Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ocean Overheating Causing Beginning of Massive New Coral Bleaching.

The third recorded global coral bleaching event may be underway.
"Coral reefs around the world — from Hawaii to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, eastward all the way to the Bahamas and beyond — are in jeopardy of being severely damaged or even dying because of a dangerous spike in ocean temperatures, scientists say.
"Conditions are so dire that, provided coral bleaching soon spreads from the Florida Keys to the Bahamas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expected to declare as soon as two weeks from now that the third global coral bleaching event is here. There’s already evidence of coral bleaching in three major ocean basins.
“ 'It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck, and we’re waiting for the cars to pile up on this side of the track,' says Mark Eakin, the coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, in an interview with Mashable."

NOAA to "declare [a bleaching event] as soon as two weeks from now" and "already evidence of coral bleaching in the three major ocean basins" means the current El Nino, as strong and monstrous as it is, cannot cool down the oceans soon enough to avoid this event. The article also states that "many coral reefs expected to perish by the middle of the century if recent trends continue." which means (1) we need Peak Oil on purpose, now, reducing energy use and switching to renewables, and (2) even if we reduce our emissions to zero, the 405 ppm CO2 and the 480 ppm CO2e means we will still have these global warming trends continuing for as long as forty years, or more, until the ice, oceans and atmosphere finally reached equilibrium.

There is a new study out that shows information can be extracted from samples of coral reefs to determine what the paleoclimatic record, i.e., the prehistoric climate, was like.

From Science Daily via Colorado Bob at Robertscribbler:
 Fossil corals have the unique advantage that they can be precisely dated by radiometric uranium-series dating, giving an age scale that can be directly compared to the ice core records.
And, now scientists have discovered another effect of global warming which is an amplifying of  semiannual to twice-annual variation in Pacific Ocean sea level, perhaps in both amplitude and frequency, causing South Seas' islands' coral reefs to become exposed to the air and die back as a result.

Also from Science Daily via Colorado Bob at Robertscribbler:
During El Niño, warm water and high sea levels shift eastward, leaving in their wake low sea levels in the western Pacific. Scientists have already shown that this east-west seesaw is often followed six months to a year later by a similar north-south sea level seesaw with water levels dropping by up to one foot (30 cm) in the Southern Hemisphere. Such sea level drops expose shallow marine ecosystems in South Pacific Islands, causing massive coral die-offs with a foul smelling tide called taimasa (pronounced [kai' ma'sa]) by Samoans.
Which means there will be more catastrophic diebacks of the coral reefs. Better start transplanting them now. Peak Oil will not stop this.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The RENT Is too Damn High!

I read this this morning at the Daily Kos and it really made my blood boil. See, I'm very very poor, I have to post these at the New Orleans Public Library with limited time (1 to 2 hours combined with other work to do) and also I can't afford the $1,200 a month rent (now $1,500!?) for a two-bedroom apartment in New Orleans. Which means I have to make * ahem * "other arrangements."

The RENT is too damn high!

From the Daily Kos:

The rent crisis will only get worse.

Mon Sep 21, 2015 at 11:29 AM PDT
In December 2013, Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, gave this warning:
 "We are in the midst of the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known."
Few paid attention to the warning, and of those who did, even fewer would have guessed that the crisis had only just started.

Today a new report came out showing that the most likely future scenario means difficult times are in store for renters.
The number of U.S. households that spend at least half their income on rent—the "severely cost-burdened," in the lingo of housing experts—could increase 25 percent to 14.8 million over the next decade. More than 1 million households headed by Hispanics and more than 1 million headed by the elderly could pass into those ranks...
To put that into perspective, a household that spends half of its income on rent means no savings, no retirement, no health insurance, no break from living paycheck-to-paycheck.

While this is really hitting the older generation, it is showing effects on the younger generation as well.
One lasting scar from the deepest recession since the 1930s is the phenomenon of young adults, facing their own financial challenges, forced to squeeze in the homes of their parents. And new data show the trend is getting worse, not better .

In 2015, 15.1 percent of  25 to 34 year olds were living with their parents, a fourth straight annual increase, according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data by the Population Reference Bureau in Washington. The proportion is the highest since at least 1960, according to demographer Mark Mather, associate vice president with PRB.

