Iceland installs fast chargers for EVs on island nation’s ring road

❝ A network of 20 of ABB’s high-speed 50kW DC fast chargers for electric vehicles has been installed across Iceland as the island nation looks to electric vehicles to cut petrol imports and reduce emissions…

The 20 ABB fast chargers were installed around the island by the local electric utility, Orka Natturunnar. The network in Iceland is very exciting because the electricity they push out is already 100% renewable, which means another big step toward zero-emissions life in the country.

❝ The new charging network was installed in support of a nationwide push to ramp up electric vehicle adoption that continues to find traction. In 2014, there were only 90 electric vehicles in Iceland compared to more than 6,000 plug-in vehicles in the country of just over 330,00 residents today.

RTFA. If you’ve ever spent time in Iceland none of this will surprise you. Probably the global leader in democratic participation in social processes, Iceland is as much a political gem as a center for natural beauty.

Fire season coming to Southern California and no clouds in sight!


Not getting any better in New Mexico either

❝ June Gloom season is upon Southern California. For as long as anyone can remember, that’s meant clouds wrapping the landscape in a milky white cocoon as cool, moist ocean air known as the marine layer moves inland. But as with everything in our world, this is now changing.

June — and summer as a whole, it turns out — is becoming less cloudy in parts of Southern California. Great for your garden perhaps, but new research shows the trend is also increasing the risk of wildfires, which are on everyone’s mind after last year’s record-setting Thomas Fire. The findings could add a key variable for firefighters and meteorologists to look at to gauge how bad fire conditions will get in a given year.

❝ The research…uses a novel approach of looking at sky observations taken continuously at airports and military airfields from San Diego to Santa Barbara since the 1970s, and linking them up with weather observations. Specifically, the researchers were looking for the occurrence of stratus clouds, which tend to hang out lower as part of the marine layer and keep things cool.

The data shows that stratus cloud cover from May-September has declined 25-50 percent across a number of sites in Southern California owing to the growing urban heat island and climate change. All this extra heat causes the clouds to dissipate or form in areas with less of a cooling impact…

❝ All that extra sunlight coming in is causing more evaporation. Figuring out how much the ground and vegetation are drying out is the key to understanding the relationship between cloud loss and fire conditions.

Interesting article whether you live in wildfire country or not. One more change to the negative side of climate equations. Ignored by flat-earthers and their ilk.

Glacier-fed rivers are disappearing – of course.


Click to enlargeUniversity of Alberta

❝ A call for policy-makers to begin planning for the inevitable disappearance of glacier-fed rivers is one of the highlights of a no-holds-barred, University of Alberta-led accounting of the health of Canada’s mountains.

The 2018 State of the Mountains Report is a collection of expert summaries written to raise awareness about the ways a changing climate is transforming the alpine…

Mountains are sentinels for larger global change,” said U of A mountain historian Zac Robinson. “The change is alarming, but I’m optimistic because mountains are adored by people everywhere. That’s hopeful because people are paying attention to these types of things.”

Read it and weep for the mountains and rivers, my friends. Many of the most important moments in my life were spent within these landscapes and similar – around the globe. Replacements aren’t the same.

Chimps or Humans…Who Has The Cleaner Bed?


Click to enlarge

❝ By swabbing abandoned chimpanzee nests in Tanzania’s Issa Valley, scientists learned that just 3.5 percent of the bacteria species present came from the chimps’ own skin, saliva, or feces. In human beds sampled in a previous study in North Carolina, the number was a whopping 35 percent.

Parasites, such as ticks and fleas, were also scarce in chimp beds.

❝ Now, before you burn your linens and start building a bed out of leaves, there are a few things you need to know.

Here’s where you go to learn the answers

New California Building Code = more insulation, energy-efficient windows and, yes, rooftop solar panels


Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation

❝ How would you like living in a home with a dramatically reduced electric bill? That will be a reality for most new homes in California starting in 2020, thanks to a new building energy code adopted today by the California Energy Commission. The updated code — the first of its kind in the nation — will combine rooftop solar panels with enough energy efficiency measures like insulation and better windows that all new single-family homes and low-rise apartments will use net-zero electricity. This means that their solar array should offset all electricity use for cooling, plug-in equipment, and lighting on an annual basis.

❝ The groundbreaking decision to make these new homes net-zero electricity, coupled with major savings from more efficient lighting required by the updated code for commercial buildings, will save Californians more than $1.7 billion in net energy savings over the next 30 years and reduce carbon pollution statewide by 1.4 million metric tons. This is equivalent to the emissions from the annual electricity use of all households in the city of San Francisco.

The fifth-largest economy in the world runs right past the rest of the United States – once again.

Water War A’Coming – Who Wins, Who Loses?


