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Messages - Sebastian Jones

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Consequences / Re: Places becoming more livable
« on: January 07, 2020, 07:18:44 PM »
Vineyards have reached the southern city limits of Hamilton within the last 10 years, and that's a ways north of Lake Erie.
I wouldn't be surprised if the newer vineyards are even further north.

The palm trees at Port Dover and Turkey Point are a nice addition to the Beach Resorts, and I saw an ornamental banana tree in Vancouver yard last time I was out west.

The crops seem to be rushing north faster than many urbanites are aware.

Crops can move as fast as people plant them. Forests will only move north if nations embark on an all out effort to move entire ecosystems north. It would be messy. Mistakes would be made but this kind of mitigation should already be occurring.

I'm not sure that it's possible here in Canada. We've lost millions of trees to pine beetles & will lose millions more. Our tree line is constrained in part by winter insolation, & it's hard to grow trees in the dark.

More southern climes may see alpine tree lines increase in elevation but increased desertification will more than undermine those gains. I think that fires, drought and flooding will have the greatest "natural" effects on forests. If we continue burning forests and bulldozing them for agriculture & industry the natural losses will never be mitigated.

According to this research, there is another constraint on tree lines moving north. They do not identify the constraint, but I rather suspect it may have something to do with mycorrhiza- or rather their absence.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 25, 2019, 02:27:51 AM »
But from around 1500, hunting dramatically intensified when Europeans discovered the rich fishing grounds of Newfoundland. Within 350 years, the last great auks ever reliably seen were killed to be put in a museum, and the species was lost forever.

Civilisation arrived  >:(.

Even had we not hunted the Great Auk to extinction by the early 19th century, it would likely be facing the same fate now because we have so depleted the oceans of fish that most of the Great Auk's relatives are rapidly declining.

Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: December 25, 2019, 02:07:54 AM »
Regarding the link to the USS Cook incident in the Black Sea:, The story seemed so spooky that I did some (very) elementary research on the incident. According  to the (almost always) reliable Wikipedia, "In 2014, Russia′s state-run news media outlets ran a series of reports that falsely asserted that during that incident the Su-24, equipped with the Khibiny electronic warfare system, had disabled the ship's Aegis combat systems. The misinformation was later picked up by the British tabloid The Sun and by Fox News, and later reported as Russian propaganda by The New York Times."  In 2016, the Cook had another, more serious, encounter in the Baltic Sea. It deployed to the Black Sea again in February 2019 to provide moral support and training opportunities to Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria.
In Canada, the Canadian Press agency has developed a "Baloney Meter" to inform the public if a politician's latest sound bite is true, mostly true, partly false or "Full of Baloney". This story is the latter.

Policy and solutions / Re: Alaska Coal and Warming
« on: October 30, 2019, 04:32:18 PM »
Of course, in order to susscesully export coal from northern Alaska, a deep water port is needed...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 16, 2019, 06:46:03 PM »

From 2016 through 2019, Argentina’s government awarded contracts for 6.5 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity, helping make wind and solar the country’s cheapest unsubsidized sources of energy. Roughly 5 GW of this capacity is already either in operation or under construction, attracting nearly $7.5 billion in new investment and creating more than 11,000 new jobs.

How is it "unsubsidized" when the government is footing the bill?

Isn't it socialism when Government owns the means of production?  Does that mean that all socialist enterprises are subsidized?

No. The government would not own the means of production, it is buying the electricity from whoever owns the means of production. If that is socialism....Good grief!
Somewhat off topic anyway!

It is hard to think of a more reliable source of energy than the sun through photovoltaic panels. PV panels have no moving parts, and while they have not been around very long, compared to thermal, thus far they have not worn out. There is no other energy source that can withstand zero maintenance for decades and that still runs almost as new. They may not be the most energy dense, and are relatively difficult to make huge ongoing profits in the way that an oil field does, but they ARE reliable.

The rest / Re: Cli Fi
« on: October 12, 2019, 05:05:31 AM »
John Wyndham's "The Chrysalids" is a post nuclear apocalypse tale, where the island of Newfoundland is as warm as present day Maryland. It is one of the first books that I read that really made me want to read more by an author.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: October 09, 2019, 07:48:43 AM »
Aaah, Earth Mark 2. I wonder how far back in time they can reset it?

