Friday, March 3, 2017 Climate Change Open Discussion: Permafrost Decay, Ocean Acidification, Renewable Energy Advances, Trump Turning EPA into Fossil Fuel Vending Machine

Over the past week, it became clear that considerable changes were underway in the global climate system, in the realm of government policy, and in the world’s energy markets. This blog post will touch on as many of these issues as possible. More importantly, it will serve as an open forum for discussing these recent trends over the coming weekend.

52,000 Square Miles of Permafrost Decaying in Canada

This week, Inside Climate News produced a must-read report high-lighting the latest science on permafrost thaw. The report found that:

“Huge slabs of Arctic permafrost in northwest Canada are slumping and disintegrating, sending large amounts of carbon-rich mud and silt into streams and rivers. A new study that analyzed nearly a half-million square miles in northwest Canada found that this permafrost decay is affecting 52,000 square miles of that vast stretch of earth—an expanse the size of Alabama.”

The article linked various permafrost thaw studies and produced a broad overview of the many and wide-ranging local and regional impacts. It identified major geophysical changes due to permafrost subsidence and erosion along the Arctic coastline (which in places is losing as much as 70-80 feet per year). It covered large regions experiencing land deformation due to permafrost thaw — some of which were quite large. As an example, one permafrost thaw related sink hole in Russia was a quarter mile across and growing. And it also identified a threat to river and estuary health posed by soil outflows produced by the thaw:

According to researchers with the Northwest Territories Geological Survey, the permafrost collapse is intensifying and causing landslides into rivers and lakes that can choke off life downstream, all the way to where the rivers discharge into the Arctic Ocean.

But perhaps what is more concerning are the implications of the research highlighted by Inside Climate News. To this point, permafrost thaw isn’t just a local issue — it’s a geophysical change the produces global impacts.

permafrost_feedback

(Carbon and albedo feedback produced by permafrost thaw is a serious concern. However, impacts produced by permafrost thaw are even more wide-ranging. Image source: Carbon Brief.)

Permafrost thaw can add amplifying feedback carbon emissions to the Earth System at a time when atmospheric carbon levels are already the highest we’ve seen in about 5-15 million years. Frozen permafrost is a carbon sink –taking in more atmospheric carbon than it produces. Active, thawed permafrost generates the opposite effect. Microbes coming alive in the soil produce methane and carbon dioxide that contribute to the growing pools of carbon in the atmosphere and the world ocean. And with so much permafrost thawing as the world warms, the issue is one that simply will not go away.

Such amplifying feedbacks are a serious concern due to the fact that they make the need for global carbon emissions cuts more immediate and urgent. Carbon budgets, for example, become considerably more constrained when you can expect 50, 100, 250 billion tons or more of additional carbon emission coming from the thawing permafrost over timeframes relevant to human civilizations.

In addition, soil flushed down streams and into estuaries eventually deposits carbon into the world ocean system. As a result, you end up with still more carbon hitting an ocean that is already reeling from acidification stresses. The nutrients in the soil also feed algae blooms that speed acidification and potentially rob the ocean surface regions of vital oxygen when they decay. Considerable and rapid permafrost thaw has the potential, therefore, to also add to the larger and ongoing damages to ocean health due to fossil fuel emissions and to push the world to warm at a more rapid rate. So the Inside Climate News report is important, not just for the various regional impacts that it highlights, but for the larger implications due to the wide-ranging permafrost thaw that the research currently identifies.

Advancing Ocean Acidification

Recently, we highlighted threats to the world’s corals and, in particular, to the Great Barrier Reef as a result of a big warm-up in the world’s ocean system. One that is now producing a global coral bleaching event that could last for decades.

But warming ocean waters aren’t the only threat to corals and other marine species produced by human-caused climate change. Ocean acidification and ocean anoxia (in which warming combines with algae blooms and other factors to rob the oceans of oxygen) represent two of the other major threats to oceans related to climate change. Of these, ocean acidification has received a good deal of attention in the scientific press recently. In particular, this comprehensive piece in DW this week highlighted growing scientific concerns over ocean acidification.

The DW report shined a light on a new study:

in Nature Climate Change this week [that] says ocean acidification is spreading rapidly in the western Arctic Ocean in both area and depth. That means a much wider, deeper area than before is becoming so acidic that many marine organisms of key importance to the food chain will no longer be able to survive there.

The study found that the region in which the ocean is uptaking high levels of CO2 and coordinately increasing ocean acidification has enlarged and expanded northward by 5 degrees of latitude. In particular, the zone of ocean acidification in the Western Arctic Ocean has expanded considerably. As a result, the rate at which the Arctic Ocean is acidifying is increasing.

ocean-acification-through-2050

(As atmospheric CO2 levels increase, the oceans take up more carbon and become more acidic. Polar oceans become acidic first. Then acidified waters expand southward. With atmospheric CO2 levels hitting around 410 ppm this year [peak value] polar ocean species are now threatened by acidification. Eventually, at around 500 ppm CO2, levels of acidity are high enough to threaten key ocean species the world over. Image source: Threat to Coral Reefs From Ocean Acidification.)

The study sounds an alarm among ocean researchers and environmentalists concerned about key ocean species vulnerable to acidification. The threat to species posed by climate change in the Arctic is now expanding from walruses, whales, polar bears, puffins and various fishes to include calcareous creatures like star fish, mollusks, shrimps, sea snails, various crabs and others. Where warmth has robbed some species of habitats, acidification dissolves the shells that protect the bodies of these creatures or kills off the chief food source of other key ocean animals.

As the oceans take up more and more of the amazing overburden of carbon flooding into the atmosphere chiefly from fossil fuel emissions, the cooler polar waters acidify first. And that’s where ocean researchers are seeing the early warning signs of harm. But acidic waters at the poles don’t just stay there. They expand southward — bringing the damage they cause with them. In this way, the lower latitude corals that are already experiencing mass die-offs spurred by warming waters will soon face the threat of acidic oceans as well.

Renewable Energy — An Economic Force of Nature

Despite a rightward shift in various global economic dynamos like the U.S., the U.K, and Australia, the hope for rapidly transitioning away from fossil fuels and related carbon emissions remains alive as renewable energy becomes an ever more powerful economic and political force.

In the U.S., 23 cities, townships and counties have now pledged to run their economies on 100 percent renewable electricity and California has just introduced legislation aiming at achieving 50 percent of its electricity generation from renewable sources by 2025 and 100 percent by 2045. More good news also came from the auto sector as electric vehicle sales in the U.S. jumped 59 percent year on year during the month of January.

us-unsubsidized-levelized-cost-of-energy

(In the US, the unsubsidized, levelized cost of wind and solar now beat out every other competing energy system. Image source: Clean Technica.)

Globally, even the Pope is going electric as solar cell production is expected to hit near 80 gigawatts in 2017 — another record year following 10 years of uninterrupted expansion. And wind energy is racing to catch up to solar by setting new record low prices near 5 cents per kilowatt hour at power purchase bids in India. At such low prices, wind and solar now boast the lowest levelized costs of all major power sources according to this research. Meanwhile, in a trend that’s fantastic enough to make even computer chip manufacturers jealous, clean energy prices just keep falling even as renewable energy capabilities keep on improving.

The good news continues in China where 110 gigawatts of solar energy capacity is expected to be installed by 2020 and where sales of zero oil electric buses are now exploding. The adds to clean tech are also contributing to China’s plans to cut coal burning by a further 30 percent in 2017. These cuts are helping to spur planned cuts of 1.8 million coal and steel jobs coordinate with a responsible (something republicans and Trump would never consider) 15 billion dollar effort to retrain and place these workers in the new, less dangerous, cleaner industries of the future.

Trump — the Chief Beneficiary of a Russian Cyberwarfare Campaign Against the U.S. Electoral System — is Trying to Turn EPA into a ‘Vending Machine for Fossil Fuel Companies’

All this great news on the renewable energy front is, of course, tempered by the terrible and rapidly deteriorating state of the global climate. In addition, the forces opposing responses to climate change and actively seeking to throw a wrench into the amazing works of the renewable energy revolution have taken power in the form of the corrupt and Russian-influenced Trump Administration in the U.S.

It’s worth noting that Donald Trump and his ilk in the form of republicans in the U.S. and various allied fossil fueled politicians around the world are unlikely to be able to completely sabotage the economic juggernaught that renewable energy has become unless they succeed in a campaign aimed at total political dominance. And as Trump and his Russian helpers have learned, total dominance in a country with considerable separation of powers, as in the U.S., is a very difficult thing to achieve. Especially when the opposition to the forces of that dominance are as invigorated and diverse as they are today.

(Scott Pruitt spent most of his career attacking the EPA. Now, under Trump, he heads it. It could well be said that the environmental version of Bizzaro superman now sits at the helm of the agency that, in the US, is responsible for protecting the environment. Video source: Youtube.)

Despite these difficulties, Trump and his allies can probably effectively slow the renewable energy revolution down — to the great harm of pretty much everything living on Earth. Despite this fact, it’s well worth noting that renewable energy grew up into the economic force it is today despite continued attempts to stymie its growth by fossil fuel special interest groups over at least the past half-century. The rise of Trump and of so many powerful fossil fuel connected politicians around the world today can well be seen as a reactionary outgrowth of the old and inherently autocratic economic power associated with fossil fuels. One that is arguably now suffering an existential crisis. For the threat to fossil fuels now posed by renewables has grown considerably. In the U.S., solar alone accounted for 1 in 50 new jobs in 2016. In other words, substantially rolling back the renewable industry at this time would be very harmful to the U.S. economy. The systemic forces now protecting renewables are stronger than ever before simply due to the fact that the U.S. economic system increasingly has come to rely and depend on them.

