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Messages - vox_mundi

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The linked article discusses the just released '2019 Arctic Report Card', and its conclusion that the Arctic permafrost has already become a net emitter of GHGs; which will act as an increasingly positive feedback for global warming:

Title: "The Arctic may have crossed key threshold, emitting billions of tons of carbon into the air, in a long-dreaded climate feedback"

See also:

Title: "Arctic Report Card: Record territory for warm temperatures, loss of snow and ice"


Title: "Arctic Report Card: Update for 2019"

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: November 21, 2019, 11:13:53 AM »
  Massive Mildura dust storm leaves Victorian town 'unliveable' amid 40C heat

Residents say such storms now occur on a weekly basis, as topsoil from drought-ravaged farms is blown through the town
  by Naaman Zhou

Residents told Guardian Australia it was like a “wall of dust”, a danger to asthmatics, and “unliveable”. And, for many, it is not even the worst dust storm this year. In May residents reported a storm as the town’s worst in 40 years.

“This is bad but recently there have been probably been three or four a week.”

“I have been here for 10 years and have never experienced anything like this. We used to have a dust storm a year, this is now a weekly basis. At its worst I couldn’t see across the road. This time the heat, because it is 40C, coupled with the dust just made it unliveable. You couldn’t go outside.

“It is really concerning to have young children and to feel like you can’t leave your house. You’re kind of trapped.”

Appleby said the extended drought had devastated farming communities and made the dust storms more frequent.

“We haven’t seen rain in months. It is absolutely climate-induced. The drought in this region is crippling farmers. And the dust in the sky is that farmers’ topsoil. When you put it into perspective like that it is terrifying.”

Appleby, who also has a six-year-old in school, said it was scary to think that this would be the future for her children.

edit: added author

Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: November 13, 2019, 05:31:00 PM »
  ‘Insect apocalypse’ poses risk to all life on Earth, conservationists warn
  by Damian Carrington

Report claims 400,000 insect species face extinction amid heavy use of pesticides

The analysis, written by one of the UK’s leading ecologists, has a particular focus on the UK, whose insects are the most studied in the world. It said 23 bee and wasp species have become extinct in the last century, while the number of pesticide applications has approximately doubled in the last 25 years.

UK butterflies that specialise in particular habitats have fallen 77% since the mid-1970s and generalists have declined 46%, the report said. There are also knock-on effects on other animals, such as the spotted flycatcher which only eats flying insects. Its populations have dropped by 93% since 1967.

Studies of insect populations over decades are scarce, he said: “But the overwhelming weight of evidence that exists suggests the rapid decline is a real phenomenon. It really worries me to hear people say we need more long-term studies to be sure. That would be great, but we can’t wait another 25 years before we do anything because it will be too late.”

But he said: “The bigger challenge is farming – 70% of Britain is farmland. No matter how many gardens we make wildlife friendly, if 70% of the countryside remains largely hostile to life, then we are not going to turn around insect decline.”

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: November 13, 2019, 12:09:14 AM »
Hurricanes Have Become Bigger and More Destructive for the U.S., Study Finds

A new study by researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Aslak Grinsted, Peter Ditlevsen and Jens Hesselbjerg shows that hurricanes have become more destructive since 1900, and the worst of them are more than three times as frequent now than 100 years ago.

Aslak Grinsted el al., "Normalized US hurricane damage estimates using area of total destruction, 1900−2018," PNAS (2019).

the Insurance Link Security blog has written a long article about the Aslak Grinsted, Peter Ditlevsen and Jens Hesselbjerg  (Niels Bohr Institute) research paper on increasing frequency of more destructive hurricane published recently in PNAS. A few more insight, (of course the most important is the frequency of the most destructive hurricane has increased by 330% in a century),  the article was edited by the highly respected hurricane scientist expert   Kerry A. Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while the research paper received the backing of  Jim Kossin (NOAA), who was not involved in the research, as commenting on this study, “Their result is consistent with expected changes in the proportion of the strongest hurricanes and is also consistent with the increased frequency of very slow-moving storms that make landfall in the U.S.”

The blog is widely read in the re insurance and insurance industry, which will help to rapidly spread the result of this key research paper among the catastrophe modellers and the modelling agencies on which rely the insurance industry, and maybe less relying on the mantra of  of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation in positive mode since the mid 1990ies supposedly justifying (for some not all) the higher  activity of intense hurricane since then.

The chart below shows the frequency of events destroying a certain amount of land-mass, the area of total destruction (ATD). The white represents the most severe hurricanes and shows a 3.3x increase in frequency (from the artemis article , and likely from A. Grinsted et al research paper)

Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: November 09, 2019, 12:36:17 AM »
Popular Science (@PopSci)n11/8/19, 11:40 AM
MIT’s nine new Mini Cheetahs frolicking in fall leaves.
Adorable or terrifying?
Brief video at the link.

Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: November 05, 2019, 11:28:22 AM »
Unintended consequences with pure AI

   "Alexa, start pre-emptive strike on enemy"
   "White House target locked in. Missiles launched."
   "... peace \/"

Since it ain't gonna happen, people might need a bit of help o find the way through the maze of different measurement systems.

