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Rapid Sea Level Rise Possible as Ocean Floods into Antarctica at up to 400 Meters Per Year

From west to east and in a growing number of places, a warming ocean is cutting its way deep into Antarctica. Grounding lines — the bases upon which mile-high glaciers come to rest as they meet the water — are in rapid retreat. And this ocean, heated by human fossil fuel burning, is beginning to flood chasms that tunnel for hundreds of miles beneath great mountains of ice.

Such an immense flood has the effect of speeding up glaciers as far away as 500 miles from the point of invasion. It does this by generating a kind of abyssal pit that the glacier more swiftly falls into. And as these watery pits widen, they risk pumping sea level rise to catastrophic levels of ten feet or more by the end of this Century.

(A new study in Nature is the first to survey the rate of grounding line movement around Antarctica’s entire perimeter. What it found was disturbing. A large number of major glaciers are seeing historically rapid rates of grounding line retreat [red arrows] as only a few glaciers show very slow rates of grounding line advance [blue arrows]. Image source: Hannes Konrad et al, Nature, University of Leeds.)

The great ocean invasion is clearly on the march. Not yet proceeding everywhere, the advance is happening in enough places to cause major worry. In West Antarctica, 22 percent of its glaciers are seeing their grounding lines move inland by more than 25 meters per year. In the Antarctic Peninsula, 10 percent of glaciers are experiencing this retreat. And in East Antarctica, where the ice is piled thickest, 3 percent of glaciers are affected by the swift invasion.

The most rapid retreat — at up to 400 meters per year — is presently happening at Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. Thwaites alone encompasses enough ice to lift the world’s oceans by 3 meters. And the rate of inland ocean water invasion at this single location is a very serious concern.

(Grounding line retreat is just one of many factors that increase the risk of rapid sea level rise. Ice cliff instability, increased rainfall over glaciers, large floods of water into glaciers from melt ponds that then refreeze and fracture the ice, and a number of other factors all compound as the Earth is heated up by fossil fuel burning. Video source: International Business Times.)

But the issue is not one of single glaciers. It’s one where many very large mounds of ice all around Antarctica are under threat. And in much the same way that a dike risks breaking apart when it is punched through by a growing number of holes, Antarctica’s own flood gates to rapid sea level rise are threatened by each grounding line in quickening retreat. Another such ‘hole’ has formed at the Totten Glacier where the grounding line is retreating at around 150 to 175 meters per year. And Totten could produce another 3.4 meters of sea level rise if it collapsed into the Southern Ocean.

Continuing the dike anology, Antarctica holds back enough water as ice, in total, to lift the world’s ocean levels by an average of 200 feet. By greater or lesser degrees, each retreating glacier contains a portion of the potentially massive flood. And the overall rate of loss in the form of new glaciers going into retreat together with the pace of inland ocean invasion is speeding up.

This new set of research provides a more complete if fearsome picture of Antarctic melt. And though models aren’t yet able to pinpoint how fast sea level rise will be, a growing body of evidence points to greater than previously expected risk for rapid sea level rise this Century. So for the sake of our coastlines and of so many cities around the world, the time to act as swiftly as possible to reduce carbon emissions and their terrible related impacts is now.

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65 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.

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  2. Jimbot

     /  April 4, 2018

    Thanks for another great informative piece, RS.

    My own guesstimate is that there will be about double the SLR of these estimates, based somewhat on the fact that people in the insurance business have produced studies indicating this.

    Even though this will undoubtedly be a huge problem to any remaining viable coastal cities, it will not be seen as the biggest problem compared to what will be happening on land somewhat earlier than these timelines. The temperature rise will be much greater over the ( shrinking ) 1/4 of the earth’s surface which is above sea level. This will seem to be a much more immediate problem in the short to medium term I think.

    Sea Level Rise is somewhat long term in comparison. At this stage of the game it’s almost like comforting news that something as catastrophic as 3 meters SLR won’t happen until 2010. Even if it sounds a little conservative perhaps..

