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Author Topic: Global Warming is WITH US  (Read 15050 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #900 on: June 03, 2017, 06:06:31 pm »
The 6th Mass Extinction Event is here * Geologic History shows why CO2 caused Global Warming before
Marc Haneburght


Published on Jun 1, 2017

Runaway Climate Change is causing exponential major flooding (happening now) due to more heavy rainfall on Earth, and are taking too much nutrients by rivers into the oceans, creating anoxia events. A deadly purple sulfur bacteria. Too much is never a good thing. It's what made oil deposits happen in the past.

In the past the dinosaurs roamed the planet during the start of an extinction event, now it will be us. The next clever beings might learn in time what we did wrong, maybe not.

The planet might turn into Mars because of nobody being at the controls of nuclear power plants that will destroy the ozone with massive amounts of radiation.

Oceanic anoxic events or anoxic events (anoxia conditions) refer to intervals in the Earth's past where portions of oceans become depleted in oxygen (O2) at depths over a large geographic area. During some of these events, euxinia, waters that contained H2S hydrogen sulfide, developed. Although anoxic events have not happened for millions of years, the geological record shows that they happened many times in the past.

Anoxic events coincided with several mass extinctions and may have contributed to them. These mass extinctions include some that geobiologists use as time markers in biostratigraphic dating. Many geologists believe oceanic anoxic events are strongly linked to slowing of ocean circulation, climatic warming, and elevated levels of greenhouse gases.

Global warming. The biggest story ever. Too big for the general public.  >:(

Agelbert NOTE: MUST SEE video! To skip ancient history, begin at the 32 minute mark.

This video is tremendously educational and instructive because it demonstrates exactly how our scientists accurately determined CO2 levels in the distant past, as long ago as 200 million years, when today's oil deposits are believed to have been formed.

How did they do it? ??? They found 200 million year old fossils of a plant called a Ginko, that did NOT "evolve" AT ALL  ;D, all the way to the present (leaf structure is identical to modern Ginko leaves).

Permian Ginko leaf fossil on left  - Modern Ginko Leaf on right

The Ginko has pores in the underside of the leaves. The number of pores it forms is a function, as has been determined by empirical evidence, of the available atmospheric CO2. IOW, the more  CO2, the more pores.

The fossilized Ginkos leaf pore totals, exactly as the leaf pore totals of modern Ginko test plants grown in increasingly higher CO2 containing atmospheres, evidence 4 times the CO2 level of pre-industrial human civilization. THAT was an ice free world.

HOWEVER, that was NOT a "tropical paradise", as the fossil fuel fascist propagandist crooks and liars want you to believe.

Once the ice is GONE, some death dealing chemical processes begin until just about every macroscopic oxygen breathing life form is dead. It begins with the death of most of the species populating the Marine Trophic Pyramid. HOW? ???

When the ice is gone, the ocean currents that circulate oxygen throughout the oceanic depths in a 500 year cycle come to a HALT. This makes more and more parts of the ocean anoxic, so all the oxygen breathers die or flee closer to the still oxygenated shallows.

Meanwhile, the high CO2 levels acidify the oceans, killing off the Oxygen producing phytoplankton (can't make their Calcium Carbonate structure - like mollusks also can't - despite having more CO2 "food" available) that had become widespread with the early initial increase of CO2 levels (see massive algae blooms going on as we speak).

The dead Phytoplankton begin to sink through the shallows, triggering bacterial feeding frenzy activity of a type of purple bacteria that decomposes phytoplankton, hates oxygen, but needs sunlight (it uses the sun but excretes H2S - Hydrogen sulfide poisonous gas, not  oxygen).

So THEN the shallows become anoxic too. Then what is left of the oxygen breathers die. This not "just evolution", as the idiots who compare our fossil fuel based civilization's stupid and suicidal greedy activity to massive volcanic eruptions, as if  humans have as little free will as a volcano, ridiculously claim. But the imbeciles who wish to perpetuate the fossil fuel burning status quo frequently resort to this craven attempt to avoid responsibility for the harm being done.

Allowing the CO2 to get so high that it triggers the death of most marine life is Genocidal Criminal Negligence.


What just happened in the death of the Great Barrier reef is just the beginning of the heating process resulting from too much CO2. There is still a lot of ice. There is still oceanic circulation and oxygenation.

But ALREADY, JUST THE HEAT is killing the most important marine life nurseries in the oceans.


SO WHAT, you might ask. The dinosaurs were around for millions of years. Don't we have lots of time too?   

