- Oct 26, 2019 at 1:28 pm #3615860
Decades of detailed weather reports pulled from old sailor’s logs
A database created in part from 19th-century maritime records sharpens our view of climate change over the past 150 years.
Madeleine Stone : National Geographic : OCTOBER 25, 2019
Polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s ship Terra Nova is moored amid pack ice in Antarctica in the early 1900s.
PHOTOGRAPH BY HERBERT PONTING, NAT GEO IMAGE COLLECTION
In September of 1879, the Arctic-exploring USS Jeanette was sailing north of the Bering Strait when it was surrounded by ice floes and frozen in place. Imprisoned at sea, the 33-person crew struggled to survive for nearly two years before their ship sank, forcing them to embark on a perilous journey back to civilization. While they were stranded, the crew took down regular observations of the weather—winds, clouds, air pressure, temperature—creating a detailed meteorological record where no others existed.
One hundred and forty years later, that record is now helping scientists reconstruct Earth’s weather and climate history in unprecedented detail.
The USS Jeanette’s logs, which eventually made their way back to the United States along with 13 haggard crewmen led by chief engineer George Melville, were among the very first to be rescued as part of the Old Weather: Arctic project, a citizen science-fueled effort to digitize and transcribe the weather observations made by U.S. military vessels that sailed the Arctic in the 19th and 20th centuries. Those records, along with similar data housed in many other archives, are being fed into the 20th Century Reanalysis, a sophisticated weather reconstruction database developed by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration that allows scientists to characterize floods, droughts, storms, and other extreme events from history—and use the violent weather of the past to understand the present…
This woodcut depicts Lieutenant Commander George DeLong and his party wading ashore from the Jeannette in 1881. Their ship sank after being trapped in ice for two years.
WOODCUT BY GEORGE T. ANDREW, DESIGNED BY M.J. BURNS, PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY U.S. NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMANDOct 28, 2019 at 11:57 am #3616137
Susanne Williams : The Midgard Expedition – a quest for survival on a small viking boat.Oct 28, 2019 at 11:11 pm #3616252Nov 1, 2019 at 8:57 am #3616853
Climate change ‘making mountaineering riskier’
Navin Singh Khadka Environment correspondent, BBC World Service : BBC News : 8 hours ago
Mountaineering in some parts of the world is becoming riskier because of climate change, climbing experts and scientists warn. They say warming in the Alps has thinned ice and snow cover, resulting into frequent rock-falls and landslides. Their concerns were voiced at a meeting of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation this week.
Melting glaciers have also added challenges for mountaineers. Climbing routes have either had to be abandoned or changed because of the increased risks. In some places, climbing seasons have had to be brought forward.
What do the scientists say?
A study of mountaineering plans for climbers in the Mont Blanc massif showed numerous changes. Almost all climbing “itineraries” for the region had been affected since the 1970s and a few routes no longer existed.
In the journal Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Jacques Mourey from the University of Grenoble Alpes and colleagues wrote: “Moreover, periods during which these itineraries can be climbed in good conditions in summer have tended to become less predictable and periods of optimal conditions have shifted toward spring and fall, because the itineraries have become more dangerous and technically more challenging.”
A 2017 study of several summits in the Mont Blanc massif by a French team showed significant degradation of permafrost between 1850 and 2015.
This led to the slopes becoming unstable, causing rockfalls.
Findings from a study in the Austrian Alps have been similar.
“Many of these routes have become extremely dangerous,” Florian Ritter, from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, and colleagues wrote recently in the journal BioOne Complete.
“Numerous classical ice climbs in the Eastern Alps have become heavily affected by rockfall and falling stones, as well due to rocks melting out at the ice margins… during late summer and autumn.”
The Austrian research also pointed to other factors.
“While the described processes related to global warming might increase the potential, events are generally triggered by other processes that are less linked to global warming, such as extreme rain events,” it said.
