#AceNewsReport – June.30: The heat began to build up late last week, and the effect is apparent in this map (above) which shows land surface temperatures on June 25 in Washington. The data show that around noon on that day, surface temperatures in Seattle reached 120°F (49°C), and the worst was yet to come. By […](NASA) #ClimateChange National US Weather Report: Extraordinary heat events occur around the planet during most summers, but the current heatwave in the Pacific Northwest is truly exceptional #AceNewsDesk report — Kindness – Wisdom💥
Maps of the day: Worst case climate scenario via eats shoots ‘n leaves
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] was created in established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization [WMO] to evaluate the impacts of global warming triggered by the rise of greenhouse gases.
To assess likely impacts, the IPCC uses scenarios based on Representative Concentration Pathways [RCPs], RCP8.5 as the worst case alternative, leading to a global temperature rise of 2.6 to 4.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
While the RCP 8.5 scenario remains controversial, the fact remains that it could be worse, given that we still don’t understand the complex feedback loops arising from interactions of a complex of systems we are only beginning to discern – as with the spiking methane emissions triggered by polar warming.
From today’s Guardian comes word of a stunning find off the Siberian coast:
Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast, the Guardian can reveal.
High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating.
The slope sediments in the Arctic contain a huge quantity of frozen methane and other gases – known as hydrates. Methane has a warming effect 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide over 20 years. The United States Geological Survey has previously listed Arctic hydrate destabilisation as one of four most serious scenarios for abrupt climate change.
The report concludes on an ominous note:
Temperatures in Siberia were 5C higher than average from January to June this year, an anomaly that was made at least 600 times more likely by human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide and methane. Last winter’s sea ice melted unusually early. This winter’s freeze has yet to begin, already a later start than at any time on record.
From the 14 October edition of the Washington Post, published before today’s news, comes another startling fact:
The worldwide number of methane hot spots has soared 32 percent so far this year despite the economic slowdown, according to satellite imagery analyzed by a private data firm.
Comparing the first eight months of 2019 to the same period in 2020, the Paris-based firm Kayrros said methane leaks from oil and gas industry hot spots climbed even higher in Algeria, Russia and Turkmenistan, growing by more than 40 percent. The largest contributors to rising methane releases were the United States, Russia, Algeria, Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq, Kayrros said.
And Reuters adds another ominous note:
There is more than three times as much carbon frozen in permafrost as in all of the forests on the planet, including the Amazon, scientists say.
So why worry about methane?
From a 14 October Deutsche Welle interview with Stanford University Environmental Sciences professor Rob Jackson:
“Well, since industrial activity began, methane has contributed about a quarter of all the warming that we’ve seen and it’s far more potent, molecule for molecule or kilogram for kilogram than carbon dioxide is on a 20-year time frame. It’s 80 or 90 times more potent. And even over a century, it’s about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. So CO2 is still the dominant greenhouse gas we look at. But methane is second and provides a lot of opportunities to make a difference right now because it’s so powerful.”
Another significant source of methane is fracking, the hydraulic fracturing of shale deposits to extract oil and natural gas [i.e., methane].
A 2015 report by Robert W. Howarth of Cronell University’s Department of Ecology and Environmental Biology made this observation:
We concluded that 3.8% [±2.2%] of the total lifetime production of methane from a conventional gas well is emitted into the atmosphere, considering the full life cycle from well to final consumer.11 The data available for estimating emissions from shale gas were more scarce and more poorly documented at that time, but we estimated that the full life cycle emissions of shale gas were ∼1.5-fold higher than that of conventional natural gas, or 5.8% [±2.2%].
On 13 August. The Trump administration reduced or eliminated most regulations on emissions releases from fracking, and Joe Biden says he’ll continue to allow the controversial technique – already tied to earthquakes and environmental and health problems.
Mapping out an alarming future
If there’s one single factor most responsible for the rapid rise of autocratic movements in the last few decades, it would have to be immigration.
The rising numbers of refugees streaming into Europe and the U.S. have given rise to virulent racist and ultra-nationalist movements headed by headed by authoritarians who seize of immigrants as scapegoats for seething resentments fueled by rising economic inequality caused by the plague of neoliberalism.
A May report, Future of the human climate niche, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and written by an international, interdisciplinary academic team reveals that many regions already accounting for large numbers of refugees will bear the brunt of climate change.
