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As Climate Emergencies Rise — A Call For Action

With climate change enhanced wildfires raging across California during December, now is exactly the time to redouble our resolve to fight against the causes of such widespread destruction. To enact policies aimed at reducing the force of a rising crisis that continues to impact so many of our people with increasing intensity.

In California today, there is a move afoot to set a deadline for banning the very fossil fuel based vehicles that have fanned the fires of climate change across the state. To resolve, by 2040, to take gas powered cars off the road.

Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat and sponsor of this legislative drive, notes that for the State to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets, it’s going to have to transition away from fossil fuel based vehicles. Such vehicles represent more than 1/3 of all state carbon emissions. And the state can’t effectively address the carbon dioxide emissions that drive climate change disasters without also directly targeting the number of fossil fuel based vehicles in operation.

(According to California’s Air Resources Board, nearly 38 percent of the state’s carbon emissions are due to transportation.)

New electrical vehicle (EV) technology is enabling just such a move. According to Ting:

“The market is moving this way. The entire world is moving this way. At some point you need to set a goal and put a line in the sand.”

If California sets a policy to ban fossil fuel based vehicles by 2040, it will join a growing number of cities and states that have already set similar goals. These include France, the United Kingdom, India, Germany, and Norway. Meanwhile, China is pursuing very aggressive incentives to increase the number of EVs as a means of combating terrible local air pollution and climate change.

Movement by cities and states to ban fossil fuel vehicles and incentivize EVs has an out-sized impact. It signals automakers that EV preference by government is becoming widespread. And because manufacturers have limited capital to spend on new vehicles, this drives a manufacturing preference as well.

(In this National Renewable Energy Laboratory study, the most rapid carbon emissions reductions were achieved in scenarios where large-scale EV deployment was combined with wholesale replacement of coal, oil, and gas fired electricity generation with renewable sources like wind and solar.)

Since EVs are more efficient that internal combustion engine based vehicles, they greatly reduce carbon emissions when tied to even traditional grids. But when linked to renewable power sources like wind and solar, EVs produce zero emissions in operation. This combination enables a far more rapid rate of carbon emission reduction.

In addition, the manufacturing base for EV batteries can also be used to build storage systems for intermittent wind and solar energy. This enables the removal of fossil fuel emitting coal and gas fired generators held in reserve for times when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine even as the EVs themselves remove the need for oil based transporation. Such a manufacturing chain also opens up a new market for auto manufacturers — a fact that both Tesla and Hyundai have learned to their benefit.

Because EVs are based on electronic technology that is closely tied to the information age, they can benefit both from synergistic related economies of scale and from various innovations and breakthroughs. This means that EVs already outperform fossil fuel based vehicles in a number of areas. A performance advantage that is increasing and will likely overcome most traditional vehicles by the early 2020s. Because of this advantage, EVs would probably ultimately win out over time. However, the present climate crisis lends urgency to speeding their rate of adoption and in accelerating the rate of harmful fossil fuel based vehicle replacement.

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88 Comments

  1. Since this is a call to action, let´s trade tips on how to lower fossil fuel usage. I´m currently investing on this: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1846577405/homebiogas-20-transforms-your-food-waste-into-clea/description – to stop completely the use of LNG at my home. Ok, cooking gas isn´t a big factor in the long run, but each little piece help, doesn´t it?

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    • Jim

       /  December 8, 2017

      I’d be afraid that my Daughter’s cattle dog would attack the thing and cause an explosion :). He attacks garbage cans too, like he thinks they are big cows that need to move back to the herd.

      I was able to cut my electricity consumption over 40% through a combination of duct sealing, air penetration sealing, and high efficiency heat pumps. Then I put on a small PV solar system and now purchase only 33% of the electricity I once did. Payback on the PV panels was calculated at 6.5 years, but with rising electricity prices, it’s now looking like 5.8 years. I installed the system in 2014, so it’s half paid for.

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    • Littlerobbergirl

       /  December 9, 2017

      Many years ago I saw a DIY design for home biogas in “the autonomous house” by Brenda & Robert Vale (1975!) Mainly a lorry tyre inner. Never caught on then & book never made it online but they were decades ahead of the curve https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0500930015/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_gD9kAbD4Y5N55

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    • Vic

       /  December 9, 2017

      It’s a nice digester Umbrios. I’m sure the meals you cook with that will taste especially delicious, for reasons which you well know.

      Grow some duckweed for it if you can. It’s the fastest multiplying plant on the planet and super high in starch making it an excellent feedstock for anaerobic digestion. The digestate by-product is perfect to provide the nutrients for the next crop of duckweed.

      I like the thought of photovoltaic powered indoor vertical farms growing duckweed under LED lights that then gets pumped into an anaerobic digester. Each layer in the farm could be less than six inches high. On an industrial scale it might be possible to produce methane at a similar cost to the frackers, even before a price on carbon.

      And then there’s another floating freshwater aquatic plant, Azolla. Unlike duckweed, Azolla is a nitrogen fixer that 49 million years ago is thought to have helped transform our planet from a “greenhouse Earth” state, to the “icehouse Earth” it has been since. Truly powerful stuff.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_event

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      • He, yes, Jim, the digester wouldn’t be a good idea as a dog toy 🙂 . And the payback to photovoltaics is getting shorter with time, true. If everything goes well, I’m going to install an on-grid system next year, I’ve just saved enough for it (and the way prices plummeted helped to reach the goal faster too).

        A pond/pool for fish keeping, aquatic plant gardening, atracting wildlife and erosion control (keeping rain water in the terrain a little bit longer, specially the overflow of the cistern in rainy days) is on my plans too, Vic (that one will take a bit longer, probably a few more years), but I confess that I won’t use duckweed. It’s a invasive here in Brasil. I’ll use Azolla though, as that one is native worldwide, and probably water hyacinths (same family of duckweed, invasive elsewhere, but here they’re native, and quite attractive to the local fauna).

