Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

CLIMATE EMERGENCY: Global Heating Is Accelerating Considerably: Alpine Evidence.

July 25, 2022

GLOBAL HEATING is accelerating. How can we see this? In the Alps, glaciers are melting at an incredible rate. Just looking out, as I can in the French Alps, it’s clear all glaciers below 3.500 meters will be gone in a matter of years: one can see that their upper slopes, which feed them, are bare. Just look at the accompanying photo.

Now this disappearance of glaciers below 3,500 meters was the pessimistic prophecy of glaciologists for… 2100! It’s happening now! If extended globally, this means a global heating of seven (7) Centigrade…. Way outside of the worst IPCC/GIEC predictions… And it is happening, I repeat… now! 

The obvious plot to underestimate GLOBAL HEATING is increasingly contradicted by the facts:

Glacier du Casset. From where the picture was taken to the top of the mountain in the clouds, 2,200 meters, 1.3 mile. The glacier was going as low as the first pink granite rocks in the valley bottom. It has retreated arounf 1,000 meters in denivellation. More importantly, its feeding slopes are bare, so it will entirely die. The peak of the mountain is higher than the 3,500 meters below which glaciers are supposed to disappear according to glaciologists in… 2100! This would correspond to a retreat of nearly 2,000 meters in denivellation, thus a temperature rise of 14 Centigrades!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The pink snow is caused by deposition of Sahara sand.

“Experts” keep on talking as if a global temperature rise of 1.5C could be held… But France has officially already experienced a two (2) Centigrade rise. So how come France is already at +2C and the rest of the world at +1.3C? France is smack in the temperate zone (45 degree latitude). I would suggest that the French experts on temperature are more honest.

California Sierra Nevada forests are destroyed by heat. Pests and drought rise the heat wave. One has to see the astounding amount of destruction to believe it. Last year I took an hour to cover half a mile on a trail, so many trunks of giant trees being in the way, in confusing entanglements. Sometimes I had to walk on trunks, 20 feet above the ground.  

Meanwhile, in the Western Mediterranean, the sea reached considerably higher levels. In Corsica 30.7 Centigrades (5C above what the temperature used to be). The temperature is so high that several emblematic species of Mediterranean corals are threatened with extinction. As they can’t migrate north, they will forever disappear from life on Earth. In Greenland, temperatures have been 10 Centigrades above “normal”. There is no more “normal”. 

Abnormality is the new normal.

This accelerating pace of global heating is completely outside of the misleading picture that the IPCC gives. It is more than alarming. It looks as if the IPCC, anxious not to displease the established order, is deliberately tweaking the data by underestimating the present global heating..

The IPCC is certainly distorting its models of how temperature will evolve: the models all include Carbon Capture schemes… But those do not exist, except on a small scale, when the CO2 is already in pipes (as is done in Iceland). Carbon Capture at the needed scale will be possible only when we have nearly free energy (say H fusion). Not something happening before 2100…

84% of world primary energy production is from fossil fuels (The rest is mostly hydro and nuclear). That’s not negotiable. It is a fact, and a very hard one. Governments have to ask themselves how they will lower that number. It will not be with electric plugs and batteries. Nor fake carbon accounting a la California, counting as stored carbon, forests which have already burned…. Nor will primary energy become mostly carbon free thanks to a bit of sun, and a bit of wind. 

Patrice Ayme

“Failed Solutions” To Pollution-Climate Crisis Are No Accident, But Invisible Plot…

July 6, 2022

All too many “Democrats” apparently believe that democracy consists in talking about Trump non-stop… Leaving no space for any other subject… Such as traditional “solutions” to various problems which have repeatedly failed to find, or implement.

This is not an accident. Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a plot in favor of the statu quo, which is unsustainable.

By talking obsessively about irrelevant subjects, relevance can’t be deployed.

The global heating crisis is a scientific-technical problem. Some technical partial solutions already exist, for example heat pumps. Weirdly, the Biden administration spends many billions on electric cars, a tech of overall little positive impact on climate, short term, but very little on heat pumps, a tech which has a considerable advantage in the GreenHouse Gas Crisis (GHGC).

To solve the GHGC we need deployment of better available tech (heat pumps, hydrogen), and deployment or research in new fission, thorium, fusion… As China is doing.

The term “global warming” to describe GHGC is partial and rather meek. From space temperatures above 62C were observed in India in 2022. That’s global heating, not just warming. Also most of the CO2 goes into the ocean, where it chemically reacts to turn into carbonic acid. So acidification, not just heating, is a problem.

The best long term climate Federal policy would be to augment considerably the research budget in new energy research. As it is, 84% of world primary energy production is fossil fuels. Getting help from “green” hydrogen (produced by “renewables” and, or from cooling nuclear plants) could be done readily by using the present gas networks, and mixing some hydrogen in (a century old technique). Biden had promised ten billions in new energy research, but that morphed into EVs…

 
The true level is above 600ppm, including ALL man-made GreenHouse Gasses. Thermonuclear fusion will save us, but we don’t have it yet. And the less we research, the furthest in the future it lays.

