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.)

Leave a comment


  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:

    “Beyond Politics

    Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

    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!

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

  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

  3. Reblogged this on Bobbing Around.


  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.””

    Liked by 1 person

  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.


  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

    “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.”


  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

    “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.”


  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

    “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.”…”


  9. wharf rat

     /  August 14, 2019


    • eleggua

       /  August 14, 2019

      Radioactivity is in the air for you and me.

      ‘Missile Explosion Prompts Radiation Warnings in Russia’

      “…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 ‘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.”


  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’

    “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…”


  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

    “…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!


    • 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!

      Liked by 1 person

  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.


  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.


  14. mike gordon

     /  August 15, 2019

    Coal is Over
    August 14, 2019

    Everybody knows it now.


    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.


    • eleggua

       /  August 16, 2019

      Thanks for posting this one. Great pull-quotes in the Guardian article.

      ““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.””


      • 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.


        • eleggua

           /  August 17, 2019

          Overstory telling our overstory.

          “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.”


    • 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.

      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.


  15. wharf rat

     /  August 15, 2019

    Not the Onion…


    • eleggua

       /  August 16, 2019

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


    • eleggua

       /  August 17, 2019

      You know the place where nothing is real…


      • eleggua

         /  August 18, 2019

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


      • eleggua

         /  August 18, 2019

        …here’s another place you can be…


        • eleggua

           /  August 18, 2019

          ‘Millions gear up to take part in September’s global climate strikes, week of escalation’

          “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…


  16. mlp in nc

     /  August 16, 2019

    SST 36.5C/97.7F in the Persian Gulf.


  17. Syd Bridges

     /  August 16, 2019

    Looking at the latest NASA GISSTEMP at

    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.


  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?’

    “…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.”


  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.”


    • 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.”


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


    • 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.”


  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’

    “…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.”


  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.


    • eleggua

       /  August 17, 2019

      With a little help from our friends.
      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…”


  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.


  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

    “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…


  25. eleggua

     /  August 18, 2019

    ‘Invasive Pests are Significantly Decreasing U.S. Forests’ Ability to Store Carbon’
    August 14, 2019

    “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.”


  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

    “…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.”


  27. eleggua

     /  August 19, 2019

    The kids are alright!

    “On behalf of all that we love and all that lives:


    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.




    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.”


  28. wharf rat

     /  August 19, 2019


    “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.”


    • eleggua

       /  August 19, 2019

      Map from last week showing forest fires in Siberia.

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


  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.


    • 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

      “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).”


  30. eleggua

     /  August 19, 2019

    More on OMG.

    ‘At the bottom of a glacier in Greenland, climate scientists find troubling signs’
    August 19, 2019

    “…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.”


  31. eleggua

     /  August 19, 2019

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


  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

    “…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…


  33. wharf rat

     /  August 20, 2019


  34. mlp in nc

     /  August 21, 2019

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


    • eleggua

       /  August 21, 2019

      “Party ships have no place in the Arctic.”

      ‘Polar cruise boom harming the Arctic, explorer warns ‘
      13 Aug 2019

      “One of the world’s leading polar explorers has warned against the explosive growth in cruise ship tourism in the Arctic, calling it damaging to both the local environment and its inhabitants.

      Arved Fuchs, a German adventurer and the first person to reach both the north and south poles on foot in a year, said: “The number of cruise ships is rising, that’s the crux. And the bigger the ship, the more problematic this is. Party ships have no place in the Arctic,” he told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung in an interview.

      Fuchs, a celebrated environmentalist who runs an annual climate camp to teach European students about global warming, said he had witnessed small Inuit villages being inundated by day trippers spilling out of cruise ships.

      “Some of the small Inuit villages are regularly flooded with cruise ship passengers,” he said. “They do nothing more than gawp and give little back to the people who live there. The visitors are the only ones to profit, not the residents.”

      The number of cruise ships operating in the Arctic is on the rise, with major travel companies offering journeys or “expeditions” as they are often marketed, to regions hitherto rarely visited by ordinary tourists, plugging them as “the last true frontiers”, and offering attractions such as the chance to see rare wildlife, spectacular scenery, even melting ice caps…

      “Travel destinations are now limitless … with people taking cruises to the Antarctic in order to watch the ice caps melting, whilst they sip their prosecco,” Spiegel wrote in its damning front cover article entitled “S.O.S – Crazy Cruises and the Dark Side of the Dream Holiday”. It details the environmental damage caused by cruise liners as well as their operators’ ability to avoid billions of dollars in tax and the need to abide by EU work legislation by registering the ships outside the EU.

      On a recent cruise of the Mediterranean by German holidaymakers it found a man from the Philippines working onboard as a cleaner for seven days a week, 10 hours a day to earn $2.81 (£2.32) an hour…

      Fuchs, who is currently leading a scientific investigation into the amount of plastics in the sea, said he did not want to dampen the recent growth of interest in the polar regions, where dramatic climatic changes were taking place.

      “I welcome the fact that this topic is now considered so important. As we see the permafrost is melting, glaciers are melting. Entire settlements are having to be evacuated and resettled elsewhere. In some places the coast is eroding at a rate of up to 16 metres a year.

      “The Arctic acts as something like an early warning system. What happens there will later happen elsewhere in the world.””

      What could go wrong…


    • eleggua

       /  August 21, 2019

      The Mounties always get their man.

      ‘Canadian Forces plan surveillance of Northwest Passage during Nunavut operation’
      19 August, 2019

      “From now until the end of August, members of the Canadian Armed Forces plan to keep a close eye on marine traffic in the Northwest Passage.

      That’s the main focus of the Nanook-Nunakput military operation underway in and around Cambridge Bay, and all the way to Pond Inlet.

      “We’re going to be sending people along the Northwest Passage in a surveillance operation because the Northwest passage has opened up for more navigation,” said Major Gabriel Martin-Benoit, the task force commander for Operation Nanook 19, from Cambridge Bay…

      This August will see eight cruise ships heading though the passage, as well as other vessels of various sizes.

      Security and safety issues such as threats from ship-borne terrorists, drug dealers, poachers, artifact hunters and illegal refugees have long been a concern in Cambridge Bay, which has already seen its share of problems due mainly to visitors arriving by yachts and other watercraft.

      These include jet-skiers who wanted to go through the Northwest Passage for a reality television show and ended up being rescued, misbehaving private yacht crews like those on board the Fortrus, who partied on illegal alcohol and set off fireworks, and the Berserk II’s wild Vikings who were in Canada illegally.

      Since last year’s grounding of the Arctic cruise ship the Akademik Ioffe near Kugaaruk, which required a major evacuation and remediation effort, safety issues have also again been raised with respect to people and the environment…”

      “A Zodiac ferries passengers from the grounded Akademik Ioffe to its sister ship Akademik Sergey Vavilov on Aug. 25, 2018.”


      • eleggua

         /  August 21, 2019

        ‘Cruise ship that grounded in Nunavut “sustained major hull damage”: TSB update’
        2 May, 2019

        “A small amount of fuel spilled when the Akademik Ioffe cruise ship grounded near Kugaaruk last August, according to the Transportation Safety Board.

        That’s at odds with the cruise ship’s owner’s earlier reports, which claimed that no fuel spill took place.

        And the 117-metre vessel “sustained major hull damage” when it grounded on Aug. 24, the TSB says in an online update for its ongoing investigation.

        Three ballast water tanks and two bunker fuel oil tanks were breached and took on water, and about 80 litres of fuel was released, according to information from the TSB…

        While the TSB investigation report may take many more months to complete, the cruise ship grounding, which put people and the environment at risk, remains on the minds of many.

        The Akademik Ioffe’s grounding was mentioned during the recent Nunavut Impact Review Board hearing into offshore oil and gas development in the eastern Arctic and the NIRB technical meeting in Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s expansion plans, which would see much more shipping to and from the north Baffin Mary River mine site…”


  35. Jean Swan

     /  August 21, 2019

    “Time to Act Now” with Roger Hallam w Extinction Rebellon


    • eleggua

       /  August 22, 2019

      “Roger Hallam giving a talk in Penzance, Cornwall, speaking about Extinction Rebellion, the climate emergency and the ecological crisis all around the world.
      Let’s stop pretending and ACT NOW.
      If you believe we need to do something about the climate crisis join us in October for the international Rebellion.
      In October 2018, we declared The Rebellion.
      In April 2019, we declared The Emergency.
      In October 2019, we will declare The Truth.

      Starting on Monday 7 October, we are joining together as global family in an International Rebellion as we grieve the suffering and destruction of our beautiful homeworld.
      We will gather with our communities across cities, countries, and continents, to rise up and rebel for our deep love of life and the need to protect it. ”

      Join the Rebellion:

      Liked by 1 person

  36. mlp in nc

     /  August 22, 2019

    Fracking prompts global spike in atmospheric methane, study suggests. Source:
    European Geosciences Union.
    The fracking methane is the light carbon type, like that from wetlands and cows. So how can you tell how much is due to the cows?


  37. eleggua

     /  August 22, 2019

    ‘Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate, research center says’
    August 21, 2019

    “Fires are raging at a record rate in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, and scientists warn that it could strike a devastating blow to the fight against climate change.
    The fires are burning at the highest rate since the country’s space research center, the National Institute for Space Research (known by the abbreviation INPE), began tracking them in 2013, the center said Tuesday.
    There have been 72,843 fires in Brazil this year, with more than half in the Amazon region, INPE said. That’s more than an 80% increase compared with the same period last year….

    Dramatic images and videos on social media show giant plumes of smoke rising from the greenery and lines of fire leaving blackened waste in their wake.
    The smoke has reached all the way to Sao Paulo, more than 1,700 miles away. Images from the city show the sky pitch-black in the middle of the afternoon, the sun blanketed by smoke and ash.
    The European Union’s satellite program, Copernicus, released a map showing smoke from the fires spreading all along Brazil to the east Atlantic coast. The smoke has covered nearly half of the country and is even spilling over into neighboring Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay…”


    • eleggua

       /  August 22, 2019

      That word again: “unprecedented”.

      “…the destruction this year is “unprecedented””

      ‘Blame humans for starting the Amazon fires, environmentalists say’
      August 22, 2019

      “…Environmental organizations and researchers say the wildfires blazing in the Brazilian rainforest were set by cattle ranchers and loggers who want to clear and utilize the land, emboldened by the country’s pro-business president.
      “The vast majority of these fires are human-lit,” said Christian Poirier, the program director of non-profit organization Amazon Watch. He added that even during dry seasons, the Amazon — a humid rainforest — doesn’t catch on fire easily, unlike the dry bushland in California or Australia.

      Farmers and ranchers have long used fire to clear land, said Poirier, and are likely behind the unusually large number fires burning in the Amazon today. ..

      The country’s space research center (INPE) said this week that the number of fires in Brazil are 80% higher than last year. More than half are in the Amazon region, spelling disaster for the local environment and ecology.
      And 99% percent of the fires result from human actions “either on purpose or by accident,” Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist at INPE, said. The burning can range from a small-scale agricultural practice, to new deforestation for a mechanized and modern agribusiness project, Setzer told CNN by email…

      This year’s fires fit into an established seasonal agricultural pattern, Brink said. “It’s the best time to burn because the vegetation is dry. [Farmers] wait for the dry season and they start burning and clearing the areas so that their cattle can graze. And that’s what we’re suspecting is going on down there.”
      The peak of the dry season is still to come in September, she added.
      Compared to previous years, the destruction this year is “unprecedented,” Poirier said.

      …just weeks ago, the director of INPE was fired after a spat with the president. The director had defended satellite data that showed deforestation was 88% higher in June than a year earlier, which Bolsonaro characterized as “lies.”

      Bolsonaro, who has previously said he is not “Captain Chainsaw” in reference to Amazon deforestation, has dismissed accusations of responsibility for the fires. On Wednesday, he speculated that the Amazon fires could have been caused by nonprofit organizations who are suffering from lack of funding, to “generate negative attention against me and against the Brazilian government.”

      Poirier warns that shrugging off the fires could embolden farmers to burn more and “land grabbers” to illegally occupy, parcel out, and resell plots of land to ranchers. There have previously been attempts to rein in these rainforest “mafia” — but these attempted crackdowns are rare and often met with strong public opposition.

      All the while, the Amazon veers toward potential disaster.

      “The Amazon is incredibly important for our future, for our ability to stave off the worst of climate change,” said Poirier. “This isn’t hyperbole. We’re looking at untold destruction — not just of the Amazon but for our entire planet.”


  38. eleggua

     /  August 22, 2019

    Good news.

    ‘The Florida Aquarium Becomes First Organization in History to Induce Spawning of Atlantic Coral; A New Hope to Save Florida’s Reefs’
    | 8/21/2019

    “For the first time ever, endangered Atlantic pillar coral have spawned through lab-induced techniques. The scientific breakthrough occurred this week in a research laboratory at The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach as part of Project Coral. Scientists believe the historic breakthrough could ultimately help save corals in the Florida Reef Tract from extinction.

    This conservation effort enables coral sexual reproduction to occur entirely outside of the ocean using innovative technology. This is a world-first coral reef restoration and research advancement in which Atlantic coral, living for several years at the Center as part of a genetic archive, has been reproduced through induced spawning, setting a new stage for saving coral reefs in Florida and the Caribbean.

    “When history is made, there is hope, and today’s scientific breakthrough by The Florida Aquarium’s team of coral experts gives us real hope that we can save the Florida Reef Tract from extinction,” said Roger Germann, The Florida Aquarium President and CEO. “And, while many coral experts didn’t believe it could be done, we took that challenge to heart and dedicated our resources and expertise to achieve this monumental outcome. We remain fiercely committed to saving North America’s only barrier reef and will now work even harder to protect and restore our Blue Planet.”

    This project is a “head start” program for coral – the Aquarium will raise the juvenile corals long enough to give them a better chance of survival than they would have had as larvae in the ocean. This effort brings The Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation scientists a huge step closer to helping restore Florida’s reefs.

    This breakthrough is just one of The Florida Aquarium’s coral projects currently underway. Aquarium researchers are working on different approaches to save multiple endangered species of coral that are imperative to the restoration and overall health of the Florida Reef Tract. ”


    • eleggua

       /  August 22, 2019

      “Keri O’Neil, left, senior coral scientist with the Florida Aquarium, and a colleague work at the sea floor introducing corals to the Florida Reef Tract. [Photo courtesy of Florida Aquarium]”


  39. eleggua

     /  August 22, 2019

    Getting harder to keep one’s wits about them…

    ‘Pollution linked to increase in depression and bipolar disorder, massive study suggests’

    “…high levels of air pollution can also hurt our brains, our cognitive abilities and our overall mental well-being.

    In fact, a new study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Biology found that among more than 100 million individuals in the United States and Denmark, poor air quality was associated with an increased risk of both major depression and bipolar disorder.

    “These neurological and psychiatric diseases—so costly in both financial and social terms—appear linked to the physical environment, particularly air quality,” study author and computational biologist Atif Khan said in a statement.

    Khan, senior author Andrey Rzhetsky and their University of Chicago colleagues first dug into a database of 151 million Americans with 11 years of inpatient and outpatient claims for neuropsychiatric diseases, mental disorders typically attributed to diseases originating from the nervous system that impair one’s ability to learn, work or emotionally cope.

    The researchers compared the medical claims with the air quality of their respective geographies. Khan and his team measured 87 different air pollutants (pulled from the Environmental Protection Agency) and found that compared to places with the best air quality, areas with the worst air quality had a 27% increase in rates of bipolar disorder and a 6% increase in rates of major depression.

    They also noted a “strong association between polluted soil and an increased risk of personality disorder,” according to a university article…”


  40. eleggua

     /  August 22, 2019

    Upward trends.


  41. eleggua

     /  August 22, 2019


    The day after Jay Inslee withdraws his candidacy, this DNC debacle diminishes the discussion re: climate issues even further.

    ‘DNC votes down climate-focused debate’

    “A committee within the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Thursday voted down a proposal for a debate focused on climate change.

    The DNC’s resolution committee voted against the measure, though a resolution calling for a climate debate could still be considered for a vote by the full committee Saturday as they continue to meet over the weekend.

    The committee defeated the resolution in a 17-to-8 vote…

    A number of candidates have heeded calls for a climate-focused debate, but one of the loudest of those voices, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, ended his presidential bid late Wednesday night.

    Christine Pelosi, a member of the executive committee and the resolution committee, was one of three DNC members to introduce a resolution that called for a standalone climate debate.

    Pelosi, daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), introduced the resolution Thursday that read: “Therefore, be it resolved that one of the first of several DNC Presidential Debates should be focused on Climate Change issues and solutions.”

    “There are a number of us who want to have a standalone debate on the issue of climate. It’s more than an issue. We need a climate crisis response blueprint,” Pelosi previously told The Hill.

    The DNC has so far held two presidential primary debates. Each devoted a period of time to asking candidates about climate change, but some have criticized the timing as not enough compared to the threat.

    Nevertheless, environmental activists believe one silver lining emerged from Thursday’s voting activity. The committee passed Resolution 4, an amendment that would in part allow for candidates to appear side by side on stage to have a discussion on a single issue, such as climate change…

    DNC officials however pushed back on the characterization, saying the language did not expressly allow future unsanctioned climate debates. Currently the DNC only allows candidates to appear on stage one at a time at single issue forums. The debate ban warned that candidates who participated in such events would be bared from participating in future DNC debates…”


  42. eleggua

     /  August 23, 2019

    Bernie weighs in heavily.

    ‘Bernie Sanders’s ‘Green New Deal’: A $16 Trillion Climate Plan
    Aug. 22, 2019

    “Senator Bernie Sanders on Thursday released a $16.3 trillion blueprint to fight climate change, the latest and most expensive proposal from the field of Democratic presidential candidates aimed at reining in planet-warming greenhouse gases.

    Mr. Sanders unveiled his proposal one day after Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, who made climate change the central focus of his campaign, announced he was dropping out of the 2020 race. Mr. Inslee’s absence could create an opening for another presidential aspirant to seize the mantle of “climate candidate.”…

    …his new plan, which calls for the United States to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2050.

    It declares climate change a national emergency; envisions building new solar, wind and geothermal power sources across the country; and commits $200 billion to help poor nations cope with climate change…

    “I have seven grandchildren, and I’m going to be damned if I’m going to leave them a planet that is unhealthy and uninhabitable,” he added…

    Mr. Sanders’s plan would be funded in part by imposing new fees and taxes on the fossil fuel industry. He described the proposal as putting “meat on the bones” of the Green New Deal resolution and laying the groundwork for a rapid energy transformation…

    Mr. Sanders’s campaign estimated that roughly $3.1 trillion would be generated from “making the fossil fuel industry pay for their pollution” through new but unspecified fees and eliminating $15 billion in annual subsidies; another $1.2 trillion would come from “scaling back military spending on the global oil supply,” and $2.3 trillion would be collected from new income tax revenues from new jobs in the renewable energy industry, among other measures.

    The spending would go toward researching energy storage and electric vehicles, supporting small farms and developing ways to “make our plastic more sustainable through advanced chemistry.” Under the plan, the federal government would also provide five years of unemployment insurance, a wage guarantee, housing assistance and job training to “any displaced worker” in the fossil fuel industry.”


  43. Robert in New Orleans

     /  August 23, 2019

    David Koch has died.
    But I suspect we will all suffer because of his legacy of evil.


    • eleggua

       /  August 24, 2019

      Things go bitter with Koch.

      We’ve suffered enough. Things are progressing toward the positive and the pace is quickening. Phase shift moment coming up relatively fast.

      The torch will be passed to a new generation.

      ‘David Koch’s reclusive nephew is next in line to inherit the family legacy, and he may be planning a shift away from conservative politics’

      “…it’s time for another Koch to step up and succeed David in the family business.

      With all of David’s children under the age of 25, and Charles’ eldest child, Elizabeth, uninvolved in Koch Industries or its network at large, that role falls to Chase Koch, 42, Charles’ son.

      …Chase has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican congressional candidates, including Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Tim Scott of South Carolina, Politico reported.

      He has not given any money to President Donald Trump’s campaigns, which isn’t surprising, given that his father and uncle have taken overt steps to distance themselves from the GOP after Trump won the primary and oppose many of his proposed ideas and policies, including his tariffs, travel ban, and stance on immigration…

      After graduation (from Texas A&M), Chase remained in Austin, Texas, playing Led Zeppelin covers in a garage band…

      Chase is less focused on the tangled web of political policy in Washington, DC, choosing to live and work in Wichita, Kansas…

      His relaxed approach to politics exudes libertarian ideals, such as championing the free market and principles of independent growth.

      At a retreat Chase held for two dozen wealthy young professionals in Vail, Colorado, in May 2018, the Koch heir shifted away from the usual Koch network attire of suits and loafers, preferring wool and trendy sneakers, Politico Magazine reported.

      Chase also strayed from talking about conservative politics and policy, as is usual at Koch summits and workshops, and focused instead on broader libertarian ideals of personal transformation and “North Stars,” or driving passions, encouraging the retreat’s attendees to focus on helping solve problems through nonprofits and advocacy work.

      Chase has taken opportunities to invest in social justice after the rise of Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

      “Market-based Management” is one of the key principles that has allowed the Koch family to become one of the most influential forces in American politics and business. Chase has used the same mindset to apply growth-based tactics to social-justice causes, some of which wouldn’t typically jibe with GOP principles.

      Barron’s reported that Chase has invested in criminal-justice-reform initiatives, including getting companies to hire former convicts — Koch Industries told Business Insider it was one of the very first large companies to do this, using its “ban-the-box” policy of removing criminal-history questions from its job applications.

      Through the Koch-funded philanthropic anti-poverty organization Stand Together, Chase has worked with a Dallas restaurant that trains and hires juvenile offenders…”


  44. eleggua

     /  August 24, 2019

    Chernobyl of the sea.

    ‘Russia floating nuclear power station sets sail across Arctic’
    23 August 2019

    “Russia has launched a pioneering floating nuclear power station, which will sail 5,000km (3,000 miles) from the Arctic port of Murmansk to Chukotka in the far east.

    The nuclear agency Rosenergoatom says the Akademik Lomonosov’s mobility will boost the power supply to remote areas.

    One of its targets is to power the Chaun-Bilibin mining complex in Chukotka, which includes gold mines.

    Greenpeace sees the project as high-risk, in a harsh weather environment.

    Critics including Greenpeace point to previous Russian and Soviet nuclear accidents and warn that the Akademik Lomonosov’s mission increases the risk of polluting the Arctic – a remote, sparsely-populated region with no big clean-up facilities…

    The floating power station’s highly radioactive spent fuel will be stored on board. Others of similar design will follow to serve remote areas…

    The Northern Sea Route connecting European Russia with far eastern ports is becoming navigable for longer periods because global warming is reducing pack ice…

    The Lomonosov was built in St Petersburg and has two nuclear reactors of the type used in Russian icebreakers. They are KLT-40S reactors with a combined capacity of 80 megawatts, and are reported to be tsunami-proof.

    Russia’s Vesti news programme says the facility will have enough power to illuminate and heat a town of about 100,000 inhabitants. The crew on board is expected to be about 70-strong.

    It is 140m (459ft) long, 30m (98ft) wide and is expected to operate for 40 years.

    In the period 1968-1976 the US Army used a floating nuclear power plant at the Panama Canal, for canal operations, called the MH-1A Sturgis. It was a converted World War Two cargo ship, and was later decommissioned….”


  45. wharf rat

     /  August 24, 2019

    Possible evidence that Putin hacked Climategate

    Exclusive: “Climategate” Email Hacking was Carried out from Russia, in Effort to Undermine Action on Global Warming

    In 2009, the publication of emails stolen from the UK’s University of East Anglia made headlines across the world. It sparked a scandal dubbed “Climategate” by global warming skeptics. To this day, some critics see the emails as evidence of a conspiracy to dupe the public into believing in human-caused climate change.

    Multiple investigations cleared the scientists of wrongdoing, but the false allegations proved enduring. Donald Trump publicly called on world leaders to tackle global warming just prior to the “Climategate” affair, but became skeptical of climate change after the story broke.
    The identity of the hackers has remained a mystery despite the efforts of law enforcement and journalists. It can be revealed for the first time that evidence points to the Russian city of Ekaterinburg.

    Clues had been inadvertently hidden within the scientists’ emails all along. Whoever released the hacked messages put each message in a text file and used a peculiar system to name each of these files. The names were generated through Unix Time — a system that counts seconds elapsed since the first of January 1970 in UTC.

    This meant that each individual file in the email bundle had a name consisting of a number, the more recent the email, the higher the figure. This ordering system was likely used out of convenience, as it easily allows the sorting of the emails in chronological order making the messages easier to follow.

    What the hackers failed to realize is that along with the sender, recipient and subject line, every emails they published contained the time and date they were sent, true to the in the UK time zone…

    View at


  46. wharf rat

     /  August 25, 2019

    Rossby Waves: how giant airstreams high in the sky get trapped – leading to devastating
    weather extremes on the ground. This happens more frequently as the atmosphere heats up:


  47. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2019

    Other good videos from the Postdam Institute available on their youtube channel.
    Here’re a couple:

    The retreat of the West Antarctic ice masses after the last Ice Age was reversed surprisingly about 10,000 years ago. This is in stark contrast to previous assumptions. In fact, it was the shrinking itself that stopped the shrinking: relieved from the weight of the ice, the Earth crust lifted and triggered the re-advance of the ice sheet.
    However, this mechanism is much too slow to prevent dangerous sea-level rise caused by West Antarctica’s ice-loss in the present and near future. Only rapid greenhouse-gas emission reductions can.
    More information:


  48. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2019

    “the key message is, we need to act now”

    “Potsdam Institute
    Published on Jul 18, 2019

    The more CO2 we emit from burning coal and oil and gas, the more we heat our climate – this sounds simple, and it is. Different analyses have come up with different estimates of how much CO2 humankind can still emit if we want to hold global warming to the internationally agreed 1.5 and well below 2 degrees Celsius limits, but a lack of clarity of the reasons causing these variations has created unnecessary confusion, a new study shows. It identifies the relevant factors that affect estimates of these remaining carbon budgets and thereby untangles the differences to make estimates more easily comparable, which will help decision-makers in using them.

    From a climate policy perspective, the bottom line remains the same. Even if the remaining carbon budget for limiting warming to 1.5°C would increase by a half, we would have only 10 years more time before emissions have to be brought down to net zero.

    For more info see here:”


  49. eleggua

     /  August 25, 2019

    “ less than one month, the world will get its biggest wake-up call yet as millions go out on climate strike to stop business as usual. Offices, classrooms, factories, transport, shops and farms will fall strangely quiet. Instead, countless millions of youth, parents, and workers will fill the streets worldwide in a loud and colourful act of collective disruption.

    The Arctic and the Amazon are literally on fire. It doesn’t take a climate scientist to understand we can’t continue down this path. We can’t keep powering the world with fossil fuels. We can’t keep electing politicians who do nothing. But we can change course.

    Nelson Mandela once said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

    For the Global Climate Strikes to succeed, we need everyone to believe we can end the age of fossil fuels.”


    • eleggua

       /  August 25, 2019

      “Nelson Mandela once said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

      Except Mandela didn’t say that. Marianne Williamson wrote it in a 1989 book.

      “…this quote doesn’t appear in any of his three public inauguration speeches, according to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

      “As far as I know, [Mandela] has never used the quote in any of his speeches, and we have catalogued about 1,000 thus far,” Razia Saleh, an archivist at the foundation, said.

      In reality, self-help guru Marianne Williamson wrote this passage in her 1989 spiritual best-seller, “A Return To Love.” The last line of the quote misattributed to Mandela — “As we are liberated from our own fear …” — Williamson actually used to end her book. Somehow, the Internet credited two different passages from her to Mandela…”


  50. eleggua

     /  August 26, 2019

    “Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious.” – Dr. Strangelove

    ‘Trump reportedly suggested using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from striking the US

    “…One source present at a hurricane briefing at the White House at an unspecified date told Axios that Trump suggested something along the lines of: “I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them? They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?”

    “… National Geographic posted an article in 2017 explaining that besides for the suggestion being labeled as “wacky” by physicist Robert Nelson, the move would be prohibited under a nuclear treaty signed between the US and the former Soviet Union.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also published a fact sheet which said the approach “won’t work” and that radioactive fallout from it would have a devastating environmental impact.

    “Needless to say, this is not a good idea,” it said…”


  51. eleggua

     /  August 26, 2019

    “Needless to say, this is not a good idea.”

    ” During each hurricane season, there always appear suggestions that one should simply use nuclear weapons to try and destroy the storms. Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm, this approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems. Needless to say, this is not a good idea.

    Now for a more rigorous scientific explanation of why this would not be an effective hurricane modification technique. The main difficulty with using explosives to modify hurricanes is the amount of energy required. A fully developed hurricane can release heat energy at a rate of 5 to 20×1013 watts and converts less than 10% of the heat into the mechanical energy of the wind. The heat release is equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes. According to the 1993 World Almanac, the entire human race used energy at a rate of 1013 watts in 1990, a rate less than 20% of the power of a hurricane.

    If we think about mechanical energy, the energy at humanity’s disposal is closer to the storm’s, but the task of focusing even half of the energy on a spot in the middle of a remote ocean would still be formidable. Brute force interference with hurricanes doesn’t seem promising.

    In addition, an explosive, even a nuclear explosive, produces a shock wave, or pulse of high pressure, that propagates away from the site of the explosion somewhat faster than the speed of sound. Such an event doesn’t raise the barometric pressure after the shock has passed because barometric pressure in the atmosphere reflects the weight of the air above the ground. For normal atmospheric pressure, there are about ten metric tons (1000 kilograms per ton) of air bearing down on each square meter of surface. In the strongest hurricanes there are nine. To change a Category 5 hurricane into a Category 2 hurricane you would have to add about a half ton of air for each square meter inside the eye, or a total of a bit more than half a billion (500,000,000) tons for a 20 km radius eye. It’s difficult to envision a practical way of moving that much air around.

    Attacking weak tropical waves or depressions before they have a chance to grow into hurricanes isn’t promising either. About 80 of these disturbances form every year in the Atlantic basin, but only about 5 become hurricanes in a typical year. There is no way to tell in advance which ones will develop. If the energy released in a tropical disturbance were only 10% of that released in a hurricane, it’s still a lot of power, so that the hurricane police would need to dim the whole world’s lights many times a year.”

    “Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious.” – Dr. Strangelove


  52. wharf rat

     /  August 26, 2019

    Dangerously Low Lake Mead Levels Trigger Mandatory Water Cutbacks
    7 days ago

    Mandatory water cutbacks for Arizona and Nevada will be put in place in 2020. Those states rely on the Colorado River and Lake Mead, which are almost tapped out.


