Kenyans Thirst For Water As Global Warming Spreads Across Africa

Rivers dry up and animals are die as drought continues to devastate Kenya and East Africa

Close to 3 million people are in dire straits in the east coast country of Kenya as climate change dries up rivers and and fresh water supplies. The long term drought brought on by declining rainfall patterns and significantly elevated temperatures now endangers the lives of 19 million people in the East African region.

Herders are walking up to ten miles a day in an attempt to get water near one of the temporary sand dams or digging in dried up river beds. Many long time water holes have become sand pits. Authorities estimate that 20,000 head of livestock have died in the past 6 months.

The situation is better in Nairobi due to the usual economic inequities, but the capital city is also facing water rationing up until April. If the rains don’t come then, all bets are off.

Somalia and Ethiopia are also experiencing long term famine, which is spreading across the central band of the continent in a pattern long predicted by climate models.

According to Richard Munang, coordinator of the UN Africa Regional Climate Change Program, “Africa is projected as the continent that will experience climate deviations earlier and more severely than any other region.” (Quoted in the The Washington Post in 2016).

As many as 40 million people are in imminent danger of large scale famine, a factor that will swell the numbers of climate refugees as the century progresses.

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Over Half of Primate Species Facing Rapid Extinction

Chimps, Lemurs, Bonobos and Organgutans Among the Monkeys Endangered by the Uber Primate (See Your Mirror for Clarification)

First we eliminated Homo Erectus then we wiped out Homo Neanderthalensis. Now, over half of the world’s primates are in our sights, scheduled for imminent termination.

According to a new report published in Science Advances and compiled in part by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) data and others, the severely threatened species include gorillas, chimps, gibbons and bonobos. Quoted in the Guardian, Anthony Rylands, a researcher at Conservation International, said: “The scale of this is massive.” Rylands believes the world is about to face a large scale primate extinction event.

The report also shares the following statistics:
75% of all primate species are in steep decline
Madagascar: 87% of primate species face extinction
South America: 75%
Asia: 73%

The rapid decline of the planet’s primates is due to habitat destruction for agriculture and development, massive illegal and semi-legal mining and logging, and commercial hunting for bush meat in places such as Democratic Republic of Congo. In Africa, as many as 150,000 primates are slaughtered for food each year in Nigeria and Cameroon and in Borneo, between 2,000 and 3,000 orangutans are also killed.

The situation is particularly tragic in Sumatra where palm oil mega plantations are replacing forests and the orangutans who used to live in them. Likewise, expansion of rubber plantation in China and India the destruction of forests for oil palm plantations has driven severe declines in orangutan populations. In China and India, rubber plantations have nearly eliminated the Hainan gibbon. Approximately 30 animals remain.

Other severely threatened primates include the brown-headed spider monkey, chimpanzee, Western gorilla, Bornean orangutan, Siau Island tarsier, ring-tailed lemur. Bengal loris, the western hoolock gibbon and Phayre’s leaf monkey.

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Massive Megaslump Chasm Delivers Apocalyptic Sound Effects As Permafrost Collapses

Huge areas of Northern Canada and Siberia Are Cratering-In As Permafrost Melts, the Tundra Ruptures and More Methane Escapes

Batagaika crater in Siberia is only the most dramatic example of the astounding changes in the melting landscape of the once frozen North. More than half a mile long and nearly 300 ft deep, Batagaika chasm appeared suddenly about 25 years ago. It is known locally as the Gateway to Hell due to the incessant booming noises that emerge from the ever-growing pit.

But there is nothing supernatural going on. The undulating permafrost of sub arctic regions is thawing for the first time in ten thousand years, wreaking geologic havoc. As part of the Arctic climate feedback loop, the rapid changes in Siberia and Northern Canada are self-perpetuating as carbon and methane – once frozen beneath the tundra – are released to accelerate global warming. Which melts the permafrost faster.

In Siberia, scientists have documented 52,000 square miles of turmoil, as craters and sinkholes open at random and sediment slides into rivers. Increasingly, roads, buildings and other infrastructure is threatened by the unstable soil. [In fact, there are places where it’s an adventure just trying to walk.] Batagaika is growing at about 30 ft a year, for the time being.

