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Topics - kassy

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Policy and solutions / Policy and solutions in the Netherlands
« on: November 13, 2019, 03:41:41 PM »
I think it will be interesting to report on the current situation in the Netherlands.

For a long time we were not really doing to much to help the climate. Politicians preferred paper solutions to real hard caps because well that is easier for them. Then someone fought the specific law and the law in general won.

1 Nitrogen policy

A while ago, around 2015 IIRC they had to craft a new law to protect nature from nitrogen pollution. This was required because of a European Union law that had to be translated into national law.

Our genius politicians wrote a law were current emissions were compensated by fictitious future gains in controlling the pollution. This would not work as the EU law states that you actually have to do something and that is not the same as kicking the can down the road. We have some institute that advises about laws and they said then that the law was not good enough but it still got voted into an official law.

A lawsuit followed and off course the dutch government lost.

The courts decision meant that most nitrogen permits for building were invalid.
This meant that all kind of building projects can not start so this costs tons of money.

And the real solution is not easy.

They appointed a commission with Remkes as chairman. He is VVD (right liberals, dominant party now) and a former interior minister.

Some of the proposed solutions they came up with:
1) Big reduction in cattle breeding. We are very big in this. Worldwide number 2 exporter for some products which is ridiculous since we are so small. Or if you look at it in a different way that means we are hugely succesfull and efficient at it. It also makes us a lot of money.

Meausures could include buy outs of the less efficient (old) farms.

The farmers felt threatened so they went to the Hague to protest on the Malieveld (veld is field and malie is an old game, it is basically croquet-field and now the place were big protests go).

The CDA our christian centrist party which is also the traditional farmers party and the one with the minister of agriculture hated this off course.

2) A reduction of the speed limit. It is (or was but we get to that next post) 130 km/h for no good reason and reducing it is a sore point for the VVD. They got to raise the speedlimit as a reward for an election victory while it only costs money for new signs and killed some more people and contributed to more congestion overall. Lowering it is seen as a defeat. They should just frame it as finally doing something sensible.

Some weeks ago the construction workers also collected at the Malieveld for a demonstration.  And since not building costs a lot of money and leads to big problems later since much of the projects are for sorely needed housing something needed to be done. And they did lower the speed but more about that in the next post.

*

Just lowering the speed limit is probably not enough so we will have to do something with farming too.

But there are many other developments at the same time.

2

The court case of the kids vs the dutch government
is in the appeal stage. Dutch government lost the first round. They are appealing because they think they need some freedom to solve issues. You can read above how well that goes so it would be nice if they lose the appeal too.

Currently i have no idea about the timeline off that.

3

Closing the gas fields.


After years of extraction the earthquake damage in Groningen lead to the early closure of the big gas fields. This means we will have to compensate (NAM is already scouting small fields) and we will have to change much of our infrastructure. Basically almost everyone is on the gas net and we use it for heating and cooking.

We will have to build the new houses differently and we have to adapt many of the old ones.

There will be test areas and one of them should be near me.

4 Something with PFAS 

This is sort of the same problem as the nitrogen thing with a EU law an a local norm iirc but i will get back to that.

5) Adapting the grid

The grid is built to where the power was needed historically which means that it is not strong enough in the periphal regions to tie up all solar projects that people want to develop.

*

I have quite a collection of newspaper articles and reactions by the readers so i will have to sort them by time and by issue.

All kinds of interesting things pop up. For example at the german side of the border they get a subsidy to convert from coal to gas while on the dutch side we are removing the gas.

It will be interesting to see how the debate goes in this stamp of a country.
Plenty of action (hopefully helpful) up ahead.


 

2
Hellish Warming Event in Earth's Ancient Past Triggered by Rare Orbital Quirk in Space

...

he PETM, like other extreme heating episodes in Earth's ancient past, is considered an analogue for the anthropogenic climate change we see unfolding in the world today.

But while Earth's current predicament can be attributed squarely to human activity, the mysterious origins of the PETM's heatwave have never been totally understood. What triggered it?

In a new study, scientists say they have an answer: Earth's orbital eccentricity in a Solar System defined by chaos.

According to oceanographer Richard Zeebe from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and geoscientist Lucas Lourens from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, the PETM occurred close to an 'eccentricity maximum' in Earth's orbit of the Sun.

