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U.S. Northeast Battered by Second ‘Once in a Generation’ Storm This Year

A major nor’easter is lashing the Eastern U.S. today. Reports of moderate to severe tidal flooding are racking up as hurricane force gusts are pushing mounds of water inland and raking the coastline with tremendously powerful waves.

This storm blew up to extreme intensity over the night-time and early morning hours on Friday as two low pressure cells converged off the U.S. coast. By afternoon, the storm had bombed out to 970 mb and was still intensifying.

A broad region across the northeast from D.C. to Maine are now experiencing wind gusts of 50 to 80 mph or more with local power outages and downed lines reported over a broad region. The gusts are so strong and widespread that diverse locations all throughout the Northeast are seeing instances of toppled trees, damage to structures and falling limbs. In Chambersburg, PA, the raging gusts tipped over a school bus.

On the coast, extremely strong winds for a nor’easter and conditions more akin to a hurricane are driving directly in to shore from Chatham and Nantucket northward. As a result, weather authorities are predicting a historic coastal flood event for metropolitan areas like Boston. There, record high tides may be exceeded as winds there are now blowing at a vicious 80 mph.

(A broadening storm is lashing most of the Northeastern U.S. with gale and hurricane force winds even as a places like Boston face massive waves and record storm surge flooding. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

But what is, perhaps, more concerning is the fact that this storm is still gathering strength. And due to a blocking high over Greenland, the storm — dubbed Riley — is likely to only slowly move off-shore. So its impacts will tend to persist for multiple high tide cycles even as its circulation broadens and it generates an east-to-west fetch of gale to hurricane force winds stretching over a 400 to 600 mile region of ocean and driving directly toward the Northeast and East Coasts.

This will enable a long-lasting storm surge that will generate serious flooding for hundreds of miles of coastline. And on top of that surge, towering waves will relentlessly batter the coast throughout Friday and Saturday. Already the flooding has become quite severe for a number of locations. But the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. With the worst impacts expected at high tide late tonight.

Scenes like these bring back recollections of Sandy. And like Sandy, the present cyclone has been influenced in a number of ways by human-caused climate change.

The storm’s historic intensity was first fed by a large plume of moisture issuing off a much warmer than normal Gulf of Mexico. Instability, driven by a deep diving trough, formed a low sweeping over the north-central U.S. that then tapped this high volume of moisture. The latent heat in the moisture enabled stronger than normal convection which helped to spike the storm’s early intensity.

(Extremely warm sea surface temperatures both in the Gulf of Mexico and off the U.S. East Coast are helping to fuel the present storm’s record intensity. This is just one of the climate change associated factors contributing to the present storm. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Off shore, the Gulf Stream waters are also far warmer than normal. Ranging as high as 9 degrees Celsius above average, this abnormal heat helped to fuel a second plume of moisture and instability. And as these two areas of storminess merged, they rapidly bombed out to high intensity even as their area of storm wind circulation broadened.

To the north, a recent (climate change driven) polar warming event has generated a kind of train wreck in the upper level winds that typically hurry storm systems along. As a result of this train wreck, a blocking high over Greenland is preventing this heat-amplified storm from tracking eastward. Over the next 48 hours, this block will allow a massive pile of water and towering waves to relentlessly hammer the Northeastern and Eastern Coasts of the U.S.

(Large waves and long fetch which is predicted to be generated by this storm on Saturday could produce serious and wide-ranging impacts all up and down the Eastern Seaboard from Hatteras to Portland and points northward. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Presently, this storm is expected to produce the second 1 in 100 year flood event that the Boston area has seen in the past year. Under typical climate variability, the likelihood of seeing back-to-back events of this kind would be 1 in 10,000. However, due to the influences of human-caused climate change, the potential for extreme weather events like the one we are presently enduring are greatly enhanced.

(UPDATES TO FOLLOW)

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57 Comments

  1. kassy

     /  March 3, 2018

    A 1 in a 100 years event is not the same as once in a generation. Generations are 30 years (if you go by the general definition via wikipedia).

    So that would make it a 1 in 3 generations storm. And then you have 2 in the same year.

