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Messages - kassy

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The rest / Re: Climate on Reddit
« on: April 21, 2019, 04:40:30 PM »
Everyone who wants to can go to reddit.

Just reposting from other forums is also bad form so don´t.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: April 21, 2019, 12:12:45 AM »
It´s not strange.

If you look at our recent geologic history our planet without glaciation is still the norm. Recently there was an interesting paper stating glaciation might be triggered by tectonics exposing rocks in tropical region. This increase weathering and draws down CO2.

As you know we are doing the reverse today quickly overloading the planet. Heating is quicker at high latitudes which is also were the remnant ice and permafrost is.

There are no negative feedbacks to help except the ones oren mentions but i don´t think the first one counts as a´s just a law at work?


Policy and solutions / Re: Space colonization
« on: April 20, 2019, 11:15:29 PM »
In a recent talk Erik Verlinde stressed that there is so much about the universe that we don´t know because we only started gathering data a short while ago.

Not too long ago we still surveyed the night skies with trained observers. They were quite good at estimating the correct brightness of stars but of course they worked much more slowly and they had much smaller telescopes which were all on earth.

Since then we have much better equipment and digital data handling but we tend to forget that all this is recent.

SETI is also pretty recent and they look for radiosignals. How long will we still use those ourselves?

So one simple reason for Fermi's paradox could be that civilizations can miss each other in time (and we don´t have good data on that since we only have 1 point and we could be either early or late).

As for the origins of life from simple cells that happened at least once (and possibly we can find it in multiple places in our own solar system).

As soon as there is a base life tends to re-evolve after disasters.

I also like Jeremy Englands idea of the origin of life as an inevitable outcome of thermodynamics.

TLDR: We think there are no aliens because we have not found anything yet but that should not be surprising if you look at the amount of time spend and technologies used.

The bottleneck might just be evolving the tech to take you to the stars before murdering your home with consumerism...time shall tell.

The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: April 17, 2019, 08:05:20 PM »
Yeah that is the really important point of all this. /s

Consequences / Re: World of 2030
« on: April 17, 2019, 07:41:07 PM »
The REAL disaster cost is the disaster cost adjusted by inflation.

Using numbers to make it objective sounds good but do they cover the whole story?
No they don´t.

It also depends on the disasters. Species that die out don´t come back but you can rebuild the beach houses until people don´t want to live there anymore when too much disasters hit close in time.

And of course the REAL cost does not cover individual human tragedy while that too is real.

Consequences / Re: World of 2030
« on: April 16, 2019, 11:50:44 PM »
Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.

It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.

Not a fan of GDP.

Will we still have the barrier reefs by 2030?

Will we still have an Amazon?

With the current rates and ways of logging will we still have forests? (protect old growth, it´s not just timber there is lots of live around there and it needs trees in all parts of their lifecycle to flourish).

In 11 years we might possibly see a storm hit some coastal cities so hard that people change there minds about living in some of those areas.

I am pretty sure we will see crop failures due to droughts, floods etc.

The ice will melt but will it do spectacular enough things to wake people up?

We miss a sense of urgency and i fear the worst for what we have left to safe in 2030...

(No kids myself but my best friends kids will be teenagers by then i sort of dread the story i will have to tell them).

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.

Developers Corner / Re: poll test
« on: April 11, 2019, 01:07:58 PM »
Well then just do it.  8)

Brazil floods: Deadly torrential rains hit Rio de Janeiro

At least nine people have been killed by flash floods in Rio de Janeiro.

The mayor has declared a crisis after the Brazilian city was battered by heavy rain on Monday and Tuesday.

More than 31cm of rain (13 inches) fell in some parts of the city within 24 hours, the mayor's office said.

In de afgelopen 24 uur is in Rio de Janeiro 106 millimeter neerslag gevallen, meldt Weeronline. De dag ervoor viel al 50 millimeter. Normaal valt in heel april zo'n 70 millimeter neerslag.

In the 24 past hours 106mm of rain has fallen. The day before it was 50mm while the normal april avarage is 70mm.

Consequences / Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« on: April 07, 2019, 04:45:17 PM »
Logging Is the Leading Driver of Carbon Emissions From US Forests


Many people are aware of the importance of protecting rainforests in Brazil to help mitigate climate change, but few realize that more logging occurs in the US, and more wood is consumed here, than in any other nation globally. The rate and scale of logging in the Southeastern US alone is four times that in South American rainforests.


