Monday, February 27, 2017

Not even Trump can stop world action on climate change .... Most countries are committed

Trump's attitude to climate change has drawn protests from all over the world

The UN’s new climate chief says she’s worried about President Donald Trump - but confident that action to curb climate change is unstoppable.
President Trump said he’d withdraw from the UN climate deal and stop funding the UN’s clean energy program.
But former Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa said that the delay in any firm announcement suggests the issue is still unresolved.
She travels to US this weekend to try and meet the new US secretary of state.

'World will carry on'

Ms Espinosa said it would be more damaging for the US to leave the on-going climate talks process altogether than to stop funding the clean energy program.
The US pays approximately $4m towards this program every year - and often an extra $2m in voluntary funding.
But she said the rest of the world would carry on tackling climate change without the US, if necessary.
She said China’s stated willingness to lead the world in curbing emissions might cause American diplomats to ponder the implications of allowing China a role of global moral leadership.
“We are of course worried about rumors that the possibility of the US pulling out of the Paris agreement and the convention on climate change,” she said.
“It would be very bad if there were a change of position in the US. That’s why I’m looking forwards to engaging with the US as a partner.”
She did not explain how the US would be able to remain within the Paris framework whilst scrapping action on its own emissions strategy that helps underpin that process.

Embracing green action

But she drew hope from the vast number of firms and cities looking towards a low-carbon future - in the US and around the world: "A lot of US businesses are really going into the agenda of sustainability and some are making their own commitments in emissions reductions in their own operations."
“An incredible amount of cities have embarked on ambitious goals; some states like California have been for many years in the forefront of this agenda.
“In International Petroleum Week, I was very encouraged to hear how much some of the oil and gas companies are realising that the future of their industries is in a transformation into clean energy companies - and they have embraced this in their own interest.
“The transformation has started. I think it’s unstoppable.”
Ms Espinosa smiled at the irony of dealing with Mr Trump as a Mexican, a woman, and someone who works in climate change.
She said her trip to the US would include meeting businesses and civil society groups and - hopefully - a senior member of the administration. She is anticipating a meeting with the new secretary of state Rex Tillerson.
The former CEO of the oil giant Exxon Mobil warned recently that climate change is a genuine risk, and said the US should stay at the table of UN talks.
Other nations have responded differently to the new situation presented by Mr Trump. China has offered to lead and India has surprised many with its new level of ambition.
Saudi Arabia has expressed support for a slower rate of decarbonization and Russia - the fifth largest emitter - has not yet ratified the climate deal from Paris.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A close bond with the world's largest land predator

An adult polar bear named Agee has an unusually close bond with Mark Dumas, the man who has hand-raised her since she was a cub. They swim together and cuddle. She even purrs like a cat when he's near. You'll notice that Mark does not initiate anything. He lets Agee decide on the mood and if she wants to play or cuddle. Mark's head can easily fit in her mouth and she could decapitate him in about five seconds.

An average male polar bear is about 1200 to 1500 pounds. The largest male recorded was well over 2000 pounds. The female is smaller, usually under a thousand pounds. They grow to stand about ten feet tall and are the world's largest land predator.
Polar bears appear to be white, but their hair is actually transparent; the white results from light being refracted through the clear hair strands. The bears can also be yellowish in the summer due to oxidation, or may even appear brown or gray, depending on the season and light conditions. Polar bear skin is black; it absorbs the heat of the sun to keep the animals warm. In the winter, temperatures in the Arctic are usually around minus 29 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees Celsius) and can reach as low as minus 92 F (minus 69 C). The temperature of the water is frigid, as well, reaching as low as 28 F (minus 2 C), the freezing point of seawater. They can withstand the coldest weather the planet has to offer. But they can easily die from being over heated.
We will lose them at a rate that accelerates beyond the increasing melt of Arctic ice. They will be gone forever before the ice is completely melted.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Scott Pruitt, longtime adversary of EPA, confirmed to lead the agency

Director of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt is sworn in by Justice Samuel Alito as his wife Marilyn holds a bible during ceremony at the Executive Office in Washington
Director of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt is sworn in by Justice Samuel Alito as his wife Marilyn holds a bible during ceremony at the Executive Office in Washington
17 February 2017
The US Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners.