  53. wharf rat

     /  August 26, 2019

    The New Trail of Tears: How climate change is forcing the relocation of species, including our own

    n 1830 Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, designed to appropriate to the United States lands occupied by aboriginal Americans. The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional, but the army under Commander in Chief Andrew Jackson acted anyway. Now a lightning rod for condemnation of the expropriation of indigenous property, Jackson was an agent of demographic pressures and a lust for the resources found on tribal lands.

    The result of this land grab and ethnic cleansing was the Trail of Tears, a highway of the dispossessed, en route from their homelands to less favorable situations away from the population centers of the European-Americans and their recently created nation. Those with the means self-deported; those who moved late moved in large numbers and suffered terrible losses.

    Nearly two centuries later, we face the prospect of forced relocations on a scale that is difficult to fathom. This New Trail of Tears will involve humans on every inhabited continent, and it will impact countless other species as well. This time, the driving force is all humanity, agents of climate change through our greenhouse gas emissions.


  54. wharf rat

     /  August 26, 2019

    Climate change: Call for Scottish city centre ban on fossil fuel vehicles

    A ban on fossil fuel vehicles in city centres by 2030 should be one of the Scottish government’s key policies, according to 19 organisations.

    The Climate Emergency Response Group has set out a 12-point-plan of measures it wants the government to consider.

    It includes calls for four new Green City Region Deals and a £100m fund for modernising agriculture.


  55. wharf rat

     /  August 27, 2019

    These Are the Cities That Should Be Worried the Most About Climate Change Disaster
    And they are the least prepared.

    This month the cities of Austin and Seattle passed ordinances to tackle the already-here disaster of climate change. In Seattle, the city council passed a resolution to endorse adopting its own local version of the federal Green New Deal proposal, requiring the city to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while increasing affordability for low-income families. Austin, Texas, became the first city in the Deep South to declare a climate change emergency. The only other southern jurisdiction to declare this kind of emergency is Montgomery County, Maryland, which is just outside of Washington, DC.

    Yet when it comes to climate change disaster risk, neither of those cities really face the most serious problems—at least not when compared with other cities. A new study released this month, “How Climate Change Will Impact Major Cities Across the U.S.,” charts cities’ risk levels for incurring damage from climate-change-spurred floods, droughts, sea level rise, heat waves, and cold waves. Using data from the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN), Eylul Tekin, a research assistant for the online real-estate platform Clever, analyzed those risk factors along with each city’s plans to adapt to those weather hazards. She found that the cities that are most vulnerable to climate disasters happen to also be the least prepared for managing those catastrophes….


  56. wharf rat

     /  August 29, 2019

    Stay safe, Suzanne

    Hurricane Dorian intensifies as it heads toward US

    : The storm is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall in Florida over Labor Day weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eleggua

       /  August 30, 2019

      ‘King Tides: The tidal phenomenon that could make Dorian’s impact even worse’
      August 29, 2019

      “…Friday marks the beginning of Florida’s King Tides, a term that refers to the highest tides in any given period. These high tides follow a cycle — after all, tides are caused by the moon and follow a predictable pattern. King Tides, sometimes called Spring Tides, typically appear in the spring and fall. (Though the term “Spring Tides” refers to spring as in the action, not the season).

      However, this latest round of King Tides in Florida will be strengthened by a dangerous alignment of factors: One, the moon will be especially close to the earth, an event called “perigee.” (Remember, the moon orbits the Earth in an elliptical pattern, so its distance isn’t always the same.) Two, fall tides in Florida are generally the highest of the year because the water is at its warmest point.

      “The sun has baked the ocean all summer in the tropics and the ocean literally expands,” says CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller…”


  57. wharf rat

     /  August 29, 2019

    Flooding is becoming increasingly severe in northwestern Europe, including the UK, but decreasing in severity in southern and eastern Europe, according to a major new study.

    The multinational research team, which looked at river flow data from thousands of locations over half a century, says its findings provide the clearest evidence yet, at the European scale, of the link between climate change and flooding.

    The changes range from an 11% increase in flood levels in northern England and southern Scotland to a 23% reduction in parts of Russia.

    The study, which is published in the journal Nature , was led by the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, and involved research institutions in 24 countries.


  58. eleggua

     /  August 30, 2019

    “…if you can stand the test
    you know your worst is better than their best”

    ‘Humans have been impacting Earth for thousands of years, study says’
    August 29, 2019

    “…Hunter-gatherer societies and early farming were transforming Earth thousands of years ago, long before greenhouse gas emissions and other effects often attributed to the middle of the 20th century…

    …a new global study has pooled together evidence to show that humans significantly altered land, contributing to Earth’s transformation, as long as 10,000 years ago. Farming especially impacted the land by 3,000 years ago. The study published Thursday in the journal Science.

    More than 250 archaeologists across the globe analyzed land use from 10,000 years ago to after the Industrial Revolution in 1850. Using this data, they were able to create a map as part of the ArchaeoGLOBE project. The project uses online surveys to collect information from experts in 146 locations around the world on the shift of land usage over time…

    “About 12,000 years ago, humans were mainly foraging, meaning they didn’t interact with their environments as intensively as farmers generally do,” said Gary Feinman, one of the study authors and MacArthur Curator of Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago. “And now we see that 3,000 years ago, we have people doing really invasive farming in many parts of the globe.”
    In order to farm the land, forests were cleared for planting. Domesticating and herding animals also required land clearing. In the case of these activities, it wasn’t the pace that changed the land, but the widespread activity, the researchers said.
    “We saw an accelerated trajectory of environmental impact,” said Ryan Williams, study co-author and associate curator and head of anthropology at the Field Museum. “While the rate at which the environment is currently changing is much more drastic, we see the effects that human impacts had on the Earth thousands of years ago.”…

    “While modern rates and scales of anthropogenic global change are far greater than those of the deep past, the long-term cumulative changes wrought by early food producers are greater than many realize,” said Andrea Kay, study author at of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and The University of Queensland, a lead author on the study. “Even small-scale or shifting agriculture can cause global change when considered at large scales and over long time-periods,” she adds…

    Changes to the climate and environment today happen at a quicker pace with more widespread effects. Research like this can lay the foundation for understanding how it happens and ways to mitigate the harmful changes.
    “There’s such a focus on how the present is different from the past in contemporary science. I think this study provides a check, a counter-weight to that, by showing that yes, there have been more accelerated changes in land use recently, but humans have been doing this for a long time. And the patterns start 3,000 years ago,” says Feinman. “It shows that the problems we face today are very deep-rooted, and they are going to take more than simple solutions to solve. They cannot be ignored.”


  59. eleggua

     /  August 30, 2019

    “A change of mind
    Another start, a brand new day”

    ‘Bolsonaro bans land-clearing fires in Amazon for 60 days’
    August 29, 2019

    “Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has banned the use of fire to clear land throughout the country for 60 days, in response to the massive increase in blazing fires in the Amazon rainforest that has caused international outrage.

    According to an official decree, which was released on Thursday morning, the ban started on Wednesday — the day it was signed…

    The ban comes after scientists warned that fires which have been raging at a record rate in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, could strike a devastating blow to the fight against climate change…

    He also announced on Wednesday that South American leaders will meet on September 6 in Colombia to discuss policy surrounding the situation in the Amazon, according to Brazilian state news agency Agencia Brasil…”


  60. eleggua

     /  August 30, 2019

    ‘Three Hong Kong Protest Leaders Arrested Before Weekend Rallies’
    August 29, 2019

    “Prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and others have been arrested amid ongoing protests in the Asian financial hub as the city’s authorities try to clamp down on historic pro-democracy demonstrations that have raged for nearly three months.

    The 22-year-old Wong, who served time in jail for his role in Hong Kong’s 2014 Occupy movement, was detained Friday around 7:30 a.m., his Demosisto party said in a statement. A police spokeswoman said she couldn’t immediately comment on the report. Two other prominent activists, Andy Chan and Agnes Chow, were also arrested…”


  61. eleggua

     /  August 30, 2019

    “This Machine Kills Fascists”

    ‘Dissent Is Being Criminalized Right Under Our Noses’
    Michael Siegel – Aug 26, 2019

    “…I read with interest a recent press release of Rep. Michael McCaul—the Republican incumbent in the Texas 10th Congressional District and my opponent in the 2018 election—in which he announced a new bill to respond to domestic terrorism.

    My hopes for reasonable legislation were quickly dashed, however, and replaced by deep concern.

    The proposed bill would create a broad definition of “domestic terrorism” to include any attempt to “affect” or “influence” government policy or actions. And it would include property damage—even attempted property damage—as a terrorist act subject to a 25-year prison sentence.

    In other words, if you opposed the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock and wanted the government to revoke the pipeline permit, you might be considered a terrorist.

    If you painted “Black Lives Matter” on a wall to advocate against police violence, that could be terrorism, too.

    And if you threw a rock at a bank window to take a stand against the 1% —even if you missed—you could spend half your life in a federal prison.

    So far as I can tell, McCaul and his co-sponsors are taking advantage of a moment of profound insecurity to advance a bill that will criminalize dissent.

    The full bill is less than four pages, and would accomplish three main things: 1) define the “intent” necessary to commit a crime of domestic terrorism; 2) identify five sets of qualifying offenses; and 3) punish unsuccessful “attempts” and “conspiracies” to commit these offenses.

    The definition of “intent” shows the bill’s sweeping impact, far beyond responding to recent mass shootings.

    In regard to five criminal offenses, an act is “domestic terrorism” if is performed “with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or influence, affect, or retaliate against the policy or conduct of a government.”

    As a civil rights lawyer, I’m trained to look for vague language, because that is often the gravest threat to constitutional rights. Here, federal prosecutors could charge terrorism if actions might “affect” or “influence” a government policy. This is an extremely broad definition of terroristic intent…

    The final key aspect of the bill has to do with how it treats unsuccessful attempts and conspiracies: “Attempts or conspiracies to commit an offense … shall be punished in the same manner as a completed act of such offense.” In other words, don’t even find yourself in the same room as someone contemplating political property damage—or you can be deemed a terrorist, too…

    The bill includes the word “conveyance” in its definition of property damage, which is a signal that the Standing Rock protests were likely a consideration.

    On the same day as McCaul’s press release, The Intercept reported that American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers is lobbying to enact legislation that will enhance criminal penalties for any pipeline damage. With the support of the American Legislative Exchange Council, it has enacted laws in nine states. Oklahoma, for example, created a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail for damage to a pipeline—again, far beyond existing federal penalties.

    The McCaul bill mirrors this approach, and creates major federal crimes for property damage connected to a political cause…

    …there is currently no law that would empower federal prosecutors to charge protesters with major federal crimes for property damage caused during a protest…

    Under this definition, the Boston Tea Party itself was a terrorist act: “Property damage, with the intent to influence a government policy.”…

    Mike Siegel is a former public school teacher and civil rights lawyer. He was the 2018 Democratic nominee in the Texas 10th Congressional District. He is running again in 2020.”


  62. eleggua

     /  August 30, 2019

    “Dr Gail Bradbook, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion talks about the right to rebel and the need to do have rebellious farmers at Fir Farm 2019. In April, we achieved our first demand, Tell The Truth, and the UK Government declared a Climate Emergency.

    We have two more demands we are rebelling for:
    Act Now
    Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
    Beyond Politics
    Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.”


    • eleggua

       /  August 30, 2019

      Apr 15, 2019
      “Climate change protesters have smashed windows and glued themselves to the front doors of the Shell HQ in London.
      The group, from Extinction Rebellion, have also graffitied on the walls of the office building in Waterloo.”


  63. eleggua

     /  August 30, 2019

    ‘Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse’
    George Monbiot – 15 Apr 2019

    “No one is coming to save us. Mass civil disobedience is essential to force a political response

    …As Erica Chenoweth’s historical research reveals, for a peaceful mass movement to succeed, a maximum of 3.5% of the population needs to mobilise. Humans are ultra-social mammals, constantly if subliminally aware of shifting social currents. Once we perceive that the status quo has changed, we flip suddenly from support for one state of being to support for another. When a committed and vocal 3.5% unites behind the demand for a new system, the social avalanche that follows becomes irresistible. Giving up before we have reached this threshold is worse than despair: it is defeatism.

    Today, Extinction Rebellion takes to streets around the world in defence of our life-support systems. Through daring, disruptive, nonviolent action, it forces our environmental predicament on to the political agenda. Who are these people? Another “they”, who might rescue us from our follies? The success of this mobilisation depends on us. It will reach the critical threshold only if enough of us cast aside denial and despair, and join this exuberant, proliferating movement. The time for excuses is over. The struggle to overthrow our life-denying system has begun.”


  64. eleggua

     /  August 30, 2019

    ‘The outlook for the Great Barrier Reef has worsened from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor,’ says the Australian government ‘
    August 30, 2019

    “…”The significant and large-scale impacts from record-breaking sea surface temperatures have resulted in coral reef habitat transitioning from poor to very poor condition,” the Australian government reported in their Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report, released every five years.

    The report lists climate change as the most significant threat to the reef long-term, with rising sea temperatures being the most immediate.

    This is only the third comprehensive report by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, with the first one issued in 2009.

    But it’s possibly the most grim, with the report directly stating that “the window of opportunity to improve the Reef’s long-term future is now.”

    “In 2009, the Reef was considered to be at a crossroads between a positive, well-managed future and a less certain one,” the report reads. “In 2014, it was seen as an icon under pressure, with continued efforts needed to address key threats. Since then, the Region has further deteriorated and, in 2019, Australia is caring for a changed and less resilient Reef.”

    It doesn’t get much more urgent than that…”


  65. eleggua

     /  August 30, 2019

    ‘Hundreds of teens join Greta Thunberg in climate protest outside UN ‘
    30 Aug 2019

    “Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was joined by hundreds of American teenagers protesting outside the UN headquarters in New York on Friday calling for adults to act on the crisis of global heating.
    Greta Thunberg ‘wants a concrete plan, not just nice words’ to fight climate crisis
    Read more

    The young protesters – many who said they had been inspired by the 16-year-old to take action and for some of whom it marked their first ever climate demonstration – gathered outside the iconic Manhattan building at 11am.

    Carrying hand-drawn placards with messages such as “united behind the science” and “act now or we will”, children and young people of all ages from New York and nearby states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, met at a park in front of the flags of the world outside the UN…

    On Friday morning, American teenager Alexandria Villaseñor, 14, who has been protesting every Friday outside the UN since December, was in her usual spot and said she had been inspired by Thunberg’s school strike campaign.

    “Greta being here in the United States and in America will really galvanise students just because of how much of an inspiration she is. Everyone who’s been striking on Friday was really empowered by Greta and the action she was taking.”…

    Villaseñor, who is thought to be America’s first school striker to join the movement and has been exchanging tips with Thunberg online, had been among the group of American climate activists who welcomed her to the US when her yacht docked at North Cove Marina.

    Villaseñor said: “What’s really important about Greta being here today is it’s the start of something new because with the United Nations climate summit coming up it is the way for all the youth to unite here and send a message to world leaders at that climate summit. So even though Greta’s voyage on Malizia ended a couple of days ago, the climate action we will take on this continent has really just begun.”…

    Catherine Tsarouhtsis, 16, a high school student from Long Island, east of New York City, has been striking since the first organised global strike in March.

    She said: “I’ve been having climate anxiety for a long time and then I heard about Greta and how she was striking in front of her parliament and I was confused why Europe was starting to ‘catch the fire’ but why it wasn’t crossing the ocean.”

    She added: “And then Alexandria started in this city, that was very shocking to me, actually, and it inspired me, kind of fueled my fire and just went from there. Her coming to another continent on a boat, that proved a pretty big point, coming to America [where] we have not called the climate emergency.”…”


  66. wharf rat

     /  August 30, 2019

    It’s been 20 years since a Democratic president was hit by a major hurricane.



  67. eleggua

     /  August 31, 2019

    Dorian may not make landfall.

    “The latest forecast says Dorian is expected to stay just off shore of Florida and skirt the coast of Georgia, with the possibility of landfall still a threat on Wednesday, and then continuing up to South Carolina early Thursday.”


  68. eleggua

     /  August 31, 2019

    Drawdown — Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown

    September 16-18, 2019
    The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center
    State College, Pennsylvania

    “Project Drawdown is partnering with Penn State to hold the first international conference on Drawdown — Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown.

    Join leading scientific experts and researchers from around the world in a critical discussion about the most innovative and promising climate change solutions and upcoming research.

    This conference aims to connect international partners and research institutions. The three-day conference will focus on analysis and peer review of the portfolio of over 100 individual solutions, discuss synergies and interactions among sectors and evaluate implementation pathways including successful examples from around the world.

    September 2, 2019 – Last day to register at the regular conference rate. Late registration begins September 3rd.

    September 16, 2019 – Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown begins.”


  69. eleggua

     /  August 31, 2019

    The answer, of course, is yes!

    ‘Do the Brazil Amazon fires justify environmental interventionism? ‘
    31 Aug 2019

    The horrific destruction of the Amazon rainforest under Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, raises a pressing question for the world community: do the prerogatives of sovereignty entitle a nation to destroy resources within its territorial control, when this destruction has global environmental consequences? The answer delivered by France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, at the G7 summit is an emphatic no. It is time for the international community to build on Macron’s lead and to recognize a right to environmental intervention patterned on the notion of humanitarian intervention.

    For centuries, the international community treated sovereignty as an absolute shield against intervention in a state’s domestic affairs. International law insisted that a nation’s treatment of its own citizens and legal subjects was not a matter of international legal concern. The ideology of sovereignty authorized a nation to treat – and mistreat – its people as it saw fit.
    Fires are devouring the Amazon. And Jair Bolsonaro is to blame | David Miranda
    Read more

    Nuremberg shattered this understanding. At Nuremberg, the allies recognized that a sovereign’s systematic destruction of its own people was a matter of international concern and constituted an international crime.

    The Nuremberg understanding gave birth to the idea that the world community need not stand by idly when a nation commits atrocities against its own inhabitants. Many human rights activists today speak not simply of a right to intervene but of an affirmative obligation to do so. Activists understand that massive human rights abuses – crimes against humanity and genocide – never remain entirely local, even when committed exclusively within a state’s borders. These atrocities inevitably create refugee problems that spill over into other nations, creating larger international crises.

    All the reasons that support the project of humanitarian intervention apply with equal, if not greater force, in the case of the environment. Massive environmental crimes, such as those presently unfolding in the Amazon, necessarily have a spill-over effect, as the degradation of the rainforest will do grave, and arguably irreversible, damage to our planet’s climate.

    Admittedly, the concept of humanitarian intervention is not uncontroversial, especially as it is understood to authorize the threat or actual use of military force to put an end to massive human rights abuses. The doctrine can be manipulated to justify military intervention for less than humanitarian grounds.

    But the 2001 report on the Responsibility to Protect, prepared by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, offers a sound template for a workable practice of environmental intervention. The idea is that when a state fails to protect its own inhabitants, either by omission or commission, the international national community must take responsibility – not, in the first instance, by deploying military force, but through strong non-military means, such as trade sanctions and economic boycotts. All this can and should be applied to circumstances in which a nation fails to protect an environment the defense of which is a matter of global concern.

    Macron deserves credit for highlighting at the G7 summit Brazil’s environmental crimes. The $20m in emergency funds pledged by the G7 to fight the thousands of fires presently burning will hardly solve the problem. Far more promising was Macron’s threat to scuttle a trade deal with South American countries unless Bolsonaro acts in decisive fashion to stop the burning. In delivering this threat, Macron recognized that the responsibility to protect the environment is a matter of global concern and not a prerogative of a reprobate sovereign.

    – Lawrence Douglas is the James J Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, at Amherst College, Massachusetts. He is presently writing a book on the legal and constitutional consequences of a possible refusal by President Trump to acknowledge defeat in the next election, to be published by Hachette in 2020. He is also a contributing opinion writer for the Guardian US”


  70. wharf rat

     /  September 1, 2019

    Scientists discover evidence for past high-level sea rise

    An international team of scientists, studying evidence preserved in speleothems in a coastal cave, illustrate that more than three million years ago—a time in which the Earth was two to three degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial era—sea level was as much as 16 meters higher than the present day. Their findings represent significant implications for understanding and predicting the pace of current-day sea level rise amid a warming climate.

    The scientists, including Professor Yemane Asmerom and Sr. Research Scientist Victor Polyak from The University of New Mexico, the University of South Florida, Universitat de les Illes Balears and Columbia University, published their findings in today’s edition of the journal Nature. The analysis of deposits from Artà Cave on the island of Mallorca in the western Mediterranean Sea produced sea levels that serve as a target for future studies of ice sheet stability, ice sheet model calibrations and projections of future sea level rise, the scientists said…..


  71. wharf rat

     /  September 1, 2019

    Dorian set to slam Bahamas as powerful category 4 hurricane
    (now Cat 5)

    …Jeffrey Simmons, the deputy director of Bahamas’ department of meteorology, said Dorian will cause prolonged periods of large swells and storm surges along the north coast of Grand Bahama and the north and east coast of Abaco.

    “We are asking residents in those areas to leave the coastline,” Simmons added. “We expect a storm surge of up to 15 feet. In addition to that we have a spring tide that can increase the surge by 2 to 3 feet.”


  72. wharf rat

     /  September 1, 2019

    From the Cat 6 blog…

    TiggerHurricanes2001 • a minute ago

    Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate
    that Dorian has continued to intensify, and now has maximum
    sustained winds near 175 mph (280 km/h), with a minimum central
    pressure of 922 mb (27.23 inches).

    The eyewall of catastrophic Hurricane Dorian is currently reaching
    the Abaco Islands. This is a life-threatening situation. Residents
    there should take immediate shelter. Do not venture into the eye if
    it passes over your location.

    – Wind Gusts over 200 mph
    – Storm Surge 15 to 20 feet above normal tide levels with higher
    destructive waves


  73. wharf rat

     /  September 1, 2019


  74. eleggua

     /  September 2, 2019

    “We are facing a hurricane that we have never seen in The Bahamas,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis wrote on Twitter. “Please pray for us.”

    Dorian barreling through the Bahamas. Freeport likely to be swamped; eye arrives there appx. 8am EST.

    “Where we are right now, the highest point on this island is only about 30 feet high, the highest point of land — and so when you hear about a storm surge of 20 feet, that means in the hours and days ahead, much of this island where I am standing will be underwater,” said CNN correspondent Patrick Oppmann on Sunday in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

    “This NOAA GOES-East satellite image shows Hurricane Dorian heading toward the Florida coast, taken on September 1, 2019.”

    From the ISS, also taken on Sunday, September 1, 2019.


  75. eleggua

     /  September 2, 2019

    Another to keep an eye on:

    Tropical Weather Outlook
    NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
    200 AM EDT Mon Sep 2 2019

    “1. Recent satellite-derived surface wind data indicate that the low
    pressure system located about 150 miles west-southwest of the Cabo
    Verde Islands has become better defined. Shower and thunderstorm
    activity is beginning to show signs of organization, and
    environmental conditions appear conducive for a tropical depression
    to form during the next day or so while the system moves generally
    northwestward across the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. Locally
    heavy rainfall will be possible over the Cabo Verde Islands through
    * Formation chance through 48 hours…high…80 percent.
    * Formation chance through 5 days…high…80 percent.”

    Disturbance 1


  76. wharf rat

     /  September 2, 2019

    From the latest Cat 6 blog


  77. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2019

    “1 hr 21 min ago (posted 11PM EST)
    Here’s where the hurricane stands

    Hurricane Dorian is still hovering over Grand Bahama, battering the island with maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour.

    A few hours ago, the Category 4 hurricane was still slowly inching its way westward at 1 mile per hour — now, it’s stopped in place and is “stationary,” according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

    The NHC warned residents in Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands that they should stay in shelter, as they are currently experiencing the eyewall — it surrounds the eye of the storm, and carries the strongest and most destructive winds.

    Where is it going? The hurricane is forecasted to start moving again toward Florida’s east coast overnight and into Tuesday morning. It will move “dangerously close” to Florida late Tuesday and into Wednesday evening, then move toward the Georgia and South Carolina coasts on Wednesday night and into Thursday. ”

    ” 5 hr 25 min ago
    Five dead on Abaco Islands from Hurricane Dorian
    Hurricane Dorian has killed five people on the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas, the Prime Minister told reporters Monday afternoon.”

    “NOAA Hurricane Hunters fly through eye of Hurricane Dorian 09/01/19”


  78. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2019

    Grand Bahama Island:

    Green is 0-15 feet above sea level.
    Yellow, 15-30 feet.
    Red, above 30 feet.

    Hurricane over the island for 24 hours; moving less than 1mph. Surges 20+ feet.
    95 miles long, 15 miles at the widest.
    Flooding reported worst on the north side.
    Green areas on the map above, completely submerged.


  79. eleggua

     /  September 3, 2019

    Rooting for this species to survive Dorian.

    ‘The Bahama Nuthatch, Thought to Be Lost to Hurricanes, Is Not Extinct—Yet’
    August 27, 2018

    “After hundreds of miles and three months of searching through dense forests of Caribbean pine and poisonwood, two separate research teams delivered on what seemed like a near-impossible task: They found the missing Bahama Nuthatch.

    Confined to Grand Bahama, the tiny bird—officially a subspecies of the Brown-headed Nuthatch, though some ornithologists recognize it as a full species—was largely thought to be extinct after Hurricane Matthew ravaged the island in 2016, according to a press release by the University of East Anglia last week. The Bahama Nuthatch has declined since the 1950s from a combination of habitat loss, invasive species, and tourist developments; its population was optimistically estimated at 1,800 individuals in 2004.

    Then it got worse: The population plummeted after a series of hurricanes struck the island, sending salty storm surges inland which killed the pine trees the nuthatches require for nesting. Only 23 individuals were spotted in 2007. The widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew and its 120-mile-per-hour gusts, some thought, had to be the last straw. No birds had been sighted since June 2016.

    But a few biologists held out hope. This spring, Matthew Gardner and David Pereira, graduate students based at England’s University of East Anglia, set out on a three-month expedition, in partnership with the Bahamas National Trust and BirdLife International, to find the nuthatch and other bird species endemic to Grand Bahama. They scoured the island, hiking some 430 miles while playing bird calls to attract the bird during its breeding season. A separate team of Bahamian students, led by Zeko McKenzie of University of The Bahamas-North, also searched for the bird using different methods, the press release says.

    It wasn’t easy. Six weeks and 250 miles in, Gardner and Pereira had almost given up hope that they’d ever find the elusive birds. They were exhausted after searching 464 survey points throughout the vast, undeveloped pine forest and coming up empty. Then, Gardner heard the bird’s unmistakable high-pitched call and saw it flying down from the treetops toward him.

    “I shouted with joy, I was ecstatic!” Gardner said in the press release.

    Gardner and Pereira made six nuthatch sightings total over the course of three months, but never saw multiple nuthatches together, leading them to believe that there might only be one remaining. McKenzie’s team reported five separate sightings, including one where they reported a pair of nuthatches together…

    When Gardner and Pereira spotted the lone nuthatch, the bird flitted around on a branch, completely unaware of the elation its presence had caused. Though the future of this Bahama Nuthatch is still bleak, it’s somehow comforting to know that at least one bird managed to ride out the storm.”

    Liked by 1 person

  80. wharf rat

     /  September 3, 2019


  81. wharf rat

     /  September 4, 2019


  82. wharf rat

     /  September 4, 2019

    Amazon installs Colorado’s largest rooftop project

    Spanning 19 acres, over 17,000 panels and boasting a capacity of 6 MW, the installation on Amazon’s newest fulfillment center is one of the largest in the world.

    Outside of being the largest in the state, the 6 MW behemoth will be among the largest in the country and even the world. For reference, these 6 MW come courtesy of more than 17,000 solar panels across 19 acres, or more than 14 football fields in area.

    The installation, Amazon’s first east of Nevada and West of Virginia brings the company to nearly 76 MW of solar installed on rooftops across the country. That’s good for strengthening the company’s place as having the 5th most installed on-site solar of any company in the country.

    Outside of the United States, this project is Amazon’s first since reaching its 2017 goal of installing rooftop solar systems at 50 fulfillment centers by 2020. This is the company’s 51st rooftop installation and 32nd in the United States, with the rest of the portfolio made up of 12 installations in the European Union and seven in India.



  83. wharf rat

     /  September 5, 2019

    Dorian restrengthens into major hurricane

    9 mins ago – Hurricane Dorian regained major status Wednesday night as it continued its slow crawl just off the southeastern United States


  84. eleggua

     /  September 5, 2019

    ‘Why Are Hurricanes Like Dorian Stalling, and Is Global Warming Involved?’
    Sep 3, 2019

    “…Recent research shows that more North Atlantic hurricanes have been stalling as Dorian did, leading to more extreme rainfall. Their average forward speed has also decreased by 17 percent—from 11.5 mph, to 9.6 mph—from 1944 to 2017, according to a study published in June by federal scientists at NASA and NOAA.

    The researchers don’t understand exactly why tropical storms are stalling more, but they think it’s caused by a general slowdown of atmospheric circulation (global winds), both in the tropics, where the systems form, and in the mid-latitudes, where they hit land and cause damage.

    Hurricanes are steered and carried by large-scale wind flows, “like a cork in a stream,” said Tim Hall, a hurricane researcher with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and author of the study. So, if those winds slow down or shift direction, it affects how fast hurricanes move forward and where they end up…

    How that slowing is connected to global warming is still an area of debate. There are different mechanisms at work in the tropics and mid-latitudes, but, “in the broadest sense, global warming makes the global atmospheric circulation slow down,” said NOAA hurricane expert Jim Kossin, co-author of the June study.

    He said scientists suspect the overall slowing of winds is at least partly due to rapid warming of the Arctic. The temperature contrast between the Arctic and the equator is a main driver of wind. Since the Arctic is warming faster than lower latitudes, the contrast is decreasing, and so are wind speeds…

    Hurricane Harvey dumped 60 inches of rain on parts of Texas in 2017 and stalled over the Houston area for days. Hurricane Florence stalled in 2018, flooding parts of coastal North Carolina. Kossin said Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, also took an unusual path that may have been affected by shifting global wind patterns, turning west and slamming into New Jersey instead of being carried eastward, out to sea and away from land, by prevailing westerly winds…

    Dorian is the fifth Category 5 hurricane in just four years in the Atlantic, and only the 35th on record going back nearly a century.

