tagged w/ Global Warming
No Evidence of Polar Warming During Penultimate Interglacial
ScienceDaily (July 16, 2012) — The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), driven by temperature and salinity gradients, is an important component of the climate system; it transfers an enormous amount of heat via ocean currents and atmospheric circulation to high northern latitudes and hence has bearing on climate in the region.
Freshening of the surface ocean could weaken the AMOC. But during warm interglacial periods the effect of a fresh surface ocean on the AMOC may be muted. In fact, climate models predict that heat transfer from the North Atlantic to the Arctic may increase over the 21st century. A series of interconnected processes in the North Atlantic, known as polar amplification, could cause the Arctic to warm up faster compared to the rest of the world. It could even lead to ice-free conditions in the Arctic.
Previous paleoclimatic reconstructions indicate that the sub-Arctic may have been warmer by about 5 degrees Celcius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) with little summer sea ice cover during the Eemian, the penultimate interglacial centered around 125,000 years ago. Climate models favoring polar amplification use the Eemian as an analog of the present. In a new study, Bauch et al. compare reconstructed temperatures and water masses from two sediment cores that record the flow of meltwater in the subpolar and polar North Atlantic over the past 135,000 years. They do not find evidence of extreme warmth in the sub-Arctic during the Eemian interglacial period.
In fact, the Arctic may have been colder during the Eemian, with lower heat transfer from the North Atlantic. On the basis of their finding, the authors suggest that previous records may reflect other phenomena and caution against the use of the Eemian as an analog of the present. Their finding also challenges climate models that predict extreme warmth and ice-free conditions in the Arctic in response to greenhouse gas warming in the 21st century.No Evidence of Polar Warming During Penultimate Interglacial ScienceDaily (July 16,... more
But we still need green renewable energy and find a way to survive climate change.
New York Times — As a relentless drought bakes prairie soil to dust and dries up streams across the country, ranchers struggling to feed their cattle are unloading them by the thousands, a wrenching decision likely to ripple from the Plains to supermarket shelves over the next year.
Ranchers say they are reducing their herds and selling their cattle months ahead of schedule to avoid the mounting losses of a drought that now stretches across a record-breaking 1,016 American counties. Irrigation ponds are shriveling to scummy puddles. Their pastures are brown and barren. And they say the prices of hay and other feed are soaring beyond their reach.
“If we’re running out of grass and we’re not growing enough feed crops to feed them the other six months of the year, what do you do?” asked R. Scott Barrows, director of Kansas State University’s Golden Prairie District extension office. “You liquidate.”
So, in the latest pangs of a withering heat wave that has threatened crops and sparked furious wildfires, ranchers are loading up their cattle and driving to towns like Torrington, an old byway on the Oregon Trail near the Nebraska border. They come, reluctantly, to sell.
On a normal summer Wednesday, the Torrington Livestock Markets would be quiet, and cows and their calves would be out on waving fields of buffalo grass, gaining weight for the autumn. But it is doing four times as much early-season business as usual, driven by parched conditions. Last month, 17,144 head of cattle were auctioned off, compared with 3,336 in June 2011.
“They’re getting frustrated, and they’re at a loss for what to do with their cattle,” said Michael Schmitt, an owner of the livestock market. Many cattle producers are selling off less-profitable animals with the hopes of holding onto part of their herd. But the smaller the rancher, the deeper their troubles, and the more they are cutting.
On this 90-degree July morning, anxious ranchers and poker-faced beef buyers filled the theater seats around the auction floor, ready to sell 1,700 cattle at a new weekly special: a drought sale.
“We’ve just been sitting here crying,” said a sixth-generation rancher named Mae Ann Manning, as she and a few friends sat in the cafeteria and waited for the day’s bidding to start. She was half joking. But half not. “We don’t know what we’re going to do.”
Ms. Manning and her daughter Debbie Murray came to sell 160 year-old steers. There had been little winter snow to moisten the ground at their ranches near Lost Springs, and the spring was hot and dry. A wildfire burned three of their pastures. Now, with the summer sun frying what little grass remained and hay selling for $200 a ton, they decided to winnow the herd.
Because the cattle being sold now are younger and lighter than those fed all summer on prairie grass, ranchers are losing $200 to $400 for each one they are dumping early. That can mean the difference between a year’s profit and loss when multiplied out over herds numbering in the hundreds or thousands.
