Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Sky Was the Limit.

A lovely cartoon by Tom Toles of the Washington Post.

Source and Copyright (c) The Washington Post.
This post consists of snippets of information found at Robertscribbler.

Tips o' th' hat to Robertscribbler, dtlange, coloradobob, june, and patternreplicas.

A CO2 milestone in Earth’s history
Antarctic field project captures 400 ppm levels

400 ppm of Carbon Dioxide now seen over West Antarctic Peninsula.
May 12, 2016 | Earth’s atmosphere is crossing a major threshold, as high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2)—the leading driver of recent climate change—are beginning to extend even to the globe’s most remote region. Scientists flying near Antarctica this winter captured the moment with airborne CO2 sensors during a field project to better understand the Southern Ocean’s role in global climate.

This illustration shows the atmosphere near Antarctica in January, just as air masses over the Southern Ocean began to exceed 400 parts per million of CO2. The 400 ppm level is regarded as a milestone by climate scientists, as the last time concentrations of the heat-trapping gas reached such a point was millions of years ago, when temperatures and sea levels were far higher.

The field project, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and known as ORCAS, found that there is still air present in the Southern Hemisphere that has less than 400 ppm of CO2—but just barely. In the north, the atmosphere had first crossed that threshold in 2013, as shown by observations taken at Mauna Loa, Hawaii…

‘The air found by ORCAS with less than 400 ppm of CO2 was located in a wedge at lower altitudes. At higher altitudes, the air had already exceeded 400 ppm. This pattern is mostly a consequence of the way the air circulates in the region. At these southerly latitudes, the air arrives from the Northern Hemisphere at higher elevations and then mixes downward.’
Proof That Koch-Backed Professors Are Using Universities To Spread Right-Wing Policies

“Economic freedom centers” — or institutes with conservative, libertarian missions that are backed by the Charles Koch Foundation — are tightly controlled by the interests of the conservative foundation, according to remarks from Koch-backed professors and executives at the Association of Private Enterprise Education’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.

The remarks were recorded by UnKoch My Campus, a group that focuses on the influence of powerful donors on research and coursework in universities, and shared by Greenpeace staff. At the event, Koch-backed professors and Charles Koch Foundation executives said that students act as “foot soldiers” for free enterprise ideals, deans will take money from anyone, and the slightest mention of the foundation’s legal team can bring universities back in line.

Koch-backed institutes made their way back into the news lately after recent reports that $5 million was earmarked for these centers at Arizona public universities. …
Another amplifying feedback to human-forced warming. - Robertscribbler.

New Ice Age knowledge Pacific stores the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide at depths of thousands of meters

May 13, 2016, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Summary: An international team of researchers has gained new insights into the carbon dioxide exchange between ocean and atmosphere, thus making a significant contribution to solving one of the great scientific mysteries of the ice ages.

In the past 800,000 years of climate history, the transitions from interglacials and ice ages were always accompanied by a significant reduction in the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere. It then fell from 280 to 180 ppm (parts per million). Where this large amount of carbon dioxide went to and the processes through which the greenhouse gas reached the atmosphere again has been controversial until now. The scientists have now managed to locate a major carbon dioxide reservoir at a depth of 2000 to 4300 metres in the South Pacific and reconstruct the details of its gas emission history. Their new findings have been published open access in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

The southern Pacific Ocean is regarded as one of the largest ventilation windows of the world oceans. This is where the global conveyor belt of ocean currents transports the carbon-rich water from great depths to the surface of the sea for a short time. The gas concentration balance between water and air takes place where the two meet. This usually means that the carbon-rich water masses release the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide they had stored into the atmosphere, thus contributing to the greenhouse effect and the warming of the earth.
Retreat of the ice followed by millennia of methane release

Date: May 13, 2016 Source: CAGE – Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment.

Summary: Methane was seeping from the seafloor for thousands of years following the retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet, shows a groundbreaking new study.

Scientists have calculated that the present day ice sheets keep vast amounts of climate gas methane in check. Ice sheets are heavy and cold, providing pressure and temperatures that contain methane in form of ice-like substance called gas hydrate. If the ice sheets retreat the weight of the ice will be lifted from the ocean floor, the gas hydrates will be destabilised and the methane will be released.

Studies conducted at CAGE have previously shown that ice sheets and methane hydrates are closely connected, and that release of methane from the seafloor has followed the retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet some 20,000 years ago. But is all such release of the potent climate gas bound to be catastrophic?

Not necessarily, according to a new study published in Nature Communications. It shows that the methane was indeed released as the ice sheets retreated. However the seepage did not occur in one major pulse, but over a period of 7000 to 10000 years following the initial release.

"The release was too slow to significantly impact the concentration of methane in the atmosphere." says researcher and project leader Aivo Lepland at Norwegian geological Survey (NGU) and CAGE. This may help explain why we have yet to discover a signal for such events in the various climate records of the past.


"That would make the continental and land-sea margin zones of Greenland, Antarctica, Svalbard and the CAA hot spot regions to look for." - Robertscribbler.

This Is What It Looks Like When People All Over The World Break Free From Fossil Fuels

Protest march in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Source and Copyright (c)
And this is what happens when people make things happen:

Two-acre rooftop greenhouse garden. Source: Greg via Robertscribbler.

"Here is the world’s largest rooftop greenhouse, two acres, producing local food otherwise grown on 50 acres of land." - Greg.

But often politics get in the way, as recently when in Nevada one tycoon, Warren Buffet, darling of the Democrats, has his way and the State Legislature destroys two entire industries: solar power station construction and solar panel installation.

"Can we please stop burning the fossil fuels that are setting this stuff into motion? The risks in continued burning are just too great. And the more we research, the more we find added risks." - Robertscribbler

"Climate science and description of phenomena and events: Great!  Political analysis and solutions: Insufficient." - patternreplicas

Jacque Fresco (scientist) on Politics and Legislation:

Well we won't get anything done if Trump gets to become President: watch the video below and see how he wrecked the local pristine sand dune environment near Aberdeen Scotland and ruined local people's lives... and even sicced the local police on them.

You've Been Trumped!

Granted, Hilary is bad -- she has backing of fossil fuel interests, even the Koch Brothers -- but if Trump gets in, everybody and everything will get Trumped. The American People, the biosphere, the rest of the people of the Earth, including Putin, who will not hesitate to declare war on us if Trump eyes his country as another place and government to just push over.

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