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        • Jeremy in Wales

           /  December 10, 2017

          In the UK some of the smaller supply companies, such as Bulb and Ecotricity are starting to supply green gas from anaerobic digesters and Ecotricity are building digesters to use grasses grown for the purpose.
          “Green gas is a relatively new idea, and our gas is 12% green this year. This will increase as we start to build our quite revolutionary Green Gasmills. We have planning permission to build our first Green Gasmill – so the green gas revolution is underway. And until our gas is 100% green, like our electricity is, it comes with a frack-free promise – we’ll never source any gas from shale, and we’ll never invest in fracking.”
          https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-your-home/britain-s-greenest-energy-company
          There is a lot more that can be done in this area, local councils now collect garden waste and waste food seperately, to make compost but this could be repuposed for gas and compost production and then you get the advantages of scaling such processes.

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  2. Robert Oldham

     /  December 8, 2017

    I current do most of my driving in a small EV, to the city for shopping and to the health center, and my EV is presently charged from Costa Rica’s grid, which fluctuates between 98% and 100% renewables, combining hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar. I hope to soon be able to charge the car from my own solar installation.

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  3. canefreecr

     /  December 8, 2017

    I am currently driving a small EV for most of my trips, to the city for shopping and to the health clinic, in rural and mountainous Costa Rica, and charging from the local grid which fluctuates between 98% and 100% renewables, using hydro, wind, solar, and geothermal. I hope to soon begin charging from my own dedicated solar panel system.

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  4. eleggua

     /  December 8, 2017

    350.org Uploaded on Dec 4, 2017
    A message from Board Member Naomi Klein on why making a donation to 350.org is so important. 350.org/donate

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    • Brian

       /  December 11, 2017

      Naomi Klein has some really crazy ideas, including that we should all be communists. (IIRC, from a CBC story last year talking about the NDP’s Leap Manifesto.) The end goal is right, but her ideas on how to get there will alienate more people than they will empower, and hence it’s sort of dead-on-arrival.

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      • When did Naomi Klein suggest that we should all be communists?

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      • I think there’s a difference between attacking the present hyper-capitalist model and supporting communism, which as the name implies, is in the old Russian style.

        And, in any case, one can certainly lift up social values and the virtues of various forms of socialism without being communist.

        To be clear, my personal view is that some of the machinery of capitalism can be helpful in the present situation (mass production, innovation etc). But the capitalist model as whole breaks itself if it isn’t reigned in by appropriate constraint.

        Klein has rightly criticized the various failures of capitalism in this regard and has been right to advocate for reasonable restraint of capitalism and hyper-individualism.

        I think where I split somewhat with Klein is in the characterization that all present ills can be laid at capitalism’s feet. We can certainly lay much blame there in that regard, though. Unrestrained capitalism resulted in the great recession and capitalism mated with fossil fuel burning is a world-wrecking disaster on mass scale. This is compounded by the fact that the hoarding that pure capitalism enables is very destructive to civilization as a whole. Add this to ramping impacts from climate change that fossil fuel based capitalism contributes to and you have some very serious woes coming down the pipe.

        If capitalism is not reasonably restrained, you end up with wreckage regardless. And this is where Klein is absolutely right. Greed has a real tendency of causing all sorts of tragedy. We see that today in Trump/Republican policy.

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        • Brian

           /  December 11, 2017

          She tears down the current paradigm without offering an alternative solution that is viable nor well-thought out.

          It was around the time of the NDP convention in Edmonton last year when they rolled out the Leap Manifesto and turfed Thomas Mulcair. And now Canada is bereft of real leadership; we chose style over substance.

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        • OK. Now that’s a bit more of a fair criticism.

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        • Mblanc

           /  December 12, 2017

          You could reasonably call her a socialist. I don’t think you need look far for the alternatives she talks about, there are plenty of examples of effective constraints on uber-capitalism out there.

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  5. Jim

     /  December 8, 2017

    What’s interesting about the NREL study is that the recommended changes are almost all economically justified today and getting more compelling every year.

    In contrast the Carbon Tracker report titled: Lignite of the Living Dead (great title !), says 54% of European Coal Power Plants are Cash Flow negative today, and this will increase to 97% by 2030. Yet plans are to close only 23% of them by 2030 leading to the potential for 22B euro in losses by 2030. The report authors see the Levelized Cost of Energy (All-in costs) for on-shore wind reaching OPERATING cost parity with existing coal by 2024, and the same for PV solar by 2027.

    Increasing the fossil fund proponent’s old canard about being “affordable” is shown to be false. Although I don’t have much hope for government regulations; increasingly capital markets are fleeing carbon intensive investments. Look no further than China’s banks refusing to invest in Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, a point driven home by the Chinese Ambassador to Australia, who said no Chinese bank supported the project.

    https://www.carbontracker.org/reports/lignite-living-dead/

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  6. eleggua

     /  December 9, 2017

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  7. wili

     /  December 9, 2017

    Thank you for your bravery, robert.

    this is my heart:

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  8. am

     /  December 9, 2017

    Hello Scribblers,
    This is the first post from me here. I really like this blog, and I’ve been coming here weekly for a while to read robertscribbler’s latest climate change analysis. I’ve been a reader, lurker, for at least 24 months of me lurking about. I’m not posting this note to troll or put anyone down.

    I agree the increased production of electric cars is important. Tesla, of course, is the main company this blog talks about on electric cars. Telsa’s progress is admirable, but there is a cost to their fast ramping up of production that readers should note here. Tesla workers have no union, and Tesla is working really hard to keep it that way. Tesla workers are are overworked, underpaid, and there are the inevitable injuries that come from the speedup of production (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/08/tesl-d08.html).

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    • I think there are both truths, half-truths, and falsehoods in this line of attack against Tesla. And to be clear, it’s a line of attack unless various mitigating factors are also taken into account.

      So I must say that I support unions in general. However, I think that Tesla’s tangle with the UAW might have something to do with legacy fossil fuel infrastructure and the related skill set that goes along with it.

      I’m also unsure that pay for Tesla employees is considerably less than that for union workers. I’ve seen contradictory data in that regard.

      Tesla pushes hard for fast build, this has resulted in a middle of the road safety record.

      That said, I think that Tesla should support workers rights.

      Finally, what I will say is that Tesla’s business model RE a total reliance on renewable energy is wise and is something that the regular auto industry should emulate. Tesla morally leads the pack in this regard despite some noted issues with workers.

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    • In any case, Tesla is the primary industry leader enabling the transformation of transportation. That’s why I cover Tesla so much. Tesla has 500,000 reservations for new mid-priced EVs, a massive and growing charging network, the highest capability EVs mass produced on market and synergy between EV production, battery production, and solar panel production in house. That’s why I cover Tesla so much.

