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Messages - kassy

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Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: April 12, 2019, 01:26:35 PM »
Well if they do they beat the New Orleans levees:

After A $14 Billion Upgrade, New Orleans’ Levees Are Sinking
Sea level rise and ground subsidence will render the flood barriers inadequate in just four years, 11 months after the Army Corps of Engineers completed one of the largest public works projects in world history, the agency says the system will stop providing adequate protection in as little as four years because of rising sea levels and shrinking levees.

How do you figure out how you can´improve on <your or anyone´s > path of evolution if you can not see the future?

Let´s ignore the low hanging fruit like not destroying the only place we can live. (But interestingly that is all behaviour isn´t it? ).

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: April 02, 2019, 01:15:14 PM »
The Transpolar Drift is faltering -- sea ice is now melting before it can leave the nursery

The dramatic loss of ice in the Arctic is influencing sea-ice transport across the Arctic Ocean. As experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research report in a new study, today only 20 percent of the sea ice that forms in the shallow Russian marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean actually reaches the Central Arctic, where it joins the Transpolar Drift; the remaining 80 percent of the young ice melts before it has a chance to leave its 'nursery'. Before 2000, that number was only 50 percent. According to the researchers, this development not only takes us one step closer to an ice-free summer in the Arctic; as the sea ice dwindles, the Arctic Ocean stands to lose an important means of transporting nutrients, algae and sediments. The new study will be released as a freely accessible Open Access article in the online journal Scientific Reports on 2 April 2019.


"Our study shows extreme changes in the Arctic: the melting of sea ice in the Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea is now so rapid and widespread that we're seeing a lasting reduction in the amount of new ice for the Transpolar Drift. Now, most of the ice that still reaches the Fram Strait isn't formed in the marginal seas, but comes from the Central Arctic. What we're witnessing is a major transport current faltering, which is bringing the world one major step closer to a sea-ice-free summer in the Arctic," says first author Dr Thomas Krumpen, a sea-ice physicist at the Alfred Wegener Institute.

This trend has been confirmed by the outcomes of sea-ice thickness measurements taken in the Fram Strait, which the AWI sea-ice physicists gather on a regular basis. "The ice now leaving the Arctic through the Fram Strait is, on average, 30 percent thinner than it was 15 years ago. The reasons: on the one hand, rising winter temperatures in the Arctic and a melting season that now begins much earlier; on the other, this ice is no longer formed in the shelf seas, but much farther north. As a result, it has far less time to drift through the Arctic and grow into thicker pack ice," Thomas Krumpen explains.


The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: March 25, 2019, 02:06:31 PM »
Huge fossil discovery made in China's Hubei province


Scientists say they have discovered a "stunning" trove of thousands of fossils on a river bank in China.

The fossils are estimated to be about 518 million years old, and are particularly unusual because the soft body tissue of many creatures, including their skin, eyes, and internal organs, have been "exquisitely" well preserved.

Palaeontologists have called the findings "mind-blowing" - especially because more than half the fossils are previously undiscovered species.

The fossils, known as the Qingjiang biota, were collected near Danshui river in Hubei province.

More than 20,000 specimens were collected, and a total of 4,351 have been analysed so far, including worms, jellyfish, sea anemones and algae.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: March 18, 2019, 01:30:54 PM »
The 12 Signs That Show We're in The Middle of a 6th Mass Extinction

Nothing new but a convenient list.

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: March 17, 2019, 05:02:31 PM »
Nile shipwreck discovery proves Herodotus right – after 2,469 years

In the fifth century BC, the Greek historian Herodotus visited Egypt and wrote of unusual river boats on the Nile. Twenty-three lines of his Historia, the ancient world’s first great narrative history, are devoted to the intricate description of the construction of a “baris”.

For centuries, scholars have argued over his account because there was no archaeological evidence that such ships ever existed. Now there is. A “fabulously preserved” wreck in the waters around the sunken port city of Thonis-Heracleion has revealed just how accurate the historian was.

Re 744.

Have you seen the news in #64 here.,2449.msg191933.html

"The plant assemblages indicate that there was an abrupt and major shift in the vegetation from wet, cold conditions at Pilauco to warm, dry conditions," Kennett said. According to him, the atmospheric zonal climatic belts shifted "like a seesaw," with a synergistic mechanism, bringing warming to the Southern Hemisphere even as the Northern Hemisphere experienced cooling and expanding sea ice.

They could be related?

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: March 14, 2019, 02:51:31 PM »

The Toxic Consequences of America’s Plastics Boom

Thanks to fracking, petrochemicals giants are poised to make the plastic pollution crisis much, much worse.

Companies are investing $65 billion to dramatically expand plastics production in the United States, and more than 333 petrochemical projects are underway or newly completed, including brand-new facilities, expansions of existing plants, vast networks of pipelines, and shipping infrastructure. This is a sharp reversal of fortune for American plastics manufacturers. Just over a decade ago, major plastics makers shed tens of thousands of jobs as cheaper operating costs in Asia and the Middle East lured production overseas. Now, thanks to the fracking revolution, producing plastic has become radically cheaper in the United States, leading to a glut of raw materials for its creation. The economic winds have shifted so profoundly that petrochemical companies have declared a “renaissance” in American plastics manufacturing. In turn, plastic is becoming an increasingly important source of profit for Big Oil, providing yet another reason to drill in the face of climate change.