But this inherent system change hasn’t stopped the Trump administration and its allied republicans from trying to sabotage the very forces that threaten a big chunk of their power base. And their initial efforts to this end since the election have involved rolling back key environmental laws and practices (those helpful bits of government that republicans like to blanket-label ‘regulation’). An example of this is the recent removal of rules requiring fossil fuel companies to report methane emissions at the EPA. A move that Vera Pardee of the Center for Biological Diversity identified as an attempt to turn “the EPA into an oil industry vending machine.”

Where the Trump Administration isn’t withdrawing the EPA from its responsibilities to prevent environmental harms by applying publicly helpful government oversight to industry, it’s attempting to de-fund the EPA altogether. A recent budget proposal by Trump aimed at raising defense spending by 54 billion on the backs of cuts to domestic agencies would have slashed the EPA’s scientific workforce, removed funding for key protections like preventing lead from entering U.S. drinking water, and slashed the EPA climate change prevention program by 70 percent.

Thankfully, Trump’s draconian cuts to domestic spending, the EPA, and public health are unlikely to make it through even a republican controlled Congress. But his budget proposal is an excellent illustration of how a far-right government tries to govern in the US these days — leverage puffed up fears of outsiders and a hyper-focus on security and defense to force cuts in critical programs while always denying the necessity of actually raising revenues through taxation to fund beneficial public programs.

In a related reference, Steve Hanley, responding to Trump’s transport secretary’s cuts to electric rail funding succinctly noted today that:

Republicans hate high-speed rail. In fact, Republicans pretty much hate spending taxpayer dollars on anything that might benefit taxpayers. They would prefer to give the money to defense contractors, corporate executives, and Wall Street investment bankers. After all, those are the folks who paid to get them elected.

The same could be said for the Trump Admin overall which was a monstrosity that grew up out of Wall Street and that apparently got a huge assist from the Russian petrostate by hacking and cyber-warfaring their way to electoral success in the 2016 U.S. Presidential race. And to this final point it’s worth noting that the significant political headwinds those concerned about climate change now face issue from all the groups that have produced so much resistance to helpful climate action in the past. From corrupt smokestack industries and from even more corrupt petrostates headed by autocratic dictators with a penchant for funding right wing groups in an attempt destabilize the world’s democratic governments as apparently now happened (at least to some degree) to the Executive Branch in the United States.

(UPDATED)

Hat tips

Colorado Bob

Cate

Keith

Andy in San Diego

Ryan in New England

Redsky

Sean Redmond

Dave W

Mlparrish

Spike

Wharf Rat

Clean Technica

Gas2

DW

The Washington Post

The New York Times

The Huffington Post

Nature

 

 

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138 Comments

  1. Sheri

     /  March 4, 2017

    Thanks again for all the info you post for us, Robert.

    Reply
  2. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Hell of a post .

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) may have killed off a lot more than we thought.

    Evidence disproving tropical ‘thermostat’ theory: global warming can breach limits for life

    If the tropics are not able to control its temperature and do not possess an internal thermostat, that should reshape future thinking about climate change, Huber said.
    “If you say there’s no tropical thermostat, then half of the world’s biodiversity—over half of the world’s population, the tropical rainforests, the reefs, India, Brazil—these populous and very important countries have nothing to prevent them from warming up substantially above conditions that humans have been used to,” he said.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-03-evidence-tropical-thermostat-theory-global.html#jCp

    Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  March 5, 2017

      William D. Nordhaus had a recent paper in which he indicated that ”A target of 2½ °C is technically feasible but would require extreme virtually universal global policy measures.” From William D. Nordhaus https://www.scribd.com/document/335688297/Nordhaus-climate-economics

      Those measures are nowhere in sight, so we’re likely looking at going north of 3C which would take us beyond human experience and our civilization isn’t adapted to that very different climate.

      Reply
  3. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Sea Ice Extent in Antarctica Bottoming Out at Lowest on Record
    By: Bob Henson , 5:50 PM GMT on March 03, 2017

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3569#commenttop

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  March 4, 2017

      Tip of the melting iceberg and there’s a lot more eye openers to come on this subject in the next few years for sure.
      The ice is down to even lower levels,this weekend, when it should by now be starting to recover.
      I would hazard a guess that the sea temps are slipping warmer nearer to the south polar regions and the ice is being undercut to the point where sheets like the Larsen C are cracking in half and soon to split away into an iceberg form.
      Big problems to come with the melting permafrost and run off from the lands, the amount of thawing vegetation is going to be like a Global Compost Heap by the end of the next decade, if not this one.
      Problem with a lot of this information is that there is no president. You can have presidents in politics and industry but presidents in nature are a science of the future, which is rapidly becoming the present and soon to be the recent history.
      Good on the Chinese with their conversions but its a model that needs copying not confronting with lies and claims of manipulation into a warlike destiny.
      Shame so many of us are old and not energetic like we used to be? Still influence moves in odd ways.

      Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    What climate change has to do with the price of your lettuce

    Unusual weather in the Southwest could cause a nationwide salad shortage later this month. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce): Scientists say the weird weather is probably caused by climate change — which means these sorts of problems are likely to happen again.

    The shortage, first reported by NPR, is the result of two separate phenomena in Arizona’s Yuma County and California’s Salinas Valley, the two places where the United States grows most of its leafy greens. In Yuma, the lettuce harvest, which usually runs from November to April, wound up early because of unusually warm weather. And in central California, which typically picks up the harvest once Yuma is done, heavy precipitation delayed some plantings.

    Link

    Reply
  5. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    The Washington Post has a new , small addition to it’s masthead

    The Washington Post
    Democracy Dies in Darkness

    Reply
  6. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    White House proposes steep budget cut to leading climate science agency

    The Trump administration is seeking to slash the budget of one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by The Washington Post.

    The proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would also eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs, including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and “coastal resilience,” which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/03/white-house-proposes-steep-budget-cut-to-leading-climate-science-agency/?utm_term=.0d8a35ce38fc

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  March 4, 2017

      NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would lose $126 million, or 26 percent, of the funds it has under the current budget. Its satellite data division would lose $513 million, or 22 percent, of its current funding under the proposal.

      We won’t stick a red hot poker in NOAA’a eyes , we’ll just blind it so it can only see’s fuzzy shapes, and washed out colors.

      Reply
    • cushngtree

       /  March 4, 2017

      And the Mauna Loa Observatory is funded under NOAA.

      Reply
    • wharf rat

       /  March 4, 2017

      They’re coming after me. This shows why my lege has hired Eric Holder as a consultant.

      Trump to Undo Vehicle Rules That Curb Global Warming
      “The E.P.A. will also begin legal proceedings to revoke a waiver for California that was allowing the state to enforce the tougher tailpipe standards for its drivers.”

      Reply
  7. kay

     /  March 4, 2017

    Thanks Robert; you’re posts keep me linked to reality in these dark days. As dire as it seems, I look for any positives I can find. This Bill Gates interview on his green energy fund initiative gave me hope:

    Reply
  8. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    A timely book from 8 years ago –

    The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation Paperback – August 18, 2009
    by Thomas Frank

    From the author of the landmark bestseller What’s the Matter with Kansas?, a jaw-dropping investigation of the decades of deliberate―and lucrative―conservative misrule

    In his previous book, Thomas Frank explained why working America votes for politicians who reserve their favors for the rich. Now, in The Wrecking Crew, Frank examines the blundering and corrupt Washington those politicians have given us.

    Casting his eyes from the Bush administration’s final months of plunder to the earliest days of the Republican revolution, Frank describes the rise of a ruling coalition dedicated to dismantling government. But rather than cutting down the big government they claim to hate, conservatives have simply sold it off, deregulating some industries, defunding others, but always turning public policy into a private-sector bidding war. Washington itself has been remade into a golden landscape of super-wealthy suburbs and gleaming lobbyist headquarters―the wages of government-by-entrepreneurship practiced so outrageously by figures such as Jack Abramoff.

    It is no coincidence, Frank argues, that the same politicians who guffaw at the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Nor will the country easily shake off the consequences of deliberate misgovernment through the usual election remedies. Obsessed with achieving a lasting victory, conservatives have taken pains to enshrine the free market as the permanent creed of state.

    Stamped with Thomas Frank’s audacity, analytic brilliance, and wit, The Wrecking Crew is his most revelatory work yet―and his most important.

    Link

    Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Trump Got Nearly $1 Million in Energy-Efficiency Subsidies in 2012

    The Trump White House has wasted no time in targeting pro-climate policies, freezing energy-efficiency standards finalized during the last days of the Obama administration. Its “America First Energy Plan” makes no mention of renewable energy or energy efficiency, and it is focused on fossil fuels.

    But in 2012, Donald J. Trump, the businessman, played a different tune.

    That year, Mr. Trump finished securing almost $1 million in energy-efficiency incentives and low-interest loans from New York State to fit a Trump-branded residential tower in Westchester County with eco-friendly fixtures, state records show.

    Link

    Reply
  10. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Donovan bringing 50th anniversary tour to F.M. Kirby Center

    Reply
  11. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    The Fat Angel by Donovan on 1966 Mono Epic LP.

    Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Donovan – Hurdy Gurdy Man 1968

    Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    The other night , the “crumbs of climate change” was brought up. It set me to thinking .
    How, some see it as no big deal, and the party will never stop. And others are nashing their teeth , depressed , and despond it. And why do we spent any time on this topic?