      I cover the rest of the industry too. But it’s pretty clear who the leader is and who the people trying to catch up are. IF/when these facts change, the content of my analysis will change. But considering the fact that I’m looking at trends and trend setters, yeah, Tesla is really important.

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  9. Abel Adamski

     /  December 9, 2017

    https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/12/every-company-that-has-pre-ordered-a-tesla-semi-to-date/
    No comment needed, however plenty of interest even if just watching and evaluating

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  10. Abel Adamski

     /  December 9, 2017

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-30/exxon-s-not-afraid-of-tesla-trucks-chemicals-to-carry-demand

    Relevant to the Electric Trucks and Heavy haulage and trucking

    Despite concern that electrification will render obsolete the gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine, the world’s biggest crude explorer says the 158 year-old oil industry won’t go gentle into that good night.

    The electric-vehicle, or EV, fleet won’t grow fast enough to displace much in the way of fuel demand, according to Exxon Vice President Jeff Woodbury. Plus, heavy-duty trucks and petrochemicals are where the real action is anyway, he said during a conference call with analysts on Friday.
    Should gasoline demand dry up some day, that’s OK with Exxon too. The company would rather “upgrade” those molecules into higher-profit fuels such as diesel anyway, he said.

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    • Jim

       /  December 9, 2017

      Abel,

      I find the Oil & Gas majors, as a group, to be very dismissive of electrification of the transportation fleet. It’s possible they’re sincere and believe it, or it’s possible they’re sincere and are underestimate the rate of change (a common problem), or they’re simply concerned about stock price.

      In any case the Oil and Gas industry is way out of step with the auto industry as well as pending regulation in some of their largest markets, such as China.

      Despite wanting to see movement on climate issues, I try to remain objective, and what I see is battery costs plummeting and the operating+ performance cost advantage of EVs growing fast. Not coincidentally Exxon Mobil has the highest amount of upstream capital (exploration and development) exposure of any of the oil majors, and consequently the most to loose from rapid developments in vehicle electrification.

      Or course the oil and gas industry is not going away, but it’s likely to be much smaller.

      What’s your take on the disconnect?

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      • Abel Adamski

         /  December 10, 2017

        Jim
        I do agree they do have some disconnect more than some, bust as they point out they have a growing future in petrochemicals.
        Another News item that was on briefing on my phone which I haven’t found again was by a EXXON executive saying the same thing and admitting he has an order in for a Tesla 3

        Reading an EXXON corporate promo – (Know the players)
        http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/energy/energy-outlook

        Apart from the other areas, one that struck me was the involvement of VOLVO – supposedly going EV.

        https://energyfactor.exxonmobil.com/science-technology/volvo-supertruck/
        ExxonMobil collaborates with Volvo Trucks on development of fuel-efficient SuperTruck

        Iconic Swedish truck maker Volvo has unveiled its version of the SuperTruck, a futuristic, heavy-duty vehicle that vastly improves fuel and freight efficiency. In response to an initiative from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Volvo SuperTruck – which could increase the fuel economy of 18-wheelers from about 6 mpg to more than 10 mpg – was developed with ExxonMobil engineers and other collaborators.
        Making up only 4 percent of the highway traffic, heavy-duty vehicles consume almost 20 percent of all fuel. And ExxonMobil forecasts that long term, these trucks will become the largest energy-consuming segment of the transportation sector.
        While regulators have focused most of their efforts on fuel economy gains in automobiles and light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks offer plenty of opportunities to save fuel through the application of technology.

        Volvo’s SuperTruck collaboration was designed to do just that. ExxonMobil was brought in on the project to help optimize fuel combustion and lubricant formulation expertise.
        The DOE estimates that replacing all heavy-duty trucks currently on U.S. roads with SuperTrucks would slash oil consumption by as much as 300 million barrels per year, saving truck operators nearly $20 billion in annual fuel costs. About 80 percent of the goods that fill American stores and 70 percent of all freight tonnage is hauled by heavy-duty tractor-trailers.
        Current heavy-duty trucks often average less than 7 miles per gallon of diesel.
        The goal was to increase freight efficiency, which is the distance a truck can carry a ton of freight per gallon of fuel used, by 50 percent. Volvo exceeded that goal, achieving an 88 percent increase measured during on-road testing – not in a lab.

        However the major market in trucking is actually local distribution, that is the stop/start fighting inertia fuel/energy intensive segment. That is where the bans by cities especially of Diesel will start biting.
        Plus players such as Daimler and ones that will pop up in developing countries such as China and India that have the growing industrial base to become players.
        Not forgetting Nikola if they can get their battery prices right

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        • Jim

           /  December 10, 2017

          And don’t forget WrightSpeed, founded by a former Tesla founder.

          There’s lot’s of electrification activity on trucks, where the payback can be as short as 1-3 years, not to mention the city bans on diesel that you mention.

          https://www.wrightspeed.com/the-route-powertrain

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        • Stop and start driving and hill climbing would seem to favor electric trucks with regenerative braking. Regenerative braking can recover most of the energy of a moving vehicle when it comes to a stop. It can also recover most of the energy of going uphill on the downhill slope. Long term, electric trucks seem clearly superior due to regenerative braking.

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  11. Abel Adamski

     /  December 9, 2017

    https://qz.com/1132303/the-teenager-inventor-who-could-change-the-way-the-world-fights-climate-change/

    An interesting one reducing cost of carbon capture by up to 85%

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    • This is a peer reviewed paper on the process, according to the original article, although none of the names listed on it list a degree.

      http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00253

      Another way of obtaining a pure stream of CO2 is simply to burn the fuel in a mixture of oxygen and recycled flue gas – oxyfuel combustion.

      Hope it works.

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      • Abel Adamski

         /  December 11, 2017

        He hasn’t got a degree yet, too busy actually doing with Science he learn’t and developed in college. One smart young man

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      • Oh, Science is very democratic – anybody can do it, especially including this young man, apparently. Good for him, hope his process works, and gets scaled up. I really like his “relentlessly reasoning from first principles” approach.

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    • John S

       /  December 11, 2017

      No doubt he does have a fine mind; however I do hope it gets broadened soon.

