Melting Ice Everywhere — Arctic Sea Ice Extent Hit New Record Lows in Late July and Early August

If there is one word I’d use for the summer of 2019 it would be awakening. Awakening to a general public awareness of a climate crisis driven by fossil fuel burning we are now entering the throes of.

(According to NOAA, July of 2019 was the hottest July on record for the state of Alaska. This likely presages a July that will be globally the hottest July ever recorded in 2019. Much of this excess July heat was centered on the polar zones during the month — resulting in serious ice loss for both Greenland and the floating Arctic sea ice. Image source: NOAA.)

The global record hot month of June along with its related severe heatwaves, storms, and droughts have certainly served to raise the general awareness of trouble. Our new youth advocates such as Greta Thunberg and an expanding Extinction Rebellion, have certainly served to amplify the much-needed message. But vividly melting ice in tremendous volume — particularly in Antarctica, Greenland and on the ocean surface has also played its role.

The Arctic zone has seen an outrageous hotter than normal period that has extended throughout July and well into August. States and regions within or near the Arctic Circle have experienced temperatures from the upper 70s all the way into the lower 90s. Great wildfires have blanketed large sections of thawing permafrost and boreal forest — casting out smoke plumes covering as much as 4 million square kilometers at a time. Greenland saw a single day in which ice melt exceeded 11 billion tons. By volume, that’s 11 cubic kilometers — roughly equal to 11 moderate sized mountains — gone in a single 24 hour period (what does one cubic kilometer look like? See here.).

Out in the ocean waters of the Arctic, another key feature of our climate system that keeps the Earth environment stable, was getting hammered by the rising heat. For every day from July 22nd through August 9th, Arctic sea ice extent had been running in record low ranges below previous low marks set for this time of year during 2011 and 2012.

2012 in particular was a very severe Arctic melt year. Both sea ice and Greenland saw significant losses at that time. But it appears as we end the decade of the 2010s and start to enter the 2020s, Arctic summers like the one that occured in 2012 will become commonplace even as new hot outliers are more possible. For 2019 has begun to replace some of the previous worst losses seen during 2012.

(Arctic sea ice extent entered new record low ranges below the 2011 and 2012 lines during late July and into early August. By August 11, Arctic sea ice had dropped to 5.249 million square kilometers the second lowest measure for the date. Image source: NSIDC.)

As we get into August, it appears that at least some of 2012’s late season sea ice records will hold. The new August 11 measure of 5.249 million square kilometers is just above 2012’s low mark of 5.190 million square kilometers. And August 10 saw 2019 edging just above the 2012 line in the NSIDC measure.

Looking forward, the second week of August is expected to bring 1.38 C above average temperatures for the Arctic region. This is a rather significant departure for August as Arctic temperature anomalies tend to moderate during summer. And very warm ocean surface temperatures ranging well above 4 C warmer than average for large regions is likely to continue to enhance sea ice melt (see right image below).

(Greatly reduced Arctic sea ice extent [left] faces off against much warmer than normal Arctic ocean waters during August of 2019 [right]. Image sources: Uni Bremen and DMI.)

But a present lack of forecast strong weather systems that typically impact ice at this time of year such as burly high pressure ridges over the Central Arctic or major storms invading from the south may help to maintain at least some of the ice. Nonetheless, with so much heat left in the Arctic system and with sea ice perilously thin for this time of year, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that anything can happen between now and traditional melt season end in mid September.

(Related video blog above.)

(Want to help fight the climate crisis by transitioning to a clean energy vehicle? Get 1,000 free supercharger miles at this link.)

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55 Comments

  1. eleggua

     /  August 12, 2019

    hi there, Robert.

    Thanks for this post and
    thank you so much for creating and maintaining this forum for shared knowledge and purpose.

    It’s now quite glaring obvious to sane and aware humans, climate change and effects are amplifying at an increasingly dire, exponential rate.
    If we wait for “them” to resolve the crisis, we die and so do they, along with a majority of the multiplicity of life on Earth.

    “Our new youth advocates such as Greta Thunberg and an expanding Extinction Rebellion, have certainly served to amplify the much-needed message.”

    Amplifying awareness of the increasingly critical circumstance and coupling that amplification with action toward a literal regime change globally is a must and an inevitability.

    That’s a major message expressed by Extinction Rebellion, as noted in Demand #3:
    https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/demands/

    “Beyond Politics

    Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
    WHAT IS A CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY?

    A citizens’ assembly brings people together to learn, deliberate and make recommendations on an issue of public concern. Similar to jury service, members are randomly selected from the population by a process called sortition. Quotas are used to ensure that the assembly is representative in terms of key characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, education level and geography. Assembly members learn about critical thinking before they hear balanced information from experts and stakeholders. The members spend time deliberating in small, facilitated groups and then they draft and vote on recommendations. Citizens’ assemblies are conducted by non-partisan organisations under independent oversight. They are transparent, inclusive and effective.”

    For folks in the US, XR are here and XR is you!

    https://extinctionrebellion.us/

    Demand #3 in via US XR, echoing UK XR:

    “We do not trust our Government to make the bold, swift and long-term changes necessary to achieve these changes and we do not intend to hand further power to our politicians. Instead we demand a Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as we rise from the wreckage, creating a democracy fit for purpose.”

    There are many local and regional XR chapters in the US and they can be found at the link above. “Find a group on the map or sign up”.
    If there isn’t a chapter near you, consider starting one. You can do it and it will grow, especially as we move through the rest of 2019 and 2020.
    Don’t watch the news: help make it what you want it be!!!
    A new world and a better world, not a “new world order”.

    The end is now. The beginning is nigh!

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  2. I answer a lot of climate-related questions at Quora. Amazingly, each such question attracts a barrage of denialist answers. The stronger the evidence, the more they shout their denial.

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. Reblogged this on Bobbing Around.

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  4. eleggua

     /  August 13, 2019

    Ugh. The orange thug strikes again.

    ‘U.S. Significantly Weakens Endangered Species Act’
    Aug. 12, 2019

    “The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law and making it harder to protect wildlife from the multiple threats posed by climate change.

    The new rules would make it easier to remove a species from the endangered list and weaken protections for threatened species, the classification one step below endangered. And, for the first time, regulators would be allowed to conduct economic assessments — for instance, estimating lost revenue from a prohibition on logging in a critical habitat — when deciding whether a species warrants protection.