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    • I don’t necessarily agree with this assessment. Land impacts and SLR impacts will proceed in concert. Both will promote shocks now and very severe shocks by mid Century under business as usual fossil fuel burning scenarios. 3 feet of sea level rise is a bad outcome. In some locations, that’s already pretty catastrophic.

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    • Marcel Guldemond

       /  April 4, 2018

      I wrote a big long thing about SLR impacts, Miam, Florida, etc. But WordPress seems to have lost it. Short form: Huge financial impacts when SLR reaches 15cm, which might happen in 20 years. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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      • Yep. It doesn’t take much to cause a lot of damage. Sorry wordpress lost your comment. Happens to me sometimes as well when I’m remote. It’s always a good idea to log in.

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    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  April 4, 2018

      Jimbot, even a small increase in sea-level in places such as Bangladesh ot the Mekong Delta will impact on large numbers of people who will migrate to the cities and which will then ripple outwards.
      Richer countries will probably cope with 1 metre (3 feet) but above that and the engineering to maintain dykes and drainage, especially in rural areas, becomes expensive and managed retreat seems more sensible.
      https://www.ice.org.uk/knowledge-and-resources/case-studies/managed-realignment-at-medmerry-sussex
      Areas built on temporary geographic features such as sand bars (Atlantic City) or deltas (Shanghai or New Orleans) are especially vulnerable as the seas likely suffer more extreme storms and hard engineering can be undermined or overwhelmed.
      Play around with: http://www.floodmap.net/

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      • I just visited Chincoteague Island in Virginia about a month ago. One more foot and half that place is flooded at high tide.

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      • Jimbot

         /  April 6, 2018

        Jeremy, it is definitely uncertain as to whether SLR or maximum temperatures will be the thing which causes major disruption in many food growing areas. As Michael Mann has recently said, talking about climate change in general I think but maybe it applies, “uncertainty is not our friend in this situation” ( paraphrased ). It seems to me that the ice sheet melting is a lagging factor to some extent however.

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        • If you’re talking about displacing 10 percent of the global population due to one single factor alone, it’s tough to call it lagging. To use a metaphor, sea level rise in the context of climate change is comparable to one of the big mother ships at the heart of an enormous alien invasion. It’s one of the key threats posed by the climate crisis. We ignore it or downgrade its substantial threat at our peril.

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  3. Another oil spill in yet another ocean.

    Deadly Indonesia oil spill caused by burst pipe: company
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/deadly-indonesia-oil-spill-caused-burst-pipe-company-112955110–finance.html

    Balikpapan (Indonesia) (AFP) – An oil spill off Borneo island that led to five deaths and the declaration of a state of emergency was caused by a ruptured undersea pipe, Indonesia’s national oil company Pertamina said Wednesday.

    The leakage, which started in waters near Balikpapan city early Saturday, has spread at least 26 kilometres (16 miles) and coated large areas of the coast in thick black sludge.

    Five fishermen died in a fire sparked by workers who were trying to clear the spill by burning it off the water’s surface, a local search and rescue agency spokesman said.

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  4. Marcel Guldemond

     /  April 4, 2018

    Adding a comment to get subsribed in my email…

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Jeremy in Wales

     /  April 4, 2018

    If we need to buy some time from this sympton of a warming world, because we are too slow in reducing and then reversing our CO2 emissions, then this geo-engineering idea may help:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/a-new-geo-engineering-proposal-to-stop-sea-level-rise/550214/
    Building rock and sand barriers in front of a limited number of glaciers should reduce the flow of warm waters to the bases of the glaciers and then hopefully this stabilises the grounding line. If you can buy a 100 years of reduced melt one of the major effects on people and infrastructure is delayed.
    However, while we have the current crop of politicians looking inward nothing much will happen.

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    • Best thing we could do right now is cut carbon emissions.

