Circulation of the Southern Ocean

A remarkably detailed animation of the movement of the densest and coldest water in the world around Antarctica has been produced using data generated on Australia’s most powerful supercomputer, Raijin…

So much data was used, that it took seven hours to process just one second of the animation

The visualization has revealed underwater ocean storms generated by eddies, waterfalls of cold dense water that plummet two kilometres off the Antarctic Continental Shelf into the abyss and underwater waves hundreds of metres high…

This latest animation peels back much of the surface layer of the ocean to explore how the cold dense water produced on the Antarctic continental shelf spreads out into every ocean basin in the world.

RTFA. Watch the video. Quite an amazing piece of animation…especially if you note the seasonal clock in the upper RH corner. 🙂

Grading the White House candidates on climate and science

In the “I’m shocked … shocked” category, a group of climate scientists graded the presidential candidates on their knowledge of accurate climate change science, and the Democrats came out on top, with the Republicans at best doing badly, and at worst humiliating themselves.

The study was done using anonymized statements made in tweets, interviews, and debates, which were shown to eight scientists. Hillary Clinton came out on top, followed by Bernie Sanders with quite high marks. None of the GOP hopefuls even got a passing grade…The highest being Jeb Bush with a meager 64/100.

The only surprise I got was that Donald Trump (15/100) did better than Ted Cruz (a spectacular fail of 6—yes, six—out of 100 points). About Cruz’s (still at the time anonymous) statements, climatologist Michael Mann wrote: “This individual understands less about science – and climate change – than the average kindergartner…”

Not to put any of the other Republicans at the front of the class. Bush’s tepid grade is hardly a ringing endorsement, and of course Trump’s bloviating borders on cartoon-level nonsense.

Incidentally, William Ruckelshaus — a Republican himself, as well as the first Environmental Protection Agency chief (appointed by Nixon and reappointed by Reagan!) — has in no uncertain terms condemned the GOP cohort for denying science for political gain. This much is obvious; it’s just gratifying to see another Republican say so.

Our courageous journalists and editors spend a great deal of time whining about whether or not they should confront Trump’s lies. Fact is – all the Republican candidates lie through their teeth about science in general, women’s health and climate in particular. In the latter case, we can stick with our suspicions about payoffs from scumbags like the Koch Bros. In the former, I’m not so certain. I think it’s just rank ignorance.

You have to wonder how some of today’s conservatives manage to father children they’re so out of touch with female biology.

Mining waste reaches Brazilian coastline 2 weeks after BHP dam collapsed


Click to enlargeRicardo Moraes/Reuters

A huge brown plume of mud and mining waste spread out along the coast of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo on Monday, a little over two weeks after the collapse of a dam at an iron ore mine.

According to projections from Brazil’s environment ministry, the tide is expected to spread along 9-km stretch of the coastline, threatening the Comboios nature reserve, one of the only regular nesting sites for the endangered leatherback turtle…

Around 50-million cubic metres of mining residue has been working its way down the Rio Doce since the accident at the Fundão dam, controlled by the mining company Samarco, on 5 November.

Twelve people have been confirmed dead and another 11 are still missing, as the tide of sludge wiped out several communities in the state of Minas Gerais, before making its way into the Rio Doce.

The mud has extinguished vast amounts of plant and animal life along a 400-mile (650km) stretch of the river, with the heightened turbidity drastically reducing the levels of oxygen in the water.

Concern over toxins in the mining residue has led the national water agency, ANA, to ban the use of the river water for human consumption. Hundreds of thousands of residents in the area are still dependent on supplies of bottled water…

Diggers have also been working to widen the mouth of the river to ensure that the mud drifts out to sea as quickly as possible, in the hope that the salinity and the volume of water will aid its rapid dispersal.

The water in the estuary began turning brown on Saturday afternoon, as a crowd of angry locals gathered by the village dock to watch. The first dead fish began floating to the surface on Sunday.

Same as it ever was.

Although BHP says they’re setting aside over $5 billion for damage claims.