“It’s going to take two to three years to recover,” said Brit Moen, who was selling 150 black steers. He had raised them on grass under Wyoming’s endless skies, but after they tramped through the manure-covered auction floor, silent and nervous, they were likely bound for a feedlot in Kansas, Nebraska or Iowa, where they would be fattened up for slaughter.
“We’re all cutting down, and we’ll never be able to replace what we’ve got now,” he said. “If this is to go on for another year, it’ll put a lot of people out of business.”
Further down the line, the sales of cows and calves that might have otherwise produced more cows and more calves may play a role in reducing beef production, potentially driving prices higher, experts say. But right now, ranchers selling early are getting less money per head because of tremors in the markets for corn and other cattle feed.
In its latest forecasts, the Agriculture Department expects overall American beef production to fall by about one billion pounds, to 25.1 billion pounds in 2012 from 26.2 billion a year earlier, and forecasts yet another fall in 2013. High beef prices, which entice ranchers to sell more of their stock, and a long-term drop in domestic cattle supplies are also factors in the decline.
“Our cattle inventories are the lowest they’ve been in several decades,” said Ken Mathews, a cattle analyst at the Agriculture Department. “A lot of these producers, large and small, were thinking of expanding their herds. Things looked good. When the drought resurrected itself, that blew those plans apart.”
Experts and ranchers say the hammering heat and near-total absence of rainfall play havoc on nearly every corner of their business. Parched corn glutted with nitrogen from the soil becomes toxic to cows. Slimes of algae bloom on irrigation ponds. Wells run dry, and ranchers spend their days hauling water to accommodate a cow’s 35-gallon daily thirst. Fewer cows get pregnant, and mothers’ milk can run dry.
In Graham County, Kan., a crop-duster pilot and small-time cattleman named Eric Brachtenbach said one of his calves was starving without milk, and two others had fallen ill. He thought about the cost of fencing, trailers, feed and vaccinations, and decided: better to sell. He is cutting his herd of 130 to 40.
“There ain’t enough money,” he said.
At the Torrington Livestock Markets, it was nearly time to start the bidding. Ms. Manning and her daughter prepared to find their seats, but first they wanted to say something about the life their family has pursued since their land was a homestead.
“We’re discouraged, but we’re all damn proud to be here,” Ms. Murray said. “It’s hard. But it’s called life.”
Her mother agreed: “We just keep on.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/us/heat-forces-ranchers-to-sell-herds-to-cut-losses.html?_r=2New York Times — As a relentless drought bakes prairie soil to dust and dries up... more
When writing The dark side of Greenland, a recent blog post on decreasing reflectivity of the Greenland ice sheet with images comparing the southwest of Greenland with satellite images from previous years, I of course realized that when that ice sheet becomes less reflective, it will soak up more solar energy and thus melt faster. But the practical aspect of this theory never really dawned on me, until I saw this video:
Levels in the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua river, also knows as the Watson river, have reached such heights that they have smashed the two bridges connecting the north and south of Kangerlussuaq, a small settlement in southwestern Greenland, located at the head of the fjord of the same name. The river water stems from different meltwater outflow streams from Russell Glacier (an outflow of the Greenland ice sheet), and is a tributary of Qinnguata Kuussua, the main river in the Kangerlussuaq area.
Of course the local media are covering the story. Here are a few excerpts from different news articles from Sermitsiaq (via Google translate):
What has happened in detail over the inland ice, which caused this incident, is not yet known, but the fierce heat has certainly been an important player. And unfortunately it looks like the weather will not come to the Greenlanders' rescue, as the air temperatures over the ice sheet are expected to remain warmer than normal at least the next 7-10 days, writes Greenland meteorological Jesper Eriksen at dmi.dk.
However, it's not only hot on the icecap at Kangerlussuaq. Deep in the ice, there are also plus degrees:
In Greenland, it has been very hot over the inland ice in comparison to normal conditions. On July 11th at 15 UTC the recorded temperature at the Summit Camp weather station, which is located at the ice cap's highest altitude (3200 metres), was 2.2 degrees Celsius. That is quite high for this height, particularly in light of the fact that ice has a relatively high albedo.
Just 2.2 °C doesn't sound like much (although it looks to be a new record for July), until one realises that we are talking Summit Camp here. At an altitude of 3200 metres. In the middle of the Greenland ice sheet. Nothing but ice.
3.5 million liters of water pressed through the narrow river every second. It's almost a doubling of previous records. It's no wonder that a 20 ton wheel loader was torn away from the bridge in Kangerlussuaq like a toy.