WHY? ???

Because the RATE we are putting CO2 in the atmosphere is THOUSANDS of TIMES FASTER than when the massive volcanic eruptions caused CO2 triggered extinctions!

When the  ice is gone and that rotten egg  smell from ubiquitous  Hydrogen sulfide poisonous gas reaches your nostrils, expect a VERY brief growth industry in canned oxygen.  But don't expect the Fossil Fuel Fascist "industry"   to admit they destroyed the biosphere for short term profit.

Coming soon to your home: DOOM WEEK ON PLANET EARTH


The Fossil Fuelers   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!   
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AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #901 on: June 04, 2017, 04:16:17 pm »

187 mayors adopt Paris climate accord after U.S. pulls out (updated)
Quote
“The world cannot wait—and neither will we
 
 

BY ALISSA WALKER@AWALKERINLA  JUN 3, 2017, 11:19AM EDT

https://www.curbed.com/2017/6/1/15726376/paris-accord-climate-change-mayors-trump
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #902 on: June 06, 2017, 08:14:27 pm »
Fact-Checking Trump on Climate Finance

by Joe Thwaites and Niranjali Manel Amerasinghe - June 05, 2017


http://www.wri.org/blog/2017/06/fact-checking-trump-climate-finance
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #903 on: June 06, 2017, 09:30:16 pm »
The Extreme Hurricane Season


Can We Stop the GOP From Destroying the Planet?

Hune 6, 2017

Big Picture Interview: Dick Russell, Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Men Who Are Destroying the Planet and How They Explain Themselves to Their Own Children. As the US pulls out of the Paris Climate Deal - why does mainstream media continue to treat global warming like a culture war debate?

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #904 on: June 06, 2017, 10:04:33 pm »


Trump's Climate Withdrawal Is an Impeachable Offense

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis



http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40838-trump-s-climate-withdrawal-is-an-impeachable-offense
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #905 on: June 09, 2017, 07:48:47 pm »

Quote
This is definitely the best resource I’ve encountered for a crash course in the root causes of climate change and the potential negative outcomes if the global community continues to ignore the problem.    Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway have condensed years of research into a tiny book––all the better to penetrate the noosphere of a world demanding easily-digested reading options.

Presented as a fictional academic paper from the perspective of a Chinese historian three hundred years in the future, this text is packed with useful insights, the most intriguing of which are a handful of big-picture assessments of the recent historical trends that have contributed to runaway carbon emissions and the intractability of governments in addressing the problem with the seriousness it deserves.  The book’s tone is historically detached, chiding, playful, and ultimately chilling as our fictional narrator blithely scrutinizes the reader’s confused present and bleak future. Oreskes and Conway paint a hellish picture of 21st century Western life that would be alarmist    ::) if the real risk were not so imminent, so thoroughly empirically supported, and so extreme in magnitude.

One of the intellectual highlights here is Oreskes and Conway’s critique of reductionism/specialization in the practice of science, which they claim as the primary contributor to the scientific community’s sluggish attempts to popularize and push for government action to address what ought to be extraordinarily disturbing data. Reductionism, they posit, “impeded investigations of complex systems” and “also made it difficult for scientists to articulate the threat posed by climate change, since many experts did not actually know very much about aspects of the problem beyond their expertise” (14).  This trend meant that there was little inquiry into “systems science, complexity science, and…earth systems science” (15).  This seems    a fair and accurate complaint , and yet the authors say nothing about how an appropriately holistic science would function in practice.   To support a scientific apparatus capable not only of investigating specialized fields (which no doubt would still be necessary), but also of identifying and articulating robust patterns between disciplines in order to fashion a better picture of the ecological landscape, would require far more public and private investment than scientific endeavors currently enjoy, at least in the United States. Just another reason why public funding for science is so important. 


The other, more destructive component of the climate problem is the western addiction to neoliberalism, or what Oreskes and Conway refer to as “market fundamentalism. 
 This ideology is all too familiar to anyone who has watched with dismay as the economic obsession with market autonomy has eroded the public sphere over the last several decades, sidelining infrastructure, worker’s rights, and sensible pollution prevention in favor of the consolidation of wealth into fewer and fewer hands.  Oreskes and Conway cleverly point out that individual freedom, the cornerstone concept of the neoliberal worldview, will be drastically imperiled in a world where we do nothing to prevent climate change: “Neoliberalism, meant to ensure freedom above all, led eventually to a situation that necessitated large-scale government intervention” (48).  The authors warn that if we continue to allow the fossil fuel industry to pursue short term profits that wreck the environment, disasters will become the norm, and governments will increasingly be forced to intervene in order to retain whatever semblance of peace can be salvaged from the chaos.  Without swift government action to implement proper regulations and actively bolster a transition to a green, sustainable economy, it’s not absurd to suggest that future Westerners may very well experience martial law on a mass scale.