The installation of Scott Pruitt, an environmental sceptic and nay sayer, who sued the agency he intends to lead more than a dozen times as Oklahoma attorney general, reinforces expectations on both sides of the political divide that America will cede its position as a leader in the global fight on climate change.
Senators voted 52-46 to approve Pruitt, who was to be sworn in later on Friday afternoon at the White House.

Pruitt begins what is likely to be a controversial tenure with a clear set of goals. He has been outspoken in his view, widely shared by Republicans, that the EPA zealously overstepped its legal authority under President Barack Obama, saddling the fossil-fuel industry with unnecessary and onerous regulations. He used his position as attorney general for six years to repeatedly sue the Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to regulate mercury, smog and other forms of pollution.

But rolling back the environmental actions of the previous administration won’t happen quickly or easily. Even if President Trump issues executive orders aimed at undoing Obama initiatives to combat climate change, oversee waterways and wetlands and slash pollution from power plants — as he is expected to do as early as next week — existing regulations won’t disappear overnight.

To reverse or revamp existing rules around vehicle fuel standards, mercury pollution or a range of other environmental issues, Pruitt would have to repeat the lengthy bureaucratic process that generated them. Other initiatives, such as the so-called Clean Power Plan aimed at regulating emissions from power plants, remain tied up federal courts. In addition, Pruitt will encounter a quietly hostile EPA workforce, very much on edge. Employees are understandably nervous about the direction he plans to take the agency and fearful he might adhere more to ideology than science. Science always tells the truth.
Environmental groups also are likely to oppose him at every turn, eager to sue over any rollback of existing regulations. For his part, Pruitt has said he intends to return the agency to its central mission of protecting the quality of the nation’s air and water while respecting the role of states as primary enforcers of environmental laws. “It is our state regulators who oftentimes best understand the local needs and the uniqueness of our environmental challenges,” he said during his confirmation hearing last month. This statement was for the benefit of all the energy , oil and coal producing states.

So far Trump has already tweaked the EPA website page

Original document and new Trump document .. enlarge to read

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website has begun to transform under the Trump administration.
A group of researchers have found what are likely the first steps in a major overhaul of a site that’s been closely watched since President Trump’s inauguration. Federal climate plans created under former President Obama, tribal assistance programs, and references to international cooperation have been stricken from the site.
A mention of carbon pollution as a cause of climate change has also been removed, and adaptation has been emphasized, indicating an attempt to separate the cause of climate change from the results. Some of the changes—like removing mentions of programs and task forces that have run their course as well as broken links—are just housekeeping, according to an government statement.
Putting the webpage changes together with Trump's statements dismissing climate change gives a clearer picture of his vision of "America First." It likely signals that the United States will be stepping back from addressing global climate change. And by removing the information, it could give Trump and Scott Pruitt more leeway to decimate funding for programs they see as incompatible with America First. “If the public is unaware of partnerships depending on the EPA, it may be easier to shrink the EPA without raising as much concern,” said Gretchen Gehrke, a data-quality manager at Public Lab and a member of the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI).
The changes were shared exclusively with Climate Central by EDGI, a group of scientists tracking federal websites and data. They first noticed the changes on January 22 on a page formerly called “
Federal Partner Collaboration” but now dubbed “EPA Adaptation Collaboration.” Researchers spotted further changes on January 26 to climate and water and international cooperation pages. All the pages are subpages of the EPA’s climate change page.

Obama’s legacy is being wiped away. 
One common theme running through the alterations is removing references to Obama-era projects such as the Climate Action Plan and other federal roadmaps to address climate change. The international partnership page also lost a paragraph affirming the U.S. commitment to the United Nations climate negotiations. “They’re mostly scrubbing it of anything that has a hint of Obama,” said Gretchen Goldman, the research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The United Nations stuff being removed is also maybe not surprising but definitely not positive.”
Trump campaigned on a promise to revoke much of Obama’s legacy, including on climate change. He’s made good on that promise and it is bad news for America and the rest of the world which will be negatively affected by global warming and climate change.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

If all the ice melted .. this is what we would see ... Where would all those people go?

Where would all those people go?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Could a $500bn plan to refreeze the Arctic before all the ice melts away, really work?

