A Green New Deal For Global Security

As we enter the New Year of 2019, we face the potential for more record global warmth. The fossil fuel burning that has continued for so long, that has been industrialized and unwisely linked (by industry and policy) to economic growth in many regions continues at a devastating pace. A pace that injects about 37 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into our atmosphere each year. For in too many cases, the necessary transition to an admittedly much stronger and far more viable clean energy economy has been blocked or delayed.

A Harmful Status Quo

We are a world locked in conflict between old fossil fuel interests and emerging clean energy and pro climate change response interests. Thus far, the conflict has generated a state of both economic and political grid-lock. One that at present perpetuates the harmful status quo.

We face vast continued greenhouse gas emissions presenting a growing danger to everyone and everything living on Earth. The threat of damaging climate change occurring on human time-scales is no longer some far-off object whose emerging reality can easily be hidden from public view by republican deniers in the U.S. government and abroad or related mass media campaigns funded by the fossil fuel monetary and political interests who authored the crisis.

surface melt ponding Amery ice shelf

(Increasing surface melt ponding in both Antarctica and Greenland, as seen in this January 1, 2019 satellite shot of the Amery Ice Shelf, is one visible sign of climate change’s growing impacts. Large land ice sheet melt is the primary driver of both sea level rise and changes to ocean circulation. Just two of many harms driven by fossil fuel burning and related carbon emissions. Image provided by NASA Worldview.)

The threat posed by human-caused climate change is one that impacts us now. And though present impacts are mild compared to a future in which vast fossil fuel burning and related dumping of carbon into Earth’s atmosphere continues, we are faced with growing damage, hurt, and harm today.

How did we get here? It’s a big question. One to be answered fully by future historians. But we can simply say that we haven’t transitioned away from fossil fuel burning fast enough. That we haven’t yet adopted clean energy or clean political thinking at a swift enough pace. That the old ways of power-brokering linked to fossil fuel burning continue with a tenacity which is, itself, difficult to deny.

Old Smoke-Stack Politics vs New Clean Energy Politics

Though a single blog is perhaps too short an article to address such a vast issue fully, it is certainly possible to take a look at the tip of the (metaphorically and literally) melting ice-berg. In doing so, we ask the teasing question — how are such seemingly far-flung objects as Amery Ice Shelf melt ponds, a Green New Deal, Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and Russian nuclear capable bombers in Venezuela linked?

As literary objects go the question is, of course, rhetorical. But it is one that reveals how old smokestack style power-plays can keep us stuck in the ongoing harmful pattern of fossil fuel burning, warming, and increasing global environmental damage together with the related geopolitical conflict that all too frequently results. It also opens up the avenue to a new geopolitical contest to old regimes. One based on clean energy economies of scale and technological innovation coupled with climate change response.

Clean Energy Enabled Obama’s Counter to Russian Aggression

Back during the Obama Administration, there was a larger challenge to old forms of power brokering. It happened when Russia invaded the Ukraine and the U.S. sanctioned Russian oil ventures such as the fossil fuel multinational — Rosneft.

The U.S., under Obama, through both clean energy policy and increased oil extraction at home had become more energy independent. But more importantly, with policies such as EV incentives, increased fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, the sun shot initiative, adherence to the Paris Climate Agreement, and the implementation of the Clean Power Plan taking hold, the U.S. was also turning toward a future that was finally less dependent on fossil fuels and, more importantly, the broad availability of oil and gas. The U.S., under Obama, was thus able to move more and more away from the old oil and gas politics that might have forced our nation to turn a blind eye to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. Instead, old oil-based global policy gave way to something new as the U.S. effectively canceled an Exxon-Mobil contract with Rosneft even as it moved to hamper Russia’s oil oligarchs in retaliation for its physical aggression.

Russia — Slave to Oil and Gas Revenue

Then and now, Rosneft was a cornerstone of Russian political and economic power. The company, like the East India Trade Company of the old British Empire, serves Russia as a way of projecting its power abroad. We see this in Russia’s past use of gas shipments to influence Europe. We see it in Russia’s past and present use of oil ventures like Rosneft to gain political footholds in places like Venezuela. And we see it in Russia’s attempts to use Rosneft to directly influence U.S. policy through relationships with western oil giants like Exxon.

Western sanctions against Rosneft and related oil oligarchs put a check on Russian power projection. It also leveled a direct threat to Russia’s narrow economic power base. Represented, in part, by its use of Rosneft as a political tool for power projection, Russia is itself fully invested in fossil fuel burning. For not only is Rosneft a lever for Russian power brokering abroad, the company exists in a context in which 16 percent of Russian GDP comes from oil and gas money. Moreover, 52 percent of Russia’s federal budget is funded by fossil fuel revenues from state-corporate entities such as Rosneft. Meanwhile, 70 percent of Russia’s export revenue comes from the oil and gas sector. Unable or, more likely, unwilling to diversify its economy away from oil and gas, Russia is instead a slave to it.

2016 Election Meddling in Context

Given the above, we can see that the Russian economy suffers a kind of resource curse in relation to its dependence on fossil fuels. But Russia has also taken a rather odd stance with regards to climate change. National policy has long considered climate change beneficial to Russia. This despite the fact that recent research shows numerous harms including movement of rains away from most productive soils, expanding wildfires in the north, widespread loss of land due to sea level rise, and destabilization of border states to the south.

(How a Green New Deal would make America great by enabling us to confront foreign adversaries and climate harms in one go.)

That said, after grappling with an Obama Administration more emboldened to sanction its fossil fuel industry, Russia had every short term economic and political incentive to seek regime change in the U.S. Trump, with his climate change denial, promise to double down on old energy sources like oil gas and coal, and his stated aims to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement while cancelling programs like the Clean Power Plan appeared to be ready to generate policy more beneficial to Russia’s fossil fuel sector. With oil and gas presently so central to Russia’s economy, the motivation to support Trump on an economic and political power basis alone must have been quite strong. This on top of a widely cited motivation to generate chaos and division in the U.S. during election season.

Venezuela: Oil as Power Lever and Motivator for Aggression

Following its meddling in the 2016 U.S. election with the stated aim to place Donald Trump as President, Russia’s oil-based power plays continued. This time, Rosneft gained a lien on 50 percent of Citgo — the Venezuelan state oil company. Venezuela, even more heavily dependent on oil revenue than Russia, has been facing economic decline ever since oil prices crashed during the late 2000s. Smelling opportunity, Russia has moved into Venezuela, funded its debt, and announced joint oil production agreements.

Russia’s increased hold over Venezuela is also reminiscent of past cold war power moves in which easily leveraged resources like oil often played a key role in establishing vassal or proxy states. The most recent move by Russia brings with it the old sabre rattling of nuclear capable weapons system movements and related media sensationalism as Russia’s deployment of two nuclear bombers to a Venezuelan air base ruffled feathers from Europe to the U.S.

Green New Deal — A Way Forward for U.S. Climate and National Security

Russia’s power plays may seem similar to the past. But they occur in a context where the U.S. increasingly has the option to respond by doubling down on clean energy policy as a means to directly counter the might of bad actor regimes dependent on fossil fuel revenue. This is in direct contrast to the cold war where hard power responses like troop movements and weapons systems deployments were seen as central to national defense.

In the new era, such movements of troops may also be seen as necessary. But the response that matters most to long term U.S. national security is the lessening of reliance on fossil fuel to give the U.S. a better bargaining position vis a vis petro states like Russia while simultaneously reducing the nation’s contribution to the climate crisis.

Such synergistic foreign policy benefits evoking a new U.S. economic and moral leadership would seem to make clean energy based programs like the Green New Deal and revitalization of energy efficiency and clean energy supports a no-brainer nationally. These are domestic programs with global consequences for the future of the United States. And the fact that adversaries like Russia are working hard to prevent the implementation of such programs at home should provide a clear incentive for all Americans to support them.

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127 Comments

  1. Marcel Guldemond

     /  January 2, 2019

    Hi Robert, thanks for the post. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about geoengineering, that the ideal solution to buy humanity some time would be a short lived sunlight blocker that could be applied just over the Arctic in the spring and summer, keeping the ice and the permafrost from melting completely.

    A big impediment to this would be Russia. I’m guessing that any country who tries this would get into serious trouble with Russia because of all the oil and gas and shipping infrastructure they’re building that counts on disappeared ice, so anyone who refreezes the Arctic would surely piss them off.

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  2. eleggua

     /  January 3, 2019

    Rosneft = the “mystery company” in this case:
    “12.23.2018: The Supreme Court is putting on hold a contempt order against an unnamed company fighting a subpoena in a mystery case with possible ties to special counsel Robert Mueller.

    A lower court last week upheld the subpoena after the company, which is owned by a foreign government, argued that it was immune from criminal proceedings under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and that the subpoena was unenforceable because it would require “the Corporation” to violate “Country A’s” domestic law.

    Chief Justice John Roberts on Sunday halted the contempt order against the company, which included a $5,000-a-week fine.

    The stay is temporary until the court has further orders. The federal government, which sought the subpoena, has until Dec. 31 to respond.”

    ‘The Fall Of Trump Tower Moscow And Rise Of The Rosneft Deal’
    12.11.2018
    https://hillreporter.com/fall-trump-power-rise-rosneft-deal-17323

    “The failed attempt at a deal to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow, as well as Michael Cohen’s initial lies to Congress and his subsequent special counsel confession about that deal, have fueled a firestorm of examination in recent months. In the midst of that firestorm, much attention was deflected away from perhaps an even more significant development, one that focuses on Russia, Qatar, numerous shell companies, and the Trump Organization. The deal specifically centered around commissions on the sale of a 19% stake in oil giant Rosneft a publicly traded company that is owned mostly by the Russian government, specifically, Putin and his closest allies and oligarchs….

    In December of 2016, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on state TV that a 19.5% stake in Rosneft was sold to Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore PLC (remember that according to the dossier Trump was promised the brokerage fees on the sale of up to 19% of Rosneft). The deal also involved many anonymous shell companies which are almost impossible to track, including QHG Shares, QHC Holding, and QHC Cayman Limited….”

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  3. eleggua

     /  January 3, 2019

    US sanctions in action: China and Rosneft:

    ‘China strikes oil and gas deals with Russia’s Rosneft’
    11.30.2018
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/China-strikes-oil-and-gas-deals-with-Russia-s-Rosneft

    “Russian state-owned company Rosneft announced Thursday that it has signed energy deals with a pair of Chinese energy counterparts, seizing an opportunity as Beijing moves to diversify suppliers amid the trade war with the U.S.

    China National Chemical, known as ChemChina, agreed to purchase 2.4 million tons a year of crude oil from Rosneft. That amount is equivalent to 6% of Rosneft’s total exports to China in 2017. Crude oil from Eastern Siberia will be transported to a Russian Far East port by pipeline.

    Rosneft will also form a joint venture with Beijing Gas Group to operate filling stations in Russia for natural gas-fueled vehicles. Beijing Gas, a unit of state-owned Beijing Enterprises Group, will take a stake of nearly half in the venture and provide expertise on setting up and running gas stations.

    Russia, struggling with international sanctions imposed after its annexation of Crimea, is eager to find customers for its natural resources. The trade war between the world’s two largest economies, which is set to reduce China’s energy procurement from the U.S., presents an opening for Moscow….

    …The latest agreement follows a 2017 agreement between Beijing Gas and Rosneft for the Chinese company to acquire partial rights to Siberian oil and gas fields from the Russian partner for $1.1 billion. Now Beijing Gas will help Rosneft in its effort to run a station business, apparently hoping to secure increased supplies of Russian gas down the road.

    China relies heavily on energy imports, buying about 70% of the oil and around 40% of the natural gas it consumes from other countries. In the first half of this year, 7% of China’s liquefied natural gas imports came from the U.S.

    About half of the deals China signed with the U.S. during President Donald Trump’s visit last year were for gas and other resource development projects. But now that Beijing has imposed additional tariffs on American energy products, supplies from the U.S. are expected to decline.

    China is set to increase its purchase of LNG from Qatar and plans to meet its oil demand by increasing crude imports from Russia.”