      It’s uncertain that this unproven strategy would actually buy 100 years. Claims like these tend to not take into account all the various factors involved. Heat finds a way. In any case, if you’re going to invest tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars on geo-engineering, my opinion is that it’s better spent on clean energy instead.

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      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  April 4, 2018

        Agreed, but it would help if certain countries did more. I include the UK in that unscientific assessment!

        Liked by 1 person

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    • Jimbot

       /  April 6, 2018

      Jeremy, slowing carbon emissions is one thing, and I agree with RS it’s the most important thing to focus on, but how can we actually reverse it?

      I recently came to little a conclusion for myself which maybe I can share here. All oil that is extracted from it’s source amounts to an oil spill catastrophe. If it ends up in the atmosphere it’s possibly a worse outcome than if in the ocean or on the land.

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      • Once carbon is emitted by fossil fuel burning it is very difficult to draw it out of the atmosphere. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so critical to halt those emissions through a clean energy transition as soon as possible. Step two in the process — drawing the carbon out — will be more difficult. But it’s something we will have to pursue as well.

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        • Jimbot

           /  April 6, 2018

          Agreed RS, atmospheric carbon removal is something we should be trying to figure out.

          If only somehow we could divert even 1% of the world’s probably $2T dollars spent annually on military buildup, sigh.

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        • Unfortunately that military spending is only likely to increase in response to attacks on western democracies by entities like Russia.

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  6. Erik Frederiksen

     /  April 4, 2018

    From the UMASS ice sheet modeler Rob DeConto regarding the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, linked to below,

    “The key is it’s retreating on bedrock that, as Jonathan noted in many places, is sloping down into the continent toward the continent, not down toward the ocean. It’s on what we call a reverse sloped bed, so the grounding line has just gotten thicker, which means it turns out that we can actually start to pump more ice through the grounding line.

    And it’s really interesting, the amount of ice that can flow through the grounding line is related to how thick the grounding line is, that’s pretty intuitive, but it’s an exponential relationship.

    So if the grounding line gets just a little thicker, as it starts to retreat, you start pumping an exponentially greater amount of ice out of the ice sheet, in that as you could see will just lead to a runaway retreat where once that grounding line starts to come back onto that reverse slope bed the system just takes off. And that’s this so-called marine ice sheet instability.”

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  7. Erik Frederiksen

     /  April 4, 2018

    Thwaites Glacier is 120km wide, it’s huge. And the hole behind its stabilizing ridge is 2.5km below sea level and the next stop is the Transantarctic Mountains.

    When it backs up off its stabilizing ridge its going to try to make a marine-terminating ice cliffs higher than El Capitan (1000m) when it’s been observed at Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland that these ice cliffs collapse at over 100m in height.

    Seismographs all over the planet are going to light up when a calving front opens there.

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    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  April 5, 2018

      Actually, calvings at Jakobshavn already do that to seismographs, I was just engaging in a little hyperbole, apologies.

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  8. Erik Frederiksen

     /  April 5, 2018

    If sea levels were to rise today to the height that they did in the past, when the current atmospheric level of CO2 was sustained for a long time, it would force around 10 percent of the world’s population to move.

    That is not a prediction or a projection, but a good reason to understand what we are doing to the ice (paraphrase of R Alley)

    To paraphrase James Hansen, if large sea level rise were to arrive rapidly it is easy to imagine the planet becoming ungovernable.

    Thwaites could deliver large sea level rise rapidly, and behind that perhaps a century or two later, Totten.

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    • Marcel Guldemond

       /  April 5, 2018

      I once did a crude mathematical model of SLR after Dr. Rignot released those frightening findings about the Pine Island grounding lines and reverse slope topology. I put some selected glaciers in as S curves (cotangents on their sides?) to model the melting happening slowly at first, then accelerating to the midpoint, and then tapering off again as it approached 100%.

      I can’t remember the exact numbers I used, so these are guesses: Pine Island and Thwaites (1.2m) over 150 years, Totten (4m over 500 years), marine terminating part of Greenland (2m over 200 years?), rest of WAIS (3m over 500 years). I may have added in the rest of Greenland over 1000 years. I can’t really remember exactly.