    Things sure aren’t what they used to be.

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  2. rhymeswithgoalie

     /  March 3, 2018

    Please please please don’t use the term “hurricane force gusts” to sensationalize weather events. Hurricane strengths are based on *sustained* *wind* *speeds*. We might as well use the equally emotionally misleading term “tornado wind speeds” (F0 tornadoes start at 40mph).

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    • I’m not sensationalizing the event. Hurricane force gust is a meteorological term, as is bomb cyclone.

      https://www.google.com/amp/amp.wcvb.com/article/video-winds-gusting-to-hurricane-force/19060289

      See also first paragraph of linked WeatherUnderground article:

      https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/bomb-noreaster-bringing-major-flooding-damaging-winds

      A gust is a temporary spike in wind speed. Hurricane force is any wind speed in excess of 75 mph.

      Learn basic meteorology before making unqualified statements.

      This kind of splitting hairs waters down the discussion of a historic extreme event related to climate change. It’s a distraction at a time when a major event is underway and serves to reduce the impact of a necessary and factual communication. It is thus irresponsible. Your assertion here also creates the false impression that I am somehow overstating the issue. If anything, the issue is understated.

      The people of the northeast are experiencing an extreme weather event related to climate change that is producing wind gusts to hurricane force. These winds are knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of people. The governor of VA has declared a state of emergency. Nor’easters do not typically produce winds in excess of 75 mph. This is just one reason why the event is notable.

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      • rhymeswithgoalie

         /  March 3, 2018

        Sorry. I knew about “bomb cyclone” but I never thought of “hurricane force gust” as anything but a way of dumbing down weather reporting (like using “width of a human hair” instead of actual measurements). I’ll go to Cat6 and piss and moan about it there. 😉

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        • A hurricane is defined as a tropical cyclone with sustained winds in excess of 75 mph. A gust to that level of force has been used to describe very strong winds for quite some time now. If you’re going to piss and moan about the term hurricane force gust, you’re going to have to start with the Weather Channel and work your way down. It’s been in the parlance since at least the 70s and probably before.

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        • dumboldguy

           /  March 4, 2018

          We in the Washington DC area have just experienced nearly 48 straight hours of wind gusts—-up to 70 mph during the first 24, up to 40 mph during the second 24. ~150,000 people still without power. We can mince words about this all we want, but the words I would use to describe my experience are “once-in-a-lifetime”.

          I grew up in North Jersey, have been in VA for the last 50 years, and have experienced many storms, both summer and winter, but this one was a first. Schools and bridges closed, planes and trains cancelled—-and we had NO rain and the skies were sunny and cloudless today while the house shook. If this becomes the “new normal”, life is going to get difficult.

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        • These kinds of storms are more likely now, due to climate change. But if Greenland melt starts to really kick off, what we’re seeing now will be considered mild.

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  3. kassy

     /  March 3, 2018

    Money talks and people listen….that is one factor i like about the Tesla and other modern tech articles. Propaganda all you want, “GA” all you want but if the option that is good for the planet is also much cheaper the choice becomes so much simpler.

    Payments to protect carbon stored in forests must increase to defend against rubber

    Efforts to protect tropical forests in Southeast Asia for the carbon they store may fail because protection payments are too low — according to University of East Anglia research.

    A study published today in Nature Communications finds that schemes designed to protect tropical forests from clearance based on the carbon they store do not pay enough to compete financially with potential profits from rubber plantations.

    Without increased financial compensation for forest carbon credits, cutting forests down will remain more attractive than protecting them.

    Carbon credits are currently priced at $5-$13 per tonne of CO2 on carbon markets. But this doesn’t match the real break-even cost of safeguarding tropical forests from conversion to rubber in Southeast Asia — between $30-$51 per tonne of CO2.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180302091000.htm

    We are still not prizing in keeping unique species and habitats alive. Since reforestation is
    also a climate goal we should pick out some areas to preserve and grow.

    I once imagined a scheme where the world would pay Brazil to preserve the Amazon but that is not happening. People still don’t understand that local = this planet.