Arctic sea ice under the midnight sun.
 The Arctic under the midnight sun ...  a kingdom of ice, almost gone

Physicist Steven Desch has come up with a novel solution to the problems that now beset the Arctic. He and a team of colleagues from Arizona State University want to replenish the region’s shrinking sea ice – by building 10 million wind-powered pumps over the Arctic ice cap. In winter, these would be used to pump water to the surface of the ice where it would freeze, thickening the cap.
The pumps could add an extra metre of sea ice to the Arctic’s current layer, Desch argues. The current cap rarely exceeds 2-3 metres in thickness and is being eroded constantly as the planet succumbs to climate change.
“Thicker ice would mean longer-lasting ice. In turn, that would mean the danger of all sea ice disappearing from the Arctic in summer would be reduced significantly,” Desch told the Observer.

Desch and his team have put forward the scheme in a paper that has just been published in Earth’s Future, the journal of the American Geophysical Union, and have worked out a price tag for the project: $500bn.
It is an astonishing sum. However, it is the kind of outlay that may become necessary if we want to halt the calamity that faces the Arctic, says Desch, who, like many other scientists, has become alarmed at temperature change in the region. They say that it is now warming twice as fast as their climate models predicted only a few years ago and argue that the 2015 Paris agreement to limit global warming will be insufficient to prevent the region’s sea ice disappearing completely in summer, possibly by 2030.
“Our only strategy at present seems to be to tell people to stop burning fossil fuels,” says Desch. “It’s a good idea but it is going to need a lot more than that to stop the Arctic’s sea ice from disappearing.”

The loss of the Arctic’s summer sea ice cover would disrupt life in the region, critically endanger or drive to extinction many of its species, from Arctic cod to polar bears, and destroy a pristine habitat. It would also trigger further warming of the planet by removing ice that reflects solar radiation back into space. For this reason alone, it is critical to keep the ice.  Loss of the polar ice caps would disrupt weather patterns across the northern hemisphere and melt the permafrost, releasing more carbon gases into the atmosphere.
Hence Desch’s scheme to use wind pumps to bring water that is insulated from the bitter Arctic cold to its icy surface, where it will freeze and thicken the ice cap. Nor is the physicist alone in his Arctic scheming: other projects to halt sea-ice loss include one to artificially whiten the Arctic by scattering light-coloured aerosol particles over it to reflect solar radiation back into space, and another to spray sea water into the atmosphere above the region to create clouds that would also reflect sunlight away from the surface.

All the projects are highly imaginative – and extremely costly. The fact that they are even being considered reveals just how desperately worried researchers have become about the Arctic. “The situation is causing grave concern,” says Professor Julienne Stroeve, of University College London. “It is now much more dire than even our worst case scenarios originally suggested.’

Last November, when sea ice should have begun thickening and spreading over the Arctic as winter set in, the region warmed up. Temperatures should have plummeted to -25C but reached several degrees above freezing instead. “It’s been about 20C warmer than normal over most of the Arctic Ocean. This is unprecedented said,” research professor Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University. “These temperatures are literally off the charts for where they should be at this time of year. It is pretty shocking. The Arctic has been breaking records all year. It is very frightening.”

Nor have things got better in the intervening months. Figures issued by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), in Boulder, Colorado, last week revealed that in January the Arctic’s sea ice covered 13.38 million sq km, the lowest January extent since satellites began surveying the region. That figure is 260,000 sq km below  last year, which was the previous lowest on record, and a worrying 1.26 million sq km below the  over-all average for January.

In fact, sea ice growth stalled during the second week of January – in the heart of the Arctic winter – while the ice cap actually retreated within the Kara and Barents seas, and within the Sea of Okhotsk. Similarly, the Svalbard archipelago, normally shrouded in ice, has remained relatively free because of the inflow of warm Atlantic water along the western part of the island chain. Although there has been some recovery, sea ice remains well below all previous record lows.

Image showing extent of new and old sea ice int he Arctic.
The area covered by Arctic sea ice at least four years old has decreased from 1,860,000 sq km in September 1984 to 110,000 sq km in September 2016. In this visualisation, the age of the ice is indicated by shades ranging from blue-gray for the youngest ice to white for the oldest. Photograph: Scientific Visualization Studio/Nasa

This paucity of sea ice bodes ill for the Arctic’s summer months when cover traditionally drops to its lower annual level, and could plunge to a record minimum this year. Most scientists expect that, at current emission rates, the Arctic will be reliably free of sea ice in summer by 2030.

