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Hellacious Forecasts for Florence

Models are now predicting that Florence will threaten the U.S. East Coast as a major hurricane next week. We are still one week out. And should take any prediction at this time with a grain of salt. However, this is a concerning trend which we should continue to monitor.

Climate change factors discussed RE increasing U.S. East Coast hurricane risks include much warmer than normal sea surface temperatures, lifting of deflecting troughs to the north, and fixed Jet Stream ridge patterns that, when they prevail across the U.S. East, enhance the potential for land-falling storms.

(This is one of five video blogs covering climate change and clean energy posted today on my YouTube Channel. I will post a daily highlight of the feed here. In addition, I will post an in-depth climate change related blog here on a weekly basis as a new format. Warmest regards to all! — R)

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48 Comments

  1. Jean Swan

     /  September 7, 2018

    ‘Excellent..Thanks Robert.I start my day w you blog..Videos are great as well as the comment section!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. cushngtree

     /  September 7, 2018

    Will appreciate the weekly piece, am glad you’re doing both forums

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Fantastic Robert, your hard work is always much appreciated

    Like

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  4. kassy

     /  September 7, 2018

    Two pieces on the PETM

    History suggests impacts of global warming are being underestimated

    Beginning 56 million years ago, during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum — a period between the Palaeocene and Eocene epochs, lasting 10,000 to 20,000 years — temperatures rose between 5 and 8 degrees Celsius.

    Using the analysis of ancient sediment cores, scientists analyzed the effects of this dramatic rise in temperature on hydrologic cycles.

    Previous studies have charted the rise in temperature during Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. Castelltort and his colleagues analyzed evidence of shifting river dynamics in the Spanish Pyrenees during the same time period.

    The analysis of pebbles in ancient sediment cores allowed researchers to estimate the flow velocity and discharge in the river system. At the beginning the of the PETM, river channels deposited fertile alluvium in the floodplain at the foothills of the Pyrenees. The deposits encouraged the growth of rich vegetation.

    As temperature rose during the PETM, the system’s dynamics shifted dramatically. Rising temperatures increased the severity and frequency of flooding by a factor of 14. The sudden change caused fertile alluvium to be carried directly to the ocean, bypassing the floodplain.

    As a result of the change in sediment deposition patterns, vegetation disappeared from the Pyrenees foothills. The region was transformed into an arid expanse of gravel.

    “We face effects that we do not understand, which can perhaps be explained by local factors, but also by global factors that are not yet incorporated into current climate models,” Castelltort said.

    see:
    https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2018/09/06/History-suggests-impacts-of-global-warming-are-being-underestimated/9871536238447/

    While in the seas:

    Shining light on ancient global warming

    The impact of global warming on shallow marine life approximately 56 million years ago is the subject of a significant, new article. Researchers have now addressed the effects of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) — a relatively brief period of global climate change, spanning 200,000 years — on marine invertebrates, including snails, clams and other mollusks.

    Which begs the question: What implications do these results hold for the present and future response of shallow marine biota to ongoing global change? Ivany chooses her words carefully, explaining that the carbon dioxide release during the PETM occurred over thousands of years. Compare that to putting the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from only a few hundred years of human activity.”

    Whatever happened during the PETM was a “best-case scenario” for marine invertebrates, Ivany explains. “With everything happening so much faster now, it is more likely organisms will go extinct,” she adds. “When the environment changes, you must move, evolve or die. If it changes faster than you can move or evolve, you’re toast.”

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180905142055.htm

    Liked by 3 people

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  5. kassy

     /  September 7, 2018

    We could shift to sustainability and save $26 trillion. Why aren’t we doing it?

    The costs of the status quo keep rising; the costs of sustainable alternatives keep declining.

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/9/5/17816808/sustainability-26-trillion-global-commission-economy-climate

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  6. wharf rat

     /  September 7, 2018

    How climate change affects young Californians

    By Youth Radio reporters
    Sep. 6, 2018 Updated: Sep. 6, 2018 7:39 p.m.

    As the Global Climate Action Summit starts in San Francisco this week focused on solutions to climate change, young people in California reflect on their own experiences with a changing climate. The following is a collection of essays coming to you through Youth Radio.

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/How-climate-change-affects-young-Californians-13210410.php

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  7. wharf rat

     /  September 7, 2018

    We’re getting a lot of traffic thru town; it seems a road 100 miles east of us is closed.