    Scientists have seen a trend toward stronger hurricanes in the Atlantic, but not an increase in the total number of storms, said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

    “The environment for all such storms has changed because of climate change. The oceans are warmer, especially in the upper 100 meters, which is most important for such storms,” Trenberth said. “This makes available more energy via water vapor for the storms and makes for more activity: more intensity, bigger and longer lasting storms, with heavier rainfalls.”
    “The case can readily be made that all storms are affected but each responds differently. For example, Michael (2018) was a very intense Category 5 but moved fast. The slower storms can become large,” he said…

    Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann said that while there are uncertainties about what causes hurricanes to stall, some trends are becoming more clear.

    “We are definitely seeing a trend toward stalling of these systems after they make landfall, and there may be a climate change connection, though this is really at the leading edge of the science and is still being debated,” Mann said.

    Climate models can’t precisely identify the atmospheric changes that cause stalling, he said, “so it is possible that those same models are not capturing how climate change in influencing this particular aspect of hurricane behavior.””


  85. wharf rat

     /  September 5, 2019

    I don’t like this; The Blob and the RRR were thought to be behind California’s drought. I hope the same pattern isn’t setting up again.

    New marine heat wave resembles killer ‘Blob’ that devastated sea life on West Coast, NOAA says

    Sep. 5, 2019
    A new marine heat wave has formed off the West Coast that is similar to a 2015 event — nicknamed “The Blob” — that devastated sea life and ravaged runs of Pacific salmon.

    Although the similarities are striking, whether the new system will cause the same havoc is yet to be seen.
    Last month, I spotted this, in an article about Alaska’s hot summer…

    “This July in particular, it appears there was a record high-pressure ridge that kind of got stuck over Alaska,”


  86. Robert Scribbler opened with “awakening”. I’d agree with that. Seems like every day there’s another article about the climate impacts of aviation in the mainstream media:

    and here’s yet another one, from the New York Review:


  87. eleggua

     /  September 7, 2019

    Published on Sep 6, 2019
    This NASA visualization shows a rapid decline in Arctic Sea ice over the last 35 years.

    In the 1st week of January 1988, over 1.2 million sq. miles were covered by sea ice 4 years of age or older, compared with just over 44,000 sq. miles in the same week in 2019.


    • eleggua

       /  September 7, 2019

      ‘Weekly Arctic Sea Ice Age with Graph of Ice Age By Area: 1984 – 2019’
      September 5, 2019

      “One significant change in the Arctic region in recent years has been the rapid decline in perennial sea ice. Perennial sea ice, also known as multi-year ice, is the portion of the sea ice that survives the summer melt season. Perennial ice may have a life-span of nine years or more and represents the thickest component of the sea ice; perennial ice can grow up to four meters thick. By contrast, first year ice that grows during a single winter is generally at most two meters thick.

      Above is a visualization of the weekly sea ice age between 1984 and 2019. The animation shows the seasonal variability of the ice, growing in the Arctic winter and melting in the summer. In addition, this also shows the changes from year to year, depicting the age of the sea ice in different colors. Younger sea ice, or first-year ice, is shown in a dark shade of blue while the ice that is over four years old is shown as white. A color scale identifies the age of the intermediary years.

      Note that data for the sea ice age is not available along the coastlines. The region where data is not available is shown in a dark lavender color.

      A graph in the upper left corner the quantifies the change over time by showing the area covered by sea ice that is 4 years old or older in millions of square kilometers. This graph also includes a memory bar – the green line that indicates the maximum value seen thus far in the animation for the given week being displayed. For example, when viewing the sea ice age for the first week in September, the memory bar will display the maximum value seen for the first week of September in all prior years from the beginning of the animation (1984).

      In addition, a violet bar indicates the average area covered by sea ice greater than 4 years of age during the the 20-year time period from 1984 through 2003.”


  88. eleggua

     /  September 7, 2019

    ‘How the Greenland ice sheet fared in 2019’
    6 September 2019

    “As the end of August sees summer shift into autumn for the northern hemisphere, it also marks the end of the melt season for the Greenland ice sheet.

    The advent of a new season is the traditional time for our annual look back at the year gone by and what it tells us about the state ice sheet.

    Our estimates show that the surface of the ice sheet gained 169bn tonnes of ice over 2018-19 – this is the seventh smallest gain on record.

    And using new satellite data, we show that – once all ice sheet processes are factored in for the past year – the Greenland ice sheet saw a net decline of 329bn tonnes in ice…

    The contrast between snow gains and ice losses at the surface over the whole year is known as the “surface mass balance” (SMB). The chart below shows the SMB for 2018-19 on individual days (top) and cumulatively across the year (bottom). The blue lines show 2018-19 data and the grey line shows the long-term average. The lower chart also shows the record low year in 2011-12 (red line) for comparison.

    This year has been an unusual one. It has been consistently drier than normal, which is reflected in the below-average gains in snow throughout the year. And the summer has been warm with some periods of very high melt.

    Overall, while the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons saw above-average gains in ice at the surface, the SMB in 2018-19 ends as the seventh lowest on record. The total accumulated SMB was only 169bn tonnes at the end of the year. This means that nine of the Top 10 lowest SMB years have occurred in the last 13 years in our record that goes back to 1981…”


    • eleggua

       /  September 7, 2019

      “The map below shows how the SMB at the end of the 2018-19 season compared with the long-term average. The shading indicates higher (blue) and lower (red) gains in ice than usual over the year. You can see that the majority of the ice sheet gained less ice than average.”

      “Weather stations in the Programme for the Monitoring of the Greenland Ice sheet (PROMICE) network recorded ice loss rates in excess of the 2008-18 average at every one of its 21 locations across the ice sheet.

      We saw large losses in north-west Greenland, for example. Weather stations managed by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) – which are located off the ice sheet, but with longer records – also showed well above average temperatures at all locations in June and July (August data is still being quality controlled).

      The effects of the long warm summer were boosted in early June and again at the end of July by waves of warm air passing over the ice sheet and giving an extra push to the melt season.

      At the peak of the second heatwave, our model calculated that the Greenland ice sheet lost 31bn tonnes of ice – equivalent to about 0.1mm of global sea level rise – in the three days from 31 July to 2 August. An average day during that period would see around five billion tonnes of ice melt.

      You can see this spike in melt in the chart below, which shows the percentage area of the ice sheet that is melting on each day of the 2019 calendar year so far (blue line). It peaked this year at 58% on 1 August. The map above it shows the areas of the ice sheet melting on this day (shaded red).”


  89. eleggua

     /  September 7, 2019

    Sh!t. As suspected, prognosis for the survival of the Bahama Nuthatch post-Dorian, not good.

    ‘Hurricane Dorian Probably Just Made a Species of Bird Go Extinct’

    “…Diana Bell—a professor of Conservation a Biology at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the U.K.—said that as well as being a “humanitarian disaster” for people living in the northern Bahamas, the storm is also likely to have caused an “ecological disaster” due to its affects on Caribbean pine forests on the islands, which contain unique bird species and other wildlife…

    Previous work by UEA researchers revealed that one bird species native to forests on the islands—the Bahama nuthatch—was teetering on the edge of extinction, and Bell says that Dorian could have pushed it over the edge…

    “We watched carefully for any hurricanes this time last year and these islands escaped but Dorian was a direct hit and worst case scenario for people, buildings and remnant native Caribbean forest fragments plus the biodiversity they support,” she said…

    “We need to be restoring these endemic habitats which will have evolved in the presence of hurricanes not only on oceanic islands but continents worldwide to help mitigate against increased extreme weather events associated with climate change,” Bell said.

    Other threatened endemic birds in the Bahamas include the Bahama Swallow, Bahama Warbler and Bahama Yellowthroat.

    “We now have to ask whether birds such as the Bahama warbler and other native pine forest dependent species have survived the extremely high winds, rainfall and storm surges this hurricane has caused,” Bell said in a statement…

    “Our thoughts are with the people and biodiversity in this tragedy,” Bell said.”

    A Bahama Nuthatch, perhaps the last of its kind.


  90. eleggua

     /  September 7, 2019

    ‘Hurricane Dorian And People May Annihilate Three Bird Species’
    Sep 3, 2019

    “…Previously, I’ve written about where birds go in a hurricane (see comment directly below), but this time, I’m speaking out on behalf of some of the Bahamas’ most endangered bird species, birds that are found only on the Bahamas and have vanishingly small populations that are gravely imperilled by Hurricane Dorian.

    The Bahama parrot, also known as the Abaco parrot, Amazona leucocephala bahamensis, lives on several of the islands that were directly hit by Hurricane Dorian. These lovely medium-sized green parrots with snow-white faces and rose-tinted cheeks, throat and breast were once so plentiful and widespread that in 1492, Christopher Columbus noted in his log that “flocks of parrots darken the sun”.

    Tragically, Abaco parrots darken the sun no more. These birds were quickly grabbed up by people, who raided their nests and stole their chicks for the illegal local pet trade (more here), who destroyed the parrots’ pine forest home and introduced cats, dogs, hogs, crabs and snakes that feasted on adults and chicks alike. Further, because this is the only parrot in the Caribbean that typically nests in cavities in the ground, they are especially vulnerable to predation by introduced invasive pests, particularly cats and hogs. Due to their peculiar breeding habits and their dependence upon pine forests, Abaco parrots are also vulnerable to rising sea levels, flooding and storm surges.

    …in 2009, a predator control program was successfully initiated in the park to trap and remove the hoards of introduced feral cats. Although feral cats still roam the park, their numbers are slowly being reduced, and parrot numbers are responding rapidly. In 2008, the parrots’ estimated population was roughly 5,100, and it expanded to an estimated 8,800 in 2016 — a nearly 60% increase…

    …it’s probable at least a few Abaco parrots will somehow survive Hurricane Dorian’s devastation, although the resulting habitat destruction and the likely cessation of the feral cat trapping program could seriously threaten the survivors’ continued existence.

    The Bahama oriole, Icterus northropi, a handsome black-and-yellow songbird, is quite an enigma. It was originally found on two major groups of islands in the Bahamas, Abaco and Andros, but it mysteriously disappeared from Abaco sometime between the 1970s and the 1990s. Today, a tiny population clings to survival on three small islands in the Andros group. Birdlife International formally listed the species as Critically Endangered in 2011 after it was estimated that its total population numbered 300 or fewer individuals (ref). But this species’ mysterious decline continues to this day. Its current population is estimated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to number somewhere between 93 and 180 individuals (ref), although there is some evidence that the population may be larger.

    A number of human factors appear to have contributed to the rapid decline of the Bahama oriole, including rising sea levels and climate change as well as habitat loss due to development, logging, and human-ignited fires, introduction of alien invasive species, specifically feral cats, dogs, hogs and rodents, the arrival of a lethal disease that is devastating coastal coconut palms and disease within this very range-limited, very small population of birds.

    However, the final “nail in the coffin” of the Bahama oriole is probably the arrival of the shiny cowbird, Molothrus bonariensis, an invasive species that lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species. The shiny cowbird arrived on Abaco in the mid-1990s, which may explain the nearly simultaneous disappearance of the Bahama oriole from those islands. Because the oriole population has already been seriously diminished by so many other human insults, it apparently is unable to adapt fast enough to the shiny cowbird. But because Hurricane Dorian is here, this storm may strike the final blow to this species’ already precarious existence.

    …The Bahama nuthatch, Sitta (pusilla) insularis, is so rare that it was thought to be extinct after Hurricane Matthew devastated the Bahamas in 2016, until one individual was finally spotted and filmed during a three-month search in the summer of 2018. That particular search was one of many intensive searches undertaken on Grand Bahama island at least monthly for a full year, where an experienced bird guide would visit the main sites where the species had been spotted previously. As the result of that one sighting, the total population of the Bahama nuthatch was estimated to be between 1 and 49 individuals after Hurricane Matthew. This estimate represents a total population reduction of over 90% in just 12 years…

    It was indeed lucky that at least one individual bird managed to survive Hurricane Matthew’s 120-mile-per-hour gusts as the 2018 survey film by the team from the University of East Anglia revealed, but it’s tragic that this species is facing the wrath of yet another huge hurricane and storm surge, intensified by human-caused climate change. Chances are that this lone individual, the last representative of its kind on Earth, will not be lucky twice.”

    Aug 22, 2018

    And then there were none???


  91. eleggua

     /  September 7, 2019

    ‘Where Do Birds Go In A Hurricane?’
    Sep 8, 2017

    “When severe weather hits, humans flee or hunker down and hope for the best. But what about birds? Where do they go? And what happens to migratory birds?…

    Basically, birds have a variety of strategies for dealing with large storms, such as hurricanes, including: leaving the area; flying ahead of, or into the storm; or sheltering in place.Research has shown that birds can hear infrasound and are sensitive to barometric pressure, so they know when a storm is on its way — especially when the storm is as large and as powerful as a hurricane. When a large storm approaches, birds in its path may adjust their behaviors within the parameters of their own life histories and according to season. For example, white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis, are migratory songbirds, so if a large storm is approaching during their annual spring or autumnal migration period, they may migrate sooner than they might otherwise do. Research has found that sparrows speed up their autumnal migratory departure date in response to falling barometric pressures (but not falling temperatures), whereas they delay their spring migratory departure in response to falling temperature (but not falling barometric pressure).

    Some migratory birds may intentionally fly into a large storm. For example, a whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus, named Chinquapin, flew into Hurricane Irene’s dangerous northeast quadrant in 2011. This medium-sized shorebird was part of an ongoing research project and was carrying a satellite tracker, allowing scientists to watch this intrepid bird’s progress in real time as she migrated from Hudson Bay, Canada, to her wintering grounds in South America.

    Chinquapin was lucky. Although this same bird successfully flew around the edge of Tropical Storm Colin in the previous year, a second satellite tagged bird flew into that storm and was killed.

    But storms are not the worst of what whimbrels and other migratory birds encounter. Several other satellite tagged whimbrels, named Machi and Goshen, survived their flights through hurricanes in 2011. (Like Chinquapin, Goshen also tangled with Hurricane Irene, although she flew through the outer edge instead.) But both Machi and Goshen paused on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and tragically, both were shot dead within hours of their arrival. (This is a common fate for hurricane survivors landing on Guadeloupe.)

    In the same year, another satellite tagged whimbrel, named Hope, flew into Tropical Storm Gert off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Incredibly, she endured strong headwinds for 27 hours straight, and was able to fly at an average speed of only 7 miles per hour (11kph). In contrast, after she successfully emerged from the middle of that storm, she then was pushed by strong tailwinds at an average speed of 90 miles per hour (145kph) and safely returned to her staging grounds on Cape Cod — after expending a huge amount of effort for no gain.

    …in 2005, a large flock of migrating chimney swifts, Chaetura pelagica, was swept up by Hurricane Wilma, and the lucky survivors relocated to Western Europe — to the delight of bird watchers there.

    …radar images of Hurricane Matthew as it raged across Florida in 2016 showed it had a huge flock of birds trapped in its eye.

    …an injured Cooper’s hawk, Accipiter cooperii, now known as Harvey, took refuge in Willam Bruso’s taxi in Houston during Hurricane Harvey…

    When severe weather hits, humans flee or hunker down and hope for the best. But what about birds? Where do they go? And what happens to migratory birds?
    Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, heads toward the Eastern Caribbean in this photograph, captured by a satellite on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Credit: NOAA / public domain.)

    Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, heads toward the Eastern Caribbean in this photograph, captured by a satellite on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.
    (Credit: NOAA / public domain.) NOAA

    As the southern United States faces a second record-breaking hurricane in less than two weeks, I’ve been asked many times: “What happens to birds in hurricanes? Where do they go?”

    Basically, birds have a variety of strategies for dealing with large storms, such as hurricanes, including: leaving the area; flying ahead of, or into the storm; or sheltering in place.

    Birds may leave in advance of an approaching storm

    Today In: Tech

    Research has shown that birds can hear infrasound (ref) and are sensitive to barometric pressure (ref and ref), so they know when a storm is on its way — especially when the storm is as large and as powerful as a hurricane. When a large storm approaches, birds in its path may adjust their behaviors within the parameters of their own life histories and according to season. For example, white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis, are migratory songbirds, so if a large storm is approaching during their annual spring or autumnal migration period, they may migrate sooner than they might otherwise do (ref). Research has found that sparrows speed up their autumnal migratory departure date in response to falling barometric pressures (but not falling temperatures), whereas they delay their spring migratory departure in response to falling temperature (but not falling barometric pressure).
    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Quebec, Canada. This songbird species is migratory and adjusts its autumnal migration departure to avoid large storms. (Credit: Cephas / CC BY-SA 3.0)

    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Quebec, Canada. This songbird species is migratory and adjusts its autumnal migration departure to avoid large storms.
    (Credit: Cephas / CC BY-SA 3.0) Cephas via a Creative Commons license

    Birds may fly ahead of, into, or through, a storm

    Some migratory birds may intentionally fly into a large storm. For example, a whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus, named Chinquapin, flew into Hurricane Irene’s dangerous northeast quadrant in 2011. This medium-sized shorebird was part of an ongoing research project and was carrying a satellite tracker, allowing scientists to watch this intrepid bird’s progress in real time as she migrated from Hudson Bay, Canada, to her wintering grounds in South America.
    Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), is a wading shorebird. This migratory shorebird is one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across much of subarctic North America, Europe and Asia as far south as Scotland. (Credit: Andreas Trepte / CC BY-SA 2.5.)

    Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), is a wading shorebird. This migratory shorebird is one of the most widespread of the curlews, breeding across much of subarctic North America, Europe and Asia as far south as Scotland.
    (Credit: Andreas Trepte / CC BY-SA 2.5.) Andreas Trepte via a Creative Commons license

    Chinquapin was lucky. Although this same bird successfully flew around the edge of Tropical Storm Colin in the previous year, a second satellite tagged bird flew into that storm and was killed.

    But storms are not the worst of what whimbrels and other migratory birds encounter. Several other satellite tagged whimbrels, named Machi and Goshen, survived their flights through hurricanes in 2011. (Like Chinquapin, Goshen also tangled with Hurricane Irene, although she flew through the outer edge instead.) But both Machi and Goshen paused on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and tragically, both were shot dead within hours of their arrival. (This is a common fate for hurricane survivors landing on Guadeloupe.)

    In the same year, another satellite tagged whimbrel, named Hope, flew into Tropical Storm Gert off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Incredibly, she endured strong headwinds for 27 hours straight, and was able to fly at an average speed of only 7 miles per hour (11kph). In contrast, after she successfully emerged from the middle of that storm, she then was pushed by strong tailwinds at an average speed of 90 miles per hour (145kph) and safely returned to her staging grounds on Cape Cod — after expending a huge amount of effort for no gain.
    A chimney swift (Chaetura pelagica) flying in Austin, Texas, USA. This migratory species is famous because a flock was “kidnapped” by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and relocated to Western Europe. (Credit: Jim McCulloch / CC BY 2.0.)

    A chimney swift (Chaetura pelagica) flying in Austin, Texas, USA. This migratory species is famous because a flock was “kidnapped” by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and relocated to Western Europe.
    (Credit: Jim McCulloch / CC BY 2.0.) Jim McCulloch via a Creative Commons license

    But migrating ahead of, or during, a hurricane is a strategy that is fraught with dangers and can have unexpected consequences, especially for small birds. For example, in 2005, a large flock of migrating chimney swifts, Chaetura pelagica, was swept up by Hurricane Wilma, and the lucky survivors relocated to Western Europe — to the delight of bird watchers there.

    Other small migratory bird species may become trapped inside a hurricane, as probably was the situation for those migrating chimney swifts. For example, radar images of Hurricane Matthew as it raged across Florida in 2016 showed it had a huge flock of birds trapped in its eye.

    These birds were relocated by many hundreds or thousands of kilometers away from where they were, or wanted to be — again, to the delight of local birders.

    Birds may shelter in place and hang on for dear life

    Many non-migratory birds seek shelter inside thick bushes or on the leeward side of trees. Trees and shrubs can dramatically reduce wind speeds and can keep birds dry even during a torrential downpour. And since birds adapted to sleeping whilst perched, their feet automatically close tightly when they are relaxed or asleep, thereby making it easier for birds to hang on to something solid for dear life.

    Birds may also find cover where ever it exists. For example, an injured Cooper’s hawk, Accipiter cooperii, now known as Harvey, took refuge in Willam Bruso’s taxi in Houston during Hurricane Harvey just a few days ago…

    Harvey (the bird, not the hurricane) was given to the TWRC Wildlife Center the following day, where it was discovered that she had suffered a broken wing (and was probably in shock from the pain and from fear), thereby preventing the terrified bird from flying. As of this writing, Harvey is expected to make a full recovery.

    …other birds, such as woodpeckers and parrots, may seek shelter in their nest-holes or in other cavities. This works well unless the tree they are sheltering in is uprooted or snapped off at the cavity (typically a tree’s weakest point), or if these birds become trapped by floodwaters …

    Remember that flock of chimney swifts that I mentioned? Most of them met a horrible end: at least 727 of these tiny birds’ bodies were found later (ref) — but how many thousands more died and were never found? Indeed, Hurricane Wilma’s effects on chimney swift numbers were so severe and widespread that, in the province of Québec, Canada, where these birds lived, chimney swifts became quite rare as the direct result of this one tragic event. In the following year, roost counts declined by an average of 62% and the total chimney swift population is estimated to have decreased by half.

    …the few remaining Iguaca, or Puerto Rican parrots, Amazona vittata, were then faced with Hurricane Hugo in 1989. This storm pummelled the island of Puerto Rico, destroying much of the habitat in the Luquillo mountains, which is the last refuge for these critically endangered parrots. By the end of that year, it was determined than only 22 Puerto Rican parrots had survived.

    The critically endangered Cozumel thrasher, Toxostoma guttatum, a medium-sized chestnut-brown songbird with a polka-dotted white breast, was even more seriously impacted: we are fairly certain that this island species did not survive a double hit by Hurricanes Emily and Wilma in 2005.

    n 1989, Hurricane Hugo decimated much of the remaining old-growth forest that is vital habitat for endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, Leuconotopicus borealis. According to the National Wildlife Federation, Hurricane Hugo damaged 4.5 million acres of state forest throughout South Carolina, and reduced 477 colonies of red-cockaded woodpeckers to just 100 in the Francis Marion National Forest…

    Throughout the millennia, birds have developed a variety of strategies for coping with large, severe storms like hurricanes. But thanks to people and to our bad behaviors, like habitat destruction, hunting, and poaching, birds have fewer and fewer places to flee for safety, and this makes the effects of hurricanes more extreme than they otherwise would be.”

    Oct 6, 2016
    “It’s an amazing sight: Seagulls and other birds trapped in the eye of the storm can be seen on radar.”


  92. eleggua

     /  September 7, 2019

    Downtown Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island.


    October 25, 2018


    September 5, 2019


    • eleggua

       /  September 7, 2019

      More ‘before’ and ‘after’ Dorian images from Great Abaco Island, with slider viewer.

      ‘Satellite images show the devastation Hurricane Dorian caused in the Bahamas’
      September 6, 2019

      “Newly released satellite images give a sense of just how devastating Hurricane Dorian was to parts of the Bahamas…

      The storm is blamed for at least 30 deaths and Bahamas officials say that hundreds, or even thousands are missing.
      Satellite images from Maxar Technologies show the damage to several parts of Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island, which suffered a direct hit from the storm.”

      Northwestern Marsh Harbour, after Dorian.


  93. eleggua

     /  September 8, 2019

    Grim opinion piece. Worth reading, nonetheless.

    ‘The Last Act of the Human Comedy’
    Chris Hedges – Sep 02, 2019

    There is nothing new to our story. The flagrant lies and imbecilities of the inept and corrupt leader. The inability to halt the costly, endless wars and curb the gargantuan expenditures on the military. The looting of a beleaguered populace by the rich. The destruction of the ecosystem. The decay and abandonment of a once-efficient infrastructure. The implosion of the institutions, from education to diplomacy, that sustain a functioning state. The world has seen it before. It is the familiar disease of the end of a civilization. At first it is grimly entertaining, even amid the mounting suffering. But no one will be laughing at the end…

    …no more than 3% to 5% of the population need be engaged to challenge despotic power. This means, first, naming and accepting reality. It will not be easy. It means grieving for what is to come, for there is certain to be mass death. It means acting, even if defeat is certain, to thwart those who would extinguish us. Extinction Rebellion plans to occupy and shut down major city centers around the globe in October. This is a good place to start. By defying the forces of death, we affirm life.”


  94. eleggua

     /  September 8, 2019

    The end is now. The beginning is nigh.

    Chris Hedges, author of the piece ^above^, speaks with Roger Hallam of XR.

    Aug 10, 2019

    “On Contact host Chris Hedges talks to Roger Hallam, co-founder of the British-based group Extinction Rebellion. The global grassroots movement uses nonviolent acts of civil disobedience by occupying areas of capitals of major industrial countries in protest, to reverse what they argue is a one-way track to global extinction. Activists are demanding the ruling elites state the truth about the climate emergency and implement radical measures to halve carbon emissions by 2025 and terminate the 150-year binge on fossil fuels.”


  95. eleggua

     /  September 8, 2019

    Feel the Bern, feel the burn.


  96. wharf rat

     /  September 8, 2019
  97. wharf rat

     /  September 8, 2019

    Liked by 1 person

  98. wharf rat

     /  September 11, 2019

    Some 400,000 households in the Kanto region are still without power, days after typhoon Faxai hit the area.

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will take at least until Friday to fully restore electricity in Chiba prefecture.

    Workers are busy replacing toppled power poles.

    A woman in her 80s was taken to hospital with breathing difficulties.

    People are also having trouble getting a phone signal. The mayor of Kimitsu City described the situation.

    Mayor Hiroko Ishii said, “The damage is tantamount to an earthquake. It’s a really critical situation for us.”

    Continuing hot weather is exacerbating things as people can’t use air conditioners and have no running water.
    Two have died from heatstroke in Chiba.

    Kazuyuki Shiokawa of TEPCO Power Grid said, “We expect to restore power on Thursday in Chiba City and the surrounding areas. But we will need at least two more days for other areas including Narita City and Kisarazu City.”

    People have been lining up to get drinking water.


  99. wharf rat

     /  September 12, 2019

    Reviewing the slow-rolling disaster of the American Midwestern floods:

    By the end of June, the flooding was so intense and widespread that at least 11 states had sought federal disaster funds for more than 400 counties. Forty-nine United States Geological Survey gauges measured more water this year than at any time in at least 20 years.
    The year through May 2019 was the wettest 12-month period on record in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Nearly 38 inches of water fell, almost eight inches above average. For some regions, flood recovery will take 20 years– if there is no more flooding.


  100. mlp in nc

     /  September 13, 2019
    Re current Arctic Sea Ice
    Lowest value so far for 2019 – 3.82 million square kilometres on 3 September. Lowest 2012, 3.4 msk.


    • mlp in nc

       /  September 14, 2019

      I have finally come up with a reason for the Svalbard hot spots, at least one which satisfies me. See SSTA on Earth Nullschool. The west one is caused by the major south flowing current out of the Fram strait, running close to the northwest edge of Svalbard, impeding the branch of the Gulf Stream that runs north along the west coast of Svalbard. The east one is probably similar, aided by a natural current gyre in the area, but less intense because of the flat ocean floor terrain there. The west one, at least, goes back to the limit of Earth Nullschool, 2013, the east creeps in later and both begin to become spotlights 2015 – 2016. The west one is still +14C today, even with the shift in the North Atlantic Oscillation. Since the SSTA of the Gulf Stream along the North American coast is considerably cooler since the shift in the NAO, that seems to indicate the hot water has been driven deeper and is still flowing apace into the Arctic ocean.

      Liked by 1 person

  101. wharf rat

     /  September 14, 2019

    from Greta’s twitter page


  102. wharf rat

     /  September 17, 2019


  103. wharf rat

     /  September 18, 2019


  104. mlp in nc

     /  September 19, 2019

    30+ inches of rain in Houston from (just a) tropical depression Imelda, again with devastating flooding. Only two years after Harvey. How is much of Houston to remain habitable, unless on stilts? A home that has been flooded is never safe to live in again, though people do, much less twice.


  105. eleggua

     /  September 25, 2019

    ‘The World’s Oceans Are in Danger, Major Climate Change Report Warns’

    “…The report, which was written by more than 100 international experts and is based on more than 7,000 studies, represents the most extensive look to date at the effects of climate change on oceans, ice sheets, mountain snowpack and permafrost…”


  106. eleggua

     /  September 25, 2019

    ‘Mont Blanc: Glacier in danger of collapse, experts warn’

    “Italian authorities have closed roads and evacuated mountain huts after experts warned that part of a glacier on Mont Blanc could collapse.
    About 250,000 cubic metres of ice are in danger of breaking away from the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak, officials said.
    The mayor of the nearby town of Courmayeur said global warming was changing the mountain.
    The Mont Blanc massif is Western Europe’s highest mountain range…”


  107. eleggua

     /  September 25, 2019

    ‘19-Year-Old Indigenous Climate Activist Artemisa Xakriabá: “We Fight for Mother Earth”’
    Sept. 23, 2019

    “Friday’s climate strike in New York City concluded with remarks from indigenous leaders, activists and organizers. Artemisa Xakriabá, a 19-year-old indigenous climate activist of the Xakriabá people, spoke about the increasing intensity of environmental destruction across Brazil and the interconnectedness of the fight for climate justice. “We fight for our Mother Earth because the fight for Mother Earth is the mother of all other fights,” Xakriabá said. “We are fighting for your lives. We are fighting for our lives. We are fighting for our sacred territory. But we are being persecuted, threatened, murdered, only for protecting our own territories. We cannot accept one more drop of indigenous blood spilled.””


  108. eleggua

     /  September 25, 2019

    ‘Transcript: Greta Thunberg’s Speech At The U.N. Climate Action Summit’
    September 23, 2019

    “…”You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.

    “The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

    “Fifty percent may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.

    “So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences…

    “You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

    “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

    “Thank you.”


  109. eleggua

     /  September 25, 2019

    ‘Greta Thunberg’s speech to New York climate strike’
    Sep 21 2019


  110. eleggua

     /  September 25, 2019

    Sept. 19, 2019

    “…On Friday evening the ship was indeed ready to go, and a crowd of several hundred gathered on the dock to see it off. Dr. Markus Rex, a leader of the $155-million expedition, and the ship’s captain, Stefan Schwarze, were the last to board, lifted onto the foredeck in dramatic fashion by a crane. Half an hour later, the Polarstern slipped its moorings and eased out of the harbor, headed north.