Meuphys from Atlanta intervened with the partisan perspective:

There was no universe in which Republicans in a 50-50 Senate would have allowed that much to be spent on climate change solutions. Their doms in the fossil industries would have stopped paying their allowance! What is needed here is a strong federal mandate, one with teeth… the kind we will never have when the GOP has the votes to sustain a filibuster.

@ Meuphys Thanks for the comment. However, one has to see below the surface. A (nasty) Republican, Nixon, created the EPA, the Environment Protection Agency. Dems and Reps are playing a good cop, bad cop routine about the climate. So is the rest of the world’s leadership.

A point that I am trying to make is that present “solutions” to the pollution crisis (including GreenHouse Gasses, GHG) are not working: they are too expensive and too slow in worldwide deployment. What we need is fundamental research by the Federal government of new solutions, of which there are plenty of potential ones. Private industry can’t develop these solutions: too risky, especially in an uncertain regulatory environment. By the way, the Chinese government is doing just that: it is operating brand new experimental nuclear reactors of several types: pebble, thorium, etc.

Massive investment in electric cars, at the detriment of the rest, is the poster child of these failed approaches… Still “Democrats” have been doubling up on them… probably for financial reasons… Including pleasing the fossil fuels industry which welcomes solutions to its existence that do not work! In other words, while the support of fossil fuels to Republicans is obvious, the one to “Democrats” is even more important, because it is hidden behind windmills which do not work most of the time, and batteries that can’t be made on the necessary industrial scale to make a dent on the climate crisis.. 

On the first day of the Obama administration, research on hydrogen and fuel cells was terminated. That was weird: the US got to the Moon thanks to fuel cells. The Trump administration found that the Alameda-Contra Costa fleet of hydrogen fossil fuel buses worked beyond the most optimistic expectations in all ways.There are less than 100 such buses in the US, and the problem has been cost of procurement, due to small numbers. Differently from electric, such buses can be refueled in minutes. 

“Liberals”, “Neo-Liberals”, “capitalists”, “free marketers”, economists, etc all laud the “Invisible Hand” of the market. What about the “INVISIBLE PLOT”?

Yes, we, the powers that be, want to change nothing much regarding fossil fuels, where power is from! 84% of primary energy is from fossil fuels. Hydrogen and nuclear have been carefully not developed. Dams are under attack. Without hydrogen & dams, “renewables” need fossil fuels

Going all nuclear and hydro (they are interrelated, as hydron can store nuclear) could have produced 100% carbon free electricity for the entire planet. Not a full solution, but a partial one. Instead, we are on target for Armaggedon, and Putin is our prophet.

Patrice Ayme

Australia As We Knew It, Is Gone

February 16, 2020

There is a world catastrophe going on. We started it. This is the greatest threat to the biosphere in 66 million years. “Climate Change” media call it, because they want to please the fossil fuel financial plutocracy which is smothering the planet. However, the climate is changing to the Jurassic… in a few decades (instead of millions of years). Species don’t have the time to adapt…. Except the real small ones, the viruses, bacteria, and countless parasites which kill trees by the billions. 

So how is this “climate change” going to manifest itself? Well, the first thing is that ALL the temperate forests are going to deperish, die and burn, roaring from winds as never imagined before. This just happened in Australia and Corsica: air tankers couldn’t fly. All this enormous burning will not just augment CO2, it will decrease oxygen. Already oxygen has disappeared from giant swathes of the ocean. At any time, the unstable methane ice on the Siberian continental shelf could erupt: there is more of it than all other fossil fuels.

So what are Australians doing? Getting wealthy by using and selling coal, to China, Japan, etc. Australians, per capita, per year, emit from usage or export, 80 tons of CO2. France’s, and the world average, is five (5) tons, 16 times less. Australia is hoisted on its own petard, and it burns.  

So, let me repeat to be very clear: this is not a question of “change”. This is a question of holocaust (= whole-burn), the greatest holocaust of the biosphere in 66 million years. And it’s not just plants and animals which will die en masse… 

Patrice Ayme

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Lake Conjola, a seaside resort east of the capital Canberra. People had to flee into the sea, 89 houses burned. New Year Eve, Dec 31, 2019.

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Let’s one chuckle, California, where the drought got re-started in 2020, is next…

The preceding was, word for word, a comment of mine sent to the NYT. My comment was censored (= barred from publication). Why? Same old, same old… Although my subscription costs is hundreds of dollars a year, and just went up, because the Times told me, it was searching for truth… The New York Times can’t have enough of blocking my comments… and stealing the ideas therein (what else? Didn’t like my, correct, usage of the word “holocaust? Or is it because I implied the media was cooperating with the fossil fuel + financial plutocracy conspiracy?) Here is the beginning of the New York Times article:

The End of Australia as We Know It
What many of us have witnessed this fire season feels alive and monstrous…

SYDNEY, Australia — In a country where there has always been more space than people, where the land and wildlife are cherished like a Picasso, nature is closing in. Fueled by climate change and the world’s refusal to address it, the fires that have burned across Australia are not just destroying lives, or turning forests as large as nations into ashen moonscapes.

They are also forcing Australians to imagine an entirely new way of life. When summer is feared. When air filters hum in homes that are bunkers, with kids kept indoors. When birdsong and the rustle of marsupials in the bush give way to an eerie, smoky silence.

