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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 15, 2017, 09:40:25 pm »


GLOBAL IMPACTS: New findings show how climate change is influencing India’s farmer suicides (Climate Central), In Egypt, a rising sea — and growing worries about climate change's effects (NPR), Climate extremes, policy confuse crop choices for Malawi farmers (Reuters), fast-melting Arctic sign of bad global warming (AP)

POLL: Arizona overwhelmingly supports protecting land, air, climate (AZ Central)

ANTARCTICA: Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet (The Guardian)

PRISONS: Some of America’s prisons are literally hell during the summer (Mother Jones)

CENSORSHIP: Federal “State of the Climate” report buries human role in warming (Vice News)
AL GORE: Al Gore says Trump driving, not weakening, climate change momentum (Reuters), Al Gore thinks our political system can save the climate. His daughter isn’t so sure. (Vox)

OK, US government — see you in court (Boston Globe, James Hansen and Sophie Kivlehan op-ed $)

Trump is the past. Clean energy is the future for America and the planet (The Guardian, Rahwa Ghirmatzion and Mark Ruffalo op-ed)

New Orleanians need to accept climate change is a threat (The Times-Picayune, Bob Marshall column)

Local air districts must stand with impacted communities (East Bay Times, Miya Yoshitani op-ed)

What Republicans are getting wrong about climate change (Axios, Amy Harder column)

Trump won't stop Americans hitting the Paris climate targets. Here's how we do it (The Guardian, Michael Bloomberg op-ed)

Great climate science communication from Yale Climate Connections (The Guardian, John Abraham column)

State needs a clearer vision to deliver energy that will satisfy all parties (New Haven Register editorial)

About those climate denials: You’re wrong (Santa Fe New Mexican editorial)
State’s balking at new greenhouse gas cap threatens seafood industry (Central Maine, Richard Nelson column)

Md. governor must match environmental claims with actions (Baltimore Sun, Sara Via op-ed)

Global warming must be addressed before it's too late (Cleveland.com, James Armaline column)

Science, shmience, let’s emit some gas! (Miami Herald, Carl Hiaasen column)

After tons of drama with the California Coastal Commission, things are looking up (LA Times, Steve Lopez column $)

Radical millennials are a climate force to be reckoned with (The Guardian, Geoff Dembicki op-ed)

Strengthening Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative would be a win for Marylanders (Baltimore Post-Examiner, Tony Clifford op-ed)

Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law (Chicago Sun-Times editorial)
The NY Times made a mistake in its big climate story, then things got really vicious (ThinkProgress, Joe Romm column)

Montana anglers need action on climate change (Billings Gazette, Alec Underwood op-ed)
What's next for energy in Virginia? (Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial)

In Our Opinion, These Opinions Are Smart Opinions:
Although we usually use this space to call out bad actors, today we’re going to kick off this week with some praise for great pieces that illustrate that the deniers’ denial isn’t going very well.  ;D

Down at the Miami Herald, columnist Fred Grimm surveyed the overwhelming number of climate stories that broke last week. He opens his column by declaring that, “Denial begins to look like psychosis” and ends on a no less pithy note. After tearing through a terrifying list of maladies, Grimm points out that despite the melting glaciers, the rising seas, warming temperatures and drying droughts, political leaders and other deniersjust keep on denying.” 
This sentiment was echoed by the NY Times’s Paul Krugman, who outlined for readers The Axis of Climate Evil . Krugman points to the fossil fuel-funded voices, the ideologically anti-regulation actors, and the attention-seeking contrarian academics as the three nodes of the denier axis. He also calls out something we’ve mentioned when he writes that he “can’t think of a single prominent climate skeptic who isn’t obviously arguing in bad faith.”
Nevertheless, scientists have persisted and resisted. Former EPA science advisor Robert Richardson (relieved of duty by the administration) writes in the Washington Post about how Trump’s attack on science isn’t going very well.   
Richardson, positively dripping in the sarcasm and contempt that we do so appreciate, notes that, “Academic integrity, it turns out, is really important to professionals in scientific agencies of the federal government.”

So despite the alt-facts ideology of the White House, scientists are as of yet still staying true to their dedication to real facts. Who woulda thought!? Oh, everyone who isn’t a troll arguing in bad faith.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 14, 2017, 07:39:51 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 12, 2017, 10:32:15 pm »

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Inhuman temperatures birds dropping from the sky as the mercury in Kuwait and Iraq soar above 50 deg C +122 deg F

Birds in Kuwait have reportedly been dropping from the sky as temperatures soar to 50C across the Middle East.

The temperature in Kuwait has been consistently above 45C but the added humidity in the region is making it seem even hotter, creating extremely difficult living conditions for both humans and wildlife.

The Middle East has been hit with an 'ungodly' heatwave so extreme Iraq's government ordered all of its civil servants to go home on Thursday, when temperatures rose above 50C.

Temperatures are expected to stay above 45C for the next week, with the UK Met office predicting temperatures as high as 50C this weekend.

Meanwhile Kuwait will see highs of 47C and 44C in Riyadh.

It comes after temperatures above 48C every day this month in the Iraqi capital. Iraq's underfunded power network is struggling to cope with the increased demand from air conditioning and water coolers.

"It's really hard because of the lack of electricity, at home electricity is not good. We use 60 per cent of electricity from generators," said Baghdad resident Murtada Faisal. Mr Faisal said public showers offered by the Government as a means to battle the heat were "like a bandage".

"What we need is a long term solution like trees and water tunnels," he said. Mr Faisal said green spaces had been lost to new housing developments in and around Baghdad and there was not enough water to sustain the trees that the Government had planted.

The heatwave is also taking its toll on Iraq's military, who often spend long periods standing outside. Mr Faisal said he noticed increased friction between soldiers and civilians in the extreme weather. "It's really bad, it makes them angry.

When I go outside in Summer, I see more problems between people at the border," he said.

Another Baghdad resident, Mohanad, described the heat as "ungodly".
"The generator in my neighbourhood that provides electricity for about 300 houses has caught fire from the heat.

All it generates is smoke," he told the Guardian. "We don't know what to do. Men can go to the pool here but what do we do with our women, elderly and our babies?
Even the ACs in the car aren't working properly.
It's over 53 degrees today."

"It's disgusting. The government cannot do anything to help us even if they tried; the electricity generators were built in the 1960s and haven't been changed or modified since."

The heatwave in the Middle East comes after a heatwave dubbed 'Lucifer' fanned forest fires in Europe this week.

Both the Middle East and Europe have experienced extreme heatwaves this summer, which scientists warn is the result of global warming. In Iraq, temperatures in Baghdad have reached 50C, prompting the government to declare a mandatory holiday to allow state workers to stay at home.

Europe is battling a heatwave dubbed "Lucifer" which has seen temperatures climb above 40C across the continent.

The sweltering weather in Italy has caused wildfires and at least two people have died from the extreme heat in Romania and Poland. Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia have been the worst hit, with people being warned to stay indoors, avoid long journeys and drink plenty of fluids.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 12, 2017, 02:23:46 pm »

August 11, 2017

Federal Court Nixes Environmental Law Trump Actually Supports

William Snape III, of The Center for Biological Diversity, discusses US Court of Appeals overturning of EPA ban on hydrofluorocarbons, which are thousands of times more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 10, 2017, 08:31:49 pm »

The multi-year ice is gone.  :(

The ice extent is about the same as the year it was the lowest at this time (2012). HOWEVER, the thickness was much greater in 2012 (see below).

Learn more:


Arctic sea ice may well be gone by September 2017


Agelbert NOTE:
When the ice is gone, the methane bomb will not be far behind.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 10, 2017, 08:17:28 pm »

09 AUGUST 2017

Underwater permafrost on the Arctic shelf melting faster than expected

Russian and Swedish researchers have published a research survey showing that the underwater permafrost layer on the Eastern Siberian continental shelf is melting faster than expected, the press service of the Tomsk Polytechnic University told.

