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Tesla Model 3 Leads Record Electrical Vehicle Sales in January 2018

For those concerned about human-caused climate change, electrical vehicles and the batteries that their engines derive stored energy from are a key innovation. These zero emissions platforms stand to potentially replace more than a billion internal combustion engines — each dumping about three tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere every year. Moreover, the powerful batteries in these cars can be used to store electricity generated by renewable sources. Making clean energy available 24/7 despite hours of darkness and lulls in the wind periodically sapping generation.

(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.)

Recognizing the climate-saving potential of this clean tech, nations have pledged to rapidly transition vehicle fleets away from fossil fuel burning automobiles. Leaders of this revolutionary move include China, India, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Britain.

The U.S. is also presently a leader in EV innovation — primarily due to efforts by California, a handful of states, and locally based clean energy giants like Tesla. However, U.S. leadership in this crucial new industry is presently threatened by the Trump Administration which is seeking to remove incentives for EV adoption while also undermining the ability of states like California to set clean car goals.

(With numerous countries, states and cities planning to ban fossil fuel based vehicles, the Trump Administration’s proposed policies to disincentivize EVs would put the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage. Image source: Commons.)

Such moves could rightly be called myopic as the global electrical vehicle market last year grew to 1.2 million and will likely hit near 2 million in 2018. So EV incentives in states like California aren’t just good for the environment, they’re good for U.S. competitiveness even as they benefit the larger economy. By the early 2020s, if Trump succeeds in undercutting the U.S. clean car market, around 5 million EVs will be sold per year even as U.S. automakers will be faced with the prospect of dwindling fossil fuel vehicle sales. A combination that may, once again, threaten bankruptcy for a key U.S. industry.

That said, despite ominous moves by Trump, the U.S. EV market presently continues to grow apace.

Tesla Model 3 Leads U.S. EV Sales

During January of 2018, approximately 12,000 EVs were sold. This beats out January of 2017 by about 1,000 cars to hit a new record for the U.S. market. And topping January’s sales is Tesla’s flagship Model 3. In all, about 1,875 of these clean cars were sold on the U.S. market last month according to Inside EVs. That’s about 80 percent growth from December sales and probably represents a total production of between 2,000 and 2,500 cars for the month.

(With 500,000 reservations, the all-electric, zero emissions Tesla Model 3 is probably the most desired car produced by an American automaker within the last 40 years. Can Tesla satisfactorily meet this demand by swiftly scaling production of high-quality versions? If it does, it will rapidly rocket to the top of the automotive world. Image source: Tesla.)

Model 3 is thus still steadily moving up the S curve according to this recent Inside EVs report. It is not, however, yet anywhere near target production volumes of 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles per week (which it now plans to meet by June). Nor is it in a position to hope to fulfill an unprecedented 500,000 pre-orders before 2019. Tesla thus still appears to be facing some production bottlenecks. But they appear to be steadily clearing even as the Model 3 line continues to ramp up. And at this point, it is notable that the Model 3 is now the best-selling EV in the U.S. We are likely to see continued progress with around 2,400 to 4,000 Model 3s sold during February. Ensuring that the Model 3 remains a top contender for the #1 EV sales spot for the foreseeable future.

2018 Nissan Leaf Enters U.S. Market with Potential to Surprise

Other top clean car sellers during January included Chevy with its Bolt (1,177) and Volt (713) offerings, Toyota’s Prius Prime (1,496), Honda’s Clarity (853), and Tesla’s Model X (700) and S (800).

(The 2018 Nissan Leaf ain’t as sexy as the Tesla Model 3. But it’s no slacker either — having already racked up numerous awards and tens of thousands of sales around the globe, this EV is now starting to enter the U.S. market. With a 150 mile range, a 30,000 dollar price point, and a jump in horsepower, this car has the potential to surprise during 2018. Image source: Commons.)

Nissan also released its new longer range Leaf in January.  But low initial rates of production resulted in only 150 sold. This vehicle will be one to watch as Nissan has a track record for both producing and selling Leafs in high volumes. The Leaf has good reviews and a considerably expanded range, horsepower and other capabilities. It also comes in at a price about 5,000 dollars lower than the higher performance luxury Model 3. So it’s not surprising that the car has already racked up 14,000 pre-orders in the U.S.

Overall EV sales in the U.S. near 200,000 represented about 3 percent of the 2017 market. During 2018, we should expect the U.S. EV market share to grow to between 280,000 and 400,000. This growth will primarily be dependent on new higher performance, lower cost Model 3, Leaf, and Bolt sales. But detrimental policy moves by Trump or his Republican allies in Congress may negatively and unexpectedly impact this key emerging market.

FEB 5 UPDATE: Tesla Model 3 Sales Projections For January Now Range Between 1875 and 3,000

In lieu of actual numbers coming out of Tesla itself, two firms have lately been producing reliable numbers based on analysis of factory output, VIN numbers, and employee statements — Inside EVs and Clean Technica.

This weekend, Clean Technica put out its own estimate in which total numbers of Model 3s, Model Ss, and Model Xs sold were considerably higher than Inside EVs estimates at 3,000, 2,300, and 2,200 respectively. If Clean Technica’s numbers are correct, then the Model 3 is much further up the S curve than we thought earlier. In addition, the larger Model S and X estimates would be enough, if they bear out, to push total U.S. EV sales to over 16,000 for January.

Clean Technica’s perspective is one of more rapid growth. But either estimate shows both growth and progress. And they probably provide a decent bracket between the more conservative and aggressive estimate ranges. We’ll see who ends up revising their numbers over the coming days and weeks. But overall, this is cautious good news for EV and clean energy enthusiasts.

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112 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  February 3, 2018

    Reblogged this on Love, Laugh & Make Lemonade and commented:
    The party line that renewable are bad for the economy just doesn’t hold any merit. There’s nothing but growth and demand in EV and renewables, and the only thing that seems to stand in the way are divisive politics out of Washington.

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  2. Andy_in_SD

     /  February 3, 2018

    Do you think I am quoting a bit of an article regarding Cape Town?

    ============

    “But despite the city’s immense wealth, trouble was brewing.

    ….. its vital hydraulic network was falling into disrepair – at the worst possible moment.

    The end of the …. period saw dramatic shifts in climate across south-east Asia.

    Tree ring samples record sudden fluctuations between extreme dry and wet conditions – and the lidar map reveals catastrophic flood damage to the city’s vital water network.

    With this lifeline in tatters, …. entered a spiral of decline from which it never recovered.”

    ===========

    Nope. This is Angkor in Cambodia, built in around the year 1150. A 1000 sq mile city state, complete with water control, irrigation etc… One of the largest cities in the world (if not the largest) at it’s time. Angkor Wat is the largest religious temple site in the world. With a population of over a million people, it was the medieval equivalent of London, New York, Hong Kong or any other giant city of our time.

    It’s gone, due to climate change. We view our cities, states and nations as eternal, as they usually are compared to our lifetimes. But when you live at the time of such state changes where abandonment occurs, what do you face?

    I believe Saana (Yemen) started teaching us this lesson today, perhaps Cape town tomorrow, and who follows that?

    The quote above taken from this BBC News article.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29245289

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  3. eleggua

     /  February 3, 2018

    Lengthy, very informative piece.

    ‘How Big Oil Lost Control of Its Climate Misinformation Machine
    One of the longest and most consequential campaigns against science in modern history is becoming more extreme—and turning against its originators.’
    By Neela Banerjee Dec 22, 2017
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/22122017/big-oil-heartland-climate-science-misinformation-campaign-koch-api-trump-infographic

    “……..Hundreds of millions of dollars from corporations such as ExxonMobil and wealthy individuals such as the billionaires Charles and David Koch have supported the development of a sprawling network, which includes Heartland and other think tanks, advocacy groups and political operatives. They have cast doubt on consensus science, confused public opinion and forestalled passage of laws and regulations that would address the global environmental crisis. It is one of the largest, longest and most consequential misinformation efforts mounted against mainstream science by an industry. Climate denial, thanks to the network’s influence, has become a core message of the Republican Party, now in control of the White House and Congress……”

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    • eleggua

       /  February 3, 2018

      Infographic: ‘Climate Denial: The Long Campaign of Misinformation’
      Research by Neela Banerjee. Image by Paul Horn.

      Other good infographics by Paul Horn from InsideClimate News here.
      https://insideclimatenews.org/infographics

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      • Dave McGinnis

         /  February 3, 2018

        The graphical presentation of scientific information is a field unto itself. Here we have 5-6 coordinates represented in just two dimensions, a very good example.

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  4. Andy_in_SD

     /  February 3, 2018

    What is wrong with this picture? Look at this satellite shot from yesterday.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/24/2018-02-01/4-N39.46289-W106.69922

    To the untrained eye, you see the USA with some clouds. But look closer…. there is a lack of snow cover / ice cover in the continental US. I understand folks are glad it is mild, and driving is easy. But…..

    That snow & ice is meant to melt slowly, recharging aquifers as well as providing moisture to the upper layers of soil. This is essential for farming, as that late winter, early spring snow cover helps stave off the droughts that one would face in August.

    A system has been in place which we built a civilization around, temperatures are low and we accumulate surface based pending moisture (snow, ice). The temp rises slowly, it melts slowly seeping into the soil. We draw on that later in the year.

    Now we do not accrue that pending moisture the same (amount or extent). And when it melts, the temps climb quicker so it runs off as opposed to slow absorption.

    What that shot tells me is unless something happens, the Midwest will have wilting crops come summer (unless we squeeze the aquifers further). And as some years are good / bad for this water system, the bad will become more prevalent.

    That will be another peril to our civilization.

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    • eleggua

       /  February 3, 2018

      ‘Snow Drought in the Sierra Nevada Mountains’
      Friday, February 2nd 2018

      http://mynews4.com/on-your-side/snow-drought-in-the-sierra-nevada-mountains

      “he Sierra Nevada Mountains are officially in a snow drought, receiving less snow this year than what is normal. Over the past four years we’ve seen snow drought occur in some way shape or form, a trend that caught researchers at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Western Regional Climate Center’s (WRCC) eyes. With that curiosity, Dr. Benjamin Hatchett and Dr. Dan McEvoy just published a paper evaluating snow droughts in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range (full article— available here).