    Well , I for one see it as this, we are riding over a waterfall of not just human history . but geologic history.
    It’s the real theme park ride . And many of us won’t be getting out of our car when the ride is complete.

    It is the great uncontrolled experiment , namely we treat our thin shell of gases as waste dump.

    It is the great uncontrolled experiment , namely we treat our thin shell of gases as waste dump.

    It is the great uncontrolled experiment , namely we treat our thin shell of gases as waste dump.

    Cold dead space ls just above your head. Your only 10 miles from it . And there is nothing that we have found comes close to it. To treat our atmosphere as a portapotty is greatest sin man has done.

    Cold dead space ls just above your head. Your only 10 miles from it . And there is nothing that we have found comes close to it. To treat our atmosphere as a portapotty is greatest sin man has done.

    Reply
  14. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Never commit suicide with Milwaukee’s Best , the bullets are beer, and gun is aluminium cans. It leaves a horrible flopping body on the floor.

    Reply
  15. George W. Hayduke

     /  March 4, 2017

    Fantastic post Robert, I’ve so tied up in trump world news I feel like I’ve fallen out of touch with climate news. Thank you for bringing me back to reality, grim as it may be.

    Reply
  16. Well,one thing about permafrost thaw is that it could conceivably act as a bridge between a CO2 emission warming event and widespread dissociation of methane hydrates, if it happens rapidly enough and in a massive enough way. The Arctic permafrost contains something like 1.6 trillion tons of carbon, and each year some more of that will be thawing and rotting.

    Not often enough discussed, I think, is that the PETM was followed by a series of much smaller hyperthermals. According to this paper, the events were timed to coincide with periods of Arctic thawing linked to orbital variations.

    http://people.earth.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pagani/3_2012%20DeConto_Nature.pdf

    Past extreme warming events linked to massive carbon release from thawing permafrost

    But of course weak orbital forcing is not generally enough to trigger hyperthermal events. What made the Eocene different?

    Maybe there was a geographical feature present that kept getting triggered to release methane by the permafrost thaw? Perhaps a shallow region of sub-sea permafrost, that could be degraded by Arctic warming? A region like our own East Siberian Arctic Shelf, perhaps?

    Reply
    • Regarding thawing permafrost, if you zoom in on the Kanin Peninsula in the Barents Sea, you can see that it is covered with pockmark lakes and features. Aren’t those from permafrost melt?

      Reply
      • Hi nsalito1960-

        Yes, that topography with a multitude of round lakes has been a subject of wide discussion before, especially during the Yamal blowout episode a couple of years ago. That characteristic topography shows thousands of round lakes, of different sizes. I wasn’t aware of the Kanin Peninsula, but the Yamal Peninsula and huge swaths of surrounding Siberia has those pockmarks, and even small areas of Canada has that topography.

        Last I heard, the hypothetical life cycle of these lakes starts with a relict layer of methane hydrate and free methane gas. This relict layer apparently forms under an ice sheet, with the pressure from the ice sheet creating shallow conditions within the hydrate stability zone.

        When the ice sheet melts, a layer of relict hydrate is left behind, fairly close to the surface. This layer is outside the hydrate stability zone, but stable under low temperatures for thousands of years, maybe. Heat this layer of methane gas and hydrates, and free gas pressures start to form humps in the surface. Eventually these humps blow out, leaving a deep Yamal style crater.

        The deep Yamal type of crater starts to erode, and the bottom of the crater, still emitting methane, starts to fill with water. A buoyant methane plume in the center of the crater may form. Air circulation from the possible buoyant plume might speed the melting of the walls of the crater. In any case, the crater progressively enlarges in area, while getting shallower.. A large percentage of the permafrost is ice, so as the ice melts the blowout ejecta and the eroded mud at the bottom of the lake reduce in volume. Eventually, what is left is a roundish circular lake with a diameter larger than the original blowout – maybe much larger. It appears that multiple blowout events can form lakes that merge into larger lakes.

        Other explanations have been offered in the past for this topography. It is unknown, at least to me, what percentage of the Yamal and Kanin lakes are due to this new process. If all of the circular lakes are due to that blowout plus progressive enlargement phenomenon, the amount of methane emitted could be significant, maybe, don’t know.

        What percentage of these circular lakes are due to methane blowouts?


        Image of Kanin Peninsula from Space.

        If all of these lakes are due to methane blowouts during the Holocene climate optimum of 6000 years ago – that’s hundreds of thousands of blowouts.

        Big ones, little ones, blowouts by the flock…fast blowouts, slow blowouts, blowouts that look like chicken pox…(sung to the tune of the Oscar Meyer wiener commercial jingle from decades ago).

        Reply
        • In the image above, I think that the small dark dots running in bands across the peninsula are the blowout lakes. The bigger blue lakes are where those blowout lakes have merged together to form larger lakes.

          The jingle above would be to the tune of the “Armour” hot dogs jingle, not the Oscar Meyer jingle.

      • Similar topography from Yamal:

        Reply
      • Looking at the giant Bovanenkovo gas field of Yamal, the circular lakes tend to form in the small valleys in the topography. Is this because the permafrost and soil above the methane hydrate layer is thinner there, and easier to blow out?

        This circular lake topography is associated with the giant thermogenic natural gas fields of Siberia. Generally, the Siberian gas fields do have this circular lake topography, I think. Could deep leakage from these fields have assisted in the formation of the relict hydrate layer when these areas were buried under ice sheets?

        There is some question whether some of these areas were recently glaciated. Some of them may have been glaciated hundreds of thousands of years ago, though.

        Summary from the Siberian Times, September 2015:

        http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0415-danger-of-methane-explosions-on-yamal-peninsula-scientists-warn/?comm_order=

        “A new expedition to one of the mysterious Siberian giant holes found in recent years has concluded that it is a warning sign of a deadly threat to northern regions as the climate warms.

        Scientists from the respected Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics insist the process by which a series of craters formed was caused by the melting of gas hydrates and the emission of methane.

        This accumulates in a pingo – a mound of earth-covered ice – which then erupts causing the formation of the strange holes that have appeared on Russia’s Arctic fringe.

        A pingo believed to be poised to explode ‘at any moment’ is now being constantly monitored by a Russian space satellite in an attempt to catch the moment when the eruption occurs.”

        Reply
      • Occam’s Razor says one circular lake producing process is probably a simpler explanation than two. So, were essentially all of these circular lakes produced by a methane blowout process?

        This Russian paper claims evidence for a shallow layer of methane gas at about 50-120 meters depth in many Russian gas fields. This evidence includes drilling rig blowouts. They postulate “regional layers of extremely high methane content, which could potentially liberate huge volumes of methane gas during global warming”.

        http://research.iarc.uaf.edu/NICOP/DVD/ICOP%201998%20Permafrost%207th%20conf/CD-ROM/Proceedings/PDF001189/151104.pdf

        By a regional layer, they mean a shallow layer of methane and methane hydrate under huge areas of Siberia, I think. I visualize myself such a hydrate layer under all of the circular lake topography of the Arctic – potentially millions of square kilometers.

        Reply
        • Vaughn Anderson

           /  March 6, 2017

          Heat is generated by the decay of organic materials. As the active layer reaches deeper layers of permafrost heat will be generated as the organics decay and release methane and carbon dioxide. It seems logical some heat generated by the decay will be conducted to the permafrost, thereby melting it even with little heat coming from the surface. This might be a self-fulfilling process causing melting of the entire layer of permafrost fairly rapidly independent of surface temperatures except where slumps occur exposing the surface.
          Is this a logical scenario or is there not enough heat generated to make this a self-sustaining condition?

        • Dunno.

          Really good question, I think.

      • The origin of the methane hydrate layer is reportedly bacterial, rather than thermogenic. Bacterial methane is enriched in Carbon 12 relative to Carbon 13, so scientists can tell by isotope ratios the origin of the methane. So, close to the surface of these giant thermogenic gas fields lies a layer of bacterial methane hydrate.

        Could a bacterial community, fed by methane, perform this transformation, with a large community of methane eating methanotroph bacteria supporting a smaller community of methanogen methane producing bacteria?

        Or is the association between the giant deep thermogenic gas fields and the shallow bacterial layer of methane hydrate a coincidence?

        Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Leland Palmer
    It’s not the past we see, it’s future we can not believe. We think, It’s one set of dominoes , but it is a multiple set of dominoes, where one set nears another , and it’s off to the races.

    Click your fingers as fast as you can , that the scale.

    Reply
    • Hi Bob-

      Multiple sets of dominoes – good analogy, I think. Except that some sets of dominoes get progressively smaller or interfere with and damp out the other sets – negative feedback. And some sets get progressively larger, so that small initial effects can amplify – positive feedback.

      What we end up with in the climate is a hairball snarl of interlocking positive and negative feedback loops. Most climate scientists admit that climate prediction is a very fuzzy business. One hopes that climate unpredictability doesn’t kill us all.

      Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Andy , please remember I never meant to attack you . I am so sorry if you saw that.

    You are a key part of the puzzle here. And remember ……..

    Never commit suicide with Milwaukee’s Best , the bullets are beer, and gun is aluminium cans. It leaves a horrible flopping body on the floor.

    Reply
  19. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    From the Land in the land down under
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-04/farmers-grow-crops-in-greenhouses-prevent-climate-change-effects/8321720

    Farmers plant paddocks in smart houses to safeguard against climate change
    Million-dollar structure put to the test
    The structures were originally for small high-value operations like nurseries, but recent advances made them cheaper, making it feasible for larger-scale growers to cover whole paddocks or orchards.