"In 1982-1983, the Permafrost Research Institute of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences drilled four wells, and based on this data we found that the rate of vertical underwater permafrost degradation in the area has gone up to 18 centimeters per year (14 centimeters on average) in the past 30 years, which is ten times faster than expected," the press service said.

It was believed that the permafrost layer on the sea shelf in the eastern Arctic was mostly solid, which would not allow the possibility of methane emissions from under the ice. It was assumed that the melting of the permafrost would not exceed several meters before the end of the 21st century, and that it would take from hundreds to thousands of years for it to melt through.

"Based on the new results obtained by comprehensive biogeochemical, geophysical and geological research made in 2011-2016, we can conclude that in some areas of the Eastern Siberian shelf the permafrost layer has thinned and reached the stability zone of hydrates, the destruction of which might lead to massive emissions of methane bubbles," Natalya Shakhova, professor at the university's Geology and Exploration Department, was quoted as saying.

According to the survey, the volume of methane emissions from the bottom sediment in eastern Arctic seas can vary from milligrams to dozens to hundreds of grams per a square meter per day, depending on the condition of the permafrost layer. This leads to a two to four times increase in atmospheric methane in the above-water layer.

Researchers also discovered another reason for the increase in methane emissions into the water and the air: in shallow waters, icebergs and large ice floes plow through the sea bottom making trenches 4-6 meters deep. They reach the gas layers and release methane.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 09, 2017, 02:50:14 pm »

Sea Surface Temperatures August 8, 2017


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 09, 2017, 02:19:56 pm »

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The latest killer heatwave in Europe is called 'Lucifer.' Extreme weather 'could kill up to 150,000 a year' just in Europe this century! 
Map the weather channel

It's been a common theme throughout this summer in the Northern Hemisphere, killer heatwaves with temperatures humans should not have to endure and every summer recently appears to get worse, with this year especially oppressing from California to Japan.
In Italy, the latest heatwave, nick-named 'Lucifer' by locals, has caused a 15 per cent spike in admissions to hospital emergency units and forecasters see no respite coming before early next week.

It's brought wildfires to Spain, Italy, France, The Balkans and Romania, destroyed millions of Euro's of crops and killing thousands of cattle.
Flash foods and lightning strikes are also increasing at an unprecedented level.

But now The Lancet Planetary Health journal has written a new report claiming extreme weather could kill up to 152,000 people each year in Europe by 2100 if nothing is done to curb the effects of climate change, scientists say.

The bleak pictured they paint could see such deaths rise from 3,000 each year between 1981 and 2010 to 152,000 a year between 2071 and 2100 and that's just Europe, the south western US has endured temperatures around 50 deg C or 122 deg F this year and Asian countries especially, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have lost thousands of people to heat and floods.

By 2100, weather-related disasters could affect two thirds of Europe's population per year, It comes amid a number of high profile heat waves which have hit the headlines recently, with tourists today warned to expect highs of 43°C in Croatia and Spain.

Whatever your stance on climate change it is undeniable the weather is becoming more extreme year on year.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2017, 08:12:46 pm »

Check out this article.
90 degree bath water off the coast of Malta.


  That web site has a lot of info packed articles dealing with the ongoing deterioration of our climate. I've placed it in my favorites.  8)

I've been looking at the temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico next to Houston, near New Orleans (hot!) and the really hot ones in the Suez Canal and next to all that expensive real estate (Qatar, Dubai, etc.). They made those fancy palm shaped islands and the water there (virtually ALL of the Persian Gulf) is getting hotter than a pistol!

The ocean life is going to be toast in those areas. Lots of fish can handle cold temperatures but very few can handle consistently high temperatures. Jellyfish, however, seem to thrive on high temperatures.  :P They have been known to cluster next to nuclear power plants and give cooling problems to the nuke pukes.   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2017, 03:00:16 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2017, 01:43:25 pm »

There’s a Wildfire Burning in West Greenland Right Now  :o

It’s not just the American West and British Columbia burning up. A fire has sparked in western Greenland, an odd occurrence for an island known more for ice than fire.

A series of blazes is burning roughly in the vicinity of Kangerlussuaq, a small town that serves as a basecamp for researchers in the summer to access Greenland’s ice sheet and western glaciers. The largest fire has burned roughly 3,000 acres and sent smoke spiraling a mile into the sky, prompting hunting and hiking closures in the area, according to local news reports.

The Sentinel-2 satellite captured a wildfire burning in western Greenland.

There’s no denying that it’s weird to be talking about wildfires in Greenland because ice covers the majority of the island. Forests are basically nonexistent and this fire appears to be burning through grasses, willows and other low-slung vegetation on the tundra that makes up the majority of the land not covered by ice.

Data for Greenland fires is hard to come by, but there is some context for fires in other parts of the northern tier of the world. The boreal forest sprawls across Canada, Russia, Alaska and northern Europe, and provides a longer-term record for researchers to dig into. That record shows that the boreal forest is burning at a rate unprecedented in the past 10,000 years.

Stef Lhermitte, a remote sensing expert at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, said there is evidence of fires burning in Greenland over the past 17 years of MODIS satellite records kept by NASA. But because of how NASA’s algorithms interpret the satellite data, there’s low confidence that every fire on the map actually occurred.

Jason Box, an ice sheet researcher with the Geologic Survey of Denmark and Greenland, said he observed a lightning-sparked fire in the late 1990s, but that otherwise, fires are rare. Looking at the MODIS record, he said one of the only other high confidence fires was actually a trash burn in 2013, though other satellites show evidence of others fires.

Box also noted that temperatures in the area rose in late July just before the fire was first observed, spiking to above 53°F (12°C) on July 27. While not exactly balmy, the temperature rise may have helped the blazes to spread.

According to La Croix, a French newspaper, there’s no precedent for a fire this size in the European Union’s forest fire system. Looking beyond the satellite record for context specific to Greenland is all but impossible as there are basically no records to refer to.

“There does not appear to be a reliable long-term record of observed wildfires in Greenland,” researchers with the Danish Meteorological Institute’s Greenland monitoring program tweeted.

Ultimately, it’s not the burning of Greenland’s tundra that’s the biggest climate change concern. It’s the island’s massive store of ice that if melted, would be enough to raise sea levels 20 feet.

The ice has been melting at a quickening pace since 2000, partly due to wildfires in other parts of the world. The uptick in boreal forest fires has kicked up more ash in the atmosphere where prevailing winds have steered it toward the ice sheet.

The dark ash traps more energy from the sun, which has warmed the ice sheet and caused more widespread melting. Soot from massive wildfires in Siberia caused 95 percent of the Greenland ice sheet surface to melt in 2012, a phenomenon that could become a yearly occurrence by 2100 as the planet warms and northern forest fires become more common.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 07, 2017, 09:58:25 pm »

There's A Bad Moon On the Rise
Bad Moon On the Rise: Hope You've Got Your Things Together: End is Coming Soon

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 07, 2017, 09:51:56 pm »

S&WB Chief: No system could have handled that rain

NEW ORLEANS – Flood weary and water-logged New Orleans residents were in no mood to be gracious when a second major flooding event in the past few weeks again made streets impassable and this time got into some homes and businesses and several cars.

What had New Orleanians concerned on social media was also what these two rain events showed about the city’s drainage system and what it might or might not be able to handle during a hurricane event.

Saturday’s rain event was by most measures twice as heavy as the one a few weeks ago.

Sewerage and Water Board Executive Director Cedric Grant vigorously defended the system in a couple of telephone interviews on Eyewitness News and later in a live press conference.

The system, he said, worked as well as it could at the now well-known capacity of one inch of rain in the first hour and a half inch every hour thereafter. All the pumps, he said, we working and no system could have handled what this city was dealt – 8-10 inches of rain in about three hours time.

“There is no drainage system in the world that can handle that immediately,” he said, while saying he was somewhat frustrated. “I continue to tell the people what this system can do. It's pretty amazing in that it can do one inch of rain in the first hour and a half an inch of rain every hour after that. We are dealing with 8 to 10 inches of rain in three hours. It is not going to be able to pump that in an hour.”