"It takes young people longer these days to find jobs with decent wages," Mather said. "Young adults need to spend more time getting the necessary education and skills before they can become self-sufficient. The recession likely exacerbated this trend."
Indubitably. After I graduated from College down in Miami, I had to live with roommates -- sometimes bad roommates -- in apartments and condos in so-called suburban "neighborhoods" where the defining characteristic was endless driving utopia sprawl. I really hated it. Hated it so much, that I got a job in Boston, moved up north, and had to live with bad roommates AGAIN due to the extremely high cost of rental housing there at the time. The local media even said Bostonians had the lowest real wages of any metropolitan area at the time (1985).

And of course, it's only gotten worse up there since then. Just go to Craig's List and check out the rentals for greater Boston!

And now youth are increasingly having to live in with their parents. Wonderful. Of course, the parents' houses are usually in sprawl-burbia, which means they have to drive everywhere so and until they can dig themselves out of student debt and save up enough to buy a house. By that time the cities will be all gentrified and they'll have to live in the inner ring of suburbia with all the ghetto trash, or find a house close to their parents'. Either option is not good because all this is contingent on us Americans to continue to get enough raw materials and consumer goods to keep up this auto-centred pattern of living. As if Peak Oil were no object... the downslopes of oil and other fossil fuel extractions to come will make these same suburbs implode.

Several Items Today, September 23, 2015.

Global Warming was evident in the 1940s -- not just the tropics, but the Arctic, too. Rachel Carson, in the 1962 edition of her The Sea around Us, noted signs of climactic warming in Greenland in the 1940s including the arrival of warmer-climate plants and birds.

You can probably pick up a copy of it, new or used, at your local mom-and-pop bookstore. If that fails, there’s always and friends.

From dtlange at Robertscribbler:
– GIZMODO 0922

“the fact that most big research universities are located in countries with seasons— what’s happening in the tropics has been largely ignored.

We Could Have Discovered Climate Change As Early As the 1940s if We Had Just Looked

“Remarkably our research shows that you could already see clear signs of global warming in the tropics by the 1960s but in parts of Australia, South East Asia and Africa it was visible as early as the 1940s,” said lead study author Andrew King in a statement. (That’s decades before the the fore-thinking researchers at Exxon discovered global warming!)

Climate change is hitting high latitude ecosystems the hardest — the Arctic, for instance, is warming twice as fast as the world at large. For that reason — and the fact that most big research universities are located in countries with seasons— what’s happening in the tropics has been largely ignored.
But it will take another ten to thirty years for the signal-to-noise ratio to confirm it; i.e., the signal of global warming exceeds the  noise of natural variability.

Thirty years!? It’ll be too late to act then. Even ten years is cutting it.

With all the mass media brainwashing going on, who will wake all the masses before then? Is it even possible????

From Abdel Adamski on Robertscribbler:
Researchers reveal when global warming first appeared

While temperature records generally showed pronounced indications of global warming, heavy rainfall events have yet to make their mark. The models showed a general increase in extreme rainfall but the global warming signal was not strong enough yet to rise above the expected natural variation.

“We expect the first heavy precipitation events with a clear global warming signal will appear during winters in Russia, Canada and northern Europe over the next 10-30 years,” said co-author Dr Ed Hawkins from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, UK.

“This is likely to bring pronounced precipitation events on top of the already existing trend towards increasingly wet winters in these regions.”
This is going to deprive Russia of more and more Natural Gas, and the revenues from exporting it...

From humortra at Robertscribbler:
A new expedition to one of the mysterious Siberian giant holes found in recent years has concluded that it is a warning sign of a deadly threat to northern regions as the climate warms.

Scientists from the respected Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics insist the process by which a series of craters formed was caused by the melting of gas hydrates and the emission of methane.

This accumulates in a pingo – a mound of earth-covered ice – which then erupts causing the formation of the strange holes that have appeared on Russia’s Arctic fringe.

A pingo believed to be poised to explode ‘at any moment’ is now being constantly monitored by a Russian space satellite in an attempt to catch the moment when the eruption occurs.
Not so much apocalyptic as hearalding the coming global superstorms.