Two sites I find useful...
Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center - Conversion Tables

Tables attached.
Units and calculators explained
Energy conversion calculators

Calculators for energy used in the United States
Natural gas
Crude oil
Diesel fuel and heating oil
Measuring energy in food—food calories versus energy calories
Scientific notation explained—E+10

It's not a coin. It's an n sided dice, where n is given by the n-pole anomaly and its interaction with oceans and land.

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: October 15, 2019, 02:44:21 PM »
3000-year-old toolkit suggests skilled warriors crossed Europe to fight an epic battle


The battle raged in a narrow, swampy valley that runs along the Tollense River, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 160 kilometers north of Berlin. Many of the artifacts sank below the water and so were preserved in pristine condition. Since the site was discovered in 1996, archaeologists have uncovered metal and wooden weaponry and more than 12,000 pieces of human bone.

The new find, unearthed in 2016, includes cylindrical fragments of bronze, along with a bronze knife, awl, and small chisel. The jumble of tools and scrap metal resemble someone’s personal effects, rather than a ritual deposit or hoard. Archaeologists say the tools were likely in a bag or box that decayed. But the contents were held in place by the thick mud of the riverbed—until divers found them some 3000 years later.

For details and a photo of the objects:

The rest / Re: The Koch Watch Thread
« on: October 10, 2019, 04:35:01 PM »
Bill to Criminalize Environmental Protests in Wisconsin Heads to the Assembly Floor

Link >>

The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: October 09, 2019, 12:45:49 AM »
Ryan at wired on the unfeeling rich:

"I was in India the first time it occurred to me that I, too, was a rich asshole. I’d been traveling for a couple of months, ignoring the beggars as best I could. Having lived in New York, I was accustomed to averting my attention from desperate adults and psychotics, but I was having trouble getting used to the groups of children who would gather right next to my table at street-level restaurants, staring hungrily at the food on my plate. "

"There were no shelters waiting to receive them. I saw them sleeping in the streets at night, huddled together for warmth, like puppies. They weren’t going to spend my money unwisely. They weren’t even asking for money. They were just staring at my food like the starving creatures they were. And their emaciated bodies were brutally clear proof that they weren’t faking their hunger."

"With what I’d spent on my one-way ticket from New York to New Delhi, I could have pulled a few families out of the debt that would hold them down for generations. With what I’d spent in New York restaurants the year before, I could have put a few of those kids through school. Hell, with what I’d budgeted for a year of traveling in Asia, I probably could have built a school."

"I wish I could tell you I did some of that, but I didn’t. Instead, I developed the psychological scar tissue necessary to ignore the situation. I learned to stop thinking about things I could have done, but knew I wouldn’t. I stopped making facial expressions that suggested I had any capacity for compassion. I learned to step over bodies in the street—dead or sleeping—without looking down. I learned to do these things because I had to—or so I told myself. "

"people in expensive cars were four times more likely to cut in front of other drivers, compared to folks in more modest vehicles. When the researchers posed as pedestrians waiting to cross a street, all the drivers in cheap cars respected their right of way, while those in expensive cars drove right on by 46.2 percent of the time, even when they’d made eye contact with the pedestrians waiting to cross. Other studies by the same team showed that wealthier subjects were more likely to cheat at an array of tasks and games. "

"people of higher socio-economic status were actually less able to read emotions in other people’s faces. It wasn’t that they cared less what those faces were communicating; they were simply blind to the cues. And Keely Muscatell, a neuroscientist at UCLA, found that wealthy people’s brains showed far less activity than the brains of poor people when they looked at photos of children with cancer."

“It is beginning to seem that the problem isn’t that the kind of people who wind up on the pleasant side of inequality suffer from some moral disability that gives them a market edge. The problem is caused by the inequality itself: It triggers a chemical reaction in the privileged few. It tilts their brains. It causes them to be less likely to care about anyone but themselves or to experience the moral sentiments needed to be a decent citizen.”

“What we’ve been finding across dozens of studies and thousands of participants across this country,” said Piff, “is that as a person’s levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness, and their ideology of self-interest increases.”


Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: October 04, 2019, 07:50:08 PM »
Meanwhile, in the US of A, the people might be suffering from floods - but the banks from duff mortgages? No, the Law gives them not so much of a loophole, more of a wide open barn door.

And oh yes, when it all goes wrong the taxpayer is on the hook.
Banks increasingly unload flooded-out mortgages at taxpayer expense
Some banks are cutting their own climate-change exposure by selling riskier disaster-area mortgages to taxpayer-supported entities.

That puts the health of the mortgage market at risk, a potential repeat of the financial conditions at the root of the banking crisis a decade ago, a research paper published Monday argues.

The number and total value of flood insurance policies has been declining since 2006, meaning that households that purchased a property in coastal areas especially may be at increased risk of defaulting on their mortgages, the academic paper said. Commercial banks, including two of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders, JPMorgan Chase JPM, +1.19% and Wells Fargo WFC, +0.79%  , have the ability to price mortgages for flood risk, and by design they can securitize some of these loans, thereby spreading the risk to more parties.