Grant said the recent rains are part of the climate change era.

“We have these kinds of rains every month and it’s not just us. It’s the rest of the country that’s experiencing the same weather patterns.”

Grant says he gets the frustrations of business and homeowners, but he says these types of rains have happened in the past and you should just ride it out. He contends the city of New Orleans has one of the most robust drainage systems in the world and that to double its capacity would cost billions of dollars the city doesn’t have.

“We have the largest drainage pumps anywhere. To double them would be billions of dollars... We have a fairly significant system, one of the most significant in the world, but we're in a situation now where we receive more rain than anybody could have imagined on a recurring basis. This system is doing everything it can to address that."

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 07, 2017, 09:03:54 pm »

Demystifying Three Climate Lies - The Road to Decarbonisation | Thomas Stocker | TEDxBern

TEDx Talks

Published on Oct 13, 2016

Thomas Stocker starts by debunking three of the most popular climate change myths. He is one of the leading researchers in the field of climate and regularly advises the UN. At the end of the talk, he shows the way out of climate change: decarbonisation.

Thomas Stocker graduated from ETH Zürich in 1987 and held research positions in London, Montreal and New York. Since 1993 he is Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern. This research group is leading in the reconstruction of greenhouse gas concentrations from polar ice cores and the simulation of past and future climate changes. From 2008 to 2015 he co-chaired Working Group I of the IPCC, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 06, 2017, 10:01:32 pm »

The climate has always changed. What do you conclude?

Filed under: Climate Science Communicating Climate Paleoclimate skeptics — stefan @ 20 July 2017

Probably everyone has heard this argument, presented as objection against the findings of climate scientists on global warming: “The climate has always changed!” And it is true: climate has changed even before humans began to burn fossil fuels. So what can we conclude from that?

A quick quiz

Do you conclude…

(1) that humans cannot change the climate?   

(2) that we do not know whether humans are to blame for global warming?

(3) that global warming will not have any severe consequences? 

(4) that we cannot stop global warming?

The answer

Not one of these answers is correct. None of these conclusions would be logical. Why not?

(1) The opposite conclusion is correct: if the climate had hardly changed during the course of the Earth’s history (despite variable incoming solar radiation and changing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere), then we would conclude that there are strong stabilizing feedbacks in the climate system. The drastic climate changes in the history of the Earth (ice ages, hot ice-free periods) show that the climate system is sensitive to changes in the radiation budget. The measure for this sensitivity is called climate sensitivity: how much global warming will result from a CO2 doubling in the air? For the first time it was estimated by the Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius in 1896. According to our modern knowledge this climate sensitivity is around 3°C (uncertainty ± 1°C).

Paleoclimatologists determine the climate sensitivity from data from the Earth’s history. A recent review article in Nature on this method showed “a warming around 2.2 to 4.8 °C per doubling of atmospheric CO2, which agrees with IPCC estimates”. In short: the larger past natural climate changes have been, the more vulnerable is the climate system, and the more it will react to the greenhouse gases that humans are adding to the system.

(2) Imagine there has been a forest fire. The police have extensive evidence that it was arson. They know the place where the fire began. They found traces of fire accelerants. Witnesses observed a man whose car was parked nearby. In his trunk the police finds bottles with fire accelerants, and in his house they find even more of it. He  has been convicted for arson several times before. Plus some further evidence. In court, he defends himself: forest fires have always occurred lit by lightning, even before there was any man on Earth. Therefore he must be innocent. Does the argument convince you?

The evidence for the human cause of global warming is overwhelming. This is why there has been a consensus among climate researchers for a long time, and almost every scientific academy on the planet has come to the same conclusion. The most important evidence: when it gets warmer, the energy has to come from somewhere (1st law of thermodynamics). It can only come through the radiation budget of our planet. (No, Rick Perry, the energy does not come out of the ocean. To the contrary, measurements show heat is going into the oceans). The changes in this energy balance are quite well known and are shown near the front of any IPCC report – see Fig. 1. The biggest factor is the increase in CO2 concentration as well as a few other greenhouse gases, also added by human activities. The incoming solar radiation has changed just a tiny bit in comparison – since 1950, by the way, it has even decreased and thus offset a small part of the human-caused warming – hence humans have probably caused more warming than is observed (best estimate is 110% of observed warming).

Fig. 1 Radiative forcing is the cause of global temperature changes. Red bars show warming, blue bars cooling effects. I am showing the diagram from the fourth IPCC report of 2007, because it is easier to understand than the more recent from the 5th IPCC Report of 2013, which Gavin discussed here. The overall human-caused radiative forcing, which is given here as 1.6 watts per square meter, had already risen to 2.3 watts per square meter by the year 2011 according to the 5th IPCC report. Source: IPCC report 4 Fig. SPM.2.

Overall, humans have caused an additional heating (radiative forcing) of 2.3 watts per square meter of Earth surface – as of 2011. It has increased further since.

(3) Those who can’t deny that humans are causing warming often seek refuge in the hope that the consequences might not be so bad, so we might just adapt rather than having to stop further warming. The climatic changes in Earth’s history do not support this point of view. As a result of the global warming by around 5 ° C from the last ice age 15,000 years ago to the mid-Holocene, global sea levels rose by 120 meters until 5,000 years ago! At that time hardly a problem – but for today’s humankind even a rise of two meters would be a disaster, bringing devastation to coastal cities and small island states. We still have enough ice on Greenland and Antarctica to raise the sea level around the world by 65 meters. Both ice masses are losing ice more and more quickly. The West Antarctic has probably already crossed its tipping point and is unstable. Greenland could soon follow.

Fig. 2 Ice loss of Greenland measured by GRACE satellites. Source: NASA .

By the way: the just mentioned 5°C rise within ten thousand years at the end of the ice age are among the fastest global temperature rises documented in the Earth’s history. That is 0.05 degrees per century. In the last hundred years we have caused the twentyfold rise. This pace of change overtaxes the adaptability of many ecosystems and will lead to their collapse as the warming progresses. In coral reefs this is already in progress.

The pace of the completely man-made CO2 increase (by now the CO2 concentration is higher than at any time in the past three million years) leads to a rapid acidification of the world’s oceans, because it overcomes the buffer capacity of the oceans. The last major acidification event 250 million years ago has apparently led to a massive extinction of species in the world’s oceans.

(4) Often I hear that the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement are absurd, because humans cannot stabilize the global temperature – after all, our climate changes even without human intervention. This argument is also wrong. As already mentioned, without human interference there would have been no global warming since the middle of the 20th century. If anything there would have been a slight natural cooling. The fluctuations in the sun’s activity are causing variations of 0.1 or 0.2 °C in global temperature in the last thousand years (e.g. at the Maunder Minimum of solar activity in the years 1645 to 1715). In the longer term, the astronomical Milankovitch cycles of the Earth’s orbit and the Earth’s axis dominate the natural climate changes (hence the ice ages). The shortest of these cycles has a period of 23,000 years – for the next hundred years, it practically does not matter. However, our fortune would last much longer than that: the Milankovitch cycles can be calculated over millions of years with astronomical precision (and incidentally be used to predict the beginning of all the past ice ages), and according to that, the next major climate change would arrive only in about 50,000 years. Namely the next ice age.

So if we weren’t doing something really stupid, we could benefit from another 50,000 years with a stable climate. Nothing in our knowledge of paleoclimatology suggests that natural factors could prevent us from limiting global warming to below 2°C. Only our own dithering, our own inertia can do that. Or that we prefer to be lulled into fatal complacency by the reassuring fairy tales of the “climate skeptics” rather than confronting the danger.

Among the most ill-informed claims of those “skeptics” is the assertion that climate researchers do not know or consciously ignore the fact that the climate has always changed. Utter nonsense, of course. Almost all of the authors here at Realclimate have done substantial work in paleoclimate for decades, as you can see from our publication lists (including the textbook Paleoclimatology). A lot of other climate researchers do the same.