Most disquieting is Oreskes and Conway’s suggestion that the failure of Western civilization to respond adequately to this crisis might be construed as evidence for the impotency of the democratic way of life , even to the point of discrediting democracy as a desirable form of political organization for future generations:By blocking anticipatory action, neoliberals did more than expose the tragic flaws in their own system: they fostered expansion of the forms of governance they most abhorred” (52).  The authors imagine that autocratic China, while suffering serious losses of its own, would muster more efficient and large-scale responses compared to Western nations,    thus obviating climate change’s worst consequences and retaining the basic structure of Chinese civilization.  Indeed, China’s recent environmental woes have already caused the government to enact green reforms, which they can institute by fiat rather than having to push them through a body of elected representatives.  Conversely, many democratic  ::) nations still struggle to wrest the legislative power of elected officials from corporate influence   and systemic political gridlock. 

Confronting climate change, then, may mean more than just trying to avoid disaster or preserve biological flourishing––it might mean proving to the world that letting people have a say in how their government is run is a fundamentally efficacious idea that’s here to stay, and not some whimsical, ill-fated experiment that occurred as we blindly rushed from one feudal era to the next.

http://www.words-and-dirt.com/words/book-review-naomi-oreskes-and-erik-m-conways-the-collapse-of-western-civilization/



Agelbert NOTE: The above review tries to be objective and FAILS. Naomi is stating clearly that China actually DOES do the will of the people and the "democracies" are NOTHING OF THE KIND because Corporate FASCISM corrupted them into oligarchies that ignored climate change on behalf of profit over biosphere.

Listen to an interview at the link below, and read my note  ;D, for true objectivity.
NAOMI ORESKES PAINTS THE DARK PICTURE IF WE IGNORE CLIMATE CHANGE
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AGelbert

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #906 on: June 10, 2017, 09:25:17 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: More signs of rougher oceans due to Global Warming are evidenced below. The North Atlantic is not supposed to be so rough in June, but the weather is more like January and February in its ferocity. It will get worse every year.

The above is what a 15 meter wave looks like.      

Update 2: Canada Launches Rescue Mission as Weather System Hits Trans-Atlantic Sailing Race
June 10, 2017 by Reuters

SNIPPET"

This screen grab taken at approximate 17:37 ET shows the location of sailing yachts participating in the OSTAR 2017 race in relation to the weather system. Image credit: MyLiveRegatta (at article link)

Update 2 (June 10) – Below is an update provided by the Royal Western Yacht Club, which is hosting the trans-Atlantic race event. All sailors in distress are reported safe:

In the early hours of Friday 9th June, 60 knot winds and 15 metre seas  :o were experienced by competitors, caused by a very low depression (967 mb). These extreme conditions caused damage to many boats with 3 emergency beacons (EPIRB) triggered. The Canadian coastguard in Halifax immediately reacted to the situation sending ships and air support to all the boats in distress.

The boats affected over the past 36 hours are:

TAMARIND – Suffered severe damage. Skipper well with no injuries. Rescued by Queen Mary en route to Halifax.

HAPPY – Dismasted. Both crew rescued by ocean going tug APL FORWARD. No injuries reported.

FURIA – Boat sunk. Crew resuced by survey vessel THOR MAGNA. No injuries reported.

HARMONII – Mainsail and track damage. Retired. Heading under engine for the Azores. Skipper ok, no injuries.

SUOMI KUDU – Mainsail problems. Retired. Heading back to UK. Skipper ok, no injuries.

All other competitors safe but still experiencing a 10 – 15 metre swell, no injuries reported.

Full article with update:


http://gcaptain.com/canada-launches-rescue-mission-as-weather-system-hits-trans-atlantic-sailing-race/

« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 01:51:56 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #907 on: June 11, 2017, 04:14:18 pm »

The Brutal Logic of Climate Change


Carbon Neutral University Sheffield

Published on May 19, 2017
Full length talk that covers the facts of climate change, the urgency with which it needs to be addressed and actions we can take to stop it. Delivered by Dr Aaron Thierry at the University of Sheffield, hosted by the Carbon Neutral University Network.
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #908 on: June 11, 2017, 05:49:06 pm »
Florida plans to abandon Property to the Sea (Sea Level Rise)


Published on Jun 10, 2017

One idea likely to be both controversial and expensive: demolishing properties and returning developed areas back to nature. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local...
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #909 on: June 11, 2017, 06:05:03 pm »
Climatematters.tv – Is it Game Over for the Climate? ???