    Mr Millbank said a Cravo house turned around the financial fortunes of one of his big Bundaberg clients who was preparing to quit the region after five years of crop-destroying weather.

    “We just had failure after failure, we were out of the business,” Young Sang and Co’s Daniel Scavo said.

    “We’d lost three consecutive roma tomato crops in a row, our yield numbers were pathetic.”

    After seeing a Cravo house in Mexico, Mr Scavo spent $3 million covering a 4.3 hectare paddock of roma tomatoes and capsicums.

    The day before its official opening 18 months ago, the house passed its first test when Bundaberg was hit with the worst storm in 50 years.

    “We had four inches of rain in 20 minutes, over 100-kilometre winds and a hail storm. We lost 60 per cent of our field production in 15 minutes,” he said.

    “But the house did exactly what it was built to do, it shut up shop and it protected itself, and we were lucky enough to still do a roma crop throughout the next three or four months.”

    It was a lucrative time for the Scavo’s as the widespread storms caused a tomato shortage in Queensland and prices tripled.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  March 5, 2017

      This is the future for high value crops for sure. I love the retractable nature of the design. You could offset the cost of this with some kind of solar generating capacity, say fifty percent of roof space, to lease to a local power company or co-op. Thank you.

      Reply
  20. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    Another from our ABC Rural news
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-30/farmers-confront-extreme-reality-of-climate-change/7887720
    Text of a radio broadcast

    Betting the Farm: Farmers confront climate change

    Climate change is here, and Australian agriculture is acutely feeling the effects. Three farmers explain how it’s impacting their lives and livelihoods.

    Real-world observations of temperature spikes, pasture growth and grape harvests across southern Australia reveal that the landscape is heating up at rates experts did not expect to see until 2030.

    In some instances the rates of warming are tracking at 2050 scenarios.

    Scientists concerned that climate change is biting harder and faster than models anticipated are campaigning for more research investment to protect Australia’s $58 billion agriculture industry from extreme weather.

    Background Briefing has learned that their concerns about the capability of Australian research to address climate change will be validated in an independent review by the prestigious Australian Academy of Science.

    The review, due for release in the next few weeks, has identified a substantial shortfall in the nation’s climate research firepower.

    It’s understood that the review will recommend that the number of scientists working for CSIRO and its partners on climate science needs to increase by about 90. That is almost double the current number of full time positions.

    Meanwhile, the reality is already confronting farmers on the front line, many of them battered by this last year of wild conditions.

    And thank The LNP Abbot and Turnbull governments for gutting CSIRO Climate Research, Usual conservative greedy loser methods

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 4, 2017

      “In some instances the rates of warming are tracking at 2050 scenarios.”

      Whoa.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  March 4, 2017

        There is an inherent problem when looking at global average temperatures. That is the fact that the average over land has to be way higher to compensate for the lower highs over the two thirds of the planet that is ocean. When you start looking at land averages you see the interior of the continents reaching well above temps that are conducive to growing grains. For now, they aren’t hurting the global reserves to hard but that is about to change. As the global average creeps up the stretches of “too hot to set seed” will lengthen to the point that the bushels/acre drop will no longer be ignorable. This is compounded by water stress that the extended heat will bring with it. As every one here probably knows a 1.2c rise in average is not distributed evenly through out the year or time of day. The new higher over night lows may be more damaging than the daytime highs. No respite for the plants. The 2050 scenarios that seem to playing out right now are RCP8.5 projections. The climate sensitivity “thingy” has been grossly underestimated to the point that the time lines are not lining up with the modelled projections, even RCP8.5. The modelled consequences seem to be correct more or less, it’s the timelines that are catching most of us off guard.”Faster than expected” I think is proving to be an understatement. As well as “more than expected” for the amount of warming so far seen. The changes forecast are also happening all together. First we’ll see some warming, then an uptick in precipatation, followed by the receding ice caps over a couple of centuries. Well, it’s all happening at once and over a couple of decades. I know this sounds more than a little “doomerish”, but I don’t think we can overstate the seriousness of the situation. If BAU is allowed to continue for another decade or two, well? The only good thing I have to say about that is completely personal and selfish. I, in all likelihood, thanks to a misspent youth, will be dead. Until then I will try to lead by example and talk about this to anyone that doesn’t glaze over on me.

        Reply
        • Greg

           /  March 5, 2017

          The future will include cricket protein for sure to replace grains.

        • Steven Blaisdell

           /  March 7, 2017

          Shawn
          Not doomerish at all. An accurate description of observable reality, a reality effectively hidden in plain sight by truly evil forces unintentionally aided by scientific conservatism and human nature. We are seeing the extremely rapid destruction of the Holocene and all that implies. My daughter will be living in a much less friendly world, on a literally disintegrating Earth, with rapidly increasing food, population, and resource pressure. Not to mention the numerous other metastasizing environmental catastrophes in the making – collapsing fish stocks, the desertification of the ocean by trawling and coral bleaching, the ongoing and unstoppable sixth extinction, worldwide habitat destruction, net 2:1 loss of trees worldwide (thank gods for China), the accelerating destruction of the Amazon (from which it will not recover, a permanent savanna) and equatorial forests, worldwide decline in pollinators, sterilized and disappearing topsoil, agricultural runoff and hugely increased algae blooms….

          Nothing is ever hopeless, but the world we are making will be a much, much harsher and less friendly place. There will be widespread food shortages; this is already happening. There will be widespread water shortages; this is already happening. Very large areas of currently inhabited land will soon be uninhabitable; this means the human migration we’re seeing now, and all associated impacts, is just the beginning. As you point out, and as predicted but much sooner and at much greater magnitude, the inner continent bread baskets are being subjected to immense climate pressure, especially soil desiccating nighttime heat in addition to desert level daytime temps. This is only going to get worse, possibly much worse. There may be some localized leveling out as global systems adjust and change, but we’ve reached a new climate regime that TrumpCo and PutinCo want to synergize as much as possible. And they will, with a hearty hale and hello from Republicans. Or, as Bob nicely points out, The Wrecking Crew.

          We have clearly passed a tipping point in global warming from which we will not recover – three record hot years in a row, a probable fourth in the making, the hottest year, by a record margin, recorded in a putatively cooler La Nina cycle. Arctic summer ice is obviously gone in a decade or less, Antarctic ice is collapsing, spring is beginning four weeks early and winter four weeks late. The Earth is melting, literally, at an increasingly rapid pace. If Clinton had taken the White House we’d have had a chance, but the worst of humanity has the levers and tare pulling them full force. I’ll never give up – I’m working with Battleground Texas to turn TX blue in 2018 and beyond. We will recover politically, I have no doubt. But some things can’t be taken back, and the climate’s one of them. We’ve screwed the pooch, and the pooch is going to bite back good and hard.

    • Phil

       /  March 4, 2017

      And yet, these same farmers/rural communities will vote for conservative climate change denier political parties like the LNP (i.e. current Federal Government) or right wind extremists like One Nation (our current version of Trump).

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  March 4, 2017

        A bit frustrating I know. However it comes down to educating the masses. Farmers are for the most part very resourceful and intuitive. When asked what they see happening they will usually describe the changes to their local environment in ways that seem familiar to others through blogs like this one. Farmers are a very independent lot, I know I am/was one. Fishermen are as well, and don’t like to be TOLD this is how it is. But if you take the time to ask them what is happening with their land and calmly show the similarities between their experiences and the science. It comes down to a matter of them proving the science as opposed to ” if you keep going x is going to happen”. It already is happening and most can show it to you. Most believe in the rule of law and government to a point. They fully expect their respective government to “do the right thing”. The problem is governments tend to be reactionary instead of proactive. The bureaucracies of governments don’t have original thoughts, if they do by the time they push them to the top they are bastardized beyond recognition and 15 years to late. Meaningful change comes from the bottom, usually without government involvement and often in spite of it.

        Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Abel ,

    Excellent work . In a world of bozo’s and trolls , This one thread is a clear eyed thread on the state of the Earth.

    We are all about to teach Mr. Trump about the price of corn.

    Chris

    Reply
  22. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  March 4, 2017

      If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.

      Reply
  23. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    Another supposed support looking very shaky
    https://phys.org/news/2017-03-evidence-tropical-thermostat-theory-global.html

    New research findings show that as the world warmed millions of years ago, conditions in the tropics may have made it so hot some organisms couldn’t survive.

    Longstanding theories dating to the 1980s suggest that as the rest of the earth warms, the tropical temperatures would be strictly limited, or regulated by an internal ‘thermostat.’ These theories are controversial, but the debate is of great importance because the tropics and subtropics comprise half of the earth’s surface area, greater than half of the earth’s biodiversity, as well as over half the earth’s human population. But new geological and climate-based research indicates the tropics may have reached a temperature 56 million years ago that was, indeed, too hot for living organisms to survive in parts of the tropics.

    That conclusion is detailed in the article “Extreme Warmth and Heat-Stressed Plankton in the Tropics during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum,” published by the online journal Science Advances and co-authored by Matthew Huber, professor in the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department at Purdue University and member of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. Huber’s contribution focused on climate modeling and interpreting paleoclimate data within the context of modern theoretical understanding. Part of this work was performed while Huber was also at the University of New Hampshire.