It's difficult for me to assess whether this is correct, flipping through this research paper by Van As et al.: Large surface meltwater discharge from the Kangerlussuaq sector of the Greenland ice sheet during the record-warm year 2010 explained by detailed energy balance observations. I'll get back on this.
Quote from the conclusion:
"Due to the early onset of melt in 2010, combined with lower winter accumulation, surface albedo was below the 2000–2010 average as determined from calibrated MODIS imagery. This in turn allowed for larger solar radiation absorption, resulting in higher melt (melt-albedo feedback). As a consequence, energy available for surface melt was larger in 2010 than in 2009, particularly in the upper ablation zone. While the warmer atmosphere caused increased melt over the entire elevation domain, in the upper ablation zone the relatively low albedo allowed for higher solar radiation absorption rates, contributing over half to the melt increase."
During warm episodes in the future, a melt response of at least this magnitude should be expected unless large wintertime snowfall offsets the melt-albedo feedback.
Albedo of the Greenland ice sheet wasn't so great this year, judging from these regularly updated graphs on the Meltfactor blog, particularly at higher elevations:
More at the linkWhen writing The dark side of Greenland, a recent blog post on decreasing reflectivity... more
How did the Romans grow grapes in northern England? Perhaps because it was warmer than we thought.
A study suggests the Britain of 2,000 years ago experienced a lengthy period of hotter summers than today.
German researchers used data from tree rings – a key indicator of past climate – to claim the world has been on a ‘long-term cooling trend’ for two millennia until the global warming of the twentieth century.
This cooling was punctuated by a couple of warm spells.
These are the Medieval Warm Period, which is well known, but also a period during the toga-wearing Roman times when temperatures were apparently 1 deg C warmer than now.
They say the very warm period during the years 21 to 50AD has been underestimated by climate scientists.
Lead author Professor Dr Jan Esper of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz said: ‘We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low.
‘This figure we calculated may not seem particularly significant, however it is not negligible when compared to global warming, which up to now has been less than 1 deg C.’
In general the scientists found a slow cooling of 0.6C over 2,000 years, which they attributed to changes in the Earth’s orbit which took it further away from the Sun.
The study is published in Nature Climate Change.
It is based on measurements stretching back to 138BC.
The finding may force scientists to rethink current theories of the impact of global warming
Professor Esper's group at the Institute of Geography at JGU used tree-ring density measurements from sub-fossil pine trees originating from Finnish Lapland to produce a reconstruction reaching back to 138 BC.
In so doing, the researchers have been able for the first time to precisely demonstrate that the long-term trend over the past two millennia has been towards climatic cooling.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2171973/Tree-ring-study-proves-climate-WARMER-Roman-Medieval-times-modern-industrial-age.html#ixzz20MGV4fW5
The Sun drives climate as we can see today with the recent onslaught of solar CMEs blasting out of our home star and crashing into our atmosphere.How did the Romans grow grapes in northern England? Perhaps because it was warmer than... more
Every network gets extreme weather story right, ‘Now’s The Time We Start Limiting Manmade Greenhouse Gases’ — ABCI have been critical of the media for ignoring the link between man-made global warming and the off-the-charts extreme weather we have been seeing. And many have documented how they have been downplaying the story of the century in the last couple of years.
But the extreme weather has been so unprecedented — and NOAA and leading climate scientists have been so blunt — that we have the unprecedented situation of the evening news shows last night on ABC, CBS, and NBC (and PBS) all talking about the link between greenhouse gases and the stunning heat wave. All the videos are posted below (with some of the best excerpts).
Here’s the excellent ABC World News piece, where Sam Champion, ABC News weather editor, says to anchor, Diane Sawyer
“If you want my opinion, Diane, now’s the time we start limiting manmade greenhouse gases.”
And here’s the CBS News video, with the accompanying online story, “NOAA links extreme weather to climate change“:
On Tuesday, for the first time, government scientists are saying recent extreme weather events are likely connected to man-made climate change. It’s the conclusion of a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The report says last year’s record drought in Texas was made “roughly 20 times more likely” because of man made climate change, specifically meaning warming that comes from greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide. The study, requested by NOAA, looked at 50 years of weather data in Texas and concluded that man-made warming had to be a factor in the drought.
The head of NOAA’s climate office, Tom Karl, said: “What we’re seeing, not only in Texas but in other phenomena in other parts of the world, where we can’t explain these events by natural variability alone. They’re just too rare, too uncommon.”
