The Killer Seas Begin — Mass Marine Death off Chile as Ocean Acidification Begins to Take Down Florida’s Reef

We should be very clear. There is no way to save the beautiful and majestic coral reefs of our world without a rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning. And, if we continue burning fossil fuels, we will not only lose the reefs and corals — we will also turn the world’s oceans into a mass extinction engine.

Chile Mass Sea Life Die Off

(Masses of dead sea life wash up onto Chile’s shores after the worst red tide in history for that nation. As we witness the tragic carnage in Chile, we should remember that the red tide there, the mass coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and the onset of ocean acidification damage to the Florida Reef are all linked by the same thread — fossil fuel burning and a related heating up of the global climate. Image source: Largest Red Tide in Chilean History.)

Mass Extinction Driven by the Awful Engine of Greed

Killer Seas. That’s what we’re turning the world’s oceans into in our allowing the fossil fuel industry to retain dominance over the world’s energy sources. In allowing them to continue to keep us captive to the burning of high carbon fuels through their corrupting and pervasive political and economic power. We certainly bear some of the blame for apathetically allowing ourselves to be hood-winked and lead about by the noses. But we shouldn’t fault ourselves too much. For the blame mostly rests within the policy-making apparatuses of dominance-based economic systems and in the very few individuals around the world who now hold the keys to that power.

An enforced global injustice set in place by wealthy individuals like the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch and Warren Buffet  — who through a corrupt monetary influence regularly hijack the political process to protect legacy fossil fuel assets and to assault renewable energy industries. Those like the members of the governing board of Exxon Mobile — who have waged a decades-long campaign to misinform the public on the dangers of human-caused climate change. These so-called global elites are the authors of the climate change denial that has now crippled and deeply divided most legislative bodies around the world. The same fossil fuel drug pushers who’ve worked so hard to keep the global economic system addicted to the most damaging and corrupting of energy sources — oil, gas and coal.

These people are the real monsters of the climate crisis. The ones who, often without any kind of visibility or accountability, have done everything they can to ensure that we, the people of an ailing Earth, have less and less power to make the right decisions and to form the kind of political consensus that would actually provide a pathway to leading us out of this worsening global nightmare. And so, whether we individually realize it now or not, we are in the fight of our lives — what is likely to be the most important struggle for justice that the human race has ever undertaken. For as difficult as such a fight will ultimately be — we must fight the fossil fuel interests and win if human civilization and much of life on Earth is to survive.

The Advent of Killer Seas

I don’t usually talk about religion here in this blog. And I’m not what many people would consider to be a religious person. I do not, for example, attend church very often. Nor do I tend to agree with many so-called religious authorities — whom I often see as short-sighted and relying too much on mythical and dogmatic beliefs that are at best failures in logic and at worst the outgrowths of institutional corruption or general backwards-thinking and small-mindedness. But in this particular case — in the case of the killer seas that are starting to plague our world — I cannot help but to often be struck by how one of the deadly sins that the Bible warns of is resulting in so much terrible harm to the Earth, to its creatures, and to her people. And it is impossible to turn away from the clear-sighted and beautifully written moral imperative laid down by the Pope Francis in his Encyclical. A warning that we should all heed and not turn our eyes from.

Nothing is frozen by Miep

(Nothing is Frozen — by Miep. This is what happens when the world loses its ice — Killer Seas. Image source: There are So Many Things Wrong With This.)

For in the book of Revelation, the Bible speaks of a terrible global disaster. One that begins when the seas turn blood-red and a third of all the fish are killed. Many have interpreted this book, this passage, as a kind of inevitable wrath of a literal God coming down from heaven to divide and punish the human race. But I think that this is a false interpretation. A loving, nurturing God is not a God of Wrath. No, that does not ring true to me at all. I think of this passage, this book, instead as a kind of stark warning against the direct and deadly consequences of bad actions. Of what happens to us if we succumb to what the Bible identifies as the sin of greed. For ‘the love of money is the root of all evil.’

The Bible is, after all, a sort of lore of the ancients passed down over hundreds of generations. A book of parables and lessons for how human beings should treat one another in ways that help not only individuals — but the entire race to survive. In this way, the Bible could be seen as an ancient guide for civilization survival. A book that includes numerous passages on how cities and nations can prosper by living in balance with one another and with nature. And one that issues this essential and stark warning to those who do not treat the Earth and her creatures with kindness. For ‘those who destroy the Earth shall be destroyed.’

Well, we’ve already destroyed 2/3 the globe’s predatory fish that humans eat through over-fishing alone. But the kind of ocean-wrecking destruction of callously-over-fishing pales in comparison to what happens when the short-sighted protection of money in the form of ‘legacy fossil fuel assets’ forces the dumping of billions of tons of toxic carbon into the world’s airs and waters. If you do that, then the ocean really does turn blood-red and purple-red. If you do that, you unleash the mass extinction machine that was the killing mechanism in four of the five great die offs in Earth’s deep history. You begin to temp the fates by invoking the names Permian, Triassic, Devonian, and Ordovician. And if you allow the fossil fuel powers to keep on doing it for the sake of their imagined wealth, then you make the oceans so acidic that the skeletons of the fragile and yet ever-so-beautiful and necessary creatures living within the world’s waters dissolve.

Florida’s Coral Reefs Start to Dissolve

Here, we’ve frequently warned of the two-pronged threat posed to global coral reefs as a result of human fossil fuel burning. In the south, as oceans heat up due to fossil fuel emissions, coral bleaching begins to take hold. Becoming more pervasive as temperatures rise into a range between 1 and 2 C above preindustrial averages, by the 2030s about 90 percent of the world’s reefs will fall under threat of ghosting away into whiteness.

This year, we saw some of these stark consequences begin to unfold as the Great Barrier Reef suffered a horrific bleaching event. This kind of event was predicted and expected by ocean researchers. Brave scientists who acted as modern-day prophets in their issuing of warnings to Australian and global governments. Governments which are now, in so many cases, stacked to the gills (due to the corrupting influence of fossil fuel money mentioned earlier) with the political extremists we today call climate change deniers.

The second prong of the threat to global reefs comes in the form of ocean acidification spreading down from the north. Because waters in northern regions of the world are colder, they are able to take in more of the excess greenhouse gasses produced. As more carbon is drawn into these colder waters, their acidity increases to the point that ocean organisms with calcium carbonate skeletons begin to see those skeletons dissolve. And corals are one of many key ocean organisms that possess calcium carbonate skeletal structures.

Carysfort Reef Dissolved Due to Ocean Acidification

(A global ocean acidification front resulting from a rampant burning of fossil fuels is starting to dissolve higher latitude reef systems. The Carysfort Reef — above — has had numerous coral structures completely dismembered due to ocean acidification creeping into this section of the Florida Reef. Image source: Science Daily.)

Until recently, the threat of ocean acidification to reef systems was still thought to be at least a couple of decades off. And many mainstream scientists believed that acidification would not seriously threaten corals until the 2050s. Unfortunately, a new study has found that the United States’ only large reef — stretching from Biscayne Bay to the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary in the Atlantic Ocean — is now starting to waste away due to ocean acidification. A surprising event that researchers are saying is disturbing, unprecedented, and unexpectedly soon.