Carbon emissions from logging in the US are ten times higher than the combined emissions from wildland fire and tree mortality from native bark beetles. Fire only consumes a minor percentage of forest carbon, while improving availability of key nutrients and stimulating rapid forest regeneration. Within a decade after fire, more carbon has been pulled out of the atmosphere than was emitted. When trees die from drought and native bark beetles, no carbon is consumed or emitted initially, and carbon emissions from decay are extremely small, and slow, while decaying wood helps keeps soils productive, which enhances carbon sequestration capacity over time.

On the other hand, industrial logging — even when conducted under the euphemism of “thinning” — results in a large net loss of forest carbon storage, and a substantial overall increase in carbon emissions that can take decades, if not a century, to recapture with regrowth. Logging also tends to make fires burn faster and more intensely while degrading a forest ecosystem’s ability to provide natural protections against extreme weather events.

Consider this: About 28 percent of tree carbon is contained in branches, and this is emitted when they are burned after logging operations. An additional 53 percent of the carbon in trees removed from forests is emitted as waste in the manufacturing and milling process. Overall, about two-thirds of the carbon in trees that are logged for lumber quickly become greenhouse gas emissions.

When trees are cut down and burned to generate “biomass” electricity under the guise of “renewable energy,” 100 percent of the carbon is emitted. Incinerating wood for energy emits evenmore CO2 than burning coal, for equal energy produced. Yet, the expansion of US production of wood pellets to fuel power stations in Europe has been spreading like wildfire across the Southeast, accelerating the destruction of some of our nation’s most ecologically-important forests and putting the health of some of the nation’s most vulnerable communities at increased risk.


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? ).

The rest / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: April 05, 2019, 01:43:26 PM »
It´s not about winning wars but fighting them:

War Is A Racket
WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one
international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the
people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the
very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new
War Is A Racket Page 1 of 12
millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many
admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires
falsified their tax returns no one knows.

Check out the PDF for his solution. Basically conscript everyone.

The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations
manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of
the nation -- it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and
the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our
shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide
profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted -- to get $30 a month,
the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Just a draft is not enough since the rich will suffer debilitating conditions like bone spurs.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: April 04, 2019, 09:05:48 AM »
Great Barrier Reef: Mass decline in 'coral babies', scientists say

89% since unprecedented bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, scientists say.

The events, which damaged two-thirds of the world's largest reef system, are now being blamed for triggering a collapse in coral re-growth last year.

"Dead corals don't make babies," said lead author Prof Terry Hughes, from Queensland's James Cook University.


"Across the length of the Great Barrier Reef, there was an average 90% decline from historical [1990s] levels of recruitment," co-author Prof Andrew Baird told the BBC.

'Nothing left to replenish the reef'
Prof Baird said the "pretty extraordinary" decline was unexpected. It was most likely the reef's first re-growth problem on a mass scale, he added.

"Babies can travel over vast distances, and if one reef is knocked out, there are usually plenty of adults in another reef to provide juveniles," Prof Baird said.

However, the bleaching in 2016 and 2017 affected a 1,500km (900 miles) stretch of the reef.

"Now, the scale of mortality is such that there's nothing left to replenish the reef," Prof Baird said.

The study also found that the mix of baby coral species had changed. It found a 93% drop in Acropora, a species which typically dominates a healthy reef and provides habitats for thousands of other species.

The researchers said coral replenishment could recover over the next five to 10 years if there were no future bleaching events.

However, given current estimates, this likelihood was "almost inconceivable", said Prof Baird.

"We've gotten to the point now where local solutions for the reef are almost pointless - the only thing that matters is action on climate change," Prof Baird said.

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.


Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: April 01, 2019, 01:42:14 PM »
Butterfly numbers fall by 84% in Netherlands over 130 years – study

Butterflies have declined by at least 84% in the Netherlands over the last 130 years, according to a study confirming the crisis affecting insect populations in western Europe.

Researchers analysed 120,000 butterflies caught by collectors between 1890 and 1980 as well as more recent scientific data from more than 2 million sightings to identify dramatic declines in the country’s 71 native butterfly species, 15 of which have become extinct over the last century.