Published on Apr 2, 2017

Eminent Arctic and Ocean Physics scientist, Dr. Peter Wadhams, and Dr. Maria Pia Casarini discuss the possibility that it's 'game over' for the climate. Hosted by Stuart Scott, at COP22 Marrakesh. Please watch and share.

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #910 on: June 12, 2017, 07:24:15 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Here the biological logic of closing the high seas to fishing (Dr. Lubchenco calls it the Wet West - referring to the "Wild West" term because anything goes and there is ZERO respect for sustainability) is mentioned, although also pointed out by Dr. Lubchenco is the fact that major governmetns refuse to do so. 

As Economist P. Dasgupta laments, collective action to stop, or even ameliorate, this crisis consistently fails to be achieved, even though we are basically out of time for additional delays.

Biological Extinction | Discussion #6

Casina Pio IV



Published on Mar 2, 2017
How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend

PAS-PASS Workshop
Casina Pio IV, 27 February-1 March 2017

On our 4.54 billion year old planet, life is perhaps as much as 3.7 billion years old, photosynthesis and multi-cellularity dozens of times independently around 3.0 billion years old, and the emergence of plants, animals, and fungi onto land, by at least the Ordovician period, perhaps 480 million years ago, forests appearing around 370 million years ago, and the origin of modern groups such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and land plants subsequently. The geological record shows that there have been five major extinction-events in the past, the first of them about 542 million years ago, and suggests that 99% of the species that ever lived (5 billion of them?) have become extinct. The last major extinction event occurred about 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period, and, in general, the number of species on earth and the complexity of their communities has increased steadily until near the present.
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #911 on: June 12, 2017, 07:45:11 pm »
Biological Extinction | Discussion #7

Casina Pio IV


Published on Mar 2, 2017
How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend

PAS-PASS Workshop
Casina Pio IV, 27 February-1 March 2017
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #912 on: June 12, 2017, 09:54:27 pm »

TUESDAY, JUNE 6, 2017

High Waves Set To Batter Arctic Ocean

High temperatures hit Pakistan end May 2017. The image below shows readings as high as 51.1°C or 123.9°F on May 27, 2017 (at green circle).


As the image below shows, sea temperature was as high as 32.6°C or 90.6°F on May 28, 2017 (at the green circle), 1.8°C or 3.2°F warmer than 1981-2011.



High temperatures over land and at the sea surface reflect an atmosphere that contains huge amounts of energy. On May 28, 2017, the Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) reached levels as high as 7448 J/kg at the location in the United States marked by the green circle. Storms hit a large part of the United States, with baseball-sized hail reported on May 27, 2017.


Quote
Agelbert NOTE: Go to article link for referenced link.

Here's a link to a reported 56 °C (132 °F) temperature recorded in Iran and here's a link to an article describing a May 28, 2017, reading in Turbat, Pakistan, initially reported by the Pakistan Meteorological Department as 53.5°C (128.3°F) and later upgraded to 54.0°C (129.2°F.)

How could it be possible for growth of energy in the atmosphere to be accelerating, when CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels and industry (including cement production) have barely shown any recent growth, as discussed in an earlier post and as reported by EIA?

The image below depicts this possibility, while a recent post discussed the following scenario:



Warmer water tends to form a layer at the surface that does not mix well with the water underneath, as discussed before. Stratification reduces the capability of oceans to take up heat and CO₂ from the atmosphere. Less take-up by oceans of CO₂ will result in higher CO₂ levels in the atmosphere, further speeding up global warming.

Additionally, 93.4% of global warming currently goes into oceans. The more heat will remain in the atmosphere, the faster the temperature of the atmosphere will rise. This feedback can cause very rapid and strong global warming. as depicted on the image on the right and as also described as feedback #29 on the feedbacks page.

With this in mind, forecasts of storms hitting the Arctic Ocean over the next few months look even more frightening.


Waves as high as 2.34 m or 7.7 ft are forecast to hit the Arctic Ocean on June 8, 2017, at the location marked by the green circle.


How is it possible for waves to get that high in a part of the Arctic Ocean that is surrounded by continents that act as shields against winds?