    Joined by a Russian icebreaker carrying more equipment, it will sail east for two weeks to the Laptev Sea, north of Central Siberia. There the Polarstern will churn through the pack ice and sidle up to an ice floe — a large expanse of intact ice, chosen on the spot after analysis of satellite radar images and other information — and cut its engine, allowing itself to be fully frozen in place. The Russian ship will transfer its equipment to the floe and turn around…


  111. eleggua

     /  September 25, 2019

    Sept. 20, 2019

    “…this is not the first time in modern history that young people have galvanized around a cause. Young people led social movements against the Vietnam War and for civil rights in the United States. So, too, against apartheid and in the global antinuclear movement.

    The youth climate movement is different, say those who study social protests.

    At a time of fraying trust in authority figures, children — who by definition have no authority over anything — are increasingly driving the debate. Using the internet, young people are organizing across continents like no generation before them. And though their outsize demands for an end to fossil fuels mirror those of older environmentalists, their movement has captured the public imagination far more effectively.

    “What’s unique about this is that young people are able to see their future is at risk today,” said Kumi Naidoo, the head of Amnesty International and a longtime campaigner for environmental issues. “I certainly hope this is a turning point.”

    An early test of the student protests will come on Monday when world leaders assemble at United Nations headquarters to demonstrate what they are willing to do to avert a crisis. Their speeches are unlikely to assuage the youth strikers, but whether the youth protests will peter out or become more confrontational in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen.

    “They’re going to call ‘BS,’” Ms. Fisher, the sociologist, said of the protesters. “It’s great for people at the United Nations summit to posture and say they care about this issue, but that’s not enough to stop the climate crisis. These kids are sophisticated enough to recognize that.””


  112. mlp in nc

     /  September 25, 2019

    A neat explanation for the PETM, new to me.
    “The more recent PETM, for its part, was caused by the expansion of the North Atlantic Ocean basin. That involved a lot of magma rising up from below to become the new ocean crust. All that magma released a lot of carbon dioxide, which appears to have caused moderate warming that, in turn, triggered the melting of clathrates — frozen methane hydrate deposits in the ocean floor. The methane emissions supercharged the greenhouse situation and led to a 5 degree C spike of warming.”


  113. mlp in nc

     /  October 1, 2019

    I miss everybody. Incredible the sense of the world I got when everyone was joining in.
    Bye, ya’ll.

    Liked by 2 people

    • eleggua

       /  October 8, 2019

      Agree with you, mlp. Hang on. Sensing that Robert is getting things in order with his Tesla and other affairs, and will return to regularly posting articles here once that’s settled. Looking forward to the return of that and the vibrant community conversation.

      Liked by 2 people

    • eleggua

       /  October 13, 2019

      Some commenters are pre-approved by Robert.
      Our posts go ‘live’ immediately.
      Other posters’ comments must be approved for the sake of filtering deniers and spam.
      When Robert is busy with other things in life, he doesn’t have the opportunity to review and approve comments here.

      Probably others that are replying but we aren’t seeing those comments here yet.
      Again, looking forward to Robert’s return to active duty.

      Liked by 1 person

  114. wharf rat

     /  October 7, 2019

    Surface air temperature for September 2019
    In Europe, temperatures were above average over most of the continent, especially in the south and south-east. Below-average temperatures occurred over much of Norway and Sweden, and over the far east of the continent. Globally September 2019 was 0.57°C warmer than the average September from 1981-2010, making it the warmest September in our data record, virtually on a par with September 2016. Regions with most markedly above average temperatures include central and eastern USA, the Mongolian plateau and parts of the Arctic. Much below average temperatures were only recorded in a few regions, including southwestern Russia and parts of Antarctica.


  115. eleggua

     /  October 8, 2019

    ‘Iowa teens delighted as Greta Thunberg leads unexpected climate strike ‘
    4 Oct 2019

    “Three days prior to Greta Thunberg’s surprise visit to Iowa City on Friday, the organizer and local climate activist, Massimo Biggers, a 14-year-old Iowa City high school student, was preparing to strike – as he has done every Friday, sometimes on his own, since the Global Climate Strike day Thunberg inspired on 15 March.

    Out of the blue, a message arrived from the Swedish teen activist, with whom he had been in touch, asking him if he was planning to strike again this Friday. “Of course!” he replied, and for the last 48 hours, according to his father, Jeff, neither had slept. “This was truly a miracle to have the town pull this together,” he said.

    More than 3,000 people gathered at short notice in the shadow of the University of Iowa on Friday afternoon to hear Thunberg speak.

    “Wow” said Thunberg, squinting in the sun, as the crowd chanted her name. “It’s just so many people I don’t think any of us expected this many people. This is real hope, so many people gathering on a weekday at such short notice. This is real hope to me,” she said.

    Biggers has spent the last six months mobilizing fellow students to pressure the city council into adopting more stringent measures to address climate change.

    “At the time our specific goal was to get the school board to pass a climate resolution,” he said in an interview with the Guardian. “But then it was pretty easy to get the school board to get a climate resolution so we went to the city council and now we’re trying to get the coal fired [power] plant shut down,” he added.

    The University of Iowa burns coal at its power plant, providing a clear target for the young activists who lead the crowd in regular chants of “End Coal Now!”

    “To be part of a global movement and especially at this stage, it’s just an amazing, amazing opportunity to see a global leader,” said Abbey Jordahl, a freshman at UI from Ankeny, Iowa. “Honestly I couldn’t believe it when I read that Greta was coming here, I was like … Iowa City?! What?! I’ve been following her for a while, honestly I can’t believe I’m here!”…

    Claire Carlson, a senior studying geoscience, environmental science and business at UI from Ottumwa had joined friends from the Environmental Science Club at the rally. “Its nice to finally see a large group of people come together and address the problem,” she said. “I think Greta’s done a really good job of bringing a voice to that especially at a really young age. I think it means that more people are starting to understand the need for impactful legislation with regards to climate change.”

    Carlson, like her friend Emma Hartke, will be able to caucus next February for a Democratic candidate. “I think Elizabeth Warren has a really good plan for climate change,” said Hartke. Carlson favours the young mayor from South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, but Warren is the name on most people’s lips when asked which way they’re currently leaning.

    “There are still some centrists who like to play both sides on climate … such as Joe Biden,” said Derek Torres who has moved to Iowa City from Atlanta. “They always speak in terms of jobs … but if there’s no air or water there’s no jobs,” he reasoned…”

    Liked by 1 person

  116. eleggua

     /  October 8, 2019

    ‘How Extinction Rebellion put the world on red alert ‘
    6 Oct 2019

    “In the last week alone, members of Extinction Rebellion have been described as ecomaniacs (Daily Mail), ecoradicals ignoring our economic doom (Times), dangerous and a bloody mess (Daily Telegraph). They have been accused of “pulling 83,000 officers away from their normal duties” according to the police and costing Scotland Yard £16m. In London last week, dressed in funereal black, rebels tried to paint the Treasury red using 1,800 litres of fake blood and an old fire engine with a sign reading “stop funding climate death”.

    While its actions may seem controversial in some quarters, Extinction Rebellion’s rise and influence have undoubtedly been extraordinary, galvanising young and old across party lines. Last October, the journalist and activist George Monbiot introduced the group in the national press, a homegrown movement “devoted to disruptive, non-violent disobedience in protest against ecological collapse”. The hope was to turn a national uprising into an international one by March. In fewer than 12 months, Extinction Rebellion has become the fastest-growing environmental organisation in the world.

    “We have seen protest movements on climate change before, but they haven’t attracted anywhere near as many people or had as much impact,” said Clare Saunders, professor in environmental politics at Exeter University. “For the first time, you have ordinary people engaging with radical action. It’s unique – I can’t think of any [protest movement] historically happening in that way.”

    There are now an estimated 485 Extinction Rebellion affiliates across the globe and, over the next fortnight, they are promising to shut down 60 cities, including London, New York, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Cape Town and Mumbai. Government buildings, airports and financial districts will all be targeted with protests aiming for maximum disruption to provoke urgent political action. In a bid to pre-empt the action, on Saturday police raided a warehouse in south London and arrested nine activists, charging them with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and obstruct the highway…

    Alice Taherzadeh, a PhD student and one of the key organisers, was buoyant but exhausted. “We had less than a month to get this together,” she said. As a decentralised organisation, XR, as it is known, claims no hierarchy: it is open to all and operates a “regenerative culture”.

    In theory, this means responsibility and workload is designed to be a shared, collaborative effort with heavy emphasis on community, and mental and physical wellbeing. In practice, a hierarchy does still exist, albeit under the surface, where some people are in the loop, go to the pub together and have access to the latest comings and goings from HQ, while others volunteer more on the periphery. Still, to witness it across uprisings in London in the spring, and across the UK over the summer at festivals and meetings, the spirit of XR is warm and often moving. The culture it has fostered also allows for a surprising amount of internal criticism of its founders, Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook…

    …”…the unity in the movement exists because of the three core demands: get government to tell the truth, get government to act now, and to draw up citizens’ assemblies.”…

    “Some grassroots groups hate them because they’re not anti-capitalist [enough], they are for-profit and pro-arrest,” said one anonymous worker from a major environmental organisation. “The pro bono lawyers’ group Green and Black Cross [GBC] have been working with activists for decades and they’ve taken on so much casework for XR – for free, despite them raising so much money and the core crew being paid – that it’s taken away from other crucial activism work.”

    Earlier in the summer, GBC ended its relationship with XR, citing “serious concerns about the safety of both legal observers and those taking part in action associated with Extinction Rebellion”. Meanwhile, Wretched of the Earth, “a grassroots collective for indigenous, black, brown and diaspora groups and individuals demanding climate justice”, wrote an open letter to XR asking that their voices and experiences not be erased from the fight…

    It’s seen as good that minds are being changed, even if XR’s demands are not always perceived as realistic. “They must know what they’re asking for – net zero carbon by 2025 – is virtually impossible. I guess their statement is a calculated risk,” said the building designer.

    Saunders agreed. “There are very good reasons that Greenpeace and WWF will have to publicly distance themselves from XR – if you have more radical actions out there, your organisation’s demands might seem reasonable and palatable to a government taking steps to act.””


  117. eleggua

     /  October 8, 2019

    ‘How A Small English Town Spurred The Group That’s Reshaping Global Climate Protests’
    October 7, 2019

    “Katerina Hasapopoulos is not your typical rule-breaker. She’s 41, the daughter of immigrants and once a power-lunching marketing director.

    Now, she says, “I’m a rebel. I’m a tree sister. I am an Earth protector.”

    Having children, three little girls, she says, helped her think more seriously about the world they would grow up in. Though Brexit dominates most headlines in the United Kingdom, Hasapopoulos devours stories about how humans are causing climate change.

    “Whole businesses have been built on trashing our Earth — the very thing that feeds us, that gives us air,” she says. “Many scientists are telling us that we are already in the sixth mass extinction.”

    Last year, she joined her local environmental group in Stroud, a bohemian town of activists tucked into the rolling hills and daffodils of the Cotswolds in the south of England. That group, Extinction Rebellion, has now grown from a small-town band of determined neighbors super-gluing themselves to local city council buildings to a global movement of environmental demonstrators disrupting dozens of cities so policymakers will address climate change immediately. The group has kicked off protests again on Monday — including blocking traffic and landmarks and occupying government buildings, leading to hundreds of arrests in New York, London, Sydney and Amsterdam — and it plans to continue mobilizing for the next two weeks…

    Extinction Rebellion, also known by the abbreviation XR, was launched a year ago in the Stroud living room of Gail Bradbrook, a well-known local activist who had previously campaigned against a local incinerator and fracking, the technique used to extract oil and gas from rock. The group’s activism helped push British lawmakers to declare a climate emergency in May and has now grown into an international movement with chapters all over the world, including the United States.

    The group’s symbol is a depiction of an hourglass — called “this generation’s peace sign” — by an East London artist who goes by Goldfrog ESP…

    Extinction Rebellion’s tactics may be controversial, but they are effective in part because the group has also connected with the teenagers inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, says Srdja Popovic, a Serbian political activist who wrote the 2015 book Blueprint for Revolution.

    “This is the generation that will rule the world in 10-15 years,” he says. “Their passion is there. … Even in the small towns in the U.S., you can see students protesting on Fridays” as part of the movement Fridays for Future….

    “What was missing in contemporary green movements is a call to action,” he says, “and Extinction Rebellion seems to hit that, saying, ‘We are very aware that the planet is in a state of disrepair, we are very aware something needs to be done, but that it won’t be done by somebody else. It’s time to take destiny in our hands.” …

    Truck driver and Stroud native Spencer Ellis admits he hasn’t seen many minorities like himself in the U.K. chapters of Extinction Rebellion. He has also been stuck in traffic caused by the group’s blockades.

    Still, he’s cheering them on. “I get what they are doing a hundred percent,” he says.

    He points to his 2-year-old daughter squirming in her stroller. “I’m 50. I’m not getting another 50” years, he says. “But my daughter’s 2. The planet is changing, and we’re scared.” ”

    “Some of the original members of Extinction Rebellion — landscaper David Lambert (from left), town councilor Skeena Rathor and business owner Katerina Hasapopoulos — at the Star Anise cafe in Stroud. “


  118. eleggua

     /  October 8, 2019

    ‘Extinction Rebellion has won the first battle – now it must win the war ‘
    7 Oct 2019

    “…The fact this month’s rebellion won’t be such a novelty could make things harder. It’s the difficult-second-album problem: repeat your material and you’re boring; innovate and you may lose the magic. And with the police preparing to move faster against protesters this time, it’s inevitable that opponents of climate action will call for tougher law enforcement.

    But difficult though it will be for the protests to recapture the novelty and public support of the April protests, that is far from the biggest problem. Ironically, the greatest threat to the movement is its apparent success over the past six months. If the public believe the protesters have already won, continued street blockades could look unnecessary.

    It’s here that public opinion turns from being helpful to being a problem for Extinction Rebellion. The overwhelming majority want action to limit climate change and support a net-zero target; most even support bringing that target forward from the government’s current date…

    Emission-cutting pledges can be useful – but if they aren’t combined with a plan they can undermine the cause by making it seem like the battle has been won. The next wave of Extinction Rebellion protests will be a success if it forces climate-friendly politicians to show their proposals. When a politician says they will stop the climate crisis from escalating, the first question that needs to be asked is: “how?”

    Answering that question requires politicians to expose the fact that avoiding dangerous warming will be disruptive and difficult. Many people will look for reasons to find a way out and so the debate may return to “why?” But this is Extinction Rebellion’s specialist subject: its explanation of the climate emergency may be terrifying but it is well-evidenced.

    This challenge – to force apparently “green” politicians to come with a plan – is daunting. But few people would have imagined that a climate change protest could occupy central London and be met with widespread public backing. The protesters might just be the people who can do it.”


  119. eleggua

     /  October 8, 2019

    ‘Amazon fires dropped unexpectedly in September, after summer spike’
    October 2, 2019

    “…Around 20,000 fires burned in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon during September, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research reported. That was a 35 percent drop from August, when roughly 31,000 fires burned — a nine-year high. It was nearly a 20 percent drop from September 2018, when 24,500 burned.

    The plunge — which followed a summer of international attention on the fires, and the Brazilian government’s response to them — caught Amazon watchers by surprise.

    Since measuring began two decades ago, September, the peak of dry season, has almost always been more flammable than August. That history fueled expectations that the problem would only worsen as the dry season deepened.

    Analysts said rain and the government response — hundreds of soldiers were dispatched to fight the fires — might have been factors….”


  120. wharf rat

     /  October 12, 2019

    Largest metro area on Earth, Tokyo, deals with Typhoon Hagibis
    Record-breaking rainfall, strong winds and severe flooding struck areas from central to northern Japan on Saturday as Typhoon Hagibis made landfall on Shizuoka Prefecture’s Izu Peninsula and directly hit Tokyo and its surrounding areas.
    At least two people were killed, nine were missing, and 86 others were injured across 27 prefectures.

    As of early Sunday morning, the typhoon was traveling toward the Tohoku region, and as many as 340,000 residents in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, were advised to evacuate. According to the Meteorological Agency, Hagibis was predicted to move into the Pacific Ocean off Tohoku by around 9 a.m. Sunday.

    Over 6 million people across Japan were urged to evacuate earlier in the day, with train operators suspending most services and airports shutting down in the metropolitan and surrounding areas.,142.910,5,m:eL3ajYL


    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2019

      “Hagibis” = “speed” in Tagalog.

      ‘Supertyphoon Hagibis gives new wind to Philippine disco band’

      “For a four-decade-old Philippine disco band, the namesake supertyphoon bearing down on Japan has brought a sudden rush of interest in its macho act.

      Known as the Philippines’ “Village People”, all-male band Hagibis has been going since 1979. While some members have changed over time, it has retained its act featuring tight black trousers, leather jackets, open shirts, shades, mustaches and suggestive dance moves….

      Hagibis is best known for its members’ macho image and songs extolling the beauty of women. The group’s hit songs include “Katawan” (Body), “Legs” and “Babae” (Woman).”


  121. eleggua

     /  October 12, 2019

    Scientists’ Declaration of Support for Non-Violent Direct Action Against Government Inaction Over the Climate and Ecological Emergency


  122. eleggua

     /  October 12, 2019

    ”We declare our support for Extinction Rebellion’: an open letter from Australia’s academics ‘
    19 Sep 2019

    “We the undersigned represent diverse academic disciplines, and the views expressed here are those of the signatories and not their universities. While our academic perspectives and expertise may differ, we are united on one point: we can no longer tolerate the failure of the Australian government, or any other government, to take robust and urgent action to address the worsening ecological crisis.

    The science is clear, the facts are incontrovertible. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with about 200 species becoming extinct each day. This includes many species of insects, some of which are essential to our food systems. Many people around the world have already died or been displaced from the effects of a rapidly warming climate. July 2019 was the Earth’s hottest on record. Arctic peat is burning and ice is melting at rates far beyond even the most radical scientific predictions. The Amazon is burning at an alarming rate. All are creating devastating feedback loops, releasing more CO2 and reducing the Earth’s heat reflecting capacities.
    Biodiversity touches every aspect of our lives – so why has its loss been ignored?
    Read more

    Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or ignore the basic science with impunity. As oceans rise and temperatures soar, ecosystems will continue to collapse. As resources diminish, social unrest and civilisation collapse are likely. The most marginalised and vulnerable in society will be hit first and hit hardest. And If we continue on our current path, the future of our own species is bleak.

    The Earth has already undergone a 1C rise in global mean temperature since pre-industrial times and reports now suggest that a rise of any more than another 0.5C will be devastating. Preventing this will require a global transition to zero-carbon economies immediately. Conservative reports say we have 30 years to make this transition, but more recent science suggests we have closer to 10. Fortunately, we have the technology available to do this, but it will only be possible if we act now, and urgently.

    Australia’s current climate policies and practices are dire. Rather than making the urgent structural changes necessary for a sustainable and just transition toward zero emissions, the Australian government is continuing to prop up and expand coal and other CO2-emitting industries. Australia is not even meeting its Paris agreement targets which, according to recent reports, are themselves far from adequate.

    It is unconscionable that we, our children and grandchildren should have to bear the terrifying brunt of this unprecedented disaster. When a government wilfully abrogates its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and secure the future for generations to come, it has failed in its most essential duty of stewardship. The ‘social contract’ has been broken, and it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty, to rebel to defend life itself.

    We therefore declare our support for the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement and the global week of non-violent civil disobedience and disruption planned for October. We stand behind XR’s demands for the Australian government to declare a climate emergency and to establish a citizens’ assembly to work with scientists on the basis of current evidence to develop a credible and just plan for rapid total decarbonisation of the economy.

    In addition, we call on all Australian universities and other major institutions to immediately divest funds from all fossil fuel and other industries which are contributing to the climate crisis, and to redirect investments urgently toward the renewable energy sector and other climate enhancing technologies.

    We also recognise the crucial role First Nations people in Australia and across the globe, have played for tens of thousands of years, and continue to play, in maintaining species, and caring for the land, water and air. We therefore declare our support for the urgent establishment of a treaty with First Nation Australians, to recognise Indigenous sovereignty and to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to continue protecting what they have already cared for, for so long.



  123. eleggua

     /  October 12, 2019

    ‘Doctors call for nonviolent direct action over climate crisis ‘
    27 Jun 2019

    “More than 1,000 doctors including 40 professors, several eminent public health figures and past presidents of royal colleges are calling for widespread nonviolent civil disobedience in the face of the environmental crisis.

    In a letter to the Guardian, the doctors say government policies are “woefully inadequate”, and call on politicians and the media to face the facts of the unfolding ecological emergency and take action.

    “As caring professionals we cannot countenance current policies which push the world’s most vulnerable towards progressive environmental catastrophe,” they write.

    “We are particularly alarmed by the effects of rising temperatures on health and heed predictions of societal collapse and consequent mass migration. Such collapse risks damage to physical and mental health on an unprecedented scale.”…

    The letter was organised by Bing Jones, a retired associate specialist haematologist from Sheffield, who said it had tapped into a growing concern in the medical profession about the climate crisis.

    “I am no expert in circulating or organising this sort of thing but within a few weeks we had over 1,000 doctors signed up,” he said.

    “We have already lost most of our Arctic ice, most of our wild animals, and much of our productive land. Our trajectory is towards a catastrophic 3C of warming or more. To limit the inevitable damage, we must act now.”

    Several doctors who signed the letter compared the environmental crisis a sick patient.

    Aarti Bansal, a GP from Sheffield, said: “The planet has a fever and not unlike us, its systems are breaking down. We have a decade to prevent this fever from getting out of control and we owe it to our children and all life to act like we do in any emergency.”

    Jones said the issue was like someone seeing blood when they go to the toilet but refusing to accept the doctor’s diagnosis or proposed treatment…”


  124. eleggua

     /  October 12, 2019

    Apparently mostly well-intention however Jane is not a good spokeperson for climate emergency as she is not well-informed and not promoting the actual gravity of the situation with the appropriate urgency represented by the info she provides.

    ‘Jane Fonda is arrested in D.C. during climate change protest — exactly as she’d planne’
    Oct. 11, 2019

    “…She said stopping all new leasing permits for fossil fuel development on waters and public lands was the most important, “because no matter what we do, if that doesn’t stop, we’re doomed.” She’s also calling for a gradual discontinuation of fossil fuel use over 30 years while ensuring that employees can find work in other industries….”

    “a gradual discontinuation of fossil fuel use over 30 years” contradicts what sane, well-informed scientists are promoting.


    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2019

      ‘Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months’
      24 July 2019

      “…Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030.

      But today, observers recognise that the decisive, political steps to enable the cuts in carbon to take place will have to happen before the end of next year.

      The idea that 2020 is a firm deadline was eloquently addressed by one of the world’s top climate scientists, speaking back in 2017.

      “The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and now director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute.

      The sense that the end of next year is the last chance saloon for climate change is becoming clearer all the time.

      “I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival,” said Prince Charles, speaking at a reception for Commonwealth foreign ministers recently…

      One of the understated headlines in last year’s IPCC report was that global emissions of carbon dioxide must peak by 2020 to keep the planet below 1.5C.

      Current plans are nowhere near strong enough to keep temperatures below the so-called safe limit. Right now, we are heading towards 3C of heating by 2100 not 1.5.

      As countries usually scope out their plans over five and 10 year timeframes, if the 45% carbon cut target by 2030 is to be met then the plans really need to be on the table by the end of 2020…

      But the really big moment will most likely be in the UK at COP26, which takes place at the end of 2020.

      The UK government believes it can use the opportunity of COP26, in a post-Brexit world, to show that Britain can build the political will for progress, in the same way the French used their diplomatic muscle to make the Paris deal happen.

      “If we succeed in our bid (to host COP26) then we will ensure we build on the Paris agreement and reflect the scientific evidence accumulating now that we need to go further and faster,” said Environment Secretary Michael Gove, in what may have been his last major speech in the job.

      “And we need at COP26 to ensure other countries are serious about their obligations and that means leading by example. Together we must take all the steps necessary to restrict global warming to at least 1.5C.”…

      Prince Charles’ sense that the next 18 months are critical is shared by some climate negotiators.

      “Our group of small island developing states share Prince Charles’s sense of the profound urgency for ambitious climate action,” said ambassador Janine Felson from Belize who is the chief strategist for the Alliance of Small Island States group in the UN.

      “All at once we are witness to a collective convergence of public mobilisation, worsening climatic impacts and dire scientific warnings that compel decisive climate leadership.”

      “Without question, 2020 is a hard deadline for that leadership to finally manifest itself.”

      …according to UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

      “We have been convinced by the evidence of environmental degradation which occurs without adequate protection,” he said in a speech last week.

      “And that is why the United Kingdom has taken the lead in ensuring at least 30% of the ocean we are responsible for is protected by 2030 – a trebling of the present target. We will be asking all nations to sign up to that goal.”

      If all this comes to pass, the world might have a fighting chance of preserving our natural environment.

      But the challenges are huge, the political involvement patchy.

      So don’t hold your breath!”


  125. eleggua

     /  October 12, 2019

    ‘Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions ‘
    9 Oct 2019

    “The Guardian today reveals the 20 fossil fuel companies whose relentless exploitation of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves can be directly linked to more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

    New data from world-renowned researchers reveals how this cohort of state-owned and multinational firms are driving the climate emergency that threatens the future of humanity, and details how they have continued to expand their operations despite being aware of the industry’s devastating impact on the planet.
    Contact the Guardian securely
    Read more

    The analysis, by Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in the US, the world’s leading authority on big oil’s role in the escalating climate emergency, evaluates what the global corporations have extracted from the ground, and the subsequent emissions these fossil fuels are responsible for since 1965 – the point at which experts say the environmental impact of fossil fuels was known by both industry leaders and politicians.

    The top 20 companies on the list have contributed to 35% of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totalling 480bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) since 1965.

    Those identified range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell – to state-owned companies including Saudi Aramco and Gazprom.

    Chevron topped the list of the eight investor-owned corporations, followed closely by Exxon, BP and Shell. Together these four global businesses are behind more than 10% of the world’s carbon emissions since 1965.

    Twelve of the top 20 companies are state-owned and together their extractions are responsible for 20% of total emissions in the same period. The leading state-owned polluter is Saudi Aramco, which has produced 4.38% of the global total on its own.

    Saudi Aramco 59.26
    Chevron 43.35
    Gazprom 43.23
    ExxonMobil 41.90
    National Iranian Oil Co 35.66
    BP 34.02
    Royal Dutch Shell 31.95
    Coal India 23.12
    Pemex 22.65
    Petróleos de Venezuela 15.75
    PetroChina 15.63
    Peabody Energy 15.39
    ConocoPhillips 15.23
    Abu Dhabi National Oil Co 13.84
    Kuwait Petroleum Corp 13.48
    Iraq National Oil Co 12.60
    Total SA 12.35
    Sonatrach 12.30
    BHP Billiton 9.80
    Petrobras 8.68

    “The great tragedy of the climate crisis is that seven and a half billion people must pay the price – in the form of a degraded planet – so that a couple of dozen polluting interests can continue to make record profits. It is a great moral failing of our political system that we have allowed this to happen.”…”


  126. eleggua

     /  October 12, 2019

    ”Upside-Down Rivers’ of Warm Water Are Carving Antarctica to Pieces’

    “…In a study published yesterday (Oct. 9) in the journal Science Advances, researchers used satellite imagery to look at Antarctica’s shear margins — fragile areas near the edges of ice shelves where huge cracks tend to spread — and found a troubling pattern. Certain cracks seemed to emerge in the same spots year after year, often stretching clear across the tips of their ice shelves and carving huge chunks into the sea. These cracks were often accompanied by long, sagging troughs and large holes in the ice — suggesting that some natural force under the shelves is causing the same regions to buckle and break every year.

    According to Karen Alley, lead author of the new study, it appears that vast currents of warm, buoyant water are carving “upside-down rivers” into the bottoms of the ice shelves, nibbling away at their already weak edges.

    “Warm water circulation is attacking the undersides of these ice shelves at their most vulnerable points,” Alley, an assistant professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio and a former researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said in a statement.

    While the effects of this previously unknown force are no doubt contributing to ice loss from the shelves of Antarctica and Greenland, Alley said, further study is required to understand precisely how much.

    In the new study, the researchers used satellite imagery to scour the edges of the Antarctica’s ice shelves for water-filled holes known as polynyas. To qualify as a polynya, a hole had to appear in the same approximate spot on the ice shelf over several different years, suggesting that these breaks in the ice were no mere accident, but the result of some underwater grating process.

    Indeed, the team found that polynyas tended to appear next to the shear margins where cracks in the ice invariably formed. Near these sections, the ice showed clear signs of sagging, suggesting that something was eating away at its underside.

    According to the authors, these observations are evidence that Antarctica’s ice shelves are being slowly carved up by underwater currents at their most vulnerable points. The team determined that the currents can grow miles wide and tens of miles long, impacting huge sections of the ice shelves at once. Time-lapse images of these melting shelves show that it doesn’t take long for the sagging troughs and spreading cracks to result in collapse.

    “Like scoring a plate of glass, the [warm water] renders the shelf weak,” study co-author Ted Scambos, a senior scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said in the statement. “And, in a few decades, it’s gone, freeing the ice sheet to ride out faster into the ocean.”

    Because ice shelves can serve as natural dams that prevent melting continental ice from gushing into the ocean en masse, the speed of their decay has a direct impact on sea-level rise. How much of an effect is still unclear; because these hidden forces besieging ice shelves are relatively newly discovered, current climate models do not account for them. Further study of the vulnerable edges of ice-shelves — not just in Antarctica, but in Greenland, as well — are required to further estimate the extent of the damage.

    “These effects matter,” Alley said. “But exactly how much, we don’t yet know. We need to.”


    • eleggua

       /  October 12, 2019

      “This time-lapse footage shows the growth and retreat of Antarctica’s East Getz Ice Shelf from 2003 to 2018. Holes and fractures in the ice seem to form in the same locations year after year, suggesting some underwater mechanism is attacking the shelf at its most vulnerable points.”


  127. eleggua

     /  October 13, 2019

    ‘It All Ties,’ Rachel Maddow Says Of Oil And Gas, Russia And Democracy In ‘Blowout’
    October 2, 2019

    “ The oil and gas industry, according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, is “ranging like a ravenous predator on the field of democracy.” It is “Godzilla over downtown Tokyo.” It is “the richest, most powerful, and most destructive industry on the globe.”