But one of the more active ways banks unload climate-change and flooding risk is by reselling mortgage loans to Fannie Mae FNMA, +0.59% and Freddie Mac FMCC, +0.47% , which desire the liquidity, the paper says. These entities are the mortgage guarantors that are under tax-supported government control, though have been tagged by the Trump administration for a shift to the private sector. By rule, primarily because their mission is to expand homeownership, Fannie and Freddie cannot factor disaster-related risk, for instance living in a flood zone, into their mortgage pricing in the way that the commercial banks originating these loans can.

Absent change, the mispricing is only going to be aggravated, the paper notes, with $60 billion to $100 billion in new mortgages issued for coastal homes each year.

That harkens back to the start of the subprime lending crisis of 2008. On the plus side, the number of climate-change-linked mortgages is believed to be smaller than the pool of risky subprime mortgages that tainted the system 10 years ago. On the other hand, damaged properties could be lost forever to flooding, wind and storm surges, meaning there’s no underlying physical asset behind these compromised mortgages.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: September 28, 2019, 12:41:32 AM »
I've just stumbled on this article, that gives some hope for "extinction rebellion" making a real difference
Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.
There are, of course, many ethical reasons to use nonviolent strategies. But compelling research by Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics – by a long way.

Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Chenoweth’s influence can be seen in the recent Extinction Rebellion protests, whose founders say they have been directly inspired by her findings.

I read the book that this is based upon as part of my comprehensive exams. The way in which cases are classified and the statistical analysis is deeply flawed and simplistic, if not actually consciously misrepresented. Complex examples, such as the Philippines where the army played a major role in pressuring the leader to go, are massively oversimplified. Different types of cases are also treated as if they are the same and more complex linkages (the Indian Army mutiny and terrorist activities prior to the "peaceful" ending of colonialism in India, the "peaceful" South Africa example when the ANC had an active military wing) are ignored.

The research was also heavily funded by the CIA, which is not disclosed openly up front. The author has received a lot of funding on other projects from Homeland Security, the Department of Defence and the CIA etc. Pretty much embedded in the security state. Would they be interested in selling the proposition that non-violent protest works?

A contrasting viewpoint:

Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)

Consequences / Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« on: September 22, 2019, 06:35:01 PM »
Here's a quite worrisome development:

WHO accuses Tanzania of withholding information about suspected Ebola cases

"NAIROBI —  The World Health Organization accused Tanzanian authorities of withholding information about multiple suspected Ebola cases in the country this month, potentially hampering the containment of the deadly virus.. . .

WHO was made aware of the suspected cases in Tanzania shortly after one appeared this month in Dar es Salaam, the East African country’s massive capital. After that, the international organization was shut out of blood samples testing and told by the government that Ebola had been ruled out, it said.

Tanzanian authorities have not offered alternative diagnoses.. . .

WHO’s statement refers to a 34-year-old doctor studying in central Uganda who returned to her native Tanzania with Ebola-like symptoms and died Sept. 8 in Dar es Salaam. Her illness was apparently contagious, as numerous contacts also became ill."

Further worrisome information in the article.

Unlike the last large Ebola outbreak, we now have a seemingly effective vaccine, and fairly effective treatment.  But the vaccine must be administered well in advance of exposure, and the treatments must be started early in the course of the disease.  Neither of these is feasible if the disease spreads quickly in an under-resourced urban area.  Stay tuned.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: September 21, 2019, 02:28:07 AM »
Tis a quiet night/day, Tom.

Sometimes this can happen. Maybe it is just the end of a long season.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: September 19, 2019, 08:59:02 PM »
Taylor Trogdon (@TTrogdon) 9/19/19, 1:57 PM
White Oak Bayou near Houston has risen an astounding 20 feet in just one hour. That is a remarkable response to the rainfall rates experienced around metro Houston over the last few hours.
Image below.

Houston Bush Airport (@iah) 9/19/19, 1:38 PM
Roads approaching the airport are flooded, if you have to pick someone up from the airport right now, delay your drive. The airport is open, we have power and restaurants are open, so your passenger will be ok.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: September 18, 2019, 04:16:24 AM »
Mark Sudduth (@hurricanetrack) 9/17/19, 7:19 PM
That is one heck of an MJO forecast by the ECMWF. It lasts well in to October. Sure hope people are ready and pay attention.

< For us layman, does that pattern typically mean a lot of cyclone activity in the E. Pacific or Atlantic, or both?
<< Typically Phase 1 or 2 supports the Atlantic. Phase 8 is more East Pacific. Phase 1 I think is especially favorable for the Gulf/Caribbean region (which is usually favored by October anyway). That strong of an MJO in late Sep/early Oct would be quite something.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: September 17, 2019, 01:01:39 PM »
Bogong moth tracker launched in face of 'unprecedented' collapse in numbers

Every spring, 4.4 billion bogong moths migrate up to 1,000km to the alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales ahead of the summer heat.

But for the past two years, the number of moths that have made the journey to those areas from breeding grounds in Queensland, NSW and western Victoria has crashed to almost undetectable levels and scientists are turning to the community for help.


Last year, scientists monitoring the mountain pygmy possum late in the breeding season in Victoria found that between 50% and 95% of the animals had lost their full litters of young. Analysis found the animals had starved to death without their main food source. (Only 2000 of them are alive)


They (possible causes) are the ongoing drought in south-eastern Australia, changes in agricultural practices such as spraying of crops or flooding of areas for cotton and rice production, and light pollution in urban areas that diverts the moths away from their migration path.

Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« on: September 17, 2019, 12:02:33 PM »
It is really bad, scary, evil. One of those articles that need to be read.

6 stories from scientists who've been shafted. There must be hundreds more.

'The silenced': meet the climate whistleblowers muzzled by Trump
Six whistleblowers and ex-government scientists describe how the Trump administration made them bury climate science – and why they won’t stay quiet

The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: September 17, 2019, 12:36:43 AM »
Johnstone shows no mercy at medium: the nature of American privilege

"American privilege is believing your propaganda is the truth, and everyone else’s understanding of the world is fake news."

"American privilege is telling foreigners to butt out of your politics when your politics are literally killing them."

"American privilege is benefiting from cheap goods and oil and a strong dollar and never wondering how many innocent foreigners lost their lives and homes in the wars your government starts to make that so."

"American privilege is living in a nation whose government can murder an entire family one day with explosives dropped from the sky, and yet you never hearing about it because that isn’t considered a newsworthy occurrence."

"American privilege is being fine with being the world leader, but not being too bothered about what exactly that means."


Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: September 16, 2019, 03:31:20 PM »
Hey folks, sorry I've been away for a bit. Unfortunately, discussing the CAA ice here is necessarily low on my list of obligations. There's been some question about how the current ice regime will interact with the traditional "garlic press" process of the CAA. Short story: there's not much garlic left to press.

The way the garlic press is supposed to work, thick MYI at the southern boundary of the CAB gets forced into the steep channels of the CAA resulting in additional ridging and compaction. Over a number of years, that ice is eventually delivered south into melt-accessible areas. All of this works because the average prevailing wind pattern in the region forces that ice into the archipelago and then south (and, to some extent, southeast). This process is the primary reason why the ice in the CAA has traditionally behaved very differently from fast ice elsewhere (although the channel size and bathymetry of the archipelago would otherwise suggest that CAA ice is comparatively uninteresting fast ice).

This melting season did a lot of damage to these assumptions. Most of the season was spent with an atypical wind pattern that forced ice from the CAA/CAB boundary north against the CAB and west into the Beaufort. Thus, the Crack was born. Additionally, while this wasn't a record-setting year for CAA melt, it was pretty devastating nevertheless. Massey Sound was a killing field for ice. The Peary and Sverdrup Channels have some ice only by dint of latitude. In the Perry Channel, the surviving ice (primarily associated with the Viscount Melville Sound) has been forced by late storms to the southwest into areas that are frequent melt-out traps. The region that has been the temperature "cold core" of the archipelago in historical data wasn't actually very cold; ice in the PGAS is badly fragmented and exceptionally mobile, and even the sheltered ice in Wilkins Strait looks more than a little roughed up.

More importantly, what remains of the MYI -- the tiny, thin line of red on the age maps -- has been displaced north into the CAB, away from the CAA boundary. The Crack has filled as the wind patterns return to their expected directions, but the ice that filled the Crack is not that MYI stopgap, but an assemblage of broken bits transported in from elsewhere, including no small part of relatively young ice from the Lincoln Sea area. This is not robust garlic for the press. It's reasonable -- one hopes -- to assume that wind flow will indeed push ice south into the CAA. But this ice has demonstrated considerable structural weakness. So I expect floe disintegration rather than ridging as the disparate floes are forced together. Winter's cold will mitigate some of this, and the whole mess will freeze into a matrix of FYI (effectively fast) ice.

The overall trend for the Arctic is, of course, hotter with more melt. But as we've seen this year and the past couple, that melt is not always distributed in the same pattern year over year. If we get a year or two where the melt focus turns away from the CAA, and we don't see Crack 2 in 2020, the garlic press will likely crank back up for awhile anyway. Otherwise, within a couple of years, we may very well see what happens when the CAA explores a new modality (as we're already seeing with Bering/Chucki mechanics).

The rest / Re: Unsorted
« on: September 15, 2019, 11:44:29 AM »
I don't know where to post these sounds of the forest. A very good friend of mine have done some videos from his visit to my place last July. He likes showing nature to city's people. At least one of his books is well recommended in different universities (Etologia del lobo y del perro)(
These are kind of 'easy videos', not professional work, but maybe some would find them interesting.
Zorzal=Thrush ;    Curruca c.=Sylvia atricapilla= Eurasian Blackcap ;  Chochín=Troglodytes troglodytes=wern ; 
Mito=Aegithalos caudatus=long-tailed tit ;  Pollos=chicks
Constant noise of water (I'm close to a creek), very complex songs from the thrushes, and the 'orbayu' the very common misty rain that we enjoy.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: September 07, 2019, 02:41:40 PM »
You have it backwards.  I am trying to quell the bogus.  Since when is good science and hard facts a screwed up works view?  That tells me a lot about your perceptions.

Make a poll. Ask if people believe that a commander in chief spreading fake news during a crisis isn't harmful. Go ahead!

