazon region − had been detected by the beginning of this month.

The largest number of fires  − around 15,000 − were detected by Brazilian scientists, using satellite images, in the state of Mato Grosso, which contains part of the Amazon biome − a region sharing similar climate, animals and plants. Most of them had been started deliberately.

The result is a drastic change in the landscape. The state takes its name from the dense forest – mato grosso roughly translates from Portuguese as “thick bushes” – that once covered it. But large swaths are now turning into savannah.

Environment journalist Sucena Shkrada Resk, who has just travelled to the region, described seeing a “gradual but accentuated process of savanna-isation”, which she blamed on monoculture practices, extensive cattle farming, illegal logging, and degradation caused by wildcat mining:

“In many places the soil is sandy,” she reported. “Few farmers worry about restoring degraded areas, and you even see hilltops cleared of vegetation. Official reserves and APPs [areas of permanent protection] are more and more fragilised.”

She described groups of cows seeking shade under a single remaining tree, while the ashes and soot from the fires cause breathing difficulties, forcing many people to seek help at the under-equipped health posts and hospitals.

    “Few farmers worry about restoring degraded areas, and you even see hilltops cleared of vegetation”

Resk said the level of big rivers such as the Teles Pires and Juruena, and their tributaries, is well below normal levels.

One area of dense rainforest remains in the north of the state: the Xingu national park, one of Brazil’s largest indigenous territories, covering 12,000 square miles.

It was created in 1961 by the explorers and protection agents Orlando and Claudio Vilas Boas to save indigenous tribes threatened by the advance of Brazil’s road network, and it is home to 6,500 indigenous people from 16 different ethnic groups.

But the Xingu park is now entirely surrounded by big ranches and farms, which have cleared all the rainforest for their cattle and crops of soya and maize. The result is a noticeable change in temperature and rainfall within the park.

In a documentary called Where have all the swallows gone? − produced by two Brazilian environmental organisations, the Socioambiental Institute and the Catitu Institute – one of the Xingu residents says: “When the crickets begin to sing, we know that in three days’ time it will begin to rain. Then it is the time to plant sweet potatoes, squash, peanuts, yams, chili peppers.

“But they are no longer singing. The heat has dried up their eggs.”
Herald the rains

The film shows how climate change induced by forest clearing is affecting life in the Xingu park. The swallows, which used to fly in bands to herald the rains, have also disappeared.

Fires that once were used in a controlled way for clearing land now spread very easily, affecting big areas of the park. The intense heat is killing fruit and food crops, and the local people fear that future generations will have to depend on white people’s food.

Marina Silva, a former environment minister, says: “They are besieged by the model of economic production that Brazil adopts and gives incentives to.”

Other factors driving deforestation are the revised Forest Code of 2012, which gave amnesty to farmers who had illegally cleared land. It also reduced protected areas, and weakened environmental management and control in the state of Amazonas, which was once largely untouched by fires and deforestation but is now one of the states most affected.

So while Brazil is officially signing up to the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions overall, the reality is that the Amazon − the source of most of the deforestation-linked emissions − is at risk as never before. And at the same time, emissions from energy, agriculture and industry continue to rise.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #655 on: September 12, 2016, 08:53:05 pm »
Louisiana flood costs nearly double some estimates thanks to climate change, 80% uninsured

By James Dennin
September 09, 2016
A series of storms battered the gulf coast in August, particularly in Louisiana and Mississippi, in what was the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Sandy.

Now that the flooding has finally receded, watchdogs have gotten a better grip on the extent of the damage.

Some 110,000 homes and 100,000 vehicles were damaged or destroyed in the flooding, with a total cost projected to be between $10 billion and $15 billion, according to a Friday report from the insurer Aon.

Most crucially, only 20% of losses were insured through some sort of government program, at most, meaning that figure could be even lower. Many have taken to sites like GoFundMe to try and recoup their losses.
Rain fell for seven days in the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy.