    DELTA FIRE SPREADS TO MORE THAN 24,000 ACRES, I-5 TO REMAIN CLOSED
    LAKEHEAD, Calif. — Portions of Interstate-5 will remain closed from Dunsmuir to Redding until Sunday, Sept. 9 after the Delta Fire’s passage ravaged the roadway, according to CalTrans.

    The agency says that that guard rails, signs and areas of the center median were damaged by the fire. Meanwhile, crews continue to need full access to the highway as areas of the fire are still burning close to the roadway,
    http://www.kdrv.com/content/news/Wildfire-Closes-Interstate-5-Between-Redding-and-Dunsmuir-492541481.html

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  8. utoutback

     /  September 8, 2018

    Thanks for keeping this up. The weekly will allow a continuation of the very valuable comments section. I come here often to see what your commenters have culled from various
    media sites. Nothing else like it.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
  9. wharf rat

     /  September 8, 2018

    “Mangkhut” could be deadly for those unprepared; storm could strengthen to category 5

    Guam – Government authorities are warning that Tropical Storm Mangkhut could be deadly for those who don’t prepare properly.

    The storm is expected to strengthen into a category 4 typhoon with the possibility of turning into a category 5 typhoon

    https://pacificnewscenter.com/mangkhut-could-be-deadly-for-those-unprepared-storm-could-strengthen-to-category-5/

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  10. Paul in WI

     /  September 8, 2018

    Ancient farmers spared us from glaciers but profoundly changed Earth’s climate

    New evidence shows that ancient farming practices led to a rise in the atmospheric emission of the heat-trapping gases carbon dioxide and methane — a rise that has continued since, unlike the trend at any other time in Earth’s geologic history.

    Here’s an excerpt from the article in Science Daily:

    A study published in the journal Scientific Reports provides new evidence that ancient farming practices led to a rise in the atmospheric emission of the heat-trapping gases carbon dioxide and methane — a rise that has continued since, unlike the trend at any other time in Earth’s geologic history.

    It also shows that without this human influence, by the start of the Industrial Revolution, the planet would have likely been headed for another ice age.

    “Had it not been for early agriculture, Earth’s climate would be significantly cooler today,” says lead author, Stephen Vavrus, a senior scientist in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Climatic Research in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. “The ancient roots of farming produced enough carbon dioxide and methane to influence the environment.”

    The findings are based on a sophisticated climate model that compared our current geologic time period, called the Holocene, to a similar period 800,000 years ago. They show the earlier period, called MIS19, was already 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.3 C) cooler globally than the equivalent time in the Holocene, around the year 1850. This effect would have been more pronounced in the Arctic, where the model shows temperatures were 9-to-11 degrees Fahrenheit colder.

    Using climate reconstructions based on ice core data, the model also showed that while MIS19 and the Holocene began with similar carbon dioxide and methane concentrations, MIS19 saw an overall steady drop in both greenhouse gases while the Holocene reversed direction 5,000 years ago, hitting peak concentrations of both gases by 1850. The researchers deliberately cut the model off at the start of the Industrial Revolution, when sources of greenhouse gas emissions became much more numerous.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180906141507.htm

    Liked by 2 people

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    • Makes sense, the desertification of the Middle East (Egypt etc) was a Southward shift from North Africa which had been a fertile area, but became denuded of trees. Early man as shown by the Australian Aborigines and other current cultures used firestick hunting to flush out game and clear land for primitive agriculture – like with the Amazon and other rainforest areas, this led to a Southern migration and concurrent desertification and increasing drought

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  11. Paul in WI

     /  September 10, 2018

    Here’s an article in Forbes by a nuclear power advocate:

    The World Is Not Prepared For Global Warming

    He makes the case that increasing renewable energy alone is not enough to transition the world away from fossil fuels and that nuclear power needs to be expanded. I’m not sure that I completely agree but he seems to make a strong case.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2018/08/15/the-world-is-not-prepared-for-global-warming/#2802aed0762f

    The article also included a neat chart that plots Earth surface temperatures over the last 140 years while identifying the non-El Nino years.

    The temperatures in the chart almost appear to follow an exponential increase.

