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Messages - kassy

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Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: February 19, 2019, 02:48:13 PM »
Arctic Bogs Hold Another Global Warming Risk That Could Spiral Out of Control

Increasing spring rains in the Arctic could double the increase in methane emissions from the region by hastening the rate of thawing in permafrost, new research suggests.


"Our results emphasize that these permafrost regions are sensitive to the thermal effects of rain, and because we're anticipating that these environments are going to get wetter in the future, we could be seeing increases in methane emissions that we weren't expecting," said the study's lead author, Rebecca Neumann, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of Washington. The study appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

In the new study, Neumann and colleagues tracked rainfall, soil temperature and methane emissions at a thawing permafrost bog approximately 20 miles southwest of Fairbanks, Alaska, from 2014 through 2016.

In 2016, a year marked by early spring rain, the team saw soil temperatures at the edge of the bog begin to increase 20 days earlier than usual. Methane emissions across the bog were 30 percent higher than in the two previous years which did not have early spring rains.

The study projects that as the temperature and precipitation in the region continue to increase, the rate of increase in methane emissions from the region may be roughly twice that of current estimates that don't account for rainfall.

and more:

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: February 13, 2019, 11:19:38 AM »
G-objects may have come from supermassive black hole, study reports

Strange celestial structures that look like dust clouds but act like stars may have been created by the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, according to unpublished research set to be presented at the American Astronomical Society.

Scientists have spent a lot of time studying the odd bodies -- known as G-objects -- in order to figure out how they operate. In the recent analysis, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles discovered three additions to the class and may have shed light on how the odd objects first formed.

Scientists first noticed two of the objects in 2004 and 2012. Further study revealed the bodies, which produce red light and appear to be quite cool, are likely surrounded by dust.

However, the first two G-objects have wandered near the Milky Way's supermassive black hole without being torn apart. As a result, they have to be denser than a dust cloud. That property is why scientists believe they are actually stars surrounded by gas.

"They're weird because they are not gas nebulae, they're not stars, so we think they're something in the middle, a stellar object surrounded by gas and dust," study author Anna Ciurlo, an astronomer at the University of California Los Angeles, told Newsweek, "like a star that's been puffed up."

As the objects sit so close to the black hole, astronomers also believe that is where they came from. Previous research suggests black holes can encourage closely-paired stars to collide more quickly than they would normally. It is possible such collisions create G-objects.

and more on

A interesting new class of objects.

Earth Is 'Missing' at Least 20 Ft of Sea Level Rise. Antarctica Could Be The Time Bomb

Some researchers, including DeConto, think they have found a key process - called marine ice cliff collapse - that can release a lot of sea level rise from West Antarctica in a hurry.

But they're being challenged by another group, whose members suspect the changes in the past were slow - and will be again.

General article about Marine Ice Sheet Instability vs Marine Ice Cliff Instability. Might be useful to link to people as an introduction on the subject.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: January 23, 2019, 08:18:10 PM »
Mysterious Galaxy Measured Exquisitely, And Contains No Dark Matter At All


DF2 is strange, even for a dwarf galaxy. For starts, it’s ultra-diffuse, with no central core, no spiral arms, and no beehive-like elliptical structure. An instrument like Dragonfly is optimized for finding structures like this one with such low surface brightnesses; DF2 is one of only three or four known ultra-diffuse galaxies. It looks like a puffed-up ball of stars, and nothing more.

It is surrounded by a halo that’s populated with globular clusters, except its globular clusters are weird: they’re twice as large as the globulars we see in other galaxies. They’re also old: at least 9 billion years have passed since new stars have formed in them. But the strangest thing of all is that the motions of the stars inside of it, as well as the motions of the globular clusters around it, are so small. If dark matter were abundant, they’d move around at speeds of ±30 km/s, give or take a little. But that’s not what we see at all.


The stars and the globular clusters aren’t moving at ±16 km/s, as the prior team indicated, but at a mere ±7-or-8 km/s. By measuring the stars directly, they found a stellar velocity dispersion of ±8.4 km/s, while the globular clusters gave a slightly lower value of ±7.8 km/s. These values are consistent with what you’d expect from the mass of stars inside the galaxy alone; there appears to be no dark matter present inside this galaxy at all.