By “free” they mean there will be less than 1million sq km of sea ice left in the Arctic, most of it packed into remote bays and channels, while the central Arctic Ocean over the north pole will be completely open. There will be much less than 1million sq km of ice by the year 2050. The first single ice-free year will come much earlier than this, however.
And when that happens, the consequences are likely to be severe for the human and animal inhabitants of the region. An ice-free Arctic will be wide open to commercial exploitation, for example. Already, mining, oil and tourism companies have revealed plans to begin operations – schemes that could put severe strain on indigenous communities’ way of life in the region.

Equally worrying is the likely impact on wildlife, says Stroeve. “Juvenile Arctic cod like to hang out under the sea ice. Polar bears hunt on sea ice, and seals give birth on it. We have no idea what will happen when that lot disappears. In addition, there is the problem of increasing numbers of warm spells during which rain falls instead of snow. That rain then freezes on the ground and forms a hard ice coating that prevents reindeer and caribou from finding food under the snow.”
Nor would the rest of the world be isolated. With less ice to reflect solar radiation back into space, the dark ocean waters of the high latitudes will warm and the Arctic will heat up even further.

“If you warm the Arctic you decrease the temperature difference between the poles and the mid-latitudes, and that affects the polar vortex, the winds that blow between the mid latitudes and the high latitudes,” says Henry Burgess, head of the Arctic office of the UK Natural Environment Research Council.
“Normally this process tends to keep the cold in the high north and milder air in mid-latitudes but there is an increasing risk this will be disrupted as the temperature differential gets weaker. We may get more and more long, cold spells spilling down from the Arctic, longer and slower periods of Atlantic storms and equally warmer periods in the Arctic.

For her part, Stroeve puts it more bleakly: “We are carrying out a blind experiment on our planet whose outcome is almost impossible to guess.”
This point is backed by Desch. “Sea ice is disappearing from the Arctic – rapidly. The sorts of options we are proposing need to be researched and discussed now. If we are provocative and get people to think about this, that is good.
“The question is: do I think our project would work? Yes. I am confident it would. But we do need to put a realistic cost on these things. We cannot keep on just telling people, ‘Stop driving your car or it’s the end of the world’. We have to give them alternative options, though equally we need to price them.”

The Arctic ice cap reaches its maximum extent every March and then, over the next six months, dwindles. The trough is reached around mid-September at the end of the melting season. The ice growth cycle then restarts. According to meteorologists, the Arctic’s ice cover is now decreasing by 13% every decade – a direct consequence of heating triggered by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Climate change deniers claim this loss is matched by gains in sea ice around the Antarctic. It is not. Antarctic ice fluctuations are slight compared with the Arctic’s plummeting coverage.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Many of you will live to see him disappear from the earth

Image result for humorous illustrations and images of polar bears
In spite of the dire predictions,
 in the back of my mind, I can't help feeling a little spark of hope. Where would we be without hope??

Monday, February 6, 2017

More than 800 Earth scientists and energy experts (and counting) urge the Mr Trump to take six crucial steps

More than 800 Earth scientists and energy experts (and counting) urge the new president to take six crucial steps
President Trump has called climate change a Chinese hoax, vowed to dismantle America's climate and clean energy policies, and appointed climate deniers with ties to the fossil fuel industry to his transition team and Cabinet.
In response, more than 800 Earth science and energy experts in 46 states have signed an open letter to Donald Trump, urging him to take six key steps to address climate change to help protect “America’s economy, national security, and public health and safety.”
All signatories are pursuing or hold a PhD in relevant disciplines. All are either American or work in the United States.
The release of this open letter is accompanied by a public petition, which can be signed at