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: September 05, 2019, 02:38:58 PM »
For those interested in the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy), here is the source I use:

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: September 04, 2019, 03:54:24 AM »
Thread by @iCyclone:
Yep, I’m alive. Made it to Nassau. #Hurricane #DORIAN: By far the most intense cyclone I’ve witnessed in 28 years of chasing. Thought I was playing it safe by riding it out in a solid-concrete school on a hill in Marsh Harbour. Thought wrong. ...

New Study -- Large East Antarctic Glaciers Starting to Destabilize

The rest / Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« on: August 27, 2019, 03:07:53 PM »
Just came back from a trip to Trier, DE. That's where the Romans tried to build a stronghold around 300 AD. Perfect, idealistic designs and architecture with hot and cold baths. I guess you could call it a wellness resort in those days,  when the roman soldiers had to fight types likes Asterix and Obelix.

It turns out, it was impossible for the romans to heat all those hot tubs. They may have run out of fuel or run out of slaves, to feed the furnaces. We will never know.

The thing is, when the socalled Roman civilization ran out of steam in the fifth century, the Vikings apparently came on stage. Rude, barbarian opportunists had a feast all over NW Europe. They did not care about hot tubs (except if they followed the Icelandic tradition of geothermal baths). They did not follow the straight roads of the Roman Empire. They basically "followed the winds" and migrated to wherever it took them.

One of these places was Greenland. And here their problems - and final demise - began. Multi-year Arctic sea ice came down the East coast of Greenland and made their lives miserable. Basically, archaeological investigations show, they died with their flies in the back end of their stables, because they were unable to move with the winds. They thought they were farmers stuck to the land, but they forgot they were adventurous descendants from the Vikings, made to evade dangers  through modern mobility schemes.

Now, the questions are: Did these socalled civilizations succeed each other?. Did they compete at any time in history?. Did they ever fight? In my humble opinion, they had the time to develop and flourish at their own speed. Noone were pushing them. Their adventures were no less planned than a modern holiday in Europe. They had plenty of time to adapt.

Now, we have less than a few decades to make all these civilizational interactions occur. We have not all the abilities to apply appropriate learning and adaptation opportunities. We just need to get on with our lives. Learning, as we go along. Remember history as well as we can, recalling that both Romans and Vikings taught us something about life. It is just a question of remembering the right bits.

Consequences / Re: Volcanoes
« on: August 24, 2019, 01:55:48 AM »
For years, scientists have tried to pinpoint which volcano caused a spell of global cooling in the 6th century A.D. They've finally found the culprit.

Colossal volcano behind 'mystery' global cooling finally found
The eruption devastated local Maya settlements and caused crop failures around the world.
The ices of Greenland and Antarctica bear the fingerprints of a monster: a gigantic volcanic eruption in 539 or 540 A.D. that killed tens of thousands and helped trigger one of the worst periods of global cooling in the last 2,000 years. Now, after years of searching, a team of scientists has finally tracked down the source of the eruption.

The team’s work, published in Quaternary Science Reviews, lays out new evidence that ties the natural disaster to Ilopango, a now-dormant volcano in El Salvador. Researchers estimate that in its sixth-century eruption, Ilopango expelled the equivalent of 10.5 cubic miles of dense rock, making it one of the biggest volcanic events on Earth in the last 7,000 years. The blast was more than a hundred times bigger than the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and several times larger than the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. It dealt the local Maya settlements a blow that forever altered their trajectory.

“This is the largest eruption in Central America that human beings have ever witnessed,” says lead study author Robert Dull, a geologist at California Lutheran University. “The importance of the event is even greater, both how the Maya overcame it and how it impacted what happened next.”

The new work helps solve a longtime geologic mystery. Historical accounts that date to 536 describe a dark fog that dimmed the sun and ushered in a wave of crop deaths. Until recently, scholars were open to the idea that these clouds were the remains of an asteroid or comet. But modern data confirms that the event was volcanic—and that it was two volcanoes up to four years apart, not just one. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: August 19, 2019, 06:27:26 PM »
Zaphod Beeblebrox, I presume  ;)

84 likes given, which is double of 42. Think about that, Zaphod Beeblebrox. :)

Science / Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« on: August 10, 2019, 05:18:53 PM »
The Leaks That Threaten the Clean Image of Natural Gas

Urban emissions remain an underexamined part of the methane budget. Here we present and interpret aircraft observations of six old and leak‐prone major cities along the East Coast of the United States. We use direct observations of methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ethane (C2H6), and their correlations to quantify CH4 emissions and attribute to natural gas. We find the five largest cities emit 0.85 (0.63, 1.12) Tg CH4/year, of which 0.75 (0.49, 1.10) Tg CH4/year is attributed to natural gas. Our estimates, which include all thermogenic methane sources including end use, are more than twice that reported in the most recent gridded EPA inventory, which does not include end‐use emissions. These results highlight that current urban inventory estimates of natural gas emissions are substantially low, either due to underestimates of leakage, lack of inclusion of end‐use emissions, or some combination thereof.....more within the article.
Sorry if this was posted b4...did not see it in search

Antarctica / Re: What's new in Antarctica ?
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:25:03 AM »
Stunning drone footage captures Chasm 1, a huge crack on the Brunt Ice Shelf. When it inevitably intersects with the nearby Halloween Crack, an iceberg the size of Houston, Texas will break off into the ocean.

Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: August 08, 2019, 03:45:39 AM »
Baltimore, Maryland today.

Cleanup Underway After Flooding In Parts Of Baltimore City Following Heavy Rains
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A slow-moving, single stationary storm brought so much rain to Baltimore that several neighborhoods flooded in the city Tuesday evening.
Photos and videos from across social media showed what looked like a river running through the streets of Baltimore in Little Italy, Harbor East and Fells Point.
TV video and user pics and video at the link.

Joëlle Gergis is a lead author for the upcoming AR6, and thus her linked article offers some insight on the leading-edge of consensus climate science thinking.  Unfortunately, even such 'leading-edge' consensus climate science underestimates the climate risks associated with such issues as: a) MICI-driven ice-climate feedbacks; b) potential changes in the stratospheric ozone layer, c) cascades of tipping points, leading to potential changes in climate state; and d) probable anthropogenic actions that could make global warming worse than expected.

Title: "The terrible truth of climate change", by Joëlle Gergis

Extract: "When the IPCC’s fifth assessment report was published in 2013, it estimated that such a doubling of CO2 was likely to produce warming within the range of 1.5 to 4.5°C as the Earth reaches a new equilibrium. However, preliminary estimates calculated from the latest global climate models (being used in the current IPCC assessment, due out in 2021) are far higher than with the previous generation of models. Early reports are predicting that a doubling of CO2 may in fact produce between 2.8 and 5.8°C of warming. Incredibly, at least eight of the latest models produced by leading research centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France are showing climate sensitivity of 5°C or warmer.

When these results were first released at a climate modelling workshop in March this year, a flurry of panicked emails from my IPCC colleagues flooded my inbox. What if the models are right? Has the Earth already crossed some kind of tipping point? Are we experiencing abrupt climate change right now?

In 2017, we reached 1°C of warming above global pre-industrial conditions. According to the UN Environment Programme’s “Emissions Gap Report”, released in November 2018, current unconditional NDCs will see global average temperature rise by 2.9 to 3.4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century.

Increasingly after my speaking events, I catch myself unexpectedly weeping in my hotel room or on flights home. Every now and then, the reality of what the science is saying manages to thaw the emotionally frozen part of myself I need to maintain to do my job.

Although the very foundation of human civilisation is at stake, the world is on track to seriously overshoot our UN targets. Worse still, global carbon emissions are still rising. In response, scientists are prioritising research on how the planet has responded during other warm periods in the Earth’s history."

The rest / Re: The Barents Observer blocked in Russia
« on: July 29, 2019, 02:53:22 AM »
The background is Russian homophobia.

There is a law in Russia that forbids spreading LGBT propaganda.
I'd call it christian policy to protect traditional family values.
Q.E.D  ::)

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: July 26, 2019, 04:16:23 PM »
Yesterday's worldview aqua modis of northern CAA and greenland with medium contrast to highlight fractures and larger floes. The last very large floe north of ellef ringnes has fractured into ~15 smaller floes. As mentioned upthread, large parts of the parry channel are no longer fast ice and there is significant open water around the lincoln sea coast.
click image for detail.  edit: added link
image name should say jul25

I want to dive into this a little further. The M'Clure is terrible. The ~120 km ice arch that had held the line between Banks and Eglinton is no more. There's probably not time for this all to melt; the giant 50 km x 30 km floe in the center of the M'Clure is likely to shatter further, but most of its ice will see the freezing season. On the other hand, the remaining ice in the Prince of Wales Strait is a sickly gray; barring resupply from Viscount Melville Sound, that channel will be ice-free this summer, which will put additional melting stress on the VMS floes.

Further east, the entirety of Massey Sound has cracked apart. There are some four cracks that span the entire channel between Amund Ringness and Axel Heiberg, and a complex crack system north of that that jumps from Ellef Ringnes, across the Perry Channel to Meighen, and across the Sverdrup Channel to Axel Heiberg. It really doesn't matter if this actually melts. The cracking apart of this ice allows for additional motility -- these are channels, after all; they move water and ice. Likewise, the Prince Gustav Adolf Sea remains under cloud so we can't get a measure of the damage there, but it's not likely to be good. Although the PGAS survived 2012 in fairly good form, the Ellef Ringnes side had briefly devolved to open water in 2010.

Why does all this matter? We talk about the garlic press model of the CAA a lot. The idea is that open sea ice is compacted between the QE and Sverdrup Islands and forced into channels where pressure ridging (and the innate resilience of fast or near-fast ice) improves its thickness. Then, slowly, that ice is transported south and east until it reaches a melt zone. This year, that model of the CAA is failing. The Crack has replaced the typical CAA/CAB transition zone; there is negative garlic entering the press. Instead, fast ice continues to be scoured off the northern islands by the relentless torque and shipped to its death in the Beaufort. The two best CAA-internal ice incubators are the PGAS and the Perry/Sverdrup/Massey channel complex, but both of those are breaking up and experiencing increased ice movement. Typical motility is about 1-2% of average ambient wind speed (with the eastern PGAS transport slightly faster apparently due to an undescribed current along the west face of Ellef Ringnes).

These areas don't have to clear for this to be bad news for both the freezing season and next year's melt. They just have to export their ice faster than normal, while cut off from their own resupply. And that's exactly what's happening.