More at the linkI have been critical of the media for ignoring the link between man-made global... more
A NASA-sponsored researcher at the University of Iowa has developed a way for spacecraft to hunt down hidden magnetic portals in the vicinity of Earth. These gateways link the magnetic field of our planet to that of the sun, setting the stage for stormy space weather. The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission will study these portals. Credit: Science@NASA
A favorite theme of science fiction is "the portal"--an extraordinary opening in space or time that connects travelers to distant realms. A good portal is a shortcut, a guide, a door into the unknown. If only they actually existed....
It turns out that they do, sort of, and a NASA-funded researcher at the University of Iowa has figured out how to find them.
"We call them X-points or electron diffusion regions," explains plasma physicist Jack Scudder of the University of Iowa. "They're places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun, creating an uninterrupted path leading from our own planet to the sun's atmosphere 93 million miles away."
Observations by NASA's THEMIS spacecraft and Europe's Cluster probes suggest that these magnetic portals open and close dozens of times each day. They're typically located a few tens of thousands of kilometers from Earth where the geomagnetic field meets the onrushing solar wind. Most portals are small and short-lived; others are yawning, vast, and sustained. Tons of energetic particles can flow through the openings, heating Earth's upper atmosphere, sparking geomagnetic storms, and igniting bright polar auroras.
NASA is planning a mission called "MMS," short for Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, due to launch in 2014, to study the phenomenon. Bristling with energetic particle detectors and magnetic sensors, the four spacecraft of MMS will spread out in Earth's magnetosphere and surround the portals to observe how they work.
Just one problem: Finding them. Magnetic portals are invisible, unstable, and elusive. They open and close without warning "and there are no signposts to guide us in," notes Scudder.
Actually, there are signposts, and Scudder has found them.
Portals form via the process of magnetic reconnection. Mingling lines of magnetic force from the sun and Earth criss-cross and join to create the openings. "X-points" are where the criss-cross takes place. The sudden joining of magnetic fields can propel jets of charged particles from the X-point, creating an "electron diffusion region."
To learn how to pinpoint these events, Scudder looked at data from a space probe that orbited Earth more than 10 years ago.
"In the late 1990s, NASA's Polar spacecraft spent years in Earth's magnetosphere," explains Scudder, "and it encountered many X-points during its mission."
Because Polar carried sensors similar to those of MMS, Scudder decided to see how an X-point looked to Polar. "Using Polar data, we have found five simple combinations of magnetic field and energetic particle measurements that tell us when we've come across an X-point or an electron diffusion region. A single spacecraft, properly instrumented, can make these measurements."
This means that single member of the MMS constellation using the diagnostics can find a portal and alert other members of the constellation. Mission planners long thought that MMS might have to spend a year or so learning to find portals before it could study them. Scudder's work short cuts the process, allowing MMS to get to work without delay.
It's a shortcut worthy of the best portals of fiction, only this time the portals are real. And with the new "signposts" we know how to find them.A NASA-sponsored researcher at the University of Iowa has developed a way for... more
The vicious 2012 wildfire season now unfolding in the interior West is hardly a surprise. Much of the region has been in a drought for more than a decade. This winter’s snowpack was sparse, particularly in Colorado, and it melted and ran off early.
Temperatures have been high, and humidity has been low—making fuels from grasses to trees very dry and flammable.
All of that means conditions ripe for fires, which have come with a vengeance. New Mexico has had its biggest fire ever, and Colorado has seen the most destructive fires in its history, with the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs and the High Park Fire near Fort Collins destroying more than 600 homes combined. Even as firefighters have brought the big Colorado fires near containment, other large blazes have broken out in Wyoming, Utah, and Montana.
Yes, it’s looking like a big fire year. And yes, this is part of the new normal. It’s pretty much exactly what climate experts have been predicting and what the data have been telegraphing for some time. While there are various proposals on the table to deal with increasingly destructive wildfires, they are likely to continue and become worse unless we tackle climate change.
More severe wildfires, right on schedule
Numerous studies in recent years have predicted that higher temperatures and drought conditions brought on by climate change will accelerate wildland fire activity in the West.
In 2004 U.S. Forest Service researchers studying past fires in the West constructed a model that predicted as much as a fivefold increase in burned areas by the end of the century.