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    • Allan Barr

       /  March 3, 2018

      So a carbon tax in order to protect from deforestation needs to be at least 50 dollars per ton of CO2 emitted. We are losing our phytoplankton and forests, what is going to generate oxygen and sequestrate carbon one wonders without them?

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  4. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 3, 2018

    In terms of Nor Easters, has anyone plotted their frequency and intensity over the years? That would be an interesting graph.

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    • Good question…

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    • Kalypso

       /  March 3, 2018

      I don’t have records in front of me however from what I’ve read in the climate change literature it is projected that climate change could both strengthen Nor’easters as well as make them more frequent. Additionally, it is important to note that even if the literature isn’t yet clear on how climate change will effect these storms, sea level rise is worsening their storm surge.

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  5. Antonio Paris, scientist, on this bomb cyclone and hurricane force wind gusts:

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  6. And the meso-analysis related to these hurricane force gusts:

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  7. Re Jaguar
    From Down Under
    Jaguar gears for electric sports car with big spend on city chargers

    Jaguar plans to invest millions of dollars in electric vehicle charging stations ahead of the launch of its electric vehicle range in Australia.

    The vehicle manufacturer is planning to launch its fully electric sports car, the I-Pace, and two hybrid land rovers in September and October, and will invest between $3 million and $4 million building electric vehicle charging stations for the new vehicles ahead of their release.

    While these are the first electric and hybrid vehicles launched by Jaguar Land Rover in Australia, from 2019 onwards it will begin providing an electric option for its existing vehicle range.

    “We’re accelerating the timeline for offering electric vehicles,” Mr Wiesner told Fairfax Media.

    Jaguar Land Rover Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner said it would begin building the infrastructure to support the electric vehicles in the coming weeks.

    “This is a real first for us,” Mr Wiesner told Fairfax Media.

    “We’ll roll it out in the city and the regional dealerships at the same time. The next big thing will be what we do beyond the dealerships.”

    He added that there was only so much vehicle manufacturers can do.

    “It’s not the role of car companies to build petrol stations, and while it is not the role of governments to spend public money on subsidising the industry, they need to create a framework for its growth.

    “We need the right framework to supercharge the infrastructure and allow people to make a decision on the uptake of electric vehicles.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/jaguar-gears-for-electric-sports-car-with-big-spend-on-city-chargers-20180223-p4z1dx.html

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  8. https://grist.org/article/boston-noreaster-hurricane-like-winter-bomb-cyclone/

    Nor’easters are now just as dangerous as hurricanes
    By Eric Holthaus on Mar 2, 2018
    On Friday and Saturday, the winter storm now moving up the East Coast will unleash hurricane-force winds on Washington, blizzard conditions across parts of New York and New England, and inflict the worst coastal flood in Boston’s history.

    By all accounts, this storm is a monster. It’s also the latest sign that New England’s long-feared coastal flooding problem is already here — and it’s time to admit climate change is its primary cause.
    Although the storm is getting little attention in the national news, the National Weather Service and meteorologists across the Northeast are screaming at a fever pitch. Boston-area municipalities have taken heed, issuing evacuations, preparing dive-team equipment for water rescues, and deploying a temporary flood barrier designed as a climate change-resilience measure. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has activated the National Guard to help with preparations.

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    • bill h

       /  March 3, 2018

      Frank, why so little attention, when seaboard states are declaring states of emergency? I’m pleased to say that in the UK, despite our preoccupation with the effects of the polar vortex splitting over here, both the Guardian and the BBC are reporting the extreme weather in the Eastern US.

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      • I’ve seen quite a lot of news IRT the nor’easter here. Not sure what Frank is referencing. But I’m plugged in to the Weather Channel which has been covering it 24/7.

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      • I’m finding that some are just trying to blame the recent extreme events in the UK and at the pole on Arctic Oscillation. That’s kind of like trying to blame expanding Equatorial drought on El Nino. It’s inaccurate and climate change denial based.

