Cycling Along With the ClimateDenierTrolls as CO2 crosses 410PPM

A favorite argument of the typical ClimateDenierTroll® is the “cycles” gambit. The planet is constantly changing they say. There are natural cycles that the Earth is always going through and climate change is a normal part of that process. Usually accompanied by abuse and invective, this information is presented as if they personally discovered it, and thousands of climate scientists had somehow missed it.

As is the case with most spurious dialectic, they are right to a point. But in the context that they intend, they could not be more wrong.

The point at which they are not right is right now, as atmospheric CO2 levels have cycled past 410PPM for the first time.* We passed upward through the 400PPM threshold in 2016. Do the math.

Atmospheric CO2 has not been at these concentrations for millions of years.** How’s that for cyclical?

CO2 levels have risen alarmingly since the beginning of the Industrial Age, shooting from 280 to the present 400+PPM average. Scientists are virtually unanimous in their belief that this rapid increase has raised the average global temperature about 2F degrees. 2016 was the warmest year on record, beating 2015, which beat 2014…etc.

The second chart here really puts things in perspective, but not in a happy way. Derived from ice core samples, this data shows carbon cycles for the past 800,000 years. As you can see, nowhere on this chart does CO2 exceed 300 PPM at any time. Levels have increased so rapidly from the fluctuations of the past geologic ages as to be unprecedented.***

The natural cycles referenced by the CDTs are called Milankovitch Cycles, and they are an uber force in terms of affecting global warming and cooling over the course of eons. The Milankovich Cycles run about 100,000 years and are controlled by the Earth’s orbital and axial variations.

This is as far as CDT’s get in their education, primarily because they are being taught at the ExxonKoch University of fossil fuel bullshit.

The fact is that the current data on CO2, atmospheric and ocean temperatures shows clearly that our situation is far outside of any fluctuation that could be accounted for by Milankovich Cycles.

We are no longer in a natural cycle. We are far outside the parameters constrained by the Milankovich Cycles.

We are now in the Anthropocene Epoch, and the Anthropocene Epoch is going to be very interesting indeed.

* Measurements at Mona Loa began in 1958. Prior to that, measurements are obtained via ice core samples.
** The increases in methane releases from melting permafrost and fossil fuel emissions are not included in these results. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, but does not remain in the atmosphere are long.
***Natural carbon sinks have taken up about half of human CO2 emissions, or the situation would be worse.

Posted in climatedeniertroll, co2 reaches 410 ppm | Comments Off

Great Barrier Reef Is Dying As Ocean Waters Warm

Second Bleaching Event In Two Years Takes Out Two Thirds of Iconic Australian EcoSystem

According to a new report in the left wing business magazine Forbes, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef may be nearing the end after decades of degradation due to warming waters and industrial pollution. The Great Barrier Reef is a coral ecosystem that stretches approximately 1,400 miles off Australia’s east coast. It is unmatched for its beauty and diversity of marine life. and is (or was) a unique home to thousands of species of marine and bird life. In 2016, the reef was hit by a second bleaching event, a euphemistic term for die off of the coral that forms the reef. That bleaching event took out approximately 1/3 of the reef and overall damaged about 95% of the area.

If you are the kind of person that prefers coal mining and hydrocarbon extraction to natural beauty – no judgement here – there is still the economic impact. Coral reefs in general and the Great Barrier Reef in particular support $7 billion in fisheries and tourism for the Australian economy.

The bleaching die off is caused by rapid warming of the surrounding seas, as temperatures rise above natural levels for coral to grow and live. Bleaching events have increased in frequency and scales since the 1980′s. Pollution run off from agriculture and mining also contributes to the decline.

As photographer Richard Vevers puts it: “I was blown away… I’ve never seen something so beautiful, but it’s dying.”

Consider the Great Barrier Reef as another canary in the coal mine as the ocean ecosystem collapses. The death of coral reefs is happening around the world.

Posted in global warming, Great Barrier Reef dying | Comments Off

CO2 Levels: Unprecedented Rise In Two Years and Accelerating

“The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age” – Pieter Tans, NOAA


This chart displays annual increases (as opposed to totals) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued more grim news on the global warming front: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is continuing to rise, and has jumped sharply the past two years. The rate of increase has also accelerated:

According to NOAA’s press release:

Carbon dioxide levels measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory rose by 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, an increase that matched the record jump observed in 2015.

The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.

Also from the NOAA release: Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm.

Meanwhile, the nations of the earth make promises and the Trump Administration prepares the way for total climate denier takeover.

Posted in Atmospheric CO2 levels, NOAA | Comments Off

Donald Trump Makes Delusional Coal Jobs Promises

“My action today is latest in steps to grow American jobs, ending the theft of prosperity.” – D. Trump.

On March 29, Donald Trump stood in front of dozens of coal miners assembled for a photo op. Behind him were the beaming faces of Mike Pence, Rick Perry and Steve Pruitt. Trump then delivered another huge lie in the form of the Energy Independence Executive Order.