The federal government has already spent more than $660 million on temporary shelters and other relief efforts, but that's won't be nearly enough.

All week, Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards lobbied officials in Washington, D.C. to get an aid bill passed for more flood relief.

Even with additional federal support, state officials are unsure of how they're going to cover the bill, which earlier this week was thought to be closer to $8.7 billion.

Climate change was likely a factor in making the seven-day storm so bad, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Scientists predicted that the likelihood of such an event is 40% higher than it would have been in pre-industrial times, and scientists expect that this sort of event will happen every 30 years in the Gulf region.

The storms are also more intense
, the same study found.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #656 on: September 15, 2016, 05:03:43 pm »
Arctic Sea Ice Hit the Second Lowest Minimum on Record  

Posted On September 15, 2016 by Becca Robbins Gisclair

Today, the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced that sea ice in the Arctic Ocean hit the second lowest minimum on record during the summer of 2016.

It matters.

This is why:

Sea ice is the foundation of the Arctic ecosystem. Wildlife like the iconic polar bear depends on sea ice to hunt prey such as ringed seals, forage and breed. As their sea ice habitat continues to diminish, it is estimated that by 2050, global polar bear populations will decrease by 30%.

Polar bears are highly dependent on sea ice.

Sea ice is tied to indigenous culture and the subsistence way of life.

The Arctic is home to indigenous communities that depend on a healthy marine environment to survive. As sea ice diminishes, many communities are being forced to travel much further to hunt, and face new challenges like more frequent, more severe storms.

Sea ice loss makes the Arctic vulnerable to increasing vessel traffic

— and the risks that come with it like higher risk of oil spills, impact of noise pollution on marine wildlife, possible whale strikes, and the introduction of invasive species. By 2025, vessel traffic through the Bering Strait is projected to increase anywhere from 100 – 500% from what it was in 2013. Recently, the luxury ship Crystal Serenity became yet another symbol of a changing Arctic as she cruised through the Northwest Passage.

As summer sea ice diminishes, ships like the Crystal Serenity will be increasingly able to navigate through the Arctic. 

Sea ice plays a vital role in regulating heat on a rapidly warming planet. Melting snow and sea ice reduces the ability of the Arctic region to reflect sunlight.  While this phenomena accelerates global warming worldwide, the Arctic itself is warming two times faster than the rest of the planet.

What Ocean Conservancy is doing:

As a science-based conservation organization with a deep commitment to the Arctic, Ocean Conservancy is working to better understand and address the impacts of climate change and sea ice retreat. By promoting integrated Arctic management, working with indigenous  communities, and promoting vessel traffic measures like designated shipping routes, we hope to mitigate the causes and impacts of a rapidly warming Arctic.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #657 on: September 17, 2016, 01:39:14 pm »


(Editor’s note: The following comes from the recent Vermont Folklife Center exhibit, Portraits in Action: Pioneers in Renewable Energy, Environmental Conservation, and Land Use Planning. For more, visit their website.)
Bob Klein, the first director of Vermont Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, makes an argument for thinking big and stretching beyond our comfort collective zone—listen below (at article link) —then read his response to the question: What will bring us to the next level in meeting the energy and environmental challenges we are facing today?

What will bring us to the next level in meeting the energy and environmental challenges we are facing today?

Whatever energy sources we utilize in Vermont inevitably will have cultural and environmental consequences. Whether we like it or not, with energy development there’s no free lunch. There have always been tradeoffs.
Having discovered that the environmental cost of burning fossil fuel is unacceptable, we’ll transition to other energy sources, and make new tradeoffs over the decades to come.
Meeting “the next level of environmental and energy challenges” should involve confronting these tradeoffs consciously. There’s room to decide what impacts we’re willing to accept. We can weigh the consequences of certain energy choices against things we value – local control, scenery and open space, prime ag soils, natural areas, and recreational access to land, for example. Some energy choices could even have an impact on Vermont’s rural character itself.