The globular clusters are found farther out than the stars by about a factor of 4, which is where the effects of a dark matter halo should be more significant. The fact that the the velocity dispersion remains unchanged between the stars and globular clusters, at least to the best resolution of our instruments, indicates that this galaxy may be the first example of a new population whose existence was predicted by theory: of ultra-diffuse, dark-matter-free galaxies.

For details and pictures:

Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: January 20, 2019, 10:16:11 AM »
What 88 Bee Genomes and 10 Years of Studying Apples Tell Us About the Future of Pollinators

The team surveyed bees in 27 orchards in New York for over 10 years, identifying over 8,700 individual bees. We’re not talking domesticated honey bees — they found an amazing 88 different species of wild native bees.

Over those years, they watched the landscapes around the orchards become more and more cultivated. Natural spaces like woodlands were replaced by alfalfa, corn and soybeans. And they saw fewer and fewer bee species in the orchards as the habitat around them disappeared.

Then they sequenced the genomes of all the species to make a phylogeny — an evolutionary family tree — to see how related the different bees were. They learned that the species that disappeared weren’t a random pick from the 88. Instead, the species lost were closely related to one another. Likewise, the species left behind were closely related to one another. Habitat losses had led to entire branches of the tree of life being pruned away — meaning phylogenetic diversity took a major hit.

The researchers estimate that for every 10 percent of land area that gets converted to agriculture, 35 million years of evolutionary history are lost from the bee community.


They found that the number of bee species didn’t matter for pollination. But the phylogenetic diversity did. Their giant dataset allowed them to learn that although more agriculture in the landscape decreases both, the latter is what really hurts the fruit. Cutting away whole branches from the tree of life hurts the whole ecosystem.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 18, 2019, 10:50:10 AM »
Mass pollution at Texas coal plants poses major threat to human health and the environment
New report shows coal ash leaking from 100% of reporting Texas coal plants.

According to a new report published Thursday by the non-profit, non-partisan Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), toxic coal ash pollutants from coal-fired power plants in Texas are leaking into groundwater around the state. Arsenic, cobalt, lithium, and a range of other pollutants are seeping from 100 percent of Texas power plants coal ash sites for which reports are available.


in Texas, 13 of 16 reporting coal plants have unsafe levels of arsenic in nearby groundwater, with levels at ten times the EPA Maximum Containment Level amount. Ten plants reported unsafe levels of boron — which is deadly to humans and aquatic life — while 14 reported unsafe levels of cobalt and 11 reported unsafe levels of lithium.

Science / Re: Ocean temperatures
« on: January 16, 2019, 12:36:16 PM »
Record-breaking ocean temperatures point to trends of global warming
2018 continues record global ocean warming

An international team, released the 2018 ocean heat content observations in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences on January 16, 2019. The newly available observations show that the year 2018 is the hottest year ever recorded for the global ocean, as evident in its highest ocean heat content since 1950s in the upper 2000m.

Compared to the average value that was measured 1981 - 2010, the 2018 ocean heat anomaly is approximately 19.67 x 1022 Joules, a unit measure for heat. This heat increase in 2018 relative to 2017 is ~388 times more than the total electricity generation by China in 2017, and ~ 100 million times more than the Hiroshima bomb of heat. The years 2017, 2015, 2016 and 2014 came in just after 2018 in order of decreasing ocean heat content. The values are based on an ocean temperature analysis product conducted by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) at Chinese Academy of Sciences.

and more on:

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: January 06, 2019, 06:10:29 PM »
I like it the traditional way mixed with mashed potatoes and then put some vinegar on it (or mustard) and a veggy sausage on the side but there are many other things to do with it:

Search for dutch recipes using boerenkool and translate what looks interesting. That should give plenty of suggestions for different recipes.

This is just 1 source:

The rest / Re: Immortality
« on: December 18, 2018, 10:45:50 PM »
I have never been afraid of nothingness. Seems nice and quiet.
The body however really objects to death.

I think the people looking at tech fixes for immortality might have more money then sense? Get frozen and hope the world fixes itself etc. Basically the are too concerned with their self over time then having a fulfilling life in their ´allotted´time.