      Per the article this fortuitous discovery came out of lab work to reduce the consumption of energy in the production of Urea. Which is laudable – globally the production of nitrogen-based fertilizers accounts for slightly more than 1% of all the world’s energy

      On the other hand, Novek’s ongoing Urea project aims to reduce the cost of production of the already cheapest form of nitrogen fertilizer, which is also the most soluble, highest leaching and fastest depleting form of nitrogen fertilizer.

      Very effective in the short term, Urea risks contaminating water flows and does absolutely nothing to build soil, and furthermore (because of the high rate of ammonia released) causes higher soil acidity than other nitrogen fertilizers, ultimately leading to soil infertility.

      Ethan Novek is a high-achieving engineer way above my pay grade, however IMO in need of an ‘Earth-systems awakening’, including an appreciation of the biological systems underpinning the sustenance and bounty of the Mother Earth.

      The article’s author also has an unfortunate choice of words whilst missing the complexity of earth system interactions:
      [Novek was]… working on something to submit to the prestigious International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). He thought he had a killer idea: a new way to cheaply produce urea, one of the world’s most important nitrogen-based fertilizers.

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  12. coloradobob

     /  December 9, 2017

    Putin launches giant $27 bil. LNG project in the Arctic
    12:00 am, December 10, 2017

    AFP-Jiji
    SABETTA, Russia (AFP-Jiji) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday launched a $27 billion liquefied natural gas plant in the snow-covered plains of the Arctic as Russia hopes to surpass Qatar to become the world’s biggest exporter of the chilled fuel.

    The Russian president congratulated workers as he oversaw the first gas shipment being loaded onto an icebreaking tanker from a LNG plant amid minus 28 C weather in the port of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula above the Arctic Circle.

    http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004117361

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  13. What will it take to get the entire world’s population on the same page?
    Unfortunately a personal loss.
    That is what changes people’s minds. Not logic, not politics. It has to be something they can feel.
    And when it comes to Global Warming, a personal loss to everyone worldwide will be too late.
    The reason so many Americans are changing their views on Global Warming is because of the climate disasters they have been experiencing. They have experienced a personal loss.
    I myself became fully convinced when I went back to my hometown after being elsewhere for 20 years and finding that all of the seasonal temperatures were warmer. That can really change a place and that change convinced me 100% that Global Warming is not only real but we are not being told the whole truth about it. The problem is far worse than we are being told.
    I live in Canada where climate related news is greatly suppressed. When it comes to Global Warming, most Canadians are in the dark.
    I recently watched the W5 permafrost report.

    It was an eye opener.
    I live in Canada. Half of Canada is sitting on permafrost. Most Canadians do not know the permafrost is thawing. Most Canadians do not know what destruction is unfolding in our own country.
    We don’t know because mainstream news is not telling us.
    This should be a daily news event. It should be on every news broadcast. This affects everyone alive.
    But here in Canada, Justin Bieber gets all the headlines.
    It is so sickening to see just how far the human race has sank.
    There are times when I don’t even want to go outside because I don’t want to see just how unaffected people are about Global Warming. It’s ugly and disgusting to see people going about business as usual when world death is just next door. It’s not going to knock on your door. It will just barge right in.
    So what will it take to get everyone on the same page?
    Death.

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    • Well, we are moving off the BAU path at present. But the fossil fuel industry has a lot to answer for, IMO.

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    • Brian

       /  December 11, 2017

      “Half of Canada is sitting on permafrost.”

      Half of the Canadian landmass may be subjected to permafrost, but please remember that a vast majority of Canadians live within 200km of the USA. Most Canadians do not know because it will always be “out of sight” for them.

      Do you have actual data suggesting the news programs purposefully suppress climate change stories? Or are you outraged that news programs are forced to cover stories that their audiences care about so that these same news programs can retain and monetize their viewership?

      It’s very clear that local news is in trouble up here, and unless you support public funding for more news, then the results are going to be what they already are. And if you DO support more funding, you run the risk of people complaining that the news is being politicized, which is what is happening south of us.

      Yes, climate change is a very insidious problem. Your own eye-opening as you state is after you had a 20-year break from your hometown. This is the story of putting a frog in boiling water and it will jump right out, but if you raise the temperature slowly, you can cook it. We are all frogs here, but running around screaming that the sky is falling (EVEN WHEN IT IS), won’t help.

      I think the answer is to continuously lead by example, always act for the best and educate when invited to. However, be aware of your audience and your effect. Sometimes people just don’t want to hear. Not to downplay their own situation, but many many people are being outraced by events in their own lives, whether its debt, children, physical and mental health, etc. Many would like to think they have a grasp of their situation, and screaming at them that their priorities are out-of-line can threaten their own paradigm and sense of self. And maybe they need that, but if they aren’t ready for it, your message will fall on deaf (or worse, hostile) ears. People only have so much capacity to care, and some are just tapped out.

      This is not an easy problem, but that doesn’t mean we should just give up.

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      • eleggua

         /  December 11, 2017

        “This is the story of putting a frog in boiling water and it will jump right out, but if you raise the temperature slowly, you can cook it. ”

        That cliche is absolutely not true. Try it; the frog will jump out; it won’t cook.
        Frogs aren’t stupid.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog
        “Modern scientific sources report that the alleged phenomenon is not real. In 1995, Professor Douglas Melton, of the Harvard University Biology department, said, “If you put a frog in boiling water, it won’t jump out. It will die. If you put it in cold water, it will jump before it gets hot—they don’t sit still for you.” Dr. George R. Zug, curator of reptiles and amphibians at the National Museum of Natural History, also rejected the suggestion, saying that “If a frog had a means of getting out, it certainly would get out.”

        In 2002 Dr. Victor H. Hutchison, Professor Emeritus of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma, with a research interest in thermal relations of amphibians, said that “The legend is entirely incorrect!” He described how a critical thermal maximum for many frog species has been determined by contemporary research experiments: as the water is heated by about 2 °F, or 1.1 °C, per minute, the frog becomes increasingly active as it tries to escape, and eventually jumps out if the container allows it.”

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        • Brian

           /  December 11, 2017

          Okay, it’s true that I’ve never tortured a frog nor tried to eat one. However, did it serve useful as an analogy?

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        • eleggua

           /  December 12, 2017

          Nope. It’s not a useful analogy as it’s not true.