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  12. Paul in WI

     /  September 10, 2018

    Another article from Science Daily: Most land-based ecosystems worldwide risk ‘major transformation’ due to climate change

    From the article:

    Without dramatic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions, most of the planet’s land-based ecosystems — from its forests and grasslands to the deserts and tundra — are at high risk of “major transformation” due to climate change, according to a new study from an international research team.

    The researchers used fossil records of global vegetation change that occurred during a period of post-glacial warming to project the magnitude of ecosystem transformations likely in the future under various greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

    They found that under a “business as usual” emissions scenario, in which little is done to rein in heat-trapping greenhouse-gas emissions, vegetation changes across the planet’s wild landscapes will likely be more far-reaching and disruptive than earlier studies suggested.

    The changes would threaten global biodiversity and derail vital services that nature provides to humanity, such as water security, carbon storage and recreation, according to study co-author Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan.

    “If we allow climate change to go unchecked, the vegetation of this planet is going to look completely different than it does today, and that means a huge risk to the diversity of the planet,” said Overpeck, who conceived the idea for the study with corresponding author Stephen T. Jackson of the U.S. Geological Survey.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180830143207.htm

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  13. Paul in WI

     /  September 10, 2018

    Here’s an article I found in Bloomberg Businessweek: Miami Will Be Underwater Soon. Its Drinking Water Could Go First

    Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    From ground level, greater Miami looks like any American megacity—a mostly dry expanse of buildings, roads, and lawns, sprinkled with the occasional canal or ornamental lake. But from above, the proportions of water and land are reversed. The glimmering metropolis between Biscayne Bay and the Everglades reveals itself to be a thin lattice of earth and concrete laid across a puddle that never stops forming. Water seeps up through the gravel under construction sites, nibbles at the edges of fresh subdivisions, and shimmers through the cracks and in-between places of the city above it.

    Miami-Dade is built on the Biscayne Aquifer, 4,000 square miles of unusually shallow and porous limestone whose tiny air pockets are filled with rainwater and rivers running from the swamp to the ocean. The aquifer and the infrastructure that draws from it, cleans its water, and keeps it from overrunning the city combine to form a giant but fragile machine. Without this abundant source of fresh water, made cheap by its proximity to the surface, this hot, remote city could become uninhabitable.

    Climate change is slowly pulling that machine apart. Barring a stupendous reversal in greenhouse gas emissions, the rising Atlantic will cover much of Miami by the end of this century. The economic effects will be devastating: Zillow Inc. estimates that six feet of sea-level rise would put a quarter of Miami’s homes underwater, rendering $200 billion of real estate worthless. But global warming poses a more immediate danger: The permeability that makes the aquifer so easily accessible also makes it vulnerable. “It’s very easy to contaminate our aquifer,” says Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Miami Waterkeeper, a local environmental protection group. And the consequences could be sweeping. “Drinking water supply is always an existential question.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-08-29/miami-s-other-water-problem

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  14. kassy

     /  September 10, 2018

    A 28-Year-Old Engineer Has Built a Robot That Could Save The World 2 Trillion Gallons of Lost Drinking Water

    When You Wu was growing up in China, officials would shut off water to his community for half a day each week in the name of conservation. The experience contributed to Wu’s interest in water scarcity, which he chose to study more in-depth after moving to the United States 10 years ago.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, now 28, has developed a robot to find leaks in water pipes.

    As the robot moves with the water through a pipe, its “hands” touch the pipe and feel the suction forces caused by leaks, Wu told Business Insider.

    The robot is designed to inspect pipes without interrupting the water service, and it can be put into pipes in hydrants and in three-way junctions. From there, an analytics system creates a map that tells pipe operators where the leaks are, how large they are, and what the probability of catastrophic failure is.

    for details:
    https://www.sciencealert.com/mit-graduate-developed-leak-detecting-robot-to-save-drinking-water

    A robot to help with the water supply. Could be useful in may places.

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. wharf rat

     /  September 11, 2018

    Tesla Model 3 Sales Soar

    Tesla has finally executed on its vision of bringing a truly mass market car to the US, with solid results in July and August pointing to a record third quarter. In August, Tesla’s Model 3 became a top 5 best selling car in the US by units, behind popular cars from Toyota and Honda that start at less than $25,000, compared to Tesla’s current starting price of $49,000. (Note: The car category does not include SUVs and trucks.)