We may be facing a climate emergency, but this need not lead to a suspension of the rules. We do not have to leave the adoption and siting of alternative energy sources to chance. Like other kinds of development, state, regional, and local planning can steer renewable energy installations away from other things that we value. Geographic Information Systems and resource mapping tools have never been more widely available. We just need to use these tools, together with an enabling policy framework, to meet the challenges before us.

Portraits in Action: Pioneers in Renewable Energy, Environmental Conservation, and Land Use Planning brings together a diverse cross section of twenty-five pioneers, activists, and leaders in renewable energy, environmental conservation, and land use planning, and invites them to speak to the issues at hand. It is both an oral history and a call to action.

The Vermont Folklife Center’s mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont and the surrounding region; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to strengthen communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont. For more, visit us.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #658 on: September 18, 2016, 01:25:38 pm »

Global Warming and the Future of Humanity

An Interview With Noam Chomsky and Graciela Chichilnisky

The Earth's climate is being radically modified by human action, creating a very different planet, one that may not be able to sustain organized human life in anything like a form we would want to tolerate.

How serious of an issue is climate change? Does global warming really threaten human civilization? Can it be reversed, or is it already late?

In this exclusive interview for Truthout, two scholars, Noam Chomsky, one of the world's leading public intellectuals, and Graciela Chichilnisky, a renowned economist and climate change authority who wrote and designed the carbon market of the Kyoto Protocol, concur on a few key points. First of all, global warming and climate change constitute the greatest challenge facing humanity, and may pose an even greater threat to our species than that of nuclear weapons. Secondly, the operations of the capitalist world economy are at the core of the climate change threat because of over-reliance on fossil fuels and a perverse sense of economic values. Thirdly, the world needs to adopt alternative energy systems as quickly as possible. And finally, it is crucial to explore technologies to assist us in reversing climate change -- as time is running out.

C. J. Polychroniou: A consensus seems to be emerging among scientists and even political and social analysts that global warming and climate change represent the greatest threat to the planet. Do you concur with this view, and why?

Noam Chomsky: I agree with the conclusion of the experts who set the Doomsday Clock for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. They have moved the Clock two minutes closer to midnight -- three minutes to midnight -- because of the increasing threats of nuclear war and global warming. That seems to me a credible judgment. Review of the record shows that it's a near miracle that we have survived the nuclear age. There have been repeated cases when nuclear war came ominously close, often a result of malfunctioning of early-warning systems and other accidents, sometimes [as a result of] highly adventurist acts of political leaders. It has been known for some time that a major nuclear war might lead to nuclear winter that would destroy the attacker as well as the target. And threats are now mounting, particularly at the Russian border, confirming the prediction of George Kennan and other prominent figures that NATO expansion, particularly the way it was undertaken, would prove to be a "tragic mistake," a "policy error of historic proportions."

As for climate change, it's by now widely accepted by the scientific community that we have entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene, in which the Earth's climate is being radically modified by human action, creating a very different planet, one that may not be able to sustain organized human life in anything like a form we would want to tolerate. There is good reason to believe that we have already entered the Sixth Extinction, a period of destruction of species on a massive scale, comparable to the Fifth Extinction 65 million years ago, when three-quarters of the species on earth were destroyed, apparently by a huge asteroid. Atmospheric CO2 is rising at a rate unprecedented in the geological record since 55 million years ago. There is concern -- to quote a statement by 150 distinguished scientists -- that "global warming, amplified by feedbacks from polar ice melt, methane release from permafrost, and extensive fires, may become irreversible," with catastrophic consequences for life on Earth, humans included -- and not in the distant future. Sea level rise and destruction of water resources as glaciers melt alone may have horrendous human consequences.

Graciela Chichilnisky: The consensus is that climate change ranks along with nuclear warfare as the top two risks facing human civilization. If nuclear warfare is believed to be somewhat controlled, then climate change is now the greatest threat.