From Colorado Bob at Robertscribbler:
“It Felt Like the Apocalypse”: Israel Hit with Extreme and Unusual Weather on Jewish New Year
“It felt like the apocalypse, the rain has been torrential, there were about 10 lightning strikes in seconds, and even with your windshield wipers on high, it was impossible to see anything,” Mark Katz, a National Parks Authority employee, told the Times of Israel.

Since the beginning of September, Israel has experienced a series of extreme weather changes, beginning last week with a sudden sandstorm that blanketed the country in thick yellow dust.
The record setting five-day dust storm was also accompanied by a heat-wave, with new records reached across Israel in temperatures and air pollution.

Simple. Boil off all the water til there’s nothing left but salt. they [sic!]* you can market it as rock salt, or bury it.


From Maria at Robertscribbler:
Solar Desalination in California. The company will be desalinating irrigation drainage in the Central Valley. The article doesn’t talk about where all that brine will go….What is an appropriate method way to deal with desal brine?


“Less than one percent of the world’s desalination is powered by renewable energy sources today, but that could all change soon if companies like California-based WaterFX have anything to say about it. Its Aqua4 “concentrated solar still” (CSS) uses a concentrated solar thermal collector to compress heat, create steam and distill water at 30 times the efficiency of natural evaporation. It can produce 65,000 gallons of freshwater per day—and it can desalinate a wide range of water sources, not just seawater.

"Solar desalination is a technique used to remove salt from water via a specially designed still that uses solar energy to boil seawater and capture the resulting steam, which is in turn cooled and condensed into pristine freshwater. Salt and other impurities are left behind in the still.
Less than one percent of the world’s desalination is powered by renewable energy sources today, but that could all change soon if companies like California-based WaterFX have anything to say about it. Its Aqua4 “concentrated solar still” (CSS) uses a concentrated solar thermal collector to compress heat, create steam and distill water at 30 times the efficiency of natural evaporation. It can produce 65,000 gallons of freshwater per day—and it can desalinate a wide range of water sources, not just seawater.

"To wit, the company will start employing solar desalination to treat some 1.6 billion gallons of salt-laden irrigation drainage from California’s drought-stricken, agriculturally-rich Central Valley next year. Crops extract nearly pure water from soil, leaving behind salt and other potentially toxic minerals like selenium that naturally occur in the water. These excess minerals must be drained from the soil, or crop productivity plunges. By treating this drainage, WaterFX can prevent about percent of farmland in California from being retired every year to make room for storage for untreated drainage water."
Maria on Robertscribbler also responded to the second item above. My response to her remarks follows them:
I saw your comment up thread re: we don’t have decades. I recently learned that the big People’s Climate March was partially subsidized by FF. we know that Paris talks are being partially funded by big oil & major emitters. I’m afraid that unless the grass roots-/-county-to-county and state to state citizens & their leadership take bold action? Decades, I’m afraid. Hope I’m wrong. And that a massive positive feedback loop re: renewals ensues, giving FF & nat’l leadership no choice but to follow.
Crap. Combined with corporate dominance of our “free” news media (including Russia’s) means any such attempts to get Peak FF’s before their natural peaking at least 15 years from now (too many in my opinion) will be met with derision and … get ready now … “ZOMG DOOMER PORN!!!!!!” spoken from every news media mouthpiece.

And the same media will say the American Way of Life (Suburban Utopia and Happy Motoring! TM) is still non-negotiable.

And people will fall for it, especially here in the United States, for we are the World’s easiest marks. And that is the reason why our country will do the right thing after trying everything else.

And there’s something like 8,000 GT of Carbon embedded in the permafrost and the sea beds, which are melting or getting ready to melt as we speak. Sam Caranas, not to mention the paleolithic-paleoclimactic record, has demonstrated that rapid uncontrolled releases of Carbon, especially in the form of Methane, are likely to lead to a hot house extinction right quick. But the ice will stick around for a thousand more years or so, which will put a brake on uncontrolled global overheating.

Sum it all up, and we face Near Term Human Extinction, maybe even NTE, (by 3015).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Climate Change Extremely Bad for Planet's Forests.