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: October 03, 2019, 07:35:17 AM »
Thanks Vox
Just as with Continental Drift, or the astronomic solution to the dying off of dinosaurs, we'll have to wait until most of the doubters have died off before the new Younger Dryas Asteroid theory finds acceptance. In the meantime the evidence just keeps building.

We might get our heads around the idea that Paleo Hunters killed the last Mammoth, but imagining people with spears killing the last pride of Saber Toothed Cats, or the last pack of Dire Wolves, takes a fevered imagination.

Terry - hoping I outlive the doubters. ;)

Asteroid impacts coincident with the Younger Dryas event do not have to supersede the conventional theory that a mass outflow of fresh water from the already collapsing Laurentide ice sheet drove the temperature change.They could however have exacerbated the effect. Further, it is much more likely that the end of the Clovis culture was driven by the anthropogenic extinction of ice age mega fauna than by an asteroid- unless it was awfully, awfully big. And, mega predators did not have to be hunted or killed by humans to go extinct once their prey had been killed off. In my not entirely uneducated opinion, the denialism that resists the idea that humans caused the mass extinctions at the end of the last glaciation is similar in nature to that which resists the idea that human caused carbon emissions are changing the climate today.

Arctic background / Re: Hearts in the Ice Expedition
« on: September 22, 2019, 04:03:16 PM »
The first women to overwinter in Svalbard without men? I don't suppose this assertion would be made without evidence, but it is a peculiar statistic. I'm amazed that there have never been single, cis-gendered women over winter in Svalbard before. I clearly know less about Svalbard than I thought I did!

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: September 17, 2019, 04:51:07 AM »
Savoonga is a Yupik village on the north shore of St. Lawrence Island, just south of the Bering Strait. Its residents have made a living from the sea, and the ice, since the rising seas formed St. Lawrence Island at the end of the Pleistocene. Alert members of the forum will be aware that the Bering Sea has failed to freeze normally the past two winters. We also know that this  lack of sea ice has had ecological consequences- the ice hosts algae, which feed phytoplankton which feeds zooplankton and which sustains the extraordinarily rich marine life of the Bering Sea. Without the ice, the algae struggle and the consequences reverberate up the food chain until even the people of Savoonga face uncertain, even troubling times. The linked article is intended to part of a series that examines the effects of climate change in this exquisitely sensitive region.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2019 sea ice area and extent data
« on: September 13, 2019, 08:33:46 PM »
NSIDC Total Area as at 12 September 2019

To repeat, once again, it is the Beaufort, Chukchi, and ESS that refuse to let the melting season die.

SST Anomalies still + 3 or +4 celsius at the Pacific end.

Indeed. My cousin just logged 9.5C sea temperature off Icy Cape. That will take considerable cold weather to freeze.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: September 03, 2019, 07:30:09 AM »
24 hours of Dorian sitting motionless at 150-180 mph over Grand Bahama.
I can't imagine the horror.

If they try to pick their way into the Laptev Bite, they may have a fairly short ski!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: September 02, 2019, 08:07:19 PM »
Maryland denies permits for solar projects that sought to clear forests
Maryland regulators have blocked two large solar power projects in Charles County that together would have cleared 400 acres of woodlands. Some environmentalists hailed the decisions while others lamented them, highlighting tensions in the state over the siting of renewable energy projects.

A very interesting conundrum, especially when the land use emissions are up front while the offsetting reduction in fossil fuel emissions will be spread over decades. Surprised that there was no "net emissions benefit and years to payback" analysis done, should be a prerequisite for approval. Wind turbines have a definite advantage here.

The same issue exists for hydro-dams, as the land use change and rotting vegetation can produce a net increase emissions scenario for decades (especially with dams in tropical areas with especially dense vegetation).

Good for Maryland! There is no need to clear woodlands for solar farms. They can be integrated into existing land uses. One wonders if the value of the cleared wood was part of the proponent's business plan...

Policy and solutions / Re: Greta Thunberg's Atlantic crossing
« on: September 02, 2019, 12:27:55 AM »
An interesting article that explores the connection between those who attack Thunberg with climate deniers, misogynists and the right wing:

The rest / Re: Systemic Isolation
« on: August 26, 2019, 05:12:44 PM »
Researchers Develop Way to Control Speed of Light, Send it Backward

Hahaha! Good one!
Clearly I need to spend more time on this thread...

Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: August 20, 2019, 05:24:59 PM »
500 Million Bees Died in Brazil
Things aren't looking good for bees around the world.

In the United States, beekeepers lost four in 10 of their honeybee colonies in the past year, making it the worst winter on record.

In Russia 20 regions reported mass bee deaths, with officials also warning it could mean 20% less honey being produced.

At least one million bees died in South Africa in November 2018, with fipronil being blamed.

And countries such as Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Turkey have all also reported mass die-offs of bees in the last 18 months

Bees are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Domesticated honey bees are easy to monitor, and of course their loss has an economic  impact. The same poisons that are killing honey bees are almost definitely killing other bees and other insects and the flora and fauna that depends on them.
No wonder we cannot get a grip on GHGs if we cannot even see that literally spraying poisons into our environment is a bad idea.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Northwest Passage thread
« on: August 17, 2019, 05:44:35 PM »
I'm excited, happy and somewhat nervous to see that my cousin Randall Reeves is heading south down Peel Sound. She won't be the first small boat to transit the NWP this year, but I'm quite sure Moli will be the only one to have circumnavigated Antarctica along the way from San Francisco!

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: August 15, 2019, 07:25:11 AM »
I think I know where the designations came from:
New ice, nilas and young ice[edit]

Nilas in Baffin Bay
New ice is a general term used for recently frozen sea water that does not yet make up solid ice. It may consist of frazil ice (plates or spicules of ice suspended in water), slush (water saturated snow), or shuga (spongy white ice lumps a few centimeters across). Other terms, such as grease ice and pancake ice, are used for ice crystal accumulations under the action of wind and waves.

Nilas designates a sea ice crust up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in thickness. It bends without breaking around waves and swells. Nilas can be further subdivided into dark nilas – up to 5 cm (2.0 in) in thickness and very dark, and light nilas – over 5 cm (2.0 in) in thickness and lighter in color.

Young ice is a transition stage between nilas and first-year ice, and ranges in thickness from 10 cm (3.9 in) to 30 cm (12 in), Young ice can be further subdivided into grey ice – 10 cm (3.9 in) to 15 cm (5.9 in) in thickness, and grey-white ice – 15 cm (5.9 in) to 30 cm (12 in) in thickness. Young ice is not as flexible as nilas, but tends to break under wave action. In a compression regime, it will either raft (at the grey ice stage) or ridge (at the grey-white ice stage).

First-year sea ice[edit]

Distinction between 1st year sea ice (FY), 2nd year (SY), multiyear (MY) and old ice.
First-year sea ice is ice that is thicker than young ice but has no more than one year growth. In other words, it is ice that grows in the fall and winter (after it has gone through the new ice – nilas – young ice stages and grows further) but does not survive the spring and summer months (it melts away). The thickness of this ice typically ranges from 0.3 m (0.98 ft) to 2 m (6.6 ft).[5][6][7] First-year ice may be further divided into thin (30 cm (0.98 ft) to 70 cm (2.3 ft)), medium (70 cm (2.3 ft) to 120 cm (3.9 ft)) and thick (>120 cm (3.9 ft)).[6][7]

Old sea ice[edit]
Old sea ice is sea ice that has survived at least one melting season (i.e. one summer). For this reason, this ice is generally thicker than first-year sea ice. Old ice is commonly divided into two types: second-year ice, which has survived one melting season, and multiyear ice, which has survived more than one. (In some sources,[5] old ice is more than 2-years old.) Multi-year ice is much more common in the Arctic than it is in the Antarctic.[5][8] The reason for this is that sea ice in the south drifts into warmer waters where it melts. In the Arctic, much of the sea ice is land-locked.

Which makes perfect sense!

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: August 15, 2019, 07:19:54 AM »
I'm just posting out of curiosity to discover what stage of ice I have been assigned :-*


The Torngat Mountains appear to have retained snowcover through summer but satellite is spotty and cloudy as of late. It does not get picked up on the low-res map you quoted.