“I am standing here a traveler from a new reality, a burning Australia,” Lynette Wallworth, an Australian filmmaker, told a crowd of international executives and politicians in Davos, Switzerland, last month. “What was feared and what was warned is no longer in our future, a topic for debate — it is here.”

“We have seen,” she added, “the unfolding wings of climate change.”

Like the fires, it’s a metaphor that lingers. What many of us have witnessed this fire season does feel alive, like a monstrous gathering force threatening to devour what we hold most dear on a continent that will grow only hotter, drier and more flammable as global temperatures rise.

It’s also a hint of what may be coming to a town, city or country near you.

And in a land usually associated with relaxed optimism, anxiety and trauma have taken hold. A recent Australia Institute survey found that 57 percent of Australians have been directly affected by the bush fires or their smoke. With officials in New South Wales announcing Thursday that heavy rain had helped them finally extinguish or control all the state’s fires that have raged this Australian summer, the country seems to be reflecting and wondering what comes next.

The present 2020 Australian PM, Scott Morrison became Prime Minister by holding a lump of coal in Parliament, arguing. to great approval of Australian political class, that it was time to burn even more coal. “NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF, DON’T BE SCARED!”, he laughed around… Are this sort of people not just criminal against the biosphere, but also criminals against humanity?

Robyn Eckersley, a political scientist at the University of Melbourne who has written extensively about environmental policy around the world. “It does change everything — or it should… specifically, she said, the economy needs to change, not just moving away from fossil fuels, a major export, but also from thirsty crops like rice and cotton.

Building regulations will probably stiffen too, she said. Already, there are signs of growing interest in designs that offer protections from bush fires, and regulators are looking at whether commercial properties need to be made more fireproof as well.

The biggest shifts, however, may not be structural so much as cultural.

Climate change threatens heavy pillars of Australian identity: a life lived outdoors, an international role where the country “punches above its weight,” and an emphasis on egalitarianism that, according to some historians, is rooted in Australia’s settlement by convicts.

Since the fires started, tens of millions of acres have been incinerated in areas that are deeply connected to the national psyche.

… Smoke may be more of a catalyst than flame. For much of the summer, a fog of soot has smothered Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. In Sydney alone, there were 81 days of hazardous, very poor or poor air quality last year, more than the previous 10 years combined. And until the recent rains, the smell of smoke often returned.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, Australia’s most famous tech billionaire, called it part of a broader awakening.

“It’s bringing home the viscerality of what science and scientists have been telling us is going to happen,” he said.

There’s unity in that, as so many have seen climate change up close and personal. But there’s also inequality. The air filters selling out at hardware stores last month cost close to $1,000 each.”

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P/S: NYT published my comment above, well after this essay was published. By then, with a 24 hours delay, nobody read my comment, but NYT can claim I was not censored: Pluto mission accomplished!

 

 

EARTH OUT OF OXYGEN: 1) Basic Reasoning, Objection From Atmospheric Scientist

September 2, 2019

Yes, we can run out of oxygen. When they burned the Jews, nobody came: they were not Jews, after all, and had never heard of such a thing. Now they, the same obnoxious ways, superficiality, small-mindedness, greed, idiocy, ignorance, sheer viciousness, brutishness, and madness of the crowds, install a mood conducive to a general burning of everything in the planet’s atmosphere. Will somebody come, and act in a timely manner? The alternative is a world holocaust.

This is an extension, an update, of what I already explained more than six years ago:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/global-hypoxia/

My basic theory, in a nutshell: Increased heat and drought caused by the augmentation of CO2 launched a holocaust of primary forests, worldwide, that, in turn feeds the rise of acidity of the oceans, killing the phytoplankton. So yes, should CO2 keep on rising, the biosphere will run out of oxygen!

CAN WE RUN OUT OF OXYGEN? YES, OF COURSE! AS THE BIOSPHERE COLLAPSES, we don’t expect any less!

Philosophy is what happens when one thinks hard about the foundations. 

Civilization class philosophy is vastly superior to all the thinking done before, because before knowing (that’s called science), one has to guess what there is to know (finding out what is more significant in the morass of possible knowledge)

Foundation thinking often reveals we don’t know enough to have the deep foundations usually assumed. French President Macron went all out for the burning forests, in Siberia, Amazonia, Indonesia and Sub-Saharan Africa, burning to an extent never seen before, and I thank him for it. This unprecedented holocaust (holo-caust means all-burn in Greek) is one more step in the desertification caused by man. 

“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rainforest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire,” Macron wrote in a tweetIt is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reinforced the oxygen message, August 22, 2019: I’m deeply concerned by the fires in the Amazon rainforest. In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity. The Amazon must be protected.”

However articles sprouted all over, from US scientists insisting in the world media that French president Macron got it wrong, and that, whatever we did, we will not run out of oxygen. My first reaction was that those scientists are either feeble minded, or liars: we can run out of oxygen, thanks to the likes of the Amazon burning. 

At first, such scientists reminded me of Nazi scientists claiming under the Third Reich that nothing wrong could possibly happen with Nazism, or with the Jews.

We have not thought hard enough about the foundations in the matter of climate.