Consider this map from their report:
The accompanying text:
Projected geographical shift of the human temperature niche. [Top] Geographical position of the human temperature niche projected on the current situation [A] and the RCP8.5 projected 2070 climate [B]. Those maps represent relative human distributions [summed to unity] for the imaginary situation that humans would be distributed over temperatures following the stylized double Gaussian model fitted to the modern data [the blue dashed curve in Fig. 2A]. [C] Difference between the maps, visualizing potential source [orange] and sink [green] areas for the coming decades if humans were to be relocated in a way that would maintain this historically stable distribution with respect to temperature. The dashed line in A and B indicates the 5% percentile of the probability distribution.
While RCP8.5 remains controversial, in light of the rapid rise in methane emissions from the warming poles and and still-unknown by inevitable synergetic feedback loops and failure of governments to take action, we suspect the reality may prove even worse.
Synthetic fertilizers spike greenhouse gasesIn “Climate”
From Industrial Revolution to global collapse?In “Corpocracy”
The use of big data can help scientists’ chart not only the degradation of the environment but can be part of the solution to achieve sustainability, according to a new commentary paper.
The paper, ‘Opportunities for big data in conservation and sustainability’, published today in Nature Communications, said increased computing speeds and data storage had grown the volume of big data in the last 40 years, but the planet was still facing serious decline.
Lead author Dr Rebecca Runting from the University of Melbourne’s School of Geography says that while we currently have an unprecedented ability to generate, store, access and analyse data about the environment, these technological advances will not help the world unless they lead to action.
“Big data analyses must be closely linked to environmental policy and management,” Dr Runting said. “For example, many large companies already possess the methodological, technical, and computational capacity to develop solutions, so it is paramount that new developments and resources are shared timely with government, and in the spirit of ‘open data’.”
Commentators noted that 2.3 million km2 of forest was lost over the years 2000 to 2012 and that dynamic marine and coastal ecosystems have revealed similar declines. An analysis of over 700,000 satellite images shows that Earth has lost more than 20,000 km2 of tidal flats since 1984.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently seeing governments making rapid (health) decisions based on fairly sophisticated data analysis,” Dr Runting said. “There may be opportunities to learn from this and achieve a similarly tight coupling of analysis and decision-making in the environmental sector.”
Co-author Professor James Watson from the University of Queensland said with platforms like Google Earth Engine and the capacity of satellites to track and send information quickly to computers, big data was capable of identifying eco-health risks globally.
“What the big data revolution has helped us understand is the environment is often doing worse than what we thought it was. The more we map and analyse, the more we find the state of the environment, albeit Antarctic ice sheets, wetlands, or forests, is dire. Big data tells us we are running out of time,” Professor Watson said.
“The good news is the big data revolution can help us better understand risk. For example, we can use data to better understand where future ecosystem degradation will take place and where these interact with wildlife trade, so as to map pandemic risk.”
Dr Runting said big data has been pivotal in quantifying alarming spatial and temporal trends across Earth. For example, an automated vessel tracking and monitoring system is being used to predict illegal fishing activity in real-time.
“This has allowed governments quickly investigate particular vessels that may be undertaking illegal fishing activity within their jurisdiction, including within Australian waters,” she said. Similarly, Queensland’s Statewide Landcover and Trees Study uses satellite imagery to monitor woody vegetation clearing, including the detection of illegal clearing.
Professor Watson cited a similar example. “Global forest watch has been a game change for monitoring the state of the world forests in near real time. This can help identify illegal activities and informed active enforcement of forest conservation around the world,” Professor Watson said.
The paper also noted positive environmental changes due to human intervention such as greening seen in large expanses in China, which was driven by large scale national policies, including forest conservation and payments for restoration.
IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons
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From crystal clear waters in the canals of Venice to dramatic falls in pollution levels in major cities, the coronavirus pandemic has had a number of positive effects on the environment as millions across the world are placed under lockdown. Video: France 24
Originally posted on The Extinction Chronicles: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/03/13/climate-change-earth-had-second-warmest-winter-record/5043841002/ Doyle Rice USA TODAY AD 0:13 SKIP Only the El-Niño-fueled winter of 2015-16 was warmer. Some of the most extreme warmth was in Russia, which smashed its record for warmest winter. Thanks to human-caused global warming, “this period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization.…
For the first time in 185 years, there will be no fall semester at Green Mountain College in western Vermont. The school fell victim to trends in higher education that could soon impact hundreds of other schools. One expert predicts that 25% of colleges will fail in the next 20 years. In an effort to protect the environment colleges will be cutting back on Liberal Arts University Programs and all other curriculums that are not work based skiils, AKA: programs that dont lead to work, will be reducing their volume.