    The high average selling price of the Model 3 and the record deliveries have resulted in Tesla’s Model 3 being the #1 best-selling car in the US by revenue in both July and August.

    https://climatecrocks.com/2018/09/09/tesla-model-3-sales-soar/

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  16. wharf rat

     /  September 11, 2018

    The road to “fixing the problem” runs thru The Republic of Awesome. I’m really gonna miss Jerry. I’d like one more chance to vote for him for president.

    Gov. Brown’s new climate goal: less than zero global warming emissions
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-to-go-100-percent-clean-energy-by-2045-13218236.php

    David R. Baker Sep. 10, 2018 Updated: Sep. 10, 2018 8:04 p.m.

    Gov. Jerry Brown has repeatedly ratcheted up California’s global warming goals, setting ever-higher targets for the use of renewable power and demanding deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

    But on Monday, Brown announced a climate goal so ambitious that many experts don’t know how to reach it.

    As diplomats descended on San Francisco for a global climate conference, Brown signed an executive order calling for the state to slash its overall emissions to zero by 2045 and then go negative. Starting in 2046, California would pull more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, year-by-year, than it put in.

    The governor also signed a bill, SB100, that calls for 100 percent of the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free sources by 2045.

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  17. kassy

     /  September 12, 2018

    NEW YORK, Sept 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The United States is on course to meet its targets to cut geenhouse gas emissions, because cities and states are taking on the climate change fight abandoned by President Donald Trump, according to report released on Wednesday.

    for details see:

    http://news.trust.org/item/20180912072940-0hn98/

    so that was the good news….

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  18. kassy

     /  September 12, 2018

    Europe’s renewable energy directive poised to harm global forests
    September 12, 2018, Princeton University

    Europe’s decision to promote the use of wood as a “renewable fuel” will likely greatly increase Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and cause severe harm to the world’s forests, according to a new paper published in Nature Communications.

    European officials on final language for a renewable energy directive earlier this summer that will almost double Europe’s use of renewable energy by 2030. Against the advice of 800 scientists, the directive now treats wood as a low-carbon fuel, meaning that whole trees or large portions of trees can be cut down deliberately to burn. Such uses go beyond papermaking wastes and other wood wastes, which have long been used for bioenergy, but not to this magnitude.

    The paper, co-authored by eight scientists from the United States and Europe, estimates that this bioenergy provision in the Renewable Energy Directive will lead to vast new cutting of the world’s forests. This is because additional wood equal to all of Europe’s existing wood harvests will be needed just to supply 5 percent of Europe’s energy.

    The paper also estimates that using wood for energy will likely result in 10 to 15 percent in emissions from Europe’s energy use by 2050. This could occur by turning a 5 percent decrease in emissions required under the directive using solar energy or wind energy into a 5 to 10 increase by using wood.

    Europe’s increased wood demand will require additional cutting in forests around the world, but the researchers explain the global impact is likely to be even greater by encouraging other countries to do the same. Already, tropical forest countries like Brazil and Indonesia have announced they, too, will try to reduce the effect of climate change by increasing their use of wood for bioenergy.

    and much more on:

    https://phys.org/news/2018-09-europe-renewable-energy-poised-global.html

    Lets hope the gains from solar/wind are too alluring.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • mlp in nc

       /  September 13, 2018

      This is no joke. Vast swaths are even now being cut out of our rural NC forests. It’s terrible, horrible insanity. Carbon needs to go into the soil to replenish it, not be put in the atmosphere.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  19. wharf rat

     /  September 12, 2018

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  20. mlp in nc

     /  September 13, 2018

    More on how air pollution and smoke are bad for you. (For DT)
    Carbon nanodots do an ultrafine job with in vitro lung tissue. Sep 11, 2018. Am Institute of Physics. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180911114545.htm.

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  21. wili

     /  September 17, 2018

    New Jersey approves new home solar initiative. Program eliminates up front costs and creates a net-zero monthly electric bill.

    NJ Brings No Cost Solar to Homeowners
    https://thesolarinstitute.org/nj-brings-no-cost-solar-homeowners/

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  22. Kiwi Griff

     /  September 17, 2018

    This is how the world ends: will we soon see category 6 hurricanes?
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/15/hurricane-category-6-this-is-how-world-ends-book-climate-change

    There is no such thing as a category 6 hurricane or tropical storm – yet. But a combination of warmer oceans and more water in the atmosphere could make the devastation of 2017 pale in comparison

    There is no such thing as a category 6 hurricane or tropical storm – yet. The highest level – the top of the scale for the most powerful, most devastating hurricane or tropical storm capable of destroying entire cities like New Orleans or New York – is a category 5 storm.