 This May, three of us were at a conference of almost one thousand paleoclimatologists in Zaragoza (see photo below). These researchers know more about the natural, past climate changes than anyone else. Nobody there expressed any doubts about the ongoing human-caused global warming. On the contrary, many paleoclimatologists are particularly concerned about anthropogenic warming, especially in view of our findings about Earth’s history. Already when I was working as lead author on the paleoclimate chapter of the 4th IPCC report more than a decade ago, some of the discussions within IPCC revolved around us paleoclimatologists regarding some risks as considerably more serious than the colleagues specializing in the modern climate, such as the risk of rapid sea level rise or instability of ocean currents and ice sheets.

Whoever tells you that the fact that “the climate has always changed” is somehow reassuring, does not know what he is talking about or he is trying to con you.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 05, 2017, 09:23:41 pm »

A View to a KILL; Arctic Sea Ice: A

Paul Beckwith

Published on Aug 4, 2017

There is basically NO thick ice left on the Arctic Ocean surface. The thicker ice was mostly exported out to destruction via the Fram Strait & Canadian Archipelago last winter. Ice left is only a weak semblance of its former self, fractured and broken into small pieces & subject to whims of surface currents & winds.

I discuss relentless ice melt on the surface from warm air temperatures & rain, below from warm ocean water, & on the edges from waves, winds & export. Not a pretty picture.

A View to a KILL; Arctic Sea Ice: B

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 03, 2017, 06:58:46 pm »

The DOG DAYS on Global Warming Steroids are here.  :P

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 03, 2017, 02:16:50 pm »

Even if all fossil fuel emissions stopped in 2017, warming by 2100 is very likely to reach about 2.3 F.

Even if humans could instantly turn off all our emissions of greenhouse gases, the Earth would continue to heat up about two more degrees Fahrenheit by the turn of the century, according to a sophisticated new analysis published in Nature Climate Change. And if current emissions continue for 15 years, odds are good that the planet will see nearly three degrees (1.5 C) of warming by then.

"This 'committed warming' is critical to understand because it can tell us and policy makers how long we have, at current emission rates, before the planet will warm to certain thresholds," said co-author Robert Pincus, a scientist with CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA's Physical Sciences Division. "The window of opportunity on a 1.5-degree [C] target is closing."

During United Nations meetings in Paris last year, 195 countries including the United States signed an agreement to keep global temperature rise less than 3.5 degrees F (2 C) above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts that would limit it further, to less than 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 C) by 2100.

The new assessment by Pincus and lead author Thorsten Mauritsen, from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology is unique in that it does not rely on computer model simulations, but rather on observations of the climate system to calculate Earth's climate commitment. Their work accounts for the capacity of oceans to absorb carbon, detailed data on the planet's energy imbalance, the climate-relevant behavior of fine particles in the atmosphere, and other factors.

Among Pincus' and Mauritsen's findings:

    Even if all fossil fuel emissions stopped in 2017, warming by 2100 is very likely to reach about 2.3 F (range: 1.6-4.1) or 1.3 degrees C (range: 0.9-2.3).
    Oceans could reduce that figure a bit. Carbon naturally captured and stored in the deep ocean could cut committed warming by 0.4 degrees F (0.2 C).
    There is some risk that warming this century cannot be kept to 1.5 degrees C beyond pre-industrial temperatures. In fact, there is a 13 percent chance we are already committed to 1.5-C warming by 2100.

"Our estimates are based on things that have already happened, things we can observe, and they point to the part of future warming that is already committed to by past emissions," said Mauritsen. "Future carbon dioxide emissions will then add extra warming on top of that commitment."

The research was funded by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 03, 2017, 02:15:28 pm »

Human beings are now waging war against life itself as we continue to destroy not just individual lives, local populations and entire species in vast numbers but also the ecological systems that make life on earth possible.

By doing this we are now accelerating the sixth mass extinction event in earth’s history and virtually eliminating any prospect of human survival.

In a recently published scientific study ‘Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines’ the authors Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich and Rodolfo Dirzo document the accelerating nature of this problem.

"Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions… That conclusion is based on analyses of the numbers and degrees of range contraction… using a sample of 27,600 vertebrate species, and on a more detailed analysis documenting the population extinctions between 1900 and 2015 in 177 mammal species." Their research found that the rate of population loss in terrestrial vertebrates is "extremely high" – even in "species of low concern".

More than 40% of the species had experienced severe population declines.

In their sample, comprising nearly half of known vertebrate species, 32% (8,851 out of 27,600) are decreasing; that is, they have decreased in population size and range. In the 177 mammals for which they had detailed data, all had lost 30% or more of their geographic ranges and more than 40% of the species had experienced severe population declines. Their data revealed that "beyond global species extinctions earth is experiencing a huge episode of population declines and extirpations, which will have negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilisation. We describe this as a 'biological annihilation' to highlight the current magnitude of earth’s ongoing sixth major extinction event."

Illustrating the damage done by dramatically reducing the historic geographic range of a species, consider the lion. Panthera leo "was historically distributed over most of Africa, southern Europe, and the Middle East, all the way to north-western India. It is now confined to scattered populations in sub-Saharan Africa and a remnant population in the Gir forest of India. The vast majority of lion populations are gone."

Why is this happening? Ceballos, Ehrlich and Dirzo tell us: "In the last few decades, habitat loss, overexploitation, invasive organisms, pollution, toxification, and more recently climate disruption, as well as the interactions among these factors, have led to the catastrophic declines in both the numbers and sizes of populations of both common and rare vertebrate species."

The vast majority of lion populations are gone.

Further, however, the authors warn that the true extent of this mass extinction has been "underestimated, because of the emphasis on species extinction." This underestimation can be traced to overlooking the accelerating extinction of local populations of a species.

Population extinctions today are "orders of magnitude more frequent than species extinctions. Population extinctions, however, are a prelude to species extinctions, so earth’s sixth mass extinction episode has proceeded further than most assume." Moreover, and importantly from a narrow human perspective, the massive loss of local populations is already damaging the services ecosystems provide to civilisation (which, of course, are given no value by government and corporate economists).

As Ceballos, Ehrlich and Dirzo remind us: "When considering this frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation, one must never forget that earth’s capacity to support life, including human life, has been shaped by life itself." When public mention is made of the extinction crisis, it usually focuses on a few (probably iconic) animal species known to have gone extinct, while projecting many more in future. However, a glance at their maps presents a much more realistic picture: as much as 50% of the number of animal individuals that once shared earth with us are already gone, as are billions of populations.

Furthermore, they claim that their analysis is conservative given the increasing trajectories of those factors that drive extinction together with their synergistic impacts. "Future losses easily may amount to a further rapid defaunation of the globe and comparable losses in the diversity of plants, including the local (and eventually global) defaunation-driven coextinction of plants."

Future losses easily may amount to a further rapid defaunation of the globe.

They conclude with the chilling observation: ‘Thus, we emphasize that the sixth mass extinction is already here and the window for effective action is very short.’

Of course, it is too late for those species of plants, birds, animals, fish, amphibians, insects and reptiles that humans have already driven to extinction or will yet drive to extinction in the future. 200 species yesterday. 200 species today. 200 species tomorrow. 200 species the day after. And, as Ceballos, Ehrlich and Dirzo emphasize, the ongoing daily extinctions of myriad local populations.

If you think that the above information is bad enough in assessing the prospects for human survival, you will not be encouraged by awareness or deeper consideration of even some of the many variables adversely impacting our prospects that were beyond the scope of the above study.

While Ceballos, Ehrlich and Dirzo, in addition to the problems noted above, also identified the problems of human overpopulation and continued population growth, as well as overconsumption (based on "the fiction that perpetual growth can occur on a finite planet") and even the risks posed by nuclear war, there were many variables that were beyond the scope of their research.

Ranging from nitrogen deposition to ocean acidification, and including such basics as soil, water, and air; virtually every ecological system upon which life depends is failing.