And there would be huge societal implications which are different depending on whether anyone can have it or only the select few. I read Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham which is more or less about that.

In that scenario at first a select group gets the benefits of longer live but that means they will also see people they love or like die. Can you take that? Can you make new friends at 120? Might be hard.

Arctic background / Re: Arctic Maps
« on: October 06, 2018, 12:25:00 AM »
Reposted from Artic Cafe thread

Test your knowledge of the Arctic seas, basins and shelfs in this 100 piece puzzle i made of a map Uniquorn posted.

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: October 05, 2018, 06:36:07 PM »
Test your knowledge of the Arctic seas, basins and shelfs in this 100 piece puzzle i made of a map Uniquorn posted. Hope it works.

Science / Re: Comparison: forcings from CO2, CH4, N2O
« on: August 26, 2018, 09:47:50 AM »
The CO2 forcings were lower in those two periods? Unprecedented actions might well have unprecedented reactions?

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: August 06, 2018, 12:54:49 AM »
quoting from 132 above:
"now we only have to calculate how much energy has to be stored in the ocean to compensate for those extremely low winter temps, fed by land winds that can be down to -60C even."

But only a part of the heat gets there and calculating this is rather complicated.

And the heat is there already but it can't get up without help.

I sort of think of the Arctic as a bastion. The edges are contested first. The Barentz is lost and both oceans are intruding further into the Arctic. With the ice being thin as it is now that should show up as a pattern the next couple of years? (see animation 2 in #2555 in 2018 Melting Season).

These areas will then warm up early creating water areas which can destroy more ice with wave action and warmer water (and if it warms up enough it should connect with warmer water below?).

In the old days most of the old ice was at some side so that side was stronger and the other weaker. But the Arctic was sort of covered.

Now at some point the CAB ice will more or less float freely and with the wrong direction that will destroy a lot of ice (and that is where most of the remaining extent is hiding now) . It might take multiple years.

A bit surprised at how many voted 2018-2019. I think i would go for the 2020-2040 bin and yes that is cheating. 

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: July 17, 2018, 06:49:23 PM »
Trump left the Paris agreement.

He appointed Pruitt to EPA changing policies so they hurt the environment (and kill more American citizens). Appointed Zinke to wreck national parks because private gain is so much more sexy then societal gain.

Also Trump does not fix things, he makes money of them. Sometimes.

Antarctica / Re: What's new in Antarctica ?
« on: July 17, 2018, 02:12:41 PM »
Kelp and sadly also plastics can make it to Antarctica if storms help them across the ACC:

Antarctica is surrounded by the circumpolar current, an endless loop of water pushing ever-eastward, driven by the powerful southern winds and unobstructed by land, other than being forced through the narrow gap between the Antarctic Peninsula and Tierra del Fuego. Although whales and seabirds can power across this obstacle, few other life forms can do so, keeping the frozen continent almost biologically isolated from the rest of the planet.

At least that is what was believed, until the Universidad de Concepción's Dr Erasmo Macaya, unable to do the work he had come to King George Island to do, spent a lot of time walking along the beaches looking at seaweed. Macaya noticed that some of the kelp didn't look like it should be there. The oceans off Antarctica, cold as they are, do support some kelp species, but Macaya's finds were Durvillaea antarctica, which somewhat ironically does not normally live close to the continent with which it shares its name.

More details on:

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: June 30, 2018, 05:58:25 PM »
Interesting question & a good memory (i think i would drop the last 0 over time too because 10k is already so bad).

They found that the carbon dioxide-caused warming exceeds the amount of heat released by a lump of coal in just 34 days. The same phenomenon is observed in 45 days for an isolated incident of oil combustion, and in 59 days for a single instance of burning natural gas.

“Ultimately, the warming induced by carbon dioxide over the many thousands of years it remains in the atmosphere would exceed the warming from combustion by a factor of 100,000 or more,” Caldeira said.

and more on:

also see:

Several Skeptical Science contributors worked together to publish a scientific paper1 which combined the land, air, ice, and ocean warming data. It found that for recent decades the earth has been heating at a rate of 250 trillion Joules per second.

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