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  4. Jean Swan

     /  January 3, 2019

    Trump is putting in a new science adviser who is a capable scientist and an extremely kind,good person..A lot of Oklahoma University grads hope no one tells Trump that he made a good choice:https://newsok.com/article/5619234/ou-meteorologist-kelvin-droegemeier-approved-to-be-trumps-science-adviser?no_edit=1&fbclid=IwAR3tQ2vD-hFGpzwbh73AhoTgZiuovEhcsmHqXfRNKnHko2yA5y5qjMwWdck

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  5. wharf rat

     /  January 3, 2019

    Climate Change in Europe in 2018: the evidence
    last updated: 03/01/2019

    2018 most ‘extreme year’ for unusual weather events in Europe

    Record heat and precipitation recorded across the continent

    We’re the ‘last generation to act against climate change,’ global organisation warns

    Scientists urge global temperature should not rise 1.5C above pre-industrial levels

    Europe was one continent that experienced abnormal weather during 2018. After a couple months of extremely cold weather, heat and drought through spring and summer meant temperatures were well above average in much of the northern and western areas.

    https://www.euronews.com/2019/01/02/special-report-was-2018-the-worst-year-for-climate-change-so-far

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  6. wharf rat

     /  January 4, 2019

    Climate Change Performance Index 2018

    These are the Overall Results of the Climate Change Performance Index 2018. The ranking results are defined by a country’s aggregated performance regarding 14 indicators within the four categories GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, Energy Use and Climate Policy.The CCPI 2018 Results illustrate the main regional differences in climate protection and performance within the 56 evaluated countries and the EU. Despite decreasing growth rates in GHG emissions, still no country performed well enough to reach the rating “very high” in the 2018 index and therefore the top three ranks remain left open.In the 2018 edition of the index, Sweden is leading the list, followed by Lithuania and Morocco, while Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea, Australia and the United States form the bottom five of this classification, scoring “low” or “very low” across almost all categories.

    https://www.climate-change-performance-index.org/climate-change-performance-index-2018

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  7. mlp in nc

     /  January 5, 2019

    FYI: Earth Nullschool North Atlantic SSTA 10.6C (west of Cape Cod and south of Newfoundland).

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  8. Leland Palmer

     /  January 9, 2019

    Hi Robert-

    I keep wondering about these hot spots in the ocean near Svalbard island. They have been stable since about 2015, now. They persist in summer and winter in the Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly record. They are now showing up as consistently more than 10 degrees C (18 degrees F !) hotter than they have been historically.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/primary/waves/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=0.98,80.25,3000/loc=6.994,77.699

    Are they merely areas that were under the retreating Arctic sea ice, and that now look relatively hotter due to that? They are also showing up as hotter than surrounding areas in the Sea Surface Temperature record. All this is according to Earth Nullschool, which uses data supplied by NASA.

    These anomalies are showing as hotter than areas to the south of them, now, in the sea surface temperature record. So they are showing up now in the sea surface temperature record, not just the sea surface temperature anomaly record, to repeat myself.

    I don’t like the look of these things, and I don’t like it that nobody seems to be talking about these temperature anomalies. The Norwegian government, which controls Svalbard, is heavily involved in fossil fuel exploitation, while relatively forward thinking in energy policy in general.

    Of course the Gulf Stream off the coast of the Eastern U.S. is blazing like a beacon in the Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly record, with temperatures up to 8 degrees C hotter than the historical average of a few decades ago.

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  9. mlp in nc

     /  January 10, 2019

    Sorry I don’t have any insight, but if I come up with anything useful I will try to post. Some comment, though.

    I have been following several SSTAs on Earth Nullschool and share your unease. Though my following is not terribly regularly, still several areas have gone up by 2-3C within a year or so, which seems uncomfortably fast to me. I tried to find current and running graphs of total ocean heat content but had no luck. NOAA, conveniently, is down. Closest is this article https://www.carbonbrief.org/state-of-the-climate-new-record-ocean-heat-content-and-growing-a-el-nino, with a graph of total ocean heat content that, at 0-700 m. that is shooting upward since 1990 at a nearly 45 degree angle. It is hard to know what that means in general, but I remember a 2013 article – – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/21/yachtsman-describes-horror-at-dead-rubbish-strewn-pacific-ocean – – by an Australian who described a “dead Pacific”. Maybe overfishing is not the only cause. What can a fish do with SSTA sreaching 9 – 17C or an overall environment nearly four times hotter than 30 years before? The sailor, who became a climate activist, had this to say: “Ivan MacFadyen told of his horror at the severe lack of marine life and copious amounts of rubbish witnessed on a yacht race between Melbourne and Osaka. He recently returned from the trip, which he previously completed 10 years ago.
    “In 2003, I caught a fish every day,” he told Guardian Australia. “Ten years later to the day, sailing almost exactly the same course, I caught nothing. It started to strike me the closer we got to Japan that the ocean was dead.”
    “Normally when you are sailing a yacht, there are one or two pods of dolphins playing by the boat, or sharks, or turtles or whales. There are usually birds feeding by the boat. But there was none of that. I’ve been sailing for 35 years and it’s only when these things aren’t there that you notice them.”

    I am also no closer to understanding the Svalbard hot spots. Thought maybe the Gulf Stream
    finger currents were backing up against the southward cold currents at those spots, but why should it be so globular, especially the smaller one to the east? Very irritating not to be able to figure it out.

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  10. mlp in nc

     /  January 10, 2019

    PS. My own experience sort of confirms. Decades ago, the NC Outer Bank beaches were always littered lots of ocean debris – many beautiful and varied shells, seaweed, coral, skate egg cases, fish vertebrae, sharks teeth (I even have a Megalodon tooth), etc. Last year on a short trip there was almost nothing. A few, mostly small, scattered and battered shells and unrecognizable debris, mainly clams, scallops, jingle shells, and a rare whelk core. A fellow beach walker, obviously not a native, was going bananas over this pathetic offering and I nearly cried.

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    • eleggua

       /  January 10, 2019

      Echoes the ‘insect apocalypse’.

      “Sune Boye Riis was on a bike ride with his youngest son, enjoying the sun slanting over the fields and woodlands near their home north of Copenhagen, when it suddenly occurred to him that something about the experience was amiss. Specifically, something was missing.

      It was summer. He was out in the country, moving fast. But strangely, he wasn’t eating any bugs.

      For a moment, Riis was transported to his childhood on the Danish island of Lolland, in the Baltic Sea. Back then, summer bike rides meant closing his mouth to cruise through thick clouds of insects, but inevitably he swallowed some anyway. When his parents took him driving, he remembered, the car’s windshield was frequently so smeared with insect carcasses that you almost couldn’t see through it. But all that seemed distant now. He couldn’t recall the last time he needed to wash bugs from his windshield; he even wondered, vaguely, whether car manufacturers had invented some fancy new coating to keep off insects. But this absence, he now realized with some alarm, seemed to be all around him. Where had all those insects gone? And when? And why hadn’t he noticed?…”

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  11. wharf rat

     /  January 11, 2019

    Warming oceans likely to raise sea levels 30cm by end of century – study
    Seawater temperature is rising faster than predicted, which is likely to worsen extreme weather events around the world

    The report, published on Thursday in the journal Science, found that the warming of the oceans was accelerating and was matching the predictions of climate change models, which have shown global temperature rises are likely to lead to extreme weather across the world.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/10/warming-oceans-likely-to-raise-sea-levels-30cm-by-end-of-century-study

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  12. Leland Palmer

     /  January 11, 2019

    Hi mlp in nc –

    We knew that ocean heat content was increasing, and that most of the heat from global warming is going into the oceans. The New York Times, that has often been silent or engaged in false impartiality when dealing with global warming issues, now belatedly acknowledges that:

    “Scientists say the world’s oceans are warming far more quickly than previously thought, a finding with dire implications for climate change because almost all the excess heat absorbed by the planet ends up stored in their waters.

    A new analysis, published Thursday in the journal Science, found that the oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago. The researchers also concluded that ocean temperatures have broken records for several straight years.

    “2018 is going to be the warmest year on record for the Earth’s oceans,” said Zeke Hausfather, an energy systems analyst at the independent climate research group Berkeley Earth and an author of the study. “As 2017 was the warmest year, and 2016 was the warmest year.””

    So, all of us that read this blog knew that. Ocean heat content is going up.

    What worries me more than anything about these Svalbard anomalies is how constant they are, how they persist summer and winter, and now they are showing up in the sea surface temperature record as hotter than areas to the south of them. Certainly, no Arctic sea ice will form on these twin anomalies, so long as they exist.

    The anomalies are remarkably constant, almost as if they were tied to the ocean bottom, I think. To me, that suggests that methane hydrate dissociation may be involved, in some way. This has happened before, in the Barents sea – there are milllions of pockmarks on the floor of the Barents Sea, a well known sign of gas hydrate dissociation left over the geologists tell us from the Holocene Climate Optimum of a few thousand years ago.. This area was under pressure of ice sheets thousands of years ago, and may have formed large deposits of relic metastable methane hydrate, persisting for thousands of years in areas of pressure and temperature outside of the current hydrate stability zone.

    So, I think that warmer water temperatures may be touching off methane hydrate dissociation in the ocean floor, in these anomalies.

    I would be happy to be wrong about this.

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    • Leland Palmer

       /  January 11, 2019

      The Barents sea is shallow with an average depth of only 230 meters. Svalbard was also glaciated a few thousand years ago, and has been reported to be a site of relic metastable methane hydrate. Warm water from abnormally warm ocean currents is now intruding into the area. The Svalbard area may be the site of the most extensive, shallowest deposits of relic metastable methane hydrate in the world, don’t know. it all makes an ugly pattern, I think, unfortunately.

      There are other possible explanations, I think. I remember reading something about melting Arctic sea ice producing a fresher water layer on the sea surface, leading to a warming effect somehow.

      So, i’m hoping these anomalies will go away, or that there is another possible explanation other than methane hydrate dissociation. If it is methane hydrate dissociation, I’m hoping that the immediate effect is mostly contained in the oceans, and mostly confined to shallow deposits of relic metastable methane hydrate, outside the current methane hydrate stability zone, left over from past ice ages when the pressure of ice sheets led to the formation of shallow methane hydrate.

      This paper disagrees, and says that the release of methane off Spitsbergen has been an ongoing process due to glacial rebound, going on for thousands of years.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180108121547.htm

      But these Svalbard/Spitsbergen ocean temperature anomalies are huge, and the temperatures impressively anomalous. If the hot spots are tied to methane release, I’m not sure that glacial rebound is a sufficient explanation. It would be nice if an international team of scientists paid some attention to them and gave us a truly comprehensive explanation.

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      • eleggua

         /  January 11, 2019

        Others have noticed.

        http://www.oilseedcrops.org/2018/09/26/anomalous-warm-waters-in-the-arctic-did-underwater-volcanoes-awake/

        ‘Anomalous Warm Waters in the Arctic Did Underwater Volcanoes Awake?’
        September 26, 2018

        “Strange warm Arctic Ocean tempertaures in a circular point @ 77.5N and 5.5E, in my opinion it could be a large underwater eruption causing the anomalous hot spot near Svalbard? ”

        ^^^Intro to a much longer piece.

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        • eleggua

           /  January 12, 2019

          ^That’s a reprint of the original, found here.
          View at Medium.com

          “I did Circle here in yellow what I thought could be a mount under sea, because this seems to be in the holes Svalbard Fracture Zone. so how many of these underwater volcanoes are going off right now that are not being measured by Volcano Discovery or the USGS or anybody in that realm, because we’re just not seeing the ash and smoke. It’s just my opinion, but perhaps there is an underwater eruption massive enough to change water temperatures this much around this location.”

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      • eleggua

         /  January 12, 2019

        And here’s a possible cause.

        ‘Hot times near Svalbard – Volcanic range discovered’
        Anthony Watts / August 2, 2013
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/02/hot-times-near-svalbard-volcanic-range-discovered/

        “Researchers have found a 1,500 km volcanic mountain chain hidden off the coast of Svalbard, which could soon break the surface to form a new island chain.

        Dag Rune Olsen, rector of the University of Bergen, where the researchers are based, told The Local that the findings were like a “moon landing in the deep sea.”

        “We probably know even less about the very deep seas and oceans then we know about the moon,” he said. The range extends from Jan Mayen island in the Greenland Sea to the Fram Strait between Svalbard and Greenland. It comprises hundreds of volcanos, some just 20m below the surface.

        The new discovery comprises hundreds more volcanoes, some just 20m below the surface.

        The ridge was first glimpsed in 2008, but this is the first time detailed mapping has been done.

        “We have found volcanoes at such a shallow level and they could break the surface at any time and form a new island group,” Pedersen told VG newspaper.

        “We have long known that Iceland has both volcanic activity and hot springs, but we thought that we did not have anything like that in Norway. But we do, it was only under water,” he added.”

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        • eleggua

           /  January 12, 2019

          Caveat to all of the above: the authors favour a mini-ice age theory over the reality of global warming.

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        • Robert in New Orleans

           /  January 15, 2019

          Sorry, but I would not trust anything on low wattage up with that website.

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        • eleggua

           /  January 15, 2019

          Indeed; that’s why I’d added the caveat.

          Upon further review, the research is real. These sources are trustworthy.

          http://sciencenordic.com/waterworld-volcanoes

          A waterworld of volcanoes
          August 8, 2013 – 05:00
          Article from University of Bergen

          “…. New discoveries

          This summer a team led by the director of UiB’s Centre for Geobiology, Professor Rolf Birger Pedersen, discovered five new hydrothermal vents in Loki’s Castle. The vents were discovered at depths ranging from 100 to 2,500 metres.

          In this area, which is the most geological active part of Norway, a new volcanic seabed is formed at a rate of two centimetres a year.

          “These discoveries are incredibly interesting as they represent a part of the Norwegian nature that is under-explored. They represent a part of nature where conditions are extreme and where we expect to find a lot of new and exciting biology,” sUiB’s Rector Dag Rune Olsen…..”

