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Topics - gerontocrat

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1
Consequences / Plant Life
« on: June 10, 2019, 07:48:18 PM »
With some trepidation, I open a new thread.

It is because I couldn't find somewhere to post the guardian article entitled
"‘Frightening’ number of plant extinctions found in global survey ".

But then again, while many reports emerge about the forests, not many reports surface in the media about the decline in what is such a major part of the web of life.

Will this thread survive or become extinct? Who knows.
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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/10/frightening-number-of-plant-extinctions-found-in-global-survey

‘Frightening’ number of plant extinctions found in global survey

Study shows 571 species wiped out, and scientists say figure is likely to be big underestimate

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Human destruction of the living world is causing a “frightening” number of plant extinctions, according to scientists who have completed the first global analysis of the issue.

They found 571 species had definitely been wiped out since 1750 but with knowledge of many plant species still very limited the true number is likely to be much higher. The researchers said the plant extinction rate was 500 times greater now than before the industrial revolution, and this was also likely to be an underestimate.

“Plants underpin all life on Earth,” said Dr Eimear Nic Lughadha, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who was part of the team. “They provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, as well as making up the backbone of the world’s ecosystems – so plant extinction is bad news for all species.”

The number of plants that have disappeared from the wild is more than twice the number of extinct birds, mammals and amphibians combined. The new figure is also four times the number of extinct plants recorded in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.

2
Science / Satellite News
« on: June 09, 2019, 10:25:41 AM »
Starting this thread with a request - anyone any news on new satellites for NSIDC and JAXA sea ice data?

I am asking because the existing satellites are, I believe, somewhat long in the tooth. Copy of post in sea ice extent data thread below..
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Quote from Gerontocrat

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Quote from: Juan C. García on Today at 06:58:36 AM

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Quote from: Rich on Today at 06:44:08 AM
Are there any plans to reduce the grid size?
There are always new satellites with better resolution. The question is if institutions like NSIDC are going to change the algorithm that they use to measure extent and take full advantage of the new instruments.

Nobody can go back in time and adjust the NSIDC data collected by the instrument on the DMSP satelliteS  to the higher resolution data collected by current instruments and maintain consistency in the record. That is why the graphs using higher-resolution data from the new instruments on the new satellites (e.g. from Wipneus) only go back a few years.

The much greater problem is the inevitability of the NSIDC record dating from 1979 ending. The satellite up there is years beyond its design life and the United States Air Force programme DMSP was killed by Mike Rogers in 2017. The last satellite is now in a museum somewhere.

I asked NSIDC a few months ago what the plan is for when this last satellite fails. The answer was along the lines of "under discussion". It will be a real shame if this unique record is cut short.

As Arctic Sea Ice Shows Record Decline, Scientists Prepare to Go Blind
https://www.newsdeeply.com/oceans/articles/2017/05/30/as-arctic-sea-ice-shows-record-decline-scientists-prepare-to-go-blind

Air Force unveils $500M satellite museum piece
https://www.c4isrnet.com/home/2017/12/22/500m-never-flown-air-force-weather-satellite-goes-on-display/
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And things are not much better at JAXA. JAXA’s GCOM-W1 satellite was launched in 2012 with the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) on board.

Its design life was 3 to 5 years.

3
Policy and solutions / Water Resource Management
« on: January 19, 2019, 09:16:43 PM »
The only thread specifically about water is in "Consequences- Water Wars".
A thread about how humankind is, or is not managing water resources seems a good idea. 
Time will tell.

an example....
This study gives a really good look at the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of desalination and possibilities for the future. It also shows that we are talking big numbers.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KZxjEYk01HEdmDhsLmF4RzV5UXu-mwBd/view
The state of desalination and brine production: A global outlook

Apart from the problem of brine production (salt and other ooh-nasty trace elements being concentrated and dumped in the ocean (shown by the study to be underestimated), the study also shows that at the moment the cost limits the use of the fresh water produced to domestic and industrial use in relatively high income countries.

There is a BBC article based on this study at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46863146 . It finishes on an optimistic note - we will see.
 
Concerns over increase in toxic brine from desalination plants
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"There is an urgent need to make desalination technologies more affordable and extend them to low-income and lower-middle income countries. At the same time, though, we have to address potentially severe downsides of desalination - the harm of brine and chemical pollution to the marine environment and human health," said Dr Vladimir Smakhtin, a co-author of the paper from the UN University.

"The good news is that efforts have been made in recent years and, with continuing technology refinement and improving economic affordability, we see a positive and promising outlook."

4
Greenland and Arctic Circle / Greenland 2019 Melt Season
« on: January 13, 2019, 08:37:02 AM »
https://www.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/

2019 MELT SEASON - 2018-2019 SMB SEASON As at 12 Jan 2019

Some dry days and wet days so far this year.

And for the next 5 to 10 days it looks like,
- no melt,
- below average precipitation,
- SMB balance year to date a bit more below average.


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SMB = Surface Mass Balance, which excludes mass loss from calving that on average is greater than SMB gain in the year. i.e. usually Greenland loses mass every year.

GRACE follow-on data - where are you?
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5
Arctic background / Arctic Background Data Library
« on: February 22, 2018, 09:38:06 PM »
With considerable trepidation, I start a new topic.

A lot of stuff we post is of long-term interest that should be kept, but gets lost into history as the seasons change and so do the threads, I don't know about you, but my PC is cluttered up and old, I am losing stuff already. So I suggest we need a place to put it, or at least the links. The ASI graphs are already safely locked away but accessible.

I found a site today that many of you probably know
- http://sites.uci.edu/zlabe/arctic-temperatures/

It is the sort of data that is of long-term interest. An example is the 925hPa temperature history from 1958 to 2017, I had never come across before, which no doubt Zachary will keep going (automated already?)
http://sites.uci.edu/zlabe/files/2018/01/TAS_Arctic_NCEP_OctDec17_composite.gif

If you use it, please note the title "Arctic Background Data Library" - i.e. for data, not opinion. no "near human extinction" diatribes).

A brief description of the data and the link to it (external or internal within ASIF) might be all that is necessary. I will be posting a few tomorrow.

End of message

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