According to a recent article in National Geographic:

University of Miami scientists called the collapse of the reef’s limestone framework, a critical habitat for fish, “unprecedented” and “cause for alarm.” “Lots of scientists think that ocean acidification is not going to be a problem until 2050 or 2060,” says Chris Langdon, a marine biology professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “This is happening now. We’ve just lost 35 years we thought we had to turn things around.”

In essence, the reef is wasting away. During the Spring and Summer, reef-building corals bloom and produce the calcium carbonate (limestone) structure that is the body of the Florida Reef. During Fall and Winter, however, reef building activity halts and the newly acidified water begins to take limestone away. The study found that the rate of loss now exceeds the rate of gain. The corals aren’t able to keep up, the reef has reached a tipping point, and the limestone structures the corals rely on for life is dissolving.

The Florida Reef is one of the highest Latitude coral reef structures in the world. But if it is starting to succumb to ocean acidification now, it means the progress of the acidification front is presently, during 2016, starting to enter regions the corals inhabit. If fossil fuel burning continues and atmospheric CO2 concentrations — this year peaking at around 408 parts per million at the Mauna Loa Observatory — continue to rise, it won’t be long before a growing portion of the world’s reefs begin to succumb to effects similar to those now destroying the Florida Reef.

And while coral bleaching is a condition that reefs have at least some chance to recover from, acidification is inevitably lethal. Once a certain oceanic carbon concentration is reached, acidification impacts the reef for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, robbing it of the very skeletal structures necessary for coral survival. And since about 1/4 of all the fish in all the world’s oceans (not just the large, predatory fish we eat) rely on coral reef systems for their own life-giving habitats, the loss of coral reefs would truly be a disaster of biblical proportion.

Hot Pacific Ocean Runs Bloody off the Coast of Chile

Back during March, another lethal ocean condition associated with a warming of the world’s waters began to appear in the ocean zone off the southern coast of Chile. There, a massive algae bloom spread over a region where sea surface temperatures were ranging between 1 and 3 C hotter than normal.

Chile Sea Surface Temperatures

(Abnormally warm sea surface temperatures driven by human forced climate change sparked a the largest red tide ever witnessed off the coast of Chile. The image above shows sea surface temperature anomalies as recorded in late March of 2016 by Earth Nullschool.)

The algae bloom — called a red tide — generated toxic levels of domoic acid that subsequently killed off massive amounts of clams, fish, and even marine mammals. Beaches across Chile were littered with dead sea creatures and Chilean officials are now saying that the current red tide is the worst ever to occur off Chile.

The red tide forced Chilean officials to ground the nation’s fishing fleets — sparking mass riots and protests as thousands of poor fishermen lost access to their means of generating a livelihood. The Chilean government has since offered 150 million dollars in aid to the fishermen. But locals say it’s not enough to make ends meet. The severe blow to the fishing industry, which makes up 0.5 percent of Chile’s GDP, will also negatively effect the Chilean economy. This severe red tide has lasted for months now. But recent reports indicate that the bloom is growing larger as more and more sea life succumbs.

As has been the trend with most major media sources this year, El Nino has been linked by BBC and others to this record red tide. But doing so is short-sighted and fails to take into account the larger context of the global climate picture. Warm ocean waters are well known to generate conditions favorable for red tide development. The warmer waters favor a more rapid rate of algae reproduction and allow algae access to a greater range of food sources. Over the past Century, the world has warmed by more than 1 C above preindustrial levels. And this year is the hottest on record — not due to El Nino, but due to a century-long increase in temperatures exploring a new threshold of extreme global heat.

The seas turn red off Chile

(An algae bloom spurred by global warming is turning the waters off Chile blood-red. Poisonous domoic acid and mass fish and sea life killings resulting from this event are wrecking Chile’s fishing industry, ruining the lives of poor fishermen, and damaging Chile’s economy. Image source: Lethal Red Tide.)

In the Northeast Pacific, this record global heat forced waters there to new extremes — setting off a 2015 record red tide together with a chain of related mass mortality events affecting ocean life. An event that is linked, by ocean warming and climate change, to the largest ever red tide in Chile. One that is also linked, by climate change, to the terrible damage inflicted upon the Great Barrier Reef this year due to coral bleaching. One that is linked to ocean acidification now starting to take down the Florida Reef. And since we are taking a moment to engage in establishing links in a chain of evidence, we can draw one last link from all these events to the ongoing fossil fuel emission that is still being vomited into the world’s airs by an industry that is, itself, nothing more than a means for some of the world’s richest people to continue to increase their amount of individually accumulated wealth.

Ultimately, it’s pretty clear that people all over the world have a crucial choice to make —

What’s more important? The ability of a few people to grow their wealth through the continued burning of fossil fuels? Or the preservation of the vitality of the oceans which all life on Earth ultimately depends upon and the prevention of the warming that will transform the life-giving waters into Killer Seas?

To this point, I’ll leave you with the end-note of the recent National Geographic article on corals succumbing to ocean acidification:

“The only way to prevent that is to prevent the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere.”


Ocean Acidification Impacting Reefs in the Florida Keys

Predatory Fish Have Declined by Two-Thirds

A Death of Beauty

The Pope’s Encyclical

Awakening the Horrors of the Ancient Hothouse

Chile’s Red Tide Outbreak Widens

Lethal Red Tide

Hot Pacific Ocean Runs Bloody

Warren Buffet’s Disaster Capitalism

Still Disinforming — Exxon Mobile’s Continued Culpability in Climate Change Denial

Earth Nullschool

There are So Many Things Wrong With This

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Leave a comment


  1. Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
    I’m honored.

  2. Jay M

     /  May 12, 2016

    Dry looking over the north Pacific, the flow seems to wind from Siberia into Alaska in a way with this shot May 11, 2016

  3. Ralph Snyder

     /  May 12, 2016

    Three prongs. The third is deoxygenation, which created dead zones and encourages the growth of hydrogen sulfide generating organisms.

  4. michael cody

     /  May 12, 2016

    thanks for your ongoing service in at least keeping the truth of what is happening alive amidst the spin and dog wagging of the myriad deniers

  5. Sandra Harris

     /  May 12, 2016

    So well stated. Informative and eloquent. Thank you. You speak for me.

  6. Abel Adamski

     /  May 12, 2016

    Thank you for bringing the spiritual aspect into the conversation.
    There is much more I could add from my experiences, but this is not the place or time, but we have untill the point of no return that is cast in stone of 2022 to turn away from evil which is destroying the biosphere and us.
    The abuse of the planet and our fellow travellers and our women and children
    It is not just greed, but worshipping self gratification and hubris and the love of power and the use and abuse of that power
    The battle we face has multiple fronts as the dragon in Revelations has multiple heads.
    Whether we believe in God or religion is of no consequence, the Angelic beings considered Julia Gillard highly even though she is an admitted atheist and living in sin and Tony Abbot , not as evil, but filled with hubris and badly misled and maladvised. Yes there is an evil that could be called a cult that has a grip on the world and unfortunately the Aust Government now is its servant as are many politicians around the world, especially the US which always was the unholy grail for evil due to it’s power and wealth.

    Meanwhile worth looking at the consumate poker player once again.

    After paying $Billions to the US Government for the leases.

  7. Andy in SD

     /  May 12, 2016

    A decent Article on the growth of forest fires in size and season, as well as locale.

    Is climate warming affecting fire danger on the Mountain?

    Worldwide, the length of Earth’s fire season increased nearly 19 percent from 1979 to 2013, according to a study by Mark Cochrane, a professor of fire ecology at South Dakota State University.