If we go Business As Usual (IPCC RCP 8.5 carbon emission line) we'll have climate change that will impact the world's forests severely. A mortal threat to the planet's three trillion trees by wicked intense forest fires, like the ones in California this summer and in the recent past.

From the New York Times:

­Areas in the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico had major fires in 1996 and 2011. 
The woodlands have yet to regenerate. Photo Credit: Nick Cote for The New York Times        

NEAR COCHITI CANYON, N.M. — The hills here are beautiful, a rolling, green landscape of grasses and shrubs under a late-summer sky. But it is starkly different from what was here before: vast forests of ponderosa pine. The repeated blazes that devastated the trees were caused by simple things: an improperly extinguished campfire in 1996, a tree falling on a power line in 2011.

What happened after the fire, however — or, more accurately, what has not happened — was a departure from the normal course of events.

“We are in the middle of this 30,000-acre, near-treeless hole,” said Craig D. Allen, a research ecologist with the United States Geological Survey. If historical patterns had held, the remaining pines would by now be preparing seeds to drop and start the cycle of regrowth.

But the mother pines are nowhere in sight. Nature’s script has been disrupted by a series of unusually intense, unusually large fires — a product of many factors that include government firefighting policies, climate change and bad luck.
­Flames from the Valley Fire covered a hillside along California 29 in Lower Lake, CA on Sept. 13, 2015.
Photo Credit Noah Berger for Reuters.         

Well we probably won't get RCP 8.5 thanks to Peak Oil, which will cause Peak natural gas and Peak Coal. Doesn't mean we'll escape devastation of Mother earth's forests, though. Just less than expected (I hope).

Reason Why There's a Huge Cold Spot in the Atlantic between Greenland and Ireland and the UK

There are three extremely deep canyons in the southeast side of Greenland. The melt waters on top of Greenland's ice cap are forming des moulins bleues, running down to the bottom, pressing up on, cracking and melting the ice further, and flowing out to sea via these canyons.

There are three very deep canyons in southeastern Greenland, two close to the tip and one opposite Iceland.
 Image Credit:, via Colorado Bob on Robertscribbler.

UPDATE: a couple of days ago, the Daily Kos came out with an important article on this very subject: Sudden drainage, via massive chasm, of Subglacial lakes in Greenland described as catastrophic.

Streams and rivers that form on top of the Greenland ice sheet during spring and summer are the main agent transporting melt runoff from the ice sheet to the ocean. Image Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Maria-José Viñas via the Daily Kos.

The Greenland ice sheet is the largest body of permanent ice in the Northern Hemisphere. Climate Change is happening swiftly in the Arctic, and consequently it is causing rapid and relentless melting of the sheet from both above (Albedo or dark ice) and below the ice due to warming ocean temperatures as well as large volumes of warm melt water at the bedrock). Most of us know that this run away melting is raising sea level rise across the Globe. The hydrologic system of the Greenland ice sheet is extremely complex and there has been little data about how it works for some time, but slowly we are beginning to solve some of it's mysteries. Each summer, the hydrological system becomes activated as massive amounts of melt water is produced on its surface, evaporates into the atmosphere, percolates into partially formed layers of ice, and feeds runoff into supraglacial lakes (a lake formed on top of the ice sheet), streams and rivers to the ice sheet margins. Recently 2 sub-glacial lakes were discovered in Greenland. These lakes form below the ice and can stay unfrozen for decades. Particularly unusual is the fact that these lakes are associated with Antarctica and not the Arctic. They were unknown there until recently. The sub-glacial lake can be stable for decades, but can drain in one season and refill quickly with melt water from the surface. We are familiar with the dramatic calving at marine terminating glaciers but what is less evident is the oddity of surface melting and what happens to the water for land terminating glaciers with it's sub and supra glacial lakes.

Scientists have discovered a crater, shown here, which had once been the site of a sub-glacial lake. Image credit: Ian Howat / DigitalGlobe Inc / via the Daily Kos.

A 'whirlpool' and crack on the Petermann glacier. Geophysicist Dr Richard Bates, of the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St. Andrews, takes 'casts' of temperature, pressure, current and salinity. He makes casts - dropping a CTD probe (Conductivity Temp Depth) into the pool and pulling it back up at a slow speed...
 via the Daily Kos.