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  14. wili

     /  December 10, 2017

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  15. Abel Adamski

     /  December 10, 2017

    A worthwhile large scale metropolitan project
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/lendlease-completes-barangaroo-20171208-p4yxj5.html

    Its offical, the Barangaroo precinct has its own eco system.
    Lendlease has completed one of the major pieces of infrastucture at its $6 billion Barangaroo site with the opening of its recycled water plant.
    Lendlease Property Australia chief executive Kylie Rampa said integrating the plant with Barangaroo’s low carbon, waste management and renewable energy strategy was the culmination of ”seven years’ work”.

    ”The opening of the Barangaroo South Recycled Water Plant represents a final piece of the puzzle towards us becoming Australia’s first water positive precinct,” Ms Rampa said.

    ”Barangaroo’s other infrastructure network also includes the district cooling plant, which uses Sydney Harbour water to cool all the precinct buildings, 188,500 litres of water across the area, 6,000 sqm of roof-top solar panels and a private power network.

    Aside from its office and residential towers, Lendlease has also built a timber property using cross laminated timber (CLT) and glue laminated timber (glulam).

    Known as International House Sydney, it will be the new home of Accenture and will help Barangaroo to become the country’s first large scale carbon neutral community.

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  16. California Governor Jerry Brown says the L.A. fires are the “new normal” due to climate change:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/western-wildfires/california-faces-new-normal-wildfires-governor-says-n828106

    “We’re facing a new reality in this state, where fires threaten people’s lives, their property, their neighborhoods, and of course billions and billions of dollars,” Brown said at a news conference. He called California a “very wonderful place, but a place that’s getting hotter.”

    “And we know from the changing in the climate that it’s going to exacerbate everything else,” Brown said.

    Note the small ExxonMobil ad at the top of this NBC news webpage, touting their supposed breakthroughs on algae based biofuels.

    If there was any justice in the world, ExxonMobil would be legally liable for the cost of three or four percent of climate change, equal to the share of CO2 emissions generated by the combustion of this corporation’s products. This would equal tens or hundreds of billions of dollars per year, increasing as climate change gets worse, and would need to be paid every year for thousands of years.

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  17. coloradobob

     /  December 10, 2017

    Record heat hits southern Alberta

    On Saturday Calgary officially broke a 127 year record by reaching 15.4C. The old record of 14.4C was set in 1890, just nine years after Environment Canada starting tracking temperatures.

    The month of December is typically the second coldest month in Calgary, with temperatures ranging between -1C and -13C.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3907590/record-heat-hits-southern-alberta/

    Like

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    • Brian

       /  December 11, 2017

      Yeah, I’m scorched here. Dry as can be, all we’ve had for snow is mostly gone already. And it’s been like this for a number of years now – winter’s first snow in Oct / Nov, a few weeks of cold, and then a long hot spell that melts things until maybe mid-Dec, Jan, or even Feb.

      While Calgary is often subjected to “chinook” winds (downslope fohn winds I think it the technical term), these weather patterns are unrelated to that natural meteorological phenomena. But hey, my fellow Calgarians are more concerned about __insert__local__sports__team__ and __price__of__oil__(which affects most of their livelihoods)__ than by events in the world around them.

      Continuously lead by example, always act for the best, and educate when invited to.

      Okay, I think I’m going to use this as my new signature (when I remember).

      Like

      Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  December 10, 2017

    Neapolitan • a minute ago
    The western side of the Thomas Fire exploded again overnight, with an additional 30,000 or so acres consume,d including many homes in the hills above Carpinteria. The blaze is moving toward the very expensive homes north of Montecito, and Santa Barbara beyond that.

    The Thomas Fire has reached an estimated 173,000 acres, moving it into the top ten fires in the California record. (In terms of structures damaged/destroyed, it’s already at number three.)

    Here’s a very recent webcam snapshot of the fire taken from a hill south of Piru, a town about 35 miles east of the fire front:

    Like

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    • wili

       /  December 10, 2017

      Just to be repetitious:

      #ThomasFire now the 10th largest fire in California state history. And it’s happening in December.

      Like

      Reply
      • wili

         /  December 10, 2017

        Further:

        “Latest CA fire outlook:
        –Offshore winds locked in until at least Friday (a streak of 13 days in a row).
        –No rain in Southern California until at least Dec. 26th (16 days from now.)
        –Temperatures remain ~10°F above normal for foreseeable future.
        Not good. … “

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  19. coloradobob

     /  December 10, 2017

    It was hard to find cheap housing in the Keys before Irma. Now, there’s ‘nothing’

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article188956024.html

    5 bucks says this same pattern will follow the California fires.

    Like

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    • eleggua

       /  December 10, 2017

      ““People are leaving in droves,” said Debby Zutant, a bartender at Coconuts Bar in Big Pine Key. “This is going to change the face of the Keys forever.””

      “volunteers still call around and check for rentals, but now they also ask clients, “Is there somewhere else in the U.S. you’d rather be?” The answer is usually no. If it’s yes, KAIR helps pay for a moving truck and gas money to reunite its clients with family or friends somewhere else.

      Sometimes the move isn’t too far, just to the mainland. It’s not unheard of to live in Monroe County or southern Miami-Dade and commute to Tavernier or even Marathon. Since Irma, those long commutes have grown more common…..

      If more affordable housing doesn’t come on the market soon, she sees a future where every house is an expensive, elevated home occupied by a snowbird six months of the year, and all the locals are pushed out.”

      Like

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    • Leland Palmer

       /  December 11, 2017

      Oh, yes it has. Housing prices are way up in Santa Rosa, California.

      My wife and I have become disaster capitalists, since the fires. We are renting two bedrooms.

      Our primary motivation was economic.

      It wasn’t until one of our renters who had lost everything moved in that I started to feel good about it.

      So far it’s a win-win.

      Like

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  20. coloradobob

     /  December 10, 2017

    ‘100-year floods’ every year? New Texas rain data is redefining storms

    Highlights
    The federal government is updating rainfall frequency estimates for Texas for the first time since the 1970s.

    A preliminary version of the new data shows big increases in rain expectations for Houston and Hays County.

    The data is used for building standards, flood plain maps and describing which storms are “100-year” events.