    Critically, the changes would also make it more difficult for regulators to factor in the effects of climate change on wildlife when making those decisions because those threats tend to be decades away, not immediate.

    Over all, the revised rules appear very likely to clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live…

    The new rules are expected to go into effect next month.

    Environmental groups, Democratic state attorneys general and Democrats in Congress denounced the changes and vowed to challenge them in Congress and in the courts…

    Erik Milito, a vice president at the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group representing the oil and gas industry, also praised the new rule and said the changes would reduce “duplicative and unnecessary regulations.””

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  5. eleggua

     /  August 13, 2019

    Baked Alaska.

    January through July 2019 mean temperature percentiles (ranking period 1925-2019)

    Sea surface temp anomalies, the last week of July 2019.

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  6. eleggua

     /  August 13, 2019

    The hour is getting late…the wind began to howl.

    ‘West Antarctic ice loss influenced by internal climate variability and anthropogenic forcing’
    12 August 2019
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0420-9

    “Recent ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been caused by ocean melting of ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea. Eastward wind anomalies at the shelf break enhance the import of warm Circumpolar Deep Water onto the Amundsen Sea continental shelf, which creates transient melting anomalies with an approximately decadal period. No anthropogenic influence on this process has been established.

    Here, we combine observations and climate model simulations to suggest that increased greenhouse gas forcing caused shelf-break winds to transition from mean easterlies in the 1920s to the near-zero mean zonal winds of the present day. Strong internal climate variability, primarily linked to the tropical Pacific, is superimposed on this forced trend.

    We infer that the Amundsen Sea experienced decadal ocean variability throughout the twentieth century, with warm anomalies gradually becoming more prevalent, offering a credible explanation for the ongoing ice loss.

    Existing climate model projections show that strong future greenhouse gas forcing creates persistent mean westerly shelf-break winds by 2100, suggesting a further enhancement of warm ocean anomalies. These wind changes are weaker under a scenario in which greenhouse gas concentrations are stabilized.”

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  7. eleggua

     /  August 14, 2019

    wharf rat commented about this unusual lightning event in Robert’s last post. Here’s a Guardian article published today with that info.

    ‘North Pole: multiple lightning strikes follow record-low sea ice levels ‘
    13 Aug 2019
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/13/north-pole-multiple-lightning-strikes-follow-record-low-sea-ice-levels

    “Multiple lightning strikes have been observed 300 miles from the North Pole, according to the US National Weather Service, in the latest sign of extreme changes to the Arctic environment.

    The strikes, detected by the NWS station in Fairbanks, Alaska, were produced by towering storm clouds. They were detected on Saturday, and while not unique, come as the region is experiencing record-low sea ice levels, high temperatures and widespread fires on areas of tundra.

    An extreme ice-melt in Greenland is estimated to have produced a run off of 197bn tons of ice-sheet water into the Atlantic, enough to raise sea levels by 0.5mm, or 0.02in, in a one-month time frame. On a single day, 1 August, Greenland lost 12.5bn tons of surface ice to the sea.

    At the same time, a wildfire has been burning in western Greenland while Siberian wildfires have produced smoke haze circling the upper regions of the globe.

    According to a NWS tweet and statement, the lightning strikes hit an area of sea ice or open ocean waters mixed with ice, near 85 degrees north, 120 degrees east.

    “This is one of the furthest north lightning strikes in Alaska forecaster memory,” the NWS stated.

    Fairbanks meteorologist Ryan Metzger told the Washington Post that he could not say if the strikes were unique, partly because meteorologists say they don’t always focus on that area.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s never happened before, but it’s certainly unusual, and it piqued our attention,” Metzger said.

    The strikes are the latest sign that Arctic warming is accelerating beyond predictions due to human-caused global climate change. In July, Alaska had its hottest month on record with temperatures breaching 90F in Anchorage, exceeding those in Miami.

    There is no longer any sea ice present in Alaskan waters, with Bering Sea ice beginning its annual melt in February while the extent of Arctic sea ice is at its lowest in at least 1,500 years, according to research.”

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  8. eleggua

     /  August 14, 2019

    Wrapped in plastic. (…paging Leland Palmer…)

    ‘It’s raining plastic: microscopic fibers fall from the sky in Rocky Mountains ‘
    13 Aug 2019
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/12/raining-plastic-colorado-usgs-microplastics

    “Plastic was the furthest thing from Gregory Wetherbee’s mind when he began analyzing rainwater samples collected from the Rocky Mountains. “I guess I expected to see mostly soil and mineral particles,” said the US Geological Survey researcher. Instead, he found multicolored microscopic plastic fibers.

    The discovery, published in a recent study (pdf) titled “It is raining plastic”, raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth.

    “I think the most important result that we can share with the American public is that there’s more plastic out there than meets the eye,” said Wetherbee. “It’s in the rain, it’s in the snow. It’s a part of our environment now.”…”

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  9. wharf rat

     /  August 14, 2019

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    • eleggua

       /  August 14, 2019

      Radioactivity is in the air for you and me.

      ‘Missile Explosion Prompts Radiation Warnings in Russia’
      https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a28648523/russian-missile-explosion-radiation-warning/

      “…Although the Russian government hasn’t given time specifics, radiation levels in the area started to rise about 10 minutes before 12 p.m. local time. The location is also 29 miles west of Severodvinsk, a city of 185,000…

      The Ministry of Defense made clear that “there were no harmful emissions into the atmosphere, the radiation background is normal.” Greenpeace, on the other hand, citing data from the government’s own Emergencies Ministry, revealed that radiation levels in Severodvinsk briefly reached 20 times normal levels. ..

      The BBC, in its reporting of the incident, wrote, “A woman in Severodvinsk named only Alina told Russian news site lenta.ru: ‘I work in the hospital where they’re bringing the injured. They advise everyone to close their windows and drink iodine, 44 drops per glass of water.'”

      The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says potassium iodide is used to prevent the buildup of the radioactive isotope Iodine-131 in the thyroid gland, which could lead to thyroid cancer. Iodine-131, the CDC explains, “is produced commercially for medical and industrial uses through nuclear fission. It also is a byproduct of nuclear fission processes in nuclear reactors and weapons testing.”