The central mystery related to Greenland hydrology is how much melt water is lost to the ocean and thereby contributing to the rate of global sea level rise. Prior to late 2013, many thought that the bedrock under the ice sheet was relatively flat and that melt from inland glaciers would pond there and perhaps not contribute to SLR. "We now know that there are many channels in the bedrock. These channels potentially connects the interior ice-sheet, its plumbing, and melt water to Petermann Fjord".
Hidden under a mile of ice is a canyon that stretches for at least 465 miles from Greenland’s interior to its northwest coast at Petermann Fjord. NASA's Operation Ice Bridge found that parts of the canyon are a half mile deep and over 6 miles wide. The Grand Canyon in Arizona, for comparison purposes, is 277 miles long and over a mile at its deepest and 18 miles at it's widest. The researchers who discovered it have named it "paleofluvial megacanyon". Not a sexy name to be sure, but the name means that the "canyon was carved by an ancient river well before Greenland’s ice sheet covered it up some 3.5 million years ago".
Climate Central notes the potential feedback loops. They are disturbing and grim.
Increased ice melt from this, as well as other surface melting due to increasing air temperatures could make Greenland a major contributor to sea level rise by the end of the 21st century. The melting of Greenland’s glaciers has also added a large boost of freshwater to the North Atlantic which could alter ocean currents and the ocean’s ability to take up carbon dioxide.

The ice melt will continue and increase. Combined with unexpected Methane clathrate releases, it quickly could really mess up our coastal settlements and seaports, among causing other very unwelcome things. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Impossible Just Happened in Texas

From Business Insider:
In the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, the mighty state of Texas was asleep.

The honky-tonks in Austin were shuttered, the air-conditioned office towers of Houston were powered down, and the wind whistled through the dogwood trees and live oaks on the gracious lawns of Preston Hollow.

Out in the desolate flats of West Texas, the same wind was turning hundreds of wind turbines, producing tons of electricity at a time when comparatively little supply was needed.

And then a very strange thing happened: The so-called spot price of electricity in Texas fell toward zero, hit zero, and then went negative for several hours.
Business Insider: The Impossible Just Happened in Texas

Extravagantly Wasteful Suburban Lifestyle in the Desert.

Note how all the portion of the California Desert Valley shown below is as green as all of Ireland, and how everything is sprawled out and accessible only by 4-lane and 6-lane highways. Utterly extravagant, as if Peak Oil were no object, and California were not presently in a water shortage.

"Homes and grassy fairways cover a swath of southern La Quinta on April 15, 2015."
Photo and Caption Credit: Jay Calderon/ Desert Sun (via dtlange / Robertscribbler). 

Herr Trump

Slightly OT from If Peak Oil Were No Object (The Donald does want to "make America great again" which requires no such thing as peak oil), but it's too good to pass up. This is a cartoon of Donald trump with his bad combover doing the Sieg Heil!. It's funny but it's also erroneous. Why? After the cartoon.

Cartoon Credit: © 2015 Lalo Alcaraz, Universal Uclick via Daily Kos
It's his TIE that should be doing the Sieg Heil, in acknowledgement of him. Much like a Dilbert tie.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

On Global Warming and Ice Ages

From Robertscribbler:

Colorado Bob posted:
By 1977, an Exxon senior scientist named James Black was, according to his own notes, able to tell the company’s management committee that there was “general scientific agreement” that what was then called the greenhouse effect was most likely caused by man-made CO2; a year later, speaking to an even wider audience inside the company, he said that research indicated that if we doubled the amount of carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere, we would increase temperatures two to three degrees Celsius. That’s just about where the scientific consensus lies to this day. “Present thinking,” Black wrote in summary, “holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”
And I responded: "And back then the news media were telling us that we were falling headlong into a new ice age. And it was not hard to believe them, in fact hard not to believe them, because they interviewed the minority of scientists who hypothesized that, and because Boston and New York Harbors had ice floes in them.

"Can we convict ExxonMobil — and the corporate media — of Crimes against Humanity, and Crimes against Nature, and sentence them to corporate death?"