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Mexico City Subsides Rapidly As It Runs Out of Water

25 Million People Face A General Water Shortage As Authorities Run Out of Options

Mexico City, one of the world’s largest mega cities, is a poster child for what happens when global warming meets human overconfidence and incompetence. As the average temperature ramps up and the city drills ever deeper into its underground aquifers, the land beneath the city is sinking…and sinking fast. In some neighborhoods, the subsidence rate is up to 9″ a year with major landmarks on the verge of collapse and roads buckling like a massive fun house that is no fun at all.

In the historic part of town, the National Palace leans over the sidewalk and the famous Zócalo catherdral features a bell tower propped up with stone wedges.

About 20 percent of Mexico City residents don’t get water regularly from their taps and what does come out is suspect. These poor neighborhoods are served by quasi legal trucking companies that tap into the already collapsing aquifers and deliver the water at exorbitant cost to the poorest neighborhoods. In many neighborhoods, water wells are contaminated by minerals and chemicals, rendered the water marginal for drinking water. Residents forced to use the supply see their children break into rashes and suffer bouts of colitis.

Not surprisingly, the water supply for the wealthy parts of town is fairly reliable, if unsustainable in the long run. The average resident in these parts of town use 100 gallons a day, but pay approximately 25% of what the people in the less desirable areas.

Meanwhile, the area continues to set new heat records, with predictions that the average temperature will rise several degrees over the next several decades, which average rainfall will continue to declines.

As quoted in the New York Times, Arnoldo Kramer, Mexico City’s chief resilience officer, states bluntly: “Climate change has become the biggest long-term threat to this city’s future. And that’s because it is linked to water, health, air pollution, traffic disruption from floods, housing vulnerability to landslides — which means we can’t begin to address any of the city’s real problems without facing the climate issue.”

As the situation worsens, the migration patterns are expected to become far more problematic and dangerous, as millions more climate refugees make their way north.
Better build a bigger wall, Donald.

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Ocean Oxygen Levels Falling As Waters Warm

NEW RESEARCH FROM GEOMAR HELMHOLTZ SHOWS 2% DROP IN O2 LEVELS IN 50 YEARS

Corresponding 4X increase in Dead Zones.

Although the planet has broken all time global temperature records for the past three years, the effects of abrupt climate change are manifested even more in the waters of the global sea – at least for the time being. Much of the heat and CO2 from the atmosphere is currently absorbed into the oceans, a slow motion doom machine that is only less alarming because it is not easily observed. As a result, rapidly warming waters are wreaking all kinds of havoc with the planetary ecological balance and few citizens of planet Earth are aware of the impending disaster.

Sea Ice Collapse: Higher water temps have melted the sea ice fields at both poles to new low minimum and maximum extents, driving an irreversible positive feedback loop. The feedback loop is easy to understand: When the sun’s rays strike dark open water rather than white ice, the heat is sucked right into the ocean rather than reflected back into space. The water continues warming, melting more ice.

Ice Shelf Collapse: The coastlines of Antarctica and Greenland are defined by floating ice shelves, which are mostly in the water, but which hold back the massive land-based glaciers behind them. These shelves are being dissolved from the bottom up by warming waters, and are now beginning to crack away and fall into the sea. As a result, the flow of the glaciers into the sea has accelerated, contributing to sea level rise.

Rising Seas: In addition to trillions of gallons of new water pouring into the seas from melting land ice, the actual volume of the planetary ocean expands as the water heats up. Simple physics.

Slowdown of Gulf Stream/Ocean Circulator: The addition of fresh water changes the water density of the oceans in the Arctic regions. The great Ocean Circulator (of which the Gulf Stream is the most famous component) keeps Europe relatively mild, among other effects. Read more here.

Water Chemistry: The oceans have also become about 30% more acidic since the mid-nineteenth century as billions of tons of Carbon is absorbed by the seas. The early effects of this process – which is understood to be irreversible – is that shellfish, crabs and other marine animals are having problems forming shells. There have already been early panics in these fisheries as the problem spreads.