<during Trumps may 2017 Saudi Arabia visit>
Meanwhile, in a mint-and-gold-colored room within the Saudi royal court, executives struck their own deals. Among them were Darren Woods, the CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil, and Yousef Al-Benyan, CEO of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the world’s largest producers of petrochemicals. With Trump, Saudi King Salman, and then–US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (a former Exxon CEO) looking on, Woods and Al-Benyan shook hands on a joint venture to build what will be the largest plastics facility of its kind, on Texas’s Gulf Coast.


Plotted on a map, the rectangle of land where Exxon plans to build is nearly as large as Portland and about twice the size of neighboring Gregory, a low-income, largely Hispanic community.


According to Exxon’s requested air permit, the facility will emit sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxides, which can combine to form ozone smog; carcinogens, including benzene, formaldehyde, and butadiene; and other particulate matter. The health risks of these emissions include eye and throat irritation, respiratory problems, and headaches, as well as nose bleeds at low levels and, at high levels, more serious damage to vital organs and the central nervous system.


Now, the Texas Campaign for the Environment and the Sierra Club, working on behalf of Portland and Gregory residents, are contesting the air-quality permits that Exxon requested from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Summerlin is not naive about the prospects of this effort: The commission is notoriously friendly to industry and, as far as Summerlin knows, has never denied a permit


All of these new facilities will require water; Exxon’s cracker alone will consume 20 to 25 million gallons per day, more than all the water currently used each day in San Patricio County’s water district. But the area is prone to drought. The Port of Corpus Christi has plans to build a seawater-desalination plant on Harbor Island near Port Aransas, which could lead to discharges of extremely salty water back into the bays that serve as nurseries for shrimp and fish. The development is also vulnerable to hurricanes. When Hurricane Harvey swept across Houston in 2017, many chemical plants shut down, releasing an estimated 1 million pounds of excess toxic emissions that drifted into neighboring communities.

Just some quotes from a long and good (and rather depressing) article.

The rest / Re: Article links: drop them here!
« on: March 08, 2019, 02:15:07 PM »
DeSmog published a story this week from the Climate Investigations Center that touches on an interesting angle that’s emerging in the climate world as kids lead the way.

The article describes a conference last month at Brown University that featured a 90-minute panel built around a recent study in Nature Climate Change showing how decades of concerted misinformation played a key role in the current climate of climate denial. The event was convened by Brown’s Climate Development Lab. Brown students at the lab recently compiled and published a report giving the backstory on a dozen climate denial coalitions.

Some are long gone, like the Global Climate Coalition, others are still very much alive, like the Cooler Heads Coalition, which counts Trump advisors Myron Ebell and Steve Milloy among its members.

But even some of the ones that are no longer operational, like the Information Council on the Environment, which was funded by the Western Fuels Association and the Edison Electric Institute, still impact the current discourse.

For example, ICE’s Pat Michaels and Sherwood Idso have both gone on to a long and lucrative fossil-fuel-funded denial career. ICE’s initial PR campaign goal to “reposition global warming as theory (not fact)” is at the core of President Trump’s ongoing attempts to attack climate science with a “red team” of deniers drawn from these sorts of coalitions.


As pundits and deniers increasingly chide children for daring to speak out about the state of our planet, remember that these kids are speaking out against a misinformation machine that’s older than they are. For the students who put together this report, the fact that there’s a well-funded, widespread propaganda effort to protect polluters at the public expense isn’t some new revelation–it’s simply a fact of life.

Just like how no one born since February 1985 has ever experienced a month in which the global temperature has dipped below the 20th century average, this report shows that no one under 30 has lived in a world free from the fossil fuel industry’s misinformation campaign.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: March 04, 2019, 11:45:37 AM »
Coal Ash Contaminates Groundwater at 91% of U.S. Coal Plants, Tests Show

At a power plant in Memphis, Tennessee, coal ash waste that built up over decades has been leaching arsenic and other toxic substances into the groundwater.

The contamination, ranked as a top problem in a new national assessment of water testing at coal ash sites, is in a shallow aquifer for now. But below that lies a second aquifer that provides drinking water to more than 650,000 people, and there are concerns that the contamination could make its way into the deeper water supply the city relies on.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: March 01, 2019, 01:19:48 PM »
The Shells of Wild Sea Butterflies Are Already Dissolving

This long-predicted outcome of ocean acidification experiments has started showing up in the wild.

For more than a decade, laboratory studies and models have warned of the vulnerability of pteropods—tiny sea snails also known as sea butterflies—to ocean acidification. Now those predictions have escaped the lab. From the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea to the Beaufort Sea, scientists are finding pteropods with dissolved shells. Nina Bednarsek, a biogeochemist with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, recently presented some of these findings at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium.


The pteropod Bednarsek studies, Limacina helicina, is more than just the proverbial canary in the coal mine. One of only two species of pteropod to live in high-latitude waters, this particular species is abundant and critical to Arctic food webs, often dominating zooplankton communities and feeding everything from pink salmon to whales.

Pteropods can patch their damaged shells, but at a cost, Bednarsek explains. “The pteropods are a bit more physiologically compromised—not really feeling very well.” More acidic water triggers stress responses in the pteropods, as well as sucking energy to rebuild their shells. Stressed out pteropods accumulate free radicals, which decompose their lipids and fatty acids. And since these lipids and fatty acids are essential nutrients for juvenile fishes, corroded pteropods make a poor meal, compromising the health of other animals in the food chain.


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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