    Meteorologists and scientists never imagined that there would be a need for a category 6 storm, with winds that exceed 200 miles per hour on a sustained basis, sweeping away everything in its path. Until now, such a storm wasn’t possible, so there was no need for a new category above category 5.
    Hurricane season may be even worse in 2018 after a harrowing 2017

    Right now, however, there is anywhere from 5 to 8% more water vapor circulating throughout the atmosphere than there was a generation ago. This, combined with warmer temperatures that are driving water up from the deep ocean in places where hurricanes typically form, has created the potential for superstorms that we haven’t seen before – and aren’t really prepared for.

    This combination of warmer oceans and more water in the earth’s atmosphere – whipsawed by sustained periods of drier and wetter conditions in regions of the world that create superstorms – is now starting to create storms with conditions that look precisely what a category 6 hurricane would look like.

    No one in America has ever experienced the wrath and fury of a category 6 hurricane, which now genuinely seems possible and realistic. We’ve been lucky. Unofficial category 6 hurricanes have appeared in other parts of the world, and we’re seeing much stronger storms on a regular basis. It’s only a matter of time before one hits the US

    Tropical cyclones are also moving poleward over time.
    Places like NZ that dont build to the standards needed to cope with the full force of these Tropical cyclones are going to get hit sooner or later.
    When that happens we can expect extreme destruction.

    Thanks for the post Robert.
    Many of us use your forum to spread news far further than our sources can reach alone.
    Or come here to read what we all contribute from around the globe.

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  23. kassy

     /  September 18, 2018

    Investigation: Beauty spot oil well releases hundreds tonnes of methane into the atmosphere

    A small oil well on the world heritage coast in Dorset is legally allowed to emit hundreds of tonnes of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, annually direct into the atmosphere.
    And it is apparently not alone. According to the Environment Agency, “many” existing conventional oil-producing sites in England are also venting gases produced during extraction.

    The Environment Agency has estimated that the Dorset well, operated by Perenco from the cliff-top at Kimmeridge Bay, released nearly 300 tonnes of methane in 2017.

    Over its life, the well could have emitted the equivalent of more than a million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

    This appears to contradict assurances that the onshore industry takes great care to avoid venting gases and it raises questions about the strength of UK oil and gas regulations.

    Methane venting at Kimmeridge has been investigated by Stuart Lane, a campaigner and researcher in Dorset, following a tip-off. He said:

    “I was told by a reliable source that the Kimmeridge well was cold venting methane.

    “After some back and forth with the Environment Agency, it became clear that not only was the well cold venting methane, it was doing so by design.

    “Unlike accounts that I was aware of in the United States and Australia, where methane is leaking from poorly managed fracking wells, the Kimmeridge well is not leaking. It isn’t attempting to capture the gas that accompanies the oil upon extraction. Neither does the site combust it and flare it off as carbon dioxide.”

    Mr Lane said:

    “The regulatory system appears to be permitting gross levels of pollution that fly in that face of legally binding climate change commitments including the 2008 Climate Change Act.

    “It is clear the mitigation options have been investigated but the most obvious and simplest approach in my opinion would be to close any well that is not designed to avoid methane emissions.

    and more on:
    https://drillordrop.com/2018/09/17/investigation-beauty-spot-oil-well-releases-hundreds-tonnes-of-methane-into-the-atmosphere/

    Lets call them potential quick gains…

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  24. kassy

     /  September 18, 2018

    Coal ash spill reported outside Wilmington, NC as Florence’s record rain totals mount

    Duke Energy was instructed to clean up its North Carolina coal ash ponds two years ago, a task that was not completed by the time Florence emerged as a threat to the region.

    As the AP reported:

    “Unfortunately, Duke Energy has spent years lobbying and litigating and still has not removed the coal ash from its dangerous riverfront pits in the coastal area, some of which are in the floodplain,” said Frank Holleman, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center who has battled the company in court.

    https://thinkprogress.org/coal-ash-spill-wilmington-florence-e7cbb2cdf492/

    Liked by 2 people

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  25. kassy

     /  September 18, 2018

    States Begged EPA to Stop Cross-State Coal Plant Pollution. Wheeler Just Refused

    Delaware and Maryland have been pleading for years with the Environmental Protection Agency to help address the smog pollution they say is blowing across their borders from coal-fired power plants in other states and making their residents sick.