AND NOW MORE BAD NEWS:
There is nothing to like about these developments, but worse is yet to come as scientists detect the first confirmation of the expected decrease in ocean Oxygen levels.

Earlier in February, the first in-depth study on global ocean oxygen content was published in Nature by oceanographers of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Based on literally millions of global measurements, the researchers report a decline in dissolved oxygen of 2% over the past 50 years. While there are always variations in oxygen levels from location to location, the study showed that percentages dropped throughout the ocean, with only a few minor exceptions. The trend confirms expectations of long standing models and also projects a continuation of the condition in the decades to come.

At its core, the cause is as simple as high school chemistry: as water temperature climbs, it is less able to dissolve oxygen. In addition, warmer water absorbs less oxygen at the surface-to-air interface, reducing to amount of total oxygen available. And in today’s warmer oceans, there is less turnover between differing depths (stratification), which further reduces the oxygen penetration to lower levels.

Although this is only the beginning of a long ride down, the potential effects of oxygen depletion on marine life should be obvious. There is already growing evidence that the habitats of large predator fish are shrinking due to reduced oxygen.

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As DAPL is Approved: Deadly Blast on Aging Pipeline Owned By Dakota Access Partners

February 15, 2017 Paradis, LA Natural Gas Pipeline Kills One Worker
January 30, 2017: 600,000 gallons of oil spilled by Entbridge in Texas
November 11, 2016: Helena, Alabama, Colonial Pipeline kills 1
September

The 200 mile VP Pipeline/EP Pipeline is owned by Phillips 66, one of the partners in the Dakota Access Pipeline, which was just approved by the Army Corp of Engineers at Trumpoint.

In other screwups involving DAPL partners, Enbridge’s Seaway Pipeline spewed 14,285 barrels of crude oil in Blue Ridge, Texas. That was the second major spill since the pipeline opened in was opened in mid-2016.

This most recent blast follows two other recent pipeline disasters in the Deep South:

The Colonial Pipeline blew up on November 11, 2016 READ, burning one worker to death and severely burning another five.
The same pipeline spewed 330,000 gallons of diesel gasoline into wetlands in September 2016.

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Flynn Lies Turn Out To Be Hillary’s Fault

The Tr*mp administration appears to be in crisis over contact by his campaign workers not to mention (suddenly former) National Security Advisor Michael Flynn with a hostile foreign government – and then lying about it – not to mention the fact that the President of the United States absolutely knew that Flynn was lying three weeks ago (but did not clue in his Vice President).

Tr*mp’s response is to blame Hillary Clinton…because, white frankly, nothing else makes sense.

Tweet Text: “The Russian non-sense is merely an attempt to cover up the many mistakes made by Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”

[Look a Russian cruise missile. Ha ha Made you look]

That feels wrong, doesn’t it?

Ironically, General Flynn was one of those leading the “lock her up cheers.” This photo is a screen grab of Flynn saying “we don’t need a reckless president who believes she is above the law.”

Is it possible in the alternative universe of Tr*mp and the GOP that ALL crimes are committed by Hillary and Obama and ANY reports that run counter to the Tr*mp’s most recent pre-dawn hallucination is FAKE NEWS?

[Look a Russian cruise missile. Ha ha Made you look]

Tr*mp told us just last week that he hadn’t gotten any calls on the Dakota Pipeline and he thought everyone was pretty much OK with it. He told us the week before that the American people are no longer interested in his tax returns. He continued to insist that he won the election in a landslide in spite of possibly billions of Mexican Muslims pouring into the country to vote against him.

Firmly grounded in reality.

Wonder if Flynn will get a nice Moscow condo next to Edward Snowden?

[Look a Russian cruise missile. Ha ha Made you look]

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Big Coal’s Big Lie Just Keeps on Spewing Pollution

While Tr*mp was entertaining us and distracting the media with his foolishness, the GOP got busy paying back the extraction industries (oil, gas and coal) who own them.*

While Tr*mp was entertaining us and distracting the media with his foolishness, the GOP got busy and began paying back the extraction industries (oil, gas and coal) who own them.*

Last week, House GOP revoked Obama regulation protecting streams from coal mining debris. That means the coal companies can return to blowing the tops off of mountains and dumping the “overburden” directly into the valleys. What they are dumping is not just dirt. It’s a toxic mess of contaminates including arsenic, cadmium and other poisonous heavy metals. It’s why streams run orange in Appalachia.