As difficult as it is to eliminate the risk of nuclear warfare, it requires fewer changes to the global economy than does averting or reversing climate change. Climate change is due to the use of energy for industrial growth, which has been and is overwhelmingly based on fossil fuels. Changing an economic system that is bent on uncontrolled and poorly measured economic growth and depends on fossil energy for its main objectives, is much more difficult than changing how nuclear energy is used for military purposes. Some think it may be impossible.

Virtually all scientific studies point to increased temperatures since 1975, and a recent story in The New York Times confirms that decades-long warnings by scientists on global warming are no longer theoretical as land ice melts and sea levels rise. Yet, there are still people out there who not only question the widely accepted scientific view that current climate change is mostly caused by human activities, but also cast a doubt on the reliability of surface temperatures. Do you think this is all politically driven, or also caused by ignorance and perhaps even fear of change?

Chomsky: It is an astonishing fact about the current era that in the most powerful country in world history, with a high level of education and privilege, one of the two political parties virtually denies the well-established facts about anthropogenic climate change. In the primary debates for the 2016 election, every single Republican candidate was a climate change denier, with one exception, John Kasich -- the "rational moderate" -- who said it may be happening but we shouldn't do anything about it. For a long time, the media have downplayed the issue. The euphoric reports on US fossil fuel production, energy independence, and so on, rarely even mention the fact that these triumphs accelerate the race to disaster. There are other factors too, but under these circumstances, it hardly seems surprising that a considerable part of the population either joins the deniers or regards the problem as not very significant.

Chichilnisky: Climate change is new and complex. We don't have all the answers. We are still learning how exactly the Earth reacts to increased CO2 and other greenhouse gases. We know it leads to warming seas which are melting the North and the South Poles, rising and starting to swallow entire coastal areas in the US and elsewhere, as the New York Times article documents. We know that the warming rising seas will swallow entire island nations that are about 25 percent of the UN vote and perhaps at the end, even our civilization. This realization is traumatic and the first reaction to trauma is denial. Since there is some remaining scientific uncertainty, a natural response is to deny that change is occurring. This is natural but it is very dangerous. Signs of a poorly understood but treatable house fire requires action, not inaction. While denial leads to certainty, it is only the certainty of death. This is true for individuals and also for civilizations.

Political parties often take advantage of denial and fear in a moment of change. This is a well understood phenomenon that often leads to scapegoat-ism: blaming outsiders, such as immigrants, or racial and religious minorities. The phenomenon is behind Brexit and the violence in the political cycles in the US and EU. After denial comes anger and finally, acceptance. I think some are still between denial and anger, and I hope will reach acceptance, because there is still time to act, but the door is closing fast.

In global surveys, Americans are more skeptical than other people around the world over climate change. Why is that? And what does it tell us about American political culture?

Chomsky: The US is to an unusual extent a business-run society, where short-term concerns of profit and market share displace rational planning. The US is also unusual in the enormous scale of religious fundamentalism. The impact on understanding of the world is extraordinary. In national polls almost half of those surveyed have reported that they believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago (or less) and that man shares no common ancestor with the ape. There are similar beliefs about the Second Coming. Senator James Inhofe, who headed the Senate Committee on the environment, speaks for many when he assures us that "God's still up there and there's a reason for this to happen," so it is sacrilegious for mere humans to interfere.

Chichilnisky: The "can do" logic, by its own nature, does not accept limits. And an empire does not have a graceful way to evolve out of this role. History demonstrates this time and again. Trying to conserve a privileged global position makes change traumatic for the US.

The first reaction to trauma is denial, as I explained, then comes anger and finally, acceptance. I think the US is still between denial and anger, and I hope we will reach acceptance because almost perversely, right now, only the US has the technology that is needed for global economic change.

Recent data related to global emissions of heat-treating gases suggest that we may have left behind us the period of constantly increased emissions. Is there room here for optimism about the future of the environment?