    Onion Creek on Halloween 2013. Wimberley on Memorial Day weekend 2015. Houston’s Tax Day flood in 2016. Hurricane Harvey.
    If you feel like Texas has had a constant stream of 100- or 500-year floods in the past few years, you’re not wrong.

    Texas rainfall estimates, the federal data used to describe flooding, were last updated in the 1960s and ’70s, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is updating them to reflect the increased frequency of heavy rainstorms documented over the past two decades.

    The data are not just for forecasting the weather and describing storms. Once adopted, the new numbers will be used in engineering standards for roads and buildings and in the National Flood Insurance Program’s mapping of flood risk, potentially forcing more people to buy flood insurance or to build their homes to higher elevations.

    “A lot of people are anxious about this,” said Nick Fang, an engineering professor and flood expert at the University of Texas at Arlington whom NOAA invited to review the data. “It’s going to change or affect a lot of people’s personal lives and also the design criteria.”

    A preliminary version of the estimates has been released for peer review. It shows major increases in expected rainfall for the Houston area, Hays County and the area along the Rio Grande near Del Rio — and huge leaps in how often severe rainfall is expected to hit those areas.

    Compared with current data, a 24-hour rainfall in Houston would have to drop an additional 4 to 7 inches for it be considered a 100-year event, meaning it has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. In most of Hays County, the threshold would increase 3 inches, while Austin would see a 2-inch jump.

    http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state–regional/100-year-floods-every-year-new-texas-rain-data-redefining-storms/0HCAT1RXeA9CfR4c410K5N/

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  21. coloradobob

     /  December 10, 2017

    Neapolitan • 4 minutes ago
    This shot is from a webcam located atop Santa Ynez Peak, a 4300′ mountain about 17 miles northwest of downtown Santa Barbara. The camera is situated above the thick ground-clinging smoke from the southern fork of the fire near Carpinteria and a higher plume coming from the larger northern fork of the fire above Matilija Canyon:

    Like

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  22. Jeremy in Wales

     /  December 10, 2017


    First snow since March 2013, got about a 12″ now and it is still snowing. La Nina having an effect or wild oscillations of the jet stream?

    Like

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    • wili

       /  December 10, 2017

      My daughter in the Netherlands reports that they’re getting a rare snow there, too. No buses running, and biking is hazardous.

      Like

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      • kassy

         /  December 11, 2017

        The biking was tiring but not that hazardous – freezing roads are more dangerous. This was just tiring and of course someone hit me with a snowball but it’s nice soft snow.

        It’s quite a lot of snow but i remember some eighties winters and stories & pictures from 1979 where it was quite a lot worse. Can’t find a historical comparison but then again we don’t even know todays totals yet.

        Like

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  23. Mblanc

     /  December 10, 2017

    I quite like this exploration of BECCS and how it got be an important issue.

    Most of my knowledge of BECCS is from the criticisms of Kevin Anderson, and if nothing else the article looks at the current state of play. I be interested to know what others think of it, I know we have some issues with the targets, but I vaguely remember we have issues with Anderson too. I must admit I instinctively like climate scientists who are angry.

    ….

    ‘IN 2014 HENRIK Karlsson, a Swedish entrepreneur whose startup was failing, was lying in bed with a bankruptcy notice when the BBC called. The reporter had a scoop: On the eve of releasing a major report, the United Nation’s climate change panel appeared to be touting an untried technology as key to keeping planetary temperatures at safe levels. The technology went by the inelegant acronym BECCS, and Karlsson was apparently the only BECCS expert the reporter could find.

    Karlsson was amazed. The bankruptcy notice was for his BECCS startup, which he’d founded seven years earlier after an idea came to him while watching a late-night television show in Gothenburg, Sweden. The show explored the benefits of capturing carbon dioxide before it was emitted from power plants. It’s the technology behind the much-touted notion of “clean coal,” a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow down climate change.

    Karlsson, then a 27-year-old studying to be an operatic tenor, was no climate scientist or engineer. Still, the TV show got him thinking: During photosynthesis plants naturally suck carbon dioxide from the air, storing it in their leaves, branches, seeds, roots, and trunks. So what if you grew crops and then burned those crops for electricity, being sure to capture all of the carbon dioxide emitted? You’d then store all that dangerous CO2 underground. Such a power plant wouldn’t just be emitting less greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, it would effectively be sucking CO2 from the air. Karlsson was enraptured with the idea. He was going to help avert a global disaster.’

    https://www.wired.com/story/the-dirty-secret-of-the-worlds-plan-to-avert-climate-disaster/

    Like

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    • Leland Palmer

       /  December 11, 2017

      All we need for this to take off is a price on carbon, IMO. It can be made to work, and can be done in an environmentally responsible way, I think.

      But it is rate limited. If we wait too long, it will be too late to stop global warming using BECCS and solar and wind.

      Like

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      • Well, maybe, but the article is not sanguine:

        So the question is, can negative emissions technology work in the real world, on a global scale? To explore that question, we visited the project in Decatur, Illinois, that modelers cite as evidence that BECCS actually exists.

        […]

        If you really consider the question, you realize how hard it is to answer. In a recent paper, engineers Mathilde Fajardy and Niall Mac Dowell, of Imperial College in London, explore best- and worst-case BECCS scenarios in excruciating detail. In worst-case scenarios (say, burning willow grown on grasslands in Europe), it’s possible to never even achieve negative emissions. You spend too much carbon transporting crops, preparing land, and building a plant. And even in best-case scenarios (using fast-growing elephant grass on marginal cropland in Brazil), you still need land use on par with Anderson’s multiples of India and water use on par with what we currently use for all agriculture in the world. “If you extrapolate the amount of agricultural production to the scale you would need, it’s going to be a disaster,” Lackner told us.

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        • Many people have not noticed that BECCS plantations can be planted at higher elevations than the power plants. BECCS crops or charcoal can be transported down navigable rivers, for example, or from higher elevations to lower elevations on electric trains, or using Tesla semi trucks with regenerative braking.

          Ideally, electric trains or barges transporting BECCS crops would be light in weight, and would generate electricity via regenerative braking on the downhill slope. This electricity could then be used to help transport the electric vehicles back up the slope to get another load of biomass or charcoal.

          The entire Mississippi valley, with many coal fired power plants located on navigable rivers, complete with docking facilities for coal barges, could be transformed into one giant BECCS project.