For example, in a recent discussion of that branch of ecological science known as ‘Planetary Boundary Science’, Dr Glen Barry identified "at least ten global ecological catastrophes which threaten to destroy the global ecological system and portend an end to human beings, and perhaps all life. Ranging from nitrogen deposition to ocean acidification, and including such basics as soil, water, and air; virtually every ecological system upon which life depends is failing".

Moreover, apart from the ongoing human death tolls caused by the endless wars and other military violence being conducted across the planet – see, for example, ‘Yemen cholera worst on record & numbers still rising’ – there is catastrophic environmental damage caused too.

In addition, the out-of-control methane releases into the atmosphere that are now occurring and the release, each and every day, of 300 tons of radioactive waste from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean are having disastrous consequences that will negatively impact life on earth indefinitely. And they cannot be reversed in any timeframe that is meaningful for human prospects.

Apart from the above, there is a host of other critical issues – such as destruction of the earth’s rainforests, destruction of waterways and the ocean habitat and the devastating impact of animal agriculture on meat consumption – that international governmental organisations such as the UN, national governments and multinational corporations will continue to refuse to decisively act upon because they are controlled by an insane global elite.

So time may be short, the number of issues utterly daunting and the prospects for life grim. But if, like me, you are inclined to fight to the last breath, I invite you to consider making a deliberate choice to take powerful personal action in the fight for our survival. If you do nothing else, consider participating in the fifteen-year strategy of ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’. You can do this as an individual, with family and friends or as a neighbourhood.

If you are involved in (or considering becoming involved in) a local campaign to address a climate issue, end some manifestation of war (or even all war), or to halt any other threat to our environment, I encourage you to consider doing this on a strategic basis. And if you would like to join the worldwide movement to end violence in all of its forms, environmental and otherwise, you are also welcome to consider signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’.

We might be annihilating life on earth but this is not something about which we have no choice.

In fact, each and every one of us has a choice: we can choose to do nothing, we can wait for (or even lobby) others to act, or we can take powerful action ourselves. But unless you search your heart and make a conscious and deliberate choice to commit yourself to act powerfully, your unconscious choice will effectively be the first one (including that you might take some token measures and delude yourself that these make a difference). And the annihilation of life on earth will continue, with your complicity.

Extinction beckons. Will you choose powerfully?

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 31, 2017, 02:00:27 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: This is a great story and the comments are educational.   

I Told You Not to Worry About the Climate  

By Tom Lewis | June 20, 2017 | Climate

“This is the Captain speaking. First, let me make this absolutely clear: there is no reason to worry.”

On a mid-morning in May, the telephone rang in the modest home of the mayor of Tangier, a village of 470 people on tiny Tangier Island, 12 miles off the coast of Maryland in the Chesapeake Bay. It was the president of the United States calling. If you lived there, you would not know which to think more odd; that the president was calling James “Ooker” Eskridge, or that Ooker was in his house to take the call, on a fair-weather weekday, and not on the water crabbing (he had been warned the call was coming).

If you live anywhere else on the planet Earth, you will be hard put to decide which part of the ensuing conversation was the most strange.

The President had seen something on television, which is what stimulates his cumbersome thought processes. The piece on CNN documented the fact that Tangier Island was slowly but inevitably disappearing as the waters of the Bay responded to global climate change. In the mid-1800s, Tangier Island sprawled over 2,000 acres, and was home to watermelon farmers, dairymen and a variety of entrepreneurs other than watermen. By 1997, only 768 acres of land were left, 83 of them habitable. Today, the island is even smaller.

The island is losing ground because it is sinking, in response to the retreat of the glaciers that until 10,000 years ago or so bore down on the crust of New England and bulged up the crust farther south; being subjected to fiercer and more frequent storms;being immersed by water that is expanding because it is getting warmer every year, and that is being augmented by melting glaciers and ice caps around the world.[/color]

Geologists calculate that until around 1900, sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay rose at an average of three feet per thousand years, and have risen three feet in the one hundred years since. Tangier is now losing nine acres of land a year to erosion and rising tides.

All but the sinking are directly attributable to climate change, a consequence of human pollution.

All of this has been known, confirmed and re-checked for many years now, so it is perhaps not surprising that a President who has not shown himself to be especially up-to-date on the problems of the real world would be moved, on learning of the island’s predicament, to reach out. To say what, one wonders. To offer sympathy? Or support? Federal aid for the inevitable migration of the inhabitants of the island to somewhere else?

None of the above. The president called the mayor to say, and I’m quoting here, “Don’t worry about it.” The island has been there for a long time, the President astutely observed, and he expressed his confidence that the island would still be there a long time from now. The mayor should not worry, but be happy.

So the water’s rising a hundred times faster than in previous millennia — don’t worry about it. So the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that Tangier Island will be habitable for at most another 50 years, possibly as few as 20. Why would anyone worry?

But what is truly astonishing about this conversation — the part that is breath-stopping, jaw-dropping, vertigo-inducing, stupefying — is not the consummate ignorance of the President, with which we are all now familiar, but of the Mayor, who agrees with Trump that there is nothing to worry about because there is no such thing as climate change, and the consequent rising of the seas. “I’m out there on the water every day,” says Ooker, “and I don’t see it.

Perhaps he marks the waterline on the outside of his boat every day, and seeing no change from day to day, has concluded that the water cannot be rising.   

By coincidence, in the same week Scientific American published a story about the struggle to save Deal Island, also in the Chesapeake Bay, from an identical onslaught by rising tides, a struggle complicated by the fact that the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of Deal Island, just like those who live on Tangier Island — don’t believe in climate change.

It’s as if the captain of the Titanic had assembled the passengers, formed them up on the tilting deck, up to their asses in water on the silent, motionless, burbling ship and said, “Don’t you worry about a thing. This ship brought us here all the way from England and there’s no reason to think she won’t take us the rest of the way.”

Depressing enough. But what makes one truly suicidal is the way the passengers are cheering, and agreeing, and saying to each other, “That’s our kind of captain.   "


As for more information on sea level rise, might I recommend the work of Dredd who has been studying this in depth for years now. For example (from https://blogdredd.blogspot.com/2017/06/peering-into-world-of-science.html), do you know how the heat from the atmosphere is being absorbed by the ocean? One would naturally think that the surface is heating up the most.

“a new analysis by three ocean scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory not only confirms that the extra heat has been going into the ocean, but it shows where. According to research by Veronica Nieves, Josh Willis, and Bill Patzert, the waters of the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean warmed significantly from 2003 to 2012. But the warming did not occur at the surface; it showed up below 10 meters (32 feet) in depth, and mostly between 100 to 300 meters (300 to 1,000 feet) below the sea surface. They published their results on July 9, 2015, in the journal Science.”

Before the island is completely submerged, there may not be enough food to go around, since the rate at which our ability to grow crops (especially grain) is diminishing substantially each year due to exacerbated heat or lingering cold, droughts, floods, hail, wind damage, pest infestations, (crop) disease, soil erosion and depletion, and other climate change effects, oh and Monsanto.

We have way too much methane going into the atmosphere now too. From seemorerocks today, this ~ 15 min video from Paul Beckwith:

Arctic Methane & Jet Stream Disruption

So, in short (and to quote Jason Box):

“we’re f u c k e d!”

James M Dakin June 20, 2017 at 11:54 am
I’m not so sure why you find this so amazing. You live on the island, you spent a lot of money for a house or lot, why would it be in your economic interest to admit your investment was asinine? Are the Californians living on the quake line admitting they were idiots for paying a quarter mill for a future rubble pile? What about all those folks on the Florida coast?

Tom Lewis June 21, 2017 at 5:22 am
Understood. But at some point it stops being about investment and starts being about survival. On an island that’s down to a square mile, with maximum elevation of four feet, at the beginning of a hurricane sweason that is expected to be “active,” it’s about survival now.