      Anyway, those glaciers add up to about 10m of SLR, so that’s still short of the ~20m we’re probably in for long term. Even so, I do remember that the curves added up to something like ~45cm by 2050 and 2.4m by 2100. Significant amounts.

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      • Andy_in_SD

         /  April 5, 2018

        At 45 cm it is likely that the sewers stop operating properly in Miami. The storm drains are already not functional at high tides or during storms. The pressure on the aquifers become another issue as the ground water is extracted, leaving a vacuum for the salt water intrusion to take advantage of. Bangladesh, the delta would be close to finished. Deltas are often used for crops, as the boundary between salt / fresh water move inland those cultivatable lands get compromised.

        2.4m … I have trouble seeing civilization operating in the world properly. To reference the quote above, ungovernable becomes a key issue.

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      • It’s a difficult problem to model. My opinion, though, is that we get a lot of acceleration as we hit 1.5 to 2.5 C.

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  9. bostonblorp

     /  April 5, 2018

    Most SLR discussion looks principally at how it affects coastal development. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere in Hansen’s “Storms of My Grandchildren” that coastal seafood production during eras of stable sea level is believed to be 10x that relative to when undergoing change.

    The world’s coral reefs, not that many are likely to survive the ongoing bleaching, will suffer when submerged by additional feet of ocean. To say nothing of the additional insults of changes in pH, salinity, currents and so on. A drastic decline in the availability of ocean protein would be a huge problem.

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    • Marcel Guldemond

       /  April 5, 2018

      No doubt it will be a huge problem. Fisheries collapse seems like it will really happen in the next 5-15 years. One or more of Egypt, Iran, or Pakistan destabilizing due to agricultural failures due to drought and water shortages also seems to be in that 5-15 year range. (Large populations in hot countries with rapidly dwindling water supplies) South Florida and US coastal real estate bubble popping also seems to be in that 5-15 year range.

      Fasten yer seatbelts, it’s gonna be a rough one!

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      • Erik Frederiksen

         /  April 5, 2018

        Regarding fisheries, a marine ecologist from Scripps Oceanographic Institute noted in a TED Talk (see below) that Atlantic fish stocks are between 1/1,000 and 1/10,000 of what they were just 150 years ago.

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        • bostonblorp

           /  April 5, 2018

          It’s fascinating and almost heartbreaking to read historical accounts of ocean wildlife. Spanish explorers recorded schools of sea turtles so numerous they thought they might run aground on them. Cod so numerous they turned the ocean black.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Heartbreaking, yes. I suppose is is no coincidence that MacPherson, the most despondent of all, is a biologist. Similar stories seem to appear wherever you look. Here are just a couple I remember.
        In “The Flame Trees of Thika”, Elspeth Huxley (1907 – 1997) states that her mother was one of the Europeans to see the great herds of East African wildlife untouched, implying that even in her time that was no more. Again, Darwin in the “Voyage of the Beagle” “On several occasions, when the Beagle has been within the mouth of the Plata, the rigging has been coated with the web of the Gossamer Spider. One day (November 1st, 1832) I paid particular attention to this subject. The weather had been fine and clear, and in the morning the air was full of patches of the flocculent web, as on an autumnal day in England. The ship was sixty miles distant from the land, in the direction of a steady though light breeze. Vast numbers of a small spider, about one-tenth of an inch in length, and of a dusky red colour, were attached to the webs. There must have been, I should suppose, some thousands on the ship…”
        It is too much to bear. I think the Angels are weeping.