    Halfway through Blowout, Maddow’s new book about the industry’s impact on democracy worldwide, these claims begin to feel understated. In short, accessible chapters, Maddow covers apparently distinct topics, from fracking in Oklahoma to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Sochi Olympics to corruption in Equatorial Guinea to the ring of inept Russian spies that inspired The Americans and, finally, to Russian interference in the 2016 election. “Seems unlikely,” she writes, “but it all ties.”…

    … Blowout nonetheless feels like a public service. Though its value is not in original reporting, it usefully compiles the most convincing research and journalism on the harm that oil and gas have done to global democracy, and then weaves together a narrative of greed, power and corruption…

    Blowout concludes, reasonably, with a case for more and better government regulations. By this point, Maddow has already amply demonstrated the harm oil and gas companies can inflict when they aren’t restrained. But she makes a further, stranger case for regulation: that oversight is needed because the oil and gas companies can’t really help it. It’s just who they are: “What is the point of outrage at oil and gas producers? What good can possibly come of it? It’s like being indignant when a lion takes down and eats a gazelle. You can’t really blame the lion. It’s who she is; it’s in her nature.”…

    Perhaps the book’s most interesting suggestion is a theory of why Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election: not only because Putin detests Hillary Clinton personally, but also because Obama-era sanctions were threatening his ability to extract oil, and thus keep a grip on power. And the companies with the technology to help him get that oil are American outfits that don’t mind doing business with a crook. As Maddow would say, it all ties together.“


  128. eleggua

     /  October 14, 2019

    Extinction Rebellion founder calls for mass psychedelic’
    19 August 2019 -disobedience/

    “ A co-founder of the Extinction Rebellion environmental movement has called for a mass ingestion of psychedelic substances in protest against the criminalisation of drugs.

    “I would support a mass civil disobedience where we take medicine to tell the state that they have absolutely no right to control our consciousness and to define our spiritual practice,” Gail Bradbrook said in a press briefing as part of Breaking Convention, a conference on psychedelics in London on 16 August.

    Since launching in 2018, Extinction Rebellion has moved climate change up the political and media agenda through a campaign of mass civil disobedience. In April 2019, they blocked streets and bridges in London, demanding the UK government adopt a more ambitious target for reaching net zero carbon emissions.

    Bradbrook, a former biophysicist, said it was not Extinction Rebellion’s policy to promote the use of drugs, but they had played a role in her personal journey towards founding the movement.

    “The causes of the crisis are political, economic, legal and cultural systemic issues but underneath that are issues of human trauma, powerlessness, scarcity and separation. The system resides within us and the psychedelic medicines are opportunities to help us shift our consciousness,” she told the conference.

    Psychedelics such as psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, and the plant brew ayahuasca are being investigated as therapies for depression, addiction and other mental health problems.

    Studies have also suggested that experiences with psychedelic drugs might change people’s political views and their attitudes towards nature. Participants in a small clinical trial of psilocybin for depression scored more highly on questionnaires measuring “nature relatedness” and lower for authoritarian views after treatment, with effects persisting for up to a year. Surveys of the general population have also found that psychedelic use correlates with these.

    Rosalind Watts, a clinical psychologist at Imperial College London who has guided patients through psilocybin therapy, said there is an important link between mental health and the ecological crisis. “We are in an epidemic of depression and disconnection from ourselves and our environment,” she said. “When you’re suffering from depression, it’s incredibly difficult to care and do something.”

    Bradbrook said psychedelics must be used in the right way, and that we can learn from indigenous cultures that routinely use substances like ayahuasca. “Whilst I’m all for psychedelic science – I think it’s fantastic – I don’t think we necessarily have time to wait for the science to tell us these medicines are useful. The indigenous cultures have already shown us the ways.””


  129. eleggua

     /  October 14, 2019

    Blight the power.

    “ “Scenes of violence shook the European capital as over 400 peaceful protesters were brutally arrested. Using water cannons, pepper-spray, batons and shields, police tore through a crowd of approximately 1000 people, wounding and traumatizing with an air of mockery and spite.

    This is without doubt the most striking display of aggression that we’ve seen thus far, as well as being the biggest mass arrest in XR’s short history.

    The protest, part of #RoyalRebellion, took place on Koningsplein near the royal palace. (One of the family, at least, is already convinced: Princess Esmeralda was arrested with us in London earlier this week). At around 2pm, rebels occupied the square in true XR style. They brought flags, musical instruments and good intentions. They even brought a boat.

    At around 5pm the police began to move in, and by 6.30pm it was all over. In the space of an hour and a half, hundreds of people were pepper-sprayed in the face, including a 2-year-old girl. The police used the water cannon three times, pummelling the seated protesters with ice-cold water. They wrestled non-violent rebels to the ground, pressing their heads into the cobbles, and they laughed as they did it.

    Many of the rebels suffered panic and anxiety attacks as they lay shivering on the ground waiting to be led to the vans.

    Of the 435 arrests, 118 were released from the police station after an ID check, the other 317 were held until 3am and dropped off at random locations around the city, distressed and unable to get home as there was no public transport available.

    It’s difficult to articulate how shocking these reports are. Our hearts go out to all of those directly or indirectly affected; and our compassion must also extend to those on the other side of this violence: captives themselves of a system bigger than any individual.

    No words can say it better than those of the Belgium rebels who, even while they were being dragged to the ground and beaten, were still chanting: ‘We love you. We are peaceful. We do this for your children.’

    Here is a video of the arrests, and a full 45 minute livestream from a brave rebel. Warning: the content of these videos is violent and likely upsetting.”


  130. Victor Schwanberg

     /  October 16, 2019

    Anyone know why Richard is not updating this website?


  131. wharf rat

     /  October 18, 2019


  132. Leland Palmer

     /  October 26, 2019

    Somewhat off topic post -except that all this global warming stuff is connected -please excuse that.

    The Kincade fire in Sonoma county, California is looking very worrisome. We’ve got a 24,000 acre fire burning near Healdsberg, north of Santa Rosa, where I live. We’ve got a Red Flag warning for a wind event coming up that looks very bad:,37.49,3000/loc=-122.441,38.874

    Along about 2 PM on Sunday, we could have a real firestorm on our hands, with Santa Rosa as the target. We are projected to have winds of maybe 20-25 miles per hour or more blowing right from the direction of this fire toward Santa Rosa, in conditions of low humidity. This fire is only 5% contained, and is spreading by sending burning embers downwind, even in these relatively calm wind conditions before the upcoming wind event on Saturday night.

    I’m putting the sprinklers on the roof, connecting the electric generator to the water pump, and getting ready to get out. We’re evacuating, and won’t be in Santa Rosa on Saturday night. We may have the power shut off in the upcoming PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electricity- our California utility company) planned electricity outage – we’re a block or so inside the possible blackout zone.

    This is what global warming looks like, for those aware of the PG&E bankruptcy saga in California. Huge costs, bankrupt utilities, firestorms, and everybody shifting the blame and fighting over who will pay the costs.


    • mlp in nc

       /  October 27, 2019

      Terrible, Leland. At least you and yours are safe. Please let us know you go through this ok.


    • Leland Palmer

       /  October 29, 2019

      Oh, we’re safe in Petaluma, 15 miles south of Santa Rosa. More big winds tonight, though. Gavin Newsom our Governor is just the bomb!

      PG&E, our utility, deserves some blame, I think, but the majority of the blame is on climate change and the fossil fuel industries causing it. If the state wants to sue, let them start with ExxonMobil, IMO.


      • Leland Palmer

         /  October 31, 2019

        What might bring about actual change might be huge lawsuits of states and utilities against the fossil fuel industries. Global warming has huge associated costs, and those industries selling products that create those costs, and financing long-term programs of denial and deception should pay those costs.

        PG&E has acted badly, especially during the artificially created California energy crisis a few years ago, in which they cooperated in creating a crisis then used that crisis to force Governor Gray Davis to sign high priced long-term energy contracts. But the primary blame for our current increased fire risks rests on ExxonMobil and the other fossil fuel Giants who have acted so badly and deceptively in the past.


  133. eleggua

     /  October 27, 2019

    Be safe, Leland Palmer.


  134. Leland Palmer

     /  November 1, 2019

    Oh, the Hot Blob might be back. This might be the son of Hot Blob, like a bad movie sequel.

    The Hot Blob of 2013-2016 was a large persistent area of warmer than normal surface water in the North Pacific Ocean. It appeared to be associated with the California drought of 2011-2017. Dr Jennifer Francis claimed that the hot blob appears to be associated with loss of Arctic Sea Ice.

    Wondering why we haven’t had any rain in California, at the end of October, I happened to look to see if the Hot Blob from the California drought was back. Maybe so. Baby Blob of 2019 is kind of puny so far compared to Daddy Blob – the sea surface temperature anomaly is less hot and has only been there maybe 4 months, and so far Baby Blob looks more variable than Daddy Blob.,36.98,1553/loc=-140.586,43.963

    If this relationship or sequence of events continues – big Arctic Sea Ice loss followed by Hot Blob in the North Pacific followed by persistent high pressures in the North Pacific and drought in California- then this might end up being a smoking gun connecting global warming with increased drought and wildfires in California. It’s pretty speculative so far, but the persistent lack of rain this fall is starting to feel a lot like the California Drought of a few years ago.

    Just sayin’. Curse you, Baby Blob!


    • Leland Palmer

       /  November 1, 2019
    • Vic

       /  November 1, 2019

      Hi Leland, you no doubt recall the horrid tales of millions of ‘melting’ starfish associated with the original blob. Well, it turns out they were the only significant predator of the purple sea urchin, whose populations have since soared by 10,000%. So you’re left with hundreds of millions of hungry urchins decimating kelp forests, starving out other key species and wiping out important fisheries that once employed tens of thousands of people.
      And they won’t be going away by the sound of it, there’s simply too many to exterminate and the species can go into a dormant state, stop reproducing and live for years with no food.


      • Leland Palmer

         /  November 2, 2019

        Oh, terrible. No, I didn’t know about the starfish and purple sea urchin.
        Apparently the starfish were a keystone species as predators often are, I guess. Now the purple sea urchins are out of control. These ecological effects, like wildfires, seem to be very sensitive to warming, I guess. Sad, sad, sad.


  135. Greg

     /  November 1, 2019

    Robert, you need to write for these guys!



  136. eleggua

     /  November 2, 2019
    October 28 2019

    “… A record high methane gas emission in a shape of an underwater ‘fountain’ was registered at the beginning of October east of Bennett island in the East Siberian Sea.

    ‘It was a needle in a haystack chase, to find an exact place of a methane seep in dark sea waters, but we found it!

    ‘Just right off the Academician Keldysh scientists noticed a spot of emerald-coloured water, with gas rushing to surface in thousands of bubble threads’, said expedition member Sergey Nikiforov, a communications experts of the Tomsk Politechnical University.

    The area of the fountain covered about five metres, with water ‘so violently boiling with methane bubbles’ that scientists skipped using plastic cones for sampling and instead collected the gas in buckets.

    ‘This was the most powerful seep I have ever observed. No one has ever recorded anything similar’ said head of the expedition Igor Semiletov, who has participated in 45 Arctic expeditions.

    Unexpectedly high speed of degradation of subsea permafrost has been recorded.

    ‘In some areas the roof of subsea permafrost thawed to the stability horizons of gas hydrates. Moreover, it has been proved that over the past 30 years speed of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost doubled compared to previous centuries and reached 18 centimetres per year which is significantly higher than in earlier estimates’, said professor Semiletov.

    ‘This result makes us reconsider the belief that subsea permafrost is stable and can only thaw by a few metres by the end of 21st century’, he stressed…

    … What they actually established

    High levels of degradation of subsea permafrost.
    Speed of vertical degradation of subsea permafrost has doubled compared to previous centuries and turned out to be higher than earlier estimates.
    Microplastic has been discovered in seas of the eastern Artic thousands miles away from residential settlements….”


  137. mlp in nc

     /  November 4, 2019

    Thanks for the article, eleggua. It is heartening that a multinational group of scientists is on board.

    Would like to note that this year there is a definite and noticeable bump in methane emission at Barrow. I wrote about the in situ, hourly eruption of late last year, but that mostly disappeared into the averaged data. Now this year even the flask data is showing up positive, so it looks like something is going on that bears watching.

    I don’t see a bump in any the other handful of other Arctic monitoring stations, but irritatingly, and interestingly, Tiksi went silent last September, just when the Barrow flare had begun, and is still out. That is bad, because Tiksi is the closest to Bennett Island, a mere 600 miles, while Barrow is a thousand and The Canadian stations some 1445-1600.


  138. eleggua

     /  November 4, 2019

    ” Leland Palmer / October 31, 2019

    What might bring about actual change might be huge lawsuits of states and utilities against the fossil fuel industries. Global warming has huge associated costs, and those industries selling products that create those costs, and financing long-term programs of denial and deception should pay those costs.”

    En route.

    ‘Massachusetts Sues Exxon Over Climate Change, Accusing the Oil Giant of Fraud’
    Oct 25, 2019

    “Oil giant ExxonMobil, already fighting a climate-related investor fraud case in New York, has been hit with a second lawsuit: The Massachusetts Attorney General is accusing the company of defrauding investors and threatening the world economy.

    This newest legal blow landed Thursday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston in a complaint alleging Exxon repeatedly violated the state’s consumer and investor protection law and related regulations.

    The lawsuit accuses Exxon of a broad sweep of misconduct that includes using deceptive advertising to mislead consumers in the state about the central role its fossil fuel products play in causing climate change, and intentionally misleading Massachusetts investors about material climate-driven risks to its business.

    Beyond the fraud allegations, Attorney General Maura Healey also upbraids Exxon in the lawsuit for an on-going “green washing” marketing campaign that she says falsely touts the company as a leader in clean energy research and climate action….”


    • Leland Palmer

       /  November 9, 2019

      Hi eleggua
      ExxonMobil is one of the largest corporations in the world, as you know. It’s two pieces of John D. Rockefeller’s old Standard Oil monopoly, broken up by anti-trust action in 1911.

      By several different measurements, John D. Rockefeller was the world’s all time richest man. When Standard Oil was broken up in 1911, the aggregate stock never lost value. Some people including me wonder if the Rockefeller family retained control of the fragments of Standard Oil using a network of interlocking corporate directorships, and by controlling the trustees. There have been some books written about this, the Rockefeller Files by Gary Allen is one of them.

      So, as huge as it is, some of us believe that it is just a fragment of a still bigger entity, that retains effective control of a huge number of corporations. The huge bank JPMorgan Chase (several trillion dollars in assets) has also traditionally been controlled by the Rockefeller family, and that might continue to this day. In some older versions of Thomas R. Dye’s Who’s Running America series of books he called the Rockefeller family the best example of the oligarchic model of American governance, although later versions talk about the wealth being distributed among many family members and the power and influence of the Rockefeller family diminishing. Last I heard, though, the management of the wealth was still unified, and family members just receive a huge salary.

      So, as big as ExxonMobil is, most of the wealth it has produced selling products that create global warming has now apparently been transferred to what has sometimes been called the Eastern Establishment, a complex of many corporations and huge banks.

      So, ExxonMobil is a good place to start, but the ultimate beneficiaries of all of this global warming produced wealth may truly be too big to prosecute under the law.

      A truly enraged population, though, enraged by this wanton and careless destruction of the stability of the climate system, might find a way to strip the ultimate beneficiaries of this wealth of their ill gotten gains, I think.


      • eleggua

         /  November 10, 2019

        Awareness is increasing. Evolutionary inevitability, peaceful global revolution. Ill-gotten gains, redistributed for use in mitigation and remediation. Simple and radical and necessary. And inevitable.



  139. eleggua

     /  November 6, 2019

    ‘Sea levels set to keep rising for centuries even if emissions targets met’
    6 Nov 2019

    “Sea level rise is set to challenge human civilization for centuries to come, even if internationally agreed climate goals are met and planet-warming emissions are then immediately eliminated, researchers have found.

    The lag time between rising global temperatures and the knock-on impact of coastal inundation means that the world will be dealing with ever-rising sea levels into the 2300s, regardless of prompt action to address the climate crisis, according to the new study.

    Even if governments meet their commitments from the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement, the first 15-year period of the deal will still result in enough emissions that would cause sea levels to increase by around 20cm by the year 2300…

    Researchers used a computer model that simulates sea level rise in response to various emissions levels, looking both at historical emissions since 1750 and also what the emissions scenario would be from 2015 to 2030 if countries met their Paris agreement obligations.

    About half of the 20cm sea level rise can be attributed to the world’s top five greenhouse gas polluters – the US, China, India, Russia and the European Union – according to the researchers. The US was a key architect of the Paris deal but this week Donald Trump formally triggered its exit from the agreement.

    “Our results show that what we do today will have a huge effect in 2300. Twenty centimetres is very significant; it is basically as much sea-level rise as we’ve observed over the entire 20th century,” said Climate Analytics’ Alexander Nauels, lead author of the study. “To cause that with only 15 years of emissions is quite staggering.”


  140. mlp in nc

     /  November 8, 2019

    Taku glacier in the Juneau icefield, the only known mountain glacier to be gaining mass, has finally begun to decline – “Not only have these signs of retreat arrived about 80 years ahead of schedule, Pelto said, but they also snuff a symbolic flicker of hope in the race to understand climate change. Of 250 mountain (or “alpine”) glaciers that Pelto has studied around the world, Taku was the only one that hadn’t clearly started to retreat.”

    The World’s Thickest Mountain Glacier Is Finally Melting, and Climate Change Is 100% to Blame.


  141. eleggua

     /  November 13, 2019

    ‘A third of California methane traced to a few super-emitters’
    November 7, 2019

    “NASA scientists are helping California create a detailed, statewide inventory of methane point sources—highly concentrated methane releases from single sources—using a specialized airborne sensor. The new data, published this week in the journal Nature, can be used to target actions to reduce emissions of this potent greenhouse gas…

    …Over a two-year period, a research team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, flew a plane equipped with the Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer—Next Generation (AVIRIS-NG) instrument over nearly 300,000 facilities and infrastructure components in those sectors. The instrument can detect plumes of methane in great detail. Each pixel covers an area of about 10 feet (3 meters) across, which allows scientists to see even small plumes that often go undetected.

    The team identified more than 550 individual point sources emitting plumes of highly concentrated methane. Ten percent of these sources, considered super-emitters, contributed the majority of the emissions detected. The team estimates that statewide, super-emitters are responsible for about a third of California’s total methane budget…

    …of the 270 surveyed landfills, only 30 were observed to emit large plumes of methane. However, those 30 were responsible for 40% of the total point-source emissions detected during the survey…”

    Views from NASA’s Methane Source Finder, a tool that provides methane data for the state of California. The data are derived from airborne remote-sensing, surface-monitoring networks and satellites and are presented on an interactive map alongside infrastructure information. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


  142. eleggua

     /  November 13, 2019

    ‘A deadly virus is spreading in marine mammals. Scientists say climate change is to blame.’
    Nov. 7, 2019

    “When a deadly virus that killed tens of thousands of European harbor seals in the northern Atlantic Ocean in 2002 began threatening sea lions, seals and otters in the northern Pacific Ocean, scientists were initially puzzled.

    The highly contagious phocine distemper virus — which is not believed to affect humans — attacks the respiratory and nervous systems of some marine mammals. But there was no indication it had infected animals that could have taken it to different parts of the world.

    “How did a virus that had previously been seen in the Atlantic Ocean end up in the Pacific Ocean?” said Tracey Goldstein, associate director of the One Health Institute at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.

    Goldstein and some of her colleagues examined 15 years of data that included measurements of Arctic sea ice and data from animals that had been tagged by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other institutions to study their migration patterns.

    Their conclusion: Melting Arctic sea ice brought on by the Earth’s warming climate created a way for the virus to move into a new region and infect a new population of sea life…

    The work of Goldstein and her colleagues, published Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports, also used blood and nasal swab samples from seals, sea lions and otters from southeast Alaska to Russia to assess which populations had been infected with the virus, and which specific strain they had been exposed to.

    The researchers noticed a link between sea ice losses in the Arctic and spikes in outbreaks of the disease. In particular, the scientists found that drastic reductions in sea ice on the Russian side of the North Atlantic coincided with increases in exposure rates in both ocean basins. The melted ice, Goldstein said, was likely opening up new waterways for infected animals to come into contact with other species…”


  143. eleggua

     /  November 13, 2019

    Three months since the last post. We miss you, Robert.

    Liked by 3 people

  144. eleggua

     /  November 14, 2019

    ‘The climate crisis will profoundly affect the health of every child alive today, report says’
    November 13, 2019

    “…If the world continues to produce the same amount of carbon emissions, a child born today could be living in a world with an average temperature that’s 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) warmer by their 71st birthday, according to the report, published Wednesday in the medical journal The Lancet.
    On any given day, a 7.2-degree difference might not sound like much, but as an average increase in temperature, it would be devastating for our health.

    “A business as usual trajectory will result in a fundamentally altered world,” the report says. “The life of every child born today will be profoundly affected by climate change. Without accelerated intervention, this new era will come to define the health of people at every stage of their lives.”…

    “The public doesn’t fully see this as a human health crisis. Maybe polar bears were our early indicator — the proverbial canary in the coal mine. But when you talk about this crisis, the bear images should be replaced with pictures of children,” said Dr. Jonathan Patz, a professor and director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not involved with the new report.
    “Children are suffering from the climate crisis. They are suffering with asthma, diarrheal disease, dengue fever. It is so important for the public to understand the climate crisis is absolutely a human health crisis.”
    However, the report says, if the world takes bold action to curb carbon emissions, this dire future could be avoided…

    The report suggests there has been “inadequate” global progress.
    Worldwide coal production had been declining, for example, but from 2016 to 2018, the total primary energy supply from coal went up 1.7%. Subsidies for global fossil fuel consumption increased by 50% over the past 3 years.
    President Donald Trump has begun the United States’ formal withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. In the US, carbon dioxide emissions rose by 2.8% in 2018 — the largest increase since 2010, the report found.

    “The world has yet to see a response from governments that matches the scale of the challenge,” said Patz, a member of the National Academy of Medicine whose pioneering research has shown the health risks of the climate crisis.
    Prices for renewable energy sources make them competitive with fossil fuels, yet “ironically this report shows too many countries still continue to subsidize fossil fuels,” Patz said. “That is very concerning. It is a time of urgency. And the health benefits from clean energy far outweigh the investment costs.”…

    As temperatures rise, there is more of a chance for disease to spread, the report found.
    In 2018, temperatures were already suitable for the spread of a particular kind of bacteria that causes much of the world’s wound infection and diarrheal disease.
    The same year was considered the second-most hospitable climate for the spread of dengue fever. Nine of the 10 most favorable years for the spread of this disease have happened since 2000, according to the report…

    “I think raising awareness through rigorous science can only benefit policymakers and the public at large, as it could lead to sound policy that would be feasible from a political standpoint. This report contributes to this important discussion,” said Todd Pugatch, an associate professor at Oregon State University, who did not work on the report. Pugatch’s research on the climate crisis found that natural disasters will likely become 52% more deadly if the climate crisis sees the worst case scenario.
    “The more we contribute to this rigorous evidence base of the real threat of the climate crisis, hopefully, it will have a policy impact,” he said.”


  145. eleggua

     /  November 14, 2019

    ‘Evolution can reconfigure gene networks to deal with environmental change
    November 13, 2019

    “Scientists at the University of Birmingham have unravelled the genetic mechanisms behind tiny waterfleas’ ability to adapt to increased levels of phosphorus pollution in lakes.

    By mapping networks of genes to the physiological responses of ancient and modern waterfleas (Daphnia), the researchers, based in the University’s School of Biosciences, were able to show that a cluster of over 800 genes, many of them involved in metabolic processes, evolved to become “plastic”, or flexible.

    This allows the modern Daphnia to adjust its gene expression according to the amount of phosphorus present in the environment. This is particularly fascinating as their 700-year-old ancestors were incapable of such a plastic response.

    Understanding the adaptive capabilities will help scientists to better predict the capacity of these creatures to help us mitigate against the threat posed by phosphorus pollution….”


  146. mlp in nc

     /  November 14, 2019

    Fascinating surprises. Most of us have heard that humans only use a few percentages of their genetic material and the rest is ‘dark’. Plants go us one better and can copy their entire genome wholesale up to multiple times. Those are really big lumber rooms of genetic material for evolution to play around in.


    • eleggua

       /  November 15, 2019

      Have you read any of Peter Wohlebben work yet?

      ‘The man who ​thinks trees talk to each other ‘
      12 Sep 2016

      “Trees have friends, feel loneliness, scream with pain and communicate underground via the “woodwide web”. Some act as parents and good neighbours. Others do more than just throw shade – they’re brutal bullies to rival species. The young ones take risks with their drinking and leaf-dropping then remember the hard lessons from their mistakes. It’s a hard-knock life.

      A book called The Hidden Life of Trees is not an obvious bestseller but it’s easy to see the popular appeal of German forester Peter Wohlleben’s claims – they are so anthropomorphic. Certainly, a walk in the park feels different when you imagine the network of roots crackling with sappy chat beneath your feet. We don’t know the half of what’s going on underground and beneath the bark, he says: “We have been looking at nature for the last 100 years like [it is] a machine.”..

      “The question for me is not should we use any living being but just how to deal with them.” He wants us to cut down our wood consumption and enjoy trees more – he describes them as “plant elephants”. Have we lost our connection with the natural world? “No, I don’t think so. Perhaps we have a little distance because scientists over the last 200 years have taught us that nature works without soul.”


  147. mlp in nc

     /  November 15, 2019

    Thanks for bring the book to my attention. I have not read it yet (I will), but based on the article I wouldn’t discount what he reports. Whether or not trees feel pain or emotions (it is clear they respond to injury in a complex fashion) as animals do is a question not even philosophers, to my knowledge, have taken on. It hurts me every time I see a tree cut down.

    Humans underestimate a lot. A friend of mine is a beekeeper, and he sent me an article about a woman who adopted a little honeybee that had deformed wing syndrome and would have died. She cared for it, and the little bee would crawl over her hand in seeming trust and not sting. It died at its appointed time (bees don’t live long), but I told him I didn’t doubt the bee understood what the lady was doing for it and responded. Perhaps I would have questioned but I have experience with wasps, which build under my deck. Every fall, when they are dying, some manage to get into my house. They cannot fly, but they do things like take up a position in the middle of the floor and turn and face me when I walk by. They have even crawled toward me when I have been reading under a light. It is hard not to anthropomorphize (What? am I supposed to myrmicinomorphize?) and think they know they are dying and head toward light and warmth, and, who knows, another living creature.


    • eleggua

       /  November 24, 2019

      You’re welcome.

      You’ve probably read E.O. Wilson’s ‘Biophilia’; if not, you’ll enjoy it.
      “Biophilia…the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” – E.O. Wilson


  148. eleggua

     /  November 24, 2019

    ‘Climate activists brought Harvard-Yale football game to a stop to protest fossil fuel investments’
    More than 150 protesters demanded the schools divest themselves of fossil fuel investments.
    By Sean Collins Nov 23, 2019, 4:39pm EST

    “More than 150 students and alumni protesting the two institutions’ financial ties to the fossil fuel industry halted the annual Harvard-Yale football game Saturday. The demonstrators took to the field during the game’s halftime, demanding the schools sell their stakes in fossil fuel companies.

    As Vox’s Umair Irfan has reported, both Harvard and Yale rely on funds, bonds, and assorted financial instruments to keep their endowments strong. Increasingly, students and alumni have become concerned that the institutions are profiting from the climate crisis, and see a divestment pressure campaign as a way to encourage the schools to invest in more environmentally responsible holdings.

    Similar campaigns have been launched at universities across the US, and in September, activists celebrated a victory in California, when the University of California system announced it would divest from fossil fuels.

    Harvard and Yale students are hoping for a similar outcome at their schools, and were joined in their Saturday demonstration by several hundred football fans, according to the Harvard Crimson. Those protesters and fans ignored calls from police to leave the field, reportedly chanting, “Divest” and “Disclose, divest, or this will be our death.”…”


  149. eleggua

     /  November 24, 2019

    ‘Pennsylvania To Spend $3M To Study Possible Link Between Fracking And Spike In Childhood Cancer’
    November 22, 2019

    “Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says his administration will spend $3 million on a pair of studies to explore the potential health impacts of the natural gas industry.

    Wolf is taking action after months of impassioned pleas by the families of pediatric cancer patients who live in the most heavily drilled region of the state.

    Dozens of children and young adults have been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma and other forms of cancer in a four-county area outside Pittsburgh.

    Ewing has no known environmental cause, but the families have been pressing the Wolf administration for an investigation into any possible link between this extremely rare form of bone cancer and shale gas development.

    Wolf says the research will address “the concern that there is a relationship between hydraulic fracturing and childhood cancers.”…

    A Ewing sarcoma doctor from UPMC indicated that the cancer is primarily genetic in nature and mostly related to family history, but while current research does not show a link to environmental causes, retired pediatrician Dr. Ned Ketyer does not find that persuasive.

    “The fact that there is no known environmental factor associated with the development of Ewing Sarcoma does not mean there is no environmental factor in the development of Ewing Sarcoma,” Dr. Ketyer said. “It just hasn’t been studied. The cancer is very rare.”

    If environment is a factor, you could cite several other potential health threats. The region has long hosted the coal industry, industrial farming chemicals, and even an abandoned uranium disposal site.

    However, environmental advocates say the spike in these cancers matches the decade-long rise of fracking and shale gas drilling.

    “We’ve been living with that uranium depot for decades, we’ve been living with these chemicals. There’s one thing that’s new, there’s one thing that’s different and that’s fracked gas,” he said.”


  150. eleggua

     /  November 24, 2019

    “…The intense downpours are characteristic of climate change, said Barbara Mayes Boustead, an author of the National Climate Assessment’s chapters on the Midwest and Northern Great Plains. While linking individual weather events is a complex and time-consuming process involving attribution science, the trends are clear, she said. “Climate change has changed the atmosphere itself,” Dr. Boustead said. So even if it is difficult to prove the precise impact of climate change on this year’s season, she added, “events like this become more likely as climate changes.”..”


  151. eleggua

     /  November 24, 2019

    The end is now!

    ‘Fires and Floods Make Saudi Aramco IPO a Hard Sell’
    Twenty years ago, investors would have tripped over each other to buy the shares. It’s a much tougher sale now.
    By Julian Lee November 17, 2019

    “…Oil lost its place in the power generation market after the oil shocks of the 1970s, and it is now starting to see serious competition for powering cars, buses and trucks along with the first signs of viable alternatives for fueling maritime transport.
    Oil’s domination in air transport looks safer for now, and the industry forecasts the strongest growth in petrochemicals that go into everything from plastics and fertilizers to electronic gadgets and clothing. But the tide of history is moving firmly against fossil fuels…”


  152. eleggua

     /  November 24, 2019

    The U.S. Natural Gas Boom Is Fueling A Global Plastics Boom
    November 15, 2019

    “On a quiet street overlooking Scotland’s largest refinery and chemical plant, Kevin Ross surveys the newest outgrowth of the American oil and gas boom.