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  9. From India
    http://www.livemint.com/Industry/uJx6eSuVGTwZa6Y2aE5W7I/Worlds-largest-solar-park-Shakti-Sthala-inaugurated-in-Karn.html

    World’s largest solar park Shakti Sthala launched in Karnataka
    The world’s largest solar park, Shakti Sthala, has a capacity of 2,000 MW and has set up at an investment of Rs16,500 crore at Pavagada in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district

    I’m trying to find the article I read on this site re an Indian Car Co helping Ford produce EV vehicles. Note Jaguar et al are owned by India’s Tata Industries

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  10. Still playing the Sitar
    http://www.livemint.com/Companies/StaauWZCjShay1mUa75rxI/Onset-of-early-summer-may-boost-sales-of-packaged-goods-make.html
    New Delhi: Bad news for some can be good news for others.

    The early arrival of summer, coupled with the India Meteorological Department’s forecast of an average 1.3 degrees Celsius above-normal temperature prevailing in the March-June summer months is likely to boost sales of summer-centric packaged goods and cooling appliances, while adversely impacting agriculture and health.
    The cheer, however, is likely to be short-lived. An intense summer could result in droughts in parts of the country, adversely impacting agriculture, and by extension the rural economy. So, the much-talked-about rural boost for packaged goods makers may prove elusive.

    Indians are very much aware of Global warming and it’s consequences

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  11. A search result, interesting chaos in the Indian EV policies, however going gangbusters, even electric Rickshaws on the way
    http://www.livemint.com/Search/Link/Keyword/Ford,%20EV?offset=0

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  12. Jeremy in Wales.

     /  March 3, 2018

    https://goo.gl/images/JafA6e
    Hedges make brilliant baffles for trapping blowing snow, unfortunately in the UK that means roads quickly become impassable. This photo was taken a few miles from my Mums house, three people had to be rescued from the car.

    It does not snow often here because it is near the sea and the last time it was this bad was in January 1982. When it does snow it is usually “wet” but this was dry fine grained stuff useless even for snowballs.

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    • The major polar warming event that occurred caused the polar vortex to collapse, the upper level winds to reverse. This brought the air mass that typically resides over Siberia into the UK. It was a disruption to typical weather patterns triggered by an extreme warming event which generated a local major cold snap by bullying cold air out of its typical residence.

      The UK is downrange from a melting Greenland. So, unfortunately, as climate change ramps up, you are more likely to see some very extreme weather going forward.

      The primary mitigation for this is to halt fossil fuel burning as swiftly as possible. However, some bad impacts are already locked in. And they are coming. So as a society, we would be wise to prepare as well as to mitigate.

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      • Jeremy in Wales.

         /  March 3, 2018

        Unfortunately the media does not take the chance to really explain the cause and the reaction amongst many people is “what global warming”. However, when you see sights like this:

        that you wonder how long civilisation has when we just let the soil blow away.

        On the bright side my friends lost ferret was found after 3 weeks romping around and by the looks of him not finding much to eat. Found by a kind lady who kept an eye open for him, Facebook does have a use!

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        • Extreme wind, extreme rainfall. We are going to have to work harder to protect soils.

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        • But the primary issue right now is halting fossil fuel burning as soon as possible:

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        • Andy_in_SD

           /  March 4, 2018

          We are degrading soil (when not losing it in that manner) at a frightening rate. I’ve seen estimates of 30 to 50 yrs of usable soil left in major regions. With that in mind, check that video I linked below in a comment on the outcome of such changes.

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      • Erik Frederiksen

         /  March 4, 2018

        “we would be wise to prepare as well as to mitigate.”

        Yet our past indicates we’re pretty bad at adaptation as well as mitigation.

        Richard Alley mentioned in a presentation (linked to below) that for the decade before Katrina, nearly every geoscientist he knew teaching an Introduction to Geology course taught it was coming.

        The course material was largely drawn from material prepared by the government, for the government, with government funding and everyone who was paying attention knew for decades that New Orleans is sinking, the protective delta is eroding, sea level rise is accelerating and maximum storm strength may be increasing.

        All of these things affect optimal levee design. So surely our economically efficient society appropriated the funds to raise the levees that protect New Orleans.