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    • John S

       /  April 6, 2018

      Indeed the angels are weeping, as our sleepwalking masters continue to sell out humanity’s future

      “The [Australian] federal government has stripped environmental protections from vast areas of protected marine reserves. The changes would allow commercial fishing and some mining in areas of the Coral Sea currently designated as “green zones”, the highest level of protection. Speaking yesterday, Labor environment spokesperson Tony Burke said “no country anywhere in the world has taken as much area out of conservation as the Turnbull government took with the stroke of a pen this afternoon”, claiming the reduced protections would allow trawlers into environmentally sensitive areas.”

      https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/thebriefing/2018/03/21

      “The Coral Sea contains numerous islands and reefs, as well as the world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. All previous oil exploration projects were terminated at the GBR in 1975, and fishing is restricted in many areas.”

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

      The Australian Marine Conservation Society said the government had wilfully ignored scientific evidence supporting an increase in marine life protections.

      But Seafood Industry Australia said in September the proposed changes balanced environmental imperatives with the need for “a sustainable protein source and the interests of commercial and recreational fishers”.

      Labor environment spokesman Tony Burke said “It allows a pathway for trawlers and longliners to go all the way from north to south in the Coral Sea. That means we go from a highly protected area to an area where super trawlers can turn up.”

      https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-winds-back-marine-protections-to-support-fishing-industry-20180320-p4z5at.html

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      • I wouldn’t call these people ‘masters.’ More like hacks who have been elected to office through the use of money and right wing media aimed at misinforming and misdirecting the public.

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    • The coastal zones are the most productive. If you have rapidly moving coastlines, then you lose a lot of seafood. Up-thread, someone mentioned the delta regions. These low-lying zones also produce a significant amount of the world’s food. Delta zones were key features in the emergence of civilization through the Fertile Crescent and Egypt due to their high nature productivity of grains like rice and wheat.

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      • Robert M

         /  April 6, 2018

        It’s very difficult to get a clear picture of global fishing. Global fish take has been steady at around 90m tons for 30 years. This has been interpreted to mean that the present take is sustainable and also that it is unsustainable. In that same time farmed fish has increased from virtually nothing to 75m tons. I think the farmed fish are mostly fed on bycatch (some also on algae) which indicates that new fisheries, unsuitable for human consumption, are now being exploited on a large scale. The FAO says that 30% of current fisheries are unsustainable; Daniel Pauly at UBC is a prominent fisheries scientist who claims the entire system is unsustainable. The basic problem is that fish live in the sea where they are invisible (a bit like carbon dioxide…)
        Source: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5555e.pdf

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  10. Syd Bridges

     /  April 5, 2018

    I have long expected that we will see a multi-metre SLR this century. I worried about it in the 1980s, when my house in Portsmouth, England, was less than 3 feet above sea level. I sold it in 1997, and it is still safe at present. With the Isle of Wight not far offshore, I guess that it would be possible to wall off Portsmouth and Southampton for a while, but, if we see increasingly heavy rainstorms, giant pumps might be needed to stop “Solent Lake” from expanding behind the sea walls. Sea water might also seep up through the chalk.

    When i was a chemistry grad student, I once made a compound named 1-methyl-5-chloroimidazole. The instructions were to mix two dry powders, NN’dimethyloxamide and phosphorous pentachloride, in a large round-bottomed flask fitted with a reflux condenser and a drying tube. As the byproduct was hydrogen chloride I had to do it in the fume hood. For about 20 minutes it just fumed slowly and yellowed slightly. But the product was a liquid which dissolved the solids and also catalysed the reaction. At a certain point the reaction took off and I knew why the reflux condenser was needed. In seconds the whole mixture was liquid and boiling very vigourously. When it finally stabilised, I turned off the water to the reflux condenser and vacuum distilled off the product with a second condenser. That reaction is a very good metaphor for what we are now seeing with the ice sheets. They are steadily fuming away like my flask did. But the point of autocatalysis is near when ice will cause rising sea levels, which will, in turn, lift the ice, allowing further seawater incursion, thus melting more ice, with the reverse slopes acting as the liquid product which dissolved the starting materials.