    Since 2016, natural gas from the U.S. has been feeding the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, a vast complex of cooling towers, flaring towers and pipelines. The gas is originally harvested in Western Pennsylvania, sent through a pipeline to Philadelphia, and put on ships across the Atlantic.

    “It comes here, is taken off the ships, put into large storage tanks,” explains Ross, who’s president of the Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association and runs a local plastics testing company.

    Natural gas is mostly used for heating homes or fueling power plants. But when it comes out of the ground it contains another key ingredient — ethane, a building block of plastics — that is now fueling another booming industry.

    America is producing so much ethane that more than 300 new petrochemical and plastics plants are either planned or are under construction around the U.S. President Trump has touted the economic benefits of this, recently telling workers at a Shell ethane plant in Pennsylvania that “we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders.”

    But there’s more ethane than existing U.S. plants can use, so in short order the U.S. has also become the world’s leading exporter of ethane. That’s feeding growing plastics industries in India and China, as well as Europe — including the Grangemouth plant — and those exports are expected to keep growing.

    America’s ethane boom was a lucky break for the European chemical company INEOS. In 2011, its own supplies from the North Sea were running low, says Warren Wilczewski, an economist with the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    “INEOS looked at the United States, where ethane supply was growing, and especially in the Appalachian region, that ethane had, like, no place to go,” Wilczewski says. “And they recognized an opportunity.”

    INEOS commissioned a fleet of ships, the first ever to carry ethane by sea, to move the gas from a port near Philadelphia to plants in the U.K. and Norway.

    It also signed a deal with Sunoco Logistics to ship that gas from Western Pennsylvania through the Mariner East pipeline. Sunoco’s construction on that has been controversial because of its spotty environmental record and use of eminent domain. It’s the subject of criminal investigations, including one by the FBI. But the pipeline has proved vital for INEOS’ plan…

    Plastics and petrochemicals are increasingly important to the oil and gas industry. They’re expected to account for more than a third of growth in world oil demand by 2030, and half of all growth by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency. This worries environmentalists, who point out that the plastics industry accounts for about 4% of all carbon emissions, and that number is expected to increase…

    In Scotland, INEOS got more than $350 million in loan guarantees from the U.K. to retrofit the Grangemouth plant for American shale gas. But the company also wants a local supply, and it has pushed for the U.K. to allow fracking. That’s the controversial technology that breaks up rock deep underground to get hard-to-reach oil and natural gas, and which has made America’s gas boom possible.

    The idea was met by intense opposition.

    Norman Philip, with Friends of the Earth Scotland, grew up in Grangemouth, where his father worked at the plant under a previous owner. He opposes fracking because of what he has heard about it from communities in the U.S. and Australia.

    “People were telling us of gas leaks. They were telling us of, like, children having headaches,” he says. “There was a toxic element of it.”

    The pushback has resulted in an ironic twist: In 2015, Scotland put in place a moratorium on fracking, and the U.K. government recently did the same. And yet, it’s still legal to import shale gas produced by fracking in the U.S.

    Lee Sinclair is a railroad engineer at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant and has mixed feelings about that. “The only thing I don’t like about it is, Scotland said, ‘No you’re not fracking here,’ so they decided to go to America to get this gas,” Sinclair says.

    He’d rather the U.K. get its own local supply. But for now, he says, America’s boom in gas and ethane is helping him keep his job.”


    • nwkilt

       /  November 26, 2019

      Eleggua thank you for keeping this thread alive!! Hey Robert, what is new with you?


  153. eleggua

     /  November 26, 2019

    Yer welcome.

    Much thanks to friends and fellow travelers
    mlp, wharf rat and all who are keeping the lamp lit, and to faithful readers, and to you!


  154. eleggua

     /  November 26, 2019

    Civil Discobedience, coming right up!

    “ BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Melbourne’s Civil DISCObedience for Climate Action took the world by storm during Extinction Rebellion’s Spring Rebellion in October, and now we’re back for more – and this time it’s going GLOBAL!

    The COP25 Climate Conference will take place in Madrid from 2-13 December. It’s where the largest countries and contributors to greenhouse emissions will come together to flesh out the details of implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

    In light of the recent failed UN Climate Action Summit held in New York in September, we need to send a clear message that urgent and drastic action must be taken to address the climate and ecological emergency.

    Around the world, Extinction Rebellion groups are rehearsing their best dance moves before we come together on Friday 6 December for a GLOBAL DISCO DISRUPTION to send a deadly serious message with our spectacular dance moves.”


  155. eleggua

     /  November 27, 2019

    A few from Truthdig…


    ‘Quick Wins’ Needed to Keep Climate Goals Within Reach, U.N. Says
    Nov 26, 2019

    “A report by the U.N. Environment Program, published days before governments gather in Madrid for an annual meeting on climate change, showed the amount of planet-heating gases being pumped into the atmosphere hitting a new high last year, despite a near-global pledge to reduce them.

    Man-made greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2018 to 55.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the U.N.’s annual ‘emissions gap’ report. While much of the increase came from emerging economies such as China and India, some of those emissions are the result of manufacturing outsourced from developed countries.

    “We need quick wins to reduce emissions as much as possible in 2020,” said the agency’s chief, Inger Andersen. “We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated.”

    To stop average global temperatures from increasing by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) this century compared with pre-industrial times, worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases will have to drop by 7.6% each year in the coming decade, the agency said. Scientists say the 1.5C target — contained in the 2015 Paris climate accord — would avert some of the more extreme changes in global weather patterns predicted if temperatures rise further.

    “What we are looking at is really that emissions need to go down by 55 percent by 2030,” said John Christensen, lead author and director of the UNEP-Danish Technology Institute Partnership.

    Even the less ambitious goal of capping global warming at 2C (3.6 F) would require annual emissions cuts of 2.7% between 2020 and 2030, UNEP said.

    That currently seems unlikely….”


  156. eleggua

     /  November 27, 2019


    ‘U.N. Issues Climate Report We Can’t Afford to Ignore’
    Nov 26, 2019

    “…”It is evident that incremental changes will not be enough and there is a need for rapid and transformational action,” the report states. “By necessity, this will see profound change in how energy, food, and other material-intensive services are demanded and provided by governments, businesses, and markets.”…

    …”Across the globe, resistance to fossil fuels is rising, the climate strikes have shown the world that we are prepared to take action,” May Boeve (chief executive of added. “Going forward people will keep up a steady drumbeat of actions, strikes, and protests that get louder and louder throughout 2020. To governments attending Cop25 in Madrid, the eyes of all future generations are upon you. The world has woken up to the reality of climate breakdown.”


  157. eleggua

     /  November 27, 2019


    Know him or not, Chomsky deserves your attention.

    ‘Noam Chomsky: Centrism Will Only Get Us Four More Years of Trump ‘
    Nov 25, 2019

    “…In an interview after last week’s Democratic debate, Chomsky spoke with Truthout’s C.J. Polychroniou about America’s political culture, the rise of democratic socialism, the Democratic Party’s fear of progressives, and why he finds it “psychologically impossible to discuss the 2020 election without emphasizing, as strongly as possible, what is at stake: survival, nothing less.”

    According to Chomsky, another four years of Donald Trump “may spell the end of much of life on earth, including organized human society in any recognizable form.”

    This is especially true when it comes to climate change, an existential threat that Trump continually plays down. Chomsky quotes Raymond Pierrehumbert, a lead author of the 2018 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. In a September op-ed for the Tucson Sentinel, Pierrehumbert wrote, “With regard to the climate crisis, yes, it’s time to panic.”

    While other countries attempt to alleviate the effects of climate change, “Trump and the political organization he now virtually owns are taking steps, too—to exacerbate the crisis,” all the while threatening to use nuclear weapons, which could also destroy us if environmental decline doesn’t first, Chomsky says….”


  158. nwkilt

     /  November 28, 2019

    Sustainable farming pioneer remembered
    Larry Korn – “The One-Straw Revolution”


  159. nwkilt

     /  November 29, 2019

    Noted author and sustainable farming pioneer Larry Korn of Ashland is being remembered as a loving friend “who helped us return to our roots to rediscover the sustainable and ecological way of farming.” He died Nov. 19 in Ashland. He was 71.

    Korn made his mark on the “natural farming” scene with publication in 1978 by Rodale Press of “The One-Straw Revolution,” a translation of the agricultural and spiritual teachings of farmer-philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka, developer of no-till farming. Korn studied under him for two years, living in a simple mud-lined hut in Japan.

    In the New York Times Review of Books, the book was tagged “Zen and the Art of Farming,” adding it is “a manifesto about farming, eating and the limits of human knowledge, presenting a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food.”

    Korn earned degrees in soil science and plant nutrition at University of California in Berkeley, then worked with California Department of Forestry analyzing soil erosion as part of a statewide study of logging practices. He edited the 1982 Tilth book “The Future is Abundant: a Guide to Sustainable Agriculture,” about applying permaculture and natural farming in the Pacific Northwest. He also translated his master’s book “Sowing Seeds in the Desert.”

    For 20 years, Korn incorporated these principles in his Bay Area business, Mu. He taught permaculture throughout the U.S. and wrote articles for Mother Earth News, Organic Gardening and other publications. He moved to Ashland in 2008.

    His 2015 book, “One-Straw Revolutionary,” was from his own heart (not a translation) and, according to publisher Chelsea Green, “is the first book to look deeply at natural farming and intimately discuss the philosophy of Fukuoka. Korn points out natural farming’s kinship with ways of indigenous cultures (and) explains how natural farming can be used (for) personal growth and development.”

    On, Korn noted that, over 65 years his master “worked to develop a system of natural farming that demonstrated the insight he was given as a young man, believing that it could be of great benefit to the world. He did not plow his fields, used no agricultural chemicals or prepared fertilizers, did not flood his rice fields as farmers have done in Asia for centuries, and yet his yields equaled or surpassed the most productive farms in Japan.” Fukuoka died in 2008 at age 95.

    His daughter, Lia Korn, 29, an occupational therapist in Denver, traveled with Korn to Ireland to see farmers using his and Fukuoka’s farming philosophies in action — and last spring, took a similar journey to the Micronesian islands. With Mary Reynolds, in Ireland, he co-authored “The Garden Awakening.”

    “It was never about him,” Lia Korn said, in an interview. “He redirected people to the method. If we get away from nature and think we have to fix nature, it’s going to be trouble, and that’s where humanity is now. He was before his time. He was brave enough to follow his heart and go to Japan with just a little backpack, no money and no plans, and found his calling in life. He taught a lot of people to live that way and follow their dreams.”

    Lisa Pavati of Ashland said Korn was “a friend, mentor, hero and teacher with his ‘Sustainable Living Guide,’ (also known as “The Little Green Book”). His deep wisdom took root and grew through the sustainability and regenerative agriculture movement. He taught how we can support the Earth, rather than try to control and exploit it. He taught us awareness that we are part of nature, not separate from it or entitled to it.”

    Natural farming, noted Pavati, “is a way of seeing the world and even our own selves, with our limitless intuition rather than with our very limited intellect.”

    It leaves plowing and chemicals behind, so the soil structure and organisms are preserved and nourished. Usually, it uses permanent ground cover, including trees, and diversity of seeds, she adds, “so that nature can guide the choices of what grows where.”

    In a Facebook tribute, friend Daniel Sperry of Ashland noted Korn “seemed to be unstoppable, in a gentle, extremely intelligent, always humorous way. His love of life was sweet and deep and infectious. I never met anyone as full-out as this little Yoda-looking guy who always had a mischievous smile and some plan to make the world better — one that he actually was in the process of making come true. He helped us return to our roots to rediscover the sustainable and ecological way of farming.”

    Sustainable farmer Chris Hardy of Ashland, a leader of the GMO ban campaign, called Korn “one of the genuinely kindest, sweetest people I’ve ever known, passionate about loving Earth and doing things in ways that align with what brings more life to the planet. He brought us Fukuoka, one of the great leaders in the no-till, small-scale farming movement in the world. He taught us that when you stick machinery into a farm, you harm a lot of life. He taught us to observe how nature behaves and let that be our guiding principle, instead of what man thinks he knows.”

    Korn, a Los Angeles native, wrote, “Once we enter into nature and participate from the inside, instead of as a visitor from the outside then we will intuitively know how to make a living in the world, how to feed ourselves and give ourselves shelter in a way which also allows other forms of life to live.”

    A memorial for Korn is slated for Jan. 11, at a location to be announced. A film about Fukuoka, “Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness,” can be seen at


    • eleggua

       /  November 29, 2019

      Thanks for the copy’n’paste. Good to read about his life and one of his inspirations, Masanobu Fukuoka.

      “If we get away from nature and think we have to fix nature, it’s going to be trouble, and that’s where humanity is now.”


  160. eleggua

     /  November 29, 2019

    ‘Our house is on fire’: EU parliament declares climate emergency’
    28 Nov 2019

    “The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050…

    Although passed with a comfortable majority, with 429 votes in favour, 225 votes against and 19 abstentions – MEPs across the political spectrum warned against making symbolic gestures.

    Environmental campaigners said the declaration was not backed by sufficient action. “Our house is on fire. The European parliament has seen the blaze, but it’s not enough to stand by and watch,” said Greenpeace’s EU climate policy adviser, Sebastian Mang, shortly before the vote.

    In a separate vote on Thursday, MEPs backed a resolution stating that current EU climate targets were “not in line” with the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which calls for keeping global heating “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels, but aiming to cap temperature rises at 1.5C.

    MEPs backed a tougher target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, an improvement on the current 40% target, but derided by Green politicians and campaigners as inadequate.

    Pascal Canfin, the French liberal MEP who drafted the climate emergency resolution, said: “The fact that Europe is the first continent to declare climate and environmental emergency, just before COP25, when the new commission takes office, and three weeks after Donald Trump confirmed the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris agreement, is a strong message sent to citizens and the rest of the world.”…

    The EPP’s environmental spokesman, Peter Liese, said the climate emergency was “a fake debate” that hid the real decisions needed to reduce emissions. “There is an urgency to act, but no state of emergency to declare. Emergency can also be interpreted as undermining fundamental rights, like freedom of press and democracy.”

    However, scores of EPP MEPs joined Liberals, Socialists, Greens and the radical left in voting through the climate emergency resolution…”


  161. eleggua

     /  November 30, 2019

    Robert, if you’re listening, would like to hear your (risk) assessment of Denmark’s Risk Assessment.

    ‘Danes see Greenland security risk amid Arctic tensions’

    “Denmark has for the first time put mineral-rich Greenland top of its national security agenda, ahead of terrorism and cybercrime.

    The Defence Intelligence Service (FE) linked its change in priorities to US interest in Greenland, expressed in President Donald Trump’s desire to buy the vast Arctic territory.

    Greenland is part of Denmark, but has significant autonomy, including freedom to sign major business deals.

    China has mining deals with Greenland.

    The FE’s head Lars Findsen said Greenland was now a top security issue for Denmark because a “power game is unfolding” between the US and other global powers in the Arctic…

    Greenland’s strategic importance has grown amid increased Arctic shipping and international competition for rare minerals. Arctic waters are becoming more navigable because of melting ice, linked to global warming…

    In a statement to the BBC, the FE’s Lars Findsen said: “We have decided to start this year’s Intelligence Risk Assessment with a chapter on the Arctic, as the interests of the great powers in the Arctic have direct impact on and growing significance for the Kingdom of Denmark.

    “Despite the Arctic nations’ shared ambition to keep the region free of security policy disagreements, the military focus on the Arctic is growing. A power game is unfolding between great powers Russia, the United States and China that deepens tensions in the region.”

    Russia has stepped up its economic and military activities in the Arctic. There are competing territorial claims at the UN from Denmark, Russia, the US and Canada in the North Pole region, where energy and mineral resources are becoming more accessible.

    Kasper Wester, a defence journalist with Danish news website OLFI, says Denmark’s military routinely patrols Greenland’s airspace and waters.

    However, in August Denmark sent a large support ship to Greenlandic waters for the first time. The Absalon, and sister ship Esbern Snare, are the biggest Danish naval vessels…

    A joint venture between Greenland Minerals Ltd and Shenghe Resources Holding will enable China to import rare earth minerals containing radioactive uranium and thorium.

    The rare earths surveyed in the Kvanefjeld project, in southern Greenland, are estimated at 270,000 tonnes of uranium and 11m tonnes of rare earth oxide, Australia-based Greenland Minerals Ltd says.

    The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) is participating in the project.

    The business website, run by the US government, says “mining industry experts anticipate the retreating ice will make the island’s rich stores of raw materials more easily accessible”…

    Speaking to the BBC, journalist Kasper Wester said “for Greenland’s people there is huge potential income in exporting minerals, and the whole independence discussion relates to that”.

    Some Greenlandic politicians were pushing for independence, he said, but most of them “know they would be much worse off without the Danish subsidy”.

    But he said there was still discussion about whether Danes were too colonial in their approach to Greenland.

    “Danish politicians are very cautious about what’s going on. Not many will say it’s a good idea to do too much business with the Chinese,” he added.”


  162. eleggua

     /  December 1, 2019

    ‘The flawed social science behind Extinction Rebellion’s change strategy’
    ‘White privilege leads to cherry-picked misreadings of data on worldwide struggles of people of colour (and beyond)’
    Nafeez Ahmed Oct 28 2019
    View at


    This piece is not an attack on XR. It is a call to do better based on critical engagement with the scientific data that XR’s strategists describe as the foundation for the movement’s approach, along with some of their public statements. It closes with four key, constructive recommendations. We cover a lot of ground, and some arguments are repeated in different ways. So if you want to get to grips with the social science on why XR strategy needs a serious upgrade, maybe grab a drink, sit down, and take out some time to digest this.



  163. eleggua

     /  December 3, 2019

    Another piece by the author of the one above. A tough read, however points made therein that should be considered.

    The Collapse of Civilization May Have Already Begun
    Scientists disagree on the timeline of collapse and whether it’s imminent. But can we afford to be wrong? And what comes after?
    by Nafeez Ahmed Nov 22 2019

    ” …collapse is a result of a form of endless growth premised on the unsustainable consumption of resources, and the new order of increasingly unresolvable crises this generates.

    In my view, we are already entering a perfect storm feedback loop of complex problems that existing systems are too brittle to solve.

    …collapse can pave the way for a new, more viable form of civilization, whether or not countries and regions experience collapses, crises, droughts, famine, violence, and war as a result of ongoing climate chaos.

    What happens next is still up to us. Our choices today will not merely write our own futures, they determine who we are, and what our descendants will be capable of becoming. As we look ahead, this strange new science hints to us at a momentous opportunity to become agents of change for an emerging paradigm of life and society that embraces, not exploits, the Earth. Because doing so is now a matter of survival.”


  164. eleggua

     /  December 4, 2019

    ‘A massive waterfall formed on Greenland’s ice sheet. Here’s why it matters’
    December 4, 2019

    “What may have been the world’s tallest waterfall briefly formed on Greenland’s ice sheet last year, draining a meltwater lake of 5 million cubic meters of water — equivalent to 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools — in just five hours.

    Scientists from the University of Cambridge in the UK recorded the extraordinary phenomenon through the use of aerial drones.
    Their study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, investigates the link between this transfer of meltwater to the bottom of the ice and rising global sea levels. Greenland has the world’s second-largest ice sheet, and is the single largest contributor to global sea-level rise, the study said.

    “Before this study, we already knew that many lakes drain and that fractures may be important in the lake drainage process, but the formation of fractures in terms of ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ has not been studied before, at least not with the resolution and details featured in our work,” one of the researchers, Poul Christoffersen, from Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute, who led the research told CNN via e-mail…

    Formed during the summer as the weather warms, the ‘trigger lakes’ such as the one the scientists observed at Store Glacier, in northwest Greenland, can cause a chain-reaction so that up to 50 or more lakes nearby can drain rapidly over the course of a few days, Christoffersen said.
    At its peak, the cascade was 950 cubic meters per second, which is roughly half of the flow of Niagara Falls or one Olympic sized swimming pool every three seconds, he said. The water was plunging “pretty much exactly” 1,000 meters (3,281 feet), said Christoffersen.
    Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world’s highest waterfall, standing at around 3,210 feet…

    Christoffersen said climate change plays a key role in the increase of meltwater production, as global temperatures rise.

    “More and more melt water is being produced and melting extends to higher and higher elevations,” he said. “Lakes are growing larger and more numerous and forming at higher elevations. Some as high as 2 kilometers above sea level. This means that networks of lakes draining in cascading events are likely to grow larger.”
    “It’s possible we’ve under-estimated the effects of these glaciers on the overall instability of the Greenland Ice Sheet,” said co-first author Tom Chudley, a PhD student at the Scott Polar Research and the team’s drone pilot. “It’s a rare thing to actually observe these fast-draining lakes — we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time.”

    “Drone imagery captured the lake drainage in unprecedented detail.”



    Victoria Falls dries to a trickle after worst drought in a century
    Fri 6 Dec 2019 20.53 EST

    For decades Victoria Falls, where southern Africa’s Zambezi river cascades down 100 metres into a gash in the earth, have drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia for their stunning views.

    But the worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fuelling fears that climate change could kill one of the region’s biggest tourist attractions.

    While they typically slow down during the dry season, officials said this year had brought an unprecedented decline in water levels.
    Zimbabwe on verge of ‘manmade starvation’, warns UN envoy
    Read more

    “In previous years, when it gets dry, it’s not to this extent,” Dominic Nyambe, a seller of tourist handicrafts in his 30s, said outside his shop in Livingstone, on the Zambian side. “This [is] our first experience of seeing it like this.


    • eleggua

       /  December 8, 2019

      Crazy contrast, what’s happening with Victoria Falls versus the waterfall in Greenland in the news piece just above this one.

      Dec 7, 2019
      “Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls have slowed down to a trickle after an unprecedented decline in water levels, officials have said. Data from the Zambezi River Authority showed water flow at its lowest since 1995, and well under the long term average. Zambian President Edgar Lungu said it was a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment, yet some scientists are cautious about categorically blaming the climate crisis. Harald Kling, a hydrologist at engineering firm Poyry and a Zambezi river expert, said climate science dealt in decades, not particular years, “so it’s sometimes difficult to say this is because of climate change because droughts have always occurred”.”


  166. mlp in nc

     /  December 7, 2019

    The climate chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific
    By Simon Denyer and Chris Mooney

    Liked by 1 person

    • eleggua

       /  December 8, 2019

      Whoa. Woe.

      “…rapid warming in the Sea of Okhotsk, wedged between Siberia and Japan. The area has warmed in some places by as much as 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since preindustrial times, making it one of the fastest-warming spots in the world, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the nonprofit organization Berkeley Earth…

      The rising temperatures are starting to shut down the single most dynamic sea ice factory on Earth. The intensity of ice generation in the northwestern Sea of Okhotsk exceeds that of any single place in the Arctic Ocean or Antarctica, and the sea ice reaches a lower latitude than anywhere else on the planet. Its decline has a cascade of consequences well beyond Japan as climate dominoes begin to fall.

      When sea ice forms here, it expels huge amounts of salt into the frigid water below the surface, creating some of the densest ocean water on Earth. That water then sinks and travels east, carrying oxygen, iron and other key nutrients out into the northern Pacific Ocean, where marine life depends on it.

      As the ice retreats, that nutrient-rich current is weakening, endangering the biological health of the vast northern Pacific — one of the most startling, and least discussed, effects of climate change so far observed…

      key nutrients, especially iron, flow into the Sea of Okhotsk from Russia’s Amur River. Undersea currents carry those nutrients into the North Pacific, forming an intermediate layer of water roughly 600 to 2,600 feet below the surface. Eventually, the water rises back up, bringing the iron that is vital for phytoplankton with it.

      The Okhotsk sea ice decline jeopardizes that giant convection current. Ohshima, his fellow scientists from Hokkaido University and other institutions in Japan have documented a marked warming in the North Pacific’s intermediate layer, much more rapid than the general warming of the ocean — a sign that less cold, dense water is being formed in the Sea of Okhotsk.

      Scientists have also documented growing zones in the North Pacific, at depths of about 1,300 and 2,300 feet, where ocean oxygen levels are in fast decline.

      In other words, the “heart of the Pacific” is indeed weakening. The scientists don’t know all of the consequences yet, but they’re worried because of the irreplaceable contribution of the Sea of Okhotsk to a much larger region…”

      Canfield Ocean. Robert, your voice is missed. Certain you’ve great perspective on what’s up in the Pacific, particularly relative to similar decline in ocean circulation in the Atlantic.


  167. eleggua

     /  December 8, 2019

    Three years since DT Lange passed. This NYT piece evokes our friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eleggua

       /  December 10, 2019

      “ This animation shows how Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s.

      This is what a study by an international research team, including Durham University, has found.

      The rate of ice loss is in line with the more pessimistic climate warming scenario by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which would see 40 million more people exposed to coastal flooding by 2100.

      Our researchers at Durham are part of a 96-strong team of polar scientists from across the world who have produced the most complete picture of Greenland ice loss to date. ”


  168. eleggua

     /  December 10, 2019

    Grrrr. AG was not well prepared.
    ‘ Exxon Prevails Over New York in Climate Accounting Case’
    December 10, 2019

    “… “The office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor,” Ostrager wrote in a 55-page ruling. The AG “produced no testimony either from any investor who claimed to have been misled by any disclosure,” the judge said…

    Exxon got a hint of victory on the last day of the trial when the attorney general dropped the two most damning of four claims without explanation during his closing statement. The abandoned claims had been crucial elements of the state’s case because they held that Exxon’s misstatements were part of a scheme to mislead and that investors had relied on them when buying the company’s stock.

    After the AG’s retreat, what remained for Ostrager to decide was whether Exxon had violated the Martin Act by issuing public statements about proxy costs that were materially misleading. The state couldn’t show that it had…”


  169. eleggua

     /  December 12, 2019

    Robert Scribbler, missing you in action. Four months since your last post. Meanwhile…

    ‘As Climate Change Worsens, A Cascade of Tipping Points Looms’
    December 5, 2019

    “…A group of researchers, led by Tim Lenton at Exeter University, England, first warned in a landmark paper 11 years ago about the risk of climate tipping points. Back then, they thought the dangers would only arise when global warming exceeded 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. But last week, Lenton and six co-authors argued in the journal Nature that the risks are now much more likely and much more imminent. Some tipping points, they said, may already have been breached at the current 1 degree C of warming.

    The new warning is much starker than the forecasts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which critics say has until now played down the risks of exceeding climate tipping points, in part because they are difficult to quantify.

    The potential tipping points come in three forms: runaway loss of ice sheets that accelerate sea level rise; forests and other natural carbon stores such as permafrost releasing those stores into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2), accelerating warming; and the disabling of the ocean circulation system.

    The researchers once considered these tipping points to be largely independent of each other. Now they warn that the world faces a “cascade” of abrupt shifts in the planet’s climate system, as global warming takes hold. “We might already have crossed the threshold for a cascade of inter-related tipping points,” they wrote in Nature. This “could trigger a shift in the state of the Earth system as a whole,” one of the authors, Will Steffen of the Australian National University in Canberra, told Yale Environment 360.

    Their biggest fear is for the future of the global ocean circulation system, which moves heat around the world and may dictate global climate. They say melting Greenland ice in a warmer Arctic has driven a key component of ocean circulation to a thousand-year low. Further decline, which would lead to a shift in heat distribution around the planet, could trigger forest collapse in the Amazon; cause near-permanent drought in Africa’s Sahel region; disrupt Asian monsoons; rapidly warm the Southern Ocean, which would cause a surge in global sea levels as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet disintegrates; and potentially shift the planet to a new climate regime they call “hothouse Earth.”…”


    • eleggua

       /  December 12, 2019

      Pacific circulation also in slowdown. Dueling Canfield Oceans?
      ‘The climate chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific’
      Nov. 12, 2019

      “…When sea ice forms here, it expels huge amounts of salt into the frigid water below the surface, creating some of the densest ocean water on Earth. That water then sinks and travels east, carrying oxygen, iron and other key nutrients out into the northern Pacific Ocean, where marine life depends on it.

      As the ice retreats, that nutrient-rich current is weakening, endangering the biological health of the vast northern Pacific — one of the most startling, and least discussed, effects of climate change so far observed.
      “We call the Sea of Okhotsk the heart of the North Pacific,” said Kay Ohshima, a polar oceanographer at the Institute of Low Temperature Science at Hokkaido University. “But the Sea of Okhotsk is significantly warming, three times faster than the global mean.
      “That causes the power of the heart to weaken,” he said.”


  170. eleggua

     /  December 15, 2019

    “What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

    The dragon rustles, awakening from its slumber: methane over the Arctic, three daze ago:


  171. nwkilt

     /  December 15, 2019

    “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”


    • eleggua

       /  December 16, 2019

      “…the worst are full of passionate intensity”

      “Peter Baker of The New York Times pointed out in a tweet that Trump had tweeted or retweeted other posts 123 times as of 11:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, breaking his record for most tweets fired out in a single day. ”


  172. mlp in nc

     /  December 15, 2019

    And to follow up on the Barrow eruption. It is still ongoing.


    • eleggua

       /  December 16, 2019

      Right on, mlp; thanks for keeping track of it.

      DECEMBER 16, 2019
      ‘Climate: From Catastrophe to Cataclysm’

      “… 23 minute video, linked below, … shows an interview of Dr. Peter Carter (Director Climate Emergency Institute, IPCC expert reviewer, Co-author in 2018 of Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival). This interview was conducted at COPS25 (“this is set up to fail”) currently underway in Madrid, Spain, on 10 December 2019.

      The global methane (CH4) level was between 650ppb and 700ppb (ppb = parts per billion) between years 1000 and 1750. The methane level has risen at an increasing rate since: from 700ppb in 1750 to 850ppb in 1900; and then zooming to over 1850ppb today. Methane is 86 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Peter Carter describes the massive explosion of methane emission that is occurring right now around Point Barrow, Alaska…”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mlp in nc

         /  December 16, 2019

        How did you ever find that?

        Carter’s opinion is that the Barrow spike is due to methane hydrates. The other possibilities are permafrost (but why the spike here and not elsewhere?), and oil/gas production. Stay tuned.


        • mlp in nc

           /  December 16, 2019

          Here is the 2018 in situ hourly data:

          No other single years are available through the ESRL website. I kept a copy of the 2017 graph, but can’t reproduce it here. It shows much less than 2018, only a small, barely discernable spike in mid summer.
          However, the total methane emissions at Barrow are not elevated, so this eruption is limited. The problem is where it is coming from. If from methane hydrates that is obviously bad, given that Arctic Ocean temperature is warmer at the bottom than at the top.