    The Trump EPA just said no.

    The 111-page notice of denial from the agency shows that Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, is following in the fossil fuel-friendly policy direction set by his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, while being more cautious to spell out the agency’s legal reasoning.

    for details:
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/17092018/coal-plant-smog-pollution-epa-ruling-state-border-health-maryland-delaware-andrew-wheeler

    Liked by 2 people

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  26. wili

     /  September 19, 2018

    Thawing Permafrost May Release More CO2 Than Previously Thought

    Quote

    Over long, geologic time scales, carbonic acid weathering is an important control on atmospheric CO2 levels and climate, but under the right conditions, weathering by sulfuric acid can release substantial CO2.

    Ph.D. candidate Scott Zolkos and his supervisor, U of A biologist Suzanne Tank, found that these conditions are prevalent in the western Canadian Arctic.

    “We found that rapidly thawing permafrost on the Peel Plateau in the Northwest Territories is greatly enhancing mineral weathering,” explained Zolkos, the lead author on the study. “Because weathering is largely driven by sulfuric acid in this region, intensifying permafrost thaw could be an additional source of CO2 to the atmosphere.”

    The researchers worked with scientists from the Northwest Territories Geoscience Office to examine long-term records of river chemistry from the Peel River.

    They found that weathering driven by sulfuric acid has intensified with regional permafrost thaw in recent decades, and likely increased the amount of CO2 released into the surrounding water and air.

    Scott Zolkos et al. Mineral Weathering and the Permafrost Carbon-Climate Feedback, Geophysical Research Letters (2018).

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    • wili

       /  September 19, 2018

      This kinda compliments a previous study

      Thawing Permafrost Produces More Methane Than Expected

      Quote

      … What they found: without oxygen, equal amounts of methane and CO2 are produced. But since methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas, it is more significant. Because methane production couldn’t be measured, it was assumed that in the absence of oxygen only very small amounts of it can be formed. “It takes an extremely long time until stable methane-producing microorganisms develop in thawing permafrost,” explains Knoblauch. “That’s why it was so difficult to demonstrate methane production until now.”

      “By combining process-based and molecular-microbiological methods, our study shows for the first time that the methane-forming microorganisms in the thawing permafrost have significant influence on the greenhouse gas budget,” adds co-author Susanne Liebner from the Helmholtz Center Potsdam – GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences

      Knoblauch C, Beer C, Liebner S, Grigoriev M N, Pfeiffer E-M (2018): Methane production as key to the greenhouse gas budget of thawing permafrost; Nature Climate Change

      (Thanks to vox at asif for these)

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  27. mlp in nc

     /  September 20, 2018

    Unprecedented ice loss in Russian ice cap. Sep19, 2018. U. of Colorado at Boulder
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180919144910.htm

    In the last few years, the Vavilov Ice Cap in the Russian High Arctic has dramatically accelerated, sliding as much as 82 feet a day in 2015, according to a new multi-national, multi-institute study. That dwarfs the ice’s previous average speed of about 2 inches per day and has challenged scientists’ assumptions about the stability of the cold ice caps dotting Earth’s high latitudes.

    Glaciers and ice caps like Vavilov cover nearly 300,000 square miles of Earth’s surface and hold about a foot of potential sea-level rise. Scientists have never seen such acceleration in this kind of ice cap before, and the authors of the new paper wrote that their finding raises the possibility that other, currently stable ice caps may be more vulnerable than expected.

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  28. mlp in nc

     /  September 20, 2018

    Moderate warming could melt East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Sep 19, 2018. U. Queensland
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180919133041.htm

    Parts of the world’s largest ice sheet would melt if Antarctic warming of just 2°C is sustained for millennia, according to international research.

    Dr Welsh said marine sediment layers indicated the ice sheet had retreated during warming in the late Pleistocene period, when temperatures were like those predicted for this century.

    “Antarctica is around twice the size of Australia, with ice sheets several kilometres thick and containing around half of the world’s fresh water,” he said. “The East Antarctic Ice Sheet covers about two thirds of the area, and because its base is largely above sea level it was generally thought to be less sensitive to warming climates than the adjacent West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    “However, some areas — like the Wilkes Land Subglacial Basin, directly south of Australia — are below sea level and contain enough ice to raise global sea levels by several metres.
    “The evidence we have suggests that with the predicted 2°C warming in Antarctica — if sustained over a couple of millennia — the sheet would start melting in these locations.”