    Fires had steadily been increasing, but then in the late 1990s and early 2000s, “we’ve suddenly been hit with lots of these large fires we can’t control,” Cochrane said.

    Entire Article:

  8. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016

    Pretzel Logic

    • Bob…When I read this blog post…this music expressed the frenetic emotions I was feeling:

      • Mulga Mumblebrain

         /  May 13, 2016

        Suzanne, I have an old tape, recorded from the radio, of Sviatoslav Richter playing the Gershwin Concerto, with a German orchestra, from very late in his career, the early 1990s. Bloody good it is, too. Probably on Youtube.

    • Mulga…Thank you. I will definitely check that out.

  9. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016

    RS –
    :I stepped up on the platform , the man give me the news.

    • Ha! Good ol Steely. Thanks for this, Bob. It’s great for blowing off some steam. And now that I think about it, I believe I owe you a hat tip on this one. Brain was scrambled after 9 pages and all the research. Couldn’t recall where I found it in the first place.

  10. Abel Adamski, Could you explain what you are referring to with the date 2022?
    Thank you, Sheri

    • Abel Adamski

       /  May 12, 2016

      Maybe not appropriate Robert, but the question was asked and it is very serious
      It is a date that was given to my beloved, she had dreams and visions which were hard to decipher, but all came true and were obvious once it had happened, she was told that earth was being poisoned by mans evil in thought, mind and deed and earth (or the angel of the Earth) had to take action to save herself and the biosphere, the actions had already commenced, but could be reversed if man turned away from evil, but there was a time frame. 13 years we had in 2009 to the point where reversal was no longer possible. Back to the Future and the Water Tower
      It is not the end of the world, but an unfolding which we will have sacrificed the opportunity to change the course.
      We will leave it at that , her task is done , she was told it would be finished in her mid 50’s as a teenager. We hoped that would mean a better life together, not that she would be taken, but that was not to be.
      Prophesy is not a statement but a warning and the outcome can be changed, else no point in the prophesy.
      Todays prophets tend to wear white lab coats and use technology and science

      • Well said, Abel. For my part, I’m very glad you had each other. And I can see she still lives on in you. As for your experience, it is not for me to judge.

      • Abel…Thank you for sharing something so personal and heartfelt.

      • Cate

         /  May 12, 2016

        Abel, I find it impossible to think about all this without invoking all the “big questions”–who are we, why are we here, what is the meaning and purpose of all this, etc etc. The prospect of something as apocalyptic as mass extinction must necessarily bring in issues of philosophy, especially morality and ethics, and belief/religion. I find comfort and strength in my own faith, and I thank you for sharing your own perspective on this.

        It is well for us to remember that prophecy is indeed a warning of what will happen if we continue in the wrong course. At this point, a change of course, if only of a few minutes of a degree, is still possible.

      • Mark from OZ

         /  May 13, 2016

        Well phrased Abel and many thanks for the willingness to open that ‘door’ that many feel is sadly ignored as it cannot be measured / evaluated / identified with contemporary scientific devices.
        We’ve been taught that life exists on earth in a sort of ‘zoo’ where hierarchies are constructed to show the ‘differences’ yet the ‘similarities’ are more profound than most recognize.
        Through a powerful telescope from far away, an ‘observer’ would not be mistaken to conclude that a magnificent and widely diversified and interdependent life form currently exists.
        And, the observer might rightly conclude also that within this vast network of life, a common and identifiable ‘force’ connects them all. Though ‘it’ cannot be measured (yet) is no reason to conclude it does not exist. Your experience ( like many, many others) suggest it does.

      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  May 13, 2016

        Abe, I’d say your prophesy is probably about right, based on my completely unscientific ‘feel’ for what’s happening. I don’t think the dots are being (publicly) connected by anyone except Hansen and Robert, but over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over we hear the same refrain: “(much) faster, and at (much) greater magnitude than previously expected.” I fully realize this is a qualitative oversimplification, but I’ve learned through years of textual and human studies that underlying realities are almost always felt before known, are almost always disarmingly simple, are almost always remarkably accurate in the broadest sense. Inductively empirical? No. Reliable? If one gathers enough qualitative information, as with correlations repeated many times, I contend you approach a reliable ‘truth.’ Some people – prophets, madmen/women, shaman – perhaps have a supernormal ability to perceive, attend to, and synthesize global, very large datasets of information, to organically make very large numbers of connections that are felt as much as ‘known,’ much more efficiently and effectively than others. An intuitive understanding of human nature and the natural world is, to me, right at the core of this.
        And I don’t think it’s supernatural, really; the brain has over 100b neurons and over 3t synapses. It’s the most complicated ‘thing’ in the universe. Perhaps seers are able to marshal this potential in ways most of us can only imagine. In fact, I think that’s exactly what it is. Just as Einstein ‘saw’ gravity and relativity, in the same way more quotidian geniuses ‘see’ the future. So I believe your love probably had at least something of this ability. Which means we should listen as the proof is in prediction, which is, ultimately, the raison of empirical science. The most elegant experiment, unless it reliably predicts phenomena, is just and only that – an elegant experiment. The least explainable ‘prophesy’ that accurately predicts phenomena is something we should pay attention to.

  11. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016

    I think Miles O”:brian should interview the “Scribblers” “

  12. – Robert, here’s a bit recent data from Stanford re saltwater algae and the formation of domoic acid via seawater-specific halogen radicals.

    May 9, 2016
    Stanford engineers discover how seawater salts affect coastal algae, good and bad

    “Most of the research to date has been focused on freshwater because we drink freshwater,” Mitch said. “People have assumed that what goes on in freshwater applies to seawater.”

    But when the Stanford duo looked carefully, they saw that the seawater-specific halogen radicals had some special interactions with the algal products found in coastal environments.

    Especially along the coast, seawater contains lots of broken down organic matter, including decomposing leaves and plants washed out to the ocean via rivers.

    “When you go to the beach and see bubbles when the waves crash, that is due to organic matter soaps left over from fats within algae and other species,” Mitch said.

    When molecules of this dissolved organic matter absorb sunlight, the material gets excited enough to become a temporary oxidant. These temporary oxidants steal electrons from the chloride and bromide salts, creating halogen radicals that in turn interact with algal byproducts, notably two compounds, one harmful and the other beneficial.

    The harmful algal byproduct is domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by the Pseudo-nitzschia algae. Last summer and fall, the largest ever recorded algal bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia spread along the Pacific coast from Central California to Alaska, disseminating toxic domoic acid into the seawater.

  13. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016

    I think Miles Obrian should interview the “Scribblers” “

  14. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016

    He and we are force, now, Make no mistake. This site is moving the world,

  15. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016

    Make no mistake. This site is moving the world,

  16. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016

    The models said the boreal would burn, but tonight over 88, 000 people, have a fridge, freezer. Full of rotten food.

    What a bender. .

  18. Colorado Bob

     /  May 12, 2016

    There are tens of thousands of white boxes in Canada. All full of dead meat.

    Solve for X.

  19. redskylite

     /  May 12, 2016

    Robert, thanks for this masterful article, it clarifies and expresses my thoughts clearly and precisely , and I particularly like your reference to the book of revelations. I also am not too religious now, but was brought up to respect the church and bible, and your writing relates perfectly.