We had a heatwave here last week, peaking on Saturday with 104F (40c) with a "feels like" of a million f….ing degrees.  Ok ok we all see/experience a little heat wave once and awhile.  Sunday was cooling off day and Monday was forecasted to rain … so, ok, a little rain, a good thing, right?  It doesn't just rain any more, this rain brought 70mph wind that knock-out power to 360,000 folks across NJ.  The power (A/C) just came back on 30 minutes ago.  Awhile back, say 2013 I had read a paper called Climate disruption date or some such crap…the paper called DC and NY as having a date of 2047 meaning one would not recognize the place due to climate change in 2047, bullsh!t, it's 2019 and I hardly recognize a place where I've lived for 40 yrs.


Staying cool Vox…thanks

The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: July 10, 2019, 02:46:09 AM »
... We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day

Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?
Remember how she said that
We would meet again
Some sunny day?
Vera, Vera
What has become of you
Does anybody else in here
Feel the way I do?

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: July 03, 2019, 11:50:11 AM »
The trolls and subtle baiters win? (if anyone thinks there isn't at least one sock puppet here, they're extremely "internet naive") But yes, at any rate, if you suspect someone is a troll then you shouldn't respond to them. At all.

On a site where I used to admin (I couldn't tell you squat about the code, mind you, other than it was heavily modified TBdev - I'm not a dev) we could post-ban users on a per-sub-forum basis. Complete with setting a timer on it, as well. Could simplify things here. IDK, but what I do know is that moderating an active forum is a fuck-ton of work. We had 5-10 forum mods from around the world, and sometimes even that wasn't enough. lol

In my ideal world, the Cryosphere sub-forum is mostly an encyclopedia / pure science+data section (ESPECIALLY the stickies), with a healthy smattering of conjecture, predictions, banter, and OFC a touch of humour. For me, the ratio there has gotten way out of whack recently.

Funny, that. Lots of heat in the Arctic leads to a lot of heat in the forums... I hope the dispersion doesn't get too bad.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: July 02, 2019, 01:04:47 PM »
I first sent a message to this forum a few years ago. Saying how much I love sharing knowledge, which is what has made us special as an animal. If you have an open space like this you'll get people with a lot of knowledge and others like me, always wanting to know more. Conscious of how the volume of my ignorance grows with the radius of my knowledge.
My personal situation, I lost my eco-farm and house, now living in an old mountain stone barn, 25sq meters, without any income, living on nature and some savings, has made me stay away from this forum actively. Kept reading all of it when I could. Now I've managed the cheapest satellite connection and can throw my two pence in.
I did suffer the violent speech of people like Hyperion or Lurk(s). Everyone knows that's not what keeps the health of a group.
I did and do suffer because of A-team's ego. Arrogance, contempt, egotism, should not be well accepted. They also harm any healthy group. There is a little line separating well intended sharing of knowledge and simply trying to show off. I'm afraid A-team has a big problem concerning his personality and what he thinks of others.
There're a few posts in this forum showing how elitism is damaging our society. IMHO elitism would harm this forum as well.
If we are worried about Earth future, (we're included), should NOT we try to TEACH what we know? Or should we?
My intention is not insulting anyone.
(My love to Bruce Steel and a few others)

Science / Re: Comet Ison, methane, noctilucents and Strat temps?
« on: June 16, 2019, 01:18:08 AM »
Something interesting has been happening during the last few weeks.  Noctilucent clouds are being seen worldwide at latitudes far below where they have ever been seen before.

Noctilucent clouds are very high in our atmosphere, approximately 50 miles up.  They glow at night because they are high enough to be illuminated by the sun. 

There are no reports of Noctilucent clouds ever being observed prior to the industrial revolution.  In order to form, they need dust in the atmosphere and water vapor that forms ice crystals very high up.  As Gray-Wolf points out above (in a six year old post) methane has been identified as helping to induce water vapor ice crystals in the highest parts of our atmosphere. 

Noctilucent clouds might be a marker for increased atmospheric methane levels.  “Our planet’s idiot light.”  More methane means it is more likely to see them.  Methane levels are currently at record levels.   

Mark Boslough is a scientist that recently started a thread on Twitter discussing how unusual it is that this summer we are seeing Noctilucent clouds at such low latitudes. 

Below are screen shots of four of his posts.  If you find this topic interesting, I encourage you to search his name on Twitter and read the entire thread.  I found it fascinating. 

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 11, 2019, 02:06:12 AM »
I'm not talking about social action. I was pointing out social dysfunction. You don't present facts, you isolate information and compartmentalize it into silos, ignoring other connected observations and omitting 'facts' heavily when you make your many specious arguments here on the site ... all always leading to the same conclusion, to underplay climate change.

That's what I was calling you out for. You don't present science, you intentionally misrepresent it.

Like with your frequency red herring.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 10, 2019, 09:57:30 PM »
And you did backpedal when confronted. Walked straight backwards and backed off of what you were trying to shmeeb with your doublespeak. It's a smarmy way to be.

Meanwhile, your country is drowning, and burning, and getting blown away. It's absurd what you do here on this site with your stream of contrary arguments.

