Tag Archives | Global Warming

We’ve got 86 years to stop using fossil fuels—and even that might not save civilization

Mikael Miettinen (CC by 2.0)

Mikael Miettinen (CC by 2.0)

via Quartz:

In its latest desperate attempt to convince the world to do something about climate change, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said to avoid “severe, pervasive and irreversible” consequences, the majority of the world’s electricity should produced by renewable energy by 2050, and the use of fossil fuels must be eliminated by 2100.

The scientific consensus is that keeping global temperatures from rising above 2 °C is the threshold for acceptable levels of global warming. The IPCC outlined various approaches to meet this target—but they all end with the elimination of coal, oil, and gas by the end of the century. It is the fourth report that the IPCC has issued in the past 14 months.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon described the IPCC report as the most comprehensive appraisal of climate change ever taken and added a personal touch to the proceedings based on his eight years at the top of the organization.

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What 35,000 Walruses Forced to the Beach Tell Us About Global Warming

Close-up of an estimated 35,000 walrus haulout on a barrier island near Pt. Lay on September 27, 2014. (Photo: Corey Arrardo / NOAA/NMFS/AFSC/NMML)

Close-up of an estimated 35,000 walrus haulout on a barrier island near Pt. Lay on September 27, 2014. (Photo: Corey Arrardo / NOAA/NMFS/AFSC/NMML)

via Sarah Lazare at Common Dreams:

Federal biologists have discovered an unusual phenomenon on a beach in northwest Alaska: a massive gathering of walruses—35,000 of them—crowded onto a small strip of shore.

This swarm, which was sighted in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aerial survey on Saturday, is a direct result of a warming climate and declining sea ice, say scientists.

Pacific walruses, who live in the Bering Sea during winter, require floating sea ice to meet their survival needs, using them for rest in between journeys to forage for food, such as clam, snails, and worms, as well as for giving birth and caring for their young. But as the oceans warm, this sea ice is receding, especially near coastal areas, forcing these walruses to take to the beach for resting and foraging, according to an explanation from the NOAA.

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EPA to Host Four Public Hearings on Climate Change Reduction

mokestack of Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Facility waste-to-energy plant.

Smokestack of Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Facility waste-to-energy plant.

And yet another battle in the climate change arena.

via EcoWatch:

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host four public hearings on its plan to reduce climate change pollution from power plants. The speakers list is already filling up. Physicians will outline the health hazards linked to climate change. Farmers will talk about the challenges of raising crops in the face of extreme weather. And governors and mayors will describe the benefits of attracting clean energy investment to their communities.

Many people will testify in favor of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This should come as no surprise considering 7 in 10 Americans view global warming as a serious problem and want the federal government to reduce the pollution that causes it, according to a recent ABC News poll.

But the hearings will also attract another group of speakers: representatives from the American Coal Council, Americans for Prosperity and other dirty industries.

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260 Foot Crater Has Mysteriously Formed In Siberia

An unexplained hole has formed on Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula. The crater has formed in a specifically gas-rich area, the name of which actually translates to the “end of the world.”

via i09:

An expedition to the crater has been organised by the Yamal authorities. The team includes two experts from the Centre for the Study of the Arctic and one from Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

….

According to the Siberian Times, initial reports and images were suspected to be fakes, but the new images taken by Russian engineer Konstantin Nikolaev suggests it’s very much real. The feature is thought to have formed about two years ago.

Scientist have posited a number of theories to explain the crater, though it’s not likely to have been caused by a meteorite impact, nor does it exhibit the features of a sinkhole. One website claims that it’s evidence “of the arrival of a UFO craft” to Earth.

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Here’s How Wind and Solar Energy are Increasing CO2 Emissions

Picture: JMT (PD)

Picture: JMT (PD)

Almost everybody today agrees that it would be really smart (if not vitally essential) that we reduce the amount of fossil carbon we release from giant, tupperware-geological structures deep inside the earth.  But how would we accomplish freeing ourselves from coal, petroleum, and gas while maintaining a dependable flow of electricity?

Mainstream environmentalists currently advocate for generating energy from wind turbines and solar arrays, whose energy comes more-or-less directly from the sun.  With solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, and wind turbines we can produce electricity without generating any carbon dioxide (once these devices have been manufactured and placed on a field or ocean somewhere).   Unfortunately, one issue with these technologies is that the energy is intermittent.  With the wind dying down and the Sun being obscured by clouds or the night, these devices only actually generate electricity a small minority of the time, let’s say generously 30% of the time.… Read the rest

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House GOP Tells Commie Pentagon To Forget About All That “Global Warming” Nonsense

pentagonMaybe they can ban differing kinds of camo next.  You know, to save money.  Abby Zimet writes at CommonDreams:

As even our historically less-than-progressive military increasingly identifies climate change as a threat to national security, House Republicans in their infinite wisdom last week passed a bill blocking funding for any Pentagon program that tries to do anything about saving the planet that pretty much everyone at this point agrees is in danger. Because climate change is just a “political hot item of the day” that “has nothing to do with winning battles” and “is it wise to continue to violently disrupt a culture which is fueled by tradition and a fierce warrior ethos by forcing them to constantly adjust to the popular political trends of the day?” when anyway it was Democrats who “snuck some language into the National Defense Authorization Act which got our military considering the ‘threat’ of climate change” even though “the link between extreme weather and global warming is (a) very shaky foundation upon which to reshape America’s defense strategy” and really we need to free up the military to “concentrate on addressing real man-made threats to our national independence…a mission they can actually do something about!” Noting “the flat earth society is at it again,” critics in the House called the bill “science denial at its worst.” Hopefully, it will fail in the Senate.

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Iron from Melting Ice Sheets May Help Buffer Global Warming

PIC: High Res Images of Chemical Elements (CC)

PIC: High Res Images of Chemical Elements (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

A newly-discovered source of oceanic bioavailable iron could have a major impact our understanding of marine food chains and global warming. A UK team has discovered that summer meltwaters from ice sheets are rich in iron, which will have important implications on phytoplankton growth. The findings are reported in the journal Nature Communications on 21st May, 2014.

It is well known that bioavailable iron boosts phytoplankton growth in many of Earth’s oceans. In turn phytoplankton capture carbon — thus buffering the effects of global warming. The plankton also feed into the bottom of the oceanic food chain, thus providing a food source for marine animals.

The team, comprising researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh and the National Oceanography Centre, collected meltwater discharged from the 600 km2 Leverett Glacier in Greenland over the summer of 2012, which was subsequently tested for bioavailable iron content.

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6th Annual Thorium Energy Conference Augurs Future of Energy

PIC: Thumbaa (CC)

PIC: Thumbaa (CC)

You may have read my last piece about thorium nuclear energy.  If so you know the insanely real capability existing thorium technology has to overhaul energy production not just in the US but worldwide.

But just to give you a little background anyway,  The Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) is a technology developed in the early 60s, originally to build a nuclear-powered bomber for the Air Force.  As it turns out, the technology has far wider applications.  Thorium fuel is cheap and abundant and far exceeds uranium-water reactors for efficiency and safety without the high-volume waste production.   LFTRs remain an untapped technology in the US, while China is currently acting on plans to build their own reactors.  More power to them!  If you want a GREAT informational video on the history and benefits of the technology, check this out.

More poignantly, there is a consortium pursuing the implementation of thorium-based nuclear reactors called the Thorium Energy Alliance and they are holding their 6th annual T.E.A.Read the rest

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