        • eleggua

           /  December 17, 2019

          Found it via inspiration from you! Searching for more info on the Barrow methane eruption, following on info you’ve posted here. Thanx again.


        • eleggua

           /  December 17, 2019

          If you can take a screenshot of the 2017 graph and convert it to a jpg or png, there’re ‘free’ image posting sites where it can be uploaded and shared. Will dig up one later and post a link.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mlp in nc

           /  December 17, 2019

          I can do that. I have both a .jpeg and .png file.
          Also noted that the usual, i.e. flask, discrete, measurements are showing the same spike. Here is 2019 where it is very clear, with levels up to 2080 and 2018 where it is absent, baseline levels about 1950. I do not know enough about the in situ vs flask measurements to understand their particulars, but it is the flask measurements only that are being used at the other ESRL sites. As of last check they did not show the spike, though Ny-Alesund maintains high levels reaching this year near 2,000. Tiksi is still out.
          I do wonder why no one but the AMEG folks and a lone engineer are talking about it. That is not a subtle spike.


        • mlp in nc

           /  December 17, 2019

          P.S. The other stations – Storhofdi, Shemya Island, Pallas-Sammaltunturi, and Alert also show levels approaching 2000 or so.


        • eleggua

           /  December 18, 2019

          Definitely not subtle spikes. No recent mentions that I could locate.

          Randall Gates tweeted back in September, 2019, about the spikes.

          First I’ve encountered him; he’s putting out a lot of good stuff on his tweet sheet.

          e.g. this one from earlier today re: Australia heatwave:

          A lot of material to share re: Australia’s heatwave, fires, etc. Will post more re: Down Under down below.


        • eleggua

           /  December 18, 2019

          Taking a loooong time for this wordpress page to load due to the growing number of comments including embedded vids and images. Another reason, looking forward to a new post from Robert. 😉

          Here’re a couple of ‘free’ image hosting sites. Imgur is the most popular. Will post an article from last month with a list including a few others, once the next page loads.


        • eleggua

           /  December 18, 2019

          Wonder if there’s any apparent correlation between methane spikes in that region and earthquake activity. Three quakes 4.1 and greater in the last 24 hours around there.

          Here’s the article listing other free image hosting sites; it also lists a few image storage options, e.g. Dropbox.


        • eleggua

           /  December 18, 2019

          Earthquakes near Barrow, AK.
          0 quakes of 1.5
          Magnitude or greater in the past 365 daze. No apparent correlation to the methane spikes.


      • mlp in nc

         /  December 18, 2019

        The earthquakes could be factor I’ve read. I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.


      • mlp in nc

         /  December 18, 2019

        Thanks for the Gates twitter. There are eyes on it, I see.
        I am not sure how to use the photo sites to get a pic here. Can you help?


        • eleggua

           /  December 18, 2019

          You’re welcome.
          Another one from Randall Gates, posted yesterday. Weird-yet-neat looking Polar Vortex via Earth.Nullschool.

          Sure. I don’t use any image posting sites, so will take a look at a couple and try to familiarize.
          Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen imgur this page, it might have useful info.


        • eleggua

           /  December 18, 2019

          Okay. ImgBB is the one I found easiest and fastest to use. Here’s one I did just now:

          Put the image you want to create a link for onto your desktop.
          You can retitle the image on the desktop if you wish;
          double-click on the text to the left of the (dot)jpg or (dot)png or (dot)jpeg;
          type your new title in the highlighted area, then click on the image again to save the new title.
          Retitling is useful, as the title of your image is going to show in the link created by ImgBB.

          – Next, go to to the ImgBB homepage.
          – Click the blue “Start Uploading” button.
          – That ought to pull up a “File Upload” window showing files on your desktop.
          – Scroll and select your desired image.
          – That’ll pull up a webpage window showing the selected image with a green “Upload” below it.
          – Click “Upload”.
          – That’ll give you an “Upload Complete” window showing the image, with a unique link to the image below.
          – Copy the link and paste it into the address bar on a new window (or the same one; doesn’t matter).
          – The image now shows on a page with the ImgBB logo at the top.
          – That page won’t imbed, though.
          – It does contain imbed links below the image, however I find it easier to grab the link via the image on that page.
          – On a PC, right click the image, select the image to copy the image link.
          – On a Mac, click on the image while holding the ‘Control’ key, then “Copy Image Location”.
          Now you can post the link into your comment field here on the blog.

          If it sounds like that takes awhile, don’t concern: it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to accomplish all of it.

          Here’s another one via ImgBB:

          have fun!


        • eleggua

           /  December 18, 2019

          If interested in checking out the ‘Intelligent Trees’ documentary, featuring Peter Wohlleben and Suzanne Simard, here’s the homepage:

          “Trees talk, know family ties and care for their young? Is this too fantastic to be true? Scientist Suzanne Simard (The University of British Columbia, Canada) and German forester and author Peter Wohlleben have been investigating and observing the communication between trees over decades. And their findings are most astounding.”

          Another person doing amazing work investigating plant communication and intelligence, and plant-human/interspecies communication, Monica Gagliano, is featured in this NYTimes Mag piece by Ellie Shechet from a few months ago.

          ‘Do Plants Have Something to Say?
          One scientist is definitely listening.’
          Aug. 26, 2019

          As environmental collapse looms, we’ve never known so much about life on earth — how extraordinary and intricate it all is, and how loose the boundary where “it” ends and “we” begin.

          As Dr. Gagliano tells it, she’d been volunteering at an herbalist’s clinic, and had begun using ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew that induces visions and emotional insights (and often nausea). She says that one day, sober, she was walking around her garden and heard, in her head, a plant suggest that she start studying plants.

          To communicate with plants, Dr. Gagliano followed the dieta, or the shamanic method in the indigenous Amazonian tradition by which a human establishes a dialogue with a plant. The rules can vary, but it usually involves following a diet (no salt, alcohol, sugar or sex; some animal products may also be prohibited, depending on the culture) and drinking a plant concoction (sometimes hallucinogenic, sometimes not) in isolation for days, weeks or months. An icaro, or medicine song, is said to be shared by the plant, as well as visions and dreams, and the plant’s healing knowledge becomes a part of the human. It’s not fun, she warned.

          At a certain point, Dr. Gagliano began going solo, “working with” plants like basil in her own veggie patch.

          “Did you ever wonder if you were going insane?” I asked.

          “Absolutely,” she said, and laughed. “I still do.” But she believes she should be free to talk openly about these experiences.

          “Maybe we should admit that we hardly understand who we are, we hardly understand where we are at, we know very little compared to what there is to know,” she said. “To be open to explore and learn, I think that is the sign of wisdom, not of madness. And maybe wisdom and madness do look very similar, at some point.”

          …a young woman asked Dr. Gagliano how her scientific work had changed her understanding of the world.

          “The main difference is that I used to live in a world of objects, and now I live in a world of subjects,” she said. There were murmurs of approval. “And so, I am never alone.””

          With that radical realm of communication and connection are radical solutions to the radical “problems” that currently challenge life on Earth. Our human challenge is to become more than “human” and less than “alone”. Might as well get to it right now: it is our evolutionary inevitability.


        • mlp in nc

           /  December 19, 2019

          I am most of the way through “The Hidden Life of Trees.” It is a remarkable book, a quick read, and I recommend it. Also a bit frightening in its complexity. It may not be by chance that the most furiously warning scientist, Guy McPherson, is an ecologist.


        • eleggua

           /  December 19, 2019

          Great! Glad you got it and are digging it.

          Re: McPherson, I don’t dig his ‘gloom and doom’ trip. “Nature bats last”, as if we humans are apart from nature rather than a part of it – another interdependent part – is a perspective coming from the wrong side of evolution. That “bats last” stuff also limits perspective to simple human awareness, fixed in an apparently linear ‘time/space’ dimension.

          Consciousness of plants and fungi aren’t limited by a central nervous system, or a singular body entity. No reason to suppose their consciousness is relating to ours in the way in which we relate with each other, how we relate with other humans and to other beings with central nervous systems. Not saying that plants and fungi don’t relate to how we perceive time and space, but that their awareness groks ‘outside’ of that perception limitation.

          Sensing important somethings with the realm of active, aware communication between beings from different “kingdoms” of the tree of life, relative to consciously re-establishing stability and balance in climate equilibrium and mitigating the folly of fossil fuel foolishness.

          Recommending Paul Stamets’ work, e.g. ‘Mycelium Running’.

          “Mycelium Running marks the dawn of a new era: the use of mycelial membranes for ecological health. Linking mushroom cultivation, permaculture, ecoforestry, bioremediation and soil enhancement, Stamets makes the case that mushroom farms can be reinvented as healing arts centers, steering ecological evolution for the benefit of humans living in harmony with its inhabitants.

          …new information on a wide variety of mycological topics, including:
          The role of oxalic acid and calcium oxalates in sequestering carbon dioxide and building the carbon bank…”

          Interview with Paul:

          “…As we are in the midst of 6x, I think the evolutionary lesson we should pay attention to is that, by pairing with fungi, organisms – like us – have a better chance of survival.

          Fungi are primary residents, co-existing beneficially within all plants, in soils, from deserts to forests to arctic tundra.

          If we could see only mycelium, in its luminosity, all around us, we would see the exact same outlines of plants now. Fungal networks make up the infrastructure of the ecosystem, the foundational food web, the cellular fabric of being upon which, and in which all land based organisms and we are embedded.

          Mushrooms call us to us as allies to help repair the catastrophes we are inflicting upon the Earth. Unless we heed their call, we will slip into extinction – an extinction of our own making. If we call out to our mycological ancestors for help they will respond. Few people know – even scientists – that we are more closely related to fungi than any other kingdom. A new super-kingdom, Opisthokonta has been erected to join Animalia and Fungi together, reflecting our close ancestry. Ironically that we are now discovering – at this late stage in the game – how important and closely related to fungi we are. Proto-fungi gave rise to animals. And we are animals, albeit debatably uncivilized in our view towards nature.

          Our goal is to spread the mycelial message far and wide, to instill children with an awareness of the fungal networks upon which we walk, to let all know that these networks are everywhere, they are alive, they are sensitive, and they have a form of intelligence deeply meaningful, that resonate in both the material and spiritual realms….”


  173. eleggua

     /  December 16, 2019

    ‘Goldman Sachs to stop financing new drilling for oil in the Arctic ‘
    15 Dec 2019

    “Goldman Sachs has ruled out future financing of oil drilling or exploration in the Arctic and said it would not invest in new thermal coal mines anywhere in the world.

    The new environmental policy, which was released by the US bank on Sunday, was praised by environmentalists, though many warned that it was only a first step.

    In its statement, Goldman Sachs also “acknowledged” the scientific consensus on the climate crisis, which it said was one of the “most significant environmental challenges of the 21st century” and said it planned to more effectively help its client manage climate impacts, including through the sale of weather-related catastrophe bonds.
    Malaysia rejects Goldman Sachs offer of $2bn damages over 1MDB scandal
    Read more

    Jason Opeña Disterhoft, a climate and energy campaigner at Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which helped to lobby for the change, said the decision to rule out direct financing for Arctic exploration made Goldman the first US bank to establish a “no-go” zone in the oil and gas sector…

    “The Trump administration may not care about ignoring the will of the American people or trampling Indigenous rights, but a growing number of major financial institutions are making it clear that they do,” said Ben Cushing, a Sierra Club campaign representative. “We hope other American banks will follow their lead.”


  174. eleggua

     /  December 16, 2019

    Railroaded by railroad companies: they want to keep shoveling coal in our stockings.

    “ A Major but Little-Known Supporter of Climate Denial: Freight Railroads
    For nearly 30 years, America’s four biggest rail companies—which move the majority of the country’s coal—have spent millions to deny climate science and block climate policy.”
    DECEMBER 13, 2019

    “… for almost 30 years, the biggest players in the freight-rail industry have waged a campaign to discredit climate science and oppose almost any federal climate policy, reveals new research analyzed by The Atlantic.

    The four largest American freight railroads—BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, and CSX—have sat at the center of the climate-denial movement nearly since it began, documents and studies show. These four companies have joined or funded groups that attacked individual scientists, cast doubt on scientific consensus, and rejected reports from major scientific institutions, including the United Nations–led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their effort has cost at least tens of millions of dollars and outlasted individual leaders and coalitions.

    How the New Climate Denial Is Like the Old Climate Denial


    The Story of a Great Monopoly

    H. D. LLOYD

    The Railway War

    It continues to this day. The four companies are members of a powerful pro-coal trade association that in 2014 called climate change a “hypothesis” and argued that carbon dioxide—the air pollutant that causes global warming—was as much as 400 times more beneficial to humanity than it was harmful.

    “We can now identify railroads as an integral component of opposition to climate action,” Robert Brulle, an author of the new research and a professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University, told me. “There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”

    Why did railroads invest millions in climate-science denial? Perhaps because coal makes up almost one of every three tons of American rail freight. Nearly 70 percent of American coal is shipped by rail, often along “dedicated” lines that can “operate around the clock,” the rail association says on its website. The largest class of railroads made a combined $10.7 billion, or 14 percent of their revenue, hauling coal last year. So while rail companies say they emitted only about 0.6 percent of U.S. greenhouse-gas pollution last year, their indirect carbon footprint may be gargantuan.

    If you take emissions embedded into coal into account, the railroads facilitated 16.5 percent of total U.S. carbon pollution last year, according to calculations by Rob Jackson, a geoscience professor at Stanford. That’s more carbon pollution than was released last year by all the farms in the United States, or by all the domestic flights, or by all the commercial and residential buildings…

    … railroads’ efforts to keep coal burning—and all those tons of carbon flowing into the sky—have been hidden in plain sight for decades. Two new studies unearthed their influence this fall.

    The first, by Brulle, compiled 25 years of data about companies and nonprofits involved in “the organized efforts to oppose meaningful climate action,” he said. He found that the railroads kept appearing in crucial coalitions that blocked policy and pushed climate-science denial.

    His results, published in the journal Sociological Inquiry in October, showed that railroads often waged this fight alongside other coal-dependent companies, including steelmakers, electric utilities, and coal-mining firms themselves. Brulle now argues that this “coal-utilities-rail-steel sector” makes up an important but little known coalition opposed to climate action.

    The second study was conducted by researchers who were not alive when the railroads’ campaign began. A team at Brown University analyzed the four major railroads’ ongoing political activity. It found that they are members of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, or ACCCE, a pro-coal group that touts the “social benefits” of carbon pollution. ACCCE has also recently lobbied for a federal bailout of coal plants and celebrated the repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

    Since 2012, three of the railroads have paid ACCCE a combined total of at least $3 million to lobby on their behalf, according to their own disclosure forms. Those same railroads—CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific—have also given at least $28 million to other groups that oppose climate policy, including the Association of American Railroads and the National Association of Manufacturers. The fourth and largest railroad, BNSF Railway, does not disclose any funds it gives to trade associations for lobbying expenditures, in accordance with the policy of Berkshire Hathaway, its owner.

    What inspired the Brown study? As Cole Triedman, the report’s lead researcher, told me: “This was literally for a class.”

    For the past three months, Triedman, who is 20, has worked with three other undergraduates to study the political activity of coal-dependent companies as part of a seminar on “Engaged Climate Policy.” (“I don’t know how they pass their other classes, honestly, let alone sleep or have a life,” J. Timmons Roberts, their instructor and the Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies at Brown, told me.)

    The students—Triedman; Andrew Javens, 20; Jesse Sugarman, 22; and David Wingate, 22—collated political-spending disclosures from corporate and nonprofit disclosures. They also used data from the Energy Information Administration to piece together the supply chains of roughly 25 of the country’s largest coal-fired power plants. “Tracking the mine to the power plant, we found that an elite cohort of coal companies is dealing with an elite cohort of rail companies,” Triedman said. (I confirmed their research on political spending with Michael Beckel, the research director of Issue One, a nonpartisan group that studies money in politics.) …

    The scope of the railroads’s role surprised even experts, says Geoffrey Supran, a Harvard researcher of global-warming politics, who was not involved in the new analysis.

    It’s now clear that railroads were “central” to the effort to deny climate science and delay policy, he told me. “They’re not peripheral. These are key cogs in a multidecade, well-oiled, well-funded denial machine. This is a big deal.” …


  175. eleggua

     /  December 16, 2019

    “ Some say the world will end in fire…” – Robert Frost

    ‘ Revealed: ‘monumental’ NSW bushfires have burnt 20% of Blue Mountains world heritage area
    More than 10% of forest in NSW national parks destroyed by fire this season, with the damage to Gondwana rainforest a ‘global tragedy’ ’
    2 Dec 2019

    “ The damage caused by fire in the Gondwana rainforest world heritage area in the north of the state is a “global tragedy” and an “absolute crisis” a Nature Conservation Council ecologist says.

    The chief executive of the council, Chris Gambian, said the loss of 800,000 hectares in NSW national parks, out of a total of 1.9m hectares burnt in the state since 1 July, “changes the calculus of nature conservation in the state”.

    The “monumental” scale of the fires meant conservation of land would now be “more important than ever”, Gambian said…

    Mark Graham, an ecologist with the council who specialises in fire and biodiversity, said the fires there were “a global tragedy”.

    “I don’t think that’s over-egging it,” Graham said.

    Last week, the Unesco World Heritage Centre expressed concern about the Gondwana fires and asked the federal government whether the damage was affecting their universal values.

    Twelve of 28 NSW world heritage reserves have been at least partly affected by fire.

    Graham said until a week ago Barrington Tops and the New England national park were the two largest blocks of Gondwana that had not been affected by fire. That changed after lightning strikes sparked fires in those areas.

    “To be really blunt, it’s an absolute crisis,” Graham said.

    “Because they’ve been permanently wet and have never burnt right through, they’re like mountaintop arcs of ancient biodiversity.

    “These fires have directly impacted upon the values they were listed for.”

    Further south, the Gospers Mountain fire has been burning out of control since last month in the Wollemi and Yengo national parks, part of the Greater Blue Mountains world heritage area, which covers one million hectares of national park and is dominated by temperate eucalypt forest.

    The executive officer of the National Parks Association of NSW, Gary Dunnett, said the national parks of the Blue Mountains were some of the most fire-prone landscape in the country, particularly during drought.

    “They’re particularly vulnerable to these large-scale fires,” he said.

    “I think it’s reasonable to say we haven’t seen anything on this scale since 2000-2001 and, again, the millennium drought was the big driver for that.”…”

    The bushfires seen from a Blue Mountains lookout.


  176. eleggua

     /  December 16, 2019

    The Return of the Blob (2019)

    ‘What Happened to Commercial Crab Season?
    December 3, 2019

    You may have noticed there were no live crabs at the markets this year. That’s because the annual opening of California’s commercial Dungeness crab season has so far been delayed, and a perfect storm of environmental factors is brewing that may just completely shut it down for the future.

    …cean currents are changing. Remember “the Blob”? Not the 1958 sci-fi B movie starring Steve McQueen & Aneta Corsau, but the way scarier warm water episode that started in the fall of 2013. By 2015 it prompted international attention to its unprecedented ecological impacts…
    warm water stuck around into the fall and winter, and with it came tests revealing persistently high levels of a neurotoxin called domoic acid in the viscera of Dungeness crabs.

    …November 2015. When dangerously high levels of domoic acid prompted the temporary closure of the crabbing season along the entire coast, crabbers missed the holiday markets. Many commercial fishermen and others on the supply chain faced unprecedented financial losses. A $25.6 million federal disaster package finally arrived this year.

    A lot has happened since 2015, and we haven’t even hit the tip of the proverbial melting iceberg. In 2016 warm water and domoic acid persisted. The majority of commercial crabbing usually ends before the winter humpback whale migration, but a four-month delay to the opening of the season in 2016 combined with the closure of the area north of Point Reyes concentrated the efforts of commercial crabbers precisely when and where the whales were visiting. It didn’t help that the humpbacks arrived earlier than usual, or that there were more of them near shore. They were being spotted inside the Golden Gate in record numbers, a strange event in and of itself.

    Up and down the entire West Coast, humpback entanglements in commercial Dungeness crab gear reached record highs in 2016. In 2017 the Center for Biological Diversity sued the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, arguing the state needed to reform the fishery to comply with the Endangered Species Act. As part of a court settlement CDFW agreed to new rules in 2018, and the 2018-2019 crabbing season was closed two and a half months earlier than scheduled. Now, going forward, in addition to the potential for domoic acid to shut down Dungeness crab season, whale entanglements will also be a factor.

    The 2019-2020 season will open, then, when – or if – the whales move away. The state had originally scheduled the opening for November 15, but delayed it by a week to reduce risk of entanglements. Then, when 86 whales were spotted off Point Reyes in mid-November, the Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Association wrote a letter urging the CDFW to delay even longer. If the whales have moved along by December 15, and if tests for domoic acid remain within healthy limits, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to buy that fresh holiday crab by the end of the month.”

    California Department of Fish and Wildlife Central Management Area did open yesterday, the 15th. Season in the Northern Management Area is delayed until at least December 31st, however.

    ‘Crab Fishermen Brave Danger To Catch Profit As Delayed Dungeness Season Opens’
    December 15, 2019

    “The whales have finally gone,” said Brand Little, who owns a crab boat berthed in San Francisco. “Unfortunately, when the whales leave, they leave because the weather gets rough and now we’re here setting gear in some pretty hazardous conditions.”


    • eleggua

       /  December 16, 2019

      ‘No Local Crab Before the New Year ‘
      Dec 10, 2019

      “The commercial Dungeness crab season off of Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte counties has been delayed again at least until Dec. 31 due quality tests that “continue to show crab are below the minimum testing guidelines.”

      According to a California Department of Fish and Wildlife release, another round of testing will take place around Dec. 20 to determine whether the New Year’s Eve opening is a go or another delay until Jan. 15 is in order…

      In other news, CDFW reports a warning on sports caught crab in the Shelter Cove to Point Arena zone was lifted after new tests show the level of domoic acid at low to undetectable levels in the area.

      “Although there are currently no areas under an active health advisory for Dungeness crab in the state, CDPH recommends consumers follow best practices to avoid any inadvertent exposure to domoic acid that might be sporadically found in the crab viscera,” the release states…”

      CDFW News
      December 10, 2019 by

      “…The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) lifted a health advisory for recreational Dungeness crabs caught near Shelter Cove, Humboldt County (40° 01′ N. Latitude) to Point Arena (38° 57.5′ N. Latitude). CDPH lifted this advisory today due to recent tests showing that the amount of domoic acid has declined to low or undetectable levels in Dungeness crabs caught in the area, indicating that they are safe to consume. Although there are currently no areas under an active health advisory for Dungeness crab in the state, CDPH recommends consumers follow best practices to avoid any inadvertent exposure to domoic acid that might be sporadically found in the crab viscera.

      Northern Management Area (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9)

      Director Bonham has also announced an additional 15-day delay of the northern California commercial Dungeness crab season. The new opener is Dec. 31, 2019. Results of the Dec. 3 quality test continue to show crab are below the minimum testing guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee and are not yet ready for harvesting.

      Delays due to quality affect the entire northern commercial fishery in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties (California Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019…

      Additional testing will be scheduled to occur by Dec. 20 to determine whether the season can open on Dec. 31 or will be delayed once more until Jan. 15, 2020.”


  177. eleggua

     /  December 16, 2019

    Farther north on the Pacific Coast, the Blob’s effect is may be putting an end to commercial cod fishing in that region.

    ‘Battered by a marine heatwave, Kodiak’s cod fishermen may not be fishing in the Gulf for much longer’
    November 21, 2019

    “Sixty-year-old Frank Miles has fished for cod around Kodiak since he was a teenager.

    “Started out at the age of 15, in an open skiff, back when salt cod was a staple,” he says. “I think I’ve missed one cod season in 44 years.”

    Everything changed with the emergence of a massive marine heatwave across the Pacific, commonly known as “the blob.” Between 2014 and 2016, surface ocean temperatures rose 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. After that, cod started to disappear.

    From the last peak in 2014, the level of mature, spawning cod crashed by more than half in the Gulf, according to stock assessment data — 113,830 metric tons in 2014 to 46,080 metric tons in 2017.

    They’re now below the federal threshold that protects cod as a food source for endangered Stellar sea lions. As soon as the population dips below that line, the fishery closes. The whole federal cod fishery in the Gulf will most likely be shut down for the season in January.

    The assessment about whether to close the fishery is still under review by the North Pacific Marine Fisheries Council and could be announced early next month.

    Cod is a major driver of Kodiak’s winter economy, so when “the blob” subsided in 2017, fishermen hoped the fishery would bounce back.

    Steve Barbeaux, a fisheries research biologist for NOAA, says cod larvae did start to show up again. But this year brought signs of a new marine heatwave, and once again, those young fish seem to be declining or disappearing altogether.

    Barbeaux says the effects of each climate change-driven heat wave are delayed. Cod only enter the fishery at age three, so what we’re seeing right now is still largely due to the last blob.

    “I would say we still [have] a pretty big hangover from the first heat wave. So a lot of the impact on the population was due to that first heat wave that we haven’t recovered from.” he said.

    As for what’s happening with the second heat wave?

    “We don’t know yet. The impact of this heat wave won’t happen for another three years when the fish enter the fishery,” he said.

    And though he says cod could still bounce back with the right conditions, with a new heat wave brewing, things might get worse before they get better.

    “What we’re looking at in 2019 is it just got really warm, which for the 2019 year class, that means that the eggs didn’t survive,” he says. “If it gets above a certain temperature, cod eggs don’t do well.”

    One theory that gets tossed around is that cod are moving north into colder Bering Sea waters. But Barbeaux says looking at genetic studies in the region, that’s probably not the case.

    “The Gulf of Alaska doesn’t really work that way. To move north, [fish] actually have to move south first. And if we look at the genetics for cod, we don’t see a lot of mixing out in the Aleutians with Gulf of Alaska cod.”

    Barbeaux says Gulf cod would have to be drawn by food or ocean currents to move south toward the Aleutians, but “the currents don’t go that way.” On top of that, he says they haven’t seen any increase in the southeast Bering Sea cod population.

    Barbeaux’s latest stock assessment found cod at less than a third of 2014 levels — 33,274 metric tons — with “next to no” new eggs. These are the lowest numbers scientists have ever documented for Gulf cod.

    For many Gulf communities, the precipitous decline in catch values, and the potential for a closed fishery threaten not only fishermen, but processors and other support industries. And climate science suggests this might be the new normal.

    Mike Litzow is a NOAA fisheries ecologist based in Kodiak. He and other scientists are worried about whether cod will ever bounce back in a region so affected by climate change. “We’re just well beyond what we’ve ever seen before, and it’s this very unusual, warm event,” Litzow says. “Our best understanding is that this is going to be the new average within a short time frame.”…”


  178. eleggua

     /  December 16, 2019

    Another item to cod-gitate.

    ‘Why Atlantic fish are invading the Arctic’
    Apr 23, 2018
    “Scientists are witnessing the upending of large parts of the Arctic ocean. As the sea ice recedes and temperatures rise, the warmer waters of the Atlantic are moving north and bringing with them new competitors that vie for the same rich resources. Journalist Eli Kintisch explores an ecosystem undergoing profound change.

    Footage and story made possible by Interdependent Pictures’ documentary film, “Into the Dark,” coming 2019.”


    • eleggua

       /  December 16, 2019

      “Into the Dark”
      “Battling subzero temperatures and forty-foot seas, a team of scientists embark on a perilous winter expedition into the darkest regions of the Arctic. Their mission: to understand how trace amounts of light may be radically altering the mysterious world of the polar night. What they discover has implications for the global climate and the future of the Arctic.

      A production by Interdependent Pictures and UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in association with Vox, GoPro, and Sony Pro USA, and in partnership with The Changing Arctic Ocean Programme.”


  179. mlp in nc

     /  December 17, 2019

    Tiny shells reveal waters off California are acidifying twice as fast as the global ocean.
    Dec 16, 2019. NOAA Headquarters.
    In first-of-its-kind research, scientists used 100 years of microscopic shells to show that the coastal waters off California are acidifying twice as fast as the global ocean average — with the seafood supply in the crosshairs.


  180. eleggua

     /  December 18, 2019

    Summer solstice Down Under in four daze. First official day of summer in Australia is Dec. 1st, however. “Climate chaos underway!”

    ‘It’s snowing on the First Day of Summer in Australia – Up to 1 Foot of Fresh Snow’
    Dec 2, 2019

    “…Falls Creek and The Hotham Alpine Resort in Victoria and Perisher Ski Resort in New South Wales all saw significant dumps of snow this morning, with falls of between 5.9 inches (15 cm) to 11.8 inches (30 cm) recorded.

    “We have had over 9,4 inches (25 cm) of snow overnight, and it is still going, we did think about reopening, but we thought we might leave this one to the locals, to get the last turns in for 2019,” Grace Smith from Falls Creek said.

    From Mt Hotham to Mt Buller, temperatures plummeted to -3°C overnight as a strong cold front crosses Australia’s south east…

    In Melbourne, temperatures sat around 14°C – making it the coldest day since early October.
    Sydneysiders were a little bit luckier, with temperatures hovering around 21°C, which is about two degrees colder than average….

    Just about 10 days ago, Australia temperature forecasts were just the opposite, with the country experiencing a record heatwave. Climate chaos underway!”


  181. eleggua

     /  December 18, 2019

    December 17th, 2019: “Breaking news
    Yesterday was Australia’s hottest day on record, according to preliminary results from the weather bureau. The average maximum was 40.9C, exceeding the previous record of 40.3C.”

    ‘Heatwave update: Where and when is the heat expected to hit and what records could fall? ‘
    December 16, 2019

    Brisbane’s CBD was only forecast to reach 39 degrees Celsius today, but it hit 41.2C at 1:40pm (AEST).
    That equals the December record from 1981, but the annual record of 41.7C from February 2004 still stands … for now…

    Melbourne is headed for a rollercoaster week — Wednesday should hit 39C before a cool change brings 23C on Thursday, then back up to 41C on Friday, before again dropping to the mid-20s on Saturday…

    Perth just broke its record of days over 40C in December, both in total and consecutive, recording 40.1C on Friday, 41.0C on Saturday, 40.9C on Sunday and 41.6C on December 3.
    The big record in peril this week could be Australia’s hottest day on record, calculated by averaging temperatures across the country.

    The current record is 40.3C, recorded on January 7, 2013.
    Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the BOM, said it was looking like we would be at least a degree above this on Wednesday and Thursday…

    There has been the suggestion that Australia’s hottest recorded daytime temperature — 50.7C at Oodnadatta, SA on January 2, 1960 — could be in danger during this heat event.
    But at the time of writing, none of the likely locations are forecast to reach this in the current seven-day forecast.