New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Himalayan glaciers across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan have been losing the equivalent of more than a vertical foot and half of ice each year since 2000, a new comprehensive international study said on Wednesday. The analysis, spanning 40 years of satellite observations, indicates that melting of the Himalayan glaciers caused by rising temperatures has accelerated dramatically since the start of the 21st century — almost double the amount of melting that took place from 1975 to 2000. The study is the latest and perhaps most convincing indication that climate change is eating the Himalayas’ glaciers, potentially threatening water supplies for hundreds of millions of people downstream across much of Asia. “This is the clearest picture yet of how fast Himalayan glaciers are melting over this time interval, and why,” said lead author Joshua Maurer, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. While not specifically calculated in the study, the glaciers may have lost as much as a quarter of their enormous mass over the last four decades, said Maurer. The study appears this week in the journal Science Advances. Currently harboring some 600 billion tonnes of ice, the Himalayas are sometimes called the earth’s “Third Pole”. Many other recent studies have suggested that the glaciers are wasting, including one this year projecting that up to two-thirds of the current ice cover could be gone by 2100. But up to now, observations have been somewhat fragmented, zeroing in on shorter time periods, or only individual glaciers or certain regions. These studies have produced sometimes contradictory results, both regarding the degree of ice loss and the causes. The new study synthesises data from across the region, stretching from early satellite observations to the present. The synthesis indicates that the melting is consistent in time and space, and that rising temperatures are to blame. Temperatures vary from place to place, but from 2000 to 2016 they have averaged one degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than those from 1975 to 2000. Maurer and his colleagues analysed repeat satellite images of some 650 glaciers spanning 2,000 kms from west to east. Many of the 20th-century observations came from recently declassified photographic images taken by US spy satellites. The researchers created an automated system to turn these into 3D models that could show the changing elevations of glaciers over time. They then compared these images with post-2000 optical data from more sophisticated satellites, which more directly convey elevation changes. They found that from 1975 to 2000, glaciers across the region lost an average of about 0.25 metres (10 inches) of ice each year in the face of slight warming. Following a more pronounced warming trend starting in the 1990s, starting in 2000 the loss accelerated to about half a meter (20 inches) annually. Recent yearly losses have averaged about 8 billion tonnes of water, or the equivalent 3.2 million Olympic-size swimming pools, said Maurer. Most individual glaciers are not wasting uniformly over their entire surfaces, he noted; melting has been concentrated mainly at lower elevations, where some ice surfaces are losing as much as five metres (16 feet) a year. Some researchers have argued that factors other than temperature are affecting the glaciers. These include changes in precipitation, which seems to be declining in some areas (which would tend to reduce the ice), but increasing in others (which would tend to build it). Another factor: Asian nations are burning ever-greater loads of fossil fuels and biomass, sending soot into the sky. Much of it eventually lands on snowy glacier surfaces, where it absorbs solar energy and hastens melting. Maurer agrees that both soot and precipitation are factors, but due to the region’s huge size and extreme topography, the effects are highly variable from place to place. Overall, he says, temperature is the overarching force. To confirm this, he and his colleagues compiled temperature data during the study period from ground stations and then calculated the amount of melting that observed temperature increases would be expected to produce. They then compared those figures with what actually happened. They matched. “It looks just like what we would expect if warming were the dominant driver of ice loss,” he said.
New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Himalayan glaciers across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan have been losing the equivalent of more than a vertical foot and half of ice each year since 2000, a new comprehensive international study said on Wednesday. The analysis, spanning 40 years of satellite observations, indicates that melting of the Himalayan glaciers […]
Scientists found that frogs DO jump out of the water as it gets hot. They are smarter than we are.
If you put one in boiling water it will hop out, but if you gradually increase the temperature of the water it will let itself be boiled. It’s meant to warn us about slowly developing dangers in addition to obvious ones.
As metaphors go, a boiling frog works. Step into the realm of reality and the metaphor breaks down. Dr. Victor Hutchison, at the University of Oklahoma, dispelled the myth when he studied frogs’ reaction to temperature changes in water. He followed the procedure outlined for a proper frog-boiling; put a frog in cold water, and gradually warmed the water up. (He stopped well before the boiling point.) The frogs most definitely did jump out when the water got too warm for them. So that aspect of the metaphor breaks down.
What about the other aspect? If we want to get really gruesome, we can discuss what happens when you throw a frog into boiling water. No one has done this as an experiment, but scientists are pretty sure they know what will happen if someone did. Getting dropped into boiling water would be serious trouble for a human, and we have nice thick skin and quite large legs. The surface of the body parts that were exposed to the water would be damaged or destroyed, but we’d have enough muscle mass to get out of the water, provided the edge of the container was close and we didn’t go into shock. A frog is not nearly as big as we are. The boiling water would destroy its muscles to the point where it could not hop out and would die in the water.