“We are quite sure that the real decline must be much larger,” said Chris van Swaay, of Dutch Butterfly Conservation and one of the co-authors of the study.


According to Van Swaay, the main reason for the declines in the Netherlands is modern industrial farming – as carried out across the lowlands of western Europe – that leaves little space for nature.

He said: “Before 1950 or so, grasslands in the Netherlands very much resembled what we now only have left in some nature reserves – they were wet, they had lots of flowers, were lightly grazed and mown only once or twice a year. This was very low-intensity farming.

“In two decades after the 1950s, the countryside was rebuilt – land was drained and planted with one species of grass, large amounts of fertiliser was put on the land, and it was mown six times a year. There is no room for butterflies except on road verges and nature reserves. The countryside is more or less empty.”

and more:

Nepal storm: At least 30 killed as winds flatten homes

At least 30 people have been killed and hundreds more injured as a violent thunderstorm swept southern Nepal.

The freak storm destroyed houses, overturned vehicles, uprooted trees and brought down power lines in Bara and Parsa districts, officials said.

The casualties included passengers in a bus that was blown off a road, witnesses said.

Thunderstorms are common during the Nepalese spring, correspondents say, but are rarely violent enough to cause many casualties.

"I've never seen anything like this. The winds took away everything, my home and my family," said Ram Babu Patel, whose wife died in the storm.

"I was at home getting ready for dinner when the storm hit. It was unbelievable. We have nothing left," he told AFP news agency.


Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: March 30, 2019, 09:43:24 PM »
The toxic plume (of PFAS contamination) is spreading slowly and inexorably – not only under Schaap’s fields but across the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest aquifer in the nation, which spans 174,000 miles and parts of eight states.

Running out of water is not the only problem there.

Page 15 post 736 and a couple of following.

So currently we are draining the aquifer and poisoning it and dreaming of two harvests.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: March 28, 2019, 01:32:16 PM »
In a follow up to number 41 in this thread the team has found another galaxy without dark matter.

Unusual galaxies defy dark matter theory


In the first study, the team confirmed their initial observations of NGC 1052-DF2, or DF2 for short, which show dark matter is practically absent in the galaxy. Using W. M. Keck Observatory’s Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI), they gathered more precise measurements and found that the globular clusters inside the galaxy are indeed moving at a speed consistent with the mass of the galaxy’s normal matter. If there were dark matter in DF2, the clusters would be moving much faster.

“KCWI is unique because of the combination of its large survey area,” said lead author Danieli. “The instrument not only allows us to see the whole galaxy at once, its high spectral resolution also enables us to measure the mass accurately. There is no other instrument in the world that has those two properties!”

In the second study, the team used Keck Observatory’s Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS) to find another galaxy devoid of dark matter, named NGC 1052-DF4, or DF4 for short.

“Discovering a second galaxy with very little to no dark matter is just as exciting as the initial discovery of DF2,” said van Dokkum, who is the lead author on the DF4 paper. “This means the chances of finding more of these galaxies are now higher than we previously thought. Since we have no good ideas for how these galaxies were formed, I hope these discoveries will encourage more scientists to work on this puzzle.”

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: Floods
« on: March 19, 2019, 08:53:14 PM »
Cyclone Idai: 'Massive disaster' in Mozambique and Zimbabwe

Cyclone Idai has triggered a "massive disaster" in southern Africa affecting hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, the UN says.

The region has been hit by widespread flooding and devastation affecting Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi has called it "a humanitarian disaster of great proportion".

He said more than 1,000 people may have been killed after the cyclone hit the country last week.

Cyclone Idai made landfall near the port city of Beira in Sofala province on Thursday with winds of up to 177 km/h (106 mph).


Mozambique's government says 84 people have died and 100,000 need to be urgently rescued near Beira.

An aerial survey of the province shows that a 50km (30 mile) stretch of land is under water after the Buzi river burst its banks, charity Save The Children says.


In Zimbabwe, the government says 98 people have been killed and more than 200 are missing.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that the government was conducting rescue missions and delivering food aid.

In the south-eastern town of Chimanimani residents told harrowing stories of how they lost their relatives when the storm hit.

Some rescuers said homes and even bodies were washed away in the rivers to neighbouring Mozambique, the BBC's Shingai Nyoka reports.

Floods of up to six metres deep had caused "incredible devastation" over a huge area in Mozambique, World Food Programme regional chief Lola Castro said.