      …the data revealed by Greenpeace says the radiation release is over and local radioactivity has returned to normal levels. “Twenty times normal levels” may sound alarming, but consider that normal background radiation is a tiny, nearly insignificant amount. And although the radiation should be expected to drift a considerable distance, it’s not bad enough to be a worldwide cause for alarm.”

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  10. eleggua

     /  August 14, 2019

    The Russian coverup of the missle explosion’s radiation release will advance the cause of pro-democracy protests there, a positive amidst the negative.

    ‘Moscow court ruling won’t end the growing protests in Putin’s Russia, analysts say’
    2019/08/14
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/14/moscow-court-victory-but-more-protests-for-putin-and-russia.html

    “Protesters demanding that independent candidates can run in a Moscow city election appear to have won a notable concession from Russian authorities.

    On Tuesday night, a Moscow city court canceled a decision by the election commission to bar a Russian opposition candidate, Sergei Mitrokhin from taking part in the vote. Mitrokhin had been originally denied registration after a district election commission claimed his support contained suspect signatures…

    Protests have taken place in Moscow every Saturday for at least 5 weeks in a row as crowds gathered to dispute the disqualifications of candidates. Violence and arrests marked the July 27 demonstration with an estimated 1,300 people taken into custody.

    Footage from the march, broadcast across Russia, appeared to show excessive violence from police against at least one unarmed woman. The pictures horrified many Russians, leading to criticism and a swell in support for a subsequent event on August 3…

    Despite Mitrokhin now being allowing to contest the municipal vote, the Senior Vice President at Teneo Intelligence, Otilia Dhand, said more protests would continue right up until at least the September 8 vote.

    Speaking to CNBC Tuesday, Dhand, said the dynamic of the protest was changing to an indictment of how United Russia, the party of President Vladimir Putin, and the Kremlin are conducting themselves in the in the office.

    “They were calling for candidates to be to be allowed to take part in the elections three or four weeks ago, now they are calling for the release of protesters that were arrested in recent weeks,” said Dhand via a telephone call…”

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  11. eleggua

     /  August 14, 2019

    “Be Water”

    In Hong Kong, protest continues to advance the pro-democracy cause with wonderful tactics, worthwhile of adoption by activists all over the planet.

    ‘“Be Water!”: seven tactics that are winning Hong Kong’s democracy revolution’
    1 August 2019
    https://www.newstatesman.com/world/2019/08/be-water-seven-tactics-are-winning-hong-kongs-democracy-revolution

    “…Initially sparked by a government proposal to introduce a law that would allow the extradition of criminal suspects to stand trial in mainland Chinese courts, the protests have morphed into a broader pro-democracy movement, demanding greater government accountability and universal suffrage. Protests have largely been driven by young activists, who have developed and adapted their strategies during weekly protests and clashes with police, offering a masterclass in protest for activists worldwide. Here are some of their key tactics.

    No more occupying – “Be Water!”

    The worldwide “occupy” movements following the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 served as the inspiration for Hong Kong’s previous mass act of civil disobedience – a series of protests known as “Occupy Central” or the “Umbrella Movement” – in 2014. These protests adopted the “occupation” logic of the prior movements, with protesters occupying the city’s main thoroughfares for 79 days in the hope that the disruption would force the government to the negotiating table. The government refused to budge, and the protests ended in failure.

    This time around, Hong Kong’s protesters are taking their inspiration from a source closer to home: local hero, kung-fu movie star Bruce Lee, who famously advised: “Be Water”.

    Hong Kong’s young protesters are eschewing the fixed, immobile occupation strategies of the past, in favour of a highly mobile, agile style of protest. A rally may turn into a march; a march may begin in one direction and abruptly change to another direction; the focus of a particular protest action may only emerge in the course of the march itself. In recent protests, small sub-groups of protesters dispatched themselves to carry out targeted “wildcat” occupations of a government building, flooding the entrance lobbies, escalators and lifts. When the government declared the building closed and dismissed staff for the day, the protesters dispersed and moved on to their next target. As Bruce Lee said, “Water can flow, or it can crash!” …

    Supply lines and sign language

    The experiences of the Umbrella Movement and recent clashes with police have taught protesters what equipment they need at the front lines. To ensure new supplies can reach the front lines quickly, Hong Kong’s protesters have developed a unique system of hand signals, to send messages through the crowd about what equipment is required.

    A sign is passed onwards through the crowd back to the supply depots where goods have been transported near to the protest site, and the requested items are then passed through the crowd along a human chain back to where they are needed. These human supply chains have stretched as far as a kilometre in length, and are an impressive sight to behold…”

    The end ~is~ now. The beginning is nigh. Blight the power!

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    • eleggua

       /  August 14, 2019

      Melting ice everywhere? Be Water! Biomimicky and bio-memetics.
      Peaceful global revolution: the planet does that every instance of our existence.

      HK tactics in action.

      Hand signals and human chains.

      Young and old, sharing and teaching.

      Blight the power!

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  12. wharf rat

     /  August 15, 2019

    The Antarctic ice sheet is melting and, yeah, it’s probably our fault.

    Glaciers in West Antarctica have thinned and accelerated in the last few decades. A new paper provides some of the first evidence that this is due to human activities.

    by Eric Steig

    In this post, I’d like to provide a bit of context for our new paper, and to emphasize some points about our findings that are generally going to be lost in popular accounts of our work.

    The key finding is that we now have evidence that the increasing loss of ice from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a result of human activities — rising greenhouse gas concentrations in particular. Now, some may be surprised to learn that this wasn’t already known. But the argument that humans are responsible has rested largely on the grounds that there must be a connection. After all, why should melting have increased only in the late 20th century, precisely when the impacts of anthropogenic climate change were becoming more and more apparent? It seems an unlikely coincidence.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019/08/the-antarctic-ice-sheet-is-melting-and-yeah-its-probably-our-fault/

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  13. wharf rat

     /  August 15, 2019

    Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest increased by 278% in July 2019 compared with July 2018, resulting in the destruction of 870 square miles (2,253 square kilometers) of vegetation, new satellite data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show.