Chomsky: There is always room for Gramsci's "optimism of the will." There are still many options, but they are diminishing. Options range from simple initiatives that are easily undertaken like weatherizing homes (which could also create many jobs), to entirely new forms of energy, perhaps fusion, perhaps new means of exploiting solar energy outside the Earth's atmosphere (which has been seriously suggested), to methods of decarbonization that might, conceivably, even reverse some of the enormous damage already inflicted on the planet. And much else.

Chichilnisky: This is good news, it is a step in the right direction. But the road is miles long and the first step, while necessary, does not determine success. It is far from enough. The problem that few people appreciate and was only recently observed in the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] data is that CO2 stays hundreds of years in the atmosphere once emitted. It does not decay as particles or sulfur dioxide does. We have used the majority of our carbon budget and we are already at dangerous levels of CO2 concentrations, about 400 parts per million. The levels were 250 before industrialization. So the problem is what we have done already and, therefore, what must be undone.

According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, page 191, in most scenarios we now have to remove the CO2 we emitted. These emissions were recent, mostly since World War II -- 1945 -- which was a turning point of the world economy. This was the era of US dominance and of globalization based on over-extraction of natural resources from poor nations and overconsumption of those same resources by the rich industrial nations. The era of galloping increase of wealth by the very few and the even faster galloping and record inequality and poverty in the world economy as a whole. This is the divide between the [global] North that houses 18 percent of the global population and the [global] South that houses over 80 percent.

Given that change in human behavior happens slowly and that it will take many decades before the world economy makes a shift to new, clean(er) forms of energy, should we look toward a technological solution to climate change?

Chomsky: Anything feasible and potentially effective should be explored. There is little doubt that a significant part of any serious solution will require advances of technology, but that can only be part of the solution. Other major changes are necessary. Industrial production of meat makes a huge contribution to global warming. The entire socioeconomic system is based on production for profit and a growth imperative that cannot be sustained.

There are also fundamental issues of value: What is a decent life? Should the master-servant relation be tolerated? Should one's goals really be maximization of commodities -- Veblen's "conspicuous consumption"? Surely there are higher and more fulfilling aspirations.

Chichilnisky: We seem to have no alternative. I would like to say that the problem could be solved by green energy sources. However, they can no longer solve the problem: many studies have demonstrated that the long-run solutions, such as planting more trees, which are critical to human survival, and adopting cleaner forms of energy, which are the long-run energy solution, cannot be utilized in the timescale that matters. That is the problem. Technology is a many-headed monster and perhaps it would be better to regress to a safer past and avoid technological change; it is tempting to think like that. But UN studies have shown that even if we planted a tree on every square yard available in the planet by the end of the century we would only capture at most 10 percent of the CO2 we need to reduce. This does not mean that we should not plant trees; we should, for biodiversity's sake, and for our long-term future together with the other species.

Trees and clean energy [are] the long-run solution but we have no time to wait for the long run. We need a short-run solution now, and one that encourages and facilitates the transition to the long-run solution. This is the technology that IPCC proposes, to remove CO2 directly from air. I cofounded a company called Global Thermostat that uses the heat and the power from clean and fossil energy sources, such as solar plants and wind farms, to remove CO2 from air. It provides a short-run solution that facilitates and accelerates the advent of the needed long run.

Many in the progressive and radical community, including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), are quite skeptical and even opposed to so-called "geo-engineering" solutions. Is this the flip side of the coin to climate change deniers?

Chomsky: That does not seem to me a fair assessment. UCS and others like them may be right or wrong, but they offer serious reasons. That is also true of the very small group of serious scientists who question the overwhelming consensus, but the mass climate denier movements -- like the leadership of the Republican Party and those they represent -- are a different phenomenon altogether. As for geoengineering, there have been serious general critiques that I think cannot be ignored, like Clive Hamilton's, along with many positive assessments. It is not a matter for subjective judgment based on guesswork and intuition. Rather, these are matters that have to be considered seriously, relying on the best scientific understanding available, without abandoning sensible precautionary principles.