    There are several hopeful ideas floating around to help put the balance back in the carbon cycle and reduce acidification including the use of “Olivine” and using the carbon in manufacturing processes. All fine ideas but totally useless until we finally stop burning ancient fossils. Then yes go on all the simpler ideas. Whatever it takes. For me trees and forests offer the most hope. I’m glad to see stories like the following, especially after the shocking events of the last few days. I dread to see some of the more complex engineering ideas ever go into effect. Haven’t we learned our lesson, we are not superior to nature, just part of it.

    Pakistan’s ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ takes hold

    “The torrential rains and landslides during April in northern Pakistan’s resulted in the deaths of more than 140 people and left widespread destruction. It is the second spell of heavy rain this spring in the area and experts say that heavy deforestation and rapid erosion of mountainsides exacerbated the damage. According to leading environmentalist Malik Amin Aslam, “While climate change is causing the enhanced intensity of rainfall, deforestation is unfortunately abetting the mass scale damage”

  20. redskylite

     /  May 12, 2016

    Yes it might help, but only when we have stopped adding co2 to our precious water.

    “Olivine is a magnesium silicate mineral that is mainly found in Earth’s subsurface and has been previously suggested as a way to soak up atmospheric CO2. The amounts needed to make a real difference globally are too high, but less of it would be required to reduce ocean acidification locally. When it is placed in seawater, it gradually swaps its magnesium ions for protons, thereby helping to remove acidity.”

    • redskylite “The amounts needed to make a real difference globally are too high, but less of it would be required to reduce ocean acidification locally.”

      I’d use a bit more than that. Certainly spread olivine dusts and gravels on beaches near reefs, but I’d go further. Firstly, I’d look to regularly spreading, somehow or other, over mangroves as well – mainly for the beneficial effects on fish nurseries and crustaceans. In fact, I’d also look to dead or severely damaged reef areas for direct spreading of olivine – no chance of suffocating or otherwise damaging dead corals, but lots of hiding places/ nursery environments for developing fish and crustaceans in shallow seas thereby improving oceans if not restoring the beauty and diversity of the reefs themselves.

      I’d also look to spreading over farmlands within, say, 5 kms of the beaches – especially in places with acid soils, like much of Australia’s sugarcane areas near the GBR.

      Secondly, where dunite/olivine deposits are near agricultural or forested areas in the tropics, spreading olivine – because of the magnesium process – acts as a fertiliser/soil amendment which is a great boon to people who have trouble paying for commercial fertiliser. Enhancing growth of trees and grasses also enhances their own photosynthesis and uptake of CO2. So we get more sequestration bang for the buck spent on quarrying and crushing the rocks.

      Thirdly, I’m not entirely convinced that the amounts (and the costs) of olivine “needed to make a real difference globally” is in fact too high. The size of the mining operation – quarrying really – needed is about the same as the amount of coal we currently blow up or dig up. Without any of the need or cost to transport it very far, if at all. If we wanted to reduce the cost, we could just fracture it and leave it more or less in situ or nearby in shattered form. Not as fully or immediately effective as milling and spreading, but good if not perfect.

      • Come to think of it. Cost.

        According to these guys*, the annual cost of quarrying, milling and spreading enough olivine to completely absorb one year’s worth of emissions at the current rate is $250 billion. Sounds like a lot to people accustomed to the derisory amounts commonly allocated to environmental projects. However, there was an article in The Guardian talking about the _ludicrously_ generous concessions for oil exploration in Australia.
        ” In figures released to the Senate, the ATO said the oil and gas industry had accumulated $187.6bn in credits by June 2015 – roughly a 20% increase in a year.”

        $187.6 billion! For nothing! I’m pretty sure if we trawled the economies just of the OECD countries alone we could find quite a bit of useless counter-productive deals-outlays-concessions like this that could go into something sensible, practical and climate & ocean friendly.

        *”These guys” wrote a detailed paper on a possible worldwide olivine project. I can’t link to the pdf itself, but search on – innovation concepts literatuur Schuiling olivine against climate change 23 – and you’ll get to it.

  21. Another thank you Robert for a spiritual/biblical AND scientific approach – the right (wRong) wing has even tried to steal God. On another front the entire political process is simply too slow, the time to take direct action is now (somehow) – Southern NZ is currently 5 to 10C above long term average, we’re getting mid to high 20’s C in early winter, with almost zero discussion of this being unusual.

    • Very glad you mentioned this Nigel64, I live in Dunedin NZ and it has been crazy hot for here. I have no water left in my rain water tanks and I have noticed a lot of die back in the Beech trees at Waipori Falls reserve. It is just starting to rain right now so fingers crossed it stays a while for the trees to get a good drink.

      *Beautifully written post Robert, thank you so much for keeping up your profound work on this horrendous situation.

  22. Mulga Mumblebrain

     /  May 12, 2016

    This Chilean disaster was only reported, that I saw, on our Government station, the ABC. They had a special report on the ‘News’, with a previously unknown female brought in for the job, particularly, I suppose. She interviewed two previously unknown ‘scientists’ and all three laid the blame for this, and other climate disasters mentioned (ie drought in India, Vietnam and Indonesia) ENTIRELY on ‘El Nino’, and, naturally, things would be fine once nice La Nina arrived. NO mention was made in any form of anthropogenic climate destabilisation. This type of propaganda is very familiar. The ABC was ideologically purged after 1996 by the Howard regime, and a fanatic denialist, Maurice Newman put in charge, whereupon he insisted, against staff objections, in screening the denialist mockumentary ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’. Rightwing ideological control was consolidated in the subsequent years, and climate destabilisation is virtually verboten, save on the Science Show, but ‘Comments’ there are usually inundated by the usual denialist arthropods.

  23. My husband and I started taking our young daughter snorkeling on the beautiful Florida reefs when she was only 3 years old. My husband had a tether connecting him to her as a safety precaution, though she had learned to swim as an infant ( a must for any child raised near the water IMO). She use to hum the theme song from Sesame Street to herself while snorkeling…which is still one of our favorite family memories that we recount often. That was 30 years ago. Reading this post has really torn me up as I realize those kinds of experiences will be lost to new generations. What a selfish, greedy species we are. The planet will survive in some form…but we have squandered the beautiful biosphere.

    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  May 13, 2016

      An extremely effective survival mechanism – the human forebrain – that evolved far to quickly for naturally selected constraints. The most powerful survival mechanism ever, by far. Perhaps a combination of externally forced contractions and forced cultural evolution will serve in lieu of Darwinian evolution. But yeah, this species has effectively destroyed an amenable biosphere. It makes me ill to think about it.

      • This species muddled along just fine for a couple-three million years. It’s the culture that’s the problem. I assume you are not arguing that the human brain has evolved significantly since the industrial revolution, or even since the dawn of agriculture, because I don’t think that’s supportable.

  24. Genomik

     /  May 12, 2016

    Something Good!

    “Now, eco-billionaire Tom Steyer is going to put some of his money toward changing that. His Super PAC, NextGen Climate, is launching a $25 million “national campaign to register and mobilize young voters in seven key battleground states to help elect climate champions to the White House and the Senate this fall.”

  25. climatehawk1

     /  May 12, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

  26. Wharf Rat

     /  May 12, 2016

    Rainbow satellite image shows Antarctica’s ice fleeing into the ocean

  27. June

     /  May 12, 2016

    Not a big surprise.