Two years later a Scripps Institute of Oceanography study looked at the relatively recent spike in wildfire activity and determined it was due to changes in climate rather than forest management practices:
Robust statistical associations between wildfire and hydroclimate in western forests indicate that increased wildfire activity over recent decades reflects sub-regional responses to changes in climate. Historical wildfire observations exhibit an abrupt transition in the mid-1980s from a regime of infrequent large wildfires of short (average of 1 week) duration to one with much more frequent and longer burning (5 weeks) fires.
This transition was marked by a shift toward unusually warm springs, longer summer dry seasons, drier vegetation (which provoked more and longer burning large wildfires), and longer fire seasons. Reduced winter precipitation and an early spring snowmelt played a role in this shift.
Three years ago, in a thorough report on the impacts of climate change across the country, the U.S. Global Change Research Program said that earlier melting of snow and drier soils and plants had already increased fire activity in the West, and that the situation would grow worse:
Wildfires in the United States are already increasing due to warming. In the West, there has been a nearly fourfold increase in large wildfires in recent decades, with greater fire frequency, longer fire durations, and longer wildfire seasons. This increase is strongly associated with increased spring and summer temperatures and earlier spring snowmelt, which have caused drying of soils and vegetation.
It’s impossible to link any one particular fire or weather event to climate change. In the case of fires in the West, there are other factors as well: more people living in fire-prone areas in and near forests and unnaturally crowded forests brought on in large part by decades of misguided efforts to battle and suppress nearly all fires.
But federal scientists and officials whose responsibilities include management of the vast national forest system in the West are increasingly saying flat out that there is an undeniable link between wildfires and climate change.
The Agriculture Department official who oversees the U.S. Forest Service, Under Secretary Harris Sherman, noted recently that 10 states have had record fires in the past decade. “The climate is changing,” Sherman told The Washington Post, “and these fires are a very strong indicator of that.”
“There’s enough data that show fires are very clearly linked to warming,” U.S. Geological Society Research Ecologist Craig Allen recently told a symposium sponsored by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. “Fire season’s about two months longer than it used to be.”
But the longer season is just the beginning. Data compiled by the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, show that the fires are becoming more destructive—the amount of acreage burned has skyrocketed over the past few decades:
*During the four decades of the 1960s through the 1990s, the annual acreage burned by wildfire averaged 2,879,054 acres. Between 2000 and 2009 the average year saw 6,941,952 acres burn.
*Between 1960 and 1995 there were just five years where the acreage burned exceeded 5 million. Between 1996 and 2011, 11 of the 16 years exceeded 5 million acres burned, including 8 of the past 10 years.
To date in 2012 fires have burned about 2.4 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. And the outlook for the rest of the summer and early fall is not rosy, the center reports. Much of the West—from northern Arizona and northern New Mexico to southern Montana, across Nevada, and into parts of California—will have above-normal fire potential through the remainder of July. From August to October large swaths of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and California will have above-average fire potential due to drought, fuel conditions, and El Niño, which causes sea temperatures to rise.
More at linkThe vicious 2012 wildfire season now unfolding in the interior West is hardly a... more
As we discuss the spate of extreme weather in the United States, the author and professor Christian Parenti argues that the Republican-led assault on the public sector will leave states more vulnerable to global warming's effects. "Another thing missing from these discussions -- it's not just the words 'climate change,' but the words 'public sector,'" Parenti says. "I mean, who's out there fighting these fires? It's the public sector. Where do people go when there are these cooling centers? It's the public sector. ... This assault on the public sector must be linked to climate change." We're also joined by The Guardian's U.S. environment correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg and by Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground website.As we discuss the spate of extreme weather in the United States, the author and... more
Raw Story tells us that the photo used for their article is "dirty orange air, via Shutterstock.com." Really? "Orange air?"
Despite the results of the poll, it seems like it was still a "push-poll" as a likely follow-up question was "do you believe that the earth is getting hotter?"
Americans no longer see climate change as the world’s number-one environmental issue, according to a public opinion poll released Tuesday amid an ongoing heat wave in much of the United States.
Twenty-nine percent cited water and air pollution as the most pressing concern, the Washington Post-Stanford University poll indicated, followed by 18 percent who pointed to climate change — way down from 33 percent in 2007.
More than 800 adults took part in the telephone survey between June 13 and 21, several days before record-setting temperatures unleashed fierce thunderstorms and left millions without power in many states.