    That’s an area about twice the size of the city of Los Angeles. And, while the forest still spans some 2.1 million square miles (5.5 million square km — just a little bit bigger than Mexico), the spike in tree loss is part of a dangerous trend. According to the Associated Press, this is the single biggest surge in rainforest destruction since INPE began monitoring deforestation with its current methodology in 2014.

    https://www.livescience.com/66120-amazon-rainforest-deforestation-bolsonaro.html?fbclid=IwAR1crUOqpPS-Os_2-n0NPSpyFVi2q_mZcvTRrqbeQw6sF9YYIQMC0cLJkxM

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  14. mike gordon

     /  August 15, 2019

    Coal is Over
    August 14, 2019

    Everybody knows it now.

    Guardian:

    Set in a wooded valley between the Tug Fork river and the Mate creek, Matewan, West Virginia, was the site of the 1920 Matewan massacre, a shootout between pro-union coalminers and coal company agents that left 10 people dead and triggered one of the most brutal fights over the future of the coal industry in US history.
    The coal industry in Appalachia is dying – something that people there know better than anyone. Some in this region are pinning their hopes on alternative solutions, including rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.
    “Coal is over. Forget coal,” said Jimmy Simpkins, who worked as a coalminer in the area for 29 years. “It can never be back to what it was in our heyday. It can’t happen. That coal is not there to mine.
    https://climatecrocks.com/2019/08/14/coal-is-over-2/

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    • eleggua

       /  August 16, 2019

      Thanks for posting this one. Great pull-quotes in the Guardian article.
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/12/west-virginia-appalachia-miners-green-new-deal

      ““A lot of guys thought they were going to bring back coal jobs, and Trump stuck it to them,” said 69-year-old Bennie Massey, who worked for 30 years as a coalminer in Lynch, Kentucky.”

      “Carl Shoupe, a retired coalminer in Harlan county, Kentucky, who worked as a union organizer for 14 years, said people in Appalachia need to start moving away from relying solely on the coal industry as an economic resource for the region.

      “What we’ve been doing is trying to transition into the 21st century and get on past coal,” he said.”

      “It’ll kill millions of jobs. It’ll crush the dreams of the poorest Americans and disproportionately harm minority communities,” the US president said last month.
      Shoupe doesn’t think so. “They have bushwhacked this Green New Deal, told all kinds of lies. For different people in different parts of the country, it means different things,” he said.

      Stanley Sturgill, a coalminer for 41 years in Harlan county, Kentucky, explained the Green New Deal would open the door for elected officials to use the plan to render solutions needed in their own communities.

      “If it was called the Red New Deal, it would be approved by now,” said Sturgill. “What you’re doing with the Green New Deal is you’re opening the door to infringe on the Republicans’ money and that’s what they’re afraid of. Republicans laugh and say you can’t pay for it. But if you tax everybody what they should be taxed, and I’m talking about the wealthy, there wouldn’t be a problem.”

      Sturgill cited the coal companies that receive billions of dollars in annual government subsidies and tax breaks, while hiring expensive lawyers to fight paying black lung benefits to coalminers. “I fought seven years before I got my black lung benefits, and they were hoping I died before getting paid,” added Sturgill.”

      ““McConnell came in, never did sit down and said ‘I thank you for being here. I know you’re concerned about your taxes on black lung, I just want you to know we’re going to take care of it,’ and out the door. I said: ‘no he didn’t!’ We drove ten hours to sit with our representatives and talk to them and that’s all we get,” said George Massey, who worked as a coalminer in Benham, Kentucky, for 23 years and has served on the town’s council for 19 years.

      “They look at us like we’re something under their shoes. They couldn’t care less about coalminers in south-east Kentucky,” Massey added.”

      Terry Steele, who worked as a coalminer for 26 years in Matewan and is still an active member of UMWA Local 1440, explained the nostalgic hope behind Trump’s promises are rooted in racism and sexism, while ignoring that the “good old days” where when labor unions were much stronger.

      “The good old days you should remember is when we had unions and we could look forward to a future and our kids had a better future,” said Steele. “Now our kids are scared to death of their future. It’s because of greed and everything flowing to the top.”

      Steele emphasized the need for renewable energy jobs to concentrate in Appalachia.

      “Build something where these people used to work in the mines, and good paying jobs, not having to work three jobs to make what you used to be able to make with one. We want other jobs for our kids to work at,” he added. ”

      ““It’s a racket. Miners are being robbed every day,” said Bethel Brock, who was a coalminer for 32 years in Wise, Virginia. Between 1968 to 2014, an estimated 76,000 coalminers died of black lung disease. He fought coal companies for 14 years to secure his own black lung benefits after he was diagnosed.

      “The coal operators don’t care, they just want to take you like a piece of worn out mining equipment and set you out in a field somewhere, that’s their philosophy.””

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      • wharf rat

         /  August 17, 2019

        Rat used his pen name for that one
        =

        The Tree That Is Live-Tweeting Climate Change
        With a little help from scientists, an oak in the Harvard Forest is sharing updates about its life.

        https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/tweeting-tree-climate-change?fbclid=IwAR28-NrL6n8k_oETmqJjxpZfXdixec9Uisynow2o1sfKtbIVkSMUG8PaMh4

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        • eleggua

           /  August 17, 2019

          Overstory telling our overstory.

          https://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/witness-tree

          “The Harvard Forest Witness Tree was chosen for this project specifically because it is not unusual. It is one of thousands of similarly picturesque, interesting, and ecologically valuable red oak trees at Harvard Forest. We ask that you do not seek to find and visit the tree for two reasons: 1) it is purposefully located off the beaten track, in a research area that is filled with wires and delicate equipment that can be easily tripped over and dislodged, disrupting the important work underway, and 2) foot traffic is hard on forests. Trampling the plants in the pathway near and around the tree also disrupts our research.

          We ask that if you visit the Harvard Forest, you stick to designated trails, and marvel at the incredible, 100+ year-old oak trees that surround you there.”

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    • eleggua

       /  August 16, 2019

      The Guardian was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian by John Edward Taylor.
      Taylor was at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester, England on August 16th, 1819, and witnessed what became known as the Peterloo Massacre.

      Today is the 200th Anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterloo_Massacre

      60,000 to 80,000 peaceful, non-violent protestors gathered there for a speech from Henry Hunt, radical speaker and supporter of the working class. Local magistrates sent in the sabre-, rifle- and bayonet-armed Cavalry, who slashed, stabbed, shot and trampled the unarmed citizenry.