Some US scientists have even claimed that forests, as a system, actually produce no oxygen. Here is below what Dr. Scott Denning, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University says. Before I quote his entire article in The Conversation, let me point out that I do not disagree with the science he exposes, just his conclusion. This will be explained in my next essay, and Professor Denning’s kind answer:

Professor Scott Denning:

“Amazon fires are destructive, but they aren’t depleting Earth’s oxygen supply

26 août 2019

Fires in the Amazon rainforest have captured attention worldwide in recent days. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in 2019, pledged in his campaign to reduce environmental protection and increase agricultural development in the Amazon, and he appears to have followed through on that promise.

The resurgence of forest clearing in the Amazon, which had decreased more than 80% following a peak in 2004, is alarming for many reasons. Tropical forests harbor many species of plants and animals found nowhere else. They are important refuges for indigenous people, and contain enormous stores of carbon as wood and other organic matter that would otherwise contribute to the climate crisis.

Some media accounts have suggested that fires in the Amazon also threaten the atmospheric oxygen that we breathe. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted on Aug. 22 that “the Amazon rainforest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire.”

The oft-repeated claim that the Amazon rainforest produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen is based on a misunderstanding. In fact nearly all of Earth’s breathable oxygen originated in the oceans, and there is enough of it to last for millions of years. There are many reasons to be appalled by this year’s Amazon fires, but depleting Earth’s oxygen supply is not one of them.

Oxygen from plants

As an atmospheric scientist, much of my work focuses on exchanges of various gases between Earth’s surface and the atmosphere. Many elements, including oxygen, constantly cycle between land-based ecosystems, the oceans and the atmosphere in ways that can be measured and quantified.

Nearly all free oxygen in the air is produced by plants through photosynthesis. About one-third of land photosynthesis occurs in tropical forests, the largest of which is located in the Amazon Basin.

But virtually all of the oxygen produced by photosynthesis each year is consumed by living organisms and fires. Trees constantly shed dead leaves, twigs, roots and other litter, which feeds a rich ecosystem of organisms, mostly insects and microbes. The microbes consume oxygen in that process.

Forest plants produce lots of oxygen, and forest microbes consume a lot of oxygen. As a result, net production of oxygen by forests – and indeed, all land plants – is very close to zero.

There are four main reservoirs of oxygen on Earth: the terrestrial biosphere (green), marine biosphere (blue), lithosphere (Earth’s crust, brown), and atmosphere (grey). Colored arrows show fluxes between these reservoirs. Burial of organic material causes a net increase in atmospheric oxygen, and reactions with minerals in rocks cause a net decrease. Pengxiao Xu/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

Oxygen production in the oceans

For oxygen to accumulate in the air, some of the organic matter that plants produce through photosynthesis must be removed from circulation before it can be consumed. Usually this happens when it is rapidly buried in places without oxygen – most commonly in deep sea mud, under waters that have already been depleted of oxygen.

This happens in areas of the ocean where high levels of nutrients fertilize large blooms of algae. Dead algae and other detritus sink into dark waters, where microbes feed on it. Like their counterparts on land, they consume oxygen to do this, depleting it from the water around them.

Below depths where microbes have stripped waters of oxygen, leftover organic matter falls to the ocean floor and is buried there. Oxygen that the algae produced at the surface as it grew remains in the air because it is not consumed by decomposers.

Tiny phytoplankton in the ocean generate half of the oxygen produced on Earth.

This buried plant matter at the bottom of the ocean is the source of oil and gas. A smaller amount of plant matter gets buried in oxygen-free conditions on land, mostly in peat bogs where the water table prevents microbial decomposition. This is the source material for coal.

Only a tiny fraction – perhaps 0.0001% – of global photosynthesis is diverted by burial in this way, and thus adds to atmospheric oxygen. But over millions of years, the residual oxygen left by this tiny imbalance between growth and decomposition has accumulated to form the reservoir of breathable oxygen on which all animal life depends. It has hovered around 21% of the volume of the atmosphere for millions of years.

Some of this oxygen returns to the planet’s surface through chemical reactions with metals, sulfur and other compounds in Earth’s crust. For example, when iron is exposed to air in the presence of water, it reacts with oxygen in the air to form iron oxide, a compound commonly known as rust. This process, which is called oxidation, helps regulate oxygen levels in the atmosphere.

Don’t hold your breath

Even though plant photosynthesis is ultimately responsible for breathable oxygen, only a vanishingly tiny fraction of that plant growth actually adds to the store of oxygen in the air. Even if all organic matter on Earth were burned at once, less than 1% of the world’s oxygen would be consumed.

In sum, Brazil’s reversal on protecting the Amazon does not meaningfully threaten atmospheric oxygen. Even a huge increase in forest fires would produce changes in oxygen that are difficult to measure. There’s enough oxygen in the air to last for millions of years, and the amount is set by geology rather than land use. The fact that this upsurge in deforestation threatens some of the most biodiverse and carbon-rich landscapes on Earth is reason enough to oppose it.

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[I beg to differ: actually I have a master reason to believe we do NOT have “millions of years” of oxygen (next essay). Hint: permafrost!]