      McEvoy explains that snow drought are not a new concept for our climate, but there is something different about the 21st century,

      “Back in the day there has always been fluctuating snow levels in the sierra. There’s always been warm storms…There has been rain at lake level as far back as you can remember…But over the past four years we’ve seen snow droughts occur over all the last four seasons in some way shape or form.”

      A staggering statistic as our climate continues to change, and this year has been unique Hatchett says,

      “This year has been quiet interesting because it’s really highlighted what we are calling ‘all of the above’… All the different kinds of mechanisms that can get us into snow drought we’ve been seeing this year.”

      We are currently on pace with the 2015 year, which is not good because research has suggested- 2015 was the lowest snow pack in the sierra dating back 500 years.

      Snow droughts have been increasing in recent history, and although 2017 was one for the record books… We still experienced a type of snow drought. We saw heavy rain wash away snow in the early 2017 snow season.

      Reno, NV (News 4 & Fox 11) — The Sierra Nevada Mountains are officially in a snow drought, receiving less snow this year than what is normal. Over the past four years we’ve seen snow drought occur in some way shape or form, a trend that caught researchers at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Western Regional Climate Center’s (WRCC) eyes. With that curiosity, Dr. Benjamin Hatchett and Dr. Dan McEvoy just published a paper evaluating snow droughts in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range (full article— available here).

      McEvoy explains that snow drought are not a new concept for our climate, but there is something different about the 21st century,

      “Back in the day there has always been fluctuating snow levels in the sierra. There’s always been warm storms…There has been rain at lake level as far back as you can remember…But over the past four years we’ve seen snow droughts occur over all the last four seasons in some way shape or form.”

      A staggering statistic as our climate continues to change, and this year has been unique Hatchett says,

      “This year has been quiet interesting because it’s really highlighted what we are calling ‘all of the above’… All the different kinds of mechanisms that can get us into snow drought we’ve been seeing this year.”

      We are currently on pace with the 2015 year, which is not good because research has suggested- 2015 was the lowest snow pack in the sierra dating back 500 years.

      Snow droughts have been increasing in recent history, and although 2017 was one for the record books… We still experienced a type of snow drought. We saw heavy rain wash away snow in the early 2017 snow season.

      The Tahoe area snow pack is currently at 25-30 percent of the long term average.

      However thanks to last year’s record snow our reservoirs are sitting high.

      So our water supply should be okay as we go into the summer, but we won’t be making any significant deposit into our water bank this year.

      But McEvoy explains we don’t know what spring weather lies ahead and it’s not atypical to see a “Miracle March” boost Sierra snow pack,….”

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    • Here in SW New Mexico we have the lowest snow pack recorded in years. Next to no snow up in the Gila.

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      • eleggua

         /  February 5, 2018

        ‘Drought returns to New Mexico’

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      • eleggua

         /  February 5, 2018

        ‘Drought returns to New Mexico’
        January 25th, 2018
        https://www.abqjournal.com/1124388/a-dry-winter-leaves-new-mexico-thirsty.html

        “…More than 93 percent of New Mexico is experiencing drought conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s drought monitor map, released Thursday.

        Of that 93 percent, about 60 percent is categorized as severe drought, nearly 34 percent as moderate drought and less than 6.5 percent is classified as abnormally dry.

        Last year at this time, only 2.5 percent of the state was considered to be in severe drought and less than 9.5 percent was considered abnormally dry – but that was not a typical year for New Mexico, which recently has had long dry periods….

        The visible impact is that snow is well below normal for every basin that affects New Mexico and southern Colorado, Fontenot said.

        For example, the Rio Chama Basin is 33 percent of normal; the Pecos Basin is 8 percent of normal; the Gila River Basin is 13 percent of normal; the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are 26 percent of normal; and the headwaters for the Rio Grande in Colorado are 37 percent of normal…..

        New Mexico would need to get precipitation about 215 percent of normal just to get to normal in the upper Rio Grande, and 270 percent of normal on the lower Rio Grande.

        In other words, “the switch would have to be turned back on, and it would have to be a fire hose.”

        Unless drought conditions turn around, said Matt Rau, fire staff officer for the Cibola National Forest and Grasslands, “our prediction is for an early onset to fire season across the majority of New Mexico, particularly the central and south, and a potential for increased size of fires and more intense fires.”

        When monsoon rains in New Mexico are abundant, the moisture results in a prodigious growth of grass and brush, “which translates to having a lot of available fire-carrying fuels to burn.” But the moisture in the growth and in the soil helps to moderate what fires we do have, Rau said…..”

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        • Doug

           /  February 7, 2018

          I live in Albuquerque and the temperatures have been shockingly warm all fall and winter. It has been consistently 18-20 (roughly) degrees F above average all winter. It is bizarre.

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  5. eleggua

     /  February 3, 2018

    Something else to keep an eye on.

    ‘Wildfire potential, February through May’
    February 1, 2018

    http://wildfiretoday.com/2018/02/01/wildfire-potential-february-through-may-3/

    “…If the prediction is accurate, the wildfire potential in Southern California and the Southern Plains will remain above normal for the entire four-month period and will increase in the Southwest and Northwestern Great Plains in Montana and North Dakota. The Eastern U.S. should expect normal or below normal potential….”

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    • eleggua

       /  February 5, 2018

      As per the article re: New Mexico a couple of posts above, note the angry red color, signifying ‘Above Normal’, that completely blankets both Arizona and New Mexico in the April/May 2018 fire potential forecast.

      And most of the state of Montana and the California coast all the way from San Francisco to San Diego,.

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      • eleggua

         /  February 5, 2018

        Oklahoma deserves mention; as seen in the maps above, the entire state’s ‘Above Normal’ from now through May.

        ‘Officials warning of extreme fire danger’
        January 20, 2018
        http://kfor.com/2018/01/20/officials-warning-of-extreme-fire-danger/

        “….State Forester George Geissler. “It is incredibly dry out there and any fire that starts will spread rapidly making suppression very difficult.”
        …“We are going to see these conditions continue to ebb and flow until we receive significant moisture,” said Geissler. “Predictive services are putting Oklahoma in the bullseye for a very bad winter fire season that is predicted to last until late March or early April.”…”

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  6. Greg

     /  February 3, 2018

    Robert, I would add the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to your list. Now over 100k sold in Europe and just beginning sales in U.S. It will help shift public opinion as many people will not give up this sized vehicle but want a plug-in.
    https://insideevs.com/mitsubishi-dealerships-u-s-request-outlander-phev-suvs/

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    • Mblanc

       /  February 5, 2018

      I find it quite surprising the Outlander is only just ‘landing’ on US shores, because it launched in 2014 in the UK.

      It just shows how regional the world car market is. It is another part of the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi offering, and has been making hay over the last few years here in the UK, as the only Plug-in SUV available for most of its life.

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  7. wharf rat

     /  February 3, 2018

    How Sci-Fi Can Help Fight Climate Change

    ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST BILL McKibben is known for writing grim volumes like The End of Nature, widely regarded as the first book about climate change. But his latest outing, Radio Free Vermont, is a major departure, a humorous novel about a fugitive radio host who agitates for Vermont to secede from the United States.

    “When Mr. Trump was elected, it seemed like the last thing the world probably needed was another one of my dire nonfiction books about the trouble we’re in,” McKibben says in Episode 293 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “It seemed like if I was ever going to publish something funny, that would be the year when it might be useful to do it.”
    ==
    H/T to The United Federation of Awesomeness: The Republics of Awesome, Central Awesome, and North Awesome.

    Kibben on secession:

    “I don’t think it’s going to be Vermont that disappears from the Union first. We’re an old state—all you’d have to do is threaten to cut off our Social Security and I think we’d capitulate. But I increasingly wonder if California is in it for the long haul or not—California and with it Washington and Oregon. I mean, California is the fifth-largest economy in the world taken on its own—it’s Germany—and it dominates the fields that the world most prizes right now, like technology. And I have no idea what benefit it really gets from being part of the United States at this point. It seems to me entirely plausible that you could think up events that would cause the good people of the Golden State to say, ‘Huh, you know maybe we could go this alone.’”

    https://www.wired.com/2018/02/geeks-guide-mckibben/

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  8. Thanks to Dr. Jeff Masters (Category 6, Feb 2) for a new and exciting indicator of climate change:

    Figure 3. Phil’s observations over the past approximately 100 years. Note the dramatic change (i.e., relatively consistent to highly osillating) in “observation pattern” in recent years. This change is what we refer to as the Groundhog Oscillation (GO).

    A complete exposition can be found at https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/groundhog-says-6-more-weeks-winter-noaa-says-not-so-southern-us and https://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume7/v7i1/groundhog-7-1.html.

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  9. It’s worth noting that Motor Trend magazine named the Chevrolet Bolt as 2017’s Car of the Year. Not the electric car of the year, not the green car of the year, just the car of the year, competing against gasoline and diesel and hybrid vehicles.

    Something else to note, hinted in your first hopeful paragraph, is that the increased uptake of practical, inexpensive and well-performing EVs could easily be part of a virtuous circle driving replacement of internal combustion engined vehicles by BEVs much more rapidly than a slow linear extrapolation would suggest. Those forecasting that ICEs will still power a majority of the world’s vehicles by 2050 completely miss the mark on this point.

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  10. OT, but another article on the unexpected speed of evolutionary changes, which will affect adaptation to climate change, for better or worse.
    How warp-speed evolution is transforming ecology.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01400-y

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    • eleggua

       /  February 3, 2018

      Phasmids! Phantastic!

      “…. the team relocated mixtures of green and striped insects to different plants, so that some insects’ coloration clashed with their new home. Suddenly maladapted, these insects became targets for hungry birds, and that caused a domino effect1. Birds drawn to bushes with mismatched stick insects stuck around to eat other residents, such as caterpillars and beetles, stripping some plants clean. “That this evolutionary force can cause local extinction is striking,” says Farkas, an ecologist at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. “It affects the entire community.” All this happened because of an out-of-place evolutionary trait.”