While downgrading climate change, nearly three in four poll respondents said the Earth is warming, and just as many felt global temperatures will keep going up if nothing is done to address the matter.Raw Story tells us that the photo used for their article is "dirty orange air,... more
NBC Meteorologist Bill Karins said on Friday , “We’ve never really seen a heat wave like this in the month of June.”
How hot is it? It’s so hot that all-time records are being set in June: “Nashville has reached its hottest temperature on record…109 degrees at 314 pm. The previous all time record was 107 from July 27th and 28th of 1952.”
How hot is it? It is so hot that NBC Washington’s Chief Meteorologist, Doug Kammerer, explained on air “If we did not have global warming, we wouldn’t see this.”
As Climate Central explains in its post, “Scorching June Heat Wave Puts 50 Million in U.S. on Alert”:
“During the June 22-to-28 period, there were 2,132 warm temperature records set or tied in the U.S., compared to 486 cold temperature records. This includes 267 monthly warm temperature records, and 54 all-time warm temperature records.
"For the year-to-date, warm temperature records have been outpacing cold temperature records by about 7-to-1.
"In a long-term trend that demonstrates the effects of a warming climate, daily record-high temperatures have recently been outpacing daily record-lows by an average of 2-to-1, and this imbalance is expected to grow as the climate continues to warm.
"According to a 2009 study, if the climate were not warming, this ratio would be expected to be even. Other studies have shown that climate change increases the odds of extreme heat events and may make them warmer and longer lasting.
"All-time records set Thursday included several in Kansas, where Norton Dam recorded a high of 118°F, beating the old record of 113°F set just a few days earlier. Dodge City, Kan., set a daily high temperature record with a mark of 108°F. That came one day after that town recorded its all-time highest temperature of 112°F, breaking the old record of 110°F, which had been recorded just two days earlier, on June 26.”
Since the science of attributing extreme events to global warming is still emerging, scientists still disagree to what extent a specific event like this heat wave is driven by global warming. But two of the leading experts explain at RealClimate why even small shifts in average temperature mean “the probability for ‘outlandish’ heat records increases greatly due to global warming.” Furthermore, “the more outlandish a record is, the more would we suspect that non-linear feedbacks are at play – which could increase their likelihood even more.”
More at linkNBC Meteorologist Bill Karins said on Friday , “We’ve never really seen a... more
BLM ‘Auctions’ 720-Million-Ton North Porcupine Coal Tract To Single Bidder For $1.10 A Ton
The Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management auctioned a major tract of Wyoming coal to Peabody Energy at a bargain-basement price of $1.10 per ton yesterday.
The North Porcupine coal tract in the Powder River Basin went to the single bidder, Peabody subsidiary BPU Western Resources, for $793,270,310.80 for 721 million tons, BLM representative Beverly Gorny stated in a telephone interview.
This sale, made under the provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, represents a massive fossil-fuel subsidy based on the assumption that the use of coal benefits the American public. However, it is likely this coal is intended for the Asian market, where sub-bituminous coal fetches a much higher price. The non-competitive leasing program is under federal investigation.
Moreover, the costs of the carbon pollution from mining and burning this coal were not taken into consideration. The 721 million short tons of sub-bituminous coal in the lease sale will generate approximately 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide when burned.
With a modest estimated social cost of carbon at $65 per ton of CO2, the global-warming impacts to society of this lease sale exceed $70 billion — 90 times the price paid for the lease. More than 27,000 people signed a Credo Action petition opposing the fire sale of Wyoming’s sub-prime carbon reserves.
The lease sale still has to be approved by the BLM post-sale panel, which recently rejected a low-ball bid for an adjoining tract.
By Brad Johnson, campaign manager of Forecast the FactsBLM ‘Auctions’ 720-Million-Ton North Porcupine Coal Tract To Single Bidder... more
"We have never seen one like this before… a firestorm of epic proportions."
Some of the country's best firefighters matched wits Wednesday with a fiendish Colorado wildfire that has scorched structures and sent tens of thousands fleeing from Colorado Springs and other communities.
As predicted, erratic winds kicked up again in the afternoon, increasing the chance of embers jumping fire lines and creating more havoc, officials said.
"We are learning as we fight this fire some of its tricks," said incident commander Rich Harvey. "And one of its tricks is to run down these hills that way. You can fool us once, maybe, but not twice."
Officials said they had not completed an inventory of homes and other structures lost or damaged Tuesday by the Waldo Canyon Fire, which was only 5% contained.
They were making plans to schedule a meeting with affected residents.