***

Well, thanks, professor Denning (from the prestigious U of C at Boulder. That university got several Nobels in physics, is located next to the delightful Flatiron/Green Mountain park, where I have climbed and unwittingly charged a very large mountain lion which was stalking (long story). I was actually going to NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) when that happened… My spouse was doing there hard core programming on Sun Atmospherics. All this to say Denning is coming from what maybe the most qualified place in atmospheric matters!

However, as I will explain in the next essay, the very science professor Denning unfolded above leads me to the opposite conclusion from the one he draws.

Another point, see P/S below: up to very recently, it was viewed that forests (now burning) produced HALF of the planet’s oxygen. Professor Denning says: not so (well, OK, he is the specialist, he should know better… but I am curious to see the science…) In particular, up to very recently, the scientific literature widely quoted the Amazon as producing 20% of the world oxygen. It’s only very recently that US scientists (not just professor Denning!) changed their music. Is it that they heard that they better change their tune, should they want to be financed some more by the Trump administration, the fossil fuel plutocracy, or its delegates, surrogates and agents? Anyway, the P/S below shows what used to be the official science…

Another point is that an easy computation shows the atmosphere contains around 10^15 tons of oxygen. So some anti-Macron, and anti-panic about oxygen have argued we have millions of years of oxygen to consume, even if production stops. As I will show in the next essay, not so! Indeed, that simplicity overlooks an entire dimension. It may be frozen, but it’s all the more potent as it will come alive, all putrescent, rotting and belching all over: permafrost. 2.5 million years of it, no less! Glaciations may have help foster humanity, by creating new, exotic and demanding ecological niches which favored greater intelligence. By receding now, ice and climate change will require more creativity than ever… And better science.

Patrice Ayme

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P/S:

The following tables offer estimates of oxygen cycle reservoir capacities and fluxes… before the latest science professor Denning says is true…. Latest science which basically says it’s OK to destroy the forests, as far as oxygen production is concerned!!!!!!!!!!! (I don’t believe it, and I have a counter-reasoning, destroying professor Denning conclusion above… with his own logic!) These numbers below were taken for granted until very recently, and are based primarily on estimates from Walker, J. C. G.:[10]… 

Such numbers below were what Macron and Gutierrez based their O2 claims on…

Reservoir Capacity

(kg O2)

Flux in/out

(kg O2 per year)

Residence time

(years)

Atmosphere 1.4×1018 3×1014 4500
Biosphere 1.6×1016 3×1014 50
Lithosphere 2.9×1020 6×1011 500000000

Table 2: Annual gain and loss of atmospheric oxygen (Units of 1010 kg O2 per year)[1]

Photosynthesis (land)

Photosynthesis (ocean)

Photolysis of N2O

Photolysis of H2O

16,500

13,500

1.3

0.03

Total gains ~ 30,000
Losses – respiration and decay
Aerobic respiration

Microbial oxidation

Combustion of fossil fuel (anthropogenic)

Photochemical oxidation

Fixation of N2 by lightning

Fixation of N2 by industry (anthropogenic)

Oxidation of volcanic gases

23,000

5,100

1,200

600

12

10

5

Losses – weathering
Chemical weathering

Surface reaction of O3

50

12

Total losses ~ 30,000

Hint on the hidden O2 catastrophe: The mass of the biosphere: of the order of 4x(10^12) tons. Prof Denning says it can absorb all O2. OK. Indeed, notice microbial oxidation.

Suppose it all dies.

Not enough? Well, think a bit about all what got frozen during the last 2.5 million years of glaciation: the bill is coming due…

PA

Nature Collapsing, Plutocracy Thriving

May 6, 2019

Both phenomena are related. The more nature collapses, the more plutocracy thrives (see the multi-centennial fall of Rome, for reference). Small people and other losers have no interest to see nature collapse. However, plutocracy does. Because Pluto-Kratia, Evil-Power, is best expressed and justified during war-like states, and civilizational collapse sure qualifies.

Plutocracy survived the collapse of the Roman and Carolingian empires with flying colors. In the Roman case, most noble families had a bishop in their midst. The collapse of the Renovated Empire of the Romans (Renovatio Imperii Romanorum) and its renewal by the Ottos and Capets brought the feudal order, another plutocratic success.

Now is no different: we have a terminal CO2 crisis bringing in extreme, sudden temperature, acidification and ocean rises: 1% of US CO2 is from state subsidized private jets. Nobody notices, because media have made sure to create entire generations just preoccupied by celebrities, not by what is going on, which is really most significant.

Nor has the media been keen to notice the likes of Biden annihilated the Banking Act of 1933, in the 1990s, bringing in in the age of the financial plutocracy… itself a heavy financier of fossil fuels. So all what some schools are thinking of is installing “Apps”, and plastic grass, instead of teaching sustainable global citizenship. We are cruising towards an apocalypse, at an increasing pace: the Sixth Mass Extinction. The United Nations just came up (May 6, 2019) with an analysis made by 132 countries and 455 scientists: one million species are disappearing. For example, nearly all amphibians.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/06/world/one-million-species-threatened-extinction-humans-scn-intl/index.html

One problem with burning forests in the tropics is that what is left are often extremely poor soils (differently from northern European soils, which are very forgiving, explaining in great part why north west Europe replaced the Greco-Roman world…) Cattle grazing on a tract of illegally cleared Amazon forest in Pará State, Brazil. In most major land habitats, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century,,, [Credit
Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times]
In Africa, burned forest is often replaced by lateritis, a soil which is red, baked, hard… for the good reason that it is full of Aluminum.