In other words: a point where, during an epic 405,000-year astronomical cycle, Earth most clearly deviated from a perfect circle in orbiting the Sun, inviting world-changing consequences if the eccentricity exposed Earth to more solar radiation.

and more cool stuff on:
https://www.sciencealert.com/hellish-warming-event-in-earth-s-ancient-past-triggered-by-rare-orbital-quirk-in-space

So we finally know what triggered the PETM. Pretty cool.  8)

3
Science / America colonisation ‘cooled Earth's climate’
« on: January 31, 2019, 01:20:40 PM »
Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth's climate.

...

"The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas led to the abandonment of enough cleared land that the resulting terrestrial carbon uptake had a detectable impact on both atmospheric CO₂ and global surface air temperatures," Alexander Koch and colleagues write in their paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews.

...

What does the study show?
The team reviewed all the population data it could find on how many people were living in the Americas prior to first contact with Europeans in 1492.

It then assessed how the numbers changed in following decades as the continents were ravaged by introduced disease (smallpox, measles, etc), warfare, slavery and societal collapse.

It's the UCL group's estimate that 60 million people were living across the Americas at the end of the 15th Century (about 10% of the world's total population), and that this was reduced to just five or six million within a hundred years.

The scientists calculated how much land previously cultivated by indigenous civilisations would have fallen into disuse, and what the impact would be if this ground was then repossessed by forest and savannah.

The area is on the order of 56 million hectares, close in size to a modern country like France.

This scale of regrowth is figured to have drawn down sufficient CO₂ that the concentration of the gas in the atmosphere eventually fell by 7-10ppm (that is 7-10 molecules of CO₂ in every one million molecules in the air).

...

There is a marked cooling around that time (1500s/1600s) which is called the Little Ice Age, and what's interesting is that we can see natural processes giving a little bit of cooling, but actually to get the full cooling - double the natural processes - you have to have this genocide-generated drop in CO₂."

lots more on:
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47063973

paper:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379118307261

I find this really interesting because i always had a hunch this played a role (there are older papers on the effects of the black death had on reforestation).

4
Permafrost / Permafrost general science thread
« on: January 16, 2019, 02:42:56 PM »
I decided to make a new thread for general science on permafrost because the other threads are about either methane or snow cover or really specific issues.


*

The pace at which the world's permafrost soils are warming

As the new global comparative study conducted by the international permafrost network GTN-P shows, in all regions with permafrost soils the temperature of the frozen ground at a depth of more than 10 metres rose by an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius between 2007 and 2016 - in the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as the high mountain ranges of Europe and Central Asia. The effect was most pronounced in Siberia, where the temperature of the frozen soil rose by nearly 1 degree Celsius. The pioneering study has just been released in the online journal Nature Communications.

...

The complete dataset encompasses 154 boreholes, 123 of which allow conclusions to be drawn for an entire decade, while the remainder can be used to refine calculations on annual deviation. The results show that, in the ten years from 2007 to 2016, the temperature of the permafrost soil rose at 71 of the 123 measuring sites; in five of the boreholes, the permafrost was already thawing. In contrast, the soil temperature sank at 12 boreholes, e.g. at individual sites in eastern Canada, southern Eurasia and on the Antarctic Peninsula; at 40 boreholes, the temperature remained virtually unchanged.

...

The researchers observed the most dramatic warming in the Arctic: "There, in regions with more than 90 percent permafrost content, the soil temperature rose by an average of 0.30 degrees Celsius within ten years," reports first author Dr Boris Biskaborn, a member of the research group Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems at the Potsdam facilities of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. In northeast and northwest Siberia, the temperature increase at some boreholes was 0.90 degrees Celsius or even higher. For the sake of comparison: the air temperature in the respective regions rose by an average of 0.61 degrees Celsius in the same period.

Farther south, in Arctic regions with less than 90 percent permafrost, the frozen ground only warmed by 0.2 degrees Celsius on average. "In these regions there is more and more snowfall, which insulates the permafrost in two ways, following the igloo principle: in winter the snow protects the soil from extreme cold, which on average produces a warming effect. In spring it reflects the sunlight, and prevents the soil from being exposed to too much warmth, at least until the snow has completely melted away," Biskaborn explains.

Significant warming can also be seen in the permafrost regions of the high mountain ranges, and in the Antarctic. The temperature of the permanently frozen soils in the Alps, in the Himalayas and in the mountain ranges of the Nordic countries rose by an average of 0.19 degrees Celsius. In the shallow boreholes in the Antarctic, the researchers measured a rise of 0.37 degrees.

for full details:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/awih-tpa011519.php

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