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) period occurred 56 million years ago and is considered the warmest period during the past 100 million years. Global temperatures rapidly warmed by about 5 degrees Celsius (9 F), from an already steamy baseline temperature, and this study provides the first convincing evidence that the tropics also warmed by about 3 degrees Celsius (5 F) during that time.

    “The records produced in this study indicate that when the tropics warmed that last little bit, a threshold was passed and parts of the tropical biosphere seems to have died,”

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  March 4, 2017

      Abel Adamsk

      I read this 3 ways from Thursday , Bottom line there was this old dead idea the tropics had some sort of break. Well, that is idea as Grant.

      Reply
  24. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    As a historian . None of this is new. Right wing fools come to power. The world falls into war.
    Since the Greeks. The right wing fools came to power in Iran over 38 tears ago.

    Reply
  25. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-epa-budget-idUSKBN1692XA

    The White House is proposing to slash a quarter of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, targeting climate-change programs and those designed to prevent air and water pollution like lead contamination, a source with direct knowledge of the proposal said on Thursday.

    President Donald Trump has long signaled his intention to reverse former Democratic President Barack Obama’s climate-change initiatives. But the Republican president has vowed his planned overhaul of green regulation would not jeopardize America’s water and air quality.

    The 23-page 2018 budget proposal, which aims to slice the environmental regulator’s overall budget by 25 percent to $6.1 billion and staffing by 20 percent to 12,400 as part of a broader effort to fund increased military spending, would cut deeply into programs like climate protection, environmental justice and enforcement.

    Reply
  26. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    Trump to Undo Vehicle Rules That Curb Global Warming

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is expected to begin rolling back stringent federal regulations on vehicle pollution that contributes to global warming, according to people familiar with the matter, essentially marking a U-turn to efforts to force the American auto industry to produce more electric cars.

    The announcement — which is expected as soon as Tuesday and will be made jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, and the transportation secretary, Elaine L. Chao — will immediately start to undo one of former President Barack Obama’s most significant environmental legacies.

    During the same week, and possibly on the same day, Mr. Trump is expected to direct Mr. Pruitt to begin the more lengthy and legally complex process of dismantling the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s rules to cut planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants.

    The regulatory rollback on vehicle pollution will relax restrictions on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and will not require action by Congress. It will also have a major effect on the United States auto industry.

    Reply
    • Phil

       /  March 4, 2017

      Is there any change of bringing court action against them. I suppose one problem would be attributing civil/criminal damage them in a way suitable for legal action. The things they are planning to role back will potentially have health impacts.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  March 5, 2017

        Give to the Southern Environmental Law Center among others.

        Reply
  27. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Tears, years, and fears.

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  March 4, 2017

      All side by side on the keyboard, as in our lives. Sometimes when you type one for the other, I wonder, is that a typo, or did he do that on purpose, because it fits so well. “38 tears ago”—every year one enormous tear, one gigantic fear.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  March 4, 2017

      Stay strong CB
      You contribute much and mean a lot to many,

      Reply
  28. Spike

     /  March 4, 2017

    With all the controversy and argument about methane hydrates, the permafrost has kind of slipped under the radar in many climate discussions, though not here. To me it seems the likeliest trump card in Nature’s karma pack. We know we have to decarbonize as quickly as possible, below 10% of our current emissions and then zero and negative. if the permafrost has started kicking out say 10% of our current emissions and rising in a few decades time than we are clearly in real trouble – it would be as if Nature had picked up the ball and run with it just as we get our act together. And perhaps at the same time forests would be burning or drought killing them, oceans/wetlands becoming less of a sink etc…

    No doubt some climatologists would rush to diss such a layperson’s worries as dumb, but the current pace of events seems to be running rather faster than folk would have thought possible a decade or so ago, Jim Hansen excepted. And I note the permafrost experts are not so blandly reassuring.

    The only salvation I can see then would be some way of very quickly bringing down CO2 levels by technological fixes, massive direct carbon capture from air – for which surely the most deserved Nobel prize of all time will be awarded. And given the scale of decades of dumping CO2 in our atmosphere that would be a titanic enterprise.

    Robert I had not understood acidification became such a severe problem at CO2 levels as low as 500 ppm. That hit me like a sledgehammer.

    Reply
    • Fractal

       /  March 4, 2017

      Adam,
      Physicist Klaus Lackner has been around awhile. First at Columbia U. now at Arizona State.
      Read here an article on direct carbon capture, the rationale, the urgency, and a scenario for establishing it. http://e360.yale.edu/features/pulling_co2_from_atmosphere_climate_change_lackner

      Snippet:
      Lackner: There is no question of business as usual here. Eventually the pain [of climate change] will get too high, and we’ll be forced to act. Carbon regulations may be a tax, may be a carbon price on a cap and trade [system], or the certificate of sequestration that we just talked about. But unless there is a regulation, there is no money to be made in this.

      ‘‘‘You would need 100 million air capture devices to take out all the C02 that we putting into the atmosphere today.’
      And if there is no money to be made, nothing will happen, you can be sure of that.”

      The goal: produce direct carbon capture towers at the same rate that we produce cars.

      Again, Lackner: “If you have to be in hot water, you at least want to come out again on the other side. Once the devices are out there, it will still take years to roll back C02 in the atmosphere. If you [reduce the carbon load by] 2ppm a year, you are doing very well. If you want to come back 100 ppm, at 2ppm a year, that’s fifty years. So I’m saying that every year that we don’t have this technology things are going to get worse, the cost of dealing with it will get larger.”

      Reply
      • Fractal

         /  March 4, 2017

        Apologies! this was in reply to Able Adamski

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  March 5, 2017

        I predict that before this century is out and maybe much sooner there will be payments for solid carbon, be it CaCo3, for concrete, carbon fiber, you name it. Any form of captured carbon will have value and great innovation will take place. Once old carbon has a significant price. If those 1 billion vehicles were each capturing carbon in small amounts through their air filters for example, and selling the product everyone would want in on it.

        Reply
      • Plants already take carbon out of the air, and store it as biomass. Good for Klaus Lackner, but we already have an available source of atmospheric carbon waiting to be harvested – plants and trees. This is the idea behind BECCS – Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bio-energy_with_carbon_capture_and_storage

        I think that the idea of having biomass plantations and harvesting those plantations by moving biomass down the slope of the watershed could reduce transport costs for biomass.

        Reply
  29. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Abel Adamsk

    I read this 3 ways from Thursday , Bottom line there was this old dead idea the tropics had some sort of break. Well, that is idea dead as Grant.

    Half of the Earth was too hot to support life in the oceans.. During the PETM . . Humans could not live in the tropics . . .

    Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum
    The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), alternatively “Eocene thermal maximum 1” (ETM1), and formerly known as the “Initial Eocene” or “Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum” was a time period with more than 8 °C warmer global average temperature than today. This climate event began at the time boundary between the Paleocene and Eocene geological epochs.[1] The exact age and duration of the event is uncertain but it is estimated to have occurred around 55.5 million years ago.[2]
    The associated period of massive carbon injection into the atmosphere has been estimated to have lasted no longer than 20,000 years. The entire warm period lasted for about 200,000 years. Global temperatures increased by 5–8 °C.[3] The carbon dioxide was likely released in two pulses, the first lasting less than 2,000

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene%E2%80%93Eocene_Thermal_Maximum

    Reply
  30. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Spike as I read your comments , and read this title . Our change comes this year . Not some far off place distance with dead tigers and fears. This change we has been tearing is up to our ears.

    Reply
  31. Spike

     /  March 4, 2017

    Microbial munching of permafrost carbon discussed here – solar degradation less significant. “Previous work by the researchers, hailing from the United States, Russia, and Europe, revealed that the ancient carbon stored in permafrost soils is rapidly converted to carbon dioxide by stream bacteria. The carbon dioxide is then emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere. This process creates a feedback loop, continuing to further amplify and accelerate climate change.”

    https://eos.org/research-spotlights/arctic-permafrost-thaw-would-amplify-climate-change

    Reply
  32. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    CB

    I will represent a key takeaway from the ABC Rural article.

    ” Real-world observations of temperature spikes, pasture growth and grape harvests across southern Australia reveal that the landscape is heating up at rates experts did not expect to see until 2030.

    In some instances the rates of warming are tracking at 2050 scenarios.

    Scientists concerned that climate change is biting harder and faster than models anticipated ”

    The observations on the land is we are 30 odd years ahead of what the models predicted.
    When you consider the acceleration in so many areas we are observing, that has to be concerning

    Add in the Northern experience

    One for DT

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/spring-advance-weather-global-warming-climate-change-eye-opening-pace-punxsutawaney-phil-greenland-a7607451.html

    Spring advancing at an ‘eye-opening’ pace in tangible sign of global warming

    Even America’s famous weather-forecasting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil appears confused – predicting six more weeks of winter even though spring had already arrived

    Spring is arriving earlier than ever across the northern hemisphere, according to new research.

    Leaves are starting to come out up to 22 days early across most of the south-eastern United States, while a species of sedge in Greenland is emerging from winter some 26 days earlier than just a decade ago.

    In the UK, spring arrived later than last year, but the Woodland Trust still reported it was “well and truly on its way” on 3 February with snowdrops and hazel catkins recorded across the UK.

    Snowdrops started flowering on 17 December, although the average reported date was 27 January; hawthorn and sycamore bud bursts were seen on 1 January and the first wasp queen was spotted on 11 January.

    Such tangible signs of global warming are potentially dangerous as natural rhythms that have existed for thousands of years are getting out of sync.