Analysis of guidebooks written for those climbing in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland, confirms the changes…Nov 3, 2019 at 10:21 am #3617090
Millions of masks distributed to students in ‘gas chamber’ Delhi
BBC News • 1 November 2019
Five million masks are being distributed at schools in India’s capital, Delhi, after pollution made the air so toxic officials were forced to declare a public health emergency.
A Supreme Court-mandated panel imposed several restrictions in the city and two neighbouring states, as air quality deteriorated to “severe” levels.
Dangerous particulate levels in the air are about 20 times the WHO maximum.
The city’s schools have also been closed until at least next Tuesday.
All construction has been halted for a week and fireworks have been banned. From Monday, the city will introduce a temporary scheme so that only cars with odd or even numbered licence plates can drive on given days, in a bid to cut traffic pollution.
Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the city had been turned into a “gas chamber”…
What are PM 2.5 particles?
Nov 3, 2019 at 10:23 am #3617091
- Particulate matter, or PM, 2.5 is a type of pollution involving fine particles less than 2.5 microns (0.0025mm) in diameter
- A second type, PM 10, is of coarser particles with a diameter of up to 10 microns
- Some occur naturally – e.g. from dust storms and forest fires, others from human industrial processes
- They often consist of fragments that are small enough to reach the lungs or, in the smallest cases, to cross into the bloodstream as well
Fracking halted after government pulls support
BBC News • 2 November 2019
The [U.K.] government has called a halt to shale gas extraction – or fracking – in England amid fears about earthquakes.
The indefinite suspension comes after a report by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said it was not possible to predict the probability or size of tremors caused by the practice.
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said it may be temporary – imposed “until and unless” extraction is proved safe.
Labour, Lib Dems and the Green Party want a permanent ban…Nov 3, 2019 at 10:25 am #3617092
Climate change: Thousands invited to join citizens’ assembly
BBC News • 2 November 2019
Letters are being sent to 30,000 households across the UK inviting people to join a citizens’ assembly on climate change.
Once participants are selected, the assembly will meet next year, with the outcome of their discussions reported back to Parliament.
The initiative, set up by cross party MPs, will look at what members of the public can do to reduce CO2.
The UK government has committed to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050…Nov 3, 2019 at 9:16 pm #3617152
“The good news is that the American public finally appears to accept that global warming is a problem. The bad news is that a substantial percentage of the public is unwilling to pay much to do anything about it.”
That’s why I say let’s do the easy things now, like quit building new fossil fuel electric generation plants. Even natural gas is more expensive that wind and solar. There’s some amount of fossil fuels required to supply electricity when the wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine, but we have plenty of existing generation, and where this is required then go ahead and build natural gas plants.
Obama’s increase to fuel efficiency standards for automobiles were modest and wouldn’t have cost much.
Programs to increase efficiency, insulation for buildings,… are also cost effective – save money long term.Nov 4, 2019 at 1:09 am #3617199
Jerry: “There’s some amount of fossil fuels required to supply electricity when the wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine”.
This seems to be a definite barrier to overcome (i.e. adequate storage of energy generated from renewables to provide adequate 24 hour energy).
Yet I am forever editing papers on energy storage systems to satisfy just that (mainly thru super capacitors and fuel cells, if I recall correctly). Sorry to be so damming on what is likely worthwhile research, but they proudly provide proof-of-concept by illuminating one, or maybe if we are lucky, a grand total of 8 LEDs, which I rather think might not be quite enough to power the U.S., let alone China. (Smart electric grids are also part of the solution). Frankly I don’t understand why, with all these improvements, satisfactory solutions are not available by now.Nov 4, 2019 at 9:33 am #3617245
If any BPL members happen to be flying their hot air balloon or solar-powered plane to Madrid in the next little while, I understand that Greta Thunberg could do with a lift…Nov 4, 2019 at 10:47 am #3617247
Climate change: Asia ‘coal addiction’ must end, UN chief warns
2 November 2019
The chief of the United Nations has warned Asia to quit its “addiction” to coal in a bid to tackle climate change.