"It really is a loss, and there is a grieving process that has to take place," said Steve Cox with the Colorado Springs mayor's executive team.
The FBI's Denver office, meanwhile, said it was working with other agencies to determine whether any of a dozen wildfires across the state resulted from criminal activity.
Nearly 1,000 firefighters tried to corral the 15,517-acre blaze that moved into Colorado Springs.
Gov. John Hickenlooper told CNN's "John King USA" that the number of evacuations grew Wednesday to 36,000.
"We're still fighting with everything we've got," he said.
Harvey said progress had been made in some portions of the Waldo Canyon Fire, and firefighters were taking an aggressive stance against hot spots.
"It's been house to house, door to door, street to street, hill to hill activity," he said of one location.
Higher humidity and cloud cover Wednesday night might aid firefighting efforts, but there was no guarantee conditions would not be similar to Tuesday's conflagration, Harvey told reporters.
Some rain did fall Wednesday on a separate fire burning near Boulder, Colorado, according to the National Weather Service.
President Barack Obama will travel to the Colorado Springs area Friday to survey the damage and thank responders battling the blaze, the White House said.
The Waldo Canyon Fire captured attention because of its proximity to landmarks such as Pikes Peak and the Air Force Academy, and also to Colorado Springs, a city of about 400,000, the state's second largest.
"We have rehearsed and practiced disasters," said Dave Rose, public information officer for El Paso County, which includes Colorado Springs. "We have never seen one like this before."
Winds gusting to 65 mph through mountain canyons blew the wildfire through containment lines into northwest Colorado Springs on Tuesday afternoon. It roared downhill, burning to the ground the Flying W Ranch, a popular Western-style tourist destination.
CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen likened conditions to a double-edged sword. While temperatures were down a bit Wednesday, high-based thunderstorms will be fed by rising air, wind and low humidity, he said.
Such storms produce lightning and rain, but dry air will suck up most of the precipitation before it hits the ground. Lightning can reach the parched soil and possibly ignite additional fires, according to Hennen.
Richard Brown, the Colorado Springs fire chief, on Tuesday described the Waldo Canyon Fire as a "firestorm of epic proportions."
Continued at link"We have never seen one like this before… a firestorm of epic... more
The 2012 Colorado wildfires were predicted; now, understanding why they’re happening | Scholars and RoguesAt the risk of sounding like we're saying I told you so, this was predicted back in March. Here's a quick primer on why and what the implications are.At the risk of sounding like we're saying I told you so, this was predicted back... more
CAUGHT GREEN-HANDED Global Warming NWO New World Order Fact Global Warming NWO New World Order Fact. Read On at
http://www.nwoconspiracy.org/global-warming-climate-change-is-part-of-the-nwo-conspiracy/CAUGHT GREEN-HANDED Global Warming NWO New World Order Fact Global Warming NWO New... more
ScienceDaily (June 25, 2012) — A new study with NASA participation has sharply reduced previous estimates of how much carbon was emitted into Earth's atmosphere from tropical deforestation in the early 2000s.
Research scientist Sassan Saatchi of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., participated in the study, published June 21 in the journal Science. The team, led by researchers from Winrock International, an environmental nonprofit organization in Little Rock, Ark., also included scientists from Applied GeoSolutions, Durham, N.H.; and the University of Maryland, College Park. They combined satellite data on gross forest loss and forest carbon stocks to track emissions from deforestation in the world's tropical forests. The resulting gross emissions estimate of 0.81 billion metric tons of carbon emitted per year is approximately one third of previously published estimates, and represents just 10 percent of the total global human-produced carbon emissions over the time period analyzed (2000 to 2005).
Two countries -- Brazil and Indonesia -- produced the highest emissions during the study period, accounting for 55 percent of total emissions from tropical deforestation. Nearly 40 percent of all forest loss in the study region was concentrated in the dry tropics, but accounted for only 17 percent of total carbon emissions, reflecting their relatively low carbon stocks in comparison to those found in tropical moist forests.
The Winrock study is the first study of global carbon emissions from tropical deforestation to use satellite data, rather than tabular bookkeeping models, to account for carbon. This approach allows for a much more refined analysis and yields results that will serve as a better benchmark for monitoring global progress on reducing emissions in the future. Individual emissions numbers were calculated for each country, along with a statistical uncertainty range.
"These detailed emissions estimates would not have been possible without the NASA satellites that helped us quantify forest cover change and forest carbon stocks, which are the two critical data sources for this work," said Saatchi. Data from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite; NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat); NASA's Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat) satellite; and the joint NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Landsat program were used to produce the estimate.