Indeed. The time for decision according to Mr. Black was 1982-1987, that is, 33 to 28 years ago. Now we have blown through that and as a result, Earth's atmosphere has 405 ppm CO2 and 480 ppm CO2e.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Some Items from around the Net Today.

Three developments that are bad, the first very, very bad -- i.e., a new, almost fully-automated gigantic seaport. Very destructive of highly skilled, blue-collar jobs in my opinion. Let's see if this will be operational when fossil fuel extraction, particularly oil extraction, starts declining and in a big way.

From The Guardian - Inside the London megaport you didn’t know existed
London Gateway was built by Dubai, is twice the size of the City of London, is run by robots, has the world’s largest cranes – and it’s where everything you buy will soon come from. London’s docks are back in business.

…Running almost 3km along the Thames estuary is a £1.5bn new megaport that has literally redrawn the coastline of Essex, and wants to make equally radical shifts to the UK’s consumer supply chain.

Welcome to DP World London Gateway, the latest international trophy of the oil-rich emirate of Dubai, and one of the biggest privately funded infrastructure projects the UK has ever seen. It is a gargantuan undertaking (on the scale of Crossrail, Terminal 5 or HS2) that’s projected to have a bigger economic impact than the Olympics – but you might not even know it was happening. The port has been up and running for almost two years, with two of its six berths now complete and a third well on the way.

As if this isn't already beginning to happen.

From ThinkProgress - This Is Your Brain On Climate Change
“We spend vast amounts of time and personal energy trying to calculate the most urgent threats posed by climate change. Washington, D.C. psychiatrist and climate activist Lise Van Susteren, however, says the most insidious danger may already be upon us. She’s not talking about heat, drought, floods, severe storms, or rising seas. She’s focused on the psychological risks posed by global warming.

 Van Susteren has co-authored a report on the psychological effects of climate change that predicts Americans will suffer “depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, substance abuse, suicides, and widespread outbreaks of violence,” in the face of rising temperatures, extreme weather, and scarce resources. Van Susteren and her co-author Kevin Coyle write that counselors and first responders “are not even close to being prepared to handle the scale and intensity of impacts that will arise from the harsher conditions and disasters that global warming will unleash.”

And thanks to the developments in the Jet Stream that Jennifer Francis predicted, there is already climate warming amplification in the Arctic -- about 2x or more the global average temperature anamoly since 1880.

From Eureka Alert - Arctic mosquitoes thriving under climate change, Dartmouth study finds
HANOVER, N.H. – Warming temperatures are causing Arctic mosquitoes to grow faster and emerge earlier, significantly boosting their population and threatening the caribou they feast on, a Dartmouth College study finds.

The study predicts the mosquitoes’ probability of surviving and emerging as adults will increase by more than 50 percent if Arctic temperatures rise 2 °C. The findings are important because changes in the timing and intensity of their emergence affect their role as swarming pests of people and wildlife, as pollinators of tundra plants and as food for other species, including Arctic and migratory birds.

Well here's a good development which hopefully won't be adversely affected by peak oil. Check out the photo of the interior of one of the apartments: the poster on the wall is actually a site plan of the constructed apartment complex -- looks very New Urban.

Return of the prefabs: inside Richard Rogers' Y:Cube homes for homeless people
With riotously bright colours, Rogers’s ‘move-on’ housing scheme is dressed in the child-like garb of a My First House. But design niggles mean nothing to the tenants getting their own homes for the first time.

Photograph Credit: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

“I still can’t quite believe that the same architects who designed Terminal 5 and the Cheesegrater have designed my house,” says Wendy Omollo. “To have people as grand as that doing low-cost housing projects is really quite amazing.”

Omollo has been homeless since January, but this week she will join 35 others when she moves into the YMCA’s first factory-built “move-on” housing scheme, designed by none other than multi-award winning, international airport designing Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. While Richard Rogers’ practice graces this year’s Stirling prize shortlist for the sixth time, with the controversial Neo Bankside development and its £22m penthouses, it might come as a surprise to learn that a little further south, in the London borough of Merton, his office has just completed this scheme for a cost of around £45,000 per apartment, to be rented at less than the council’s affordable housing allowance.