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  March 5, 2017

      I heard woodpeckers drumming in january in central England bizarrely.

      Reply
  33. Spike

     /  March 4, 2017

    The third consecutive year of drought in the Horn of Africa is causing thirst and hunger, decimating livestock, destroying livelihoods, spreading disease and triggering large scale population movements.

    http://www.africanews.com/2017/03/04/drought-in-kenya-a-catastrophe-waiting-to-happen-warns-un/

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  March 4, 2017

      Brought to mind this association made a few years ago between Indian Ocean heat and African drought. “It really seems as if the warming of the central and southern Indian Ocean is contributing to more frequent droughts and intensification of the impacts of things like la Nina,” he said. “It’s warmed about a degree over the last 30 or 40 years and maybe about half a degree over the last 20. But the reason that it’s important is that it’s already really, really warm. And so, as far as we can tell, that warming has triggered more rainfall over the central Indian Ocean. And that rainfall basically pulls in moisture from the surrounding area and prevents it from going onshore into Africa,” he said.

      Just looking at nullschool there are +2-2.5C SSTA in southern indian Ocean.

      http://www.voanews.com/amp/decapua-east-africa-more-droughts-27jul11-126258123/158553.html

      Reply
  34. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    A word about words .

    Tears
    Deers
    Bears
    Years
    Fear
    Sear
    Beers
    Cheers
    Clears
    Nears back to tears.

    Every poet is crying their ass off. . And licking their wrist off , trying not to drop dead from the trees.

    Reply
  35. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Poets are like Fruit Bats both of us lick out wrists to keep cool. Except at 117 the fruit bats are dead when the hit the ground, The Poets are in the mall.

    Reply
    • Vic

       /  March 4, 2017

      “All that you touch
      All that you see
      All that you taste
      All you feel.
      All that you love
      All that you hate
      All you distrust
      All you save.
      All that you give
      All that you deal
      All that you buy,
      beg, borrow or steal.
      All you create
      All you destroy
      All that you do
      All that you say.
      All that you eat
      And everyone you meet
      All that you slight
      And everyone you fight.
      All that is now
      All that is gone
      All that’s to come
      and everything under the sun is in tune
      but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.”

      Reply
  36. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-28/methane-emissions-from-coal-seam-gas-climate-change/8310932

    Methane emissions from coal seam gas development raise climate change concerns

    A long but worthwhile article

    Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Tears, tears, tears, tears, tears, years, years , years, years, Fears, come dear.
    Beer,
    If this isn’t .poetry and clear, clear, clear. Nothing but Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Or Tears, tears, tears, tears, tears for years, years , years, years,

    Then you shoot the guy in your way , right between the eyes. because all that hippy bullshit is the dumbest idea on the history of the planet.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  March 4, 2017

      I do not believe this , but I see this everyday.

      Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  March 4, 2017

      I do not believe this , but I see this everyday.

      But if one has a meth habit in the Philippines, they murder you. 9,000 dead in 7 months. No one has ever been brought to justice. And meth eats people even gon’t murder you.

      Reply
  38. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    And just to ensure a peaceful nites sleep

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/01/us-government-billionaires-generals-military-trump

    Junta lite: how generals and billionaires took over Trump’s militarized America

    America has undergone a transformation since the 9/11 attacks – and the ascent of Donald Trump has merely shoved that reality directly in our faces

    Reply
  39. coloradobob

     /  March 4, 2017

    Here’s the death squad page read it and weep.

    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=meth+murder+cbs&oq=meth+murder+cbs&gs_l=news-cc.12..43j43i53.938.17318.0.22112.14.5.0.9.9.0.342.997.0j3j1j1.5.0…0.0…1ac.1.mcv-_PiKG4M#newwindow=1&safe=off&hl=en&gl=us&authuser=0&tbm=nws&q=philippines+death+squads&*

    Reply
  40. Suzanne

     /  March 4, 2017

    Hello Fellow Scribblers,
    Just popping in before I head out to a SwingLeft.org meeting today. I hope everyone here will check in and help out. Even if you don’t live in a “red district”..you can help those of us who do…in order to turn our district BLUE in 2018. SwingLeft is a new grassroots district that only began with an “idea” on November 9th…turned into an grassroots organization in January….and now with over 300,000 people and counting…a Movement.
    We need “all hands on deck”…to accomplish this monumental goal…to stop Trumpism before it destroys us and the planet. Help us turn our districts from red to blue in 2018.

    The difference between a Moment and a Movement is…Sacrifice.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  March 5, 2017

      Have meeting with my Republican congressman tomorrow. Can’t believe he said yes. One on one with my family. Told him interested in energy and environment. Any constructive suggestions?

      Reply
      • If it’s not too late, urge him to support clean energy (very popular, should be no-brainer but for the Kochs). Then move on to NASA and NOAA climate research, and then EPA.

        Reply
        • John S

           /  March 6, 2017

          Greg, no idea if you’ll see this in time, nor of your rep’s attitude etc, but for what its worth some talking points I use, no particular order and excuse the rushed syntax…Good luck!

          Jobs (Change is going to happen).
          Transition to appropriate renewables is inevitable – some easy data here…
          http://www.jeremyleggett.net/2017/01/state-of-the-transition-december-2016-as-fossil-fuel-diehards-take-over-the-white-house-the-evidence-of-a-fast-moving-global-energy-transition-has-never-been-clearer/
          – don’t let US get left behind (just to protect profits of obsolete industries). Furthermore a new field of employment is not to be suppressed just to appease the incumbent (who isn’t helping find new jobs, is actually shedding jobs).

          The science is solid.
          The science behind our understanding of how too much CO2 dangerously overheats our environment is one of physics, the same profession that currently has a spacecraft parked in orbit around Jupiter. They are a fact based profession, and are not in the business of making stuff up.

          The climate models have actually been quite accurate for quite some time. James Hansen (head of NASA climate research) in 1971 modelled temp rise at +.6 by 2000, a 30 forecast that was pretty much on the money. N.B. NASA has always had a great interest in accurate climate understanding and models because they need it to land missiles on target in Russia etc. ICBMs need to know a lot about the climate so they can do their job properly.

          Also another question for the uninformed, what’s the difference between weather and climate… no idea usually, so point out anything less than a 30 year average is just noise and irrelevant to a scientist studying the climate or some part of it e.g. glaciers. They may indeed have a personal interest in seasonal droughts and snow storms, but 5-7 year weather cycles are not climate analysis.

          Adaption won’t be possible.
          The speed up of climate cycles is too much for plants and animals to adapt in time. What may have happened over the next 10,000 years (e.g. Antarctic iceshelf collapse) is now probably 100 years +/- 50 years. The difference between braking a car to a stop and running into the back of a parked tractor-trailer at 70 mph is only the elapsed time, both cases end up with a stationary car.

          The balance of nature has its ups and downs with lots of cycles, but the current balance is now approaching 10% off kilter. My opinion saying 9% has more real world relevance than saying 1.23 degrees and it is easier to make the case for 10% as a serious limit than 1.5 degrees. Often the first question I ask the uninformed, what is the temperature of the planet, most (all) have no idea and to them 1 degree sounds too much like 1-2%, or what happens every day.

      • Dear Greg,
        A meeting with your congressman – that’s great. One very constructive suggestion: Have you heard of citizensclimatelobby.org (CCL)? Endorsed by James Hansen and many others, they lobby as citizens for a systemic solution: a carbon fee with dividend (carried by a border adjustment). It might be worthwhile to check in with CCL beforehand. I’m running a Dutch chapter, and have very good experience with both the organisation and the approach to carbon pricing. Cheers, and best of luck with the meeting.

        Reply
      • Lots of great suggestions here. Would also ask him to not support the roll-back of CAFE standards. That’s tantamount to betting against American innovation and makes American automakers increasingly non-competitive.

        Reply
  41. Abel Adamski

     /  March 4, 2017

    Koala’s live off certain eucalypt leaves, providing nutrition and moisture for them, but AGW is creating issues there.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/03/03/climate-change-turning-koalas-drink-scientists-find

    Reply
  42. climatehawk1

     /  March 4, 2017

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  43. PlazaRed

     /  March 4, 2017

    Wonderful blog subjects of demise and massive interest.
    There is just so much going on that there is probably not enough life left to take it all in?
    From floods to population expansion.
    From sea level rise to ice packs melting.
    From those trying to conserve to those trying to destroy,
    From those with a bit of vision to those too blind to see!

    We live in interesting times!

    Reply
  44. redskylite

     /  March 4, 2017

    Many thanks for tying so many of the latest findings together in this wonderfully illustrated posting, thanks and appreciation from me for the hat-tip and that you make time to read and interplay with our (the readers) thoughts and comments. One thought I have is that the climate change effects (from the ice-sheet melt and fresh water) on the Earths mighty ocean currents are a looming threat that can cause abrupt change. Not least in the Southern Ocean.

    Well discussed in the Sydney Morning Post (March 4 2017).

    ‘Huge experiment’: The continent that climate change has not forgotten

    Lieser says the potential for a slowing or changing direction of the Gulf Stream, which could bring sharply colder conditions for northern Europe, has gained a lot more public attention than what might be happening in the south.

    He says it is hard to know when a tipping point might be reached, after which huge global processes will settle into new equilibria.

    “There are really cascading consequences in that,” Lieser says. “It’s a scary thought if you really think it through.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/huge-experiment-the-continent-that-climate-change-has-not-forgotten-20170302-gupeq8.html

    Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  March 5, 2017

      That was a good article in the SMH, reminded of the 2016 paper by James Hansen, Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms, which posited that oceanic thermohaline circulation was more sensitive to shutdown that previously thought from freshwater input from the ice sheets.