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        • eleggua

           /  January 15, 2019

          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130802080240.htm

          A waterworld of volcanoes

          Date:
          August 2, 2013
          Source:
          University of Bergen
          Summary:
          At Loki’s Castle in the Arctic Ocean, researchers have discovered a so far unknown world of volcanic activity underwater. They hope that this can become Norway’s new national park.

          “…Norway is a volcanic country on par with Iceland. The difference being that whereas Iceland’s volcanoes are onshore, Norway’s volcano landscape is in the deep sea. Norway’s volcanoes are lined up underwater in large active earthquake zones, and there are hydrothermal vents churning out hot water — at 320 degrees Celsius — which gives rise to unique ecosystems and metal deposits on the seabed….”

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    • eleggua

       /  January 17, 2019

      Maybe you’ve both seen this info already.

      ‘Are methane seeps in the Arctic slowing global warming?’
      May. 8, 2017
      https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/are-methane-seeps-arctic-slowing-global-warming

      “…Research off the coast of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago suggests that where methane gas bubbles up from seafloor seeps, surface waters directly above absorb twice as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as surrounding waters. The findings suggest that methane seeps in isolated spots in the Arctic could lessen the impact of climate change.

      “This is … totally unexpected,” says Brett Thornton, a geochemist at Stockholm University who was not involved in the research. These new findings challenge the popular assumption that methane seeps inevitably increase the global greenhouse gas burden….

      …To find out just how much methane the Arctic Ocean was contributing to the global balance, biogeochemist John Pohlman of the U.S. Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, set out to measure the gas close to the ocean surface above known methane seeps near Svalbard during the Arctic summer. He and his team were constantly surprised by how little methane they found. But the bigger surprise was that surface water CO2 levels dropped whenever their ship crossed a seep. “[The CO2 data] became the most important part of the story,” Pohlman says.

      When combined with other data—sudden drops in water temperature, along with increases in dissolved oxygen and pH at the surface—the lower CO2 levels were telltale signs of bottom water upwelling and photosynthesis, Pohlman says. Pohlman and his team conclude that the same physical forces that are pushing the methane bubbles up are also pumping nutrient-rich cold waters from the sea bed to the surface, fertilizing phytoplankton blooms that soak up CO2, they write today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

      Such a “fertilization effect” would be “really surprising,” says Thornton, who has studied methane emissions above seeps in the Laptev and East Siberian seas. “There are lots of nutrients in bottom water and bringing that to the surface could certainly [result in] draw down of CO2.”…”

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      • eleggua

         /  January 17, 2019

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180117164022.htm

        Release of ancient methane due to changing climate kept in check by ocean waters

        Date:
        January 17, 2018
        Source:
        University of Rochester
        Summary:
        Ocean sediments are a massive storehouse for the potent greenhouse gas methane. But methane only acts as a greenhouse gas if and when it reaches the atmosphere. Environmental scientists recently set out to discover whether or not this ancient-sourced methane, which is released due to warming ocean waters, survives the journey from the seafloor and reaches the atmosphere.

        “…Sparrow; her advisor, John Kessler, an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences; and a team of scientists from the Universities of Rochester, California Irvine, Minnesota Duluth, and Colorado Boulder, as well as the US Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, conducted fieldwork just offshore of the North Slope of Alaska, near Prudhoe Bay. Sparrow calls the spot “ground zero” for oceanic methane emissions resulting from ocean warming. In some parts of the Arctic Ocean, the shallow regions near continents may be one of the settings where methane hydrates are breaking down now due to warming processes over the past 15,000 years….

        …”We do observe ancient methane being emitted from the seafloor to the overlying seawater, confirming past suspicions,” Kessler says. “But, we found that this ancient methane signal largely disappears and is replaced by a different methane source the closer you get to the surface waters.” The methane at the surface is instead from recently produced organic matter or from the atmosphere.

        Although the researchers did not examine in this study what prevents methane released from the seafloor from reaching the atmosphere, they suspect it is biodegraded by microorganisms in the ocean before it hits the surface waters. Mihai Leonte, a PhD candidate in Kessler’s research group, observed this process — in which microbes aggressively biodegrade methane as methane emissions increase — in a paper published last year.

        “We found that very little ancient methane reaches surface waters even in the relatively shallow depths of 100 feet. Exponentially less methane would be able to reach the atmosphere in waters that are thousands of feet deep at the very edge of the shallow seas near continents, which is the area of the ocean where the bulk of methane hydrates are,” Sparrow says. “Our data suggest that even if increasing amounts of methane are released from degrading hydrates as climate change proceeds, catastrophic emission to the atmosphere is not an inherent outcome.”…

        …This study was primarily funded by the National Science Foundation with additional contributions from the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the University of Minnesota.”

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  13. eleggua

     /  January 12, 2019

    Not able to comment on youtube (and oftern unable to watch, either) however in taking a look at those sections on Robert’s vids, doesn’t seem to be as vibrant as things were here before he directed most of his energies in that direction. The contributions here were – and still are – valuable however the converstion and contributions are far less than pre-youtube daze.

    Oh, well.

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  14. wharf rat

     /  January 12, 2019

    Tesla Semi receives another order, electric trucks will move goods in Europe

    Tesla Semi, the automaker’s electric truck division, has received another order ahead of the start of production, which is planned for later this year.

    The electric trucks will be used to move goods from Europe to Norway.

    Travel Retail Norway, which operates the duty-free stores at Norway’s five largest airports, announced that it has ordered two Tesla Semi electric trucks in a press release today.

    https://electrek.co/2019/01/11/tesla-semi-order-electric-trucks-europe/

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  15. mlp in nc

     /  January 12, 2019

    I appreciate the comments from everyone. They are a major reason I follow this blog. I am also unable to comment on the Youtube site.

    After reading the articles, I had a thought on the hot spots. (Please don’t laugh). The area west of Svalbard is a known major methane leak. To my understanding, the methane does not reach the atmosphere because it is either dissolved into the water or metabolized. Sources seem to vary as to how much is metabolized, although one did say the majority was. If so, that is a lot of biologic activity. No particular reason I know of that methane itself should be hot, but could large enough colonies of methane metabolizing bacteria produce enough heat to affect the ocean temperature? I am not at all sure this is a reasonable thought, but at least it would not vary much by season. On the plus side these are huge permanent leaks that must have a permanent and happy colony of metabolizers, probably even happier as the Gulf Stream warms.
    Also to note that the mid-oceanic ridge, and the site of presumed volcanoes, converge near the leaks at the west of Svalbard. That would not explain the more eastern site, but I do note that the eastern one is considerably cooler than the western one.

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    • Leland Palmer

       /  January 13, 2019

      Hi mlp-
      I had similar thoughts, so if they are laughable, well count me in as being laughable too. Generally the sun is the biggest source of environmental heat, I think. Could methane release be fueling algae blooms, that absorb more sunlight?

      Are there visible algae blooms in the area, persisting since 2015? Don’t know, probably not.

      One prediction: if relict metastable methane hydrate is involved, the anomalies should be in areas that were under thick glaciers in very recent geological time. This could include the area with volcanic seamounts close to the surface near Svalbard, I think. I think someone called that area Loki’s Castle, or something similar. Of course, these volcanoes were recently discovered so maybe nobody knows if they were glaciated.

      So, if we can find a map of very recent glaciated areas in the region, that might tell us something.

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  16. Robert in New Orleans

     /  January 15, 2019

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already pressuring Nancy Pelosi on climate change

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/11/14/18094452/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-nancy-pelosi-protest-climate-change-2020

    VIVA AOC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. mlp in nc

     /  January 15, 2019

    I am afraid that the very fact that this article is big news (or the technique feasible) is not too good.

    Understanding physics could lead to big gains in shale oil recovery. Source: Penn State https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190115111917.htm
    Summary:
    Oil companies are missing out on vast sums of recoverable oil in unconventional reservoirs, according to experts.

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  18. Robert in New Orleans

     /  January 16, 2019

    Antarctica ice melt has accelerated by 280% in the last 4 decades

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/14/world/climate-change-antarctica-ice-melt-twin-studies/index.html

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    • Robert in New Orleans

       /  January 16, 2019

      Four decades of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance from 1979–2017
      https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/01/08/1812883116

      Abstract:
      We use updated drainage inventory, ice thickness, and ice velocity data to calculate the grounding line ice discharge of 176 basins draining the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1979 to 2017. We compare the results with a surface mass balance model to deduce the ice sheet mass balance. The total mass loss increased from 40 ± 9 Gt/y in 1979–1990 to 50 ± 14 Gt/y in 1989–2000, 166 ± 18 Gt/y in 1999–2009, and 252 ± 26 Gt/y in 2009–2017. In 2009–2017, the mass loss was dominated by the Amundsen/Bellingshausen Sea sectors, in West Antarctica (159 ± 8 Gt/y), Wilkes Land, in East Antarctica (51 ± 13 Gt/y), and West and Northeast Peninsula (42 ± 5 Gt/y). The contribution to sea-level rise from Antarctica averaged 3.6 ± 0.5 mm per decade with a cumulative 14.0 ± 2.0 mm since 1979, including 6.9 ± 0.6 mm from West Antarctica, 4.4 ± 0.9 mm from East Antarctica, and 2.5 ± 0.4 mm from the Peninsula (i.e., East Antarctica is a major participant in the mass loss). During the entire period, the mass loss concentrated in areas closest to warm, salty, subsurface, circumpolar deep water (CDW), that is, consistent with enhanced polar westerlies pushing CDW toward Antarctica to melt its floating ice shelves, destabilize the glaciers, and raise sea level.

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    • Robert in New Orleans

       /  January 16, 2019

      Antarctic ice-sheet sensitivity to obliquity forcing enhanced through ocean connections
      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0284-4.epdf?referrer_access_token=nJm960GOX3nPE7f7v_4rd9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0Ot_gu31-eQPxiztIuzStKFE6UdtLeqWzC_6QrFMHEaeusaiEeLdXimlBP2GlxRtD1krvi44yqlaR2ZYqTV1hXDJDwhxAT8Ej7N_3jVGTDl3t86oo1KOy3jPLFxC74308cSs2qbDRBt–tqILB–DLlvUovv8oUB2J-m_ZjYo5c9XhGjQ-VdkjEPMhZc6LMgBwNI5CbG3CkDpts59WvGvbrP94cIOKk6oQ33H7w5gfmPA%3D%3D&tracking_referrer=www.cnn.com

      Abstract:
      Deep sea geological records indicate that Antarctic ice-sheet growth and decay is strongly influenced by the Earth’s astronomical variations (known as Milankovitch cycles), and that the frequency of the glacial–interglacial cycles changes through time. Here we examine the emergence of a strong obliquity (axial tilt) control on Antarctic ice-sheet evolution during the Miocene by corre-lating the Antarctic margin geological records from 34 to 5 million years ago with a measure of obliquity sensitivity that compares the variance in deep sea sediment core oxygen-isotope data at obliquity timescales with variance of the calculated obliquity forc-ing. Our analysis reveals distinct phases of ice-sheet evolution and suggests the sensitivity to obliquity forcing increases when ice-sheet margins extend into marine environments. We propose that this occurs because obliquity-driven changes in the meridi-onal temperature gradient affect the position and strength of the circum-Antarctic easterly flow and enhance (or reduce) ocean heat transport across the Antarctic continental margin. The influence of obliquity-driven changes in ocean dynamics is amplified when marine ice sheets are extensive, and sea ice is limited. Our reconstruction of the Antarctic ice-sheet history suggests that if sea-ice cover decreases in the coming decades, ocean-driven melting at the ice-sheet margin will be amplified.

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      • eleggua

         /  January 16, 2019

        Pinball.

        ‘Earth’s Tilt May Exacerbate a Melting Antarctic’
        By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | January 16, 2019
        https://www.livescience.com/64507-antarctica-ice-melt-earth-tilt.html

        ” As levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide rise and warm the globe, Antarctica’s ice will become more vulnerable to cycles on an astronomical scale, particularly the tilt of our planet is as it spins around its axis.

        New research finds that over 30 million years of history, Antarctica’s ice sheets responded most strongly to the angle of Earth’s tilt on its axis when the ice extends into the oceans, interacting with currents that can bring warm water lapping at their margins and leading to increased melting. The effect of the tilt peaked when carbon dioxide levels were similar to what scientists predict for the next century, if humans don’t get emissions under control. [Collapsing Beauty: Image of Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf]

        As carbon dioxide levels push past 400 parts per million, the climate will become more sensitive to the Earth’s tilt, or obliquity, researchers reported Jan. 14 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

        “Really critical is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said study co-author Stephen Meyers, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

        A scenario of high carbon dioxide and high tilt angle could be particularly devastating to the the miles-thick ice covering Antarctica……..”