On June 8, 2017, temperatures are forecast to be as high as 40.6°C or 105.2°F near Phoenix, Arizona, and as high as 26.0°C or 78.7°F in Alaska, as the image below shows.


The image below shows that on June 12, 2017, temperatures as high as 35.1°C or 95.3°F were recorded over a river in Siberia that ends in the Lena River which in turn ends in the Arctic Ocean (left panel, green circle), while waves near Novaya Zemlya were recorded as high as 4.54 m or 14.9 ft (top right panel, green circle).


The image below shows that on June 6, 2017, temperatures on the coast of Hudson Bay (green circle) were as high as 31.6°C or 89°F.


Four cyclones are visible on the above image. Strong winds over the Arctic Ocean can cause high waves that can break up the sea ice and strengthen currents that are pushing warm water into the Arctic Ocean and sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean.

These stronger winds, currents and waves come at a time that the Arctic sea ice thickness is at record low, as illustrated by the image below by Wipneus and underneath by Larry Hamilton.


Let's take a closer look at some further feedbacks that are at work behind the increasingly thinner ice, higher temperature, stronger wind and higher waves in the Arctic.

• Sea Ice Decline - The snow and ice cover over the Arctic Ocean make that sunlight is reflected back into space (albedo loss). In the absence of this cover, the Arctic Ocean will absorb more heat. Furthermore, open oceans are less efficient than sea ice when it comes to emitting in the far-infrared region of the spectrum.


• Buffer Loss - The snow and ice cover over the Arctic Ocean acts as a buffer, absorbing heat that in the absence of this buffer will have to be absorbed by the Arctic Ocean, as discussed in earlier posts such as this one.

• Jet Stream Changes - Rising temperatures in the Arctic are causing wind patterns to change, in particular the jet stream.

As a result, warm air can more easily get carried by wind from land over the Arctic Ocean.

The image below shows the Jet Stream on June 6, 2017. As temperatures over the Arctic rise faster than they do at the Equator, the jet stream becomes more wavy. Instead of circumnavigating Earth in a straight and narrow band that keeps the cold air over the Arctic separate from warmer temperatures south of the jet stream, a more wavy jet stream enables more warm air to flow into the Arctic and more cold air to leave the Arctic.



Winds are particularly strong over oceans and, as the Atlantic Ocean keeps warming up, those winds can push more warm water into the Arctic Ocean, as discussed in an earlier post. This can dramatically warm up the water of the Arctic Ocean.

• Clouds and Water Vapor - Loops of the jet stream extending over the Arctic can also bring stronger winds and more clouds and water vapor into the Arctic.

This is another self-reinforcing feedback that goes hand in hand with the above feedbacks. As temperatures rise in the Arctic, loss of sea ice will increase, resulting in more open water. This, in combination with stronger winds and warmer water will also result in more clouds and water vapor over the Arctic, further speeding up the temperature rise in the Arctic.

• Decline of Snow and Ice Cover on Land - Rising temperatures in the Arctic are also speeding up the decline of the snow and ice cover on land. This will result in albedo loss and will also trigger further feedbacks, such as soil destabilization and warm water from rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean.

• Soil destabilization - Heatwaves and droughts destabilize the soil. Soil that was previously known as permafrost, was until now held together by ice. As the ice melts, organic material in the soil starts to decompose and the soil becomes increasingly vulnerable to wildfires. All his can result in high emissions of CO₂, CH₄, N₂O, soot, etc., which in turn causes further warming, specifically over the Arctic. The danger of wildfires is illustrated by the image below.


• Warmer Rivers - High temperatures on land can strongly warm up water of rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean. This is also illustrated by the above image.

• Seafloor Methane - Another huge dangers is that all this additional heat will reach the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean and will trigger destabilization of methane hydrates contained in sediments at the seafloor. Stronger winds can mix warmer water all the way down to the seafloor, and destabilize hydrates that can contain huge amounts of methane, resulting in release of huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere.

The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as described in the Climate Plan.

http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/06/high-waves-set-to-batter-arctic-ocean.html

Agelbert NOTE: The battered ocean racer sail boats I recently posted on provide evidence of even larger waves than those predicted in this post. The problem continues to grow while our leaders pretend there is no problem...

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #913 on: June 18, 2017, 11:16:15 pm »
Four missing after tsunami strikes Greenland coast
Source: BBC

6 hours ago

The surge of water is also reported to have swept away 11 homes in the village of Nuugaatsiaq.

