East Antarctica: Totten Ice Shelf Thinning From Below

A major Antarctic ice sheet, once believed to be stable, is anything but…

Warming waters from the southern Indian Ocean are slipping under the Totten Ice Shelf in East Antarctica and thinning the ledge from below. The Totten Shelf, which sits on on the coast and floats on the waster, holds back the massive East Antarctic glacier, an ice sheet about the size of the continental United States.

Because the ice shelf appeared to be stable when observed from about, scientists believed that the ice shelf and the sheet behind it were stable. Recent observations on the ground suggest that the shelf has been thinning for the past few decades.

The Totten shelf appears to be following the same basic scenario as the Larsen A, B and C shelves, all of which have collapsed in the past 20 years.


Ice shelves are a sort of hybrid between the vast ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica and sea ice, which floats in the polar regions. What makes ice shelves interesting to scientists is the fact that they serve to hold back the continent-sized glaciers behind them. When ice shelves collapse, as the Larsen C shelf did earlier in 2017, the glaciers behind them “speed up”, accelerating their flow into the oceans. When land ice flows into the sea and melts, it contributes significantly to sea level rise because the water/ice has not previously been in the ocean.

If the East Antarctica ice sheet melted, it would raise sea levels globally up to 60 feet.

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Massive Mountain Tidal Waves Threaten Villages As Peruvian Glaciers Collapse

High in the Peruvian Andes, Lake Palcacocha is the poster child for global warming-driven glacier collapse disasters

At the top of the mountain is Lake Palcacocha and the dwindling glacier that feeds it. In the lake is several billions gallons of ice water. An avalanche into the lake would generate a 100 ft high wave that would destroy the dam below and bury the city of Huaraz and it’s 200,000 residents. Along with the water would come trees, mud and everything else on the mountainside.

The phenomenon, a growing threat globally, is known as Glacial Lake Outburst Floods, or GLOF.

There is historical documentation of the looming danger. In 1941, the dam collapsed and sent a tidal wave down the mountain, killing thousands in Huaraz.  Now the city has ten times more residents and the dam is holding back 30 x more water due to the increase in glacier melt.

This scenario is repeated across a score of mountain ranges around the Andes nation: as the glaciers that provide water for Peru collapse under the onslaught of global warming, large chunks of these ice caps break off and crash down. Depending on the terrain, a high percentage of them are poised to collapse into high altitude lakes, some of which are held back by dams.

The recipe for a spectacular disaster is easy to see and the government has taken some steps to engineer early warning systems for downstream villages.  Many of the dams that collect glacier runoff have been fitted with emergency warning systems that warn of rupture, but an avalanche causing an overflow would happen too quickly to prevent large scale damage and death.

Unfortunately, some of the equipment has been dismantled and destroyed by villagers, who believe the gringo machines are responsible for the drought. They do not believe in global warming. Sound familiar?

A slower moving catastrophe is also in the making: the country is running out of water as runoff from the glaciers dries up. Where once there was snow, only bare rock shows now. Along with global warming comes a disruption in weather patterns, as the country endures yet another extended drought.

“We have glaciers across 19 mountain ranges. They are all shrinking.” – Marco Zapata of Peru’s Institute for Glacier Research.

There are ways that the danger could be reduced while at the same time improving long term water supplies, but government corruption and the resulting suspicion on the part of the citizens has thus far prevented any changes.

At some point there will be a multi-billion dollar disaster and something may or may not happen.


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US Coastal Naval Bases Going Under – Fast

“From the tactical side our bases and stations on the coast are going underwater.” – Ret. Marine Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney

According to the latest warning from the US Military, the world’s largest naval base is (and has been) under severe threat of a rapidly rising Atlantic Ocean. The Norfolk /Hampton Roads Naval Yards is now closed multiple time a year due to severe flooding in the area. The tidal gauge that NOAA has operated at Sewell’s Point, VA since 1927 shows 15 inches of increase. the rate is accelerating. Another 4 to 7 inches of sea level rise is expected by 2030.

Hampton Roads is the only place in the world the Navy builds aircraft carriers.