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      • mlp in nc

         /  January 17, 2019

        To add one more, from Bob Henson:
        Antarctic Sea Ice Dips to Record-Low Extent for Early January
        https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Antarctic-Sea-Ice-Dips-Record-Low-Extent-Early-January?cm_ven=cat6-widget

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  19. Robert in New Orleans

     /  January 16, 2019

    This is another nail in the coffin for coastal living or actually a couple dozen pneumatically driven nails into every coastal coffin. Take my advice, if you are a coastal resident, sell your property a to denialist while you can and move out as quickly as possible. There will be NO happy ending to this secnario.

    DR. ORRIN PILKEY: WALK AWAY FROM THE COAST

    [audio src="https://www.ecoshock.net/downloads/ES_Pilkey_LoFi.mp3" /]

    Liked by 1 person

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      • eleggua

         /  January 16, 2019

        Dr. Orrin Pilkey makes good points therein, except this one:
        ““I’m no longer interested in awakening the masses. The masses made it clear that they are not interested.””

        If you’ve been reading here for a few years, recall Robert Scribbler’s words re: giving up:
        “Pinch yourself, still alive”. Keep moving forward, raising awareness and creating connections between folks that are also moving forward and not giving up. The more the merrier.

        We’re all “the masses”. The tipping point we’re approaching involves raised awareness among a significant amount of the human biomass – not even a majority, just the critical amount to move past the tipping point and into the realm of radical solutions for radical problems.

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        • eleggua

           /  January 16, 2019

          The “masses” in action:
          https://gofossilfree.org/

          “Fossil Free is a global campaign led by local groups demanding our local communities and institutions commit to:

          A fast + just transition to 100% renewable energy for all
          No new fossil fuel projects anywhere.
          Not a penny more for dirty energy

          We are a powerful movement of citizens around the world working to build a future that’s free from the destructive impacts of climate change, and free from the massive, out-of-control corporations that caused it.

          How does it work?

          Fossil Free is about leveraging our power where it’s most effective — in our local communities. Small groups of people coming together are transforming their communities and the world. We join that power together in a connected global movement, that shares tools, tactics and an exciting vision for our world.

          We campaign to take away everything the fossil fuel industry needs to grow and survive: their social licence, their political licence, and their money. We organise in our communities to stop or ban new coal, oil and gas infrastructure.

          We organise and focus the huge public support for renewable energy into actionable commitments by our local institutions for 100% renewable energy. Those commitments are not only transforming our energy system, but also support and retrain workers affected by the changes, and put the ownership of energy back with the people.

          Everyone is welcome.

          Climate change isn’t just an environmental issue, or a social justice issue, or an economic issue — it’s all of those at once. It’s one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced, and we’re going to have to work together to solve it.

          This movement actively welcomes the talents, energy & commitment of all individuals volunteering their time, regardless of their background, ethnicity, religious or spiritual belief, gender and sexual orientation. We react immediately against hate and discrimination.

          Principle #2:
          We’re all leaders.

          Each group has the power to decide its own organising, facilitation, decision-making, communications, tactics and actions. We’re all responsible collectively for making sure we live up to our values and shared organising principles.

          Principle #3:
          We take action.

          Taking action is how we build public support behind our cause. And we recognise the importance of escalating those actions when our demands aren’t met.

          We are committed to maintaining non-violent discipline in all of our actions. We support those who take direct action and respect those who are not in a position to take part. We encourage a wide range of tactics — it strengthens our movement.”

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        • Robert in New Orleans

           /  January 17, 2019

          RE:
          Dr. Orrin Pilkey makes good points therein, except this one:
          ““I’m no longer interested in awakening the masses. The masses made it clear that they are not interested.””

          You may want to reread the article that I highlighted from the Radio Ecoshock website, as Dr Pilkey did not make that statement in is interview with the host Alex Smith.
          Mr Smith was describing climate blogger burnout:

          As we head into 2019, I notice several long-time climate bloggers and Facebook activists are “retiring” to their private lives. For example Robert Leisure, an American living in Salzburg Austria ran this on his final Facebook post for 2018:

          “I’m no longer interested in awakening the masses. The masses made it clear that they are not interested.”

          Robert’s Facebook page now describes him as “Former messenger of climate change now focusing on maximizing each day loving life and my loved ones“. That brought out a chorus of agreement from other climate activists, like Robin Westenra in New Zealand, and Dorsi Lynn Diaz in California. As Pink Floyd sang in “The Wall”: “It’s not easy banging your heart against some mad bugger’s wall“.

          I must continue with Radio Ecoshock. As Sylvia Boorstein just wrote:

          “When I recognize the pain I feel as the legitimate result of loss, I am respectful of its presence and kind to myself. My mind always relaxes when it is kind, and around the edges of the truth of whatever has ended, I see displays of what might be beginning.”

          ellegua, I can understand your misreading of the article as it was not as well edited as it should have been.

          Cordially Yours,
          RiNO

          Go Saints!

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        • eleggua

           /  January 19, 2019

          Thanks for the correction, Robert. That pull quote in the box, minus attribution, stood out amidst the text. My misread, though; no excuse.

          Interesting; Pilkey promotes moving away from the coast asap et the lab built six years ago is smack-dab on the coast.

          https://nicholas.duke.edu/marinelab/about/facilities/orrin-pilkey-laboratory

          “The Orrin Pilkey research laboratory is the first new research space to be added to the Marine Laboratory campus of Duke University since the construction of the Bookhout Research Laboratory in the 1960s. In addition to research and office space for three faculty members, the Pilkey Lab includes a two-story ‘collisional commons’ where the Pivers Island community can meet and exchange ideas in an informal setting, a conference room, a classroom designed for courses that use molecular techniques, plus office space for graduate students, research staff and visiting faculty….

          …The Pilkey Laboratory is located on Pivers Island, an inner island of the North Carolina coast, protected from the ocean by inner and outer barrier islands. Hurricane-force winds occasionally batter the coast and, as sea level rises over the next century, storm surge could inundate the lowest portions of the island. As Duke University considered new construction, attention to hurricanes and sea-level rise were important design specifications.

          The Pilkey Laboratory has been engineered to withstand both 132 mph hurricane-force winds and flooding with minimal damage….”

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      • eleggua

         /  January 19, 2019

        The Orrin Pilkey research laboratory is the first new research space to be added to the Marine Laboratory campus of Duke University since the 1970s. In addition to research and office space for three faculty members, the Pilkey Lab includes a two-story ‘collisional commons’, a conference room, a classroom designed for courses that use molecular techniques, plus office space for graduate students, research staff and visiting faculty.

        As Duke University considered new construction, attention to hurricanes and sea-level rise were important design specifications. The Pilkey Laboratory has been designed to target the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) ‘Gold’ standards in the ‘Leadership in Energy and Environment Design’ (LEED) rating system.

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    • Great posts RiNO!
      Many thanks!
      Too many think (feel) coastal living will be sweet until the rising seas ‘begin’ to threaten this model. However, as far north Queenslanders have learned, all that heat energy now packed into the ocean will contribute to astonishing levels of rainfall.

      Ignore the ‘blame’ being put on the dam operators–this is classic misinfo by the coal and fracking crowd and A Gov’t to draw attention away from the reason this is happening. Nearly as bad is all the folk who were lead to believe that buying a home in a known floodplain had no reason to worry as the ‘maps’ showed all would be fine. It just another example of skinning the average Jack & Jill to keep the banks lending and the Strayan Ponzi going.

      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/05/townsville-floods-dam-management-under-scrutiny-as-experts-demand-greater-preparation

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  20. Robert in New Orleans

     /  January 16, 2019

    To Those Who Think We Can Reform Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis
    https://www.thenation.com/article/climate-change-fossil-fuel-capitalism-divorce/

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    • mlp in nc

       /  January 17, 2019

      Will not open. Can you excerpt a bit?

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      • eleggua

         /  January 19, 2019

        Peaceful global revolution: an evolutionary inevitability.

        “Welcome to the future. It feels like it, doesn’t it? Like we have reached the end of something—of the days when the Arctic was not actually in flames, when the permafrost was not a sodden mush, when the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets were not rushing to join the quickly rising seas. Perhaps we have also, finally, reached the end of the days when we could soothe ourselves with lies, or delusions at least; when we imagined that we were the only masters here, that we could keep taking what we wanted, and that no one would ever have to pay.

        We are paying now. Twenty eighteen was the year that temperatures scraped 90 degrees in the Norwegian Arctic; that permafrost in northern Siberia failed to freeze at all; that wildfires burned on the taiga there, as well as above the Arctic Circle in Alaska and Sweden, in the moors of northern England, in Greece, and in California, where they showed no sense of poetic restraint whatsoever and reduced a place called Paradise to ash.

        And where there wasn’t fire, there were floods: Hundreds died and millions were evacuated from rising waters in Japan, southern China, and the Indian state of Kerala. Venice flooded too, and Paris, where the Louvre had to close its Department of Islamic Arts, which it had consigned, ahem, to a basement. It was also the year the United Nations’ climate change body warned that, to avoid full-on cataclysm, we, the humans of planet Earth, would have just 12 years (11 now) to cut carbon emissions by 45 percent, and 32 years (31 and counting) to eliminate such emissions altogether.

        Still, the weather may be the least of our problems. The fire that razed Paradise displaced 52,000 people overnight, forcing many into the ranks of California’s swelling homeless population and what passes for a safety net these days: free berths on the asphalt in a Walmart parking lot. Millions more of us will become refugees when a mega-storm drowns Miami or Manila, and when the Bay of Bengal rises high enough to swallow Bangladesh. Narendra Modi’s India is ready, and has nearly finished stretching barbed wire across the entire 2,500-mile border with Bangladesh. By conservative estimates, climate change will displace a quarter of a billion people over the next 31 years. Most will not be wealthy, and most will not be white.

        We do know, at least, how we got here. It was all that oil and coal that we burned, that we’re still burning. But that “we” is misleading. It isn’t all of us, and never was. As the Swedish scholar Andreas Malm recounts in Fossil Capital, his exhaustive account of the rise of the coal-powered steam engine, coal was initially embraced by a tiny subclass of wealthy Englishmen, the ones who owned the mills. They came to favor steam over hydropower in large part because it allowed them to erect factories in cities and towns—rather than submitting to the dictates of distant rivers and streams—giving them access to what we would now call a flexible workforce: masses of hungry urbanites accustomed to the indignities of factory labor, willing to toil for less, easily replaceable if they refused.

        In the process these early industrialists created the illusion fundamental to the functioning of our entire economic system: the possibility of self-sustaining growth. Machines could always move faster, squeezing more work out of fewer hands for greater and greater profits. After the Second World War, the same logic would push the transition from coal to oil: It took far less labor to get oil out of the ground and to transport it across continents, plus coal miners had an alarming tendency to strike.

        From its inception, then, the carbon economy has been tied to the basic capitalist mandate to disempower workers, to squeeze the most sweat out of people for the least amount of money. For the last 200-odd years, the exploitation of the planet has been inseparable from the exploitation of living human beings.

        This is why, though the alarm bells about anthropogenic warming began tolling more than half a century ago, the carbon habit has proven nearly impossible to break. Since 1990, when international climate negotiations commenced, carbon emissions have jumped by more than 60 percent. Last year, as the fires burned and the floodwaters rose, they leaped by a projected 2.7 percent. It’s almost as if someone’s profiting from our misfortune. And they are: Six of the 10 highest-earning corporations on last year’s Fortune Global 500 list made their money extracting or delivering fossil energy; two were automobile manufacturers and one—Walmart, the planet’s richest brand—relied on a system of globalized trade inconceivable without massive consumption of fossil fuels. Even on an individual level, the richest 1 percent have a carbon footprint 2,000 times larger than the poorest inhabitants of Honduras or Mozambique, countries that have contributed next to nothing to global warming and are suffering disproportionately from it. We already know well that the 1 percent do not let go of power willingly.

        Nor will our political system likely be much help, even with our survival as a species at stake. Politicians are not often good at thinking in planetary terms. The system in which they function—national governments and international institutions alike—evolved alongside the carbon economy and has for decades functioned mainly to serve it. However enlightened their representatives may appear at climate talks, wealthy countries continue to subsidize fossil-fuel extraction—last year to the tune of $147 billion. In the United States, Trumpian climate denialism and Pelosian tepidity are two faces of the same phenomenon. Congressman Frank Pallone, who chairs the toothless committee that Pelosi resurrected to tackle climate change, announced that he plans to propose nothing more than “some oversight” of Trump’s assaults on preexisting federal programs, and that requiring committee members to reject donations from fossil-fuel industries would be “too limiting.”

        Centrists continue to reassure, unshaken in the conviction that no problem exists that cannot be solved with a little technocratic fiddling. Just before he left office, Barack Obama penned an article in Science, contending that climate change “mitigation need not conflict with economic growth.” Wealthy countries, the argument goes, have already managed to reduce emissions without sacrificing growth. “Decoupling” is the magic word here. Imagine a gentle, Gwyneth Paltrowesque divorce between fossil fuels and capital, followed by a fresh romance with greener tech, perhaps a few extra therapy bills for the kids.