Developed over the last few years in partnership with the YMCA London South West, manufacturers SIG and project managers Aecom, this 36-unit “Y:Cube” project is the practice’s latest foray into off-site manufactured housing, a dream Richard Rogers has entertained since his “Zip-Up” concept house in the 1960s – an unrealised fantasy of a modular pink prefab pod on stilts.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

End Triassic, End Permian, End Eocene Extinctions Marked by SEVERE C-13 Carbon Release.

This information was posted recently by Leland Palmer at Robertscribbler's latest article, New Study — Risk of Significant Methane Release From East Siberian Arctic Shelf Still Growing:
During previous mass extinction events, carbon isotope excursions consistent with the release of hundreds of billions or trillions of tons of carbon from the methane hydrates occurred. This has happened several times, not just once or twice. 

Generally there is flood basalt activity going on, releasing massive amounts of CO2, much like our current fossil fuel use. But the flood basalt activity generally seems to precede the sharp mass extinction event, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of years, and often seems to go on after the mass extinction event. 

Methane release from the hydrates, triggered by flood basalt release of CO2, is the best mass extinction hypothesis to explain all of the geological evidence, I think. The sudden methane release hypothesis has the most explanatory power, the most predictive ability, and even makes quantitative predictions that turn out to be correct. It is consistent with all the geological evidence. When a new claim is made that contradicts the methane release hypothesis, that claim generally does not hold up, and turns out to be wrong. 

The methane release hypothesis turns out to be a unifying theory – it constitutes a general theory of most or maybe all mass extinctions.

Link: Nota bene an excellent graphic of the End-Triassic with C-13 content spike consistent with the End-Triassic mass extinction.

Leland Palmer further notes that we don't want an End-Anthropocene extinction either, but with all the fossil fuels we've combusted up so far we just might get it. With 6,800 billion tons of methane clathrates in the Arctic and 1,600 billion tons of Carbon in the Arctic permafrost, I agree.

UPDATE: Mr. Palmer has since posted a graphic of the  negative Carbon Isotope Excursion (CIE) from the End Permian -- the mother of all smelly hothouse extinctions.

These repeated sudden CIE events, coupled with hyperthermal mass extinction events, are good consistent evidence of methane release from the hydrates. There have been maybe 20 or more of these flood basalt eruption / sudden negative CIE / extinction events, and hundreds of smaller apparent releases, I think. So, maybe our hydrates are less stable than we think.

Considering that the hydrates up in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf are already letting loose, I think they are a LOT less stable!

Friday, September 11, 2015

My Other Blogs.

Presently I have three blogs going on.

This one, Fin des Voies Rapides (If Peak Oil Were No Object); and two others, International Highway Makeover 2 and 2015 Is Strange!

This one, as I've announced already, is being put back to its stated purpose reporting on peak oil and expanded to include climate change, since the Warmists always assume that humanity will be able to get to about 20,000 gigatonnes (20 GT = 20 thousand billion tons) more of fossil fuels in an economical, profitable manner at a price the consumers can afford.

International Highway Makeover 2 will go back to Route markers that I have designs for.

And 2015 Is Strange! will continue to report on our weird weather due to climate change.

My old crucifixion articles will be reposted in a blog called Crux Blog if that name's not taken, or some name like it.


A demain...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Methane Warning from the Arctic!

The Royal Society has commissioned a study performed by the now well-known husband and wife team from Russia, Natasha Shakhova and Igor Semiletov, concerning the outgassing of methane (CH4) from the East Siberian Sea Continental Shelf (ESS), which is essentially frozen tundra that drowned when the glaciers receded about 10,000 years ago and since then. There are about 1,600 billion (that's a b) tons (GT) of CH4 frozen in hydrates.

Now that the Arctic is getting warmer, the marine ice cap is suffering a catastrophic collapse to the fifth or sixth smallest sea ice area on record, warm waters from the Atlantic and Pacific are sneaking in and storms are churning the near-shore Arctic seas from surface to bottom, methane is escaping from the Arctic Seafloor at an increasing rate, particularly at the ESS area. Previously Shakhova and Semiletov stated that 50 GT of CH4 could escape at any time.

Natasha Shakhova on Methane Hydrates.

And what the Royal Society study has to say is that the Risk of Significant Methane Release from [the] East Siberian Arctic Shelf [is] Still Growing.