The team hopes the policy mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that proposes to compensate developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) will benefit from a more accurate benchmark of emissions from deforestation.
"The relative contribution of deforestation to total greenhouse gas emissions will likely continue to decline through time as emissions from other sectors rise, but the loss of millions of hectares of forest per year remains considerable," said Alexander Lotsch of the World Bank, which funded the study. "Effectively reducing forest-related emissions through international efforts that also promote biodiversity conservation, forest livelihoods and help maintain essential forest functions such as water regulation, is an essential measure to avoid serious climate change impacts and to ensure low carbon sustainable development in the developing world."
The team plans to update their work for the period from 2006 to 2010 to assess whether carbon emissions increased or decreased in the second half of the 2000s.
For more information on the study, read the full news release from Winrock International. For more on Winrock International, visit: http://www.winrock.org.
For more information on Sassan Saatchi's terrestrial carbon cycle research, visit: http://carbon.jpl.nasa.gov/.ScienceDaily (June 25, 2012) — A new study with NASA participation has sharply... more
DemocracyNow.org - On Wednesday, 17-year-old environmental activist Brittany Trilford of Wellington, New Zealand, addressed more than a hundred heads of state at the opening plenary of the Rio+20 U.N. Earth Summit, the largest United Nations gathering ever. "We are all aware that time is ticking and we are quickly running out," Trilford said. "You have 72 hours to decide the fate of your children, my children, my children's children. And I start the clock now."DemocracyNow.org - On Wednesday, 17-year-old environmental activist Brittany Trilford... more
"The United States fully intends to be the world's preeminent leader in protecting the global environment.""The United States fully intends to be the world's preeminent leader in protecting the global environment".
-George H. W. Bush
Beginning Wednesday, delegates from around the planet will meet in Brazil for Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. As pointed out by FishOutofWater in his too little noted post, many observers don't hold out much hope for it. For instance, World Wild Life Federation Director Jim Leape said Tuesday:
Despite a late night negotiating session, the revised text is a colossal failure of leadership and vision from diplomats. They should be embarrassed at their inability to find common ground on such a crucial issue.
Now it’s up to world leaders to get serious about sustainable development and save this process. If they approve what’s on the table now without significant changes, they’ve doomed Rio+20 to ridicule.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/19/1101432/-On-eve-of-Rio-20-climate-conference-John-Kerry-kicks-ass-in-Senate-speech"The United States fully intends to be the world's preeminent leader in... more
The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro has begun. The global leviathan that is the United Nations bares its teeth. In the months preceeding the summit, a continuing stream of publications has poured down from every corner of the transnational community, in essence calling for global governance of the environment as well as a stark reduction in the global human population. These two items are very much intertwined, according to the growing pile of UN papers flying from the supranational tree, all basically stating that the first is necessary in order to facilitate the latter.
One of these leaves circles down to us from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) displays a collection of “key messages” written by the usual suspects, such as dedicated man-hater Paul Ehrlich, eco-terrorist James Lovelock and NASA’s own mad-as-hell environmentalist James Hansen. Their joint statement titled “Environment and Development Challenges: The Imperative to Act” was clearly designed to inspire the UN and its upcoming confab to make haste with global government. In their manifesto the impatient fiends call for a global implementation of population policies and rights being trampled upon in order to address what they call “the population issue”:
Now what do you think this means exactly, a sustainable human population? James Lovelock in 2009 gave us the answer, called for the culling of the population with a desired outcome of 1 billion people worldwide.
Lovelock also arrogantly stated in 2010 that humans are too stupid to prevent climate change- therefore governments worldwide, preferably a one world government, must prevent it for them.
Of all the eco-fascists penning down proposals, Paul Ehrlich may be considered the most bloodthirsty of the bunch- with his continuing insistence on massive population reduction. Few people need to be reminded of the words he wrote in Ecoscience which he co-authored with John P. Holdren, the current White House science czar. To highlight a few of these:
“Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.”
Remember this when you read his proposals for a global society necessary to “address population issues”. Also out of Ecoscience:
“… Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist.”
June 18, 2012
more at link...These New World Order eugenicist scum are going to kill us all and keep the world for their bloodline. I didn't make it up; it's all they write about. This article has many of the links to their own writings and you can take it from there.The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro has begun. The global leviathan that is the United... more