It is the Sixth Mass Extinction, but this time the dinosaurs have thermonuclear weapons.

What to do? Get involved, get aware, protest. Protests can become unbearable to the powers that be.

This is the way the fascist government of Brunei on the island of Borneo was just dealt with. It drew powerful international condemnation when it rolled out its interpretation of sharia laws on April 3. Now, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, reverted his decision: after all, the country won’t enforce Islamic laws that include stoning to death for rape, adultery and gay sex.

Killing all the people who got killed in World War Two was atrocious. However, what is now unfolding has the potential to be way way worse. Einstein said he didn’t know which weapons will be used to fight World War Three, but next it would be sticks and stones. That was naively optimistic. If we acidify further the ocean with acid from CO2, we may kill the Earth’s oxygen making mechanism. Not really news, as this was clear five years ago already:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/global-hypoxia/  

Many behave as if there will be no tomorrow, because they feel that way! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, it has to be resisted.

What’s needed, beyond recording what’s going on, is interpreting it, going beyond, building ideas, and moods meant to last. Only deeper thinking can do this, and ensure a planet capable of lasting. Because we are not at the regional level anymore. When climate change, plus nefarious human impact, forced the Harappan civilization to abandon its homeland, the Indus valley, it was dealing with forces it had no idea existed. Maybe there are such forces out there. But there are also plenty of forces we can see, and which are plenty lethal enough, at civilizational scale, and the scale of the entire biosphere. Stop. And think. One million species are marching towards extinction, among the plants and animals we know.

Patrice Ayme

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From NYT:

WASHINGTON — Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.

The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday [May 6, 2019] in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.

Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

At the same time, a new threat has emerged: Global warming has become a major driver of wildlife decline, the assessment found, by shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in. When combined with the other ways humans are damaging the environment, climate change is now pushing a growing number of species, such as the Bengal tiger, closer to extinction.

As a result, biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050, particularly in the tropics, unless countries drastically step up their conservation efforts.

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Thermonuclear Fusion As A Moral Imperative To Avoid Ultimate Climate Catastrophe

March 26, 2019

90% of energy comes from burning fossil fuels. We have a climate crisis without precedent in 66 million years. True, Earth had bigger climate changes than what we have seen so far. So far, we have seen one degree Celsius, worldwide, but five degrees are around the corner.

True, at the warmest, something like 50 million years ago, overall planet temperature may have been 5 degrees Celsius higher. And true, when the climate oscillated furiously in the last 2.6 million years, sometimes it was 5 degrees Celsius colder than now, during the “Glacial Maxima”, or even one degree Celsius or so  higher, during the Eemian (115, 000 years ago, the last warm episode, caused by geometrical conjunction of Earth orbit details and the disposition of the continents towards the North Pole).

True some oscillations were fast and furious, like the famous “Dryas” episodes, the first one of which was 18K ago, or so (a mini glaciation suddenly affected Europe, caused by a brutal shut-down of the Gulf Stream beyond a place forward of Iceland, caused by a sudden lid of sweet, light, super cold water from the flow of an enormous cold lake).

However, most big changes were slow, species had time to evolve. Interestingly, the erratic climate of the last 50,000 years may have led to the extinction of the Neanderthals (in a theory mixing the exponential function with the concept of “quasi-extinctions”… from yours truly…) So climate violence is not without consequences.

But, as I said, the changes, especially the warming episodes, were rather slow. Not so now. Not only we are facing potentially the greatest warming since the Carboniferous, or maybe the greatest warming, ever, but we are facing it at a torrid pace: millions of years packed in a century or two.

Greta Thunberg The 15-Year Old Child spoke, and she spoke well!:

We are stuck because the worldwide production of energy is dominated by fossil fuels, and other burning of carbon made materials… the so-called “biofuels”, which sounds good until one realizes that it means burning forest and the like…

Not only the burning of enormous amounts of carbon generating humongous CO2 is disastrous, but it is getting ever worse. At some point, soon, the climate will break.

Yes, it  is not just a question of “climate changing”, and “global warming”. At some point soon, the climate will break. Actually ice shelves in Antarctica and glaciers in Greenland have been observed, disintegrating literally in minutes.

What to do? Miracles! Science made miracles. Science fabricated miracles already. Indeed one unexpected good surprise already happened: Photovoltaic cells (PV). PV is now the cheapest unsubsidized energy source, and even more so, when the dramatically adverse health consequences of fossil fuels are taken into account (probably much more than ten million dead each year, worldwide). However PV cannot work everywhere, and are not enough for 100% transportation, residential and industrial usage, except in relatively small zones in the middle of some deserts, like the Sahara. And that’s after digging for fossil water, and vast construction, CO2 intense, of buildings and exportation of industrial finished products.

Notice that the amount of waste varies enormously, per country and per capita. For example, look for France. France creates only one percent (1%) of the world CO2. That’s amazing, considering that France has the world’s fifth GDP. Yes, bigger than Great Britain, and only less than Germany, Japan, the PRC, and the US. In particular, Russia, with twice the population of France, and much smaller GDP, emits 5 times the CO2. US citizens, per capita, make three times more CO2 than the French….