Dear BBR,
I really love your hypothesis about a reglaciation in Northern Labrador and Quebec.
I have always been fascinated with snow and ice, glaciers and permafrost.
It was a great disappointment to me when as a teenager in the '70s that I discovered that, no, the planet is not cooling off after all and I would not be able to witness glaciers reforming in Scotland (I was born in the UK).
I moved to a nice cold place as soon as I could, and have been mostly satisfied with the prevalence of snow and ice, glaciers and permafrost here in the Yukon.
There is a mountain range near me that was glaciated until the Holocene.
It was surrounded by ice free Beringia, so acted as a sort of refugium during the ice ages.
The glaciers are gone, but snow persisted through the summer and some ice patches are quite old.
This summer, for the first time in living memory, all the snow and ice melted.
No more glaciers on the horizon here.
So, while I rather doubt the feedbacks you detail will result in the regrowth of an ice sheet, be assured that I really, really hope I am wrong and you are right.

Consequences / Re: Laurentide II
« on: August 13, 2019, 08:04:28 PM »
It does seem counterintuitive that while Greenland is experiencing massive negative SMB that the mainland further south would find a way to go in the opposite direction.
Weird things do happen....Bbr is a pretty smart cookie, so I cannot discount him out of hand.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: August 13, 2019, 07:56:12 PM »
Our agri-food systems perversely discourage ecologically beneficial behaviour, but despite this, some farmers are persisting in doing the right thing.
One caveat about No-Till farming: No-Till facilitated by RoundUp ready cops is of no help.
No-Till combined with mulching during harvest is most definitely a good thing.
"It's not the cattle, it's our management that's the problem. To concentrate them all into a huge feedlot, that's an ecological disaster."

Hjertaas said farmers tend to be traditional and slow to change, but financial incentives could go a long way to making the switch and overcome cost and uptake challenges.

"I'm all for a carbon tax, we need to tax bad behaviour. But what's missing is we need to reward the good behaviour."

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: August 13, 2019, 07:47:23 PM »
I think the beef ban is a huge mistake although I have not eaten any meat or fish in 30 years.
First, animals (cattles as well) do have an important place in regenerative agriculture and they can be bred without any adverse effects on the climate or the planet in general.
Second, it is always very harmful to ban things. Economic incentives are always better (see the historic example of taxes on alcohol vs. total abolition; or the current insane war on drugs). Create a carbon tax, or even a beef tax if you will but do not ban.
Yes, livestock can have an important place in regenerative agriculture. However, the vast majority of meat consumed in the developed world plays no role in regenerative agriculture, quite the contrary.
Yes, taxes designed to shift behaviour away from harmful practices is a preferred method over regulation, usually. However, Canada's carbon tax specifically exempts agriculture....

Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: August 13, 2019, 06:47:55 PM »
Bolsonaro approves 290 new pesticide products.
Also, 1,942 registered pesticides were quickly reevaluated, with the number considered extremely toxic dropped from 702 to just 43.
I think it is important to bear in mind that ALL pesticides are toxic. The reason is because they are literally designed to be toxic, so that they can kill things.

It is difficult to imagine that the liberal spraying of poisons all around the world could happen without actually killing a whole lot of organisms, and stupid to think that only the organism that has been condemned to death will be killed and naive to think that there will not be unintended consequences from removing a species from the biosphere.

"The North Wind doth blow, and we will have snow."

I guess it is time to open a 2019-20 thread, but leaving this one open for the autopsy of 2018-19.
But not to be opened by me.

No sign of any snow build up leading to a recurrence of the Labrador ice sheet.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: August 13, 2019, 06:35:30 PM »
I read recently- somewhere, maybe even here- that because we have altered most of the very fire prone savanna around the world, that total annual area burned has declined over the past few centuries.
This surprised me- probably mostly because I live in the boreal and fire season is definitely getting longer.
So I noodled around  to look for evidence, pro or con and what I found's complicated.
Yes it does appear that global fire incidence is lower now than a couple of hundred years ago, but there are strong regional variations.
Complicating my search is the fact that the denier-sphere has, naturally, latched onto this trend as evidence for whatever thing it is that they are denying.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is pretty legit.