    “This mystery was solved: Scientists say chemicals from fracking wastewater can taint fresh water nearby”

    “…Communities of microbes that help support life were dramatically altered downstream. There was a lower diversity of the life forms downstream, “which could impact nutrient cycling,” a building block of life in the creek, the USGS explained in a statement that announced the study.”

  28. OT maybe. Here’s an interesting article from The Guardian – assessment / overview of our current status by the well-known Clive Hamilton.
    Clive is a pretty hard-nosed realist, and basically he still sees room for hope, which makes me feel a bit better. If you don’t know Clive’s work, just search for him on Youtube – lots of presentations over the years.

    • Completely on topic. A wonderful piece here. And finally someone who can step back and look at the bigger picture on Paris.

      The key takeaways

      1. Paris was the best international treaty we could hope for at the time.
      2. Paris got the international monetary and political system all moving in the right direction. Billions and trillions of dollars are now in the process of moving away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy while governments are incentivized to make ever strengthening carbon reductions commitments.
      3. Paris seeks to improve carbon reduction commitments through a review process starting in 2018 and then continuing every five years after that.
      4. A big chunk of the international investment community is ahead of Paris.
      5. Paris is not capable (and no other climate agreement would be at this point) of preventing all the bad outcomes of climate change.
      6. What the new framework provides is a pathway out of the worst consequences and a framework for continuing to improve global prospects and speed an orderly climate change mitigation.
      7. The focus of Paris is peaking emissions as soon as possible and drawing down emissions post peak at the highest annual rate that’s achieveable. This is a sea-change to global climate agreements in that it dramatically moved potential peak years forward and recognized the necessity of an orderly transition to a zero and net negative carbon emitting human civilization.
      8. Paris is not all-powerful. There are very strong economic interests that continue to behave as bad actors and continue to attempt to throw wrenches into the global movement away from fossil fuel burning and carbon emissions. However, Paris, for the first time provides a powerful and over-arching global structure to contain the impact of bad actor institutions, to cut their funding and support, and to remove the legal and moral bases that have allowed them to maintain legitimacy. In this way, Paris empowers campaigns like the global divestment movement to act to reign in and reduce both the economic power and the legitimacy of the fossil fuel special interests. In essence, it lays the groundwork for both social and legal enforcements against institutions that perpetuate climate harm.
      9. Though the structure is elegant in its force and flexibility, Paris exists in the context of what could best be described as a global whirlwind. The fossil fuel interests of the world are among the most powerful economic entities that have ever existed. They have generated pervasive myths and political ideologies designed for the sole purpose of protecting their harmful interests. Large media organizations around the world propagate these myths and ideologies. As a result, the risk of civil conflict and unrest spurred by failing fossil fuel interests seeking to maintain political and economic power is high. What Paris and what the rest of us that support a rapid reduction in global carbon emissions are doing could be comparable to the US attempt to end slavery but on a global scale. And due to the power of the interests involved, the degree to which fossil fuel use has been mythologized, and the still large and often fanatical groups of people who believe these myths, the risk of disruptive conflict is high. And we should be very clear that this is a minefield we will also have to navigate. To this point, the most important this in reducing risks of conflict is to discredit misinformers and to hold bad actors accountable. The laissez fair approach with these guys just doesn’t work.

      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  May 13, 2016

        I’m going to save this and repost it anytime I see someone shit talking the accords.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 13, 2016

      Dave W, Hamilton’s piece is profoundly disappointing. He repeats the lie that it was China that sabotaged Copenhagen, when it was the West, led by the USA and Denmark that tried to ram an unfair agreement down the non-Western world’s throats, and China merely led the non-Western world’s resistance to yet another unjust imposition. And then he exults at the sight of a ‘sea of suits’, ie the capitalist parasites have decided that climate catastrophe is a profit opportunity. That of course means that efforts to avert catastrophe will be seen, first and foremost through the prism of profit maximisation, not science or human welfare, and if it seems more profitable to speculate in the ‘carbon trading market’ and utilise the usual plethora of parasitic derivatives, rather than actually invest in concrete efforts, then the money will flow to the easiest and most lucrative machinations. One only has to remember the disaster of the European carbon trading market, and the rackets of issuing too many permits and allowing ‘carbon off-sets’ in poor countries to see where that will lead.

    • Spike

       /  May 13, 2016

      Hamilton’s book Requiem for a Species is one that I return to again and again. It was the first book I read that really brought home the gravity of our situation.

  29. Greg

     /  May 12, 2016

    On our spirituality. It is profound. It is existential for our species.
    I was a student of Tom Brown Jr., the Tracker, from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, a surprisingly wild area known for its stark beauty (and a great place to hid bodies by the mob). Tom Brown Jr. was taught all he knew by “Grandfather” the last of the Apache Scouts, the best trackers in the world by far. Grandfather was known as Stalking Wolf by the Apache.

    Stalking Wolf shared his visions with Tom who passed them on in his teachings and books. On our choices as a species: “If a man could make the right choices,” he said, “then he could significantly alter the course of the possible future. No man, then, should feel insignificant, for it only takes one man to alter the consciousness of mankind through the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things. In essence, one thought influences another, then another, until the thought is made manifest throughout all of Creation. It is the same thought, the same force, that causes an entire flock of birds to change course, as the flock then has one mind” and “There are no spiritual leaders, for our hearts and the Creator are our only leaders. Our numbers are scattered; few speak our language or understand the things that we live. Thus we walk this path alone, for each Vision, each Quest, is unique unto the individual. But we must walk within society or our Vision dies, for a man not living his Vision is living death.”

    Stalking Wolf’s Visions, or prophecies, as we of European heritage call them, were strange and warned of possible haunting futures for humanity. There were four of note and he said that if we let the first two occur we were doomed.The visions were mysterious and I recall Tom telling his students about his slow realizations of their truth. The first was a disease that would ravage mankind and came from monkeys. The last one, in the 1990’s when I took his wilderness survival course, was “the holes that would open in the skies”. Tom finally attributed that one to our destruction of the ozone and now our largely successful fight to prevent its growth. Of the two that remain, should we not change our spiritual ways and stop “eating our grandchildren”, “the sky in all lands will be red with the blood of the sky, day and night” and then during the next ten winters following the night that the stars will bleed, “the Earth will heal itself and man will die.”

  30. Reply
  31. To Abel Adamski, Thank you so much for the info on the year 2022. I believ in such dreams as your beloved experienced. Blessings to you, Sheri

    • Abel Adamski

       /  May 20, 2016

      Thank you Sheri.
      Just mentioning Dreams and Visions, there is a huge difference between a dream and a Vision, A dream is a dream usually in a sleeping or semi awake state, a vision happens when fully awake, often doing something or even whilst watching TV or talking. I have seen how it grips the person and watched the changing expressions on their face and is extremely vivid and often cryptic in that the surroundings and environment are unknown and difficult to place in perspective.
      Also visitations by Angelic Beings still do occur and they can be that person beside you on the street or in the train.

      To put it another way, God was walking and talking with Adam, not so much for companionship but teaching him Wisdom, preparing him to partake of the fruit of the tree of wisdom, to be followed at an appropriate time by the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The serpents great victory was in short circuiting that plan by having Eve and Adam eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge before they had the wisdom to use that knowledge wisely and well

  32. Reply
    • – Alberta smoke (mostly Pm10) can be seen at top left of map. Otherwise urban USA shows Pm2.5 and Ozone O3.

