Arctic temperatures warmest in over 10,000 years


Clement Sabourin/AFP

Arctic temperatures are the warmest in more than 10,000 years, speeding the thaw of permafrost in Canada’s North, shows climate research out of the University of Alberta.

“We’ve known that the last few decades have been very warm. But we’ve found that temperatures are on the order of two degrees Celsius warmer than any time in the last 10,000 years — that was a surprise,” Duane Froese, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, and Canada Research Chair in Northern Environmental Change…

❝ The study found that previous record highs occurred during the early Holocene period — around 9,900 and 6,400 years ago. But even without the unique circumstances of that period, when the Earth’s axis was more strongly directed toward the sun, current Arctic temperatures have exceeded those records.

“All indications from this new study are that temperatures and the impacts of recent warming are only picking up and getting stronger,” said Froese. “We are moving into uncharted waters with respect to climate change in the North.”

Gee, I hope this doesn’t upset the Trump supporters who are dedicated to searching for “science” that backs the fantasies of their Great Leader.

Climate change protesters get semi-naked in House of Commons

❝ A dozen climate change protesters have been arrested after activists a including a counsellor and a retired charity chief executive stripped off in the House of Commons public gallery.

The activists from Extinction Rebellion stripped to their underwear and glued their hands to surfaces in an attempt to draw attention to the “elephant in the room”.

❝ The 14, two of whom were painted grey and wearing elephant masks, included Oliver Baines, 68, former charity chief executive, Bell Selkie, 48, a counsellor, Isla Macleod, 34, a celebrant, Iggy Fox, 24, a wildlife biologist and William Cooke, 36, former teacher and Mark Øvland, 35.

Extinction Rebellion have publicly stated their aim is to get activists arrested and even sent to prison to draw attention to their cause.

RTFA. Reflect upon the commitment these folks are making to all of our lives.

Climate Crisis Could Expose Half a Billion More People to Tropical Mosquito-Borne Diseases by 2050


Yellow Fever Mosquito gets a full mealJames Gathany/CDC

❝ Rising global temperatures could put half a billion more people at risk for tropical mosquito-borne diseases like chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika by 2050, according to a new study.

❝ While a growing body of recent research warns the human-caused climate crisis will cause general worldwide “environmental breakdown,” a study published…in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases focuses specifically on a related public health threat: how a hotter world will enable disease-carrying mosquitoes to reach more people…

❝ “Plain and simple, climate change is going to kill a lot of people,” coauthor Colin Carlson of Georgetown told Nexus Media News. “Mosquito-borne diseases are going to be a big way that happens, especially as they spread from the tropics to temperate countries.”

Lead author Ryan emphasized that public health experts should be preparing now for the outbreaks predicted to occur in new places over the next few decades.

Or we could leave responsibility in the hands of Trump-chumps, anti-vaxxers and the Republican Party. They’ll blame it all on weak walls, furriners and G_D’s WILL.

Future Urban Climates

❝ By the 2080s, the climate of North American urban areas will feel substantially different, and, in many cases, completely unlike contemporary climates found anywhere in the western hemisphere north of the equator. If emissions continue unabated throughout the 21st century,the climate of North American urban areas will become, on average, most like the contemporary climate of locations about 500 miles away and mainly to the south…

❝ Scientists analyzed 540 urban areas that encompassed approximately 250 million inhabitants in the United States and Canada. For each urban area, they mapped the similarity between that city’s future climate expected by the 2080s and contemporary climate in the western hemisphere north of the equator using 12 measures of climate, including minimum and maximum temperature and precipitation during the four seasons.

Check out the examples nearest you. Gives you some idea what awaits not-so-future generations

NASA discovers massive hole melted away under Antarctic glacier

❝ A gigantic cavity – two-thirds the area of Manhattan and almost 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall – growing at the bottom of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is one of several disturbing discoveries reported in a new NASA-led study of the disintegrating glacier. The findings highlight the need for detailed observations of Antarctic glaciers’ undersides in calculating how fast global sea levels will rise in response to climate change.

❝ Researchers expected to find some gaps between ice and bedrock at Thwaites’ bottom where ocean water could flow in and melt the glacier from below. The size and explosive growth rate of the newfound hole, however, surprised them. It’s big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, and most of that ice melted over the last three years…

❝ About the size of Florida, Thwaites Glacier is currently responsible for approximately 4 percent of global sea level rise. It holds enough ice to raise the world ocean a little over 2 feet (65 centimeters) and backstops neighboring glaciers that would raise sea levels an additional 8 feet (2.4 meters) if all the ice were lost.

RTFA. Nice of the French and Germans to help us out with this research. Our government thinks we need more aircraft carriers and the beginnings of a whole new project to redesign rifles for the whole US Army.

Melting glaciers reveal Canadian land hidden for 40,000 years


Southern Baffin IslandKike Calvo/AP

Melting ice is exposing hidden landscapes in the Canadian Arctic that haven’t been seen in more than 40,000 years, new research published in Nature Communications reveals.

Unsurprisingly, the study suggests climate change is the driving force behind this record-breaking glacial retreat and with Arctic temps rising at increasing speed thanks to strong positive feedback loops in the polar regions, we can expect things to heat up even quicker in the near future. According to researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Canadian Arctic may be seeing its warmest century in as many as 115,000 years…

❝ Simon Pendleton and colleagues’ research is based on plants collected at the edge of ice caps on Baffin Island, the fifth-largest island in the world. The landscape is dominated by deeply incised fjords and high-elevation, low-relief plateaus. The latter conserves lichens and moss in their original position in the ice for periods of time lasting thousands of years — a little like a cryogenic chamber.

RTFA to learn why scientists like Pendleton have to be hot on the spot to gather samples of vegetation as it becomes exposed.

World’s #1 wind-power producer budgeting almost $15 billion for US construction the next 4 years

❝ …The world’s largest wind-power producer, Iberdrola SA, has brushed off Big Oil’s embrace of renewable energy as “more noise” than action.

Major oil and gas firms have been venturing into renewable power under pressure from climate-change policy, collectively spending around 1 percent of their 2018 budgets on clean energy…

❝ However, Iberdrola Chief Executive Ignacio Galan, who has led the Spanish utility for 17 years, shrugged when asked in a Reuters interview if Big Oil represented a competitive threat.

“It’s good that they have moved in this direction but they make more noise than the reality,” he said on Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland…

❝ He said U.S. states were more influential than Washington in terms of energy investment, and that several were looking to develop America’s first offshore wind farms, from Massachusetts down to North Carolina and New York across to California.

“The states are more and more committed to moving to renewables and the same is true of the cities and towns,” he said, adding that falling generation costs of renewable energy was a big driver of the U.S. adoption of wind and solar power.

Woo-hoo. I knew they were taking on the first big US wind-power project off Martha’s Vineyard. Hadn’t realized the size of their immediate follow-on commitment. [Davos has been really interesting this year and the coverage from Bloomberg TV has been stellar.]