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        • Shutting down coal plants and cancelling new ones is a form of mitigation that we’re undertaking now. We need to have the courage to move forward on this. Living in fear and cynicism is to invite failure for both ourselves and our children.

          Like

  13. JH Wyoming

     /  March 4, 2018

    Good. I’m glad for these wild and crazy storms, like this Noreaster. Some of those people getting pounded are watching Fox News telling them there is no such thing as GW. Maybe if the storms get wild enough they’ll wonder if they’re being conned and rethink their position, maybe even change channels. We need even crazier and wilder storms – bring them on to help move most people to realize we need renewables on a massive scale worldwide. No longer is there time to waste pretending nothing is wrong. The question is; how outrageously off the charts do storms have to become to penetrate the density of denialists gray matter? I’m beginning to think entire valley’s will have to wash away, coastlines falling off into the ocean, people tossed for miles by tornados, washed into the rivers in deluge’s on a scale never before even thought possible before they relent their denialist position. Come on people, snap out of it!!!

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  14. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 4, 2018

    One problem with sea level rise is that the closer sea levels approach the top of a coastal defense the greater the risk of a storm surge breaching the defense as happened in New Orleans with Katrina.

    So many of these coastal places won’t go slowly with sea level rise, but quickly in catastrophic storms.

    Amateur video of lethal storm surge from Typhoon Haiyan which should be required viewing for those in the path of these storms.

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  15. Love this comment on Climate crocks
    https://climatecrocks.com/2018/03/03/kids-coming-at-climate-deniers-solving-climate-science-leading-the-way/#comments

    Kids, if you catch your parents watching Fox News, change the channel and hide the remote!

    Then reprogram the set-top box to block Fox News.

    Remember — they aren’t called “parental controls” for nothing!

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  16. Andy_in_SD

     /  March 4, 2018

    Not the most cheerful subject, over population. I suspect one would disagree with portions of the video. However, it is well thought out and touches on very salient points and makes one think about such things as our tenuous grip on civilization, and it’s frailty.

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    • entropicman

       /  March 4, 2018

      I’m afraid it matches other data. At current consumption rates the US is due to use up the last of its oil and gas reserves around 2080. That would require the whole food production and distribution system to be powered by renewables, a very high bar to reach.

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      • paul

         /  March 5, 2018

        Business as usual won’t continue until 2080. FFs will stay in the ground, one way or the other, long before they run out.

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  17. wili

     /  March 4, 2018

    I’m not generally a very religious person, but these types of stories (and thanks, rob, for your excellent presentations of them) just leave thinking …lord help us…

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  18. fred

     /  March 4, 2018
    Reply
  19. kassy

     /  March 4, 2018

    Scientists Say New Reservoirs Will Not Offset Dramatically Declining Snowpack

    Scientists have found dramatically declining snowpack across the American West over the past six decades that will likely cause water shortages in the region that cannot be managed by building new reservoirs, according to a study published Friday.

    “It’s a bigger decline than we expected,” he said. “In many lower-elevation sites, what used to fall as snow is now rain. Upper elevations have not been affected nearly as much, but most states don’t have that much area at 7,000-plus feet.”

    https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2018/03/03/study-new-reservoirs-will-not-offset-dramatically-declining-snowpack/

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  20. Genomik

     /  March 4, 2018

    The fires followed by floods in California really were an annhilation. Here’s a postcard from paradise/hell

    “And we know now what the dread was we felt in December. Call it climate change or climate collapse, that was the Big Dread behind the smaller ones. Climate believers, climate deniers, deep in our hearts we think it will happen somewhere else. Or, in some other time, in 2025 or 2040 or next year. But we are here to tell you, in this postcard from the former paradise, that it won’t happen next year, or somewhere else. It will happen right where you live and it could happen today. No one will be spared.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/03/california-climate-change-fires-flood-landslide

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  21. utoutback

     /  March 5, 2018

    Friends thought I should share this, so I’m posting here:

    My spiritual default setting is awe and gratitude. This Earth is such special place; a paradise really. Our planet is in the “Goldilocks” zone at just the right orbit around Sol, not too hot/cold. Our atmosphere protects us while being a canvas of constantly changing beauty; cerulean blue or filled with amazing clouds and shades of so many colors when there is a good sunrise or sunset. And, at night, in the unlighted places a sky filled with glowing jewels. This place filled with such an endless variety of shapes and forms and life.
    We not only have this paradise, but also the miracle of a brain, the most complex thing we know of, weighing just about a kilogram, with 86 billion neurons and well over 100 trillion synaptic connections (Yes, over 100 trillion!). Our brains change with new experiences; a lump of protoplasm that gives us consciousness. This consciousness, which is such a mystery, allows us to learn about cells and stars and to feel emotions and to plan and imagine things that don’t even exist, and, to somehow see ourselves as separate from the rest of existence.
    With self-realization come questions. What is this all about? How did I get here and where am I going? What lies beyond? We have an unending curiosity leading to invention.
    Our devices extend our senses as we always are trying to understand more. Magnification was noted in about the first century A.D., lenses for eyeglasses were first used in the late 13th century, the first credited microscope was constructed in the late 16th century and the first refractory telescope was invented in 1608. The more we looked the more we found and so came the spectrometer (1927), the electron microscope (1931), Particle accelerators (1960s), the radio telescope (1932) and the Hubble Telescope (1990).
    And what have we learned?
    The very smallest things are infinitesimal, with the difference between a particle of matter and a wavelength of energy eventually breaking down. What we consider solid, even our bodies, has more space than matter, all held together in fields of energy.
    The Universe is immense beyond imagining:
    A light year (ly) is a measure of distance, based on the distance a photon of light travels in a vacuum in a calendar year, equaling 5.9 trillion miles.
    The nearest planet to Earth, Mars, is a minimum of 54.6 million miles and a maximum of 401 million miles from Earth, depending on their positions in their orbits.
    The closest star system to our Solar system is Alpha Centuri, which is 4.3 ly away (that’s 25.37 trillion miles).
    The Milky Way Galaxy has a diameter of 100,000 ly and contains an estimated 100 billion stars.
    The closest major galaxy to the Milky Way is Andromeda and is approximately 2.56 million ly away.
    We only know the size of the “observable” Universe. But, within the observable universe there are an estimated 2 trillion galaxies.
    So, we live in this isolated, paradisiacal bubble of life floating in an essentially infinite space, with a miracle brain that allows us to observe our place in the scheme of it all and what do we do?
    We rape our planet, the only home we have. We spend ridiculous amount of our resources on ways to kill and disenfranchise one another. And, we live with a fantasy that we can actually travel into space and make a home on some other planet.
    Some facts about space travel: Launching the average space shuttle costs $1.5 billion which amounts to $10,000 per pound ($22,000 per kg). The recent launch of the Space X Heavy rocket cost $90 million so perhaps it’s more affordable, now?
    Let’s face it. We’re not going anywhere. We’ve got this planet and we’re stuck with one another. We need to figure out how to conserve what we have and get along. Or………
    But, ultimately, the Universe doesn’t care if we succeed. After us there will be something else, until there isn’t.

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    • kassy

       /  March 5, 2018

      I have a hunch that not destroying your natural habitat before you can reach other planets is the greatest Great Filter of all. Remember we nearly destroyed the ozone layer then took action on that before happily proceeding to wreck this planet at a somewhat slower pace…

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    • paul

       /  March 5, 2018

      We could, maybe, survive on another world for a number of months or years, just as we could survive in Antarctica or the deep ocean. But we could never thrive, individually or collectively, without a functioning Earth, and all the species we evolved along with, to supply and replenish both minds and bodies and physical infrastructure.
      Filtered sunlight, bacteria, yeasts, trace minerals, and countless other things are required for humans being to survive in good health for any length of time.
      Why anyone would willingly swap the struggle of a Martian existence for the what we have here is beyond me.

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  22. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-05/farmers-and-businesses-take-action-on-climate-change/9502320
    While politicians question the reality of climate change, farmers and businesses act

    David Bruer has been growing vines and making wine at his Temple Bruer vineyard in the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia since 1978.
    In his vineyard laboratory, weather records for every vintage for nearly 40 years are stacked in plastic folders.
    They clearly show a steady increase in maximum temperatures over that time of about 1 degree. It might seem like a relatively small change but the impact has been dramatic.