This entirely cynical move is made under cover of the War on Coal narrative concocted by the operatives of the coal industry and repeated over and over and over, the MO of special interests since the beginning of time. The War on Coal is a real as the War on Christmas.

As the fairy tale goes, Barack Obama “hates” coal (and coal miners) and has destroyed the industry along with billions of jobs. He has done this by over-reaching, GOP-speak for protecting citizens from the plundering industries. All the anti-pollution measures do is try and prevent coal companies from burying valleys and fouling public lands and waterways with cancer-causing chemicals. The way it has always worked is that the coal companies get the profits, while taxpayers pay for cleanup, should there actually be a cleanup.

McConnell, who is every bit Trump’s equal in creating an alternative reality, called the stream protection rule “an attack against coal miners and their families…the legislation we passed today will help stop this disastrous rule and bring relief to coal miners and their families.”
Except it won’t. Coal mining has been in a steep decline for far longer than Obama has been in office, but over-regulation ranks far down on the list as a cause.

Ironically, the overwhelming cause of decline in coal jobs is the free market. When fracking opened up new supplies of methane (what is called “natural gas”), public utilities began converting from dirtier and more expensive coal to natural gas. Compared to the amount of time they spent resisting environmental regulations, this transformation happened almost overnight. The demand for coal is in steep decline in China and elsewhere as well.

Another key cause of coal related employment is automation. Mountaintop removal technology, which has destroyed more than 700 mountains in Appalachia, has destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs over the past three decades. Those jobs aren’t coming back.

(In fact, robotics are in the process of replacing jobs at all levels, especially in the heavy manufacturing section Tr*mp claims he is going to save. To accomplish this, he will need to do more than browbeat with Twitter. He will need a wand.)

The most overlooked cause of failure in the coal business is the coal companies themselves, which took on mountains of debt at the beginning of the twenty-first century as they anticipated a bonanza. When business slowed during the Bush financial depression, they were handcuffed in terms of their ability to react.

The four largest coal mining companies are now in bankruptcy.

Thanks Obama.

____

*They also paid back the NRA by revoking a law that made it illegal for mentally unstable people to buy a gun. Now Tr*mp can have a gun.

Posted in Coal's Big Lie, War On Coal | Comments Off

Arctic temperatures remains historically high as sea ice extent falls to historic low

“After studying the Arctic and its climate for three and a half decades, I have concluded that what has happened over the last year goes beyond even the extreme.” – Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, CO (quote from the Washington Post).

According to multiple reports from climate scientists, they are currently viewing conditions in the Arctic with disbelief. A sustained heat wave is keeping January temperatures significantly higher than normal with every sign pointing an actually change in the basic climate functioning of the region. The comments were made in Earth magazine and others.

Temperatures have hovered near freezing twice since November, inhibiting the formation of new ice. The terms being used by Arctic meteorologists and climate scientists are words like “stunned” and “disbelief”. Next week (the second week in Februayr 2017), temperatures will rise +50 degrees above the median.

If you think none of this affects you, you should re-think that thought: Conditions in the Arctic region control global weather patterns.

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Rift Cutting Through Massive Larsen C Ice As Shelves Melt From Below

Rift Cutting Through West Antarctic Shelf Grew By 11 Miles In December, Leaving Only About 12 Miles To Go


A 100 meter wide, half a mile deep fissure is cutting off Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf like a giant knife slicing through butter, following in the path of Larsen A and B shelves, both of which have broken away from the mainland in the past 20 years.  The 2000 sq mile shelf, which is about the size of Delaware, is expected to collapse into the sea within a month or two. The ice shelf is about 2000 sq mi, or about the size of Delaware. It will join the Larsen A and Larsen B shelves on the West Antarctica Peninsula, which have broken off an collapsed into the sea within the past 20 years.

In East Antarctica, once believed stable, the Totten Glacier has destabilized and crossed the point of no return. In Greenland, the Peterson ice shelf is undergoing the same rapid change.

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