The problem is: how do we make enormous quantities of energy in a way that doesn’t create enormous pollution? Not all countries have sun and wind, and water (although California does). A first approach is nuclear fission. That has bad reputation, because it was, for decades, mostly a military program. So safety shortcuts were taken. Also now California, which is full of sun, water, towering mountain ranges all over (thus hydro trivers), and oil, has decided to close its last nuclear reactor. California is where they fabricate most movies and thus most moods.

Much of the USA’s wealth rests on the fact that, for nearly 160 years, the USA was the world’s primary oil producer. Actually the world petroleum industry, was born in Pennsylvania in 1859, when “Colonel” Drake found how to extract “rock oil”.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/thermonuclear-fusion-or-civilization-fission/

Recently the Trump administration reinstated in full the US funding for ITER, the International THERMONUCLEAR Experimental Reactor constructed in France.

Thermonuclear fusion is the only enormous energy source that can be envisioned at this point. It is not a question of its possible existence some day, but of its profitability (ITER targets producing ten times more energy than is poured in from the French energy grid). However, because of the bad mood of the powers that be, funding for ITER was slowed down to a trickle. that’s all the more abysmal as ITER is a world project so everybody, and not necessarily the most competent countries, pitch in with some equipment of their own making…

Thus some circles started to agitate for a US thermonuclear reactor (after good results of a brand new thermonuclear reactor in Germany). A US reactor will enable to get the best talent to concentrate best practices.

Why do the powers that be love fossil fuels so much? Because oil means lots of power in very few hands. That goes very well with the present day oligarchy: oiligarchy promotes oligarchy. Countries where oil production is concentrated, with the exception of Norway are all more or less corrupt (yes, Canada, we are looking at you, kid). Massive plutocratic corruption then trickle down: some major Obama administration officials, like Susan Rice, his “National Security Adviser”, son of her dad, a director of the US Federal Reserve, had million of dollars in the stock of oil pipeline….

As Greta said, we need to listen to science, knowledge. We need more knowledge to get out of this mess. The alternative is the old fashion way: reduce human population massively, by culling. A good nuclear winter and killing 95% of humanity would give the biosphere a respite.

Otherwise, the most recent research (2019) shows that the atmosphere could heat up so much that clouds won’t form as they do now, and a further jump of eight (8) degree Celsius would occur. That is astounding. But it’s not just a theory. Actually, it was the other way around: such jumps were found in the fossil record, and couldn’t be explained… until now. Now that we have found that a tripling of the CO2 would make clouds disappear.

That explains why crocodiles have, more than once in the past, enjoyed the Arctic ocean, and sunned them on  beaches in Greenland graced by palm trees.

After such a jump of eight degrees Celsius globally, from the disappearance of clouds, on top of a rise of five degrees, at least half of the presently inhabited lands would be too hot for biological life, aside from the sort of bacteria which live below volcanoes (thermophilic bacteria). Is that what we want?

If that’s not what we want, there is only one solution: more brainiacs, more science, enough of it to replace the 90% of present day energy production by thermonuclear fusion. At this point, it’s just a matter of building big reactors.

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: Oh, by the way, once we become good at the simplest thermonuclear fusion, we could use the fusion of Helium 3 (there is quite a bit in space, including Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon). The charm of Helium 3 is that it fuses in such a way that it does not fling neutrons at the reactors’ walls (because it produces no neutrons). Hence there would be no radioactivity whatsoever (thus the reactor could last centuries…)

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Note 2: I thank my daughter Athena, 9 years old, to draw my attention to Greta and ask me more information on the subject at hand (my verbal answer is distilled in the essay above… poor child…)

 

Don’t Underestimate Earth’s Violence: Permian Mass Extinction Boosted By Ozone Destroying Gases

November 29, 2018

This is a violent universe. We are a violent species making peace in a violent universe, and it’s not easy. Even those who loudly advocate non-violence often end up feeding even more violence than if they had stayed silent. An example is the US peaceniks in the 1930s, who, anxious to appease the fascists and the gods of war, they claimed, refused entry to millions of refugees… including Anne Frank… Who all died (excuses anybody?) 

As violence is omnipresent and can’t be avoided, the next best thing is to understand it, so one can mitigate it. With floods of mind to spill like lava all over the universe… The first thing to understand is that violence is complicated, finely tuned (as demonstrated by the fact Earth itself goes at 30 kilometers per second along her orbit…)

I have argued that one of the secrets of the success of Earth’s biosphere is its powerful nuclear reactor, churning a giant iron ocean below our feet. It brings up a magnetic shield, and a CO2 burying mechanism, let alone nutrient providing volcanism. biological niches instigator…

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/life-giving-nuclear-earth-reactor/

Heat transfer from the interior of the intelligence giving planet is not smooth: it happens as catastrophic LIPs, Large Igneous Provinces, enormous eruptions which can last several million years, and create continent sized lava flows, miles thick.

It has long been obvious Siberian hyper volcanism caused the worst mass extinction:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/…/21/trapped-by-super-tr…/

The new research finding: a massive release of halogens by the eruption plume, made things worse from disappearance of ozone, thus an extreme UV mutagenicity & sterilization. Same for dinosaurs (I say)!