        But someone always gets hurt in a break-up. The techno-optimist dream holds together only if you hide the fact that much of the progress made by the United States and Europe came at the expense of poorer countries: As corporations off-shored manufacturing jobs over the last few decades, they sent the carbon-intensive industries with them, allowing Western consumers, at the clean end of a very dirty process, to import massive quantities of goods. The only year so far this millennium that global emissions have dropped was 2009. It took a global financial meltdown and more than a year of recession for fossil-fuel consumption to even dip.

        or now, the petroligarchy is winning. Thirteen years ago, Hurricane Katrina gave us an early taste of the future they have built for us: a murderous, militarized, racialized response to human vulnerability. Now we are living in it. We know what their world looks like: abundance for the few behind walls and razor wire, precarity and impoverishment for the rest of us; endless prisons for endless streams of migrants, concentration camps by other names.

        But there are other futures, other worlds as yet unmade. We have only to choose ours, and to fight like hell for it—fiercely, with forms of solidarity that we have not yet been able to imagine. Solidarity not only with one another but with this planet and the many forms of life it hosts. There is no way out of this but to cease to view the Earth, and its populations, as an endless sink of resources from which wealth can be extracted.

        This is not hippie idealism but purest practicality: There is no way to preserve anything approximating the status quo without turning into monsters, or cadavers, and no way to survive that is not radical. In this future we will need to keep our eyes open and learn to calm ourselves only with truths. If other worlds are not yet visible, it is because they are ours to make. ”

        By Ben Ehrenreich
        January 15, 2019

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  21. Robert in New Orleans

     /  January 16, 2019

    Climate Documentary: The Cross of the Moment

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  22. eleggua

     /  January 17, 2019

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180806152021.htm

    Wetter soil is leading to reduced methane gas absorption
    The trend could accelerate an increase in atmospheric methane levels and intensify global warming

    Date:
    August 6, 2018
    Source:
    Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY
    Summary:
    A new paper finds that the existing effects of global warming are decreasing the soil’s ability to absorb methane gas. The paper details findings from a study that measured forest-soil uptake of methane gas in a variety of locations and settings over a 13- to 27-year span and detected decreases of 53 to 89 percent.

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  23. mlp in nc

     /  January 17, 2019

    eleggua and Leland Palmer,
    Thanks again for the methane articles. Maybe eventually I will make sense of something. I checked publication titles from SWERUS-C3. No mention of Svalbard hot spots.
    To follow up on the Barrow methane eruption, the measurements have been revised and are much less impressive than they were. Tiksi is still out.

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    • mlp in nc

       /  January 17, 2019

      +12.1C Gulf Stream SSTA south of Greenland. (43.48N, 57.05W) on Earth Nullschool. Ramping up.

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  24. eleggua

     /  January 19, 2019

    Watching Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory Rise Before Our Eyes Through 2019
    Brian Wang | January 17, 2019

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/01/watching-teslas-shanghai-gigafactory-rise-before-our-eyes-through-2019.html

    “…China Construction Third Engineering Bureau is helping to build Gigafactory 2. It is a subsidiary of China Construction, which is owned by the government.

    Pictures and videos tracking the construction will be coming out of China every week. We will see the factory rise before our eyes.

    How long until the foundation is laid? I would guess 45 days or less.

    How long until the building structure is completed? I would say 90 days or less.

    Elon Musk has said the factory should be complete within 6 months.

    How long until the first cars are produced? Elon Musk has said Model 3 cars should be produced by the end of 2019 at the China Gigafactory….”

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    • eleggua

       /  January 19, 2019

      “Tesla Shanghai Lingang Gigafactory 3 – Jan 17th 2019 特斯拉上海超級工廠 From the video, it shows that construction already started and good numbers of heavy equipment are operating on the site. Looking forward to the success of Tesla’s development in China.

      If you are getting a Tesla, receive 6 months free Supercharging services by using my referral code: vincent68747 “

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  25. eleggua

     /  January 19, 2019

    Upper-ocean warming is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger
    January 14, 2019, University of California – Santa Cruz
    https://phys.org/news/2019-01-upper-ocean-global-climate-stronger.html

    “…In a study published January 14 in Nature Communications, researchers report that the energy of ocean waves has been growing globally, and they found a direct association between ocean warming and the increase in wave energy….

    …The new study focused on the energy contained in ocean waves, which is transmitted from the wind and transformed into wave motion. This metric, called wave power, has been increasing in direct association with historical warming of the ocean surface. The upper ocean warming, measured as a rising trend in sea-surface temperatures, has influenced wind patterns globally, and this, in turn, is making ocean waves stronger.

    “For the first time, we have identified a global signal of the effect of global warming in wave climate. In fact, wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948, and this increase is correlated with the increasing sea-surface temperatures, both globally and by ocean regions,” said lead author Borja G. Reguero, a researcher in the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Climate change is modifying the oceans in different ways, including changes in ocean-atmosphere circulation and water warming, according to coauthor Inigo J. Losada, director of research at the Environmental Hydraulics Institute at the University of Cantabria (IHCantabria), where the study was developed.

    “This study shows that the global wave power can be a potentially valuable indicator of global warming, similarly to carbon dioxide concentration, the global sea level rise, or the global surface atmospheric temperature,” Losada said.

    Understanding how the energy of ocean waves responds to oceanic warming has important implications for coastal communities, including anticipating impacts on infrastructure, coastal cities, and small island states….”

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  26. eleggua

     /  January 19, 2019

    ‘Warming seas likely to be reason bluefin tuna are returning to Westcountry waters’
    2 JAN 2019
    https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/warming-seas-likely-reason-bluefin-2383781

    “Warming seas may be the reason bluefin tuna, one of the ocean’s fastest predators, have come back to Westcountry waters, scientists say.

    The finding could be bad news for fishermen hoping to cash in on the return of the fish, which can reach weights of more than 900kg and speeds of 40mph….

    …In recent years they have been seen – and sometimes caught – in South West seas for the first time in 40 years….

    ”Dr Kirby is part of a multinational team which has studied tuna records over the past 200 years. They have found that a climate cycle that affects the sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic may be responsible for bringing back the tuna.

    The “seesaw” of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is now in a warm phase, and it may be that rather than changing population size which has led to more sightings.

    “Should we catch and exploit this endangered species or should we make UK waters a safe space for this incredible fish?” Dr Kirby said.

    Research by Dr Kirby, along with Dr Robin Faillettaz from the University of Lille, France, and Drs Gregory Beaugrand and Eric Goberville, suggests the answer should be no to more fishing.

    Dr Faillettaz said: “The ecological effects of the oscillation have long been overlooked. Our results represent a breakthrough in understanding the history of tuna in the North Atlantic.

    ”The oscillation, which switches every 60 to 120 years, affects ocean currents, drought on land and even the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. During its previous warm phase in the middle of the 20th century the North Sea had a bluefin tuna fishery that rivalled the Mediterranean. In the early 1960s the oscillation switched in the space of just two years from its highest to its lowest recorded values, and the tuna disappeared from more northerly waters until the late 1990s, when the latest phase began.”

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    • eleggua

       /  January 19, 2019

      So I was out fishing for scallops on Tuesday 15th August 2017 just off Falmouth in Cornwall (uk waters) when we seen this feeding frenzy… fought we would steam towards it see what we could see but never ever expected to steam right through the middle of it, unbelievable sight and a rare one in our waters!!! Futures promising!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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      • Jean Swan

         /  January 21, 2019

        I stopped eating tuna a long time ago when I read that ancient, large female tunas know the long migration routes..amazing..great video

        Liked by 1 person

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        • eleggua

           /  January 22, 2019

          In this 18+ minute doc, over the course of two weeks scientists in Japan eat tuna and measure the rising levels of mercury in their blood until…

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

          Like

      • That’s fabulous but I don’t know who’s more excited, the tuna or the fishermen…

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        • eleggua

           /  January 22, 2019

          Excited tuna excites Cornish observers.

          Sep 20, 2018
          A Bluefin Tuna caught on camera in the shallows at Porthkidney beach.

          Liked by 2 people

  27. eleggua

     /  January 19, 2019

    Similar positive feedback loop as what’s occuring on Greenland with ‘Dark Snow’.

    ‘Dust blowing off the shrinking Great Salt Lake is eroding Wasatch snowpack and that could eventually threaten drinking water’
    December 22, 2018

    https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2018/12/22/dust-blowing-off/

    “The winds kicked up in Utah’s West Desert ahead of a late-season storm blowing out of the south and into the Wasatch Mountains, which were then coated with a heavier-than-usual snowpack. But soon the winds shifted west and scraped up particles from the bed of the Great Salt Lake, left exposed from chronically receding lake levels.

    The wind event on April 13, 2017, was just what McKenzie Skiles, a young professor of geography who harbors a deep fascination with snow, was waiting for.

    She left her office in Salt Lake City to visit a study plot she and her University of Utah research team set up at the town of Alta high up in the Wasatch’s Little Cottonwood Canyon. Freshly deposited dust was darkening the snow.

    From her team’s measurements, Skiles has concluded that these particles, particularly from the Great Salt Lake’s ever-expanding dry bed, are significantly increasing the pace of the Wasatch Mountains’ spring runoff.

    “We used the amount of dust in the snowpack to calculate how much additional sunlight the dust would absorb relative to a dust-free snowpack,” Skiles said. “We found that from this one event, dust accelerated snowmelt by five days. And dust from all events [in the spring of 2017] accelerated snowmelt by 25 percent.”

    This observation could have serious consequences for the Utah cities that rely on the Central Wasatch for drinking water, according to the team’s paper published Friday in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

    Through a property known as albedo, clear snow reflects much of the sun’s radiant energy, but snow covered in dust absorbs that energy and melts faster than it otherwise would, according to Salt Lake City hydrologist Brian McInerney, who was not involved with the study.

    “Any time you melt snow earlier than you typically see, it’s much less efficient. You lose much more to evaporation and to the atmosphere,” said McInerney, who works for the National Weather Service.

    That leaves less water available for human uses or to eventually return to the Great Salt Lake, further lowering its level and exposing more lakebed that could lead to more dust storms — a troubling feedback loop….”

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  28. eleggua

     /  January 19, 2019

    ‘As Study Ties ‘Great Dying’ of 252 Million Years Ago to Current Climate Crisis, Experts Say Still Time for ‘Different Path’
    December 06, 2018

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/12/06/study-ties-great-dying-252-million-years-ago-current-climate-crisis-experts-say

    “For the first time ever, researchers have tied “climate change triggered by volcanic greenhouse gases” to the largest extinction in Earth’s history, often called the “Great Dying,” 252 million years ago—and their findings, published Thursday by Science, are just the latest fuel added to the burning concern about the world’s current extinction crisis.

    The study adds to a growing body of research on alarming declines in biodiversity, offering a glimpse of what could come of the planet’s inhabitants if global warming is allowed to continue unabated. The Great Dying, at the end of the Permian Period, wiped out 96 percent of all marine species and 70 percent of terrestrial species.

    “The ultimate, driving change that led to the mass extinction is the same driving change that humans are doing today, which is injecting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” Justin Penn, a University of Washington doctoral student in oceanography and the study’s lead author, told the Seattle Times.

    “The study tells us what’s at the end of the road if we let climate [change] keep going,” warned Curtis Deutsch, Penn’s co-author and PhD adviser, as the latest projections show emissions hitting record-breaking levels this year. “The further we go, the more species we’re likely to lose… That’s frightening. The loss of species is irreversible.”…

    …”As our understanding of the drivers and consequences of end-Permian climate change and mass extinction improves,” Kump added, “the lessons for the future become clear.”

    “It’s entirely within our control to steer the planet on a different path away from the brink,” concluded meteorologist and Grist columnist Eric Holthaus. “Reading about this may make you may feel powerless, but collectively, our choices are the most powerful geological force in our planet’s history.”

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  29. eleggua

     /  January 19, 2019

    Algae, impurities darken the Greenland ice sheet and increase melting
    April 4, 2018
    https://phys.org/news/2018-04-algae-impurities-darken-greenland-ice.html

    “The Dark Zone of Greenland ice sheet is a large continuous region on the western flank of the ice sheet; it is some 400 kilometers wide stretching about 100 kilometres up from the margin of the ice.

    Some previous theories have attributed this darkening to water on top of the ice sheet – often seen as strikingly sapphire blue ponds, rivers and lakes. But a new study in Nature Communications provides a new hypothesis based on the character of the impurities on the ice surface itself.

    “What we show is that the Dark Zone is covered in a finely distributed layer of dust, and black carbon, which provide nutrition for dark coloured algae. These are the main cause of the darkening.” says professor Alun Hubbard, the co-author of the study and professor at CAGE—Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate at UiT The Arctic University of Norway….

    …The fact that a large portion of the western flank of the Greenland ice sheet has become dark means that the melt is up to five times as much as if it was a brilliant snow surface. ” says Hubbard.

    Algae – a major player

    The ice algae seem to be one of the major players in this scheme – even the slight increase of the atmospheric temperature and liquid water production seems to promote algae colonization across the ice surface.