          If the numbers don’t work for doing BECCS one way, just do it another way.

          Like

        • Lackner is involved in the effort to produce artificial trees, for direct CO2 capture from the atmosphere. So, he’s not exactly an impartial source, I think.

          Like

        • Image of a coal fired power plant on the Mississippi river in Indiana. Notice the coal barge docking and unloading facilities – perfect for charcoal produced further up the river.

          Navigable rivers like this could make perfect BECCS biomass or charcoal transport corridors. At each point along the river, just transport the biomass or charcoal down slope to the river, for pickup at the river bank.

          By hooking the barges to electric cableways, the barges could actually generate electricity going downriver. Then use that electricity to transport lighter empty barges tethered to electrical cableways back upriver. Retractable fins could increase water resistance going downriver, then be retracted to decrease water resistance going back upriver to make the energy balance more favorable.

          So the transport could be free, or generate electricity, or consume some electricity depending on local conditions.

          Nobody that I know of is modeling these sorts of gravity assisted transport scenarios for BECCS, but they should be.

          This gravity assisted transport is actually a form of solar energy, like hydropower – natural solar energy transports water back uphill as clouds to grow the crops at higher elevations than the power plants. Ash from the process, much reduced in weight, could be transported back uphill on the mostly empty barges and electric vehicles.

          Like

        • Lets try that image again:

          It’s an image of a coal fired power plant with docking and unloading facilities for coal barges on the Mississippi river in Indiana.

          Like

  24. eleggua

     /  December 10, 2017

    “The scene was recorded by the conservation group Sea Legacy during a late summer expedition in Baffin Island. “My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear,” photographer Paul Nicklen wrote on social media after publishing the footage this week…

    The bear, which was not old, probably died within hours of being captured on video, said Nicklen. “This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.”

    The film-makers drew a direct line between the bear’s state and climate change. “As temperatures rise and sea ice melts, polar bears lose access to the main staple of their diets – seals,” the video noted. “Starving, and running out of energy, they are forced to wander into human settlements for any source of food.”

    The association echoed a 2015 study from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature that ranked climate change as the single most important threat to the world’s 26,000 polar bears. Researchers – who described the bears as the canary in the coal mine – found a high probability that the population would decrease 30% by 2050 due to the changes in their sea ice habitat.

    As climate change boosts Arctic temperatures, sea ice – crucial to the bears for hunting, resting and breeding – is melting earlier in spring and refreezing later in autumn. The growing number of ice-free days could push the species past a tipping point with widespread reproductive failure and starvation in some areas, the report noted.

    Satellite data published last year revealed that the number of ice-covered days across the 19 Arctic regions inhabited by polar bears declined at a rate of seven to 19 days per decade between 1979 to 2014.

    Since posting the footage, Nicklen has been asked why he and his team did not help the bear. “Of course, that crossed my mind,” he told National Geographic. “But it’s not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat.” Feeding polar bears is also illegal in Canada.

    “There was no saving this individual bear,” he noted on social media. Instead he highlighted the threat facing the species as a whole, which has become emblematic of the ravages of climate change. “The simple truth is this – if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems.””

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  25. Stevan

     /  December 10, 2017

    Evidently, there is a study published in Nature concluding from an analysis of climate models that the more aggressive (pessimistic) models have proven to be more accurate predictors. Since it is behind a paywall, I have not read it; thus, do not know the boundaries of the study. A writer in Counterpunch referred to it a few days ago.

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  26. NASA Worldview images of Southern California with the fires and thermal anomalies data products turned on.

    https://go.nasa.gov/2kRgC10

    Use the big time arrows on the lower left to scroll back in time, if you want to see the progress of the fire over the last week.

    Like

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  27. wili

     /  December 11, 2017

    Alaska just reported one of the most extreme snowfall rates on record: 10 inches [254 mm] per hour

    Imagine going into a movie theater to check out the latest science fiction flick and there is not a single flake of snow on the ground. A couple hours later, as the credits start to roll, you mosey outside and are stunned to find your car buried in more than a foot of snow.

    Perhaps you’d wonder if you were still watching a movie.

    Well that’s kind of what happened Wednesday at Alaska’s Thompson Pass, just outside of the town of Valdez, when an incredible 10 inches of snow piled up in one hour — around 1.7 inches every 10 minutes. This is an absolutely incredible snowfall rate. …

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/12/07/alaska-just-reported-one-of-the-most-extreme-snowfall-rates-on-record-10-inches-per-hour/

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  28. wili

     /  December 11, 2017

    At 230,000 acres, Thomas fire is now the fifth largest wildfire in modern California history

    http://beta.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-thomas-fire-santa-barbara-fire-20171210-story.html

    Like

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  29. Andy_in_SD

     /  December 11, 2017

    Mass starvation is humanity’s fate if we keep flogging the land to death

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/mass-starvation-humanity-flogging-land-death-earth-food

    Like

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  30. coloradobob

     /  December 11, 2017

    On Friday, the National Weather Service thermometer at Juneau International Airport hit 54 degrees, tying the highest temperature ever recorded in December there.

    The airport is the city’s official measuring point, and according to records kept by the Weather Service since 1936, three of the 10 warmest December days in Juneau’s history have come in the past week. The city has set four daily high-temperature records.

    http://juneauempire.com/local/news/2017-12-08/december-heat-wave-warmest-73-years-juneau

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  31. coloradobob

     /  December 11, 2017

    PETALING JAYA: Climate change has disrupted the fruit seasons in Malaysia, says Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).

    Its executive director I. S. Shanmugaraj told theSun that they have observed the changes in fruiting seasons in both local fruit trees like durians and wild trees in the forest.

    “Fruit seasons, even in the trees in the wild, have changed due to the changes in rain and heat patterns. Even the pattern of flowering in plants and trees has changed. When it rains, it is very heavy, places that used to be dry are now facing rain, and when the sun comes out, it gets hot very fast. We did not face this before, even five years ago,” he said.

    Shanmugaraj added that his team has noticed even the patterns of migratory birds have changed.