"Thus, while there are clearly some noteworthy trends in area burned for specific recent periods and regions, the general perception of increasing fire around the world is not supported by the data available to date. This does not withstand the observation of increasing fire season length in some areas [50], which is an important contributor to the increase in area burned during this century in the northwestern USA [43,46], boreal Canada and Alaska [51,52]. A future lengthening of the fire season is also anticipated for many other regions of the globe, with a potential associated increase of fire activity [19,53–56]. It is, however, important to recognize that in addition to direct climatic factors, other factors such as fuel availability and human influence will also strongly affect future fire activity [57,58].

Thus the widespread use of limited datasets or excessive extrapolation of short-term regional trends may go some way in explaining the widely held view of generally increasing fire around the world. The wider impacts of fire on society examined in §3b–d, however, may be even more relevant in driving the overall perceptions of fire trends."

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: August 11, 2019, 08:23:38 AM »
I sure am glad a certain Chinese read Limits to Growth and managed to change his country's demographic trajectory, back then, or we would be in much bigger shit by now.

China's One Child Policy stands unique as the greatest program to fight climate change proposed or enacted by any nation.

Yet praise for their foresight is lacking. Why?

Because it was imposed rather than adopted from the bottom up.
I'm a population hawk, and decided many years ago that the last thing the planet needs is more humans, so chose not to breed.
But I love children, and would not impose my choice generally.
Although I did impose my choice on my partner...I doubt she will ever really forgive me.
It's a wicked problem

It is not normal to have extensive snow here in August.
We expect to have snow above 2000m in August, but it is unusual below 1000m.
At 300m, where I live, we used to be assured of snow that stays in early October- and that temps would stay below freezing after (Canadian) Thanksgiving. But that seems to be changing.....

Policy and solutions / Re: Direct Air Capture (of Carbon Dioxide)
« on: August 10, 2019, 07:10:07 AM »
When I hear of the US plotting the overthrow of solar optimized regions, or attempting to gain control of the best wind turbine sites, then I'll believe that fossil fuels have a less important future than renewables.

Madame Albright wouldn't have thought that the death of half a million Iraqi toddlers was "in the end worth it", if the upside was gaining access to Iraq's vast sun soaked deserts.

An additional benefit of renewables is that they do not lend themselves to the economics of scarcity and therefore do not provide a very good vehicle for people or companies to get stinking rich. So, assuming we still have a global civilization after we transition to renewables, counties will be unlikely to battle over wind or sun sources. I hope Ken's optimism is not "hopium"!

Antarctica / Re: Majestic Antarctic Images
« on: August 10, 2019, 07:04:53 AM »
Where did this image come from Blumenkraft? It is surreal, amazing and, yes, majestic!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 10, 2019, 06:54:09 AM »
The 1.5 degrees UN IPCC report is politicized soft-denial, as have all such reports been for at least 10 years. They assume gargantuan amounts of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, use a ridiculously low risk tolerance (i.e. 66% and 50% confidence intervals vs. the 95% and 99% ones used in most risk management), make too-low assumptions for Earth System sensitivity to GHGs, and ignore non-linear possibilities (e.g. a Blue Ocean Event), etc.

AbruptSLRs posts are a great source of education on the overly-conservative assumptions of the UN IPCC. It does seem that for the next report (2022) even they may have to accept some of the failings in their take on climate science. I won't hold my breath though, they have been failing since 1990 while making such optimistic prognostications.

Hard Denial: Anthropocentric Climate Change Is Not Happening
Soft Denial: Anthropocentric Climate Change Is Happening BUT We Can Spin Fairy Stories About How We Can Fix It Whilst Keeping Growing the Global Economy At 3% Per Year.

I will now go back on topic to renewable energy (before the topic police notice).

AbruptSLR posts a lot about studies based on the RCP8.5 emissions scenarios.  Given that renewables are now cheaper than coal, renewables plus batteries are cheaper than peaker natural gas plants and renewable powered ICEs are projected to be cheaper than gasoline powered cars by 2024, there's no way we'll burn enough fossil fuels to generate the emissions for RCP8.5.

You can deny the IPCC reports.  Keep in mind that that makes you a climate science denier though.

Ken we all hope you are correct! However while energy use is increasing faster than renewable energy generation, I'll stick with AbruptSLR.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: August 09, 2019, 08:07:51 AM »
~~What causes Arctic Ice Loss with 3 letters? The Sun? No! Any other answer? Ice Albedo Effect? IAE NO]What causes Arctic Ice Loss with 3 letters? The Sun? No! Any other answer? Ice Albedo Effect? IAE NO~~

AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming).