UN Secretary General António Guterres said countries in the region were among the most vulnerable to global warming and should be on the “front line” of efforts to stop it.
He cited a new study that found that Asian countries were at particular risk of climate-driven flooding.
Coal is a major source of power in many Asian countries.
Speaking to reporters in the Thai capital Bangkok on Saturday, Mr Guterres described climate change as the “defining issue of our time”.
The UN chief referenced a study published on Tuesday, which found that climate change would put millions more people at risk from coastal flooding by 2050 than previously thought.
The majority of those implicated were in developing countries across Asia, the study said…Nov 6, 2019 at 12:24 am #3617416
Now this does look interesting: A paper on hydrogen production from a nuclear fusion–biomass hybrid system, which would provide a new alternative to produce hydrogen by efficiently utilizing high temperature heat from a fusion reactor with biomass… Stoke the coffee! Damn the croissants! Toes to the nose! Full speed ahead! In progress…Nov 6, 2019 at 9:53 am #3617460
Climate change: ‘Clear and unequivocal’ emergency, say scientists
Matt McGrath Environment correspondent : BBC News : 8 hours ago
A global group of around 11,000 scientists have endorsed research that says the world is facing a climate emergency. The study, based on 40 years of data on a range of measures, says governments are failing to address the crisis. Without deep and lasting changes, the world is facing “untold human suffering” the study says. The researchers say they have a moral obligation to warn of the scale of the threat.
Released on the day that satellite data shows that last month was the warmest October on record, the new study says that simply measuring global surface temperatures is an inadequate way of capturing the real dangers of an overheating world. So the authors include a range of data which they believe represents a “suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the past 40 years”. These indicators include the growth of human and animal populations, per capita meat production, global tree cover loss, as well as fossil fuel consumption.
October was the warmest such month on record according to new data. Copernicus.
Some progress has been seen in some areas. For example, renewable energy has grown significantly, with consumption of wind and solar increasing 373% per decade – but it was still 28 times smaller than fossil fuel use in 2018. Taken together, the researchers say most of their vital signs indicators are going in the wrong direction and add up to a climate emergency. “An emergency means that if we do not act or respond to the impacts of climate change by reducing our carbon emissions, reducing our livestock production, reducing our land clearing and fossil fuel consumption, the impacts will likely be more severe than we’ve experienced to date,” said lead author Dr Thomas Newsome, from the University of Sydney. “That could mean there are areas on Earth that are not inhabitable by people.” …Nov 6, 2019 at 10:32 am #3617461
Most countries’ climate plans ‘totally inadequate’ – experts
US and Brazil unlikely to meet Paris agreement pledges – while Russia has not even made one
Damian Carrington : The Guardian : Tue 5 Nov 2019
The world is on a path to climate disaster, with three-quarters of the commitments made by countries under the Paris agreement “totally inadequate”, according to a comprehensive expert analysis.
Four nations produce half of all carbon emissions but the US has gone into reverse in tackling the climate emergency under Donald Trump while Russia has failed to make any commitment at all.
Other major oil-producing nations, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have set no targets to reduce emissions. China and India are cleaning up their energy systems but their surging economies mean emissions will continue to grow for a decade.
Under the 2015 Paris deal, countries agreed to limit global heating to 2C, or 1.5C if possible. Each country makes a voluntary pledge of climate action, but to date these would result in global temperatures rising by a disastrous 3-4C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in 2018 that emissions, which are still rising, must fall by 50% by 2030 to be on track for 1.5C.
Only the 28 countries of the European Union and a few others including Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine are on track. Of the 184 national Paris pledges made, 136 are judged insufficient in the report, published by the Universal Ecological Fund…
Another problem is many pledges are unlikely to be met, due to the US withdrawing from the Paris agreement, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, reversing environmental policies, or because poorer nations do not get the funding they need – the US and Australia have stopped making such contributions…Nov 7, 2019 at 3:30 pm #3617628
I like this weather pattern. High pressure on the west coast – nice weather.