Brian Miller June 24, 2017 at 6:13 am
James, that is spot on for most people. However, most of the families in the bay are people of very modest means. Most are descendants of families that have been there since the 1600-1700’s. It is difficult for them to imagine any other way of life. Which, I guess gets to the heart of Tom’s article, our blindness to things we know will kill us. We are all standing on the deck of the Titanic. Some of us are wisely saying we saw the iceberg and predicted what would happen. Some are saying there is no iceberg. And, some are saying that the iceberg is naturally occurring and we should just live with it. But, very few are clambering into the lifeboats (in this analogy).

I’m aware of the need to get into the lifeboat but I dither at the bow. I live on a small farm that is fairly self-sustaining all within a modern context. But, it is that last qualifier that qualifies me as partially blind. I can squint and see what is coming due to human consumption of fossil fuels, yet I drive, take the occasional plane, buy clothes that are part of the global supply chain that is killing the planet. The poor folks on Tangier Island just want to keep crabbing. The threat to their way of life was sealed when we first started burning fossil fuels. It wouldn’t matter who they voted for or supported.

Rob Rhodes June 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm
I think what you describe here is an example of a population overwhelmingly still in the first stage of grief; denial. Even most people I know who intellectually accept AGW carry on consuming resources at five times the world average, 20 times the poor world and believe ‘They’ are doing something about it, ‘They’ will fix it, ‘They’ have to.

Good to have you back, I hope we will hear more from you soon. Cheers.

Ken Barrows June 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Maybe they think Jesus will return before climate change does its thing.  ::)

Dennis Mitchell June 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm
Maybe Jesus will return because climate change does it’s thing. Plague, famine, earthquakes, and 100 pound hail, are close to the effects of climate change. (and will be be pissed!)

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 30, 2017, 05:52:26 pm »

Documenting Electric Utilities' Early Knowledge and Ongoing Deception on Climate Change 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

By Staff, Energy and Policy Institute | Report

Nearly 50 years after scientists began to warn the electric utility industry about climate change, some utilities continue to stand in the way of real progress in addressing the problem. (Photo: Ed G / Flickr)

Scientists had begun to warn electric utilities about climate change by 1968, and by 1988 the industry's official research and development organization had acknowledged that, "There is growing consensus in the scientific community that the greenhouse effect is real."

Despite this early knowledge about climate change, electric utilities have continued to invest heavily in fossil fuel power generation over the past half a century, and since 1988 some have engaged in ongoing efforts to sow doubt about climate science and block legal limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The Energy and Policy Institute's new report provides a first look into the electric utility industry's nearly 50-year long relationship with climate science, based largely on original research that reviewed scores of industry documents.

Below are just a few of the key findings from the report.

The Electric Utility Industry Was Warned About Climate Change in 1968

Dr. Donald F. Hornig, a science advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, warned the 1968 Annual Convention of the Edison Electric Institute about the threat that allowing CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels to build up in the atmosphere could one day pose to the climate.

"Such a change in the carbon dioxide level might, therefore, produce major consequences on the climate -- possibly even triggering catastrophic effects such as have occurred from time to time in the past," Hornig said.

Utilities Sponsored Climate Change Research During the 1970s and 1980s

While the science on climate change was limited compared to what we know today, by 1971 electric utilities knew enough to include research into the "effects of CO2" in the industry's long-term research and development goals for through the year 2000. More than 50 electric utilities contributed to the development of these goals, as did industry associations like EEI.

Utilities, through the largely customer funded Edison Electric Institute and Electric Power Research Institute, sponsored cutting edge climate research during the 1970s and 1980s. During the 1980s, EPRI funded research by influential scientist Charles Keeling and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography that documented "virtually all that we knew at the time from measurements of atmospheric CO2." Between 1985 and 1988, EEI and EPRI co-sponsored another study which found that "climate changes possible over the next 30 years may significantly affect the electric utility industry."

A 1978 article, "CO2 and Spaceship Earth," in the EPRI Journal included this graph from Dr. Charles Keeling and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which showed the rise in average atmospheric CO2 levels since 1958. EPRI later sponsored the work of Keeling and Scripps during the 1980s.

Utilities Knew Long Ago That Climate Change Concerns Could Warrant a Shift Away From Fossil Fuels
"If a consensus arose that we had to limit or curtail the use of hydrocarbons because of their impact on climate, the implications would be enormous," Dr. Carroll L. Wilson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, warned at EEI's Annual Convention in 1971.

"If this turns out to be of major concern, then fossil fuel combustion will be essentially unacceptable, an important justification for expanding the nuclear and solar energy options," Dr. Cyril Comar, director of EPRI's environmental assessment department, told Congress in 1977.

"As consensus builds that man is changing the earth's climate, policymakers are turning their attention to the issue and exploring potential responses," the EPRI Journal reported that same year:

One page from a 1988 EPRI Journal article on "The Politics of Climate"

By 1988, electric utilities were at a critical juncture. They could either be a part of the solution to climate change, or a part of the problem.

Some Utility Interests Responded to the "Growing Consensus" on Climate Change With Disinformation

Read more:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 29, 2017, 12:43:36 pm »

“Drawdown” — The Definitive Guide To Combating Climate Change

July 29th, 2017 by Steve Hanley


Drawdown Surprises  :o

We here at CleanTechnica, we focus heavily on the electrification of the transportation sector. That is critically important, of course, but would you care to guess what the one area is that we as a people have total control over and that has the potential to keep more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than making every car and truck on the planet run on electricity?

#1 is something we have touched on here only briefly — refrigerant management. Read more about it on page 164. The authors estimate that this one area could keep nearly 90 gigatons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Electric cars? About 4 gigatons.  :P

Here are the other 9 items on the Top 10 list and their carbon reduction potential:

Wind Turbines (Onshore) — 84.60 gigatons
Reduced Food Waste — 70.53 gigatons
Plant-rich diet — 66.11 gigatons
Tropical Forests — 61.23 gigatons
Educating Girls    — 59.60 gigatons
Family Planning — 59.60 gigatons
Solar Farms — 36.90 gigatons
Silvopasture — 31.19 gigatons
Rooftop Solar — 24.60 gigatons

There are 80 items on the list. Total cost if all were fully implemented? $27.4 trillion. That’s a lot of cash, right?

However will we pay for all that?
With savings, people — or deferred costs. The authors estimated total economic savings at just under $74 trillion.

Deferred Gratification 

The trick, of course, is that the costs come up front. The savings often come later. Human beings seem genetically incapable of making hard choices today that will have extraordinary benefits later. Deferred gratification could be the death knell for the capitalist model prevalent in most countries today.

Pie-in-the-sky projections about future savings are discounted.    Either they are treated as irrelevant or derided as #FakeNews. 

The world operates on what I like to call the Wimpy Theory. Wimpy was a character in Popeye cartoons (some of you may be old enough to remember watching cartoons on television on Saturday mornings). Wimpy had one line that he used all the time. It went like this: “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a cheeseburger today.” It’s the “kick the can down the road” theory of global management and it will kill us all if we don’t stop — all except the lucky few who can escape to Mars aboard Elon Musk’s magic carpet.  ::)

Full article:


Agelbert NOTE: I have a couple of things to say.

First of all, the contents of this article should be required reading for everyone that can read, not just students.

The issue of Deferred Gratification is not new. t is called Common Sense and every religion out there advocates it. Only the SCAM called "greed is good" Capitalism actually labels deferred gratifcation as a "weakness". That explains why Capitalism has been so morally destructive to human society and environmentally disastrous to the biosphere.

Theresa Morris wrote an excellent Essay that fleshes out what we must do. The article here deals with nuts and bolts economic realities. Theresa goes further and explains specifically WHY we should opt for deferred gratification as a matter of ethics, not just survival. I added graphics to underline the importance of her essay and some comments at the end. But the work is hers and it deserves to be broadcast far and wide, just like the article here.

I am posting here two of the graphics I included in my comments on Theresa's Essay in order to explain to readers how TPTB, who are well aware of the dangers inherent in climate change (though they won't admit it), plan to make all the rest of us pay for what those actually DOING over 90%  (about ONE percent of the world population) of the damage are liable for (i.e. environmental damage through government policies subsidizing polluters actively and passively through mendacious happy talk propaganda born of corporate corruption).