  33. Greg

     /  May 12, 2016

    May 12, 2016 – EPA issues a suite of final rules that together will help combat climate change, reduce air pollution that harms public health, and provide greater certainty about Clean Air Act permitting requirements for the oil and natural gas industry.

  34. – Vehicle air pollution and children (toddlers).
    I’ve made this same point in the past in other forums.
    “All those tailpipes at stroller/toddler level only a few feet from one another.” What the parents are thinking — I couldn’t guess.
    (If anyone has any doubts then go, or picture yourself, sitting or squatting, on the sidewalk next to your local traffic corridor — and just sit and breathe for a while.)
    The same for the drivers who sit as far away as possible from the tailpipes and the emissions.
    The culture that produced this is the same one that we are trying to reason with as we try to save the climate from fossil fuel pollution.

    This study just hints at the problem.

    – London [urban] children may [This is a certainty.] be breathing even more air pollution than adults

    Babies in buggies in UK cities are exposed to the same levels of air pollution as their accompanied adults — and may even breathe in more particulates, according to the results of a series of trial experiments.

    This follows a 2015 study in Barcelona that found “infants transported by stroller in urban areas are more exposed to air pollution than adults.”

    The UK experiment – which falls far short of the standards of a scientific study – looked at three family journeys in London and Manchester along normal routes.

  35. – The problem, and the fossil fuel connection — is manifest.

    Fracking’s Air Pollution Puts Infants and Children at Risk of Developing Heart, Lung Problems: New Study

    A newly published peer-reviewed study concludes that air pollution from fracking puts people’s lungs, hearts, and immune systems at risk – and that the health risk are particularly pointed for young children and infants.

    The study – the first to specifically focus on how shale oil and gas drilling affects children ability to breathe – concludes that starting in the womb, children’s developing respiratory systems are particularly at risk from five airborne pollutants associated with fracking and drilling.

  36. – There’s quite a bit in the article. Many are about some sentiments expressed at RS.

    How the Fort McMurray Climate Conversation Went Down in Flames

    In the case of Fort McMurray, the conversation is made “more visceral” by the tragedy occurring in an oil-producing region, Pike said.

    “It creates so much more discomfort when trying to have that conversation because it inherently brings us to a place where people feel judged and blamed,” she said.

    “The truth is that everyone is tied to oil and unfortunately in environmental communications there is often this dominant tone of self-righteousness. And in these crisis moments, when people put on their professional hats and go talk about these issues, it’s like they lose their humanity.”

    Part of the problem lies in the polarization that infiltrates nearly every energy and environment debate in Canada — and which has emotions roiling at the surface, unleashed at the slightest provocation.

    “There’s no formula for when it’s appropriate to talk about climate change,” Simon Donner, associate professor of Climatology at the University of British Columbia, told DeSmog Canada. “I think it just really depends on the circumstances of any extreme event.”

    • – Below has some parallel climate arguments from another perspective.

      Fort McMurray and the New Era of Infernos
      Tuesday, May 10, 2016

      ‘Unheeded alarms, then exodus: Experts warned in 2009 that wildfire risks in Canada’s boreal forests were hugely spiking. Alberta cut its firefighting budget this year.’

      The media line now is that fire experts saw this coming five years ago when one of the Flattop Complex fires tore through the Alberta town of Slave Lake in 2011, forcing everyone to leave on a moment’s notice. A report released shortly after predicted that something similar could happen again, and its authors made 21 recommendations to prepare for the possibility.

      But fire scientists and fire managers actually saw this coming back in 2009 when 70 of them gathered in Victoria to address the issue of climate change and what impact it was going to have on the forest fire situation in Canada. Each one of them was already well aware that fires were burning bigger, hotter, faster, and in more unpredictable ways than ever before.

      ”We’re exceeding thresholds all the time,” said Mike Flannigan, who was at the time a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service. ”We’d better start acting soon.”

      Unheeded alarms, then exodus: Experts warned in 2009 that wildfire risks in Canada’s boreal forests were hugely spiking. Alberta cut its firefighting budget this year.

      • So people in Canada absolutely need to hear this. They need to know why things are happening the way they did. And why things will get worse, much worse, if we keep burning fossil fuels. They may not want to hear that. But we need to shine this light in a dark place nonetheless. Fossil fuel addiction and the resource curse cannot end without a crystal clear understanding that consequences are now happening. The bad climate consequences that were predicted and, for the most part, ignored.

      • This is not an issue of ‘I told you so.’

        This is an issue of ‘we didn’t want this to happen, we tried to help prevent it, now it’s happened. Now it’s at the level of tragedy and can we please just stop making the situation worse.’

    • So the question is, really, how to talk to people who are, for the most part, in denial of climate change when climate change consequences happen to them.

      In my view, you absolutely talk about climate change. If you don’t, you both enable bad behavior and you actually put more people at risk.

      But you don’t do it in a callous way. You acknowledge that they are victims in need of aid and comfort. But you’ve got to be firm on causes. It’s really a kind of tough love. Like if your sister went into convulsions due to heroine use but was saved by a swift medical response. You don’t enable an addiction that may kill her by not talking about it. You do your best to calmly explain what happened and why and why you’re going to fight to save her life and keep her off heroine even if she doesn’t like it.

      But you absolutely have to shine a light on the problem. Because otherwise the problem doesn’t go away and the community that is under threat becomes more and more vulnerable to future incidents.

      The last thing to say here is that the conversation didn’t go up in flames. The conversation started where there was none before. And it was painful because some did not recognize that these folks were victims to a self inflicted harm and it was painful because some of the victims did not want to recognize what was causing the harm. When you remove awareness of causes and when you remove compassion for human beings, then hurtful things will be said. So what’s most important is to remember why we’re here doing all this — it’s to save lives and prevent harm. And during a disaster, you absolutely need to work to help the victims and when disaster happens, you absolutely need to be very clear on causes and what made it so bad in the first place.

      Tough love.

      • Cate

         /  May 12, 2016

        Tough love indeed. Most of the folks I talk to about climate change are family and friends. Some figuratively stuff their fingers in their ears and jump up and down shouting “LA LA LA I CAN”T HEAR YOU!” when the topic comes up. Many, even if they do agree with the science, just feel overwhelmed about it: what is to be done? That is another conversation but perhaps in some ways an easier one.

        Canadians are so heavily invested, not only economically, but psychologically, in resource extraction, that we often cannot see how much we are hurting ourselves in hurting the planet. But we do have an ancient and alternate tradition of respecting and caring for the earth, from our native peoples, and I believe that tradition will help immensely in the conversations going forward, to bring about the transformation in thinking–and acting—that is needed here.

        Meanwhile, it can be as simple as a few clicks: I can report some good results from devoting my FB feed solely to good climate info—this blog, a lot of the links posted by the Scribblers, as well as stuff from NASA, NOAA, and Climate State, along with positive-solution stuff. It’s a heads-up. People start to notice—some start to react, share, and comment: signs that they are taking an interest.

      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  May 13, 2016

        “…stuff their fingers in their ears and…shouting “LA LA LA I CAN”T HEAR YOU!”
        I had a friend, someone I otherwise like and respect, who literally did this on one occasion.

    • Scheduling tweet on this, thanks. I might add one data point from Twitter–I tweeted several times about this and got quite a few retweets, with no pushback. May reflect my tiny audience :), or also an audience that generally supports action on climate, but also, I tweeted articles that stayed on the scientific plane. Haven’t read any of the #tinyviolins stuff and find it really a shame that people would be so insensitive.