    “The algae need nutrients and food, essentially dust, organic carbon, and water. In summer, these are plentiful and the algal bloom takes off. Because algae are dark in colour – they reinforce the dark zone. Thereby you get a positive feedback effect where the ice sheet absorbs even more solar radiation producing yet more melt.”…

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  30. eleggua

     /  January 19, 2019

    Dark Zone of Greenland

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    • mlp in nc

       /  January 22, 2019

      And interesting to see all the frozen melt ponds, still in beautifully clear blues.

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      • eleggua

         /  January 22, 2019

        Images at the link below, plus links to other images and an interesting podcast on the topic.

        NASA Visible Earth: Melt Ponds, Northeastern Greenland

        https://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=35696

        The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the Greenland Ice Sheet August 30, 2008. Taken over northeastern Greenland, the top image shows (left to right) the eastern margin of the ice sheet, bare rocks of the coastline, and fragments of sea ice floating on the ocean surface. The black rectangle indicates the detailed view that is shown in the bottom image. In both the wide-area and zoomed views, the ice sheet margin appears pale blue-gray, which may be a sign it is saturated with water. Deeper blue pools of standing melt water dot the ice sheet’s surface.

        Melt ponds have played a role in the breakup of the Larsen Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, where dense pools of water sliced through sections of the shelf like a wedge. In Greenland, melt ponds ultimately find their way into crevasses or moulins—chutes that carry melt water through the ice sheet. Many glaciologists suspect that the melt water finds its way to the bottom of the ice sheet where it lubricates the base of the ice, reducing friction between the ice and the underlying rock, and speeding glacier flow. As the glacier accelerates, it pushes ice into the ocean. This introduction of additional ice into the ocean can raise sea level, just as dropping extra ice cubes into a glass raises the level of a drink.

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  31. Ancient climate change triggered warming that lasted thousands of years

    A rapid rise in temperature on ancient Earth triggered a climate response that may have prolonged the warming for many thousands of years, according to scientists.

    Their study, published online in Nature Geoscience, provides new evidence of a climate feedback that could explain the long duration of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which is considered the best analogue for modern climate change.

    The findings also suggest that climate change today could have long-lasting impacts on global temperature even if humans are able to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

    “We found evidence for a feedback that occurs with rapid warming that can release even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” said Shelby Lyons, a doctoral student in geosciences at Penn State. “This feedback may have extended the PETM climate event for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. We hypothesize this is also something that could occur in the future.”

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    • eleggua

       /  January 22, 2019

      “We hypothesize this is also something that could occur in the future.”

      “We” is the key. We’ve dramatically (drastically) altered the earth’s climate in a relatively short span of time. We can re-solve the problems in a similar, relatively short span of time.
      Pay attention to the problems while focusing on clean solutions.

      https://www.drawdown.org/

      “Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. We did not make or devise the plan—the plan exists and is being implemented worldwide. It has been difficult to envision this possibility because the focus is overwhelmingly on the impacts of climate change. We gathered a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change. What was uncovered is a path forward that can roll back global greenhouse gas emissions within thirty years. The research revealed that humanity has the means and techniques at hand. Nothing new needs to be invented, yet many more solutions are coming due to purposeful human ingenuity. The solutions we modeled are in place and in action. Humanity’s task is to accelerate the knowledge and growth of what is possible as soon as possible.”

      “Our Mission

      Project Drawdown gathers and facilitates a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, graduate students, PhDs, post-docs, policy makers, business leaders and activists to assemble and present the best available information on climate solutions in order to describe their beneficial financial, social and environmental impact over the next thirty years.

      Our Vision

      To date, the full range and beneficial impact of climate solutions have not been explained in a way that bridges the divide between urgency and agency. The aspirations of people who want to enact meaningful solutions remain largely untapped. Dr. Leon Clark, one of the lead authors of the IPCC 5th Assessment, wrote, “We have the technologies, but we really have no sense of what it would take to deploy them at scale.” Together, let’s figure this out.”

      ‘Drawdown’ – the book:

      “Drawdown maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, we describe its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs Drawdown is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world.

      The subtitle of Drawdown—The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming—may sound brash. We chose that description because no detailed plan to reverse warming has been proposed. There have been agreements and proposals on how to slow, cap, and arrest emissions, and there are international commitments to prevent global temperature increases from exceeding two degrees centigrade over pre-industrial levels. One hundred and ninety-five nations have made extraordinary progress in coming together to acknowledge that we have a momentous civilizational crisis on our earthly doorstep and have created national plans of action. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has accomplished the most significant scientific study in the history of humankind, and continues to refine the science, expand the research, and extend our grasp of one of the most complex systems imaginable—climate. However, there is as yet no roadmap that goes beyond slowing or stopping emissions.

      To be clear, our organization did not create or devise a plan. We do not have that capability or self-appointed mandate. In conducting our research, we found a plan, a blueprint that already exists in the world in the form of humanity’s collective wisdom, made manifest in applied, hands-on practices and technologies. Individuals, communities, farmers, cities, companies, and governments have shown that they care about this planet, its people, and its places. Engaged citizens world over are doing something extraordinary. This is their story.”

      Liked by 1 person

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      • marcyincny

         /  January 23, 2019

        Unfortunately I think the “we” everyone refers to is a relatively infinitesimal number. For me the most incomprehensible aspect of this moment in human history continues to be how a few humans can understand more of the natural world than ever before while billions of humans live as though they’re above and beyond any natural limits.

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        • eleggua

           /  January 23, 2019

          It is going to require a significant amount of the human biomass to catalyze “the tipping point” of cohesive, cooperative, conscious ‘evolution’. That’s not necessarily a majority: it’s just enough. “We” aren’t alone on this planet; there’s already a significant amount of the organic biomass of the planet active and participating.
          Plants, fungi, other animals: all active participants in this wild evolution.
          “We” are not alone and other lifeforms are encouraging us to get active.

          The plants are rooting for us!

          https://johnjeavons.org/2018/12/22/soil-is-the-solution/

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        • eleggua

           /  January 23, 2019

          Spaceship Earth

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        • eleggua

           /  January 23, 2019

          marcyincny, check out the book “Drawdown”, Paul Hawken, editor.
          Lots of encouraging solutions therein. Also, check out the FossilFree website; more good stuff there.

          Living a Fuller life!

          Like

  32. Think Progress, By Joe Romm, January 17

    The most dangerous climate feedback loop is speeding up

    In Siberia, the carbon-rich permafrost warmed by 1.6°F in just the last decade

    The carbon-rich permafrost warmed “in all permafrost zones on Earth” from 2007 to 2016, according to a new study.

    Most ominously, Siberian permafrost at depths of up to 30 feet warmed a remarkable 1.6°F (0.9°C) in those 10 years, the researchers found. The permafrost, or tundra, is soil that stays below freezing (32°F) for at least two years.

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  33. New York Times: Greenland’s Melting Ice Nears a ‘Tipping Point,’ Scientists Say, Jan 21.

    Greenland’s enormous ice sheet is melting at such an accelerated rate that it may have reached a “tipping point,” and could become a major factor in sea-level rise around the world within two decades, scientists said in a study published on Monday.

    The Arctic is warming at twice the average rate of the rest of the planet, and the new research adds to the evidence that the ice loss in Greenland, which lies mainly above the Arctic Circle, is speeding up as the warming increases. The authors found that ice loss in 2012, more than 400 billion tons per year, was nearly four times the rate in 2003. After a lull in 2013-14, losses have resumed.

    Quite a few links in this article; the paper itself is paywalled.

    Liked by 1 person

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  34. Mother Jones / ProPublica: For 20 Years, US Carbon Emissions Have Been Dropping. Last Year, They Spiked.

    Not spiked: increased by 3.4%, actually. Wouldn’t call that a spike. No…

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    • eleggua

       /  January 22, 2019

      “The Rhodium Group created its estimate by using government data for the first three quarters of 2018 combined with more recent industry data. The United States government will publish its official emissions estimates for all of 2018 later this year.” – NYT, 1.8.2019

      The source of that report is a “private research company”, the Rhodium Group.
      What’s their motivation? Who are they?

      From the Rhodium Group website:
      ” RHG’s advanced economies team analyzes the shocks and challenges confronting higher-income mature economies.

      Assessing the declining commercial and political dominance of the incumbent economic leaders requires a multi-disciplinary approach and insights derived equally from quantitative analysis, political assessment and frequent interactions with policymakers.”

      ” Rhodium analyzes the market impact of energy and environmental policy and the economic risks of global climate change.

      Rhodium’s Energy & Climate research team includes policy experts, economists, energy modelers, climate scientists and data engineers. The team uses a suite of proprietary and open-source models to analyze the economic, energy market and emissions impact of policy developments at the local and national level, and international levels. Through the Climate Impact Lab, they provide decision-makers in the public, financial services, corporate, philanthropic and non-profit sectors with actionable information about the economic risks of climate change in different sectors of the economy and regions of the world.”

      From Young China Watchers website:
      “Daniel H. Rosen is the founding partner of RHG (aka Rhodium Group) and leads the firm’s work on China. Mr. Rosen is affiliated with a number of American thinktanks focused on international economics. He is also an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University, where he has taught graduate seminars on the Chinese economy at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) since 2001. Mr. Rosen writes and speaks extensively on China and other emerging economy topics. He is a frequent contributor to major print and television media and high-level speaking events (including Aspen Institute, Caixin Magazine, Bloomberg and private client functions) on topics including China, Chinese investment flows and economic performance, and US-China economic relations. His seventh major report, on Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States, was published in 2011.

      From 2000-2001, Mr. Rosen was Senior Adviser for International Economic Policy at the White House National Economic Council and National Security Council, where he played a key role in completing China’s accession to the World Trade Organization and accompanied the President to Asia for summits and state visits. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and board member of the National Committee for US-China Relations.”

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      • eleggua

         /  January 22, 2019

        “(Rhodium Group’s) advanced economies team analyzes the shocks and challenges confronting higher-income mature economies.”

        Future Shock is coming down fast. The power brokers are getting nervous; they sense, their daze of ruling are threatened but don’t realize yet, those daze are numbered.
        Their daze of enjoying “business as usual” are almost over. Peaceful global revolution is an evolutionary inevitability; they’re on the wrong side of evolution and are struggling to forestall the inevitable. Klarman’s clarion call to his investors created a stir of concern at Davos.

        “As business and political leaders arrive in the Swiss Alps for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a surprisingly alarming letter from an influential investor who studiously eschews attention has already emerged as a talking point.

        The letter, written by Seth A. Klarman, a billionaire investor known for his sober and meticulous analysis of the investing world, is a huge red flag about global social tensions, rising debt levels and receding American leadership….

        His dire letter, which is considerably bleaker than his previous writings, is a warning shot that a growing sense of political and social divide around the globe may end in an economic calamity.

        “It can’t be business as usual amid constant protests, riots, shutdowns and escalating social tensions,” he wrote….

        …“Social frictions remain a challenge for democracies around the world, and we wonder when investors might take more notice of this.” He added, “Social cohesion is essential for those who have capital to invest.”…

        …“It is not hard to imagine worsening social unrest among a generation,” he wrote, “that is falling behind economically and feels betrayed by a massive national debt that was incurred without any obvious benefit to them.””

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      • eleggua

         /  January 22, 2019

        The Tofflers’ prescient 1970 work, Future Shock, is worth taking a look at now.

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

        “Future Shock is a 1970 book by the futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler,[1] in which the authors define the term “future shock” as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. Their shortest definition for the term is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time”…

        …The Tofflers argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a “super-industrial society”. This change overwhelms people. He believed the accelerated rate of technological and social change left people disconnected and suffering from “shattering stress and disorientation”—future shocked. The Tofflers stated that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock. In their discussion of the components of such shock, they popularized the term “information overload.” …

        …Alvin and Heidi Toffler’s main thought consists of the fact that modern man feels shock from rapid changes. For example, Toffler’s daughter went to shop in New York City and she couldn’t find a shop in its previous location. Thus New York has become a city without a history. The urban population doubles every 11 years. The overall production of goods and services doubles each 50 years in developed countries. Society experiences an increasing number of changes with an increasing rapidity, while people are losing the familiarity that old institutions (religion, family, national identity, profession) once provided. The so-called “brain drain” – the emigration of European scientists to the United States – is both an indicator of the changes in society and also one of their causes….”

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        • eleggua

           /  January 22, 2019

          “‘Future Shock’ is a documentary film based on the book written in 1970 by sociologist and futurist Alvin Toffler. Released in 1972, with a cigar-chomping Orson Welles as on-screen narrator, this piece of futurism is darkly dystopian and oozing techno-paranoia.”

          Like

        • eleggua

           /  January 22, 2019

          “Electrical information devices for universal, tyrannical womb-to-tomb surveillance are causing a very serious dilemma between our claim to privacy and the community’s need to know.
          The older, traditional ideas of private, isolated thoughts and actions – the patterns of mechanistic technologies – are very seriously threatened by new methods of instantaneous electric information retrieval, by the electrically computerized dossier bank –
          that one big gossip column that is unforgiving, unforgetful and from which there is no redemption, no erasure of early “mistakes.”