"This is shaping up to be one of the worst weather-related disasters ever to hit the southern hemisphere, if the report by [Mozambique's] president and other agencies are confirmed, in terms of the causality toll," Clare Nullis from the UN's weather agency told the BBC.

At least 1.7 million people were in the direct path of the cyclone in Mozambique and 920,000 have been affected in Malawi, the UN said.

In Zimbabwe, at least 20,000 houses have been partially damaged in the south-eastern town of Chipinge, 600 others were completely destroyed.

Local officials say they are distributing rice and maize from the national food reserve to those displaced.

and more on:

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.

The forum / Re: Suggestions
« on: March 17, 2019, 04:34:19 PM »
I just keep word files with text/links to the post/YT address and a short description.

The problem with a specialist forum is that even searches that would be specific in a general context can generate many hits on the forum.


Arctic sea ice / Re: 2019 sea ice area and extent data
« on: March 17, 2019, 04:20:09 PM »
Juan & Ger thanks for reporting on this winter season.

And bonuspoints for zilching that huge +/- error....those things ´are doing me ´ead in´.


The rest / Re: Article links: drop them here!
« on: March 16, 2019, 11:58:54 AM »
MIT Scientists Think The Last 3 Ice Ages Were Triggered by Tectonic Collisions

What's likely to have happened, the new study says, is these massive collisions pushed oceanic rocks up above the surface, into hot and humid tropical environments where they began to pull carbon dioxide out of the air. Given enough time, these chemical reactions could cool global temperatures and start an ice age.

The findings are based initially on an analysis of two sutures in the Himalayas – major fault zones where oceanic and continental plates have collided. Both sutures were originally formed near the equator, 50 million and 80 million years ago respectively, and happened just before major global cooling events.

"We think that arc-continent collisions at low latitudes are the trigger for global cooling," says one of the team, Oliver Jagoutz from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"This could occur over 1-5 million square kilometres [0.4-1.9 square miles], which sounds like a lot. But in reality, it's a very thin strip of Earth, sitting in the right location, that can change the global climate."


Specifically in this case, it's the calcium and magnesium in the newly exposed rock that reacts with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and pulls it out of the air.

Adding the new research to previous work, the researchers were able to model the eruption and movement of more sutures even further back through time.

They found three major periods of suture formation that coincided with ice ages – in the Late Ordovician period (455-440 million years ago), the Permo-Carboniferous period (335-280 million years ago), and the Cenozoic period (35 million years ago to the present day). No sutures meant no ice ages.

"We found that every time there was a peak in the suture zone in the tropics, there was a glaciation event," says Jagoutz. "So every time you get, say, 10,000 kilometres [6,214 miles] of sutures in the tropics, you get an ice age."

The current cooler period we're technically in from a 'big picture' perspective – despite the rapid warming we've managed to bring about over the last hundred years or so – may have been caused by a major suture zone active today in Indonesia, according to the team.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: March 15, 2019, 02:36:31 PM »
XTE J1810–197 is back!

A Strange, Sleeping Magnetar Just Woke Up After a Decade of Silence


This particular magnetar is called XTE J1810–197. It's one of only 23 magnetars and one of just four radio magnetars ever discovered, and it first turned up in 2004. Then, in late 2008, it went dormant and no longer emitted radio waves. On Dec. 8, 2018, it woke up again, and it''s a bit changed. The researchers who spotted its awakening reported their finding in a paper uploaded March 6 to the preprint server arXiv.


When XTE J1810–197 last flashed across human telescopes, it acted erratically, wildly shifting its pulse profile over relatively short time periods. Now, its behavior is more stable, the astronomers reported. At the same time, the torque spinning the star has seemed to increase significantly — a trait the researchers said is common to pulsars after their dormant periods.

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?

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: March 14, 2019, 02:59:00 PM »
Astronomers Have Detected an 'Impossible' Dust Ring at The Heart of Our Solar System

Our Solar System is filled with dust from crumbling asteroids and comets, but only some planets are honoured with a grainy ring to call their own. Both Venus and Earth have this pleasure, escorted around the Sun by a band of cosmic matter.

The little planet of Mercury, on the other hand, was once thought to be all alone. Pressed right up against the Solar System's only heat source, scientists didn't even dream that dust could survive here. But it turns out we were wrong.