      “Similar studies in aphids and water fleas have confirmed that rapid evolution can affect characteristics of populations, such as how fast they grow. ”

      That’s not surprising. Aphid reproduction is incredibly, insanely rapid and prolific.

      https://www.thoughtco.com/why-are-there-so-many-aphids-1968631
      “Consider this factoid from entomologist Stephen A. Marshall: in optimal environmental conditions and lacking any predators, parasites, or disease, a single aphid could produce 600 billion descendants in one season.”

      “The life cycle goes much quicker if you skip a step. Aphid mothers are viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs. Her offspring reach reproductive maturity much sooner since they don’t have to sit around waiting to hatch.”

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      • eleggua

         /  February 3, 2018

        Good news for this phasmid.

        ‘Five Eggs Signal Hope for Lord Howe Stick Insect’
        09 Jan 2018
        https://www.islandconservation.org/five-eggs-hope-lord-howe-stick-insect/

        “…Zookeepers at the Bristol Zoo have recently found five eggs that signal hope for the survival and recovery of the species….
        …The large Stick Insects are native to their namesake island and the nearby Ball’s Pyramid island. They are no longer found on Lord Howe due to predation by invasive rats. For decades the species was presumed extinct until researchers made some exciting six-legged discoveries on Ball’s Pyramid in 2001. Some of these individuals were taken into captivity to help boost the population. Bristol Zoo has now been home to three generations of Lord Howe Stick Insects and with each cycle, the rates of survival are improving….”

        Melbourne Zoo gave the Bristol Zoo breeding pairs a couple of years ago.
        Over 13,000 eggs have hatched at the Melbourne Zoo; they lead the reintroduction program.

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      • Per the Brannen book, only one of the extinctions has seen serious loss of insects, the Permian. Perhaps their rapid evolutionary capabilities are one reason why. And another reason to fear the Permian.

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        • eleggua

           /  February 4, 2018

          “rapid evolutionary capabilities are one reason why”

          ^^^ That along with the ability of many to hunker down and ride out the storm.

          http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/07/the-survivors-new-theories-about-the-chicxulub-asteroid-impact-65-million-years-ago.html

          “….the ability to enter dormancy in freshwater was probably more critical to survival, Robertson added.”

          Currently, insects and other terrestrial inverts are taking a heavy beating.

          ““In this field, amateurs are often the experts,” he said. “Most people don’t really pay attention to insects. With the exception of butterflies, because they’re pretty.””
          ….
          “Gesturing around the group’s book-lined headquarters, Mr. Sorg said things were different, here. “When one of our members dies, we keep everything, even handwritten notes.””
          ….
          “Josef Tumbrinck, a society member who works as an environmental lobbyist, thinks the plight of insects is going to interest a wider audience soon.

          “Right now, it’s ‘those nutty entomologists,’” Mr. Tumbrinck said. “But I think this is going to get more and more attention, not just from crazy people with long hair.””
          …..

          ” …..a reporter asked if, at this rate, all the insects were going to disappear.

          “Oh, don’t worry,” said Mr. Sorg, the wasp expert. “All the vertebrates will die before that.””

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        • Mblanc

           /  February 5, 2018

          It says a lot about the quality of the Bolt, irrespective of power train. If you go on the Top Gear website (just hold your nose!), and look at the comments on Tesla stories you will find there is surprisingly widespread acceptance of EV’s future dominance. Even the anoraks know it is coming very soon.

          Commercial vehicles are driven by the bottom line, and have a short but busy life, so I think they will switch quite quickly (maybe 5-8 years here in the UK ) for the vast majority of the market, especially as diesel is so deeply unfashionable for air quality reasons.

          When it comes to passenger vehicles it will be the uncertainties on resale values on non-electric vehicles that kill them off. Diesel is dying on its feet (down as much as 30% year-on year here in the uk!) because everyone knows that one bought now might well be punished in the future. Uncertainty isn’t sexy.

          Lets hope it can be the decade-ish, as Jeremy points out, it has happened before. I think you will have to be very brave to buy anything with an ICE, as a private buyer, past the mid-2020’s, but no doubt there will be a few.

          In the US I think it will be a little slower due to greater distances involved, but only by a few years.

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  11. eleggua

     /  February 3, 2018

    ‘S.F. Struggles to Fully Divest from Fossil Fuels
    Fossil fuel divestment has become a tactic for going on offense against climate change. So why won’t San Francisco join the fight?’
    Feb 1st, 2018

    http://www.sfweekly.com/news/s-f-struggles-to-fully-divest-from-fossil-fuels/

    “….“I understand we live in a petroleum world,” (SF City Supervisor Aaron) Peskin says. “But it is the existential issue of our time. Time is of the essence. Real and symbolic action has to happen, or we are all screwed.””

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  12. I want to get a Prius C,,”C” for compact..or maybe “Cheaper”

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    • Jim

       /  February 7, 2018

      I kind of like the Prius C myself.

      Maybe it’s a clever joke and it’s really: “Prius – see?”

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  13. eleggua

     /  February 4, 2018

    Oh, great. A handy new greenwashed euphemism for geoengineering: “climate intervention”.

    ‘The Next Big Volcano Could Briefly Cool Earth. NASA Wants to Be Ready.’
    Feb. 1, 2018

    “A quarter-century ago, Pinatubo, a volcano in the Philippines, blew its top in a big way: It spewed a cubic mile of rock and ash and 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere. The gas spread around the world and combined with water vapor to make aerosols, tiny droplets that reflected some sunlight away from the Earth. As a result, average global temperatures dropped by about one degree Fahrenheit for several years.

    Powerful volcanic eruptions like Pinatubo’s in 1991 are one of the biggest natural influences on climate. So NASA researchers and other scientists are planning a rapid-response program to study the next big one.

    But the climate impact of a Pinatubo-size eruption is also a natural analog of an idea that has existed on the fringes of science for years: geoengineering, or intervening in the atmosphere to deliberately cool the planet….

    NASA officials play down the benefits to the study of geoengineering of a volcano-research program. Geoengineering has long had an outlaw image among much of the scientific community, viewed as risky last-resort measures to solve climate problems that would be better dealt with by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Even discussing geoengineering concepts has long been considered taboo among many scientists.

    …last month the American Geophysical Union, one of the nation’s largest scientific societies, endorsed the idea of some research into what it called “climate intervention”…..”

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  14. Vic

     /  February 4, 2018

    Amid rumours of an upcoming Federal election in Australia later this year the politicians appear to be taking a tentative step to the left. The opposition leader Labor’s Bill Shorten has for the first time started issuing decidedly anti-Adani rhetoric…

    The Federal Coal-ition has since followed suit best they can by announcing that their $900m loan for the Adani railway “won’t be proceeding”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/04/adani-coalmine-wont-get-federal-rail-funding-liberal-minister-says

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    • Vic

       /  February 4, 2018

      There’s nothing tentative about the leftward leaps going on in the state of South Australia of late. With the state election there coming up in March, the Labor Premier has again teamed up with Tesla, this time to deliver a 250MW virtual power plant (the world’s largest), by supplying solar panels and batteries free of charge to at least 50,000 households, slashing their electricity bills by an estimated 30%. Given this is being rolled out to state-owned public housing, the savings will be going to the families who need it most.

      The opposition has already pledged means-tested grants averaging $2,500 to facilitate the installation of batteries in 40,000 homes.

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-04/elon-musk-tesla-to-give-solar-panels-batteries-to-sa-homes/9394352

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      • Vic

         /  February 4, 2018

        Much more of this and it’ll be like a decade ago, when Australia’s politicians where bending over backwards trying to outdo each other on climate action (but then came Nopenhagen and Tony Abbott).

        “With a bit of a mind-flip
        You’re into the time-slip
        And nothing can ever be the same…”

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      • Greg

         /  February 4, 2018

        A win win for everyone in the area of Australia and for Tesla and our climate.
        “…the scheme should help all consumers, whether or not they sign up as participants or not.
        The retailer which runs the new system will have up to 250 megawatts of power that it can sell into the grid at times of peak demand, adding competition into the market.
        Danny Price estimates that could drive down wholesale power prices by about $15/MWh, saving electricity consumers across the state about $180 million a year on their power bills.”

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  15. Greg

     /  February 4, 2018

    The model III numbers appear to be rising quickly based on the VIN numbers registered. https://mobile.twitter.com/Model3VINs/status/959742525035577344

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  16. eleggua

     /  February 4, 2018

    Sanctions? What sanctions?

    ‘Arrival of Russian gas stirs Ukrainian community’
    February 01, 2018

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2018/02/01/arrival-russian-gas-stirs-ukrainian-community/fI4HPw76SAz2gOBdV0VbjJ/story.html

    ““Sanctions, anyone?” taunted RT, the Kremlin-controlled television network, in its report on the successful delivery of Russian natural gas to Boston Harbor on Sunday. Despite US efforts to hold Russia accountable for its war in Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea, one of the companies sanctioned by the Obama administration overcame those obstacles with a symbolic flourish, by delivering its very first liquefied natural gas shipment to the United States……

    ….the Gaselys, a ship whose cargo included Russian gas, chugged into Everett to fill cold-weather energy demand that the Commonwealth chooses not to meet with domestic natural gas.

    Distrigas, the firm that imported that liquefied natural gas, said the transaction wasn’t prohibited, because the restrictions apply only to the company that exported it from its gas fields in Siberia, not to the liquefied natural gas itself.”

    ^^^Huh?

    ‘Russian LNG is unloaded in Everett; the supplier (but not gas) faces US sanctions’
    January 30, 2018

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/01/29/tanker-unloads-lng-everett-terminal-that-contains-russian-gas/rewj1wKjajaKtLp79irzTI/story.html

    “…The majority owner of the Yamal plant is a Russian company called Novatek, whose shareholders include an ally of Vladimir Putin, Gennady Timchenko. The US Treasury initially imposed sanctions that prohibited US companies from providing new financing to Novatek and another Russian energy firm in 2014, in response to what the agency had described as Russia’s destabilization of eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.