      He said that the increased horizontal temperature gradient between high an low latitude regions of the N Atlantic would cause storms unlike any we have today.

      He has a history of being right.

      Reply
  45. Permafrost and CO2 article from Lena Delta study. Good analysis of sediment transfer to the delta and CO2 increases. Relevant to present situation.

    http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13653

    Title
    Massive remobilization of permafrost carbon during post-glacial warming

    Contribution of permafrost carbon dioxide difficult to separate from other terrestrial sources.

    Reply
  46. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 5, 2017

    Scientists keep getting surprised by impacts from global warming arriving sooner than expected, like Spring.

    They’ve also been surprised by how fast Arctic sea ice is melting. And how fast Greenland is melting. And how fast the permafrost is warming.

    And they’ve been surprised to see supraglacial lakes forming on the surface of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which we previously thought would be our friend and gain mass for another hundred years.

    And many were shocked in 2014 when two independent teams of scientists reported that Marine Ice Sheet Collapse Potentially Under Way for the Thwaites Glacier Basin, West Antarctica http://science.sciencemag.org/content/344/6185/735

    Many were surprised when a paper by DeConto and Pollard in 2016 suggested that sea level rise might be twice that of previous consensus estimates.

    Observations tend to be toward the tail of the distribution of projections, and the tail is a long one. As Richard Alley said last week, we expect around 3 feet by 2100, but it could be 2 or 4 or 20 feet.

    47:35 here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2yclMcDroQ&t=2920s

    Reply
  47. Robert McLachlan

     /  March 5, 2017

    Correction – the line about “solar = 1 in 50 jobs” is not correct. The statement in the link says that 1 in 50 new jobs in 2016 were in the solar industry. The industry as a whole appears to employ about 300,000 in the US which would be about 1 in 500 jobs. Still impressive.

    Reply
  48. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 5, 2017

    We consider risk when we pay thousands of dollars extra for a car with air bags because the outcome of a very unlikely high speed collision is severe.

    We do the same with fire insurance for our homes; yet this rational approach to risk is completely missing when it comes to the environment.

    And the thing is with global warming, not only is the outcome severe in the extreme, but the likelihood is very, very high that highly damaging impacts will occur if we let global warming continue.

    According to the article Tail Risk vs. Alarmism, by Dr. Kerry Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we are on track to triple pre-industrial levels of atmospheric CO2 this century.

    According to the graph supplied in the article that would give us a 5 percent chance of exceeding 6.75 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

    As Emanuel says in the article below:

    “the 5% high-end may be so consequential, in terms of outcome, as to be justifiably called catastrophic. It is vitally important that we convey this tail risk as well as the most probable outcomes.”

    http://climatechangenationalforum.org/tail-risk-vs-alarmism/

    Reply
  49. wili

     /  March 5, 2017

    “Somalia says 110 dead in last 48 hours due to drought”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-disaster-idUSKBN16B0MW

    “In 2011, some 260,000 people starved to death due to famine in Somalia”

    Reply
  50. Shawn Redmond

     /  March 5, 2017

    http://floodlist.com/news/zimbabwe-floods-leave-246-dead-government-appeals-assistance

    Magnitude
    River level Overflowing
    Gwayi river, Tsholotsho – February 16 to February 22, 2017
    dates estimated
    Rainfall level 223 mm in 24 hours
    Rupike, Masvingo – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 169 mm in 24 hours
    Bikita, Masvingo – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 149 mm in 24 hours
    Zaka, Masvingo – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 111 mm in 24 hours
    Kezi, Masvingo – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 78 mm in 24 hours
    Serima Mission, Masvingo – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 75 mm in 24 hours
    Esigodini, Matabeland South – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 74 mm in 24 hours
    Filabusi, Matabeland South – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 84 mm in 24 hours
    Zvishavane, Midlands – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 126 mm in 24 hours
    Ngungunyana (Chipinge), Manicaland – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 105 mm in 24 hours
    Chinpinge, Manicaland – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 100 mm in 24 hours
    Chimanimani, Manicaland – February 26 to February 27, 2017
    Rainfall level 96 mm in 24 hours
    Chisengu, Manicaland – February 26 to February 27, 2017

    Reply
  51. http://ak-wx.blogspot.com/2017/03/record-cold-in-arctic-canada.html

    Apparent all-time record low at one location (76 degrees north) by one degree F (-66). Records date only to 1948.

    Worth mentioning only because it will undoubtedly show up as denier grist.

    Reply
  52. Bob from Seattle

     /  March 5, 2017

    Since this is an open discussion, let me throw this out. Does religion play a role in climate change denial-ism? I once asked a Catholic friend why Christians in general deny climate science. He said it goes back to (the theory) of evolution. Evolution he says is science which opposes creation, thus we don’t like or trust science. Of course the answer is much more complex. Trump is a professed Christian and has stated climate change is a hoax. Scott Pruitt, newly appointed head of the EPA is also a climate change denier. He’s a Baptist. Evangelical Christians voted overwhelmingly for Trump. This article dives deeper into the connection:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unsystematictheology/2015/10/why-do-so-many-christians-still-deny-climate-change/

    I don’t mean to single out Christianity, I just know more about it. I think the average devout Muslim would fall into the denial-ism camp from what I’ve read. Buddhism always seem to score the highest when it comes to combining science with belief.

    I think if (thinking) humans want to avoid climate catastrophe, we should figure out how to bring Christians into the awareness of what climate science teaches us.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 5, 2017

      Bob, don’t fall into the mistake of equating Christianity with its most right-wing forms. Lots and lots, probably a majority, of Christians, if you include all the ‘mainstream’ denominations, do accept climate science.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  March 5, 2017

        And of course the Pope has an entire encyclical on the subject, “Laudato Si’ ” which I highly recommend. (I don’t consider myself Christian, but I know many and work in a quite progressive Catholic school, by the way.)

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  March 6, 2017

        +1

        It always astounds me, this oft-touted notion that Christianity and science are mutually exclusive. WTF?

        The founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, is a life-long Christian (Methodist, I iirc), and that Dr Katherine Hayhoe, who is considered a leading climate scientist AND climate communicator, is an evangelical (but NOT right-wing) Christian. Just two very high-profile examples.

        But anyone who cares to dig a bit deeper than fake news headlines and Twitterland will discover that mainstream Christianity at the local congregational level is much more concerned and active wrt to climate change action than the spin-doctors would have us believe.

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  March 6, 2017

          Meanwhile, north of the border: in Canada it’s not your religion but your province and your politics that aligns more closely with your ideas about climate change.

          http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/climate-beliefs-canada-alberta-ekos-1.4007632

          Would you believe: Canadians in general are less worried about climate change now than they were in 2007.

          “People in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Graves said, are two to three times more likely than those in the rest of Canada to be skeptical of man-made climate change. But an even bigger division can be found — nationwide — along political lines.

          More than half of Conservative supporters have consistently said they “don’t believe all this talk about greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change” in EKOS polling. Outside the Conservative base, only about one in 10 Canadians say the same thing.

          “(Conservatives) are literally five times as likely to be on what we maybe call politely the enviro-skeptic — or, maybe less politely, the climate-change denier — side of the equation,” Graves said.”

          We are the planetary poster child for Big Oil Junkie.

        • Cate

           /  March 6, 2017

          For clarity: my +1 was for wili.

    • lesliegraham1

       /  March 6, 2017

      Trump is no Christian. None of these far right scum are. They just attempt to hijack Christianity as a cover for their disgusting bigotry.
      They claim ‘God hates gays’ due to one obscure line in the Bible but completely ignore the parts about greed and how it is easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle etc.
      Pick and mix Christianity.
      They are even trying to get a new version of the Bible published and accepted – a version that corrects “The left wing bias of the Bible” and “Express’s Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning”
      I mean seriously – these creeps are so mind-meltingly arrogant that they think they are entitled to rewrite the Bible in their own image.
      I wish I was making this up.
      http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project

      Reply
    • Revelation 11:18 — those who destroy the Earth will be destroyed.

      The Christian religious text speaks out in unequivocal terms against the abuse and harm of creation. Right wingers who call themselves Christians have, during recent times, often spoken and acted counter to this fundamental religious imperative. This is a good example of how a corrupt world-view among influential political figures who claim to serve a religious agenda can erode the values of a moral religious population.

      To be clear, many Christian religious organizations (including the Episcopal Church and large segments of the Catholic Church) view the defense of the health of creation and of life on Earth to be a key outgrowth of the necessary social justice role of the Church.

      Reply
  53. wharf rat

     /  March 5, 2017

    Hyatt Power Plant at Lake Oroville Update (03/04/2017)
    Oroville, California – After a successful restart of the Hyatt Power Plant on Friday, a temporary shutdown began around 10 am today so that the water channel can be deepened for the plant to reach its full capacity. The shutdown is expected to last approximately 1-2 days. The reoperation of the power plant gives the Department of Water Resources (DWR) an important, additional way to release water from the reservoir.