    The psychological inertia that most show to these changes, is not dissimilar to that often shown by crowds in buildings when a fire starts. Tragically, many do not understand that a confined fire is an exponential process and hence do not get out in time. That small fire suddenly flashes over and becomes an inferno.

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    • With respect to walling off Portsmouth and Southhampton, the distance are 1.4 and 2.8 miles. However, whenever the free flow of sea water is constricted, stagnation and unpleasantness ensue. An example is Eastport, Maine, where a breakwater was constructed to mitigate the central whirlpool, which had caused several fatalities. Another is the causeway between Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island, 0.75 mi. wide. I wish I understood why they didn’t put in a bridge instead. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Franscisco is over 1.1 miles.

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    • So looking at paleoclimate, it appears that the 1.5 to 2.5 C warming range globally is where you tend to get more rapid rates of sea level rise. It’s also worth noting that when CO2e forcing hits 550 to 600 ppm, that total forcing is enough to melt pretty much all the major ice sheets over the long term. We were at 491-492 ppm CO2e by end 2017. By end 2018, we’ll be around 493-495 ppm CO2e.

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      • Robert M

         /  April 7, 2018

        So you’re thinking we’re looking at 55m long-term, unless we can reduce the CO2e, and transitioning to up to 4m/century?

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        • I did not make a comment on rate per Century. But I think that by 2100 we are looking at 5 to 13 feet and 7-35 feet by 2200 depending on emissions and response scenarios.

          Paleoclimate indicates that most glacial ice is lost long term when CO2 hits 550 to 650 ppm. The CO2e number is relevant to human warming due to additional, non typical ghg that have been released. However, the primary driver is still CO2.

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  11. wili

     /  April 5, 2018

    “Paris to turn a third of its green space into urban farms”

    “France’s famously beautiful capital is not a place you’d expect to find chickens, beehives and rows of neatly planted cabbages — but urban farming is flourishing in Paris.
    It all started when the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, who was elected in 2014, declared her intention to make Paris a greener city. The Paris government responded to her call in 2016 by launching Parisculteurs, a project which aims to cover the city’s rooftops and walls with 100 hectares (247 acres) of vegetation by 2020. One third of the green space, according to its plan, should be dedicated to urban farming. ”

    https://www.cnn.com/style/article/urban-farms-in-paris/index.html

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  12. wharf rat

     /  April 5, 2018

    Lock ’em up.

    Here is what #ShellKnew about Climate Change in the 1980s

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    Shell knew climate change was going to be big, was going to be bad, and that its products were responsible for global warming all the way back in the 1980s, a tranche of new documents reveal.

    Documents unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent, published today on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center, show intense interest in climate change internally at Shell.

    The documents date back to 1988, meaning Shell was doing climate change research before the UN’s scientific authority on the issue, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was established.

    https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/04/04/here-what-shellknew-about-climate-change-way-back-1980s

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    • So the amazing depth of field of bad actors should resolve us to hold them all accountable. Failure to respond is nothing more than enablement and a tacit allowance of vast harms done.

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  13. Andy_in_SD

     /  April 5, 2018

    A sad read, but timely.

    Brutal Choice in Houston: Sell Home at a Loss or Face New Floods

    Hundreds of homeowners in Canyon Gate at Cinco Ranch, a quiet subdivision in a west Houston suburb, are mired in a slow, frustrating effort to rebuild. Others have formed an uneasy exodus, their attachment to familiar places and routines irreparably battered by a storm that dumped 50-plus inches and caused widespread flooding. They are now selling their gutted homes at well below pre-storm prices………

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    • So I’ve got to say we’ve been warning about these kinds of compounding trends for some time now. They appear to have fallen on deaf conservative/reactionary political and industry ears. But it’s the American people who suffer.

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  14. wharf rat

     /  April 6, 2018

    One of the Greatest West Coast Atmospheric Rivers on Record
    Cliff Mass

    The more I look at the strong atmospheric river that will strike California tomorrow, the more amazing it becomes. In some, but not all, respects it is one of the more extreme atmospheric rivers on record.