To President Trump
We, the undersigned, urge you to take immediate and sustained action against human-caused climate change. We write as concerned individuals, united in recognizing that the science is unequivocal and America must respond.
Climate change threatens America’s economy, national security, and public health and safety1-4. Some communities are already experiencing its impacts, with low-income and minority groups disproportionately affected.
At this crucial juncture in human history, countries look to the United States to pick up the mantle of leadership: to take steps to strengthen, not weaken, this nation’s efforts to tackle this crisis. With the eyes of the world upon us, and amidst uncertainty and concern about how your administration will address this issue, we ask that you begin by taking the following steps upon taking office:
  1. Make America a clean energy leader. The vast majority of Americans - whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent - support renewable energy research and deployment5. Embrace the enormous economic opportunities of transitioning to an energy-efficient, low-carbon society6,7. Use part of your $1 trillion commitment to infrastructure development to expand democratized clean energy, boost U.S. competitiveness, and put America to work8. Since 2008, the cleantech industry has created one out of every 33 jobs in the United States. “Wind technician” is the fastest growing job category in America, and the solar industry has hired more veterans than any other sector9.
  2. Reduce carbon pollution and America’s dependence on fossil fuels. The majority of Americans are in favor of this5. Assure them that the policies helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions, curb air and water pollution, and accelerate clean energy growth, innovation, and jobs - such as the Clean Power Plan, renewable energy tax credits, and auto-efficiency standards - will stay in place. Continued funding and flexibility of federal agencies to address climate change, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, are key to achieving these goals.
  3. Enhance America’s climate preparedness and resilience. In the past 5 years alone, storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires caused over $250 billion in damages10. As climate change continues to increase the frequency and severity of these extreme events, so too grows the burden on all taxpayers to pay for disaster relief and recovery3. Help protect and strengthen America’s communities, economy, and natural resources by investing in modern, climate-resilient energy, transport, building, and water infrastructure.
  4. Publicly acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat. If not, you will become the only government leader in the world to deny climate science11. Your position will be at odds with virtually all climate scientists, most economists, military experts, fossil fuel companies and other business leaders, and the two-thirds of Americans worried about this issue1,2,12-15.
  5. Protect scientific integrity in policymaking. During your campaign, you said that your “administration will ensure that there will be [scientific] transparency and accountability without political bias16.” Uphold these standards by appointing scientific advisors, Cabinet members, and federal agency leaders who respect and rely on science-based decision-making. This would exclude many of your Cabinet and transition team appointees to date, who deny the scientific realities of human-caused climate change17,18.
  6. Uphold America's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Reneging from this treaty - the product of 25 years of negotiations between almost every country on Earth - would undermine our best chance to avoid dangerous climate change. It would also poorly represent the American people, the majority of whom support US participation in the Paris Agreement19. The United States will lose its seat of influence at the international negotiating table, and will cede to China, the EU, and other countries its authority as a political, technological, and moral leader20.
You have the support of the majority of companies, military leaders, scientists, engineers, and citizens to respond to the threats posed by climate change by reducing carbon pollution and expanding clean energy. Many of America’s largest cities and states are already committed to doing so. We urge you to decide if you want your Presidency to be defined by denial and disaster, or acceptance and action.

The signatures of eight hundred scientists were at the bottom of the letter. I trust you will take my word for it.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mr Trump ... Kiss my furry white ass

Want to ask a real expert if global warming is real?? Come fishing with me. We'll see how far you can swim before you drown.
And keep your little hands off my wife's pussy or I'll eat you.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Fissure in Arizona is the largest of it's kind

The fissures in Arizona started showing up in 1929. They have been increasing in depth and size in recent years because of the growing population mining the underground water in the state for human use and agriculture. When you remove the ground water in hot, dry areas, the surface, above ground, which is exposed to heat and dryness simply cracks apart from total lack  of moisture, above and below. The residents of the state have become worried about this phenomenon. And so they have formed a committee of scientists to monitor these fissures.  As they grow longer and deeper they become extreme hazards because they can open up anywhere.
Just imagine what fracking for natural gas might do in this state. Hydraulic fracturing of the shale rock below the surface uses millions of gallons of precious water and forces it, mixed with toxic chemicals into the ground to fracture the shale. The waste products are left to leach into water sources and sink holes and earthquakes are quite common.
Right now there is conflict in the Sahara desert in Algeria as the people in the area fight the oil companies to keep them from fracking.  The fracking will destroy the little water they have and leave them with toxic waste which could destroy livestock and their fragile agriculture situation. Humans always seem to change the planet for worse not better.