I got in with WHD, honestly.

(Wife's Hair Dryer)
Back when I got in it was IMF for their role in funding fossil use, I'm so old.

Huh. I'm so old there were no security questions. Were those the good old days, or am I so old that I've forgotten that there were questions?

Consequences / Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« on: August 01, 2019, 07:58:00 AM »

And you shouldn't shower every day. A healthy skin organ is a great defence, having many beneficial microorganisms. I haven't showered in >3 months and my skin is healthy, soft and doesn't smell (clothes get smelly after a while). What kind of food you eat is also important. I had to go to hospital for a check on my ears, so for that occasion I washed my hair with soap. I tried to find a soap without any crazy additives and found "Aleppo soap".
You should be aware that statements like this will lead many to assume that you do not wash at all.
Under the assumption that you do cleanse yourself from time to time, I'm curious about your preferred method- I live off grid so I have to be creative about bathing, and I've gone considerably longer than 3 months without showering, while washing most every day. I also love a weekly sauna.

Policy and solutions / Re: Trains, Trams, Subways and Buses
« on: July 31, 2019, 07:47:37 AM »
German railways to stop using glyphosate on tracks

German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn is to stop using glyphosate (RoundUp) on its tracks and is looking for substitutes to replace the controversial weedkiller, one of its board members said in an interview Friday.

The rail operator is Germany's largest user of glyphosate and buys nearly 65 tonnes of the herbicide per year to stop weeds from propagating on its tracks.

Interesting how different jurisdictions approach weeds on rail tracks.
There is a railway that goes from Alaska through B.C. in the Yukon.
It decided to spray various poisons on its rights of way to kill weeds.
Alaska simply said it was not allowed. Period.
The Yukon had a big environmental assessment that concluded it was a bad idea.
B.C. had no rules, no permits needed.

"We want to set up a research project to find effective ways to operate our 33,000 kilometres (20,500 miles) of network without glyphosate to be environmentally friendly," infrastructure chief Ronald Pofalla told the weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

The World Health Organization classifies glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic".

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 31, 2019, 07:34:48 AM »
In the absence of population reduction, all 'wicked problems' are insolvable.

My understanding of wicked problems is there are no solutions to them, as solutions simply change them and often make them worse. All we can do is address a wicked problem and see what happens and try something else.
Somebody ( sorry, I forget who) observed there there are no global problems that would not be easier to solve with a lower population.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: July 30, 2019, 09:54:07 PM »
Pacific salmon pushed towards the brink:
While this article is concerned with the American West coast, salmon in Canada and Alaska are also being affected.
Here in the far north, we did not expect salmon to be killed by water conditions similar to those in California.
But they are dying in the rivers before they get to spawn.
Salmon are vital everywhere they exist naturally, but in the nutrient poor north, salmon runs provide a critical flush of nutrients to the interior of Alaska and the Yukon.
It is not only bears, birds, and humans that depend on the salmon. Stream ecology exists on the back of spawned out salmon and the very forests themselves need to be fertilized by carcasses dragged into the woods by bears.
Without salmon we are facing an imminent ecological collapse.
I don't want to sound hyperbolic, but it is really, really bad.
And so, so sad.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« on: July 30, 2019, 05:33:38 PM »
Wait a minute. What's that?

How is the ice so flexible, clearly showing the bow wave of the ship?

Can someone elaborate on that a little?

Thanks so much for sharing, Binntho. What a stunning video.

New thin sea ice is quite flexible. When we were kids we would go out on fresh ice, about 5cm thick and waves would propagate simply from our walking across it. If we stood still, a noticeable bowl would form. So, bow waves in new sea is normal.

I'm responding here to a post in the 2012/2019 thread that went a little off topic:
I'm cutting the bits that I do not wish to respond to.
I trust this is the appropriate thread...

This stuff is certainly interesting, I just wish it did not bring with it such dread.  Great to have community to collectively chew on tthe details and the scary prospects for my kids and all of of us.  Would be even more disturbing to watch this train wreck unfold alone, would be maddening actually. 

mini-speech (again) - I work in the natural sciences (ag & biology), and if people think that the general scientist community is fully aware of the pace and prospects of what's happening our spaceship Earth, my observation is that they would be wrong.  Heck even some of the people I do climate adaptation work with do not fully get the urgency.  The scientists and other smart people I interact with know the basic trajectories, but like like all of us, our  rains focus on the day to day issues.  Hard to save the world between breakfast and dinner.