The Navy is taking the situation seriously enough that serious discussion of moving multiple coastal bases is underway. On a global scale, a 2016 Navy Times article reported that 128 military bases are at risk from sea level rise.

According to Brig. Gen. Cheney’ testimony before Congress in July, “Climate change is already affecting security both at home and around the world, so we must make sure that we take the greenhouse gas emissions from energy into account, lest we trade increased energy security today for a warmer, more unstable world in the future.”

Of course, the way forward is somewhat unclear due to the fact that the Trump Administration is opposed to global warming.

Sea level rise and coastal flooding represent a well-documented threat to national security. After General Cheney’s testimony, the Trump administration rolled back a regulation that would have provided assistance “improve the resilience of communities and federal assets against the impacts of flooding.”

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Mountainslide Engulfs Congo Fishing Village After Deluge


200+ people have were killed Wednesday by a massive landslide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Tora, a fishing village on the coast of Lake Albert in Ituri province was engulfed as the side of a mountain cascaded down and engulfed the houses.

The disaster comes after more than 400 people were killed by a massive mudslide in Freetown, Sierra Leone on Monday.

Calling these large scale catastrophes mountain slides or land slides give the casual reader the impression that they are random acts of nature. But as is so often the case, this event and the one that killed hundreds in Sierra Leone earlier in the week are creations of humankind, combined with global warming, which is also a creation of humankind. The immediate cause of the earth collapse was combination of extreme rainfall and deforestation. There is nothing to hold the soil on the mountainside, and it collapses into the valley. People live under these conditions because they have no choice.

The DRC is already in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis, with close to 8 million people living on the brink of starvation.

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Extreme Wildfires: The New Normal

British Columbia, Northern California, France, Spain, Greece, Croatia, Siberia, Montenegro, Portugal

More than 1,000 wildfires threatened beaches and neighborhoods in Rome and the port of Ostia in central Italy.

10,000 residents and vacationers were evacuated from beaches and campsites in the Riviera and coastal Southern France.

Forest fires in Siberia grew by 1,000 hectares in one day, now covering a total of 24,000 hectares. Also affected are the regions of Sakhalin, Kamchatka, Buryatia and Krasnoyarsk Regions.

About 20 forest fires are burning across the western Peloponnese in Greece.

Adriatic coastal areas in Croatia and Montenegro are consumed by wildfires as high temps and winds drive torch tens of thousands of acres across Southern Europe.

At least 200 forest fires followed May flooding in central British Columbia, as more than 14,000 people are forced to evacuate.

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Biological Annihilation Described By New Scientific Study

The First Five Global Extinctions Were Natural…This One Is Not.

An irreversible era of mass extinction has begun, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Yes skeptics, extinctions are cyclical. The difference between this: the first five planetary extinctions were natural.

Visit the Extinction Map.

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Invasion of the Borg: Global Warming Driving Bizarre Marine Species Migration

“This is a weird organism man. I don’t have a clue.”
Don Jeske, Alaskan salmon fisherman

Pyrosomes can exist in formations up to forty feet long, but they don’t belong in Alaskan waters.

Millions of weird 6 in long organisms resembling extended thimbles are invading the waters off of southeastern Alaska. Among other problems, these things belong thousands of miles to the south, in warmer waters.

Sometimes referred to as the “Borg of the sea” or sea pickles, the correct name of these organisms is pyrosomes. They are tropical spineless, filter feeding marine animals of the zooid family. Although they appear in cylindrical form up to forty feet long, they are actually colonies of very small individual animals (similar in a way to coral, except that they move). The tubes appear to be gelatinous and move along by taking in water for nutrients at one end and blowing out the waste at the other.

Although the current incursion consists of smaller pyrosome tubes, they can grow up to 40 feet.

Pyrosome range has normally been in the warm waters of the Equator up until now.  Not only have they invaded the waters off southeast Alaska, but they are also washing ashore in huge masses on the coasts of Oregon and Washington.

These little monsters are yet another species moving inexorably toward the poles as ocean waters warm. The effects will be interesting for all to see!