    Oroville Spillway Incident Update – Mar. 05 AM
    The flood control spillway flows remain at 0 cubic feet per second (cfs). Inflows are approximately 15,000 to 25,000 cfs which has resulted in the lake rising from 850.3 feet to 852.9 feet elevation in the last 24 hours. Flows to meet environmental requirements are being met by releases through the Thermalito Diversion Dam and Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet. The total flow to the Feather River remains at 2500 cfs.
    Contractors continue to remove sediment and debris below the spillway. This operation will continue 24 hours per day. Approximately 329,000 cubic yards of material have been removed from the debris pile to date. (03/05/2017)
    http://www.water.ca.gov/recent_news.cfm

    Reply
  54. Marcusblanc

     /  March 5, 2017

    Nice to see you packaging some positive news, in with the emerging threats that are our main focus. People find the bad new easier to take if they also have some hope that we can turn things around eventually.

    Seeing as you mentioned the Russians influence on the election, it is interesting that both the current French elections and the Brexit vote are both other examples of Russian interference. It is happening all over the world.

    There is also a new-ish story about some of the big data analytics being used in the Brexit referendum/Trump election shocks. It is just as frightening as the Russian story, in its own way.

    I’m not sure if this story has really broken in the states, so here it is if you haven’t seen it. I think it is relevant to every person on the planet who has a vote.

    ‘The UK’s privacy watchdog is launching an inquiry into how voters’ personal data is being captured and exploited in political campaigns, cited as a key factor in both the Brexit and Trump victories last year.’

    Dr Simon Moores, visiting lecturer in the applied sciences and computing department at Canterbury Christ Church University and a technology ambassador under the Blair government, said the ICO’s decision to shine a light on the use of big data in politics was timely.

    “A rapid convergence in the data mining, algorithmic and granular analytics capabilities of companies like Cambridge Analytica and Facebook is creating powerful, unregulated and opaque ‘intelligence platforms’. In turn, these can have enormous influence to affect what we learn, how we feel, and how we vote. The algorithms they may produce are frequently hidden from scrutiny and we see only the results of any insights they might choose to publish.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/04/cambridge-analytics-data-brexit-trump

    Reply
    • Marcusblanc

       /  March 5, 2017

      Apologies for typo’s!

      Reply
    • John S

       /  March 5, 2017

      Cambridge Analytica has been an anti-democracy threat multipier on my mind for a while now.

      [Wikipedia and others] Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a privately held company that combines data mining and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process. It was created in 2013 as an offshoot of its British parent company SCL Group to participate in American politics, and reportedly in 2014 was involved in 44 U.S. political races.

      SCL Group calls itself a “global election management agency” known for involvement “in military disinformation campaigns to social media branding and voter targeting”. SLC’s involvement in the political world has been primarily in the developing world where it has been used by the military and politicians to study and manipulate public opinion and political will. SCL claims to have been successful to help foment coups.

      CA is heavily funded by the family of Robert Mercer, an American hedge-fund billionaire. Robert Mercer is reportedly one of the 10 most influential billionaires in US politics. Appears he’s very big on financial deregulation, split from the Koch bros foundation maybe because their obsession is more around fossil fuel and deregulating pollution.

      I notice Rebekah Mercer (daughter) was an ‘important’ member of the transition team, hence (IMO) the perfect cast of high calibre bad actors, beyond the random clutch of people in Trump’s orbit.

      Anyone with a business web site is familiar with A/B testing, and a google guy I know was very proud of their running at least 6 variants of every campaign. CA reportedly had 175,000 variants for Trump’s presidential election, and claim to have at least 4000 data points on every US citizen. (Mercer initially supported Cruz, switched to supporting Trump after Cruz faltered)

      Big data disruption has reached US politics (and Trump has popped up as the ideal avatar).

      Reply
    • Right. IMHO, that accounts for the strangeness of the election:
      – Trump seemingly miraculously hanging in after asinine statement after asinine statement.
      – Trump pulling it out by relatively thin margins in a few unexpected states.
      – Trump’s evident surprise at winning.
      Suggests to me that there was an extremely effective, first-of-a-kind campaign using individually targeted FB ads. Sure hope the Left took notice and is ready to retaliate in kind along with everything else it is doing.

      Reply
  55. Still awaiting moderation approval from March 3rd:

    Every bit of human ingenuity and resource allocation needs already to have been applied to mitigation of what climate changes are already in the pipeline – from carbon already extracted and released. People still wish for some return to their former/”normal” experiences are not accepting how abnormal the past century has been vs human history. Contraction and mass extinction are likely. Time lost in prolonging the financial cow of fossil fuels accelerates our demise.

    Take coloradobob’s reply a step further by looking at the near term consequences to grain crops. I’ve posted image extracts and a video lecture by Prof David Battisti on how narrow a temperature window remains for much of our global grain crops.
    http://1wow.org/blog/climate-change-food-security/

    Other crops have similar windows though those from trees might last a little longer. The time is past where incremental changes might have sufficed. What is ahead will be some dystopian version of the more serious apocalyptic films shown now as entertainment. This is our legacy to our near progeny, and Robert’s OP above gathers in many of the pieces. Thanks – for the ongoing warnings.

    Reply
  56. Greg

     /  March 6, 2017

    A picture of hematite fossils encased in a Nuvvuagittuq, Quebec shoreline, formation and quite possibly the oldest fossils ever found- nearly 4 billion years old. They likely add to evidence that life on Earth formed several hundred million years earlier than shown previously and support the theory that life either emerges fairly easily from the cosmos or it came to Earth from elsewhere early in the Earth’s formation. Either way, it shows life is tough stuff. These were around hydrothermal vents.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v543/n7643/full/nature21377.html

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  March 6, 2017

      Video of this discovery. We may kill the
      big critters but not the the really little ones. Watch out for them as CB puts it.

      Reply
  57. Shawn Redmond

     /  March 6, 2017

    Business models have to change as well.
    Designing sustainable business models and product service systems
    [This is an excerpt from the Economic Design dimension of Gaia Education´s online course in Design for Sustainability.]
    Even before deciding on how to finance your enterprise and selecting the most appropriate legal structure for it, it is advisable to spend a all the time it takes to come up with a really good and well thought through business model. In order to be able to contribute to the transition to thriving communities and sustainability, the enterprise itself has to be sustainable economically, socially and ecologically. Let’s first have a look at a general business model canvas, a tool to help you think through and design your enterprises path to economic sustainability.

    View story at Medium.com

    Reply
  58. Abel Adamski

     /  March 6, 2017

    Trump has been more successful than we thought.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2017/mar/05/trump-promised-to-wipe-out-isis-perhaps-he-already-has-?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+AUS+v1+-+AUS+morning+mail+callout&utm_term=216102&subid=21049740&CMP=ema_632

    Donald Trump promised to wipe out Isis – perhaps he already has …
    Rich Hall

    The comment by Tintenfische is pure gold.

    Just to provide some levity we need

    Reply
  59. coloradobob

     /  March 6, 2017

    Cyclone Blanche brings record rains

    A record 384mm of rain fell overnight at Bathurst Island’s Point Fawcett.
    “This smashes Point Fawcett’s previous 24 hour rainfall record of 265.2mm recorded during Cyclone Carlos in 2011,” a weather bureau spokesman said.
    http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/cyclone-expected-to-form-over-coast-of-nt/news-story/c85bdb7b88104441e4ae472b1bdc0680

    Reply
  60. coloradobob

     /  March 6, 2017

    Dangerous Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Enawo was plowing westwards at 6 mph on Monday morning towards Madagascar, and is expected to make landfall on the island on Tuesday morning. The storm is passing over waters of 29°C—approximately 0.5°C above average in temperature—and is an unusually wet storm, with amounts of water vapor near the very high end of what is observed in tropical cyclones (precipitable water values up to 3.0 inches.) Recent runs of the HWRF model (Figure 2) have shown some very worrisome amounts of rain falling on heavily populated regions of Madagascar, and Enawo has the potential to be a top-five most damaging storm in the island’s history.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/madagascar-braces-for-extreme-rains-from-category-2-tropical-cyclone-e

    Reply
  61. Jeremy in Wales

     /  March 6, 2017

    I have to find some optimistic point and that is even in right-wing UK coal generation is being forced out of the energy mix resulting in lowest CO2 emissions for a century:
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/uk-carbon-emissions-drop-to-lowest-level-since-19th-century-study-finds
    My nostalgic minds eye cannot help but feel a pang of sympathy for these fossil giants and the people who have worked in them and the mines. My stepfather worked in one such power plant which at the time in what seemed like a technological filled future. I remember , as kid,being shown around several, before security became overwhelming, standing inside cooling towers and turbine halls. But my logical brain knows these have to go, they directly kill people with respiratory diseases and long term with CO2 and hot waters discharged into the sea so changing climate. Aberthaw Power station near Cardiff, Wales is next month going from 12 month a year baseload to winter only peak load. It has taken its last delivery of Welsh coal (hopefully leading to the closure of more opencast pits) which is causing excess pollution of nitrogen & Sulphur dioxide. But to keep the pollution levels low is importing Columbian coal – delivered across the Atlantic in diesel powered ships!, and exporting the opencast mining problems.
    http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2988655/rwe_npower_colombian_coal_is_killing_our_children_close_aberthaw.html
    Closing coal plants is the easy low hanging fruit, gas generation largely replacing them with help from renewables and dropping demand. My local authority/council, is replacing street lamps on the main roads with LED technology, all of which help remove baseload demand at night and the closure of another fossil giant!

    Reply
  62. Genomik

     /  March 7, 2017

    Risks soar, bills come due as 20th-century dams crumble

    What were the designers of Dams thinking by only designing them to last 50 years?
    Probably the designers would all be dead by then.
    Thats probably the maximum foresight humans can use.
    Trump is cutting foresight down to 2 years!

    http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060050980

    Reply

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