          We have already reached a point where remedial control, born out of knowledge of media and their total effects on all of us, must be exerted.

          How shall the new environment be programmed now that we have become so involved with each other, now that all of us have become the unwitting work force for social change?

          What’s that buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzjng?”

          – Marshall McLuhan, ‘The Medium Is the Massage’, 1967

          Like

  35. DJ LX

     /  January 23, 2019

    Is AOC drinking cool aid out of Guy McPherson pitcher? https://www.yahoo.com/news/apos-world-end-12-years-143637684.html Although, to be fair she qualifies the prediction with “if we don’t take action.” But yeah, she’s right, climate change IS the most pressing crisis facing us today and it’s not hyperbole to frame it as an existential issue.

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    • I thought it was the I.P.C.C. who said we have 12 years before its too late?

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      • eleggua

         /  January 23, 2019

        IPCC say, 12 years or else.

        MacPherson, 10 years humans will be extinct. No “or else”.

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        • Robert in New Orleans

           /  January 24, 2019

          If you thought that Guy McPherson was alarmist, Malcolm Light says we have only
          a few of years left before extinction:

          GLOBAL EXTINCTION WITHIN 18 – 34 MONTHS

          http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/01/global-extinction-within-18-34-months.html

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        • eleggua

           /  January 25, 2019

          McPherson, Light, etal: boring, grumpy doomsters. They seem to get off on promoting doom.

          Shedding light on Light and McPherson and their gung-ho climate doom porn:

          Science: Doing it Wrong
          Once more: McPherson’s methane catastrophe
          Posted on 01/08/2015
          https://fractalplanet.wordpress.com/category/science-doing-it-wrong/

          “For better or worse, I want to briefly return to Guy McPherson’s claims of human extinction within 20 years via a climate catastrophe. Guy is aware of my criticism of his argument, but has declined to consider the problems I pointed out (instead choosing to accuse me of being paid to disagree with him, which would be news to my bank account). Because I’ve seen him reduce his climate claims to the same two keys a few times now, I thought it might actually be worth singling them out for detailed inspection (even though both are mentioned in my previous post, which was a little overwhelming). I’ll try to keep this simple, but the desire to be thorough can make that a challenge…

          (Runaway) Train to Siberia

          The first claim is that there is an incontrovertible, rapidly accelerating release of methane from the Arctic. (Example here.) McPherson ascribes this to a destabilization of methane hydrates (also called clathrates) in the sediment beneath the Arctic seafloor. Ostensibly, this is based on the research of a team including Natalia Shakhova that has been studying methane release along the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, but McPherson’s claims about that research come from posts on the “Arctic News” blog. This blog, run by a retired petroleum geologist named Malcolm Light and someone writing under the name of Sam Carana, posts a great deal of strange and unscientific claims about earthquakes and methane in the Arctic.

          Specifically, McPherson points to a post there interpreting the Shakhova et al. research as indicating an exponentially-growing release of methane from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Apart from the fact that two data points can’t tell you there’s an exponential trend (rather than, say, a straight line), this also makes the mistake of assuming that there are actually two data points! What really happened is that the Shakhova group tried to estimate the total annual emission of methane from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf after observing some plumes above focused release points. (It’s not yet known if these releases have increased recently— the submerged permafrost has been thawing for thousands of years, since sea level rose coming out of the last ice age.) A couple years later, they published a new estimate based on expanded observations. This was a revision of their earlier estimate, now that they had more data in hand. Sam Carana treated these two estimates as independent numbers representing a time series— asserting that the emission of methane had more than doubled in just a few years. From there, Carana extrapolated to predict that emissions would increase about 1,000 times over by 2040. As a result, he/she predicts a cartoonish increase in the global average temperature of 11 C by 2040. (Actual climate models, on the other hand, project a temperature increase of around 4 C by 2100 if we fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions— and that’s a deeply troubling scenario.)

          Actual measurements of methane in the atmosphere don’t show any such sudden, accelerating spike, and climate scientists don’t believe anything like this “clathrate gun” scenario is underway. The Arctic News Blog obsesses over some satellite measurements of methane in the Arctic, believing that they support the claim of runaway methane emissions. (A researcher who worked on validating that satellite dataset confirmed to me that the raw data the blog is using hasn’t been through any quality control algorithm, and that the instrument hasn’t been validated for some of the kinds of conclusions Carana wants to draw.) By showing that some recent measurements of methane in the Arctic are above the global trend, they believe they are demonstrating a sudden increase. This is misguided, because the Arctic is always above the global average. That’s why we calculate averages. If you measure CO2 in the smokestack of a coal-burning power plant and find that it’s much higher than the global average from last week, you can’t conclude that is CO2 suddenly spiking globally. That sort of apples-to-plastic-oranges comparison is meaningless.

          So when McPherson claims that “the clathrate gun has fired“, he does so without any evidence whatsoever. Rather, he relies on elementary mistakes made by a blogger who doesn’t appear to understand the science. Not data. And not published research. Not only do climate scientists not think that such a thing is underway, most don’t think it’s likely to be a worry this century….

          So…

          McPherson seems to think that these two points are his strongest, but there’s really nothing there to support his eschatalogical message of imminent human extinction— and those who aren’t sure what to make of his dire claims should take that into consideration. If we listen to climate scientists, instead, we find more than enough justification for immediate action on climate change without resorting to sci-fi-like exaggeration. And action would be a lot more productive than sitting around waiting for an extinction that isn’t going to show up on the date circled on your calendar.”

          “Scott K. Johnson
          I’m a geoscience educator, hydrogeologist, and freelance science writer contributing at Ars Technica. I am also Science Editor for Climate Feedback. This is my personal blog.”

          No, Johnson’s not a denier. He’s sensible, concerned and levelheaded.
          From Ars Technica:
          “Scott has a master’s in hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has worked as a hydrogeologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. In addition to teaching at Coconino County Community College and Northern Arizona University, he is Science Editor for Climate Feedback.”

          Check out his stuff on Ars Technica: interesting material.

          Like

  36. Connecticut Gordon

     /  January 23, 2019

    Hi
    Has nobody noticed the alarming CO2 levels this past week or so. For January they are about 5 points higher this year than last, and the three highs for last year at just over 412 have already been shattered three times this past 10 days. A figure of 413.86 in January suggests at the very least 416 by May and probably much higher, perhaps 418 on current trends. That would be a staggering increase year over year. I have not seen any comment on this in the national press nor on any website.

    https://www.co2.earth/daily-co2?noaa-mauna-loa-co2-data.html

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  January 23, 2019

      The daily Keeling Curve tally ought to be the lead item on every national tv news broadcast, as were the tallies of Vietnam war casualties and MIAs every night on the news during the late 60s and early 70s.

      http://1968inmemory.web.unc.edu/2018/04/body-count-of-the-vietnam-war/

      “…Due to the fact that evening news stations, such as NBC, CBS, and ABC, informed the audience of the number of American deaths, Vietnamese deaths, and more, it brought attention to the great number of casualties. Americans were able to see the war from the backseat, viewing the dehumanization of violence and turning deaths into an abstract number and consequence of war. They could observe the true horrors of the war not only through television, but also through photography as well. However, it also forced the soldiers and people to understand and accept that soldiers were dying on both sides of the war. It was a way of including the American audience into the war, and led to a large number of Anti-Vietnam war protests….”

      Like

      Reply
    • DJ LX

       /  January 26, 2019

      Sam Carana at Artic News took note of the latest CO2 readings: http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/01/accelerating-growth-of-carbon-dioxide-in-the-atmosphere.html

      Like

      Reply
  37. mlp in nc

     /  January 26, 2019

    Leland Palmer.
    FYI only. You have got me following the Svalbard hot spots. Since I watch the North Atlantic Gulf Stream temps, I looked back on the west Svalbard spot also as far back as Earth Nullschool has data, 12/29/15. For what it’s worth, the Svalbard hot spot SSTAs have been fairly steadily upward (which does not correspond to the spot Gulf Stream SSTA swings) during that time. Max SSTA(C) hit 10.1 in Nov, 2015, took until Sep, 2017 to reach 11.3, and up from there until most recently 14.9 on Jan 24, 2019. That’s 3.6C in 16 mo. Pretty striking,

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  38. Greyson Smythe

     /  January 27, 2019

    Oh, boy.

    Science Daily, We need to rethink everything we know about global warming, January 22

    New calculations show scientists have grossly underestimated the effects of air pollution

    However, new research published in Science by Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Daniel Rosenfeld shows that the degree to which aerosols cool the earth has been grossly underestimated, necessitating a recalculation of climate change models to more accurately predict the pace of global warming.

    […]

    With this new method, Rosenfeld and his colleagues were able to more accurately calculate aerosols’ cooling effects on the Earth’s energy budget. And, they discovered that aerosols’ cooling effect is nearly twice higher than previously thought.

    […]

    “If the aerosols indeed cause a greater cooling effect than previously estimated, then the warming effect of the greenhouse gases has also been larger than we thought, enabling greenhouse gas emissions to overcome the cooling effect of aerosols and points to a greater amount of global warming than we previously thought,” he shared.

    Like

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  39. wharf rat

     /  January 29, 2019

    Like

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  40. Greyson Smythe

     /  January 31, 2019

    Thwaites news from NASA/Eric Rignot:

    Scientists Have Detected an Enormous Cavity Growing Beneath Antarctica

    Antarctica is not in a good place. In the space of only decades, the continent has lost trillions of tonnes of ice at alarming rates we can’t keep up with, even in places we once thought were safe.

    Now, a stunning new void has been revealed amidst this massive vanishing act, and it’s a big one: a gigantic cavity growing under West Antarctica that scientists say covers two-thirds the footprint of Manhattan and stands almost 300 metres (984 ft) tall.

    This huge opening at the bottom of the Thwaites Glacier – a mass infamously dubbed the “most dangerous glacier in the world” – is so big it represents an overt chunk of the estimated 252 billion tonnes of ice Antarctica loses every year.

    Researchers say the cavity would once have been large enough to hold some 14 billion tonnes of ice. Even more disturbing, the researchers say it lost most of this ice volume over the last three years alone.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • Robert in New Orleans

       /  February 4, 2019

      RIMS 2016: Sea Level Rise Will Be Worse and Come Sooner
      https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/04/12/405089.htm

      Margaret Davidson, NOAA’s senior advisor for coastal inundation and resilience science and services, and Michael Angelina, executive director of the Academy of Risk Management and Insurance, offered their take on climate change data in a conference session titled “Environmental Intelligence: Quantifying the Risks of Climate Change.”

      Davidson said recent data that has been collected but has yet to be made official indicates sea levels could rise by roughly 3 meters or 9 feet by 2050-2060, far higher and quicker than current projections. Until now most projections have warned of seal level rise of up to 4 feet by 2100.

      This article is from 2016…..

      Like

      Reply
  41. mlp in nc

     /  February 1, 2019

    Robert, into speculation, so delete if you wish.

    I found this abstract interesting, but it is behind a paywall. Several issues with the AMOC come to mind, including the significance of Wadham’s chimneys.
    Is this a change in AMOC overturning? And what of Wadham’s chimneys, previously thought to mediate part of AMOC overturning, and several of them in the Labrador Sea? The last I heard of chimneys was Fred Pearce in “With Speed and Violence”. He said there may have been as many as 12, and at the time of his writing, 2007, only one was known. If all chimneys disappear, it appears to me overturning would be affected. More sluggish? That would seem to directly affect the SSTAs of the North Atlantic, including the Svalbard hot spots. I can’t get enough data from Earth Nullschool, only to 2014, but it does appear from what I have that the hot spots did not become very noticeable until mid 2015 or so and enlarged after that. What in the flow caused them to do that? But again, just a year of data before the enlargement is not enough to be sure.

    European waters drive ocean overturning, key for regulating climate
    New knowledge of deep currents may help predict future climate impacts
    Jan 31, 2019. Duke University
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190131143344.htm
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6426/516

    In a departure from the prevailing scientific view, the study shows that most of the overturning and variability is occurring not in the Labrador Sea off Canada, as past modeling studies have suggested, but in regions between Greenland and Scotland. There, warm, salty, shallow waters carried northward from the tropics by currents and wind, sink and convert into colder, fresher, deep waters moving southward through the Irminger and Iceland basins.

    Overturning variability in this eastern section of the ocean was seven times greater than in the Labrador Sea, and it accounted for 88 percent of the total variance documented across the entire North Atlantic over the 21-month study period.

    These findings, unexpected as they may be, can help scientists better predict what changes might occur to the MOC and what the climate impacts of those changes will be, said Susan Lozier, the Ronie-Rochele Garcia-Johnson Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

    Like

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  42. wharf rat

     /  February 4, 2019

    Like

    Reply
  43. Andy_in_SD

     /  February 9, 2019

    Robert, when you post a youtube video can you drop a post here with a link to it?