  37. Greg

     /  May 12, 2016

    California coal use drops dramatically, now gets only 0.2% of its energy from coal. Now if it can just wean itself off natural gas:

  38. Cate

     /  May 12, 2016

    To remain mute about those responsible for this devastation is not an act of sensitivity toward the citizens of Fort McMurray. It is to stand idly by while these corporations move on to claim their next victims. To argue, as prime minister Justin Trudeau has, that making the connection between climate change and this infernal fire isn’t “helpful,” is not a gesture of statesmanly maturity. It is the prevarication of political cowards.

    Who caused the Fort Mac fire and others.

    And who pays.

    And why this is completely unacceptable.

    • Whoof, definitely one to tweet. Thanks, tweet scheduled.

    • The arsonists of the Fort McMurray fire have a name — fossil fuel corporations. Indeed. Well done. Rightly said. And — nailed it.

      • Also, the media’s extreme reticence to relay (I like that usage.) info re climate change and fossil fuels helped keep a dangerous situation alive.

    • Very good piece.
      The author is in Quebec:
      Martin Lukacs

      Martin Lukacs is an independent journalist living in Montréal, Canada. He writes regularly on the environment for the Guardian. Follow him on Twitter @Martin_Lukas

      • – The “… crime scene.” text also fits me and my reasons for adding FORENSIC to my NATURALIST title.
        I once Googled ‘forensic naturalist’ and got zero returns. Maybe I’m the only one willing to describe oneself so pointedly — for much of what we are witnessing are crimes against nature. And by extension: crimes against humanity.
        “Investigators will comb the nearby forests for clues, tracing the fire’s path to what they call its “point of origin.” They’ll interview witnesses, collect satellite imagery, and rule out natural causes—much like the work of detectives.

        Except in the age of climate change-fuelled mega-fires, this truly is a crime scene. ”
        – Martin Lukacs

  39. Reply
  40. Ryan in New England

     /  May 12, 2016

    Fantastic post, Robert! Really powerful writing. Great stuff.

    Here’s some good news to balance the constant stream of grim reports…record low wind and solar prices are now leading to renewable projects being cheaper than fossil fuel power, at 3 cents/kWh. Joe Romm has a good piece about how the “clean energy miracle is already here”.

  41. Hey, Andy. Down Imperial Beach (below San Diego very close to Mexico) way SLR is getting some attention. As a child , I lived in IB in 1958-58. Behind our house was a sandy alley, then a residential lot — then the beach and ocean.
    IB has SD bay nearby to the north, the Pacific west and Tijuana Slough/River to the south.

    Imperial Beach faces sea-level-rise problem

    “We don’t have a choice because we are surrounded on three sides by water.”

    Imperial Beach residents got a “scary” look at how the city will be affected by rising sea levels Wednesday night (May 11) and began looking at ways to keep the beach in Imperial Beach.

    “It isn’t rising linearly, it’s rising exponentially,” … It isn’t new but it has sped up. Sea level from “a 50-year storm event [likely to happen once in 50 years] in 1950 is now a normal high tide.”

  42. Cate

     /  May 13, 2016

    “Based on its latest projections, EIA said global carbon dioxide emissions from energy activities will rise from 36 billion metric tons in 2012, the baseline year used for the 2016 outlook, to 43 billion metric tons in 2040.”

    Fossil fuels will still account for 78% of energy use in 2040…..It’s Scientific American, so you’d think it’s legit. Or have they gone over to the dark side?

    Please let this be a junk link, and if it is Robert, please delete it.

    • dnem

       /  May 13, 2016

      Well Cate it’s the EIA. It’s just a very conservative, unenlightened projection that does not consider any major disruptions in anything. If you think current tends are going to continue more or less unchanged for 25 years, this projection is for you. If you think major disruptions – both positive and negative – are coming between now and then, it’s not really worth the paper it’s printed on.

      • dnem

         /  May 13, 2016

        Romm takes down the EIA in his latest column on the “energy miracle” saying that the agency consistently underestimates the pace of adoption of renewables:

      • Cate

         /  May 13, 2016

        dnem, thanks, looking through their website now—-“the official energy statistical and analytical agency” within the US Govt. Explains the conservatism.

        I hope Joe Romm is right about them. He has to be.

        “The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. EIA is the nation’s premier source of energy information and, by law, its data, analyses, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the U.S. government.”

  43. Oceanic temperature increase alone will kill off some key marine species, like the wild Salmon of the North Pacific. Especially at risk this year are the runs that spawn in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest of the US, the runs in BC, and even in Alaska north of the Aleutians.

    Take a look at what is definitely getting more yellow day by day:,54.06,1306/loc=-131.039,50.822

  44. Reply
  45. Reblogged this on gail007 and commented:
    Sad but true greed and power kill and never look back

  46. – Robert, how’s your weather? Think this will get to you?

    • dnem

       /  May 13, 2016

      Highs around 60 and lows in mid 40s predicted for Sunday and Monday ’round these parts.

      • We got fifteen inches of snow here in SE New Mexico on December 27 and I have measured less than half a cm. of rain since. I don’t bother reading midrange weather forecasts anymore.

        It’s been very nice, cooler than usual. Only just into the nineties.

        We thought all the rain last year would keep us going a bit, but clearly there is no reason to think anything about anything much anymore. We are sailing off the edge of the map, here there be monsters.

  47. – Shell Oil – Gulf of Mexico
    BridgeTheGulf ‏@BridgeTheGulf 1h1 hour ago

    Nearly 90,000 gallons of oil spill into Gulf of Mexico from #Shell facility

  48. NWS Seattle ‏@NWSSeattle 12m12 minutes ago

    A composite star trail and #aurora image from Sunday’s epic geomagnetic storm in #Seattle. #wawx

  49. Reply
  50. Spike

     /  May 13, 2016

    The point you make about MSM attributing all recent events to El Nino is well made – certainly happening a lot in the UK, with the falsely reassuring subtext that it’s all natural, probably happened before, move along now and go back to your shopping and trash TV. And of course ignoring the fact that we are rising from a warmer base and that accordingly previous El Ninos never reached these heights.

    Glad to see some scientists trying to kill this misinformation:

  51. Abel Adamski

     /  May 13, 2016

    There is a needed satellite sitting in a warehouse with a thick layer of dust, meanwhile back in the pig pen

    When it comes to NASA’s budget, Richard Shelby is pretty much God on Earth. As chairman of the Senate subcommittee overseeing NASA’s budget, the 82-year-old senator with a deep southern drawl wields enormous power over the space agency by choosing to provide funding—or not—to its programs. And more than anything else, Shelby chooses to fund the big rocket being designed in his home state, the Space Launch System.

    For the fiscal year 2017 budget, the Senate added $840 million to NASA’s initial budget request to continue developing the SLS rocket. That staggering 60 percent increase alone would exceed the entire space technology budget by hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Read the article and weep.
    Pork will destroy the US, maybe why the Jewish and Moslem faith consider pork unclean

  52. Wharf Rat

     /  May 13, 2016

    Civil disobedience is the only way left to fight climate change

    Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them

  53. JPL

     /  May 13, 2016

    Any scribblers going to be near Dallas, Texas on May 25th?

    Demand that Exxon shareholders divest from deception on May 25.