A new study has now identified a vast trail of fine cosmic dust in Mercury's orbit, forming a ring nearly 15 million kilometres wide (9.3 million miles).

Unbeknownst to us, it appears that Mercury has been wading through this sea of ancient matter, three times bigger than itself, for likely billions of years.


Using pictures of interplanetary space from NASA's STEREO satellite, the team built a model that separates both kinds of light, calculating how much dust there really is out there.

What they noticed was an enhanced brightness circling all the way around Mercury's orbit, implying "an excess dust density of about 3 percent to 5 percent at the centre of the ring."

The results have pushed our understanding right to the brink. Because if Mercury really does wade through cosmic dust, then this material must be able to get far closer to the Sun than we ever thought possible.


The massive dust ring that co-orbits Venus is a good start. Just this month, a new paper claims to have figured out the true source of Venus's massive dust ring, which is made up of grains no bigger than coarse sandpaper.

Using dozens of different modelling tools and simulations, the researchers think the dust comes from a group of previously unseen asteroids co-orbiting with the planet.

What's more, the authors argue that this population of crumbling asteroids has been feeding Venus's dust ring ever since the Solar System's infancy.

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: Arctic Café
« on: March 12, 2019, 08:50:04 PM »
Drat. I really wanted a small mammoth.  :'(

The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: March 12, 2019, 08:45:41 PM »
Well that is one way to teach your kids the value of money...

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: March 09, 2019, 06:10:20 PM »
Cave of relics found under Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza

Archaeologists have discovered a cave filled with hundreds of artifacts beneath the ruins of the Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico, the lead researcher on the project said Monday, calling the find "incredible."


It sits about 24 meters (80 feet) underground, and contains multiple chambers connected by narrow passages -- often so narrow that researchers had to crawl or drag themselves through them, De Anda said.

His team has explored about 460 meters of the cave so far, and does not know how far it stretches, he added.

The relics found include seven incense burners shaped like the Mayan rain god Chaac, which researchers believe were offerings meant to bring rain.


De Anda's team plans to continue exploring the cave. Rather than remove the artifacts they find, they will study them on site, he said.

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: March 09, 2019, 06:08:15 PM »
The Black Death May Have Transformed Medieval Societies In Sub-Saharan Africa

In the 14th century, the Black Death swept across Europe, Asia, and North Africa, killing up to 50% of the population in some cities. But archaeologists and historians have assumed that the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis, carried by fleas infesting rodents, didn’t make it across the Sahara Desert.


Plague is endemic in parts of Africa now; most historians have assumed it arrived in the 19th century from India or China. But Gérard Chouin, an archaeologist and historian at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a team leader in the French National Research Agency’s GLOBAFRICA research program, first started to wonder whether plague had a longer history in sub-Saharan Africa while excavating the site of Akrokrowa in Ghana. Founded around 700 C.E., Akrokrowa was a farming community surrounded by an elliptical ditch and high earthen banks, one of dozens of similar “earthwork” settlements in southern Ghana at the time. But sometime in the late 1300s, Akrokrowa and all the other earthwork settlements were abandoned. “There was a deep, structural change in settlement patterns,” Chouin says, just as the Black Death ravaged Eurasia and North Africa. With GLOBAFRICA funding, he has since documented a similar 14th century abandonment of Ife, Nigeria, the homeland of the Yoruba people, although that site was later reoccupied.

That´s a bit like Sheldon´s robot. So it´s a mobile videoscreen with the doctor on that...the alternative would be taking the patient and family to the videoroom in that hospital.

Doesn´t really count as robot telling grandpa he is dying.

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.

The rest / Re: Algorithms of Hate - Redux
« on: March 08, 2019, 02:11:28 PM »
So you ordered a book and some peanut butter from them?

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: March 08, 2019, 01:57:44 PM »
What a depressing story.

The teeth of the saws bit into half-a-millennium-old trunks, casting arcs of sawdust that settled over sword fern and moss.

So they can come back in 2511 (or 14 years later)...

The rest / Re: Article links: drop them here!
« on: March 06, 2019, 02:16:40 PM »
Can´t find a good thread for this one so i will stick it here.