    “In Ulu Muda Forest Complex, the plain pouched hornbill which is a migratory bird that comes from Thailand to Ulu Muda and would go on to Belum Temengor, we noticed that its migration pattern has changed. When it is supposed to come it does not, or it comes earlier. The pattern has noticeably changed,” he added.
    http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2017/12/11/climate-change-disrupts-malaysian-fruit-seasons-mns

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  32. coloradobob

     /  December 11, 2017

    NASA Footage Shows Widening of Öræfajökull Caldera
    The caldera in the main crater of Öræfajökull has grown wider, as well as crevasses becoming clearer in the ice-covered volcano, the Volcanology and Natural Disasters Group of the University of Iceland reports. This turn of events in the glacier became clear after comparing images taken of Öræfajökull on the 17th of November and 10th of December.

    There has been increased activity around Öræfajökull in 2017, such as small tremors in the area which started last August. The Aviation Colour Code of the United States had previously been raised to yellow on the 17th of November after the ice-caldera in the main crater had appeared. The Icelandic Meteorological Office had previously raised its safety code to yellow.

    A radar-equipped aircraft will fly over Öræfajökull today to assess the current size and depth of the caldera, as well as assessing the amount of water that has melted from the glacier, RÚV reports.

    http://icelandreview.com/news/2017/12/11/nasa-footage-shows-widening-oraefajokull-caldera

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  33. coloradobob

     /  December 11, 2017

    How a Wayward Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe
    The Beaufort Gyre, a key Arctic Ocean current, is acting strangely. Scientists say it may be on the verge of discharging a huge amount of ice and cold freshwater that could kick off a period of lower temperatures in northern Europe.

    or millennia, the Beaufort Gyre — a massive wind-driven current in the Arctic Ocean — has been regulating climate and sea ice formation at the top of the world. Like a giant spinning top, the gyre corrals vast amounts of sea ice. Trapped in this clockwise swirl, the ice has historically had more time to thicken than it generally does in other parts of the Arctic Ocean, where currents such as the Trans Polar Drift transport the ice into the warmer north Atlantic more rapidly. In this way, the Beaufort Gyre — located north of Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territory — has helped create the abundant layers of sea ice that, until recently, covered large parts of the Arctic Ocean year-round.
    http://e360.yale.edu/features/how-a-wayward-arctic-current-could-cool-the-climate-in-europe

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  34. coloradobob

     /  December 11, 2017

    The devastating beauty of Greenland’s melting ice

    It’s so massive, in fact, that the ice sheet “creates its own weather,” The New Yorker reports. “Its mass is so great that it deforms the Earth, pushing the bedrock several thousand feet into the mantle. Its gravitational tug affects the distribution of the oceans.”

    But with rising global temperatures, the great Greenland ice sheet has been shrinking at an alarming rate. Since 2012, at least a trillion tons of ice have been lost. And the melt is only accelerating: In 1993, Greenland ice-loss made up just 5 percent of the rise in global sea levels. In 2014, it contributed 25 percent.

    http://theweek.com/captured/724585/devastating-beauty-greenlands-melting-ice

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  35. coloradobob

     /  December 11, 2017

    Like

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    • Thanks for this, Bob.

      Like

      Reply
    • Been posting these daily updates to keep track of the situation.

      Worth noting that some meteorologists are still spreading irresponsible messaging RE climate change. This is unfortunate:

      Like

      Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  December 11, 2017

      From Siberia down to the central lower 48, the dark burnt orange anomaly is in almost the exact shape of Florida. Freaky. Not the shape, but how the human mind interprets. Not me and not even those who see Jesus’s face in a grilled cheese sandwich (white European Renaissance Jesus). It’s the ideologically driven deniers of AGW and everything else that contradicts their world view/identity. The magical thinking and denial only grows as the decline of the human & natural systems speeds up and America leads the way.

      Like

      Reply
    • Brian

       /  December 11, 2017

      How are you getting such pictures off of that website (Climate Reanalyzer . Org)? All I can get is the North American view, and I’d like to rotate it like Nullschool . Net.

      Please let me know. Thanks in advance.

      Continuously lead by example, always act for the best, and educate when invited to.

      Like

      Reply
  36. wili

     /  December 12, 2017

    How much will this transfer of knowledge to France affect US climate science?

    Eighteen climate scientists from the US and elsewhere have hit the jackpot as France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidential term.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/11/macron-awards-grants-to-us-scientists-to-move-to-france-in-defiance-of-trump

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  37. wili

     /  December 12, 2017

    Thanks to sidd at asif for this:

    Coal leaves a lasting psychological imprint:

    doi: 10.1037/pspp0000175

    Obschonka et al. document the long lasting stamp of coal fulled industrial revolution on psychological characteristics of populations today. From the abstract:

    “Analyzing data from England and Wales, we examine relationships between the historical employment share in large-scale coal-based industries (coal mining and steam-powered manufacturing industries that used this coal as fuel for their steam engines) and today’s regional variation in personality and well-being. Even after controlling for possible historical confounds (historical energy supply, education, wealth, geology, climate, population density), we find that the historical local dominance of large-scale coal-based industries predicts today’s markers of psychological adversity (lower Conscientiousness [and order facet scores], higher Neuroticism [and anxiety and depression facet scores], lower activity [an Extraversion facet], and lower life satisfaction and life expectancy).”

    They see similar effects in the USA:

    “Finally, a robustness check in the U.S. replicates the effect of the historical concentration of large-scale industries on today’s levels of psychological adversity.”

    From the body of the paper:

    “In the U.K., the negative effect of large-scale industries was particularly robust (when controlling for historical confounds and using distance to coalfields as an instrument) in the prediction of lower Conscientiousness and well-being (life expectancy) and higher Neuroticism. In the U.S. robustness check, we found a similar pattern for lower Conscientiousness and higher Neuroticism in terms of region-level correlations (in addition to a negative correlation between large-scale industries and Agreeableness, which we did not find in the main U.K. analysis). The instrumental variable regression in the U.S. analysis confirmed the negative effect of large-scale industries on Neuroticism, and also revealed a negative effect of large-scale industries on well-being.”

    “However, one should stress that although the massive historical industrialization of these regions was often based on (spatial proximity to) coal resources, it was not necessarily the coal itself that created the local psychological climate; rather, it is likely that the stressful work and living conditions, together with selective migration patterns and lasting economic hardship, led to the collective psychological consequences observed in our study.”

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  1. As Climate Emergencies Rise — A Call For Action — robertscribbler « Antinuclear

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