      More than a dozen citizens died and over 400 were injured. Estimates of the dead vary from 11 to 18; the injured, from 450 to 700. The first to die was a two-year boy, knocked from his mother’s arms and trampled by a charging Cavalry horse.

      With peaceful non-violent protest on the rise globally, and an organized International protest on the horizon in October, a good time to reflect on what happened in Manchester 200 years ago.

      British film director Mike Leigh’s ‘Peterloo’ from last year is a historically accurate dramatization of the massacre and what led up to it.

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  15. wharf rat

     /  August 15, 2019

    Not the Onion…

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    • eleggua

       /  August 16, 2019

      Mexico will pay for it, right after they complete payment for the Wall.

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    • eleggua

       /  August 17, 2019

      You know the place where nothing is real…

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      • eleggua

         /  August 18, 2019

        Well here’s another place you can go where everything flows…

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      • eleggua

         /  August 18, 2019

        …here’s another place you can be…

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        • eleggua

           /  August 18, 2019

          ‘Millions gear up to take part in September’s global climate strikes, week of escalation’
          https://350.org/press-release-usa-climate-strikes-1/

          “Millions will take part in global climate strikes on the 20th and 27th of September, with communities across the country and around the world taking action during the entire “Week for Future and Climate Justice.” Led by youth climate strikers, people will walk out of school and work to join mass marches and rallies, music concerts, sit-ins and nonviolent direct action. Organizers say it is on course to be the largest-ever global mobilization for climate action, with over 6000 people in 150 countries already pledging to organize events…

          Art, music, and song will be centered everywhere, as communities escalate the fight to stop fossil fuels projects, build just and equitable climate solutions to transition to 100% renewable energy, and hold accountable fossil fuel executives most responsible for the climate crisis….”

          bee seeing you…

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  16. mlp in nc

     /  August 16, 2019

    SST 36.5C/97.7F in the Persian Gulf.

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  17. Syd Bridges

     /  August 16, 2019

    Looking at the latest NASA GISSTEMP at
    https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    I see that the anomaly shown for July 2019 is 90 or 0.9 putting it .08 deg C ahead of July 2016 and July 2017. This presumably does make it the warmest month ever recorded and by a substantial margin. However, the yearly average looks likely to come in below 2016, as the early months then were so hot.

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  18. eleggua

     /  August 16, 2019

    The kids are alright!

    “Krishna Ariola, a youth climate striker from the Philippines, shares the story of her province that has been caught in a tug-of-war between coal and renewable energy for decades.”

    August 9, 2019
    ‘I’m ready for the Global Climate Strikes, are you?’
    https://globalclimatestrike.net/im-ready-for-the-global-climate-strikes-are-you/

    “…I’m writing to ask you to join me and millions around the world to strike for the climate this September. You can find a local event near you, or organise one yourself.

    4 proposed coal plants, countless mobilizations, and 22 years later: not a single coal-fired power plant has been built on our beautiful island. The women-led grassroots campaigns have gained momentous victories and since then, we have been dubbed the renewable energy capital of the Philippines, and the solar power capital of Southeast Asia…

    Many say that adults have failed us—but mine is a different story. My parents and grandparents stood strong in protecting our province. They made it clear they would not allow energy development to come at the expense of ecosystems, the climate, and our people. My generation owes it to them to continue this fight.

    That’s why I joined over 2,000 youth climate strikers to protest in front of the provincial capital last March calling on our Governor to declare Negros Occidental a coal-free province. And he did. Once again in June over 1000 youth and community members greeted a newly elected Governor to ensure they’d uphold that promise and create a Negros Renewable Energy Council to coordinate all programmes in the province. You can win progress like this where you live too—we’ve shown that people power works…

    Please help us make the climate strikes in September a turning point not just for the Philippines, but globally. Talk to your leaders, engage with your community, and be brave enough to imagine a better future. That is where we are heading together.

    See you in the streets.”

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  19. Interview with Julia King, UK Committee on Climate Change: “The elephant in the room is that the economy is based on increasing consumption. Continually trying to drive endless GDP growth in the developed and rich world is not only a bad example to the rest of the world, it’s unsustainable.”

    https://blog.planetaryecology.org/2019/08/16/view-from-the-uk-interview-with-julia-king-of-the-committee-on-climate-change/

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    • eleggua

       /  August 16, 2019

      Great takeaways from ^that^ interview.

      “RM: On the whole, do you feel that this steady pressure over a long period, within this framework, will be sufficient?

      Julia King: We need the help of the public and of green groups like Extinction Rebellion and of the press. More and more of the press are now on our side. The BBC has increased their number of environment correspondents from two to something like eleven. It’s for the same reason that the Conservative Party has become committed to the net zero target: young people are very concerned about this, while BBC viewers have an average age of 55 and Conservative Party members have an average age of 69 – well roughly, I probably haven’t got the numbers quite right! So they have to appeal to younger voters and younger viewers. It’s crucial that this interest from young people continues. Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion have been very helpful.”

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  20. Interview with Martin Rees, UK Astronomer Royal: “a technical optimist, but a political pessimist”. Climate change, population, cyberterrorism, AI, space.

    https://blog.planetaryecology.org/2019/08/03/on-the-future-an-interview-with-martin-rees/

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    • eleggua

       /  August 16, 2019

      Thanks so much for doing those interviews and for reposting here. Great questions; stimulating and inspiring.

      “Martin Rees: That’s why we should welcome all these campaigns like Extinction Rebellion, and also we should welcome the importance of charismatic figures. There’s a nice quote from the anthropologist Margaret Mead, who said, “It takes only a few determined people to change the world. Indeed nothing else ever has.” And that’s true if you think of slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, gay rights. All those things start with a few people. Once there is a sufficient fraction of the public concerned, then politicians will take it on board.”

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  21. eleggua

     /  August 16, 2019

    “there’s a lot higher potential for Greenland to melt more quickly than we thought”

    Serious news from Greenland via NASA.

    ‘NASA scientists fly over Greenland to track melting ice’
    8/15/2019
    https://www.apnews.com/463978d56972479c89a588603fb3783b

    “…If (NASA scientist Josh) Willis’ theory that much of the damage is from the water turns out to be correct, he said, “there’s a lot higher potential for Greenland to melt more quickly than we thought.” And that means seas rising faster and coastal communities being inundated more.