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  44. Connecticut Gordon

     /  February 11, 2019

    For anyone interested the 50 day arctic ice forecast originally developed by Andrew Slater is back. Interesting that the initial figures are below 14,000,000 which I do not remember happening before.
    Projected Probabilistic Arctic Sea Ice Extent

    Like

    Reply
  45. Connecticut Gordon

     /  February 11, 2019

    For some reason my hyperlink does not work, but you should be able to find it OK from the title

    Like

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  46. Connecticut Gordon

     /  February 11, 2019
    Reply
  47. wharf rat

     /  February 12, 2019

    Landmark Australian ruling rejects coal mine over global warming
    The case is the first time a mine has been refused in the country because of climate change.

    The New South Wales Land and Environment Court turned down an appeal by mining company Gloucester Resources, which had sought to overturn a previous government decision against establishing a coal mine near the town of Gloucester in the Hunter Valley.

    It is the first time a new coal mine has been rejected in Australia, the world’s leading coal exporter, because of the potential contribution to global warming.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00545-8

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  48. mlp in nc

     /  February 12, 2019

    Arctic sea ice loss in the past linked to abrupt climate events. Feb 11, 2019
    British Antarctic Survey
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190211164033.htm

    A team from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), University of Cambridge and University of Birmingham studied data from ice cores drilled in Greenland. They looked at oxygen isotopes and compared them to climate models run on the ARCHER supercomputer1. From this they determined that sea ice changes were massively significant in past climate change events in the North Atlantic. These periods, called Dansgaard-Oeschger events2, are some of the fastest and largest abrupt climate changes ever recorded. During some of these events, Greenland temperatures are likely to have increased by 16 degrees Celsius in less than a decade.

    Lead author, Dr Louise Sime, a climate scientist at BAS says:

    “For years scientists have been puzzled about the correlation between Arctic sea ice loss and the extreme climate events found in the ice core record. There were at least four theories being mooted and for two years we’ve been investigating this problem. I’m delighted that we have proven the critical importance of sea ice using our numerical model simulations.

    “The summer time sea ice in the Arctic has experienced a 40% decline in the last few decades, but we know that about two thirds of that reduction is caused by human-induced climate change. What we now need to determine is, what can be learnt from these past sea ice losses to enable us to understand what might happen next to our climate3.”

    British Antarctic Survey. “Arctic sea ice loss in the past linked to abrupt climate events.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2019. .

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  49. wharf rat

     /  February 13, 2019

    ‘We have death and devastation at every turn’: the flood massacre of Queensland cattle

    Almost overnight we have transitioned from drought to a flood disaster zone. There are kangaroos dead in trees, birds drowned in drifts of silt and our beloved bovine family perished in huddled piles…

    After what can only be described as an environmental massacre of mammoth proportions throughout the whole of north-west Queensland, the people of this country are heartbroken.

    We live on a family cattle station 60km north of Cloncurry, where we have just received 700mm-plus of rain over seven days, with the majority of that falling over four days. This extreme weather event, equivalent to an inland cyclone, has decimated much of our native wildlife, along with our domestic livestock. They were constantly exposed to wind and cold driving rain for far too long. The majority of the country was either covered in flood water or churned into a bog, making their feed inaccessible.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/13/we-have-death-and-devastation-at-every-turn-the-flood-massacre-of-queensland-cattle

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  50. mlp in nc

     /  February 14, 2019

    Something new to me, “Geologic carbon and hydrate reservoirs” in the seafloor, which the authors implicate in the sudden warming at the end of the last ice age and also in the PETM.
    “”This study shows that we’ve been missing a critical component of the marine carbon budget. It shows these geologic reservoirs can release large amounts of carbon from the oceans. Our paper makes the case that this process has happened before and it could happen again.”

    Undersea gases could superheat the planet. Feb 13, 2019. U Southern California
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190213090812.htm

    Lowell Douglas Stott, Kathleen M. Harazin, Nadine B. Quintana Krupinski. Hydrothermal carbon release to the ocean and atmosphere from the Eastern Equatorial Pacific during the Last Glacial Termination. Environmental Research Letters, 2019; DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aafe28

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  51. mlp in nc

     /  February 14, 2019

    Moving artificial leaves out of the lab and into the air. University of Illinois at Chicago
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190212160020.htm

    “According to their calculations, 360 leaves, each 1.7 meters long and 0.2 meters wide, would produce close to a half-ton of carbon monoxide per day that could be used as the basis for synthetic fuels. Three hundred and sixty of these artificial leaves covering a 500-meter square area would be able to reduce carbon dioxide levels by 10 percent in the surrounding air within 100 meters of the array in one day. . . “

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  52. mlp in nc

     /  February 20, 2019

    ‘Grandfather Of Climate Science’ Wallace Broecker Dies At 87
    https://www.npr.org/2019/02/18/695797869/grandfather-of-climate-science-wallace-broecker-dies-at-87

    Like

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  53. eleggua

     /  February 20, 2019

    Glencore Brings the End of Thermal Coal a Step Closer
    When the world’s biggest shipper caps output, the future is dark for the black stuff.
    2 20 2019

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-20/glencore-brings-the-end-of-thermal-coal-a-step-closer

    “…It’s only a few months ago that the world’s biggest commodity trader was promoting coal as – don’t laugh – a viable part of global emissions-reduction plans. Now Glencore Plc, the largest supplier of thermal coal to the international market, is promising to cap production for the foreseeable future at around current levels of 145 million metric tons a year, David Stringer of Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

    The move is particularly striking because coal made up the biggest slice of Glencore’s profits in 2018 annual results published Wednesday, and the company is one of the few diversified miners proudly committed to the black stuff….

    That won’t help in the long term. The prices of wind and solar power and the battery storage to back them up keep on falling, as manufacturing efficiencies drive down costs. It’s hard enough for coal to compete with that; with higher prices, it’s all but impossible.

    New wind and solar are already cheaper than coal in Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, India, Thailand, the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. In Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, and even Japan, the tipping point could come within months.

    Coal shipments last year topped one billion tons for the first time in history. The future looks darker. When the biggest producer calls time on the market, it’s time to shut up shop.”

    Like

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    • eleggua

       /  February 20, 2019

      Glencore to limit coal production after pressure from investors
      Church of England among shareholders who pushed for environmental decision
      20 Feb 2019
      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/20/glencore-to-limit-coal-production-after-pressure-from-investors-church-of-england

      “The commodities trader Glencore has bowed to pressure from shareholders, including the Church of England, to limit coal production for environmental reasons – days after reporting that it produced nearly 130m tonnes of the fossil fuel last year….

      Glencore, which is Australia’s biggest miner of coal, said it was responding to concern within the investment community. The Church of England, which is understood to have a stake worth just under £10m in the group, welcomed the announcement.

      Carlota Garcia-Manas of the Church Commissioners, the C of E’s £8.3bn endowment fund, said: “The simple truth is that in the absence of commercially viable carbon capture and storage, coal has no long-term future in the energy mix.

      “Glencore’s commitments on capital investment and expenditure start to provide assurance to investors increasingly focused on climate-related risks and opportunities.”…

      “We recognise climate change science as set out by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” the FTSE 100 company said.

      “We believe that the global response to climate change should pursue twin objectives: both limiting temperatures in line with the goals of the Paris agreement and supporting the United Nations sustainable development goals, including universal access to affordable energy.”

      Glencore set out a plan that it said would help support the transition to a low-carbon world.

      The first tranche of the plan, starting in 2020, will mean the company publishing projections illustrating how it will reduce its emissions and set out how its strategy governing fossil fuel exploration and investment is affecting its efforts on climate.

      It also claimed to be on track to meet a target of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of its own operations by 5% by 2020 and promised to publish more stretching long-term targets next year.

      The plan could also result in climate change objectives being attached to executive pay schemes, while the company will review its membership in trade associations whose lobbying might “undermine” climate change goals.

      The pledge on climate change came as Glencore undershot profit forecasts for the year, reporting earnings down 41% to $3.41bn (£2.6bn), largely because of impairment costs at mines in DR Congo and Zambia….”

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  54. wharf rat

     /  February 24, 2019

    Super Typhoon Wutip Hits 155 mph: Strongest February Typhoon on Record

    Super Typhoon Wutip underwent an impressive burst of rapid intensification on Saturday morning, topping out as Category 4 super typhoon with a central pressure of 925 mb and sustained winds of 155 mph—just short of Category 5 strength. This makes Wutip the strongest Northwest Pacific typhoon ever observed in February, as well as the strongest tropical cyclone anywhere north of the equator in February.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Super-Typhoon-Wutip-Hits-155-mph-Strongest-February-Typhoon-Record?cm_ven=hp-slot-3

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Sheri

       /  March 20, 2019

      I miss this place terribly. I miss Robert and his sense and the answers of all the readers who posted here.
      I hope he is well and my best to all of you.

      Sheri

      Like

      Reply
  55. Dear Robert, sorry to be direct, hope all is well, but you community is dying. I valued this blog but also the comments section more than anything for long. Why don’t you just post something, like a link to a YouTube post, once a week? It’ll keep things alive here, and the unique group together. Thanks!

    Like

    Reply
  56. “Russia had every short term economic and political incentive to seek regime change in the U.S. Trump, with his climate change denial, promise to double down on old energy sources like oil gas and coal, and his stated aims to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement while cancelling programs like the Clean Power Plan appeared to be ready to generate policy more beneficial to Russia’s fossil fuel sector. With oil and gas presently so central to Russia’s economy, the motivation to support Trump on an economic and political power basis alone must have been quite strong. ”

    Quite right. Increasing the supply of US oil and gas will benefit Russia by lowering their prices?

    Like

    Reply
  57. wharf rat

     /  March 25, 2019

    California Solar Sets Record, But That’s Not The Big News

    On Saturday, March 16, California set a new solar energy record. Just before 3 o’clock in the afternoon, solar output peaked at 10,765 megawatts, the highest amount ever, though just a smidgen more than the previous record set last June. According to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), demand at that time, not including behind-the-meter solar, was around 18 gigawatts. Los Angeles and Sacramento are not part of the CAISO grid.

    That meant solar was meeting 59% of the grid’s power needs at that moment.That’s wonderful news, but what should get solar proponents really excited is that CAISO was a net exporter of electricity to other systems at the time the record was set.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2019/03/24/california-solar-sets-record-but-thats-not-the-big-news/

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    • Thanks Wharf Rat! Will always celebrate these ‘successes’ where ‘reasonable’ thinking and action prevail over ‘unreasonable’.

      Meanwhile Down Under, the coal burners are using their vast ‘market power’ to drive astonishing profitability as wholesale prices soar due to plant closure and obstinate opposition to renewables. Combine oligopoly power with an abetting and captured gov’t and you’ll get ‘unreasonable’ every time!

      https://www.energymagazine.com.au/energy-providers-colluded-for-market-power/

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  58. Tall ice-cliffs may trigger big calving events — and fast sea-level rise. Mar 22, 2019.
    Geological Society of America. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190322163342.htm
    Ice-cliff failure via retrogressive slumping. Geology, 2019; DOI: 10.1130/G45880.1

    To test if slumping occurs on ice cliffs, the team monitored Helheim glacier during a calving event, using real-aperture terrestrial radar interferometery. They measured speed, position, and motion of the calving ice. The researchers observed an ice-flow acceleration just before an initial slump, followed by a rotating, full ice-thickness calving of the glacier — including the entire remaining ice-cliff, reaching both above and below the water line.

    Alley says regular calving events happen relatively slowly, such as when the ice front melts over time, undercutting the ice and weakening the cliff. “But that’s not going to go really, really, really fast because you have to wait for the melting to undercut it,” he says.
    With slumping, the calving occurs without waiting for the melt. “We’ll go slump… basal crevasse… boom,” he says, noting that when the calving happens it will take the 100 meters of ice above the water — and the 900 meters below the water — very quickly.

    And 1000 meters of ice calving at once isn’t the limit. Alley says that in some places in Antarctica, the glacial ice bed can be 1500 to 2000 meters below sea level, creating a much taller cliff above water. He says the worry is that taller cliffs are even more susceptible to slumping. “The scary thing is that if pieces of west Antarctica start doing what Helheim is doing then over the next hundred years models indicate that we get rapid sea level rise at rates that surpass those predicted,” says Alley.

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  59. wharf rat

     /  March 26, 2019

    Major study uncovers ‘sea change’ in world’s understanding of Atlantic conveyor belt
    Posted on 26 March 2019 by Guest Author
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Daisy Dunne

    An international research programme has uncovered data that could transform scientists’ understanding of the Atlantic Ocean current – a circulation pattern that plays a central role in determining weather across the world.

    The research, published in Science, challenges the long-held view that the strength of the “Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation” ( AMOC) is primarily driven by processes in the Labrador Sea, which is in the north-west Atlantic.

    Instead, the project finds that – over a 21-month period – the strength of the AMOC was most linked to processes in waters between Greenland and Scotland, more than 1,000 miles away in the north-east Atlantic….

    https://skepticalscience.com/sea-change-understanding-atlantic-conveyor.html

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. Extreme Clean — Fighting Climate Change in Daily Life | robertscribbler

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