    Since these particular sanctions involve just the money that Novatek could access, energy industry experts said they do not prevent Western companies from buying the gas produced at its Yamal plant.

    “The company that developed the project was sanctioned, but the gas itself was not sanctioned,” explained James Henderson, director of natural gas research at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies in the United Kingdom….

    …“This transaction is compliant with all US trade laws,” she added. “There are no imposed sanctions on LNG or oil cargoes that are partially or totally sourced from Russia. The only sanctions against Yamal related to financing of construction . . . not purchasing of fuel.””

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  17. eleggua

     /  February 4, 2018

    ‘Almost four environmental defenders a week killed in 2017 ‘
    2 Feb 2018

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/02/almost-four-environmental-defenders-a-week-killed-in-2017

    “197 people killed last year for defending land, wildlife or natural resources, new Global Witness data reveals. In recording every defender’s death, the Guardian hopes to raise awareness of the deadly struggle on the environmental frontline…..”

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  18. eleggua

     /  February 4, 2018

    Another from the Guardian…

    ‘Former national monuments shrunk by Trump to be opened for mining claims ‘
    2 Feb 2018

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/02/former-national-monuments-shrunk-by-trump-to-be-opened-for-mining-claims

    “Hundreds of thousands of acres of land that were part of two US national monuments shrunk by Donald Trump are being opened on Friday to mining claims for uranium and other minerals.

    It is a symbolic step in a broader conflict over the fate of America’s public lands, on which Trump hopes to encourage greater access for extractive industries…..”

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  19. eleggua

     /  February 4, 2018

    More fossil fuels; less fossils.

    ‘How Trump’s cuts to public lands threaten future dinosaur discoveries ‘
    30 Jan 2018

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/30/public-lands-dinosaurs-trump

    “The palaeontologist Rob Gay wasn’t expecting to find anything significant that day. He and a few of his students were scouting in the south-east Utah badlands in summer 2016 when they came across a hillside littered with hundreds of bones. Scattered haphazardly and protruding from the earth, they were the remains of prehistoric reptiles that lived 220m years ago, at the same time as the earliest dinosaurs.

    Gay has since made at least one discovery at the site that appears to be new to science. But now this dig, and others, is imperiled by Donald Trump’s move to slash protections for public land. ….”

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  20. eleggua

     /  February 4, 2018

    Northern California warms up.

    ‘Warm Weather Topples Records in Northern California Cities’
    February 3, 2018
    http://fox40.com/2018/02/03/warm-weather-topples-records-in-northern-california-cities/

    “…The National Weather Service says San Francisco reached 74 degrees (23 degrees Celsius) Saturday. That eclipsed the previous high temperature for Feb. 3 by 3 degrees, set in 1992….

    San Jose reached 78 degrees, 4 notches higher than the 2009 record. The wine-country town of Healdsburg hit a whopping 80 degrees, busting a record set in 1906.

    It comes as California is plunging back into drought. Days ago, scientists said more than 40 percent of the state is in a moderate drought.””

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    • eleggua

       /  February 4, 2018

      Warm.

      Like

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    • eleggua

       /  February 5, 2018

      ‘It’s going to be hot again in Southern California’
      Feb 03, 2018

      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-weather-20180203-story.html

      “…

      The high temperature could reach 81 degrees on Sunday in downtown Los Angeles, cooling to 75 on Monday and Tuesday before potentially spiking up into the low 80s again Wednesday and Thursday, said National Weather Service weather specialist Stuart Seto.

      That’s above the average — 68 degrees — for this time of year downtown, Seto said…..
      ….And, of course, Los Angeles has barely seen any rain.

      The weather service’s climate prediction center, which issues three-month outlooks for precipitation and temperature, doesn’t have particularly good news. For February, March and April, the center is forecasting lower-than-average precipitation and hotter-than-average temperatures for Southern California.

      “We’re about halfway through the rain season, so we’ve only got February and March, and they better be a miracle,” said climatologist Bill Patzert. “If they’re not, we just back-flipped into the drought again.”

      The culprit has been a recurring high-pressure system over the West. “It’s been a hot summer, a hot fall, and even now in the midwinter. We’re talking mid-80s at the end of January? That’s unheard of,” Patzert said.

      The broiling January was part of what experts call a troubling theme. It was California’s hottest summer on record. October and November were the hottest in 122 years of record-keeping for Southern California.

      “The heat … is pretty extraordinary,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said earlier this week. “Coastal California is susceptible to midwinter heat spells, but this is a particularly extreme example — to the point where we are breaking records.””

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  21. wili

     /  February 4, 2018

    US House of Representatives: the Climate Solutions Caucus is up to 68 members…On the way to becoming a significant voting block?

    “The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives which will explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. The caucus was founded in February of 2016 by two south-Florida representatives Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), who serve as co-chairs of the caucus.

    “The Caucus will serve as an organization to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and public safety,” according to documents filed with the Committee on House Administration.
    Membership will be kept even between Democrats and Republicans.”

    https://citizensclimatelobby.org/climate-solutions-caucus/

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  22. wili

     /  February 4, 2018

    “Fossil-free steel” plant planned for Sweden. [depending, presumably, on where the hydrogen comes from!?]

    Process would use iron ore pellets; and hydrogen rather than coke or coal. Emissions would be water instead of CO2.

    SSAB, LKAB AND VATTENFALL TO BUILD A GLOBALLY-UNIQUE PILOT PLANT FOR FOSSIL-FREE STEEL
    https://corporate.vattenfall.com/press-and-media/press-releases/2018/ssab-lkab-and-vattenfall-to-build-a-globally-unique-pilot-plant-for-fossil-free-steel/

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  23. kassy

     /  February 4, 2018

    Moscow has seen its heaviest snowfall in a day since records began, with more than 2,000 trees brought down and air travel disrupted, officials say.

    More than half the monthly average snow fell on Saturday, beating the previous record set in 1957.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42939644

    Too bad they don’t state how much half a wintormonth of russian snow must be quite a lot.

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  24. One for CB if you are reading Bob, p.s hope you are OK

    The Lesser Dryad
    https://sciencealert.com/ancient-stone-carvings-show-a-comet-hitting-earth-in-10-950-bc-and-changing-civilisation-forever

    Ancient Stone Carvings Show a Comet Swarm Hitting Earth Around 10,950 BCE

    Around the time civilisation changed forever.
    Researchers have translated famous ancient symbols in a temple in Turkey, and they tell the story of a devastating comet impact more than 13,000 years ago.
    Cross-checking the event with computer simulations of the Solar System around that time, researchers suggest that the carvings could describe a comet impact that occurred around 10,950 BCE – about the same time a mini ice age started that changed civilisation forever.
    This mini ice age, known as the Younger Dryas, lasted around 1,000 years, and it’s considered a crucial period for humanity because it was around that time agriculture and the first Neolithic civilisations arose – potentially in response to the new colder climates. The period has also been linked to the extinction of the woolly mammoth.

    “I think this research, along with the recent finding of a widespread platinum anomaly across the North American continent virtually seal the case in favour of [a Younger Dryas comet impact],” lead researcher Martin Sweatman told Sarah Knapton from The Telegraph.

    “It appears Gobekli Tepe was, among other things, an observatory for monitoring the night sky,” Sweatman told the Press Association.
    “One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event – probably the worst day in history since the end of the Ice Age.”
    The Gobekli Tepe is thought to have been built around 9,000 BCE – roughly 6,000 years before Stonehenge – but the symbols on the pillar date the event to around 2,000 years before that.

    The other connected article

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    • https://sciencealert.com/13000-years-ago-gigantic-fires-consumed-the-world-causing-ice-age

      A Recent Ice Age Was Triggered by a Firestorm Bigger Than The One That Killed The Dinosaurs
      In a hugely detailed and comprehensive new study, researchers have painted a picture of how around a tenth of Earth’s surface suddenly became covered in roaring fires at a point some 12,800 years ago.
      The firestorm rivals the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, and it was caused by fragments of a comet that would have measured around 100 kilometres (62 miles) across.
      As dust clouds smothered the Earth, it kicked off a mini ice age that kept the planet cool for another thousand years, just as it was emerging from 100,000 years of being covered in glaciers. Once the fires burned out, life could start again, according to the international team of scientists.
      “The hypothesis is that a large comet fragmented and the chunks impacted the Earth, causing this disaster,” says one of the team, Adrian Melott from the University of Kansas.
      “A number of different chemical signatures – carbon dioxide, nitrate, ammonia and others – all seem to indicate that an astonishing 10 percent of the Earth’s land surface, or about 10 million square kilometres [3.86 million square miles], was consumed by fires.”
      To peer back into the burning fires and shock waves of this major event, a large number of geochemical and isotopic markers were measured from more than 170 sites across the world, involving a team of 24 scientists.
      One of the pieces of analysis carried out was on patterns in pollen levels, which suggested pine forests were suddenly burned off to be replaced by poplar trees – a species specialising in covering barren ground, as you might get when your planet has been hit by a series of massive fireballs.
      In fact parts of the comet that disintegrated in space are still likely to be floating around parts of our Solar System 13,000 years later.
      High concentrations of platinum – often found in asteroids and comets – and high levels of dust were also noted in the samples analysed by the researchers, alongside increased concentrations of combustion aerosols you would expect to see if a lot of biomass was burning: ammonium, nitrate, and others.
      Plants died off, food sources would have been scarce, and the previously retreating glaciers began to advance again, say the researchers. Human culture would have had to adapt to the harsher conditions, with populations declining as a result.
      “Computations suggest that the impact would have depleted the ozone layer, causing increases in skin cancer and other negative health effects,” says Melott.
      The team thinks such a widespread impact of comet fragments, and the ensuing firestorm, is responsible for that extra bit of cooling known as the Younger Dryas period. This relatively brief blip in the planet’s temperature has sometimes been put down to changing ocean currents.