    Instead, it is forecast to reach 47C in Oodnadatta for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — not exactly pleasant, and summer still has a long, long, way to go…

    The January-to-November mean temperature for Australia was its second highest on record.
    A normal December would see us finishing the year at second highest on record, just below 2013, the current hottest year.
    But an above-average December has the potential to push us over the line into the top ranking.
    January to November was also the second driest on record for Australia…

    This week is likely to be record-breaking, but it is unlikely to be the end.

    Until there is widespread rain, the heatwave and fire conditions will continue — this is the time to check in on your granny and keep the kids in the shade.”


  182. eleggua

     /  December 18, 2019

    Very cool (no pun intended) piece, including excellent graphics.

    ‘What you’d spend to prevent climate change — and what you could get with your money’
    16 Dec 2019

    “…More than 54,000 Australians took part in the nationally representative Australia Talks National Survey, and the number one thing they said was keeping them up at night was climate change.

    When we asked how much more they’d be personally willing to spend to help prevent climate change, the numbers varied.
    Some people wouldn’t spend anything more (21 per cent) and some were happy to spend thousands (9 per cent) — but most of us sit somewhere in the middle. On average, we’re willing to chip in at least $200 each year*.

    To halt climate change we’d need to make some major changes to the way the world works, so would an extra couple of hundred dollars a year even make a difference?
    It may not sound like much, but even if we take the bare minimum Australians told us they’d be willing to spend, it’d add up to just over $4 billion* a year.

    For comparison, the Federal Government spends less than half that on cutting greenhouse emissions and almost 10 times that on defence.
    Just one Attack-class submarine is expected to cost at least $6.6 billion.

    So what could we get for our money?

    With $4 billion, Chief Economist for the Australia Institute, Richard Denniss, said we could fit around a million houses with rooftop solar systems.
    At that rate, all 10 million houses in Australia would have a solar system within a decade.
    “Let’s be clear, if we did that for the next few years, then most people would get near-free electricity for the next 20,” Dr Denniss says.

    Or, each year we could fit around half a million houses with home battery systems.
    French energy company Neoen recently revealed that South Australia’s giant Tesla battery cost $90 million. We could buy 44 a year at that price…

    Alternatively, we could fund the equivalent of a Snowy Hydro 2.0 scheme every couple of years with change to spare.
    Snowy Hydro works like a giant battery, storing energy that can be “turned on” when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
    Snowy Hydro 2.0 will store enough energy at a given time to power 3 million homes for a week.

    Or, we could allocate $4,000 per house to optimise the energy efficiency of one million houses each year, with things like insulation, smart meters and energy-saving appliances.
    Starting with the lowest-income households, this would significantly reduce power bills as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

    ″$4 billion a year would go a very long way, a very long way to reducing emissions very rapidly,” Dr Denniss says…

    *The average amount Australians said they would personally be willing to spend each year was calculated using the proportions who chose each of 6 brackets: nothing at all (21 per cent); less than $100 (18 per cent); $100-500 (28 per cent); $500-1000 (10 per cent); $1000-2000 (5 per cent) and more than $2000 (4 per cent). (A further 13 per cent said they “didn’t know”). This calculation was done using the lower end of each bracket, to provide a conservative estimate.

    The total amount Australians were willing to spend to prevent climate change was calculated using the number of Australian adults at the 2016 census (19.4 million), multiplied by the proportion who chose each bracket, multiplied by the lower end of the bracket…”


  183. eleggua

     /  December 18, 2019

    Very interesting article on methane measurement at Barrow during cold months.
    ‘In the Arctic darkness
    Beneath a frozen surface, stirrings. ‘
    Last Updated: May 13, 2019

    Scientists think wetlands are the most dominant oxygen-poor environments in the Arctic and therefore the largest methane sources. So they map these wetlands and use them as a proxy for tallying the Arctic’s year-round methane budget. These maps are often based on measurements made in the summer, when wetlands in the Arctic have thawed out.

    Zona thinks this reflects a prevailing belief in the scientific community that cold season emissions are not significant. “Everything is freezing. It’s cold and it’s dark, so people assume not much is going on in the tundra,” Zona said. “And there were no data saying otherwise.”

    What little data existed on cold season methane emissions were sparse. That meant that Zona and her colleagues had to collect their own data. “We wanted continuous measurements of methane year round,” she said. “And that’s not easy because instruments tend to freeze and malfunction in extreme cold.”

    After collecting data for two years, instruments on the ground and in the air agreed: methane emissions during the cold season accounted for more than 50 percent of the total annual methane emissions. This contradicts what computer models assume, that the Arctic’s largest methane emissions come from wetlands, and only happen in the summer.

    The findings could call for big changes in the way scientists collect data on methane emissions. “We need to consider the cold period to arrive at an accurate budget of Arctic methane emissions during the entire year,” Zona said. Indeed, methane rises from the tundra in the winter, and the researchers traced it to unexpected stirrings within the active layer.

    Zona first saw the first hints in the tower and aircraft data. Most of the cold season methane emissions happened during what scientists call the zero curtain period, when soil temperatures in the active layer lingered near freezing. This happens when the active layer’s middle section remains thawed, favoring the activity of methane-producing microbes. Cold, winter air may freeze the active layer’s surface. Permafrost may cool the bottom. However, the middle could remain thawed well into the winter. To test this idea, Zona and her colleagues drove metal rods through the frozen tundra surfaces. The rods pierced the active layer without resistance, but stopped at the layer of hard permafrost.

    Curiously, soil temperature remains stable during the zero curtain period, keeping methane-producing microbes active. In some sites, the researchers found that the zero curtain period stretched longer than summer, implying an extended period of methane emissions. “We were surprised to see how long it takes for the soil to freeze completely, and how the persistence of this unfrozen soil maintained substantial methane emissions well into the winter,” Zona said.

    In some instances, thick snow cover insulated the active layer, extending the zero curtain period and enhancing emissions. The finding has huge implications for the Arctic’s methane budget. Recent studies forecast that continued warming will bring deeper snow to the Arctic, and already, regions north of the Arctic Circle are warming twice as fast as the rest of the Northern Hemisphere.

    Zona’s findings also suggest that Arctic methane emissions could be more sensitive to climate change than scientists previously thought, as winter is warming faster than summer, potentially delaying the freezing of the tundra. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections do not even include greenhouse gas emissions from summer wetlands and from thawing Arctic permafrost. And Zona’s findings highlight the relevance of Arctic methane emissions. More years of data on cold season emissions would solidify these findings.

    Back at Barrow, the researchers prepare for another season on the Alaskan tundra. The two years of observations have led to other questions and a stronger conviction that cold season emissions matter.

    “The next step for us is to understand what’s going on during this cold period,” Zona said. “What controls the emissions? How does it change from year to year? How does it relate to the Arctic’s short growing season?”

    Zona’s students are observing Arctic plants that seem to act like chimneys, drawing methane from the not quite frozen active layer and ushering the gas out into the atmosphere. It means more missed holidays and racing to get work done between long and dark polar nights. It also means the shimmery treat of seeing the occasional aurora borealis. “There are so many open questions,” Zona said, not without a hint of excitement.”

    “This graph shows high methane emissions from Arctic tundra, even after summer or the growing season. Data are from five eddy covariance flux towers over a 186-mile transect across the North Slope of Alaska (shaded bands). The red line indicates the 2013 mean and the brown line indicates the 2014 mean. Light red and brown shades indicate the standard deviation and the darker shade the 95 percent confidence intervals. Yellow circles show the regional emissions of methane calculated from the NASA Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) aircraft data for the North Slope of Alaska for 2012, red squares for 2013, and brown diamonds for 2014. The mean dates for the onset of winter, the growing season, and the zero curtain period are indicated in the band on top. (Courtesy D. Zona, et al., 2016, PNAS)”


  184. eleggua

     /  December 18, 2019

    When wildfire smoke gets in your eyes…and lungs:

    ‘Wildfire Smoke, Once Considered Sterile, Teems With Life’
    Dec 10, 2019

    Fire ecologist Leda Kobziar had just learned some snow-making machines use bacteria to seed ice crystals when she went on a prescribed burn with her University of Florida students.

    “And I just started thinking about the smoke in a new way and just wondering if there might be anything living in it,” she said.

    Kobziar, now with the University of Idaho, presented the research at the American Geophysical Union conference this week in San Francisco. She and colleagues sampled the living contents of smoke during fires by leaving open Petri dishes and flying drones through smoke at varying distances. Then they compared what was collected to the contents of ambient (non-smoky) air. They sampled for abundance and diversity by culturing colonies and analyzing DNA.

    Turns out a surprising amount and diversity of bacterial cells and fungal spores gets lofted into wildfire smoke during a fire. The more severe the burn, the more cells it transports. This is a newly emerging area of research, but Kobziar thinks these microbes have the potential to affect human health.

    “There are numerous allergens that we’ve found in the smoke. And so it may be that some people who are sensitive to smoke have that sensitivity, not only because of the particulate matter and the smoke, but also because there are some biological organisms in it.”

    She believes these microbes are also affecting precipitation, as the cells can act as nuclei around which ice crystals can form more effectively than they can around dust. Possibly, she says, wildfire smoke has been a driving factor in the global distribution of microbial life.

    “We think that the role that wildland fire is playing in transporting organisms through smoke has probably had some influence on the evolution of species as well and development of communities,” Kobziar said.”


    • eleggua

       /  December 18, 2019

      Unclear in an understatement on many levels.

      ‘Sydney smoke three times worse this NSW bushfire season, but health effects from ‘medium-term’ exposure unclear’
      2 Dec 2019

      While NSW Government measures several different categories of “particulate matter”, the one of most concern to people’s health is PM2.5.
      It’s also the smallest size the NSW Government measures — about 3 per cent of the diameter of a human hair.
      That means it can enter a person’s lungs and bloodstream, and can trigger heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma attacks.

      In the past five years, albeit when there were fewer monitoring sites, there were only five recorded instances of a daily maximum AQI above 100, indicating “poor” air quality in Greater Sydney.
      In November and December this year, there have already been about 80 — over a quarter of these readings were above 200, which indicates “hazardous” air quality.

      In health terms, the toxicity of the air in some parts of Sydney has gone from smoking half a cigarette, to between four and 10 per day.
      On Tuesday, the AQI hit 669 — the equivalent of smoking 30 cigarettes.

      During the week ending November 22, there were around 2,230 ambulance calls for breathing problems — a 22.5 per cent increase from Sydney’s weekly average.

      Christine Cowie, a senior fellow at the Centre for Air Pollution, Energy and Health Research at the University of NSW said breathing in the high amount of fine particles could affect physical development.
      “It is uncertain how medium-term exposure to these sporadic bushfire pollutions events impact on long-term health,” she said.
      “However, we do know that current evidence indicates there is no safe lower threshold of exposure to [particulate matter] pollution.”

      “This graph shows the amount of harmful pollutants in Greater Sydney’s air since the start of this season’s bushfire crisis compared to previous years.”


  185. eleggua

     /  December 19, 2019
    ‘Fire-starting weed or ecological scapegoat? The battle over California’s eucalyptus trees’
    Susie Cagle in Oakland – Mon 16 Dec 2019
    “The fight over a celebrated exotic plant highlights questions over California’s future amid the climate crisis”


  186. eleggua

     /  December 19, 2019



  187. eleggua

     /  December 19, 2019



  188. eleggua

     /  December 19, 2019

    “Show me” statement, in the pocket.

    Congressman Billy Long, Missouri (Republican), during today’s impeachment hearing:

    Billy Long voting on Energy and Oil:

    Voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.
    Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
    Signed the No Climate Tax Pledge by AFP.
    Repeal weatherization assistance for low-income persons.
    No EPA regulation of greenhouse gases.

    National environmental scorecard
    2018 Score 3%
    Lifetime Score. 2%

    Missouri District 7: Billy Long is the Republican representative for this district, and he is fighting against efforts to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He voted to cancel the Clean Power Plan, which was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


  189. eleggua

     /  December 19, 2019

    ‘This hissing, bubbling Alaska lake is frightening scientists’
    September 24, 2018

    This lake, which (Katey) Walter Anthony dubbed Esieh Lake, looked different. And the volume of gas wafting from it could deliver the climate system another blow if lakes like this turn out to be widespread.

    The first time Walter Anthony saw Esieh Lake, she was afraid it might explode – and she is no stranger to the danger, or the theatrics, of methane. In 2010, the University of Alaska Fairbanks posted a video of the media-savvy ecologist standing on the frozen surface of an Arctic lake, then lighting a methane stream on fire to create a tower of flame as tall as she is. It got nearly half a million views on YouTube.

    In April 2017, Walter Anthony put out word among residents of Kotzebue that she was looking for weird lakes. An email that month from a pilot led her to the Noatak region, not far above the Arctic Circle. Last September, she made her first visit to the lake – set against sloping hills covered with rust-colored mosses and blueberry bushes. She brought her family and a graduate student to the spot, so remote it required several days of camping and was completely off the grid.

    At first, the sheer volume of gases at Esieh Lake was slightly terrifying, but as Walter Anthony grew accustomed to the lake’s constant spluttering, her fear gave way to wonder.
    Her sounding devices picked up huge holes in the bottom of the lake. Pockmarks, she called them, “unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any Arctic lake.”

    Most of Esieh is quite shallow, averaging only a little over three feet deep. But where the gas bubbles cluster, the floor drops suddenly, a plunge marked by the vanishing of all visible plant life.
    Measurements showed that the lake dips to about 50 feet deep in one area and nearly 15 feet in another. When they first studied them, Walter Anthony and her graduate student Janelle Sharp named these two seep clusters W1 and W2, short for “Wow 1” and “Wow 2.”

    When the scientists examined samples of the gases, they found the chemical signature of a “geologic” origin. In other words, the methane venting from the lake seemed to be emerging not from the direct thawing of frozen Arctic soil, or permafrost, but rather from a reservoir of far older fossil fuels.
    If that were happening all over the Arctic, Walter Anthony figured – if fossil fuels that had been buried for millennia were now being exposed to the atmosphere – the planet could be in even deeper peril.

    …authors examined the prevalence of thermokarst lakes, which form when the wedges of ice within permafrost melt and create voids that then fill with water. And they found that the continuing growth of these lakes – many of which have already formed in the tundra – could more than double the greenhouse gas emissions coming from the Arctic’s soils by 2100. That’s despite the fact that the lakes would cover less than 6 percent of the total Arctic land surface.

    Scientists have been puzzling over a dramatic spike in atmospheric methane levels, which since 2006 have averaged 25 million tons more of the gas per year. Walter Anthony’s study found that Arctic lakes could more than double this increase as well.

    Overall, if Walter Anthony’s findings are correct, the total impact from thawing permafrost could be similar to adding a couple of large fossil-fuel-emitting economies – say, two more Germanys – to the planet. And that does not take into account the possibility of more lakes like Esieh, which appears to be a different phenomenon from thermokarst lakes, emitting gases faster.

    …an initial estimate that the lake was producing two tons of methane gas every day – the equivalent of the methane gas emissions from about 6,000 dairy cows (one of the globe’s biggest methane sources). That’s not enough to be a big climate problem on its own, but if there are many more lakes like this one – well, that’s another story.

    Permafrost contains a lot of carbon – but in some locations, permafrost soil, and its characteristic wedges of embedded ice, also sits atop ancient reserves of fossil fuels, including methane gas. So as the Arctic warms – which it is doing twice as fast as the rest of the Earth – these gases could be liberated into the atmosphere.

    The holes in the bottom of Esieh Lake could therefore be an underwater cousin of odd craters that have appeared in the Siberian tundra in recent years, suspected to have been caused by underground gas explosions.
    If this is right, then Esieh Lake becomes a kind of hybrid – and a worrying one.

    It’s not a pure thermokarst lake, though some thermokarst appears to be forming around the lake’s expanding edges, tipping shoreline trees as the ice in the permafrost melts and the ground destabilizes. But the thawing of permafrost at the lake bed might also have unleashed older fossil gases from a reserve that had been sealed – creating another kind of worrisome lake.
    “This is an additional source,” Walter Anthony said.

    Carolyn Ruppel, who leads the Gas Hydrates Project at the U.S. Geological Survey, said Walter Anthony’s theory makes sense. Permafrost thawing could indeed release ancient fossil fuels in areas where they intersect.

    “According to the Washington Post, Katey Walter Anthony, an associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Esieh Lake is bubbling because of methane gas.

    1. Esieh Lake bubbling from methane gas release
    2. Global warming causing melting permafrost to release more greenhouse gases
    3. Methane gas coming from fossil fuels buried near bottom of the lake
    4. The lake emits two tons of methane daily “


  190. eleggua

     /  December 19, 2019
    ‘Earthquake Hazards in Southeastern Alaska’

    “…One surprising result from these new studies near the southern tip of Alaska was the discovery of a 250-meter-high cone rising from the seafloor about 10 kilometers west of the fault, near the southern tip of Alaska. On its top was an active fluid plume, which could be seen on sonar records as rising 700 meters into the water column. The deep-water camera system revealed evidence of fluids emanating from the mound, including possible vents, calcium carbonate formations, and chemosynthetic biological communities, which use components of the fluids (such as hydrogen sulfide or methane) as primary energy sources rather than light. The mound was sampled with a grab sampler to collect pieces of the carbonate and unusual biota for further study.

    “A screen shot from a scientific sounding device shows the newly-discovered volcano and its plume of methane gas. The lower line is an echo, not another volcanic cone. (Image courtesy Canadian Geological Survey)”


  191. eleggua

     /  December 19, 2019

    ‘A Methane Leak, Seen From Space, Proves to Be Far Larger Than Thought
    Dec. 16, 2019

    “We’re entering a new era. With a single observation, a single overpass, we’re able to see plumes of methane coming from large emission sources,” said Ilse Aben, an expert in satellite remote sensing and one of the authors of the new research. “That’s something totally new that we were previously not able to do from space.”

    The blowout, in February 2018 at a natural gas well run by an Exxon Mobil subsidiary in Belmont County, Ohio, released more methane than the entire oil and gas industries of many nations do in a year, the research team found.

    …the European Space Agency had just launched a satellite with a new monitoring instrument called Tropomi, designed to collect more accurate measurements of methane.

    “We said, ‘Can we see it? Let’s look,’” said Steven Hamburg, a New York-based scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, which had been collaborating on the satellite project with researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    The satellite’s measurements showed that, in Ohio in the 20 days it took for Exxon to plug the well, about 120 metric tons of methane an hour were released. That amounted to twice the rate of the largest known methane leak in the United States, from an oil and gas storage facility in Aliso Canyon, Calif., in 2015, though that event lasted longer and had higher emissions overall.

    The Ohio blowout released more methane than the reported emissions of the oil and gas industries of countries like Norway and France, the researchers estimated. Scientists said the measurements from the Ohio site could mean that other large leaks are going undetected.

    An internal investigation found that high pressure had caused the well’s casing, or internal lining, to fail, Mr. Norton said. After working with Ohio regulators on safety improvements, he said, the well is now in service.

    Miranda Leppla, head of energy policy at the Ohio Environmental Council, said there had been complaints about health issues — throat irritation, dizziness, breathing problems — among residents closest to the well.
    “Methane emissions, unfortunately, aren’t a rare occurrence, but a constant threat that exacerbates climate change and can damage the health of Ohioans,” she said.

    So far, detecting and measuring methane leaks has involved expensive field studies using aircraft and infrared cameras that make the invisible gas visible. In a visual investigation published last week, The New York Times used airborne measurement equipment and advanced infrared cameras to expose six so-called super emitters in a West Texas oil field.

    [video src="" /]
    “The Ohio disaster leaked as much methane as the entire oil and gas industries of some nations release in a year.”


  192. eleggua

     /  December 19, 2019

    “This isn’t how ice is supposed to behave.”

    ‘A Never-Before-Seen Event Is Collapsing an Ice Sheet in the Russian Arctic’

    “or the first time, scientists think they’re watching a fast-moving river of ice being born. These so-called ice streams are rapid, long-lasting flows of ice that form in the middle of more static ice formations known as ice sheets. There are only a handful of them on Earth. They form in remote parts of the arctic and antarctic and, once established, can last decades or even centuries. Until now, no one had ever seen one emerge.

    But now, in a new paper published Nov. 21 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team of glaciologists argues that another, shorter-term event that began in 2013 in the Russian Arctic may have sparked the emergence of a long-lasting ice stream. The event, called a glacier surge, is like a frozen flood. A great deal of ice comes loose and bursts out toward the ocean in a rush.

    “After the initial surge in 2013, the glacier still retains fast flow at around [1.1 miles per year (1.8 kilometers per year)],” the authors wrote in the new study. That’s “an unusually high and long-lasting speed for a glacier surge.”

    “If you look at the satellite images, it seems like the entire west wing of the ice cap is just dumping into the sea,” Whyjay Zheng, an Earth scientist at Cornell University and lead author of the paper, said in a statement. “No one has ever seen this before.”

    “The formation of shear margins over the course of two to three years has not been observed at any other glaciers, to our knowledge,” they wrote.

    “The authors of a new study published in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters have documented what they believe is the first observation of a transition from a glacial surge to a longer-lasting flow called an ice stream. This video shows satellite imagery of the ice stream flow during summer 2015, spring 2016, spring 2017, and summer 2018.

    If surging ice can form an ice stream on a glacier like Vavilov, then other ice caps might also experience similar rapid ice loss, said Whyjay Zheng, a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University and the lead author of the new study.
    “If that’s true, we probably have to revise our predictions for the impact of global sea level rise in the future,” he said.

    From the time the surge at Vavilov began in 2013 until the spring of 2019, the ice cap lost 9.5 billion tons of ice, or 11 percent of the ice mass of the entire glacier basin.

    Ice streams have been documented before in Greenland and Antarctica, where the ice sheets tend to be larger and their flow less constrained by bedrock features. To see an ice stream in a smaller ice cap like Vavilov would be unusual and perhaps unprecedented, according to the study’s authors. And as far as the researchers know, no one has observed one being formed.”


  193. Thanks for your updates Eleggua. Here in New Zealand, a lot of people think we are marvellous and that it’s all about China and India anyway. I was asked to write a piece on which countries are meeting their Paris targets, so I looked at the EU, US, China, India, Australia and New Zealand.


    • mlp in nc

       /  December 20, 2019



    • eleggua

       /  January 2, 2020

      You’re welcome. Intend to comment on your very good, informative piece linked above when time is available.

      Time is running out.

      “ It’s like something out of a dystopian horror movie”
      “ “The New Normal”, coming all too soon to the theatre near you”


  194. eleggua

     /  January 3, 2020

    Listening Earth are Andrew Skeoch & Sarah Koschak, soundscape recording artists out of Australia.
    They’ve been making extraordinary field recordings in their home continent and elsewhere around the planet for over twenty years.
    They sent out this newsletter today.

    ‘Listening Earth in the new decade’

    “I’d like to be upbeat and wish all our Listening Earth friends a happy new year. However I just feel heartbroken at the moment.

    I know that, whether you’re in this country or overseas, you will have been following the news of our horrific bushfires currently. Of all the images I’ve seen, this satellite view alone demonstrates that the scale of these fires is not even remotely ‘normal’.

    There are so many wild places Sarah and I have recorded in over the decades – Waratah Flat and Errinundra Plateau, where I first began recording and which feature on our CD ‘Tall Forest’ – now gone. Coastal forests near Mallacoota, which can be heard on one of our more recent soundscapes, ‘The Far Southeast’ – also gone. Locations in the Blue Mountains… Those cool, ancient Gondwanan forests, with their koalas, gliders, and sooty owls with their lovely trilling calls…

    It feels too vast a tragedy to really comprehend.

    Nor do I know how to respond right now. After twenty five years of sound recording these environments, and letting listeners hear the wildlife they are home to, it comes to this. A tipping point. We’ve moved beyond the need for appreciation of nature and conservation, to something else.

    So from here on, I anticipate that sound recording and publishing as we have may be less a priority.

    Right now, I am developing ideas that can give us perspective on our human relationship with natural systems. Ideas which can point positively and practically to ways forward. Hence I’m focused on writing and giving public presentations.

    Two suggestions: Firstly, if you’d like to personally get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. Secondly, if you’re interested in inviting me to give a talk to your group or friends, I’d welcome the opportunity. Simply hit reply to this email.

    Of course, our soundscape recordings will remain available for you to enjoy:
    (link at the top of this comment)

    As my future activities emerge, I’ll share developments via this newsletter.

    With you in nature,

    Andrew & Sarah”


    • eleggua

       /  January 3, 2020

      ‘Hearing your place in nature | Andrew Skeoch | TEDxCanberra’

      Oct 24, 2017
      “Andrew Skeoch believes the way we listen is the way we live. In this talk, Andrew explores the sounds of nature and what we can learn if we take the time to listen. Andrew Skeoch is a naturalist and one of Australia’s best-known nature sound recordists. Together with his partner, photographer Sarah Koschak, he established the independent label Listening Earth in 1993 to publish authentic, natural soundscape recordings. This work has now taken him around the world, documenting the sounds of iconic landscapes and threatened ecosystems. Andrew Skeoch is one of our best-known nature sound recordists. He works from a desire to address the fundamental question of our human relationship with the living biosphere. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.”

      Here’s a youTube playlist including nearly 500 of Andrew Skeoch and Sarah Koschak aka Listening Earth’s nature recordings:


  195. eleggua

     /  January 3, 2020

    Remember the Bahama Nuthatch? Remember the Bahama Nuthatch and the ~500million other beings noted below, all perished due to the dire effects of climate crisis.

    ‘Australian wildfires may have killed half a billion animals and plants’
    January 2, 2020

    “…Ecologists at the University of Sydney now estimate that nearly half a billion animals and plants have been wiped out since the fires began several months ago…

    Approximately 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been lost since the fires intensified in September, scientists told News Corp Australia. Devastating images and videos from the area show kangaroos trying to flee burning forests and charred bodies of koalas lying on the ground…

    “We’re getting a lot of lessons out of this and it’s just showing how unprepared we are,” Science for Wildlife executive director Dr. Kellie Leigh told parliament during an urgent December hearing regarding the koala population. “There’s no procedures or protocols in place — even wildlife carers don’t have protocols for when they can go in after fire.”

    “The fires have burned so hot and so fast that there has been significant mortality of animals in the trees, but there is such a big area now that is still on fire and still burning that we will probably never find the bodies,” Nature Conservation Council ecologist Mark Graham said during the hearing…

    Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli from the University of Sydney said it isn’t just the well-known species, such as kangaroos and koalas, that are at risk. Insects that are key to services like pollination and nutrient cycling also suffered massive losses, and it is not clear how those populations and ecosystems will recover. Additionally, many rare plant species are feared to have disappeared completely.

    “Fire is a natural part of Australian ecosystems and many of our plants and animals are adapted to it,” Hochuli said. “However, changes to the frequency and intensity of fires can have a massive impact on wildlife. We know that risk of extinction increases exponentially as populations decline to low numbers so this raises significant concerns for their future.”

    “The compelling issue here is climate change,” said Sydney Mayor Clover Moore. “Yes, Australia is burning and national parks and our native animals are being decimated and our communities are being devastated. People have lost homes. People have died. Firefighters have been killed defending communities, most recently last night.”

    “As the driest continent on Earth, we’re at the forefront of accelerating global warming,” she continued. “What is happening is a wake-up call for our governments to start making effective contributions to reducing global emissions… It’s our national governments that are failing us.””


  196. eleggua

     /  January 3, 2020

    Harkening Jason Box and the Dark Snow Project in Greenland, and their statement, “Soot darkens snow and ice, increasing solar energy absorption, hastening the melt of the cryosphere.”

    ‘New Zealand glaciers turn brown and ‘could melt faster because of Australia’s bushfires”
    January 2, 2020
    “Smoke and ash drifting from the Australian bushfires have caused New Zealand’s glaciers to turn caramel brown, with one expert fearing this could increase the risk of them melting faster this year…

    Rey, an Australian woman living in Wellington, snapped some of these photos on Fox and Franz Josef glaciers.

    “We took a flight up over Fox and Franz Josef glaciers (from Franz Josef township) and landed on a flat surface not too far from the glaciers, not on a glacier per se. The pilot said he had been up the day before and the snow was white,” Rey, who didn’t want to give her full name, told CNN…

    In November, travel photographer and blogger Liz Carlson took photos of the glaciers in Mount Aspiring National Park on New Zealand’s South Island turning pinkish-red from dust and particles blown over from Australia’s bushfires.

    “Often at the end of summer the glaciers can appear dirty, even gray with all of the snowmelt and bits of black rock on them, but this was the height of spring so it was really bizarre,” she told CNN last month.
    While it’s too early to say exactly how the particles will affect the glaciers in New Zealand, scientists have found that forest fires in the Amazon have caused glaciers in the Andes mountains to melt faster, with pollutants such as black carbon and dust lodged in the ice, reducing the glacier’s ability to reflect sunlight.”


  197. eleggua

     /  January 3, 2020

    “God gave Noah the rainbow sign; no more water, the fire next time!”


  198. eleggua

     /  January 5, 2020

    Even if the assassination of Soleimani does not become the “Archduke Ferdinand moment” of this time, this poem is a healthy exhortation for ‘now’.

    ‘September 1, 1939’
    by W. H. Auden

    I sit in one of the dives
    On Fifty-second Street
    Uncertain and afraid
    As the clever hopes expire
    Of a low dishonest decade:
    Waves of anger and fear
    Circulate over the bright
    And darkened lands of the earth,
    Obsessing our private lives;
    The unmentionable odour of death
    Offends the September night.

    Accurate scholarship can
    Unearth the whole offence
    From Luther until now
    That has driven a culture mad,
    Find what occurred at Linz,
    What huge imago made
    A psychopathic god:
    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.

    Exiled Thucydides knew
    All that a speech can say
    About Democracy,
    And what dictators do,
    The elderly rubbish they talk
    To an apathetic grave;
    Analysed all in his book,
    The enlightenment driven away,
    The habit-forming pain,
    Mismanagement and grief:
    We must suffer them all again.

    Into this neutral air
    Where blind skyscrapers use
    Their full height to proclaim
    The strength of Collective Man,
    Each language pours its vain
    Competitive excuse:
    But who can live for long
    In an euphoric dream;
    Out of the mirror they stare,
    Imperialism’s face
    And the international wrong.

    Faces along the bar
    Cling to their average day:
    The lights must never go out,
    The music must always play,
    All the conventions conspire
    To make this fort assume
    The furniture of home;
    Lest we should see where we are,
    Lost in a haunted wood,
    Children afraid of the night
    Who have never been happy or good.