    Greenland contains enough ice to make world sea levels rise by 20 feet if it were all to melt. In a single day this month, it lost a record 13.7 billion tons (12.5 billion metric tons) by one estimate.

    “It’s a little scary,” Willis said as looked down on an area filled with more water than ice. “We’re definitely watching the ice sheet disappear in front of us.”

    Willis’ project — called Oceans Melting Greenland, or OMG — is showing that it is. Now the question is how much and how fast.

    What Willis is measuring is the water 660 feet (200 meters) or more below the surface, which is warmer and saltier than the stuff that touches the air. It’s this deep water that does the major damage.

    To measure this, NASA is spending five years crisscrossing the island in a tricked-out 77-year-old DC-3 built for World War II. Willis, project manager Ian McCubbin and mechanic Rich Gill drop long, cylindrical probes through a special tube in the floor of the plane, watching as the sensors parachute down and then dive into the chilly water.

    McCubbin then waits for a tone on his computer that tells him the probe is underwater and measuring temperature and salinity. When all of the flight’s five probes start signaling — with a sound McCubbin likens to “a fax machine or an AOL modem” — he and Willis high-five.

    Meanwhile, pilots Andy Ferguson and Don Watrous bank the plane toward the blue-green spots, looking for the next target and pointing out stunning giant icebergs and signs of glacial retreat over the radio.

    As the data is radioed back from one $2,000 probe now deep in the water near Kangerlussuaq in eastern Greenland, it initially looks like the temperature hasn’t changed much over the last year or two, which could be good news. But that’s just one data point. Each year for the past four years, NASA has been looking at all of Greenland, and the numbers overall haven’t been quite as comforting.

    If the water is playing a much bigger role than scientists thought, it could mean seas will be rising faster and higher than expected. That’s because 90% of the heat energy from climate change goes into the oceans, Willis said. Warm water provides “a bigger bang for the buck” than air when it comes to melting ice, Willis said.

    Just how crucial seawater is to melting was illustrated, somewhat paradoxically, by the Jakobshavn glacier, the fast-shrinking glacier on Greenland’s more populated west coast. In recent years, it suddenly started to grow a bit, probably because of a cooling of waters as a result of a temporary shift in weather and water-current patterns, Willis said…

    A 2017 study concluded that coastal glaciers and icecaps — what Willis is studying — reached a “tipping point” for ice loss in 1997 and since then have been rapidly deteriorating. A NASA satellite found that Greenland’s ice sheet lost about 255 billion metric tons a year between 2003 and 2016, with the loss rate generally getting worse.

    It will take centuries for all of Greenland’s massive ice sheet to melt, but how fast is the key question. If warm water plays a bigger role than scientists suspect, by the year 2100, Greenland alone could cause 3 or 4 feet (more than 1 meter) of sea level rise, Willis said.

    Other scientists, such as the University of Colorado’s Ted Scambos, say Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise by 2100 would probably be closer to 1 foot (30 centimeters).

    That’s a big spread.

    “I tend toward the higher number, but I’m hoping for a lower number,” said University of Maryland Baltimore County glaciologist Christopher Shuman, whose family owns property along the coast.”

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  22. The last coal-fired power station in Wales, the 1560MW Aberthaw station, will close in March 2020. Under UK plans it would have closed by 2023 or 2025 at the latest, but they are now citing “adverse market conditions” & closing early.

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/aberthaw-power-station-close-coal-16679614

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    • eleggua

       /  August 17, 2019

      With a little help from our friends.

      http://thesprout.co.uk/blog/protest-at-a-power-station/
      Feb. 2, 2017

      “Last weekend I attended a protest against Wales’ largest coal-fired power station; along with over 150 people coming from London, Bristol and Cardiff, people who belonged to groups such as the United Valleys Action group, Reclaim the Power, Bristol Rising Tide and the Coal Action group.

      The protest consisted of two sections; the first being a gathering on a nearby beach while various people explained what the problem was and what could be a solution, Then secondly there was a march around the perimeter of the power station. This ended in another empowering speech full of shocking facts and a conclusion to the event.

      The reasons for the protest at Aberthaw are almost endless and shocking; in short – it is killing us! Statistics show that the power station emits five times the amount of pollution into the atmosphere than the law allows, making it illegal. The pollution from Aberthaw can cause lung problems such as asthma and can lead to premature deaths. It’s emissions kill 400 people each year and doesn’t just affect Wales; it has an effect on much of south England and Europe too! It is calculated to cost 35000 days of lost work a year in total. So why hasn’t it been closed down ?…

      Aberthaw ranks 70 out of 14326 worse polluters in Europe. It emits so much pollution that closing it would be the equivalent of removing every vehicle off the roads of Newport and Cardiff ! It is the third largest point source of toxic nitrogen oxides in Europe. Advocate General Michael Bobek of European court of justice described Aberthaw’ sky-high pollution levels as ‘untenable’. Not only does Aberthaw emit extreme amounts of nitrogen dioxide but it is also one of the UK’s biggest emitters of mercury, 0.6% of the UK’s total emissions…”

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  23. wharf rat

     /  August 17, 2019

    Molly Ivins on Climate Change Deniers

    “One theory of government is that it only reacts to a crisis; trouble comes when we cannot even agree on what a crisis is. Pardon me if some left-wing bias is showing here, but I’d rather get my scientific information from scientists than from Limbaugh”, Ivins wrote in a 1995 column about Congress’ lukewarm response to the threat of global warming.

    Editor’s Note: This month, we’re reprinting some of our favorite Molly Ivins columns in celebration of her birth month and the upcoming wide release of Raise Hell: The Life & Times Of Molly Ivins, the documentary about her life. This column from 1995 remains prescient today.

    https://www.texasobserver.org/molly-ivins-on-climate-change-deniers/

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  24. eleggua

     /  August 18, 2019

    The end is now…

    ‘And Now, the Really Big Coal Plants Begin to Close
    By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News on August 16, 2019
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/and-now-the-really-big-coal-plants-begin-to-close/

    “When the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona shuts down later this year, it will be one of the largest carbon emitters to ever close in American history…

    The Navajo Generating Station isn’t alone. It’s among a new wave of super-polluters headed for the scrap heap. Bruce Mansfield, a massive coal plant in Pennsylvania, emitted nearly 123 million tons between 2010 and 2017. It, too, will be retired by year’s end…

    …in western Kentucky, the Paradise plant emitted some 102 million tons of carbon over that period. The Tennessee Valley Authority closed two of Paradise’s three units in 2017. It will close the last one next year…

    In 2015, the United States closed 15 gigawatts of coal capacity, or roughly 5% of the coal fleet. That still stands as a record amount of coal capacity retired in one year.