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    • wili

       /  February 5, 2018

      “One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event”

      This seems a bit…vague. And we’re talking about a distance of nearly 2000 years before the (hypothesized) event and the (hypothesized) representation of the event…kind of a stretch, to me.

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      • eleggua

         /  February 5, 2018

        “kind of a stretch, to me.” With you on that.

        Cue Erich von Däniken and Graham Hancock.

        “lead researcher Martin Sweatman told Sarah Knapton from The Telegraph.”

        Oh, yeah. The Telegraph. Ok. Definitely a credible, trusted, responsible news source.
        Dr. Martin Sweatman, University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering.
        Yep; sure. Engineering is the new Archeology.

        And now, a word from the actual archeologists, on-site.

        https://tepetelegrams.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/archaeoastronomy-meteor-showers-mass-extinction-what-does-the-fox-say-and-what-the-crane-the-aurochs/

        “Recently a (peer-reviewed) paper published by M. Sweatman and D. Tsikritsis, two researchers of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, has made headlines, suggesting that the Göbekli Tepe enclosures actually were space observatories and that some of the reliefs depict a catastrophic cosmic event…

        …(this whole ‘Younger Dryas Impact’ hypothesis [external link] actually is disputed itself [external link], so making Göbekli Tepe a ‘smoking gun’ in this argument should absolutely ask for a closer look)….

        …we were looking into the new study with quite some interest, too. After all it is a new and fascinating interpretation. However, upon closer inspection we as excavators of this important site would like to raise a few points which may challenge this interpretation in our point of view:

        1. There still is quite a significant probability that the older circular enclosures of Göbekli Tepe’s Layer III actually were subterranean buildings – possibly even covered by roof constructions. This then somehow would limit their usability as actual observatories a bit.

        2. Even if we assume that the night sky 12,000 years ago looked exactly like today’s, the question at hand would be whether a prehistoric hunter really would have put together the very same asterisms and constellations we recognise today (most of them going back to ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and Greek scholars and descriptions)?

        3. Contrary to the article’s premise the unearthed features at Göbekli Tepe are not shrouded in mystery. Published over the last years and decades, there is ample scientific literature available which unfortunately did not find its way into the study. The specific animals depicted in each enclosure’s iconography for instance seems to follow a certain intention, emphasizing different species in different enclosures. A purely substitutional interpretation ignores these more subtle but significant details. This also can be demonstrated for instance with the headless man on the shaft of Pillar 43, interpreted as symbol of death and mass extinction in the paper – however silently omitting the emphasised phallus in the same depiction which somehow contradicts the lifeless notion and implies a much more complex narrative behind these reliefs. There are even more reliefs on both narrow sides of P43 which went conpletely uncommented here.

        4. It also seems a bit arbitrary to base this interpretation (and all its consequences as described in the paper) on what seems to be some randomly selected pillars and their iconography (the interpretation thus not covering “much of the symbolism of Göbekli Tepe” as stated in the paper, but merely the tip of that iceberg). In the meantime more than 60 monumental T-pillars could have been unearthed in the older Layer III – many of these showing similar reliefs of animals and abstract symbols, a few even as complex as Pillar 43 (like Pillar 56 or Pillar 66 in enclosure H, for example). And it does not end there: the same iconography is prominently known also from other find groups like stone vessels, shaft straighteners, and plaquettes – not only from Göbekli Tepe, but a variety of contemporary sites in the wider vicinity.

        So, with all due respect for the work and effort the Edinburgh colleagues obviously put into their research and this publication, there still are – at least from our perspective as excavators of this important site – some points worth a detailed discussion. A more thorough exchange with the excavation team could have clarified many of these concerns.
        ,.,.,.,.,.,.

        ‘More than a vulture: A response to Sweatman and Tsikritsis.’
        07/03/2017
        “Our reservations, which are not meant to silence any further archaeoastronomic discussion for Göbekli Tepe at all but rather comment on a number of discrepances we see in the interpretation, are summed up here:”
        https://tepetelegrams.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/more-than-a-vulture-a-response-to-sweatman-and-tsikritsis/

        “Meanwhile both authors of the orginal study replied to our response (same issue of MAA, see link above), stressing that “… given the statistical basis o[f] [their] interpretation, any interpretation inconsistent with [theirs] is very likely to be incorrect.” (Sweatman and Tsikritsis, Comment, MAA 17(2), 66). Admittedly though, we still would like to express our doubt that human creativity really can be treated as a statistical case solely.”

        p.s: Dimitrios Tsikritsis and Giorgio A. Tsoukalos have never been seen in the same room together. Infer as you wish.

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      • eleggua

         /  February 5, 2018

        “…kind of a stretch…”

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      • eleggua

         /  February 5, 2018

        “…lead researcher Martin Sweatman told Sarah Knapton from The Telegraph.”

        The Telegraph. Oooookay.
        Martin Sweatman, Professor of Engineering at Edinburgh U. (Engineering is the Archeology.)

        Sweatman gently, politiely debunked by the actual archeologists that work the site;
        they take a decent swipe at the Younger Dryas theory, too.

        “”(this whole ‘Younger Dryas Impact’ hypothesis [external link] actually is disputed itself [external link], so making Göbekli Tepe a ‘smoking gun’ in this argument should absolutely ask for a closer look).

        ….as of yet no convincing proof for an actual celestial orientation or observation of such phenomena could have been put forward. We always were and still are open to consider these discussions. So, of course we were looking into the new study with quite some interest, too. After all it is a new and fascinating interpretation. However, upon closer inspection we as excavators of this important site would like to raise a few points which may challenge this interpretation in our point of view:”

        https://tepetelegrams.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/archaeoastronomy-meteor-showers-mass-extinction-what-does-the-fox-say-and-what-the-crane-the-aurochs/

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        • eleggua

           /  February 5, 2018

          Additional debunking by the actual on-site researchers.

          ‘More than a vulture: A response to Sweatman and Tsikritsis.’
          07/03/2017
          https://tepetelegrams.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/more-than-a-vulture-a-response-to-sweatman-and-tsikritsis/

          “….a more elaborate reply with further arguments and references which, in our opinion, challenge the interpretation and add more context to the paper’s discussion of Göbekli Tepe’s iconography in the light of the early Neolithic in Upper Mesopotamia. The editors of Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry kindly agreed to publish our response in the same journal as the original article by Sweatman and Tsikritsis…..”

          Comments on both of these tepetelegrams pieces are worth a look for anyone curious about the veracity of this claim.

          e.g. “It is very unfortunate that people with little knowledge of the archaeology of Göbekli Tepe can somehow get their absurd “alternative facts” and non-sequiturs published in what claims to be a legitimate academic journal. Incidentally, the article does nothing for the reputation of the journal, its editorial staff, and its supposedly rigorous peer-review process. Such fantastic imaginations attract journalists, but I was very surprised to see that the magazine New Scientist, which has a very wide readership, published a short piece about the article in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeoastronomy. The story was credited to (anonymous) staff and the Press Association. So I suspect that the story is being promoted by the Press Association, which means that it will appear widely in newspapers around the world. Suspiciously, the New Scientist piece includes a direct quote from the lead author, Martin Sweatman. My guess is that the “lead author” is busy promoting his article – which is already listed as one of his “scientific” research publications on his university web-page. I am embarrassed that such poor scholarship is associated with the name of the University of Edinburgh, where I have served as an archaeologist.”

          From the comments section, on-site researcher, Jens Notroff.
          “We observed severe flaws in the line and logic of argumentation in one particular article and see no reason to connect Göbekli Tepe to the hypothetical Younger Dryas Impact Event. We made that clear in a response to that article. ”

          Tsikritsis and Tsoukalos have never been seen in the same room together, btw.

          Like

        • A hornets nest has certainly been stirred on the Gobekli Tepe aspect, but no dispute on the Global firestorm of the same era.
          Why I put them together.
          The problem with ancient “records” is in the interpretation and context – as always context is king, as with the thousands of Sumerian tablets, most of which are believed to be transactional commercial records/contracts

          Like

        • eleggua

           /  February 6, 2018

          “no dispute on the Global firestorm of the same era.”

          Frank, that’s absolutely not true. The actual researchers at Göbekli Tepe even note that, as I’d c’n’p-ed above, even using the word “disputed”.

          ““”(this whole ‘Younger Dryas Impact’ hypothesis [external link] actually is disputed itself [external link], so making Göbekli Tepe a ‘smoking gun’ in this argument should absolutely ask for a closer look).”

          There isn’t concensus on that Younger Dryas theory, not at all.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis#Criticism
          “A study of Paleoindian demography found no evidence of a population decline among the Paleoindians at 12,900 ± 100 BP, which was inconsistent with predictions of an impact event.[29] They suggested that the hypothesis would probably need to be revised.[30][31] There is also no evidence of continent-wide wildfires at any time during terminal Pleistocene deglaciation,[32] though there is evidence that most larger wildfires had a human origin,[32] which calls into question the origin of the “black mat.”[33] Iridium, magnetic minerals, microspherules, carbon, and nanodiamonds are all subject to differing interpretations as to their nature and origin, and may be explained in many cases by purely terrestrial or non-catastrophic factors.[34]

          If it is assumed that the hypothesis supposes that all effects of the putative impact on Earth’s biota would have been brief, all extinctions caused by the impact should have occurred simultaneously. However, there is much evidence that the megafaunal extinctions that occurred across northern Eurasia, North America and South America at the end of the Pleistocene were not synchronous. The extinctions in South America appear to have occurred at least 400 years after the extinctions in North America.[35][36][37] The extinction of woolly mammoths in Siberia also appears to have occurred later than in North America.[35] A greater disparity in extinction timings is apparent in island megafaunal extinctions that lagged nearby continental extinctions by thousands of years; examples include the survival of woolly mammoths on Wrangel Island, Russia, until 3700 BP,[35][36][38] and the survival of ground sloths in the Antilles,[39] the Caribbean, until 4700 cal BP.[35] The Australian megafaunal extinctions occurred approximately 30,000 years earlier than the hypothetical Younger Dryas event.[40]

          The megafaunal extinction pattern observed in North America poses a problem for the bolide impact scenario, since it raises the question why large mammals should be preferentially exterminated over small mammals or other vertebrates.[41] Additionally, some extant megafaunal species such as bison and Brown bear seem to have been little affected by the extinction event, while the environmental devastation caused by a bolide impact would not be expected to discriminate.[35] Also, it appears that there was collapse in North American megafaunal population from 14,800 to 13,700 BP, well before the date of the hypothetical extraterrestrial impact,[42] possibly from anthropogenic activities, including hunting.[17]….

          etc….”