 The climate crisis is so big that it is hard to react to in specific ways. But we have to take any steps we can to push a survival agenda.  In case it's news, we are heading for deep doo doo friends.

 I'm off topic for this thread and becoming a pain in the butt with yet another iteration of this speech.  Sorry, I just can't help preaching to the choir.  I just hope all us who visit the ASIF will become irritants even if it makes us irritating and predictable to our family, friends and our larger social network.   If not those of us who watch the unfolding epic changes in minute detail, then who else? Thanks for considering this request.  I will try to stick to the data hereafter -- for a while at least.

Agreed Glen. I've spent some time today trying to explain the science around water vapour as a GHG in relation to an article featuring a soil ecologist who seems to be on a really good path regarding her field, but I think has rather lost it when it comes to climate science. Of course I'm not an expert in either, so I probably screwed both topics up...
I'd appreciate a real climate scientist weighing in :D

Arctic background / Re: Polar Shipping Routes
« on: July 25, 2019, 06:40:27 PM »
Kinda like getting reassigned to Thule Air Base if you screwed-up ...
... The legislation mandates that the northern ports will host “at least one of each type of Navy or Coast Guard vessel,” including a guided-missile destroyer and a Legend-class National Security Cutter, along with a heavy polar ice breaker.

The sites will have the capacity for equipment, fuel storage and defense systems and be linked by roads to airports that can support military aircraft.

... Some longtime Arctic hands wonder if Capitol Hill sounds unrealistically ambitious about northern ports.

“It reads like, ‘Where are we going to put Naval Base Norfolk in the Arctic?’ That’s a bit of a stretch,” said retired Coast Guard Capt. Lawson Brigham, the former commander of the icebreaker Polar Sea during expeditions through the Arctic and Antarctic.

Now a global fellow as the Woodrow Wilson Center and a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher, Brigham said multiple challenges confront anyone trying to build an Arctic port from scratch, starting with finding deep water along western Alaska’s shallow coastline.

“You’ve got to have draft. You’ve got to have depth of water,” Brigham added. “You’ve got to have a proper place to moor ships, not necessarily in the ice. An Aegis-class cruiser or destroyer can’t go anywhere near the ice.”
... Planners need to realize that there’s no road or railway that connects the small towns to larger cities, Brigham said.

“It is good to take a hard look at what’s feasible and practical for a port in the United States maritime Arctic,” Brigham concluded.

For an in depth exploration of the madness behind this kind of thinking, one can do worse than read "The Firecracker Boys" by Dan O'Neil. The book describes efforts towards building a deepwater port in western Alaska. Major excavation would be required- to save time the plan was to use a series of massive hydrogen bombs. It was only through determined opposition by radical green groups that this project was halted. Well, that and the (belated) realization that a radioactive port would be of limited use...

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 23, 2019, 04:52:33 PM »
Sebastian Jones:
Alaskan university cutbacks are endangering climate research:
I hope that Natalia Shakhova's study's aren't disrupted.
Assuming that her grants are not subject to a claw back, her current projects should be OK. However, these cuts are so large that they have the potential to cripple- or even destroy- the entire University, which will certainly be disruptive.


That's one hell of a graph. I've never seen anything that shows the rebound years so vividly.


This graph certainly does show that recent alternating years have ice/no ice in July. However, I'm unclear how this illustrates a rebound as opposed to randomness.

The forum / Re: How many of you are scientists?
« on: July 23, 2019, 07:31:17 AM »
Citizen Scientist.
And I'm not being funny.
My thesis topic was on how we use citizen science.
Many citizen scientists have zero academic credentials, yet know a tremendous amount and are highly respected by lettered scientists.
So, I'm not sure how useful a question this thread poses.