Vast record of past climate fluctuations now available thanks to laser imaging of shells

Refined techniques for laser imaging of shell growth rings are tapping into previously hidden data of marine climate change; by examining human and ecological responses to those changes, we learn more about what to expect from climate change in the future

Shellfish played a significant role in the diet of prehistoric coastal populations, providing valuable nutrients. They are a common find in archaeological sites all over the world, usually in huge numbers, and researchers have long explored how they could be used to make inferences about the environments that humans experienced at those locations in the past. However, although techniques were developed to infer valuable climate-related information from shells, it was previously too expensive to analyse them on a scale beyond individual and isolated records. The current study by an international team of researchers, led by the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (Heraklion, Greece) and the School of Geography (Melbourne, Australia) and published in Scientific Reports, presents a technique to use rapid laser imaging to increase the number of analysed shell records to previously unknown scales, and thereby greatly expand the time periods and accuracy of the reconstructed records.

Shells are a common find in archaeological coastal sites of the last 160,000 years

The present study aimed to test a new method by analysing modern shells for which there was known climate data. The researchers used modern limpet shells from across the Mediterranean, comparing records from nine different sites in Greece, Libya, Tunisia, Croatia, Malta, Turkey and Israel. By testing their methods on modern shells against known records, the researchers were able to fine-tune their calibrations and ensure that their techniques would accurately reproduce the climate changes experienced by the molluscs while they were growing. Once perfected, the method could then be used to reconstruct past climate fluctuations.

Using LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy), the researchers built a modern baseline of how marine temperatures are reflected in the elemental composition of mollusc growth rings. Previous research was unable to find consistent correlations between the two. Only the 2D imaging of whole shells provided the necessary amount of data to navigate the individual shell records, a task where the speed and low cost of LIBS exceed other techniques.


New technique allows large-scale reconstructions of climate that people directly experienced at a seasonal level

"We were never able to look at more than a dozen or so well-analysed shell records before, which is far from ideal given that the climatic data can vary a lot from one shell to another. To be able to compare hundreds or a thousand shells is a game changer for climate modelling," states Hausmann.

The techniques developed in the current study have far reaching implications. As a start, researchers focused on the well-known limpet shells of the Mediterranean, but preliminary unpublished results suggest that other limpet species from archaeological sites in the Atlantic and Pacific might be similarly well-suited for use with LIBS, and could provide the means for producing global climate models with seasonal resolution.

"Archaeological shell collections are heavy and a pain to store, so I hope that archaeologists and museums haven't thrown away their old boxes of shells - we now desperately want to analyse them."

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2019 sea ice area and extent data
« on: March 06, 2019, 02:08:47 PM »
re #328

If we hit 1M km2 before the end of melt season the final result will of course be a lot lower. There will be much more water so much more wave action and unless the ice is attached to land it might be exported out.

Also there will be a lot of visible BO. Below is the area of some of the arctic seas. Put 1M km2 of ice in there somewhere and notice how much water is left

Baffin Bay          689,000 km2
Barents Sea    1,400,000 km2
Beaufort Sea      178,000 km2
Chukchi Sea       620,000 km2
ESS                   987,000 km2
Greenland Sea 1,205,000 km2

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: March 05, 2019, 09:28:46 PM »
Polio is the result of infection by the poliovirus.

The claim is that the really severe polio is actually a consequence of chemicals like DDT.

There are basically two points for this. Not all cases diagnosed as polio can be confirmed (by finding the actual virus in the patient) so at least the diagnose is messy.

And there are some interesting bits:

Orthodox medical literature can offer no evidence that the poliovirus was anything else than benign until the first polio epidemic, which occurred in Sweden in 1887. This small epidemic occurred 13 years after the invention of DDT in Germany, in 1874, and 14 years after the invention of the first mechanical pesticide crop sprayer, which was used to spray formulations of water, kerosene, soap and arsenic. The epidemic also occurred immediately following an unprecedented flurry of pesticide innovations. This is not to say that DDT was the actual cause of the first polio epidemic, as arsenic was then in widespread use and DDT is said to have been merely an academic exercise. However, DDT or any of several neurotoxic organochlorines already discovered could have caused the first polio epidemic if they had been used experimentally as a pesticide. DDT’s absence from early literature is little assurance that it was not used.


Polio outbreaks occurred most often during the summer and were blamed on viruses picked up in swimming pools. But summer was the time when DDT spraying was at its peak and exposure would have been greatest, either directly or through foods from animals eating sprayed crops. Summer foods like ice cream from DDT-sprayed dairy cows would have been a likely source.