    Today’s water vapor satellite imagery shows a huge plume of moisture stretching from the tropics towards California (see below)

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/

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    • Working on this now.

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    • The forecast data regarding the significance of this event is unclear at this time. It appears that we might see up to 10 inches of rain in certain locations over a few days. However, the high atmospheric moisture levels present the opportunity for unexpected outcomes. Also, warmth should push rainfall levels high up mountain peaks which could produce flooding as snowpacks release. Something to keep monitoring.

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  15. wili

     /  April 6, 2018

    “More money was invested in solar in 2017 than in any other energy technology.”

    Story here: https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Solar-Energy/Solar-Attracted-More-Investment-Than-Any-Technology-In-2017.html

    From the story:

    “The proportion of world electricity generated by wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, marine and small hydro in 2017 was 12.1 percent (up from 5.2 percent in 2007).

    Since 2004, the world has invested $2.9 trillion in these green energy sources.

    Falling costs for solar electricity, and to some extent wind power, is continuing to drive deployment, the study claims. Last year was the eighth in a row in which global investment in renewables exceeded $200 billion — and since 2004, the world has invested $2.9 trillion in these green energy sources.”

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    • It’s a megatrend. And prices will continue to fall as production capacity surges to over 150 GW per year in 2018 (total annual production is generally 20-30 percent lower).

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  16. Bob

     /  April 6, 2018

    This is an interesting report on production of CO2 from various energy sources. Total releases are decreasing and renewables are having a measurable effect in this reduction.
    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/05/power-sector-carbon-index-highlights-falling-levels-of-carbon-pollution/

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    • Thanks for this, Bob. It’s certainly a positive trend. We have the ability to respond in a stronger fashion. But things are moving despite reactionary resistance from those that in my opinion are best described as ‘bone heads.’

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      • Tom Jerome

         /  April 6, 2018

        I would rather call them “sludgeheads”, but we are in general agreement.

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  17. redskylite

     /  April 6, 2018

    Thanks Robert for this detailed and easy to read narrative on the Antarctic melt study, it is eyeopening and compelling. Not sure what year you first started this great Climate blog, but I wonder what year you first expressed concern of what is happening around the South in the Antarctic. When I first became concerned, deniers always pointed to the Antarctic as evidence all was well, pristine and stable, and the Arctic was of little consequence. That argument is sadly closed now. Still think your post would make a great coffee table history book. The way that nations are carving up the Arctic now and licking their lips in anticipation of great profit, god forbid that the Antarctic gets plundered for the wealth that lays below the great ice sheets. Man has already put his unwelcome stamp on the continent.

    ‘Moscow has been keen to stake its claim to an estimated $35 trillion worth of untapped oil and natural gas under the Arctic seabed and to exert its sovereignty over the Northern Sea Route — a shipping lane through Russia’s northern coast that represents a one-third quicker alternative from Asia to Europe than the Suez Canal. Beijing has also pushed its way into the region, announcing its vision in January for a “Polar Silk Road” as part of its trillion-dollar “Belt and Road” initiative.’

    https://www.politico.eu/article/finlands-race-for-arctic-riches-resources-shipping-lanes-high-north/

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  18. redskylite

     /  April 6, 2018

    Amazingly Scott’s Discovery expedition ice samples are still preserved and intact, present day samples can be compared to when the continent was truly pristine.

    Samples collected during Captain Scott’s famous 1901-1904 Discovery expedition to Antarctica, the oldest of their kind, have recently undergone new analysis using modern techniques providing scientists with exciting new data, over 100 years after the voyage.

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/tfg-csd040318.php

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  1. Tonight on the Anderson Cooper Show, Dr. West said, damn it–there’s more of us now who will go out swinging  for justice. Dr. West we will know more by September of this year.  This is it, the big one or old number six, and so far it’s
  2. The Increasingly Fragile Pine Island Glacier Just Calved Again | robertscribbler

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