Chichilnisky: The remedy could be worse than the disease. Certain geoengineering processes have been proposed that could be very dangerous and must be avoided. Geoengineering means changing the Earth's fundamental large-scale processes. We know little of the consequences of the geoengineering process, such as spraying particles into the atmosphere that shade the planet from the sun's rays and could decrease its temperature. But this process is how dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth about 60 million years ago, by particles spewed by a volcano or a giant meteorite impact, and our species could follow suit. The sun is the source of all energy on planet Earth and we cannot experiment with our only energy source. Changing the world's oceans to increase their uptake of CO2, as other geoengineering solutions propose, is equally dangerous, as the increased resulting acidity of the oceans kills tiny crustaceans, such as krill, that are the basis of the pyramid of life on the planet as we know it.

What immediate but realistic and enforceable actions could or should be taken to tackle the climate change threat?

Chomsky: Rapid ending of use of fossil fuels, sharp increase in renewable energy, research into new options for sustainable energy, significant steps toward conservation, and not least, a far-reaching critique of the capitalist model of human and resource exploitation; even apart from its ignoring of externalities, the latter is a virtual death knell for the species.

Chichilnisky: Here is a plan consisting of realistic and enforceable actions that can be taken now to tackle the climate change threat: We have to remove the CO2 that the industrial economy has already emitted, which otherwise will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and alter the Earth's climate irreversibly. It is possible to do this. The technology now exists to remove carbon directly from the atmosphere and is proven, very safe and inexpensive. This new technology works by taking the CO2 directly from pure air -- or a combination of industrial sources and pure air -- using as a power source not electricity, but mostly the inexpensive heat that is residual of most industrial processes. The CO2 removed from air is stabilized on earth by selling it for useful commercial purposes with a benefit. CO2 from air can replace petroleum: it can produce plastics and acetate, it can produce carbon fibers that replace metals and clean hydrocarbons, such as synthetic gasoline. We can use CO2 to desalinate water, enhance the production of vegetables and fruit in greenhouses, carbonate our beverages and produce biofertilizers that enhance the productivity of the soil without poisoning it. Carbon negative technology is absolutely needed now as reported by the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, p. 191, and also in four articles of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Is there a way to predict how the world will look like 50 years from now if humans fail to tackle and reverse global warming and climate change?

Chomsky: If current tendencies persist, the outcome will be disastrous before too long. Large parts of the world will become barely habitable affecting hundreds of millions of people, along with other disasters that we can barely contemplate.

Chichilnisky: It is easier to create the future than to predict it. Right now we must implement the requirements of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UN Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Paris Agreement recommendations: immediately we must remove the CO2 we have already emitted from the planet's atmosphere and extend the Kyoto emission limits. This is the only possible alternative in most scenarios to catastrophic climate change. This can and must be done.

The funding provided by the Kyoto Protocol Carbon Market could build carbon negative power plants in poor nations. Carbon negative power plants can provide energy while they overcome poverty and change economic values in the right direction.

The UN carbon market, which is international law since 2005, will produce a much needed change in global economic values. The change in economic values created by the new markets for global public goods will reorient our global economy and under the right conditions can usher the satisfaction of basic needs of the present and of the future. This is what is needed right now. We need to support our future instead of undermining human survival. Let's do it.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #659 on: September 22, 2016, 01:13:31 pm »

‘We’ve been underestimating ice loss by about 20 billion tonnes of ice per year’

GNET station ASKY in Greenland. 'We’ve underestimated the rate of ice loss by about 7.6 per cent,' says Michael Bevis one of the co-authors of the study.

A new study based on GPS measurements of the Earth's crust suggests the Greenland ice sheet is melting about seven per cent faster than previously believed and may contribute more to future sea level rise than predicted.

"We've underestimated the rate of ice loss by about 7.6 per cent," said Michael Bevis of The Ohio State University, one of the study's co-authors.