So the real story should be the exact reverse of the “fact” that’s so often quoted. Put a frog in some cold water and heat it up slowly, and the frog will hop out. Drop a frog in boiling water and it will be boiled alive. Is it me, or does that sound even scarier?
https://tinyurl.com/y3wgyqc7 AS THE CLIMATE CHANGES, ARE WE ALL BOILING FROGS? New research finds that we normalize rising temperatures remarkably quickly. https://psmag.com/environment/as-the-climate-changes-are-we-all-boiling-frogs,TOM JACOBS, FEB 26, 2019 How about this weird […]
Will Harris, a free-range chicken farmer in Georgia, recently learned first hand the importance of transaction costs. In the last few years, bald eagles have been treating his farm as an all-you-can-eat buffet. He was “excited” to see the first pair show up, because he viewed them as an environmental amenity. But now 77 eagles […]
WASHINGTON (AP) — A draft federal science report on the effects of global warming breaks down how climate change has already hit different regions of the United States. It also projects expected changes by region. OVERALL (contiguous 48 states) —The annual average temperature is already 1.18 degrees warmer the last 30 years than it was…
Dahr Jamail | Record Heating of Earth’s Oceans Is Driving Uptick in Hurricanes http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37877-record-heating-of-earth-s-oceans-is-driving-uptick-in-hurricanes Thursday, 06 October 2016 By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report As Hurricane Matthew impacts the East Coast of the US this week, it is important to consider how rising ocean temperatures are contributing to the intensification of storms worldwide. Earlier this year, a scientific study titled […]
Antarctic sea ice retreat could set stage for ice shelf collapses Staff ReportMonths of above-average temperatures in the Arctic slowed the growth of sea ice formation to a crawl during the second half of October, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported in its latest monthly update.The ice scientists said that, starting Oct. 20, […]
Guest essay by Eric Worrall The Japan Meteorological Agency thinks global warming will lead to heavier snowfall in Northern Japan. According to writer Susumu Yoshida of the Asahi Shimbun, a prominent Japanese national newspaper; Global warming will bring more heavy snow in northern Japan Logic would tell us that continuing global warming will lead to […]
Global warming will bring more heavy snow in northern Japan
Logic would tell us that continuing global warming will lead to less snowfall, but the opposite will be true in some areas of northern Japan, according to a meteorological simulation.
By the end of this century, while the country as a whole will receive a smaller amount of snow, Hokkaido and inland areas of the Hokuriku region will experience more frequent heavy snowfalls, the Meteorological Research Institute of the Japan Meteorological Agency announced Sept. 23.
The reasoning behind the prediction is that larger amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere caused by higher temperatures will make it easier for belts of snow clouds to develop above the Sea of Japan when the air pressure pattern is typical of the winter.
According to the results of the institution’s precise simulation, the Japanese archipelago will have lighter snowfall during the winter, if the mean annual temperature increases three degrees from the current level between 2080 and 2100.
Tracking original source material is a bit tricky because I don’t read or write Japanese, but the following appears to be part of an official Japanese Meteorological Report – though I am not sure if it is the source material referenced by Yoshida.
Snowfall in winter (December – March) is projected to decrease under both scenarios A1B and B1, in most areas except Hokkaido. The projected decrease for scenario A1B is greater than that for B1.
The projected increase in snowfall at high altitudes in Hokkaido for scenario A1B is greater than for the B1.
The frequency of heavy snowfall is projected to increase at high altitudes in Hokkaido. The projected rate of increase for scenario A1B is greater than that for B1.
In most areas except Hokkaido, the frequency of heavy snowfall is projected to decrease for scenario A1B more than that for B1.
All I can say is thank goodness we are not experiencing global cooling, otherwise we might have no snowfall at all.
Antarctica is currently gaining more ice than it’s losing, according to a recent study by NASA.
“We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said lead researcher Jay Zwally from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica—there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”
But if Antarctica is not losing land ice overall, then where is this sea-level rise coming from? Researchers aren’t sure, suggesting there is another contribution to sea level rises that has yet to be accounted for.
The findings show just how difficult it is to measure changes in Antarctica. Researchers analyzed variations in the surface height of the Antarctic ice sheet using radar instruments on two European Space Agency satellites from 1992 to 2001, and by laser sensors on a NASA satellite from 2003 to 2008. While other scientists had also observed gains in elevations in East Antarctica, they had wrongly attributed it to recent snowfall. Researchers used meteorological data dating back to 1979 to show the ice cores in the area had in fact been thickening.
Antarctica may not be contributing to sea level rises, but researchers caution against celebrating as the current trend could reverse within a few decades. Courtesy of: Quartz. http://qz.com/538902