    About 800 kilometres to the east of Temple Bruer, Ross Brown from Brown Brothers Wines has an even longer weather record on file.
    His family has been making wine in Milawa, Victoria, for almost 130 years.
    Mr Brown says he used to be a climate change sceptic but his vintage charts are indicating things have changed.
    In Milawa, Brown Brothers is also picking earlier and their records show temperatures are rising.
    Some of the cool climate varieties his family always used to grow here — like pinot noir and sparkling whites — have now become too unreliable so the company has moved some of its operation to cooler country in Tasmania.
    “We decided that we would do our planning in future on a two-degrees increase in our vineyard temperatures and that we would have less water available,” Mr Brown said.
    “Making a strategic decision has really changed the way we look at our vineyards.”
    But if average temperature rises go beyond two degrees then, he says, the options run out.
    “We don’t know where to go after Tasmania,” he said.

    Brown Brothers is a big operation. Their winemaking is on an industrial scale and the decision to adapt to the changing weather was driven by the company’s board.
    (And for a big wine company they have always turned out a top drop, 40 years ago I used to take a trip to the mountains up there and always buy a couple of cases at the Cellar)

    Last November, Geoff Summerhayes, an executive member of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), told businesses climate change posed a material risk to the entire financial system.
    His message was that boards and directors had a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to take it into account. He cited legal opinion that found company directors who failed to consider and disclose climate risk could be in breach of the Corporations Act.
    “Climate change and society’s responses to it are starting to affect the global economy,” he said.
    “Institutions that fail to adequately plan for this transition put their own futures in jeopardy, with subsequent consequences for their account holders, members or policy holders.”

    That’s a view that’s now been backed by Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe.
    On February 16, he told a sitting of the Federal Parliament’s economics committee that the Council of Financial Regulators – a body he chairs – had established a working group to look at issues about disclosure.
    The RBA confirmed it believed investors needed to be given more information on climate risk.

    It might seem a small move but it’s seen as highly significant in the corporate world.

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  23. https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/cracker-solar-surge-starts-to-get-buy-in-from-big-shopping-centres-20180305-p4z2ud.html
    ‘Cracker’: Solar surge starts to get buy-in from big shopping centres
    Stockland, one of Australia’s biggest developers, is adding the equivalent of nine rugby fields of solar panels to shopping centre roofs, fuelling the long-anticipated commercial rush into renewable energy.
    The company’s $23.5-million investment will involve the installation of 39,000 photovoltaic panels on 10 retail centres, adding a total of 12.3 megawatts (MW) of capacity.
    Electricity use in commercial buildings, particularly shopping centres, is usually a better fit for solar panels than many homes with demand highest during the daytime.

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  24. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/05/global-deforestation-hotspot-3m-hectares-of-australian-forest-to-be-lost-in-15-years

    ‘Global deforestation hotspot’: 3m hectares of Australian forest to be lost in 15 years

    and how also on the Guardian

    Lobbying by MPs forced government to back off on land-clearing enforcement

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    • kassy

       /  March 5, 2018

      From article above:
      WWF analysis estimated that 45 million animals are killed each year in Queensland, just from the bulldozing of their habitat.

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  25. Vaughn An

     /  March 5, 2018

    The Sierra Club published a very informative article about the slated closure of
    “The Largest Coal-Fired Power Plant in the West” by Evelyn Nieves in the November-December Sierra Club magazine online:

    https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2017-6-november-december/feature/largest-coal-fired-power-plant-west-slated-for-closure

    Evelyn discusses the impact on water resources, effects of coal dust and emissions pollutants, and the socio-economic impact on the Navajo and Hopi nations.

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  26. Vaughn An

     /  March 7, 2018

    Robert, Thanks for pointing out an article about the truth of “clean coal.” I was convinced from the beginning that the truth about “clean coal” was towards this direction, however, I never dreamed it was this bad. WOW!

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