The new finding shows that Greenland did not lose about 2,500 gigatons of ice from 2003-2013 as scientists previously believed, but nearly 2,700 gigatons.

The research found that Greenland did not lose about 2,500 gigatons of ice from 2003-2013 as scientists previously believed, but closer to 2,700 gigatons — a difference Bevis calculates at 7.6 percent.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, is an international effort that started in 2007, with contributions from the U.S., Denmark and Luxembourg.

Melting Greenland ice changing ocean circulation, Earth's gravitational field

PHOTOS I Debris from abandoned WW II-era Arctic military base polluting Greenland

Climate change could expose Cold War-era Arctic military base

Over the past two decades the Greenland ice sheet has been shrinking — partly due to accelerated glacier flow and partly because of surface melt.

However, scientists have not been able to pinpoint exactly how much the melting ice sheet is contributing to global sea level rise — information key to making predictions about future sea rise levels.

Part of the challenge has been a lack of on-site data.

For this study teams of scientists spent years installing GPS devices around the entire perimeter of the Greenland ice sheet in order to collect new data.

Quantifying the uplift rate

For this study, teams of scientists spent years installing GPS devices around the entire perimeter of the Greenland ice sheet.

Locations of the GNET GPS stations (red dots) and RSL observations (green dots).

The researchers wanted to separate two different kinds of movement. The first is elastic motion caused by an uplift or bouncing of the bedrock underneath the ice sheet due to recent ice loss.

"The Earth is a big elastic, like a spring: you put something heavy on it, it bends down. If that load decreases because it's melting away, then this upper spring rises," said Bevis.

The other movement comes from a delayed response to the ice losses since the Last Glacial Maximum — 20,000 years ago — in a process called viscous rebound.

"This is the first time we've been able to separate which part is elastic and which part is this viscous rebound," said Bevis.

'What we found was really surprising,' says Bevis.

Hotspots distorting data

"What we found was really surprising," said Bevis.

The team discovered that the hotspot in the Earth's mantle that feeds Iceland's active volcanoes has been distorting data.

Forty million years ago, parts of Greenland passed over a particularly hot column of partially molten rock that now lies beneath Iceland — a result of the Earth's crust in that region slowly moving northwest.

The hotspot softened the rock, lowering the viscosity of the mantle along a path running deep below the surface of Greenland's east coast.

During the last ice age, the massive weight from Greenland's ice sheet caused the crust underneath to slowly sink into the softened mantle rock.

The team discovered that the hotspot in the Earth’s mantle that feed Iceland’s active volcanoes has been distorting data.

As that ice age came to an end, the crust began to lift. That uplift motion is still continuing as the mantle rock flows (slowly) inwards and upwards beneath Greenland.

This kind of phenomenon has been seen before, explains Bevis, in places, like Patagonia in South America, that are tectonically active.

"This one is a bit more of a surprise because it was 40 million years ago that that hotspot passed under the eastern margin of Greenland and it's still got this anomalous structure," said Bevis.

The findings, he said, show that scientists must pay much more attention to the movement of rock masses in order to prevent confusing rock mass changes with ice mass changes.

Projections for the future

William Colgan, from York University's Lassonde School of Engineering, studies the Greenland ice melt and its effects on the ocean.

"We care about how much water Greenland added to the ocean coming out of the last glaciation," he said.

'As we enter a new even warmer period due to climate change we like to assess our projections for the future based against what we know about the past behaviour of the ice sheet,' says York University's William Colgan.

"We like to assess our projections for the future based against what we know about the past behaviour of the ice sheet."

The new study estimates the Greenland ice sheet was almost 44 per cent larger during the last glaciation than previously believed.

"That's a big difference," said Colgan.

"It means instead of Greenland contributing something like 3.5 metres of sea level to the world's oceans since the peak of the last glaciation, it may have in fact contributed more like 4.6 metres of global sea level rise."

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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