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        • eleggua

           /  February 7, 2018

          Robert, if you see this message, please delete the post directly above, the one linking to ‘wattsupwiththat’. The studies presented in that piece are ok; the website is not.
          Thanx.

          Like

    • I saw a great post from Colo Bob on Cat 6 blog from Weather underground a couple of days ago..https://www.wunderground.com/cat6 I was glad to know he was still kicking

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  25. Andy_in_SD

     /  February 4, 2018

    From Cape Town to Kabul: Taps Run Dry in Crisis Cities

    https://www.thequint.com/news/world/cape-town-south-africa-water-crisis

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  26. UK Met Office:

    “A new forecast published by scientists at the Met Office indicates the annual global average temperature is likely to exceed 1 °C and could reach 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels during the next five years (2018-2022).

    There is also a small (around 10%) chance that at least one year in the period could exceed 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels (1850–1900), although it is not anticipated that it will happen this year. It is the first time that such high values have been highlighted within these forecasts.”

    https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/mobile/news/releases/2018/decadal-forecast-2018

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  27. eleggua

     /  February 5, 2018

    It maybe a “simple idea” but is it credible? Leland Palmer, any thoughts on this idea vs. your bailiwick, BECCS, which is noted in this article as another option?

    ‘How Bill Gates aims to clean up the planet
    It’s a simple idea: strip CO2 from the air and use it to produce carbon-neutral fuel. But can it work on an industrial scale? ‘
    4 Feb 2018

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/04/carbon-emissions-negative-emissions-technologies-capture-storage-bill-gates

    “It’s nothing much to look at, but the tangle of pipes, pumps, tanks, reactors, chimneys and ducts on a messy industrial estate outside the logging town of Squamish in western Canada could just provide the fix to stop the world tipping into runaway climate change and substitute dwindling supplies of conventional fuel.

    It could also make Harvard superstar physicist David Keith, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and oil sands magnate Norman Murray Edwards more money than they could ever dream of.

    The idea is grandiose yet simple: decarbonise the global economy by extracting global-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) straight from the air, using arrays of giant fans and patented chemical whizzery; and then use the gas to make clean, carbon-neutral synthetic diesel and petrol to drive the world’s ships, planes and trucks.

    The hope is that the combination of direct air capture (DAC), water electrolysis and fuels synthesis used to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels can be made to work at a global scale, for little more than it costs to extract and sell fossil fuel today. This would revolutionise the world’s transport industry, which emits nearly one-third of total climate-changing emissions. It would be the equivalent of mechanising photosynthesis…….

    …..Meanwhile, 4,500 miles away, in a large blue shed on a small industrial estate in the South Yorkshire coalfield outside Sheffield, the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) is experimenting with other ways to produce negative emissions.

    Known as Beccs (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage), this negative emissions technology is seen as vital if the UK is to meet its long-term climate target of an 80% cut in emissions at 1990 levels by 2050, according to UKCCSRC director Professor Jon Gibbins. The plan, he says, is to capture emissions from clusters of major industries, such as refineries and steelworks in places like Teesside, to reduce the costs of transporting and storing it underground.

    “Direct air capture is no substitute for using conventional CCS,” says Gibbins. “Cutting emissions from existing sources at the scale of millions of tonnes a year, to stop the CO2 getting into the air in the first place, is the first priority……”

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  28. eleggua

     /  February 5, 2018

    Currently in Cape Town.

    ‘Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ pushed back amid decline in agricultural water use’
    February 5, 2018
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/05/africa/cape-town-day-zero-intl/index.html

    “Cape Town officials pushed back their projections for “Day Zero” — the day the South African city’s taps are expected to run dry — from April 16 to May 11, citing a decline in agricultural water use. …

    “Capetonians must continue reducing consumption if we are to avoid Day Zero. There has not been any significant decline in urban usage. All Capetonians must therefore continue to use no more than 50 liters (around 13 gallons) per person per day to help stretch our dwindling supplies,” the executive deputy mayor added….”


    “An expansive area of high pressure situated in the Atlantic Ocean is acting as a barrier to these weather systems,” CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam says. “As this high-pressure system strengthens and expands, it pushes rainfall away from the Western Cape.” “

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    • Good news. Well done. But it’s really tough times for all involved still.

      Like

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      • eleggua

         /  February 5, 2018

        Folks are stressed. Water theft is already a reality there. This incident was initially described as “smuggling” but now it seems that the tanker company were duped by thieves.

        ‘2 bust for allegedly trying to smuggle water to Western Cape illegally’
        2018-02-01
        https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/2-bust-for-allegedly-trying-to-smuggle-water-to-western-cape-illegally-20180201

        “Two people were caught red-handed in Muldersdrift allegedly trying to fill tankers of water to drive down to the Western Cape on Wednesday night, the Mogale City Local Municipality said…..

        …The bust was all down to the amateur detecting skills of local ANC ward councillor Molefi Sedibo who told News24 that he just knew “something was not right” when he spotted the double tanker as he drove past the water point in the Muldersdrift CBD.

        He said that having been a councillor for 10 years, he was familiar with the timetable followed by the trucks that usually fill their tanks at the water point and knew which service providers delivered the water.

        “It was around 17:00 and normally those trucks have already finished work,” he explained.
        He had noted in the past that the drivers usually take the tankers back to the depot empty at the end of the day to save on diesel.

        “Water is very heavy, so it is very expensive to drive the water to the depot, so they go back empty,” he said.
        His suspicions aroused, he also noticed that the tanker did not have the usual logo.
        He then blocked the tanker with his car, and got out to ask questions.
        Two of the four people working near the tanker bolted when they saw him.

        He noticed that they had even brought the specialised equipment needed to connect to the system to get the water into the tanker.
        “They got a fright when I started asking: ‘Who gave you permission? Who are you?'” Sedibo recounted.
        “I said: ‘The truck will not move until you verify this’.”

        …In the meantime, Lipudi wants the police to take swift action because he has since heard from witnesses that it was the third time the truck had taken water without permission.

        “Therefore, we want the authorities to get to the bottom of this as a matter of urgency so that we should know who runs a parallel government and doles out free water that belongs to the people of the city so boldly to anyone they feel like.””

        ‘Tanker company says it was ‘duped’ in water smuggling ‘scam”
        2018-02-02
        https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/tanker-company-says-it-was-duped-in-water-smuggling-scam-20180202

        “…Crossroad COO Hennie van Wyk explained what happened: “As a commercial business using water in Cape Town, we felt we needed to do something positive toward helping in this time of crisis.”

        “We decided to have our commercial cleaning supplier commercially sterilise one of our tankers, fill it with water in Gauteng, and transport it to our facility in Cape Town where we have already initiated other water conserving activities.”

        ….”Upon arrival at the agreed pickup point for the water, the Crossroads vehicle was rerouted by the bulk water supplier personnel to a different location in Muldersdrift.

        “Our people were detained but, upon us producing the legitimate receipt for what we thought was a perfectly legal transaction, authorities were understanding of their roles and nobody has been arrested,” said Van Wyk.
        “It’s devastating that criminals will take advantage of us when we are trying to do the right thing.””

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  29. eleggua

     /  February 5, 2018

    Wishing them well.

    ‘World’s biggest wildlife reserve planned for Antarctica in global campaign
    Vast 1.8m sq km fishing-free zone would protect species, such as penguins, leopard seals and whales, and help mitigate the effects of climate change’
    13 Jan 2018

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/13/worlds-biggest-wildlife-reserve-planned-for-antarctica-in-global-campaign

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  30. kassy

     /  February 5, 2018

    Nice article on the cost of raising roads in the Keys:

    Florida Keys to raise roads before climate change puts them underwater. It won’t be cheap

    It won’t be cheap. Early estimates show that raising just one-third of a mile of road above sea level could cost a million dollars in Key Largo and more than $2.5 million in Big Pine.

    Even with these millions of dollars in reconstruction, there isn’t a guarantee that these roads will stay dry. Haag said the new roads should still see an average of seven days of flooding a year, depending on which sea level rise prediction comes true.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/Florida-Keys-to-raise-roads-before-climate-change-puts-them-underwater-It-won-t-be-cheap_165166610

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  31. kassy

     /  February 5, 2018

    Somebody in Britain had a really stupid idea. This is a good article about it (it’s much longer then the quotes below).

    A new deep coal mine deep under the sea? Next to Sellafield? Really?
    Sam Moisha | 5th February 2018

    The first deep coal mine in Britain for thirty years is being proposed at Whitehaven, with the promise of new jobs in an old mining community. But the site is within five miles of Sellafield. Activists are concerned both about the definite contribution to climate change, as well as the potential threat of a nuclear accident. SAM MOISHA sets out their concerns

    And it gets worse…the undersea mine would be in an area of heavily faulted geology within 5 miles of Sellafield. Sellafield is the most dangerous place in Europe, storing radioactive spent fuel rods in crumbling pools of water.

    Friends of the Earth raises some crucial questions in its formal objection to the WCM plan. “We would also query whether or not there has been robust enough analysis of the potential for seismicity (and subsidence) relating to well known nuclear facilities in the wider area, including Sellafield and proposed new facility at Moorside?

    “What potential is there for seismicity to effect these and other facilities (including low level waste repository at Drigg) and the possible high level radioactive waste facility which has been proposed in West Cumbria for some time.”