“My action today is latest in steps to grow American jobs, ending the theft of prosperity.”

This statement was by way of promising that rolling back clean water regulations and ending a moratorium on mining Federal land would bring back the coal industry and the jobs that allegedly accompany it. Consistent with his previous bombast on the same topic, the message was delivered with the strong implication that liberals, Obama, Hillary etc etc had destroyed the livelihoods of hard working Americans with over-regulation. This tired narrative is underpinned by the strong sub implication that for some reason the representatives of the left have done these things in the service of evil, or communism or a new world order, or something vaguely reprehensible but distinctly un-American.

Do we blame Trump for the lie, or the people who are willing to believe it in the face of overwhelming evidence that the coal industry is not coming back? Rhetorical question.

Just for the record, coal mining jobs in Appalachia declined far more under previous presidents Reagan, Clinton, and George H.W. Bush than they did under Obama. But they were white.

Coal has been dying for decades and everyone seems to understand this but the man making the big promises. Even Charles Murray, owner and operator of the nation’s largest privately owned coal company, publicly cautioned Trump not to create false expectations about bringing back big beautiful coal jobs.

Coal mining currently employs 75,000 workers in the US, down from a peak of about 863,000 in 1923. The Washington Post last week pointed out that Arby’s has far more employees than the entire industry. At this point, the idea that coal mining jobs are a key economic driver is nonsense.

Even in West Virginia, coal mining accounts for only 5% of the economy. But the myth persists, with well paid expert assistance from fossil fuel interests and their operatives.

But this time, coal is not coming back and the reasons are bigger than the liar in the White House.

There are two tracks here, market forces and jobs.

DECLINING DEMAND: US demand for coal has been declining for decades, but took a sharp drop about ten years ago when fracking opened up massive supplies of methane, known in more polite circles as natural gas. Public utilities have been converting to natural gas at a breakneck pace and there is no possibility that this trend is going to reverse. The amount of electricity supplied by coal has dropped from 50% to 30% in only a few years.

Furthermore, energy generated by wind and solar (especially wind) is now less expensive than energy generated by coal. (If you are going to say this is because alternative energy is subsidized and fossil fuels are not, please don’t say it.)

It is the free marketplace that is ending King Coal’s reign, not a war on coal.

AUTOMATION: Mining companies don’t give a rat’s ass about miners and never have. Anything they can do to cut costs will be done. With the advent of strip mining and now Mountaintop Removal (MTR), the need for human miners has dropped precipitously and will continue to do so. Today’s mining trucks built by Caterpillar weigh 850,000 lbs (425 tons) and are autonomous. These monsters can cart away half of a mountainside in one trip and they don’t need drivers. The dragline excavators used to scrap off overburden (the material that gets dumped into the valleys beneath the MTR mine) after the top has been blown off are so massive that they have to be built on site.

Coal production in West Virginia and Kentucky has actually held fairly steady since the eighties, but jobs have been cut in half. There is really on one way to account for that.

It is technological progress that is eliminating jobs, not Obama’s war on coal.

Last week, the Washington Post pointed out that Arby’s employs more people than coal, which claims only about 75,000 jobs nationwide. The wind and solar industries currently account for 560,000 jobs and is the fastest growing segment in the country. That’s why new energy investments are running about two times more than fossil fuel investments.

Even if demand for coal were steady, jobs would continue to decline due to automation.

Why would even a mega demagogue like Donald Trump ignore these facts and continue to spew the narrative promoted by extractive energies for decades? Or, put another way, why would he create false hope in the hearts of people who have been bashed about by forces beyond their control?

Whatever the reason, the ongoing amplification of the bogus narrative gives coal companies cover in their never ending quest to screw workers and avoid responsibility for the environmental havoc they leave behind them. More than 700 mountains have been leveled by MTR and thousands of streams and waterways messed up for good.

All Trump’s rollbacks are going to accomplish is to allow the remaining mines to continue to trash Appalachia, further reducing the potential for a tourism industry to create new jobs.

As if none of this had happened, the extractive industries will continue to make sure their employees in congress continue to demonize regulators and environmentalists. This story has been marketed so relentlessly that the desperate people in the valleys are willing to believe the biggest lie of all.

But, as Charles Murray understands, now the dog has caught the car. Will the people who believed the billionaire understand that they have been betrayed one more time?

If you are a Trump Voter clinging to the idea that environmental regulations are what is holding American back, I have a coal mining job for you in West Virginia.

But first you will need a degree from Trump University.

Posted in Big beautiful coal jobs, Trump, Trump coal lies | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Kenya drought, water shortage east africa | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Hainan gibbon, Primate Extinction, white-cheeked crested gibbon | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Batagaika crater Siberia, Melting Permafrost | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Mexico City dry, subsidence as aquifers collapse | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Dead Zones, Reduced ocean oxygen levels | Comments Off

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.

Posted in Paradis louisiana blast | Comments Off