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: July 23, 2019, 07:18:54 AM »
Contrails make the planet warmer:
Didn't they find a 2C increase ~9/11 when there were virtually no planes in the sky over America?
As with clouds- it's complicated, rather, it's complex. The article posits that the clouds (contrails)  produced by planes act as a blanket at night, resulting in a net warming effect. Tech changes to reduce CO2 emissions could result in thicker contrails, thus more insulation. Now, if planes were only allowed to fly in daytime...
"While CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere and has a long-lasting effect, contrails last a matter of hours at most, and their warming impact is temporary."
Regarding the 9/11 effect: "And after 9/11, when all commercial flights in the U.S. were grounded for three days, the diurnal temperature difference increased by up to 1.8 degrees C. The increase was strongest where air traffic was normally densest, said the study’s author, David Travis of the University of Wisconsin."
In other words, contrails do have a cooling effect during the day, and a warming effect at night. Which seems legit. The article does discount electrification of air travel, or the possibility we will decide to fly less, or that carbon taxes will drive behaviour away from flying.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 21, 2019, 06:14:12 PM »

Soon enough no wildcatters will have access to capital to drill expensive wells like at the Arctic. The push comes from the desire of Alaska for income. It wont be long before the "guaranteed" income they have gets slashed...

Alaska is becoming a very interesting social experiment. It firmly hitched its wagon to fossil fuels in the 1970s and appeared to prosper for decades as the largest pool of conventional oil in the U.S. produced a steady stream of royalties. The State eliminated income and sales taxes. So much money was sloshing around that a "Permanent" fund was set up to manage the unspent surpluses. This fund is broadly designed to be a savings account for the state and a portion of the interest is disbursed to all residents of Alaska. The amount varies, recently it has been around two thousand dollars a year.
As time went by, inevitably the State became more and more dependent on the oil industry, and, just as inevitably, the main oil field at Prudhoe Bay  started to run out. It is now at the point where if its flow drop much more, there will not be enough oil to fill the trans Alaska pipeline and the tap will literally be turned off. There are several options available to Alaska at this time; it has chosen to pursue the "stealing jewels from it mother" route. It is slashing all state services,  including policing, health care, education ( notoriously the University of Alaska may shut entirely) and transport. Much of coastal Alaska is dependent on ferries- including the capital Juneau. The ferries are being taken out of service and for the first time in memory, there will be no scheduled ferry service to coastal Alaska, including its capital this winter.
Alaskans have voted for an increased permanent fund dividend and a reduced level of government. If the 1002 lands of the Arctic Refuge are developed and prove to contain abundant oil and if oil prices rise and remain high, a few more years of abundant dividends await Alaskans. Otherwise, and eventually, we are witnessing a post petroleum petroleum state.

While methane emissions from past, present and projected future human bodies, is a minor source of GHG in the atmosphere, it is still interesting to note that it is increasing nonlinearly through at least 2100:

Daniela Polag et al. (2019), "Global methane emissions from the human body: Past, present and future", Atmospheric Environment,
Volume 214, 1, 116823,
You forgot the plain language summary AbrubtSLR:

Methane from farts is increasing faster than human population rise alone would indicate. While the article does not speculate on the reasons for increased fartification, it does point to the importance of considering all factors when assessing fart rates.

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: July 14, 2019, 06:09:21 PM »
And that is with us on the downslope of the 18.6 year tidal cycle.
This cycle, while real, is pretty insignificant, generating less than a half mm of difference in tide heights between lowest and highest parts of the cycle.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: July 13, 2019, 07:47:10 PM »
Here they age some of the permafrost at 700K- although there is some scepticism and ice could have persisted through so many interglacials, the evidence seems credible. Not that it matters much, but I've met many of these researchers and Froese is conservative, not given to hyperbole.
The relict ice wedge overlain by the Gold Run tephra represents the oldest ice known in North America and is evidence that permafrost has been a long-term component of the North American cyrosphere. Importantly, this finding demonstrates that permafrost has survived within the discontinuous permafrost zone since at least the early-Middle Pleistocene. This age range includes several glacial-interglacial cycles, including marine isotope stages 5e and 11, both considered to be longer and warmer than the present interglaciation

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: July 13, 2019, 06:34:55 PM »
Re: permafrost 400K BP thawing

Interesting, that's MIS11, probably hotter than Eemian. Where is this ?


In the Klondike Goldfields south of Dawson City.
I did a quick search for verification and discovered that I was wrong about the ancient permafrost- it is "only" 200K. I'll try to dig up a better resource.

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