    Repeated complaints

    The potential for earth tremors and quakes resulting from mining is well known. The potential for man-made tremors at the Sellafield site is too awful to contemplate.

    In 2016 The Ecologist reported that: “Especially serious are the ~20 large holding tanks at Sellafield containing thousands of litres of extremely radiotoxic fission products.”

    Discussing these tanks, the previous management consortium, Nuclear Management Partners, stated in 2012: “There is a mass of very hazardous [nuclear] waste onsite in storage conditions that are extraordinarily vulnerable, and in facilities that are well past their designated life”

    The National Audit Office (NAO) stated these tanks pose “significant risks to people and the environment”. One official review published in The Lancet concluded that, at worst, an explosive release from the tanks could kill two million Britons and require the evacuation of an area reaching from Glasgow to Liverpool.

    These dangerous tanks have also been the subject of repeated complaints from Ireland and Norway who fear their countries could be contaminated if explosions or fires were to occur.

    https://theecologist.org/2018/feb/05/new-deep-coal-mine-deep-under-sea-next-sellafield-really

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    • eleggua

       /  February 5, 2018

      Remember Aberfan.

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    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  February 6, 2018

      A really bad idea that has not received a lot of attention in the UK (or I just had my eyes wide shut), thanks Kassy.
      With regard to the actual mining there would seem to be several immediate problems, avoid all the pre-1986 mining in the area that went up to 4 miles offshore. They may have plans but they were never that accurate. Water ingress and fire-damp, but the main problem for underground mining is the faulted nature of the area
      http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html?location=whitehaven&gobBtn=go
      Hope the link works to the map on the British Geological Survey and click the bedrock only button.
      Obviously the company thinks it can overcome this.
      Once out of the ground it has to get to market either UK steel works or German ones. Germany used 17.6Mtce of hard coal in its steel industry in 2015, so a market is there if it can displace imports from Russia or S. America. There maybe a political dimension here if the Germans want to reduce reliance on Russia.
      For the company to go ahead the price of coal must be the major factor and transportation costs form a large part of the delivered price of coal. Can transporting coal by rail to Redcar, Yorkshire then loading and transporting by ship to N. Europe be competitive?
      Current pricing must suggest that they believe they can be competitive as prices in Germany are holding up, but historically the price varies and long term, well who knows
      https://www.destatis.de/DE/Publikationen/Thematisch/Preise/Energiepreise/EnergyPriceTrendsPDF_5619002.pdf?__blob=publicationFile
      The BGS map shows how heavily faulted the area is, although in the Solway Firth/Irish Sea basin it may reduce as you move away from the mountains (personally I doubt this). But if the company plans to use longwall mining with no backfill, just letting the roof collapse, then reactivation of faults is a real probability. Note in 1786, pre large scale mining, there was an earthquake in Whitehaven, Cumbria estimated at Mag 5:0 and in 1976 Longtown, Cumbria (just north of Carlisle) a Mag 4.7 earthquake.

      While I think it is better kept in the ground I think the jobs argument will win out in the local council. I doubt they will even consider the potential for seismic activity.

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  32. Jim

     /  February 5, 2018

    TRUMP SEEKS TO GUT U.S. RENEWABLES, EFFICIENCY BUDGET AFTER $190-BILLION GIFT TO FOSSILS

    http://theenergymix.com/2018/02/04/trump-seeks-to-gut-u-s-renewables-efficiency-budget-after-190-billion-gift-to-fossils/

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    • eleggua

       /  February 6, 2018

      ““It’s fair to say that those two broad dynamics—the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks and the stubborn march of clean energy—have fought each other to a standstill,” Plumer notes. “The catch, as scientists have warned, is that we’ve reached the point on climate change where a holding pattern is no longer sufficient to give us a decent shot at stabilizing global temperatures this century and avoiding irreversible changes to Earth’s weather patterns, polar caps, and fragile ecosystems.”

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      • Jim

         /  February 7, 2018

        Thanks Eleggua, That’s an important quote from the article, and underscores the long-term damage that is being inflicted on the US energy + environmental landscape. The cost of energy (both direct and it’s eternality’s) effects every sector of a country’s competitiveness; and contrary the the Republican rhetoric “ending the war on beautiful clean coal” and loosening regulations does not move us progressively to a cleaner more efficient, nor more competitive market position – quite the opposite is true, and it’s a transparent handout to old, uncompetitive fossils.

        The US will soon be laggards when it comes to renewable energy sources and environmental protections compared to China, potentially India, and much of the EU. But, it’s clear that the rest of world is moving toward renewable, with or without US participation. In China for example, they have invested heavily in wind turbine manufacturing, solar cell manufacturing, and now battery manufacturing. An example is CATL is racing ahead to match and exceed Tesla’s Gigafactory and has already inked deals with major auto manufacturers in China including VW and BMW.

        The following FT video does a good job laying out the changing landscape. It’s behind a partial paywall, depending on how many articles you’ve read. Try “Incognito” if using Chrome.

        https://www.ft.com/video/2f48b632-a285-496d-a5da-cb0796087eda

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        • eleggua

           /  February 7, 2018

          You’re welcome, Jim. Thanks for posting the article. Can’t get the FT piece here.

          My sense, it won’t be very long-lasting damage. After the orange menace and his three-ring psycho circus leave town, the “standstill” will break and “the stubborn march of clean energy” in the States will perform a translunar injection in the direction of a clean planet Earth.

          Like

        • eleggua

           /  February 7, 2018

          ^ “translunar injection-style take-off in the direction of a clean planet Earth.”

          Like

  33. The following paper on mercury is alarming enough. An ancillary question for me was why there is such a massive concentration in the high Arctic compared to other parts of the globe in the first place. Dr. Google cited an apparently well known mechanism involving atmospheric circulation and something called “cold condensation” that cause pollutants to be concentrated in the Arctic in the winter. A mechanism projected to worsen under global warming.

    Geophysical Research Letters.
    Permafrost Stores a Globally Significant Amount of Mercury
    First published: 5 February 2018Full publication history DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075571

    Abstract
    Changing climate in northern regions is causing permafrost to thaw with major implications for the global mercury (Hg) cycle. We estimated Hg in permafrost regions based on in situ measurements of sediment total mercury (STHg), soil organic carbon (SOC), and the Hg to carbon ratio (RHgC) combined with maps of soil carbon. We measured a median STHg of 43 ± 30 ng Hg g soil−1 and a median RHgC of 1.6 ± 0.9 μg Hg g C−1, consistent with published results of STHg for tundra soils and 11,000 measurements from 4,926 temperate, nonpermafrost sites in North America and Eurasia. We estimate that the Northern Hemisphere permafrost regions contain 1,656 ± 962 Gg Hg, of which 793 ± 461 Gg Hg is frozen in permafrost. Permafrost soils store nearly twice as much Hg as all other soils, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined, and this Hg is vulnerable to release as permafrost thaws over the next century. Existing estimates greatly underestimate Hg in permafrost soils, indicating a need to reevaluate the role of the Arctic regions in the global Hg cycle.

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    • eleggua

       /  February 6, 2018

      “…in some extreme cases with prolonged exposure to mercury vapors, delirium, personality changes and memory loss occur as a result. People with erethism find it difficult to interact socially with others, with behaviors similar to that of a social phobia.”

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    • eleggua

       /  February 6, 2018

      “The Cove: Mercury Rising: A mini-documentary on the hazards of mercury in fish From the Producers of the Oscar nominated film, “The Cove”. It explores the dangers of mercury contamination and how it affects society and the global environment. In the U. S., eating tuna, swordfish and other high-mercury fish is the number one source of mercury exposure.”

      You’ll never eat tuna fish again after watching the 18-minute+ documentary.
      Researchers in Japan eat canned tuna daily, testing their own mercury levels every day during the self-bioassay.

      “I asked the doc, “what does it mean to have mercury poisoning?”,
      and he said, “it slowly takes away what it means to be human.”” – Louie Psihoyos, filmmaker

      “The mercury primarily is coming from about 900 coal-burning power plants that are discharging it into the air.” – Robert Kennedy Jr.

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  34. Not directly related to climate change, but the following paper indicates microplastics are causing as much or more havoc on dry land as in the sea. Among many other mechanisms, nanoparticles are involved in some staggering ways, such as triggering changes in gene expression. It is a long file in Science Daily so I will not copy it all, but I suggest a full read for anyone concerned about polllution, or wondering why the life expectancy of Americans is falling. Or maybe not if you want to sleep well.

    An underestimated threat: Land-based pollution with microplastics. Feb 5, 2018.
    Forschungsverbund Berlin.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180205125728.htm

    Tiny plastic particles also present a threat to creatures on land and may have damaging effects similar or even more problematic than in our oceans. Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and their Berlin colleagues warn: the impact of microplastics in soils, sediments and the freshwaters could have a long-term negative effect on terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world. . . .

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  35. Hilary

     /  February 6, 2018

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/just-so-unusual-big-january-storms-due-climate-change-niwa-scientist-says

    Dr Sam Dean, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1’s Breakfast programme, said it is undeniable that greenhouse gas emissions have raised Earth’s average temperature over the past 100 years.
    High sea surface temperatures in the Tasman Sea have contributed to the power of the storms, he said.
    “This is just so unusual … we’re really just in uncharted territory here – this is something we haven’t seen,” Dr Dean said.
    January was the hottest month ever seen since records began, Dr Dean said – more than 100 years – and the chances of storms like last month’s occurring naturally are very low.
    Dr Dean said natural variation in the seasons was common, with spikes and dips in extreme temperatures, but the data clearly supports the fact that higher temperatures are affecting the weather.
    “It’s not really a question of belief, it simply is a question of fact, and that’s how it is,” he said.

    + includes link to the TV interview
    Thank goodness our scientists are getting more forthright in public about CC here in NZ!

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    • Yeas, certainly there seems to be more forthrightnesss since Adern came in. Meanwhile in the deep south – this morning in gore it was 7 C, and a high of (officially 13); less than a week ago we had a high here of 35 – temps are swinging even more wildly than normal.