    Yet the emissions reductions were modest by today’s standards. The units retired in 2015 emitted a combined 261 million tons in the six years prior to their retirement, according to an E&E News review of EPA emissions data. On average, they annually emitted about 43 million tons over that period.

    Contrast that to 2018, when almost 14 GW of coal was retired. Those units emitted 511 million tons of carbon between 2010 and 2015. Their combined average annual emissions rate was 83 million tons.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects almost 8 GW of coal to retire in 2019, or a little more than half the capacity retired in 2015. Yet the units retired this year emitted more than their 2015 counterparts. Between 2010 and 2015, their combined emissions were 328 million tons, giving them an annual emissions average of 55 million tons.

    There are several caveats to consider. Units scheduled for retirement generally produce less in the years running up to their closure, meaning the plants that closed in 2015 once emitted more than they did near the end of their lives.

    There’s also this: The vast majority of super-polluters have no closure date in sight. That’s because massive coal plants generally benefit from large economies of scale. Because they crank out power around the clock, their cost of generating electricity is relatively cheap.

    “The coal plants remaining have generally installed all the environmental controls,” Larsen said. “There are no additional regulatory threats, or they are cost-effective in a world where gas is $2.50 per MMBtu.”

    Another caveat: Coal plant closures don’t guarantee power-sector emissions reductions on their own. In 2018, power-sector emissions increased for the first time in many years because electricity demand rose, prompting natural gas generation to spike…

    if there is a notable trend with the current round of plant closures, it is this: The large coal plants closing today are in places like Arizona, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

    “You’re not seeing climate policy close these plants,” said Mike O’Boyle, director of electricity policy for Energy Innovation, a nonprofit that advocates for a transition to clean energy. “Coal plants are becoming more expensive to operate over time.””

    The beginning is nigh…

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  25. eleggua

     /  August 18, 2019

    ‘Invasive Pests are Significantly Decreasing U.S. Forests’ Ability to Store Carbon’
    August 14, 2019
    https://e360.yale.edu/digest/invasive-pests-are-significantly-decreasing-u-s-forests-ability-to-store-carbon

    “More than 450 non-native insects and diseases have found their way into U.S. forests, and the millions of trees killed by these pests each year contain more than 5.53 teragrams of carbon (TgC) — equal to the emissions of 4.4 million cars, or the carbon released by one-fifth of all wildfires in the U.S. annually, according to a new study…

    The study also notes that most of these pests have not spread throughout their full potential range, leaving 41 percent of U.S. forests at risk of future damage.”

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  26. eleggua

     /  August 19, 2019

    Things are not OK.

    ““OK the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier.
    In the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path.
    This monument is to acknowledge that we know
    what is happening and what needs to be done.
    Only you know if we did it.

    Ágúst 2019
    415ppm CO2”

    The funeral for OK was today.

    ‘Iceland holds funeral for first glacier lost to climate change ‘
    18 Aug 2019
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/19/iceland-holds-funeral-for-first-glacier-lost-to-climate-change

    “…As the world recently marked the warmest July ever on record, a bronze plaque was mounted on a bare rock in a ceremony on the barren terrain once covered by the Okjokull glacier in western Iceland.

    Around 100 people walked up the mountain for the ceremony, including Iceland’s prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, former UN human rights commissioner, Mary Robinson, and local reseachers and colleagues from the United States from who pioneered the commemoration project.

    “I hope this ceremony will be an inspiration not only to us here in Iceland but also for the rest of the world, because what we are seeing here is just one face of the climate crisis,” Jakobsdottir said…

    Glaciologists stripped Okjokull of its glacier status in 2014, a first for Iceland. In 1890, the glacier ice covered 16sq km (6.2 square miles) but by 2012 it measured just 0.7sq km, according to a report from the University of Iceland in 2017.

    In 2014, “we made the decision that this was no longer a living glacier, it was only dead ice, it was not moving”, Oddur Sigurdsson, a glaciologist with the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told AFP.”

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  27. eleggua

     /  August 19, 2019

    The kids are alright!

    https://www.youthunited4climatecrisisaction.org/

    “On behalf of all that we love and all that lives:
    WE THE PEOPLE

    THE YOUTH OF NORTHERN NEW MEXICO,

    Declare a climate emergency and call on the adults that love us and the government that claims to represent us – to join the call and take immediate action to save our futures and all life on earth.

    9/20 STRIKE & WEEK OF DISRUPTION

    9/20 11:30am-1:30pm STATEWIDE CONVERGENCE ON THE CAPITOL & ACTION

    A CALL TO ACTION:

    YUCCA (Youth United for Climate Action) echoes the calls for robust and urgent measures in response to the climate crisis. We thereby pledge our support and participation in the General Climate Strike and 7 Days of Resistance in September, and are fastidiously working to ensure that the most vulnerable of our communities can voice their concerns, ideas, and desires for the actions and organizing of the strike to be as reflective of their lives as possible; the vibrancies of our state are being funnelled into our planning efforts as a reminder that any movement for climate justice must be an intersectional one encompassing Indigenous, Black, Latinx, gender, and economic justice.

    The demonstrated inability of elected officials to act on the climate crisis serves to remind us that we cannot limit our efforts to avenues sanctioned by the state; the foundations of the US are built on stolen land supplemented by stolen labor, and this country continues to enrich itself through militarism, imperialism, and extraction to this day. Nonetheless, we are calling on representatives of New Mexico to embrace the Green New Deal – an as-of-yet unsupported resolution by Senators Udall and Heinrich or Governor Lujan Grisham – as one step to tackle the climate crisis, even if only to signal the urgency of the situation and a commitment to act. Plainly, in striving for a guaranteed future away from fossil fuels, we cannot dismiss any and all avenues available; we urge New Mexico officials to Declare a Climate Emergency and meet our demands to secure our future.