    Dr Welsh, from UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said the team chemically analysed layers of sediment deposited on the Southern Ocean floor by glaciers. “We found that the most extreme changes in the ice sheet occurred during two interglacial periods 125,000 and 400,000 years ago, when global sea levels were several metres higher than they are today,” he said.

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  29. Abel Adamski

     /  September 21, 2018

    Cats and canaries, new discoveries throw the CO2 concentration timeline out of kilter.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/08/record-shattering-27-million-year-old-ice-core-reveals-start-ice-ages
    Record-shattering 2.7-million-year-old ice core reveals start of the ice ages
    Scientists announced today that a core drilled in Antarctica has yielded 2.7-million-year-old ice, an astonishing find 1.7 million years older than the previous record-holder. Bubbles in the ice contain greenhouse gases from Earth’s atmosphere at a time when the planet’s cycles of glacial advance and retreat were just beginning, potentially offering clues to what triggered the ice ages. That information alone makes the value of the sample “incredible,” says David Shuster, a geochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, who is unaffiliated with the research. “This is the only sample of ancient Earth’s atmosphere that we have access to.”

    Described at the Goldschmidt Conference in Paris by Yuzhen Yan, a graduate student at Princeton University, the ice revealed atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels that did not exceed 300 parts per million, well below today’s levels. Some models of ancient climate predict that such relatively low levels would be needed to tip Earth into a series of ice ages. But some proxies gleaned from the fossils of animals that lived in shallow oceans had indicated higher CO2 levels. If the new result holds up, says Yige Zhang, a paleoclimatologist at Texas A&M University in College Station, the proxies will need to be recalibrated. “We have some work to do.”

    In 2010, the team drilled their first hole at the Allan Hills, in a place where the ice was shallow and thought to be ascending a hill, with a chance of being stuck against bedrock. They drilled horizontally, toward the hill, in the hopes that the ice would get older as they drilled farther. They ran out of time after 128 meters, before they reached bedrock, but the unfinished core yielded some chunks of ice that were 1 million years old. It was the first sample older than 800,000 years, from a crucial time when glacial periods were switching from occurring every 40,000 years or so to every 100,000 years.

    In 2015, the team returned to try again. The environment was harsh, with constant wind shearing their clutch of tents. “Cold is one thing,” says Princeton geochemist John Higgins, “but windy cold is just another beast.” Yet they were able to drill the remaining 20 meters to bedrock, and found the ice that, along with several other new cores, yielded the ancient samples.
    Now, the Princeton team wants to go back to the blue ice and drill some more, Brook says—not only to fill in the climate cycles of the last 2.7 million years with a multitude of snapshots, but also to go even deeper in time, before the ice ages, when CO2 levels were higher. There’s evidence that Antarctica has hosted at least some ice for 30 million years. It’s plausible, Brook says, that the next attempt could come back with ice 5 million years old—a time when temperatures are thought to resemble what Earth is heading toward with human-driven warming.

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  30. wharf rat

     /  September 21, 2018

    Hurricane Florence and Arctic sea ice

    Yet another destructive hurricane has hit the US, following a highly unusual path, smashing precipitation records all around. Dr Jennifer Francis breaks it down in this excellent video from The Real News Network (please, share):

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2018/09/hurricane-florence-and-arctic-sea-ice.html

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  31. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 22, 2018

    This is an internal graph from 1960 created by Exxon. Their folks had calculated what carbon emissions would do.

    NOTE: This was calculated and graphed by Exxon.

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  32. kassy

     /  September 22, 2018

    Electric car batteries’ ‘second life’ could be a clean energy game-changer

    that millions of used EV batteries will eventually be flooding the market — batteries that may have as much as 70 percent of their original power capacity, even though it can no longer meet the strict requirements for powering its car.
    No wonder every major car company in the world is exploring how much value their EV battery has in its “second life.” After all, BNEF projects that over the next three decades, companies will spend some $550 billion “in home, industrial and grid-scale battery storage.”

    for details see
    https://thinkprogress.org/how-used-electric-car-batteries-will-turbocharge-the-renewables-revolution-4baf33d4b15f/

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