But whatever. Knowing you were banned before brings some solace. Not sure why you aren't banned again, you definitely just bring obfuscation to the subject of AGW.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 10, 2019, 09:51:07 PM »
No, it's what the politicians and economists have asked for as a stalling tactic for thirty years ... more evidence ... while they delayed and blew past the chance for anybody to do anything about it, where the scientists were quite sure of what they were seeing. Extremely long term statistical evidence is just one singular line of reasoning.  For some people, they could still be asking in a thousand years for more statistical evidence. It's a ruse, and supports the, oh, it will change back argument that people like Trump make.

You'll notice that when it comes to spraying chemicals around, or damning a river, that there's no need to bother with long term statistical evidence in your society. They just spray it. It's a ruse. Your whole tact here is to obfuscate what science is certain of. Quit trying to present yourself as rational. You're need for never ending statistical evidence is called prolonging the debate, a well known doubt merchant strategy, whether you are aware of yourself doing it or not.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. - A. Einstein

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 10, 2019, 08:04:02 PM »
So now you change your story from a very solidly stated 'no connection' to 'too early to make one very specific procedural conclusion, a long term statistical one' ... admitting now that there are observed changes, they just haven't been observed for long enough.

But that's very different from what you first tried to BS us with, which is that there was 'no connection,' implied in a context that there have been no observed changes whatsoever. I know it's subtle, but this is what you do here on this site. You spin things.

That was my point, your here to support the denialists. Same goes with all the other Cato Institute arguments you present here on this site, ad nauseam.  You spin, is what you do, heavily.

We scientists, you say. What, are you a dentist or something? Don't flatter yourself.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 10, 2019, 06:57:59 PM »
Here's how you like to phrase things:

"... linking hurricane activity with global warming have found no connection."

Would you like to talk about the jet stream, AGW, and hurricanes?

Jennifer Francis had some thoughts about it's influence on Florence last fall.

You would be laughed off Dr. Masters site for the ignorance you spew about there being no connection between AGW and hurricane behavior, which is what you're arguing hard to try and imply here.

You're just a subtle doubt merchant dude, and it's annoying to watch you do it. Desperately trying to show how it's not happening with most everything you post.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 10, 2019, 06:22:48 PM »
The point was, you try to discount AGW effects through a great deal of omission when you present your arguments. It's pretty obvious to see what your intention is here at ASIF. That was my point.

You try to create a sense that hurricane behavior is not actually changing much, by omitting most of the ways they are being observed to be changing when you make points in isolation.

Your arguments you make here are clearly specious in their nature, dishonest. You're here to obfuscate science, that's pretty clear from watching you make your arguments against climate science here (which is what you do, even though you say you don't.)

A troll.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 10, 2019, 05:53:20 PM »
Klondike Kat, you seem to like to omit a lot of things, isolate certain points while being guilty of omission. I find you to be like a subtle doubt merchant more than any sort of legitimate skeptical thinker, which is how you like to present yourself.

You claim to know a lot about hurricanes, but you just mentioned shear, when Michael last fall rapidly intensified in a high shear environment, which confounded the historical ideas of a lot of experts in the field.

You also ignore the way these systems are both stalling, and also steering differently, due to the changes AGW has produced in jetstream behavior, which is also noted by hurricane experts. I called you out on your omission of that once before here. Think ... Flo last fall and the Carolina's, stalling, and steering, from noted and observable jetstream changes.

You don't seem that up on hurricanes. I find you to just be a doubt merchant, not a legitimate skeptic. You omit a lot of things to make points in very isolated contexts, and I find that disingenuous. Yes, just an intentional doubt merchant, grasping at straws in isolation through a lot of omission and placing things outside of their larger context a lot.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: June 10, 2019, 02:05:41 PM »
Hurricanes to grow stronger:
Actually, they said may grow stronger.

According to the IPCC, formed storms are more likely to be stronger as a result of AGW.

Pretty obvious that a warmer ocean leads to stronger storms and a warmer atmosphere leads to wetter storms.

Voila, since 2016 we've had 17 global storms with sustained winds in excess of 150mph and epic rain bombs Harvey and Florence on top of that.

Earlier this decade, we've had two storms that belong on the Mt. Rushmore of tropical cyclones (Haiyan and Patricia).

Pretty damn clear what AGW is doing to storm intensity in general.

Warmer oceans are likely to set the stage for more tropical development.  However, cyclone strength is determined largely by wind shear.  This is what the article was implying.  While models indicate that an increase is likely, recent studies linking hurricane activity with global warming have found no connection.

You are linking to a report which is confirming EVERYTHING I spelled out in my previous post.

Tropical cyclones becoming more intense, wetter and more frequently becoming Cat 4 / 5.

You still didn't answer my question. Why do you come to ASIF? How does this tie in with your purpose in life?

You've been accused by others of being a troll. You should have the opportunity to respond to that.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: June 05, 2019, 12:47:35 AM »
C-CAN is a group my wife and I both participate in . It brings together scientists , managers, aquaculturists, and fishermen in an effort to address ocean acidification in the California Current.
 We pull together speakers for a  webinar series in an effort to disseminate information without burning fossil fuels to attend meetings. Check out our latest, "The enviornmental cost of dinner" by Ray Hilbourn

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