    With immediacy, we call on our adult allies to step out of their routines, workplaces, and comfort zones on the 20th of September and the week following to show their support for and invest in our cause and the future.”

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  28. wharf rat

     /  August 19, 2019

    HUGE WILDFIRES IN THE ARCTIC AND FAR NORTH SEND A PLANETARY WARNING

    “The planet’s far North is burning. This summer, over 600 wildfires have consumed more than 2.4 million acres of forest across Alaska. Fires are also raging in northern Canada. In Siberia, choking smoke from 13 million acres – an area nearly the size of West Virginia – is blanketing towns and cities. Fires in these places are normal. But, as studies here at the University of Alaska’s International Arctic Research Center show, they are also abnormal.”

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/huge-wildfires-in-the-arctic-and-far-north-send-a-planetary-warning

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    • eleggua

       /  August 19, 2019

      Map from last week showing forest fires in Siberia.

      Total amount burned there so far this year, larger than Greece.

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  29. wharf rat

     /  August 19, 2019

    Earth Stopped Getting Greener 20 Years Ago
    Declining plant growth is linked toward decreasing air moisture tied to global warming

    Scientists say the greening effects from rising levels of carbon dioxide might be over. Credit: NASA

    The world is gradually becoming less green, scientists have found. Plant growth is declining all over the planet, and new research links the phenomenon to decreasing moisture in the air—a consequence of climate change.

    The study published yesterday in Science Advances points to satellite observations that revealed expanding vegetation worldwide during much of the 1980s and 1990s. But then, about 20 years ago, the trend stopped.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-stopped-getting-greener-20-years-ago/

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    • eleggua

       /  August 19, 2019

      From ^that^ article:
      “…Some recent studies have revealed that parts of the Arctic are “greening” as the chilly landscape warms….”

      ‘Arctic Greening Confirmed by 30 Years of Satellite Data’
      September 05 2018
      https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2018-09-05-arctic-greening-climate-change-satellite-images-study

      “A compilation of satellite images taken over the past 30 years confirmed that the Arctic’s greening is consistent with the warming of Earth, according to a new study.

      Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley decided to use satellite images captured by NOAA’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, according to a press release, to document exactly when and where vegetation has bloomed over the past 30 years as the world’s coldest areas warm.

      The scientists said they were able to track, down to a pixel, which represents approximately 25 square miles, the “ebb and flow of plant growth in cold areas of the Northern Hemisphere, such as Alaska, the Arctic region of Canada, and the Tibetan Plateau.”…

      “Although the greening might sound like good news as it means more carbon uptake and biomass production, it represents a major disruption to the delicate balance in cold ecosystems,” said lead author Trevor Keenan, a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area and an assistant professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management…”


      “NASA scientists used almost 30 years of data from the NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Landsat satellites to track changes in vegetation in Alaska and Canada. Of the more than 4 million square miles, 30 percent had increases in vegetation (greening) while only 3 percent had decreases (browning).”

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  30. eleggua

     /  August 19, 2019

    More on OMG.

    ‘At the bottom of a glacier in Greenland, climate scientists find troubling signs’
    August 19, 2019
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/19/weather/greenland-nasa-climate-battle-intl/index.html

    “…As our plane approached Helheim, the scientists spotted an ice-free “lake” at the very front of the glacier, something they said they don’t see often. The probes also brought back troubling data — Helheim was surrounded by warm water along its entire depth, more than 2,000 feet below the surface.

    “It’s very rare anywhere on the planet to see 700 meters of no temperature variation, normally we find colder waters in the upper hundred meters or so, but right in front of the glacier it’s warm all the way up,” said Ian Fenty, climate scientist at NASA. “These warm waters now are able to be in direct contact with the ice over its entire face, supercharging the melting.”…”


    “Ice-free “lake” at the front of Helheim glacier seen from a DC-3 plane.”

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  31. eleggua

     /  August 19, 2019

    Forest fires in the Amazon currently producing nearly as much smoke as the fires in Siberia.

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  32. eleggua

     /  August 19, 2019

    ‘Scientists Have Been Underestimating the Pace of Climate Change
    A book titled Discerning Experts explains why – and what can be done about it’
    August 19, 2019

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/scientists-have-been-underestimating-the-pace-of-climate-change/

    “…recent updates, suggesting that climate change and its impacts are emerging faster than scientists previously thought, are consistent with observations that we and other colleagues have made identifying a pattern in assessments of climate research of underestimation of certain key climate indicators, and therefore underestimation of the threat of climate disruption. When new observations of the climate system have provided more or better data, or permitted us to reevaluate old ones, the findings for ice extent, sea level rise and ocean temperature have generally been worse than earlier prevailing views…

    …In our new book, Discerning Experts, we explored the workings of scientific assessments for policy, with particular attention to their internal dynamics, as we attempted to illuminate how the scientists working in assessments make the judgments they do. Among other things, we wanted to know how scientists respond to the pressures—sometimes subtle, sometimes overt—that arise when they know that their conclusions will be disseminated beyond the research community—in short, when they know that the world is watching. The view that scientific evidence should guide public policy presumes that the evidence is of high quality, and that scientists’ interpretations of it are broadly correct. But, until now, those assumptions have rarely been closely examined.

    We found little reason to doubt the results of scientific assessments, overall. We found no evidence of fraud, malfeasance or deliberate deception or manipulation. Nor did we find any reason to doubt that scientific assessments accurately reflect the views of their expert communities. But we did find that scientists tend to underestimate the severity of threats and the rapidity with which they might unfold.

    Among the factors that appear to contribute to underestimation is the perceived need for consensus, or what we label univocality: the felt need to speak in a single voice. Many scientists worry that if disagreement is publicly aired, government officials will conflate differences of opinion with ignorance and use this as justification for inaction. Others worry that even if policy makers want to act, they will find it difficult to do so if scientists fail to send an unambiguous message. Therefore, they will actively seek to find their common ground and focus on areas of agreement; in some cases, they will only put forward conclusions on which they can all agree…”

    What a fool believes…

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  33. wharf rat

     /  August 20, 2019

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  34. mlp in nc

     /  August 21, 2019

    The Northwest Passage appears open on Climate Reanalyzer. Cruise ships scheduled from Aug 17 – Sep 26.

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