IOW, those responsible for the damage plan to spread the cost to further enrich the oligarchic polluters that got us into this mess in the first place. The operative phrase is "Fragmentation of Agency". 

The "Agency" definition here is the responsibility for harm and the consequent responsibility to pay for mitigating said harm. 

"Fragmentation" refers to what percentage of all those with Agency in doing the harm are responsible to pay to mitigate and eventually repair said harm.

Since, according to the U.N., the richest 20% of the world's population uses 80% of the resources, the 'Fragmentation of Agency' pie chart for the damage done to the biosphere should look like this:

The fossil fuel industry, and almost half of the world’s 100 largest companies, want that 'Fragmentation of Agency' pie chart to look like is as follows:

The above graphic is how TPTB polluters will try to pass most of the buck away from themselves and onto we-the-people.

We either take to heart what this Cleantechnica article makes very clear and also adopt the common sense ethical recommendations of visionaries like Theresa Morris, or we are toast.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 26, 2017, 02:23:46 pm »


Greenland: it’s getting darker, increasing fears about global warming and sea level rise

Researchers fear that the darkening of Greenland will create a feedback loop with severe results.

The snowball effect — we often use it as a metaphor for something that starts off small but then builds up on itself more and more, until it becomes massive. Nature often works like that; after all, the snowball is, above all, a natural metaphor. But there’s more to snow than just rolling balls. Take albedo for example.

Albedo is a measure of how much solar energy the Earth (or any body for that matter) reflects back. The whiter and object is, the more energy it reflects. The darker it is, the more energy it absorbs. As you can imagine, snow is pretty white; it’s one of the whitest things on Earth. As snow melts, it exposes either the underlying rock or the vegetation that takes its place — either way, something darker. As a result, even more solar energy is absorbed and even more snow melts, and so on. This is what we call a feedback loop, and it’s what is happening nowadays in Greenland, leaving researchers extremely worried.

A five-year project called Black and Bloom wants to have a deeper look at that. They want to mix local data with computer models to predict how this change in albedo will contribute to rising sea levels. Greenland’s ice sheet alone contributes to 1mm a year to rising sea levels, and things may even be worse than we thought.

New data is showing that Greenland is riddled with dark-green patches of algae, bacteria, and minerals. Prof Martyn Tranter of Bristol University, who is leading the project, told the BBC:

“People are very worried about the possibility that the ice sheet might be melting faster and faster in the future. We suspect that in a warming climate these dark algae will grow over larger and larger parts of the Greenland ice sheet and it might well be that they will cause more melting and an acceleration of sea level rise. Our project is trying to understand just how much melting might occur.”
To make things even more complex, recent data has shown that most of this dark matter, once thought to be rock or soot, is actually biological. Algae is starting to assert dominance more and more, but for once, no one’s really happy to see natural plant life expand. How does the biological factor play into climate models, which tend to treat all factors as un-living? We don’t really know, but it might be worse.

In a paper recently published in Science Advances, Stefan Hofer, a PhD student at Bristol, analyzed data over 20 years and found a 15% decrease in cloud cover over Greenland in the summer months. This may be particularly significant considering the emerging algae. While temperature is certainly one of the main drivers of melting, clearer skies also contribute.

But clearer skies do more than just melt ice and snow, they offer more energy to the algae, which can encourage them to grow even more. It’s basically a feedback loop on steroids. The clear weather acts on two fronts, adding an extra punch to the snowball effect researchers were already predicting.

The consequences of this effect are not yet understood. Greenland’s ice sheet is up to 3km thick and would raise sea levels by seven meters if all of it would melt into the sea. Of course, no one’s saying that will happen now or in the next decades, but until 2100, global sea levels are expected to rise by several cm, and just a few cm can wreak havoc on the world’s coasts.

Journal Reference: Stefan Hofer, Andrew J. Tedstone, Xavier Fettweis and Jonathan L. Bamber — Decreasing cloud cover drives the recent mass loss on the Greenland Ice Sheet. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700584

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 26, 2017, 12:47:14 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 25, 2017, 02:29:10 pm »

A precis of my take on our collective stupidity

This is a response to requests I received to clarify what I meant by “stupidity” in the following tweet:

Meticulous and diligent research has furnished us all with a scientific understanding of how the climate works and the role of increasing atmospheric emissions on rising global temperatures.

Shamefully our responses to the challenges posed by this knowledge have been dominated by a litany of scams: Offsetting (getting the poor to diet for us); CDM (officially sanctioned offsetting); EUETS (with so many permits issued the CO2 price remains irrelevant); ‘negative emission technologies’ (sucking 100s of billions of tonnes of CO2 directly from the atmosphere) – and once we’ve acknowledged these have failed we’ll call in Dr Strangelove’s Geo-engineering.  At the same time we have stubbornly refused to try actual and meaningful mitigation? Twenty-seven years after the first IPCC report, emissions this year will be 60% higher than in 1990; abject failure despite the wealth of knowledge we’ve accrued on both the problem and what we need to do about it.

The academic community has remained pliant, the NGOs have been co-opted, the policymakers run scared of their electorate and the economists have been hoodwinked by astrology. The polarising journalists chase advertising revenue, and the public ‘want their cake and eat it’. The naked emperor has been running amuck for a quarter of a century – and we’ve all been party to her delusion.

Certainly we’ve developed a wonderful ability to detail the world as an elaborate collection of building blocks, but thus far we’ve demonstrated no similar aptitude to respond to systemic challenges. Climate change is an example par-excellence, dominated as it is by a Gatling gun of silver bullets – technocratic competitors all vying to solve the problem. There’s no recognition that our systemic malaise has regressed far beyond a soothing ointment or sticking plasters. Sadly, climate change is not the only example of our collective stupidly.  Imposing peace through aerial bombing, razor wire to control migration and our unrelenting penchant for blaming others for our own ills, all point in the wrong direction.

This collective stupidity may yet prove to be more nurture than nature – but to date the signs are not promising.

This entry was posted in Blog on July 24, 2017.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 24, 2017, 09:40:27 pm »

MPR News Weather and its underlying science

Climate Cast™

The wildfire-climate change feedback loop


Wildfires have always been a part of the American landscape. But recent data shows some worrying links between even small climate changes and dramatic increases in wildfire activity. Just a few degrees rise in temperatures in the western U.S has exponential impacts on wildfire activity.

The data is as alarming as it is clear.

Climate Central analyzed 45 years of U.S. Forest Service records from the western U.S.. They found large fires on Forest Service land are increasing dramatically. The average number of fires over 1,000 acres each year has more than tripled since the 1970s.

This week on MPR News Climate Cast, I asked wildfire and climate expert Dr. Michael Flannigan from the University of Alberta in Canada about those trends.

Full article with audio

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 24, 2017, 09:27:21 pm »

Wildfires Are About to Go From Bad to Worse in California

Deluges of rain are helpful, but they can be deadly too.

DOUGLAS MAIN JUL. 24, 2017 6:00 AM


It’s the dry season for Cali, he notes, with significant rainfall not expected until the winter. The only hope for significant rains would be if some tropical storm systems from the eastern Pacific made their way north, which is possible but isn’t in the cards in the near future.

“There have been a number of systems, but they’re far south,” Weber says. “Other than that, there’s not much hope for California to get much rain, and…probably we’ll continue to see wildfires get worse.”

He adds, “We had a persistent ridge of high pressure,” which some have called a “ridge of death,” that “persisted for an unusually long time over the Southwest.” It parked itself there for most of the month and “really dried things out,” making conditions ripe for fires. It has since moved eastward over Texas and Kansas, which are now expecting record highs over the next five days or so, he added.

For what it’s worth, such persistent heat ridges are expected to be more common in a “climate change scenario,"” although one can’t point to a single weather event and say it’s due to global warming, Weber says.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 24, 2017, 02:56:20 pm »

Agelbert Note: Hat tip to Azozeo for this news:

2017-07-19 - Methane oozing from melting permafrost in Canada, ground starting to resemble swiss cheese:




Quote: "Global warming may be unleashing new sources of heat-trapping methane from layers of oil and gas that have been buried deep beneath Arctic permafrost for millennia.