    Join us on May 25th to demand that shareholders like our state pension funds stop owning Exxon’s deception and destruction — we’re calling on them to divest.

    Exxon has polluted Texans’ air, water, and communities for years. Texans are feeling the impacts of climate change more acutely than ever — drought, and most recently severe flooding. Let’s show that we’re through with Exxon’s pollution, deception, and greed.

    Shareholders have all the evidence they need — Exxon has lied to them about the financial risks of climate change since 1977. Exxon robbed humanity of half a century’s worth of time to fight climate change, and their core business model relies on wrecking our communities and the climate.

    WHAT: Divest from Deception #ExxonKnew Rally
    WHEN: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 7:30 AM
    WHERE: Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center – 2301 Flora St, Dallas, Texas 75201

  54. – NA – Western USA – Snowpack in decline update:
    The article is loaded with data and maps.

    Losing snow in a changing climate

    What global warming means for our water supplies
    April 14, 2016

    Across the continental United States, measurements from sensors since the 1950s show that the average snowpack has been decreasing in most areas as temperatures have risen. Precipitation that used to fall as snow is increasingly falling as rain. Snowlines in the mountains have begun creeping upward. And scientists have estimated that for each 1 degree Fahrenheit of warming in mountain regions, the snowpack could retreat upslope by a distance of roughly 300 feet in elevation.

    The impacts are expected to vary by location. But across the mountains of the West, the snowpack is already melting about a week earlier on average as compared to the mid-20th century.

  55. Fossil fuels – Fracking vs Children

    Fracking’s Air Pollution Puts Infants and Children at Risk of Developing Heart, Lung Problems: New Study

    The study — the first to specifically focus on how shale oil and gas drilling affects children ability to breathe — concludes that starting in the womb, children’s developing respiratory systems are particularly at risk from five airborne pollutants associated with fracking and drilling.

    “We conclude that exposure to ozone, [particulate matter], silica dust, benzene, and formaldehyde is linked to adverse respiratory health effects, particularly in infants and children,” the researchers wrote in the study, titled “Potential Hazards of Air Pollutant Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas Operations on the Respiratory Health of Children and Infants” and published in Reviews on Environmental Health.

    All told, over 17 million Americans live within a mile of an active oil or gas well — but the precise number of children within the one-mile zone nationwide has never been formally tallied, and not all of those wells are the unconventional oil and gas wells that the new study specifically focused on.

    In Pennsylvania, the researchers noted, over 53,000 children under 10 live or attend school within a mile of a permitted fracked well. A separate mapping project, conducted by a group called Healthy Schools Pennsylvania, discovered more than 40 pipeline compressor stations — notorious for spewing pollution into the air — within a mile of the state’s schools, and found that one school district that had over 40 oil or gas wells within a mile of its schools.

  56. A CO2 milestone in Earth’s history
    Antarctic field project captures 400 ppm levels

    May 12, 2016 | Earth’s atmosphere is crossing a major threshold, as high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2)—the leading driver of recent climate change—are beginning to extend even to the globe’s most remote region. Scientists flying near Antarctica this winter captured the moment with airborne CO2 sensors during a field project to better understand the Southern Ocean’s role in global climate.

    This illustration shows the atmosphere near Antarctica in January, just as air masses over the Southern Ocean began to exceed 400 parts per million of CO2. The 400 ppm level is regarded as a milestone by climate scientists, as the last time concentrations of the heat-trapping gas reached such a point was millions of years ago, when temperatures and sea levels were far higher.

    The field project, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and known as ORCAS, found that there is still air present in the Southern Hemisphere that has less than 400 ppm of CO2—but just barely. In the north, the atmosphere had first crossed that threshold in 2013, as shown by observations taken at Mauna Loa, Hawaii…

  57. 18:22 UTC – Alaska still warming:

    – NWS Fairbanks ‏@NWSFairbanks 3h3 hours ago

    #ICYMI: Yesterday’s high temperatures across Northern Alaska… Eagle recorded a high of 82F. #Fairbanks @ 78F.

    – NWS Juneau ‏@NWSJuneau 21h21 hours ago Silver Spring, MD

    The #Sitka airport has already broken its daily temp record. Currently the temp is 71° breaking the previous record of 68° set in 1945 #akwx

    – NWS Alaska Region Retweeted NWS Anchorage

    Watch for higher stream flows and snow melt into the weekend


    #Deering, #Alaska is now under a Flood Warning: ice jam at mouth & above airport causing significant rise of water in town thru Thurs

  58. Education
    Proof That Koch-Backed Professors Are Using Universities To Spread Right-Wing Policies

    “Economic freedom centers” — or institutes with conservative, libertarian missions that are backed by the Charles Koch Foundation — are tightly controlled by the interests of the conservative foundation, according to remarks from Koch-backed professors and executives at the Association of Private Enterprise Education’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.

    The remarks were recorded by UnKoch My Campus, a group that focuses on the influence of powerful donors on research and coursework in universities, and shared by Greenpeace staff. At the event, Koch-backed professors and Charles Koch Foundation executives said that students act as “foot soldiers” for free enterprise ideals, deans will take money from anyone, and the slightest mention of the foundation’s legal team can bring universities back in line.

    Koch-backed institutes made their way back into the news lately after recent reports that $5 million was earmarked for these centers at Arizona public universities. …

    • Not only polluting the airs and waters, but polluting the minds of young people as well. Our society will pay for the actions of the Kochs for decades and decades to come — if it lasts that long.

  59. Greg

     /  May 13, 2016

    Just a reminder that we don’t have to wait for technology breakthroughs. Here is the world’s largest rooftop greenhouse, two acres, producing local food otherwise grown on 50 acres of land.

    • Thanks for this Greg. These are what I would call both climate change mitigations and resiliency adaptations. They run off zero carbon energy sources, provide less demand for turning forestland into farmland, and generate food in a manner that is less vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather.

  60. Colorado Bob

     /  May 13, 2016

    New Ice Age knowledge
    Pacific stores the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide at depths of thousands of meters

    • Great. Another amplifying feedback to human-forced warming. Can we please stop burning the fossil fuels that are setting this stuff into motion? The risks in continued burning are just too great. And the more we research, the more we find added risks.

  61. Colorado Bob

     /  May 13, 2016

    Retreat of the ice followed by millennia of methane release

    May 13, 2016
    CAGE – Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment
    Methane was seeping from the seafloor for thousands of years following the retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet, shows a groundbreaking new study.


    • “Scientists have calculated that the present day ice sheets keep vast amounts of climate gas methane in check. Ice sheets are heavy and cold, providing pressure and temperatures that contain methane in form of ice-like substance called gas hydrate. If the ice sheets retreat the weight of the ice will be lifted from the ocean floor, the gas hydrates will be destabilised and the methane will be released.”

      That would make the continental and land-sea margin zones of Greenland, Antarctica, Svalbard and the CAA hot spot regions to look for.

  62. You can see what I’ve been up to . . and thanks Ronald Reagan’s energy policies:

    And book:

    Trump is following the same policies as Reagan . . . and now you can see exactly what 35 years of those polices have done to our country and planet.

  1. The Killer Seas Begin — Mass Marine Death off Chile as Ocean Acidification Begins to Take Down Florida’s Reef | The Wisdom Tube
  2. The Killer Seas Begin — Mass Marine Death off Chile as Ocean Acidification Begins to Take Down Florida’s Reef | UKAN.LIVE

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