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  36. http://www.afr.com/business/energy/oil/exxon-mobil-bets-efforts-to-limit-climate-change-will-fail-20180202-h0t2xs
    Exxon Mobil bets efforts to limit climate change will fail
    If climate change curbs live up to their promise, oil demand may fall 20 per cent by 2040, Exxon Mobil says in one forward-looking report. But a more likely scenario is it will grow by 20 per cent, the company says in separate outlook.

    The reports were both released Friday. Which one to believe?

    The first comes in response to a shareholder vote last year that demanded Exxon publish the risks it faces if the world hits its carbon-emissions goal to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The second is what the Irving, Texas-based explorer uses “to help guide multibillion-dollar investment decisions,” according to its preamble.

    In both instances, the study authors say the world will still need trillions of dollars of investment in fossil fuels to meet its energy needs over the next two decades.

    The business outlook, as might be expected, is more hawkish. Its findings show oil and natural gas still supplying about 55 per cent of the world’s energy needs by 2040, with oil the biggest contributor. Coal is expected to fall to less than 30 per cent in 2040 from approximately 40 per cent in 2016.

    “Exxon Mobil’s own analysis assumes the world will continue to burn through oil and gas to drive their profits and keep us on a path toward global temperatures well above the 2 degree Celsius target,” said Kathy Mulvey, a campaign manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in an email.

    “Nowhere do they foresee carbon emissions bending rapidly toward zero – as they must well before 2040,” she wrote.

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  37. Robert McLachlan

     /  February 6, 2018

    From a famous novel, first published in 1969:

    Over the years, people have often asked me what I’m working on, and I’ve usually replied that the main thing was a book about Dresden.

    I said that to Harrison Starr, the movie-maker, one time, and he raised his eyebrows and inquired, “Is it an anti-war book?”

    “Yes,” I said, “I guess.”

    “You know what I say to people when I hear they’re writing anti-war book?”

    “No. What do you say, Harrison Starr?”

    “I say, ‘Why don’t you write an anti-glacier book instead?'”

    What he meant, of course, was that there would always be wars, that they were as easy to stop as glaciers. I believe that too.

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    • eleggua

       /  February 6, 2018

      Kurt Vonnegut.

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      • eleggua

         /  February 7, 2018

        “And even if wars didn’t keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death.”

        http://antiglacier.com/
        “Commenced in March 2014, Anti-glacier will collect data for at least a year – and perhaps longer – in order to generate new visualisations of human attention to current affairs and climate change.”

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  38. Greg

     /  February 6, 2018

    How much fuel and pollution is saved by electric drone deliveries, especially where infrastructure is poor? It’s actually happening in parts of Africa that critical needs are being met.by drones.The advantages of drones with wings is that they are less prone to fail in bad weather and can travel further, and faster, which is perfect for the vast sparsely populated areas of Africa.

    Tanzania’s Medical Stores Department expects that all 5,640 public health facilities in the country will have all the essential medical supplies delivered by drone service, however remote their locations.

    It is quite astonishing to realize that this is actually working, right now. Keller Rinaudo, CEO and co-founder of Zipline, puts it this way: “They’re not trying to catch up to US infrastructure. They’re just leapfrogging roads and trucks and motorcycles and going to a new type of infrastructure.”
    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/02/delivery-drones-prove-worth-third-world-will-rest-world-follow/

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    • If they’re smart, they will leap frog. Present politics in the west and in other places associated with fossil fuel influence on political systems is giving other parts of the world an opportunity to surge ahead. Whether they take that opportunity is up in the air. But in places like the U.S. where republican adherence to harmful fossil fuel based policies hangs about the neck of progress like a dead albatross, progress just keeps being hit by predatory delays.

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  39. Suzanne

     /  February 6, 2018

    Hello Fellow Scribblers…Hope everyone is well.

    Just peaking in and sharing an article I came across today at VOX:
    “Melting Permafrost in the Arctic is unlocking diseases and warping the landscape”
    https://www.vox.com/2017/9/6/16062174/permafrost-melting

    Our world’s northern polar region is warming twice as fast as the global average. And the consequences are easy to spot. On average, Arctic sea ice extent is shrinking every summer. The Greenland ice sheet is becoming unstable.

    But perhaps most disturbing are the changes occurring underground in the permafrost. Permafrost is a layer of frozen soil that covers 25 percent of the Northern Hemisphere. It acts like a giant freezer, keeping microbes, carbon, poisonous mercury, and soil locked in place.

    When it thaws, a Pandora’s box is unleashed. To better understand the strange changes in the permafrost, I spoke with Robert Max Holmes, an earth systems scientist with the Woods Hole Research Center. When I reached him by phone, he was in Bethel, Alaska, a small outpost town 400 miles west of Anchorage, and had just come back from an eight-day research and teaching expedition in the wilderness.

    A week earlier, Holmes and his students had set up temperature sensors in the soil near their encampment. Their first reading was 0.3°C. “It’s barely frozen. And we just sort of sat there stunned. You don’t know whether to cry or what. Because you’re just like: My God, this whole thing is just going to change in a big way.”

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    • eleggua

       /  February 7, 2018

      “…permafrost rests in 25 percent of all the land area in the Northern Hemisphere”

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  40. Suzanne

     /  February 6, 2018

    Just watched a successful Tesla Rocket launch…and the successful landing of the booster rockets…Just too cool. Renewable rocket boosters….brilliant!

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    • Vic

       /  February 6, 2018

      Oh man, look at those cavemen go!

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    • NASA has been trying for reusable boosters for decades. Elon has nailed it.

      Will say that I wasn’t a big fan of SpaceX at first. But they certainly deserve credit where others have failed.

      As for the Tesla Roadster in the nose cone — hopefully it will get more people interested in EVs. I’m not a big fan of stunts. But Elon seems to be good at capturing the imagination of people. Particularly younger folks.

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      • Jim

         /  February 7, 2018

        People will be watching the live feed of “Spaceman” in the Tesla roadster for years to come.

        I think this launch will be viewed as an inflection point where interest in space & technology was rekindled. I think it’s a much needed boost for STEM and for the American psyche, especially at this point in time…. Time to think big. We’ve got work to do !

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    • Like

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  41. Vic

     /  February 6, 2018

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  42. Greg

     /  February 6, 2018

    It will take that kind of nutty thinking, and doing, to get us to a place where we can thrive safely as a civilization and have a quality of life in which we can be in awe and laugh, laugh, laugh. I don’t know if I could have even gotten through this year having Elon around to inspire…

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  43. Hilary

     /  February 7, 2018

    Wish I could see this NY exhibition in person!
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/climate-museum-new-york/552335/
    “Since January 25, after sunset, the shades on a window-walled gallery in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village have rolled up, and the sidewalk outside has been cast in a cool, blue glow. The color comes from a four-and-a-half-hour-long video of ice cores. Inside the gallery, scanned images of samples from the Greenland Ice Sheet are on a continuous loop, representing 110,000 years of accumulation. Watching the footage gives the impression of descending through the ice core and into the past.
    The video, 88 Cores, is a new work by the Los Angeles artist Peggy Weil. It’s accompanied by a selection of Weil’s still images of ice-core samples from the National Ice Core Lab in Lakewood, Colorado.”
    I think art can also be a powerful tool in focussing people’s attention on CC issues, it’s a case of us working on all fronts at once isn’t it.

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    • eleggua

       /  February 7, 2018

      http://pweilstudio.com/project/88-cores/

      “The pace and scale of the work is a gesture towards deep time and the gravity of climate change.”

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      • Hilary

         /  February 7, 2018

        Thanks for posting the video Eleggua!

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        • eleggua

           /  February 8, 2018

          You’re welcome. Thanks for bringing to our attention. Interesting work.
          Especially like the music by Celia Hollander aka $3.33.
          http://www.threethirtythree.biz/

          “Hollander’s work critically engages ways that music and sound based art can be understood as a type of architectural design that questions cultural infrastructures, cultivates social connection, and enables awareness of a continuously changing present. Using temporal perception as a focal point in her work, she is devoted to creating experiences that allow for freedom of interpretation as an antidote to a contemporary assault of media that engineers what audiences ought to think and feel. Hollander studied art and architecture at Wesleyan University. ”

          Completely agree with what you said here, Hilary.
          “I think art can also be a powerful tool in focussing people’s attention on CC issues, it’s a case of us working on all fronts at once isn’t it.”

          That^ was in Melbourne last year; big event, lasting nearly a month.
          Looks like they’re doing one every other year.

          Like

  44. Andy_in_SD

     /  February 7, 2018

    To further Suzanne’s post regarding permafrost above.

    A Ticking Time Bomb of Mercury Is Hidden Beneath Earth’s Permafrost
    ======================================================
    According to a new study published Feb. 5 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, theremay be more than 15 million gallons (58 million liters) of mercury buried in the permafrost of the Northern Hemisphere — roughly twice as much mercury as can be found in the rest of Earth’s soils, ocean and atmosphere combined. And if global temperatures continue to rise, all that mercury could come pouring out.

    https://www.livescience.com/61665-mercury-permafrost-climate-change.html

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  45. kassy

     /  February 7, 2018

    If the sun does indeed have its minimum this will slow global warming a little bit.

    As with many known climate episodes the cooling is regional (same as the warming in the MWP). The fact that Alaska and Southern Greenland tend to warm makes it even less helpful:

    Reduced energy from the sun might occur by mid-century—now, scientists know by how much

    The reduced energy from the sun sets into motion a sequence of events on Earth beginning with a thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer. That thinning in turn changes the temperature structure of the stratosphere, which then changes the dynamics of the lower atmosphere, especially wind and weather patterns. The cooling is not uniform. While areas of Europe chilled during the Maunder Minimum, other areas such as Alaska and southern Greenland warmed correspondingly.

    https://phys.org/news/2018-02-energy-sun-mid-centurynow-scientists.html

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  46. Robert in New Orleans

     /  February 7, 2018

    Dedicated to Carl Sagan, Arthur C Clark, Stanley Kubrick, Wernher Von Braun, Robert H Goddard, & Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

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