As the Earth's frozen crust thaws, some of that gas appears to be finding new paths to the surface through permafrost that's starting to resemble Swiss cheese in some areas, scientists said. In a study released today, the scientists used aerial sampling of the atmosphere to locate methane sources from permafrost along a 10,000 square-kilometer swath of the Mackenzie River Delta in northwestern Canada, an area known to have oil and gas desposits.

Deeply thawed pockets of permafrost, the research suggests, are releasing 17 percent of all the methane measured in the region, even though the emissions hotspots only make up 1 percent of the surface area, the scientists found

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 24, 2017, 02:09:45 pm »

Global Average Temperature plot at two meters

Fossil Fuel Industry reaction to the above:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 20, 2017, 12:55:44 pm »

Grows FAST in almost all geographic areas, at nearly any altitude = SOLUTION to Global Warming!  
Agelbert NOTE: Although the following post is about duckweed as a bio-fuel source, it is just as important, if not more so, to understand that duckweed is the ONLY plant out there that could actually lower the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. This, of course, would be contingent on the banning of the burning of fossil fuels. We know the corrupted powers that be don't want to do that.  >:( But even if they don't, they will soon be FORCED to seek out the plant that is most likely to "sequester Carbon" (what a ridiculous bit of jargon for absorption of CO2!) at a rate that could start us on the way back to 280PPM of CO2 (Pre-industrial levels).

The geo-engineering techno-fix fossil fuel industry SCAM simply will not work. But the fossil fuel industry corrupted governments all over the world will probably try it, which will certainly make some people rich while it makes things worse for the biosphere.

A massive Duckweed production campaign all over presently non-arable land areas would work IF if  banned the burning fossil fuels completely.

That would be the intelligent and prudent thing to do.
So, we can count on our fossil fuel industry corrupted governments to NOT do it. 



Pond-dwelling powerhouse’s genome points to its biofuel potential

Duckweed is a tiny floating plant that’s been known to drive people daffy. It’s one of the smallest and fastest-growing flowering plants   ;D that often becomes a hard-to-control weed in ponds and small lakes. But it’s also been exploited to clean contaminated water and as a source to produce pharmaceuticals. Now, the genome of Greater Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) has given this miniscule plant’s potential as a biofuel source a big boost. In a paper published February 19, 2014 in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Rutgers University, the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and several other facilities detailed the complete genome of S. polyrhiza and analyzed it in comparison to several other plants, including rice and tomatoes.

Duckweed, a small, common plant that grows in ponds and stagnant waters, is an ideal candidate as a biofuel raw material.  ;D Photo (at link) by Texx Smith, via flickr
Simple and primitive, a duckweed plant consists of a single small kidney-shaped leaf about the size of a pencil-top eraser that floats on the surface of the water with a few thin roots underwater. It grows in almost all geographic areas, at nearly any altitude. Although it’s a flowering plant, it only rarely forms small indistinct flowers on the underside of its floating leaves. Most of the time, it reproduces by budding off small leaves that are clones of the parent leaf. It often forms thick mats on the edges of ponds, quiet inlets of lakes and in marshes. It’s among the fastest growing plants, able to double its population in a couple of days under ideal conditions.

These and other properties make it an ideal candidate as a biofuel feedstock – a raw source for biofuel production. For example, unlike plants on land, duckweeds don’t need to hold themselves upright or transport water from distant roots to their leaves, so they’re a relatively soft and pliable plant, containing tiny amounts of woody material such as lignin and cellulose. Removing these woody materials from feedstock has been a major challenge in biofuel production. Also, although they are small enough to grow in many environments, unlike biofuel-producing microbes, duckweed plants are large enough to harvest easily. ;D

S. polyrhiza turns out to have one of the smallest known plant genomes, at about 158 million base pairs and fewer than 20,000 protein-encoding genes. That’s 27 percent fewer than Arabidopsis thaliana – which, until recently, was believed to be the smallest plant genome – and nearly half as many as rice plants.

Spirodela is one of the smallest plants in the world. Here (at the link)it is displayed with other comparable plants.

“The most surprising find was insight into the molecular basis for genes involved in maturation – a forever-young lifestyle,” said senior author Joachim Messing, director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University.

S. polyrhiza leaves resemble cotyledons, embryonic leaves inside plant seeds that become the first leaves after germination. But where other plants develop other kinds of leaves as they mature, S. polyrhiza’s never progresses and continuously produces cotyledon leaves. This prolonging of juvenile traits is called “neoteny.” S. polyrhiza had fewer genes to promote and more genes to repress the switch from juvenile to mature growth.

“Because of the reduction in neoteny, there is an arrest in development and differentiation of organs. So this arrest allowed us to uncover regulatory networks that are required for differentiation and development,” Messing said.

Also intriguing to the research team were which genes were preserved over time and which were not. Many of the genes responsible for cellulose and lignin production in land dwelling plants were missing,   and there were fewer copies of those that were present. Genes for another compound related to cell walls called “expansins” which are involved with cell wall and root growth were also reduced.

Genes for starch production, on the other hand, were retained and are probably used for creating starch-filled turions, specialized buds produced by aquatic plants for overwintering, enabling them sink to the bottom of ponds and revive in warmer weather. Moreover, despite the reduced number of total genes, S. polyrhiza has more copies of genes for enzymes involved in nitrogen absorption and metabolism than in other plants. This is probably linked to the plant’s ability to utilize excess nitrogen in contaminated waters.

A thorough understanding of the genome and cellular mechanisms of S. polyrhiza could greatly enhance current efforts to recruit duckweed as a biofuel source. Messing estimates that duckweed will be a viable biofuel source within the next five years and points to Ceres Energy Group in New Jersey, which is already producing electricity from duckweed. Understanding which genes produce which traits will allow researchers to create new varieties of duckweed with enhanced biofuel traits, such as increased reduction of cellulose or increased starch or even higher lipid production. Starch can be directly used as a biofuel source and it can be converted to ethanol, the way corn is currently converted to ethanol fuel, but oils would have greater energy than ethanol.

Duckweed is a relatively simple plant with fronds that float on the surface of the water and roots that extend into the water. In the flask on the left, you can see the dormant phase, turions, that have dropped to the bottom. Photo (at link) by Wenquin Wang
“Classical breeding or genetics does not apply here because of its clonal propagation and rare flowering, but these organisms can be transformed with DNA,” Messing said. “Therefore, new variants can be created with modified pathways for industrial applications. These variants would be an enhancement over what can be done now.”

This genome was sequenced as part of a DOE Office of Science JGI Community Science Program (CSP) project (formerly the Community Sequencing Program). It exemplifies the collaborative approach and innovative projects that the CSP enables among researchers. Messing pointed to the study’s advances over previous research.

“The sequencing of this genome opens new frontiers in the molecular biology of aquatic plants,” said Messing. “This publication represents the single largest advance in this field and a new milestone in plant molecular biology and evolution, as previous studies were either classical botany or biochemistry of photosynthesis. The placement of the Spirodela genome as a basal monocot species will serve as a new reference for all flowering plants.”

A video interview with Messing on the promise of duckweed can be found here:

The authors on the publication also include researchers from MIPS/IBIS, Helmholtz Center Munich, Germany; University of California, Davis; Georgia Institute of Technology; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Donald Danforth Plant Science Center; University of Jena, Germany, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology; and the Leibniz-Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Germany.

The DOE Joint Genome Institute has announced a new call for letters of intent for the 2015 Community Science Program, due April 10, 2014. Details of the 2015 CSP call can be found at: http://bit.ly/CSP-15.

The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, supported by the DOE Office of Science, is committed to advancing genomics in support of DOE missions related to clean energy generation and environmental characterization and cleanup. DOE JGI, headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., provides integrated high-throughput sequencing and computational analysis that enable systems-based scientific approaches to these challenges. Follow @doe_jgi on Twitter.

DOE’s Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

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