From Robertscribbler:

Large plumes of methane bubbling up from the Arctic Ocean sea-bed, saturating the water column, venting into the air, adding significantly more heat forcing to an already dangerous, fossil fuel-based, accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s a nightmare scenario. One in which human-forced warming, already at 1 C above 1880s levels, is further amplified through the feedback release of ancient carbon stored over the past 8 million years of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. And a recent study by the now famous Semiletov and Shakhova team provides still more reason for appropriate concern that such an event may be in the works.

Shakhova and Semiletov’s new study produces an increasingly clear picture of a destabilizing organic carbon store beneath thawing permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf region. The above images show organic carbon concentration [left frame] and rate of release of methane in grams per square meter per day over observed regions.

By now, many of us are familiar with the controversy over the potential risks of significant-to-catastrophic methane release due to human-forced warming of the Arctic.  An increasing number of observational specialists are pointing toward a risk that rapid human warming will set off the release of still more carbon in the Arctic. For some, this release is expected to be gradual. Others believe there’s enough risk of a rapid release to warrant an equally rapid emergency response.
But regardless of where you stand on the issue, new research coming to light from some of the Arctic’s top observational scientists more clearly describes what appears to be an increasingly dangerous situation.
Increasingly dangerous is right! The present CH4 overburden is about 1846 ppb (1.85 ppm) which equates to about 5 GT of methane in the atmosphere. An addition of 50 GT of this stuff would add about 18.5 ppm for a grand total of 20.4 ppm of CH4. At 25 times the heat-trapping efficacy of CO2 over the lifetime of methane in the air would yield an equivalent of 510 ppm CO2 E, increasing the global mean temperature by 3 degrees C quite quickly, to about 4 deg C above 1880s values.

Well at least a PB study is suggesting we are nearing peak oil demand. But it might not save us from Hell on Earth! This could be one of those situations where Peak Oil really is no object.

Fin des Voies Rapides, certainement!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mega Dust Bowl by 2100. And a Refugee Crisis the World Has Never Seen.

As Joe Romm writes in this here article at Think-Progress, by 2100 continued fossil-fuel combustion will cause vast stretches of North America to become a massive dustbowl. Basically, everything from Panama to the the western and central US, and Canada's breadbasket, will be impossible to live in because of centuries-long drought.

Remember that the Medieval Warming period eventually caused a two-century long drought that killed off the Anastazi Indians' culture. They all had to leave, it was so bad.


The darkest areas are equivalent to the 1930s USA Great Plains' dustbowl.
From Joe Romm's article:

"The Syria conflict has triggered the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II,” explains the European Commission. As Climate Progress has been reporting for years, and as a major 2015 study confirmed, “human-caused climate change was a major trigger of Syria’s brutal civil war."

But the unprecedented multi-year drought that preceded the Syrian civil war is mild compared to the multi-decade megadroughts that unrestricted carbon pollution will make commonplace in the U.S. Southwest, Mexico, and Central America, according to many recent studies.

Given the current political debate over immigration policy, it’s worth asking two questions. First: if the United States, through our role as the greatest cumulative carbon polluter in history, plays a central role in rendering large parts of Mexico and Central America virtually uninhabitable, where will the refugees go? And second: will we have some moral obligation to change our immigration policy?

If we don’t take far stronger action on climate change, then here is what a 2015 NASA study projected the normal climate of North America will look like. The darkest areas have soil moisture comparable to that seen during the 1930s Dust Bowl.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's been a long time.

I've been busy for quite a while filling paperwork to obtain pro bono legal help solve two real-life financial problems before they blow up in my face. Now that they're done and I will receive an answer in eighteen days, I can add new posts to this blog.

This blog has strayed far from its original intent: the effects of peak oil and related subjects. I've been into the gay marriage fight in California, now surprisingly pleasantly successfully concluded, Bradley now Chelsea Manning's trials, crucifixion for a few years, the Historical Jesus (who?), local things and whatnot. It's time for me to bring this blog back to its original subject.

I may not get to write my own posts for a long time, but I'll keep the blog fed with repostings, usually from the Robertscribbler and Our Finite World blogs. Tomorrow I'll start the reposts. See ya then!