Education Images/UIG

❝ Lake Mead is the country’s biggest reservoir of water. Think of it as the savings account for the entire Southwest. Right now, that savings account is nearly overdrawn.

For generations, we’ve been using too much of the Colorado River, the 300-foot-wide ribbon of water that carved the Grand Canyon, supplies Lake Mead, and serves as the main water source for much of the American West.

The river sustains one in eight Americans — about 40 million people — and millions of acres of farmland…snowpack in the Rockies has been dwindling, and there’s no physical way for them to store the water they depend on. There are no big reservoirs in the Rockies…

❝ And then there’s always climate change. On the world’s current emissions trajectory, sharply warming temperatures boost the odds of a megadrought in the Southwest sometime later this century to more than 99 percent. Such a drought would last a generation. Nearly all trees in the Southwest could die. The scale of the disaster would have the power to reshape the course of U.S. history.

❝ For now, the spat over the Colorado River offers a glimpse into water politics in an era of permanent scarcity.

Our little community in La Cieneguilla is well situated to survive a water war. Geology is on our side. So what? We have neighbors in the county, in the state, who will move to logical and kindly, illegal and greedy, solutions depending upon timely local politics.

Gird your loins wherever you may be in [or near] the Southwest. Hopefully, common sense and decency prevail.

Wet/Dry Whiplash is Hitting California and it’s Going to Get Worse


K Street in Sacramento during the Great Flood of 1862

❝ Abrupt transitions in California from a parched winter to a soggy one, as observed in the mid-2010s, will become more common if greenhouse gases continue to increase, according to a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change. This “precipitation whiplash” has implications for both wildfire and flood risk. The research also suggests that California’s wet season is likely to contract, and the shorter wet seasons will become more variable, with an increase in both extra-dry and extra-wet winters.

❝ Led by Daniel Swain, UCLA, the study employed 40 climate simulations from the NCAR Community Earth System Model. This large ensemble…has been used to simulate climate in preindustrial times as well as the 21st century. Swain and colleagues examined output for the high-emissions or “business as usual” scenario…It assumes that fossil fuel burning will continue to add ever-increasing amounts of greenhouse gas to the air until the late 21st century.

One of the most worrisome findings is an enhanced risk of extremely wet winters. The modeling indicates that 40-day-long rainfall stretches on par with those observed during the “Great Flood” winter of 1861-62 will be more than three times more likely by the 2070s-2090s than they were prior to human-produced greenhouse gases. A large swath of California’s Central Valley was inundated in early 1862 by torrential rains that produced more than 10 feet of flooding, putting downtown Sacramento under water…a repeat of this event could produce hundreds of billions of dollars in damage…

Although wet seasons are expected to get shorter on average—pinched between drier autumns and drier springs statewide—the study also projects that the midwinter jet stream will tend to carry more moisture, a well-understood byproduct of a warming climate. At certain times, this juiced-up jet stream could pack a very big wallop. More than two-thirds of the 40 ensemble members indicate that two or more 1862-magnitude rain events could occur in this century across the state.

Which is why “climate change” is a more accurate term than global warming, etc., which infers only one style of dynamic change. Nope. We all can look forward to lots of mostly unhappy stuff happening.

Celebrate World Penguin Day

❝ While penguins inspire a range of whimsical and warm emotions, they play a serious role as sentinels of ocean health. Perhaps no one knows that better than Michelle LaRue, an ecologist and science communicator at the University of Minnesota who has walked among these tuxedoed, flightless birds in Antarctica six times.

To celebrate World Penguin Day on April 25, we caught up with LaRue, whose current research focuses on using high-resolution satellite imagery to study polar animals, including emperor and Adélie penguins, and the effects of climate change on polar vertebrates. She has participated in many “species from space” studies, including the first global census of two Antarctic penguin populations.

RTFA, Worthwhile, interesting to all who care about how this planet proceeds into the future.

Norway Donates US$250 Million to Protect Colombian Rainforests


Norwegian PM Erna Solberg and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

❝ Colombia’s fight against illegal logging is being extended to 2025 as part of the nation’s pay-for results strategy, Norway’s prime minister announced after donating US$250 million to the project.

As part of the 2015 pact signed between Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Colombia, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed the cooperative battle to save Colombia’s rainforest would be extended by five years…

❝ Colombian Environment Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo said that within the next 12 years the government hopes to reduce deforestation to zero.

Norway’s donation represents the first alliance of climate and forest under the Paris Agreement. Prime Minister Solberg hopes the agreement will bring higher standards for inter-institutional collaboration in climate initiatives.

The Paris Agreement is just another one of those historically useful, politically constructive agreements, constructed by smart politicians in modern nations.

So, of course, our fake president withdrew the United States from all provisions of this agreement. And BTW, at minimum projected costs, a donation like this is less than 3 new F35s, the latest toy for our military..