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As Tengger Desert Encroaches, China Resettles New “Ecological Migrants”

Not far from Beijing, China’s worst drought on record marks radically changing weather patterns

Global warming is driving the desertification of northern China at an annual rate of approximately 1,300 sq mi per year. Based on the most recent research, China is now about 20% desert, with 21,000 square miles more arid wasteland that it did 40 years ago. According to satellite data, the Tengger is slowly merging with two other deserts in the north, which will result in a vast mega desert. The extended drought in the area is expected to worsen as global warming takes its toll.

The most compelling manifestation of the changing climate are the sand storms that sweep through the region beginning in the spring. As they move east, the clouds of displaced soil and dust regularly blacken the skies of Beijing. They have begun moving east into Korea, Japan and the Western US. Life in the region, always difficult, may become impossible in the foreseeable future.

This catastrophe, along with the desertification of part of Africa, the American West, Southern Europe, Spain, Australia, and South America, is generating the beginning of the predicted climate refugee epidemic that has long been predicted. China has already resettled hundreds of thousands, with mixed results. Along with the refugees will come resource wars.

Not even the massive resources and resolve of the Chinese government to implement large scale social and topographical engineering feats can prevent this onslaught.

The leading edge of the Tengger desert is about 200 miles from Beijing. For now.

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Another Fake Clean Coal Plant Bites the Dust

Southern Company’s Kemper Coal Gasification Plant is the Latest Clean Coal Project That Didn’t Make The Long Haul

FutureGen bites the dust
Or, the way MIT Technology Review reported it:  ”Clean Coal’s Flagship Project Has Failed”

Southern Company has shut down its Kemper County Power Generation Facility clean coal gasification showcase project in Mississippi due to incredibly high costs – $7.5 billion so far. Ratepayers are on the hook for $800 million thanks to legislation passed by the Mississippi legislature; the plant also was on the receiving end of a $382 million Federal Energy Dept. “grant”.

Talk about gasification. I love the free market.

It is worth noting that that ratepayers are suing the company for fraud, and the SEC was investigating Southern Company back before the regime change. The delays and excuses were too much even for the regulators in the state of Mississippi.

Last year, the New York Times reported that the University of Southern Mississippi was forced to raise annual tuition $236 per student, partly to offset an extra $1 million in electrical power costs attributed to the plant.

The plant was backed by good ole Haley Barbour, Southern’s chief lobbyist prior to becoming governor of Mississippi. No one was real surprised when he signed legislation that passed the costs of new power plants on the ratepayers.

Company spokesmodels are calling the suspension a setback, but meantime Mississippi regulators have directed that the Kemper plant be converted to natural gas only (rather than coal fired).

Custer suffered the same kind of “setback” at Little Big Horn.

That will be the end of the Mississippi clean coal scam, but it certainly is not the first of these projects to fail after spending a lot of money. Their primary purpose from the beginning was to create the illusion that clean coal was actually a real thing, even though the claims began long before any ground was broken.

FutureGen bites the dust
The imaginary FutureGen 2.0 is a failed clean coal plant that cost taxpayers a lot of money.

CatMap has been following the clean coal carbon sequestration/gasification up our butts fairy tell for over a decade. It was in 2006 that the Bush administration granted $1 billion to an imaginary clean coal project called FutureGen, which was a proof of concept coal fired electrical that would show how clean my coal can be, and also provide millions of jobs in southern Illinois. In 2010, it was rebranded as FutureGen 2.0. It was finally shut down in 2015. Your $ billion is long gone, and so is FutureGen.

Two coal-fired electric generation plants are closing in Ohio. Two more are closing in New Jersey. I wonder who is going to buy all that coal Trump is bragging about?

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Dead Right Whales

The critically endangered species is now under 500 globally as six more whales die suddenly off New Brunswick

National Geographic reports that the carcasses of six right whales were found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, an unprecedented mortality event that bodes ill for yet another species on the brink.

Humans nearly wiped out the North Atlantic right whale in the late 18th century and the species has never fully recovered. Today, they are the rarest whale species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates that only about 350 individual animals still exist, down from over 10,000 a century and a half ago. Canada’s department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada estimate is closer to 500.

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