Police chief Bjørn Tegner Bay said he was unable to confirm whether there had been fatalities, according to KNR, Greenland's broadcasting corporation.

The authorities believe a magnitude four earthquake caused the tsunami.

According to the police chief, it struck off Uummannaq, a small island well above the Arctic Circle.

Meteorologist Trine Dahl Jensen told Danish news agency Ritzau that for such an earthquake to hit Greenland was "not normal", as she warned of the risk of aftershocks.............................

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40320629
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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #914 on: June 19, 2017, 08:32:12 pm »
Scientists Saw a Nearly Unheard of Antarctic Meltdown

Brian Kahn By Brian Kahn
 
Published: June 17th, 2017

Antarctica is unfreezing. In the past few months alone, researchers have chronicled a seasonal waterfall, widespread networks of rivers and melt ponds and an iceberg the size of Delaware on the brink of breaking away from the thawing landscape.

A new study published in Nature Communications only adds to the disturbing trend of change afoot in Antarctica. Researchers have documented rain on a continent more known for snow and widespread surface melt in West Antarctica last summer, one of the most unstable parts of a continent that’s already being eaten away by warm waters below the ice.

Surface melt became widespread over West Antarctica in January 2016.
Credit: Nicolas et al,. 2017

he findings, published Thursday, indicate that last year’s super El Niño played a large role in driving the meltdown, but researchers are concerned that overlaying natural climate patterns onto the long-term warming driven by carbon pollution could put Antarctica’s ice in an even more precarious position.

“There’s a substantial loss of ice going on from warm water eating away at the bottom of some critical ice shelves,” David Bromwich, a climate modeler at Ohio State, said. “If we move into the future and we’ve got a lot of melting from the top as well, that means things would proceed even faster. It’s not a good prescription.”

The research, which Bromwich helped produced, stemmed from a series of coincidences starting at the top of the West Antarctic ice sheet, nearly 6,000 feet above sea level. Researchers stationed there in January 2016 noticed surface melt starting in the middle of the month and even reported seeing rain as warm, moist air poured into the region.

Bromwich said he had never heard of rain falling on that region of the ice sheet, though the Antarctic Peninsula further north will occasionally get a few showers. His and other researchers’ curiosity was piqued and using satellite imagery and high altitude balloon data, they were able to confirm the melt not just at the top of the ice sheet but across much of West Antarctica.

About 300,000 square miles of the ice sheet near the Ross Sea experienced melt, making it the second-largest surface melt ever documented in that region of Antarctica. The meltdown was caused by incredibly  ;)  :D mild air. Temperatures spiked 27°F (15°C) above where they were at in early January in some locations, pushing them above freezing for a two-week period at lower elevations of the ice sheet.

The aurora australis over a West Antarctica research outpost.
Credit: AWARE


The biggest driver of the Antarctic heat wave was the super El Niño, then at its peak in the tropical Pacific. It helped rearrange the atmosphere so a high pressure system off Chile’s coast could steer abnormally balmy weather toward West Antarctica. The pattern has played out in other El Niño years, causing similar widespread melt events.

Ted Scambos, a researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said the study did a good job of explaining the mechanisms behind the meltdown and could be helpful in further understanding the forces at play in the region's climate.

The rain that preceded the major melt also may have also played a role in preconditioning the surface melt that Bromwich said was essentially a thick layer of slush covering the ice sheet.

What happened in West Antarctica last January was driven by natural climate shifts, but overlaying it on climate change is bad news for the region where ice shelves are melting from below.

Research has shown that those disappearing ice shelves could trigger “unstoppable” melt as warm water eventually pushes up under parts of the marine ice sheet itself, sending sea levels at least 10 feet higher. Surface melt events like the one Bromwich and his colleagues documented will only compound the speed at which the ice sheet melts.

Previous research has shown that the odds of a super El Niño like the one that boiled the ocean in 2015-16 are likely to double as the climate warms, further compounding the risk. There were also strong winds out of the west that helped blunt some of the melting in January 2016, but if the meteorological odds don’t line up in the future, the region could be in even deeper trouble.

Quote
What this particular event reported in this paper means is that regardless of how strong the westerlies are, we’re likely to get widespread melting,” Bromwich said. “And if they’re weak, we’ll get extreme melting.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/unprecedented-west-antarctic-meltdown-21553

An enormous waterfall gushes off the Nansen Ice Shelf. Credit: Jonathan Kingslake
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 12:53:47 pm by AGelbert »
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