Too bad it means the cold arctic weather blobs down to to the middle of the country.
This has always happened, but it seems like it happens more now, the pattern persists for longer period of time.
An active topic for climate scientists how the extra CO2 in the atmosphere could be causing this. They disagree on the mechanism and whether this is caused by global climate change.Nov 8, 2019 at 12:38 pm #3617763
Flood-damaged Hokuriku Shinkansen trains to be scrapped
David Briginshaw : International Railway Journal : Nov 7, 2019
The 10 flood-damaged series E7/W7 Hokuriku Shinkansen trains are to be scrapped.
The 10 Hokuriku Shinkansen trains which were damaged by flooding at Nagano depot following Typhoon Hagibis on October 12 are to be scrapped as the damage to electrical and electronic equipment is deemed too great to repair to ensure the safe running of the trains.
The decision was announced by the president of JR East, Mr Yuji Fukasawa, during a press conference in Tokyo on November 6.
Eight of the damaged 12-car trains are owned by JR East and two by JR West, as the two railways operate the Tokyo – Kanazawa Shinkansen jointly. The trains have an estimated value of Yen 14.8bn ($US 135.6m) with the JR East trains valued at Yen 11.8bn and the JR West trains at Yen 3bn. While the two railways hope to be able to recover some components from the damaged trains, they intend to post the losses along with reduced revenue in the current financial year.
The 10 damaged trains represent one-third of the Hokuriku fleet, which means two railways have had to cancel about 20% of services. While it has been decided to order 10 replacement trains, plans have been drawn up in the meantime to redeploy other Shinkansen trains to the Hokuriku line as Fukasawa has promised to restore a full service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen by the end of the current financial year which ends on March 31 2020…Nov 11, 2019 at 12:00 am #3618063jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
Uh. Oh. there’s been some discussion on this thread about how soon we’ll feel the effects of climate change. the link isn’t encouraging. The article takes until about half way through to get into the real nitty gritty, so don’t give up or skip a ways down.Nov 11, 2019 at 1:56 am #3618093
Frankly, I think he’s got a bloody cheek to complain about scientists being too conservative in their predictions of significant climate change, when the general scenario has been of them being way ahead of the political establishment, notwithstanding his deserved swipe at the Trump administration and by association, the Republican Party.Nov 13, 2019 at 11:52 am #3618462
Greta Thunberg leaves US with simple climate crisis message: vote
Emily Holden : The Guardian : Tues 12 Nov 2019
Thunberg: ‘My message to the Americans is the same as to everyone – to unite behind the science and to act on the science’
If world leaders fail us, my generation will never forgive themNov 13, 2019 at 11:59 am #3618465
How should billionaires spend their money to fight climate change? I asked 9 experts.
Is it better to invest in developing clean energy technologies, say, or in trying to get a Democrat elected president?
Sigal Samuel : Vox : Nov 12, 2019
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joins student environmental advocates during a strike to demand action be taken on climate change outside the White House on September 13, 2019. Sarah Silbiger/Getty ImagesNov 13, 2019 at 4:20 pm #3618502
or, would it be better to get the money out of politics?
As long as mega donors fund elections, they can dictate policy. Any small gains we can make will be short term, like until the next guy is elected president.
Money from small donors isn’t much better – then politicians will go Santa Claus and promise whatever it takes to attract small donors – illegal immigrants are the cause of your problems, just deport all of them. or, your problems are the billionaires, just confiscate all their wealthNov 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm #3618536Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
About the only suggestion I can make is better education, including ‘civics’, at school. That would take a long time to be effective, but then, it is a massive problem.
CheersNov 14, 2019 at 10:32 am #3618652Nov 14, 2019 at 10:33 am #3618653Nov 14, 2019 at 10:34 am #3618654
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