So the claim is that polio has been used to cover up the effects of chemicals which not the same as the claim it does not exist.

We do have a huge problem with chemicals in our environment and they are typically badly regulated.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: March 05, 2019, 08:48:37 PM »
That is an interesting find and possibly part of the methane mentioned in the article
AGU Very  strong atmospheric methane growth  in the  four  years 2014 -2017 in #943 in this thread.

The abstract does not mention when the conversion began but the article cites two sources and the second of those is the China Fisheries Yearbook 2013 so at least by then it was a factor so it shows up at the right time to contribute.

If anyone who has access could quote some data on the historical growth numbers and estimated emissions from those that would be nice.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: March 05, 2019, 09:51:39 AM »
Italy may depend on olive imports from April, scientist says

Extreme weather blamed for plunge in country’s olive harvest – the worst in 25 years


In the past 18 months, Italy has experienced summer droughts, autumn floods and spring ice waves.

Olive trees are weakened by these kinds of weather shocks and, even if they recover, are left more vulnerable to outbreaks of the xylella fastidiosa bacterium and olive fly infestations, which have hit farmers in Italy and Greece, Valentini said.

Italy’s Coldiretti farmers’ union estimates that the cost of the olive oil collapse this year has already reached €1bn.


Beyond Italy, the European commission has projected 2018-19 olive harvests to drop by 20% in Portugal and 42% in Greece, although industry sources said final figures there could be significantly worse.

Greek farmers were devastated by extreme drought and then heavy rains, which acted as a “trigger event” for olive fly infestations, according to Valentini.

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.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: March 02, 2019, 10:19:45 AM »
A while ago i read an article in which exobiologists complained that the devices we send to Mars are all for exogeology. We can send a rover with much better devices for detecting current life there.

I think we should send one of those over before people go there to visit.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: March 02, 2019, 10:06:34 AM »
Climate change is shifting productivity of fisheries worldwide


The study looked at historical abundance data for 124 species in 38 regions, which represents roughly one-third of the reported global catch. The researchers compared this data to records of ocean temperature and found that 8 percent of populations were significantly negatively impacted by warming, while 4 percent saw positive impacts. Overall, though, the losses outweigh the gains.

"We were surprised how strongly fish populations around the world have already been affected by warming," said Free, "and that, among the populations we studied, the climate 'losers' outweigh the climate 'winners.'"


When examining how the availability of fish for food has changed from 1930 to 2010, the researchers saw the greatest losses in productivity in the Sea of Japan, North Sea, Iberian Coastal, Kuroshio Current and Celtic-Biscay Shelf ecoregions. On the other hand, the greatest gains occurred in the Labrador-Newfoundland region, Baltic Sea, Indian Ocean and Northeastern United States.

Although the changes in fisheries productivity have so far been small, there are vast regional discrepancies. For instance, East Asia has seen some of the largest warming-driven declines, with 15 to 35 percent reductions in fisheries productivity. "This means 15 to 35 percent less fish available for food and employment in a region with some of the fastest growing human populations in the world," said Free. Mitigating the impacts of regional disparities will be a major challenge in the future.

and more 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.


The rest / Re: India v Pakistan
« on: February 27, 2019, 05:47:24 PM »
Yeah but that is different in a tactical sense.

This should end in limited skirmishes since both sides have nukes so there is no win option in the war.

Walking the walk / Re: Passive / green House Design
« on: February 27, 2019, 05:18:10 PM »
re reply 33 and on.

The thread is about green design of a house, not a greenhouse.

Consequences / Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« on: February 27, 2019, 04:52:03 PM »
In a way vaccines are a victim of their success.

If you look back at historical child mortality related to the diseases and suffering caused by symptoms or complications of the diseases you understand how useful they are. But almost no one remembers that because they have not experienced those times and actually researching a subject instead of thinking your kid might get ADHD from them because some idiot friend of yours says so on facebook is something most people don´t even think of.

People also have a hard time understanding herd immunity.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 27, 2019, 12:59:50 PM »
Hopefully the Antarctic glaciers will hold for a while...

Also record temps here , 3 days in a row now but we only got up to 18C today (old record 17,8) and yesterday it was 18,3 (was 17,3).

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