Even nowadays, 250 million years later the Siberian Traps are immensely impressive: everything in the picture above erupted in a cataclysm.

See: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0215-4

“End-Permian extinction amplified by plume-induced release of recycled lithospheric volatiles

Magmatic volatile release to the atmosphere can lead to climatic changes and substantial environmental degradation including the production of acid rain, ocean acidification and ozone depletion, potentially resulting in the collapse of the biosphere. The largest recorded mass extinction in Earth’s history occurred at the end of the Permian, coinciding with the emplacement of the Siberian large igneous province, suggesting that large-scale magmatism is a key driver of global environmental change. However, the source and nature of volatiles in the Siberian large igneous province remain contentious. Here we present halo-gen compositions of sub-continental lithospheric mantle xenoliths emplaced before and after the eruption of the Siberian flood basalts. We show that the Siberian lithosphere is massively enriched in halogens from the infiltration of subducted seawater-derived volatiles and that a considerable amount (up to 70%) of lithospheric halogens are assimilated into the plume and released to the atmosphere during emplacement. Plume–lithosphere interaction is therefore a key process control-ling the volatile content of large igneous provinces and thus the extent of environmental crises, leading to mass extinctions during their emplacement.”

Siberian Traps today. Putorana-Taymir peninsula. Imagine all this as it was 250 million years ago: red-hot lava… Kilometers thick

The demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention. However an even more disastrous event called “the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all species of life on the planet. (Yes, it seems those extinction tend to happen every 200 million years, because blobs come up cyclically, as in a well-named “lava lamp”.)

The cause of the extinction was a massive volcanic eruption in what is contemporary Siberia in Russia, known as the “Siberian flood basalts.” What’s remarkable, the eruptions lasted for about one million years. (The eruption which caused the demise of dinosaurs lasted much longer, but peaked around the demise of these type of beasts, and many other types, such as ammonites… See my link above)

The recent study’s lead author Michael Broadley, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Petrographic and Geochemical Research in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France, observed: “The scale of this extinction was so incredible that scientists have often wondered what made the Siberian Flood Basalts so much more deadly than other similar eruptions”. I had the same objection brought up to me by a top paleontologist. This friend of mine favored the (energetically nonsensical) asteroid collision explanation of the demise of the dinosaurs. It is usually claimed that the LIP of the Cretaceous was not the largest… When, actually, the two places on Earth with giant LIP in full evidence are the Siberian Traps and the Deccan Traps…

Siberian Traps mapped. In violet: lava, In red: tuff (ashes, more or less crystallized together). 2 million square kilometers, roughly Western Europe, in area, and up to 4 million cubic kilometers… That is 4,000 times more voluminous than the largest asteroid imaginable crossing Earth’s orbit. 4,000 times the volume is the problem with asteroid theories of extinctions… Moreover, those 4,000,000 cubic kilometers of lava of the Traps were accompanied of much larger volumes of hot gases…. Same reasoning holds for the “dinosaur” extinction, the KT boundary… 

The Permian extinction affected not only larger animals, decimating about 70 percent of their species, but also killed off 96 percent of the world’s marine life, as well as countless insects. It inflicted such a loss of biodiversity that it took another 10 million years for the ecosystem to bounce back. Interestingly, large species which could burrow survived… and soon their descendants became “mammalian reptiles”… appearing dozens of millions of years before dinosaurs…

The explanation in plain language? The geologists aver that the instigated volcanic eruption was not just massive, but the plume carried massive quantities of halogen gases which destroyed the Earth’s ozone layer at the time. They found this by analyzing the composition of the lithosphere — the hard outer part of the planet, which includes the crust and the upper mantle. Before the Siberian Flood Basalts happened, the Siberian lithosphere featured much chlorine, bromine, and iodine, all chemical elements from the halogen group. Notably, breathing gas containing these elements is highly toxic and will usually result in death. But after the volcanic eruption, these elements seemingly vanished.

“We concluded that the large reservoir of halogens that was stored in the Siberian lithosphere was sent into the earth’s atmosphere during the volcanic explosion, effectively destroying the ozone layer at the time and contributing to the mass extinction,” Broadley elaborated.

Something similar happened with the Cretaceous extinction. As the time before last, animals which could burrow tended to survive… So did those with high metabolism, and the capacity to keep warm, as mammals and birds, or to lay supine and hibernate (crocs, turtles, snakes, etc.) Indeed at the end of the Cretaceous, temperatures collapsed (how the polar dinosaurs, who could survive cold winters, disappeared is probably a tale of its own… not yet told…)

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It’s fashionable to whine we humans are violent beasts. Sure. Yes, indeed. So what? We can leave our dent on this hyper violent universe, precisely because we, too, can be violent. Yes, covering the planet with agriculture is violent (many hate the new Brazilian president, just because he dares to want to do what North Americans and Europeans long did to their own continents; devastate the biosphere to cultivate their gardens).

Yes we kill and eat animals (and may not need to do this much longer). This is how we rose. So here we are, our growing minds having been well fed by enormous quantities of animal vitamins, fat and proteins. And we are starting to understand what more and more all means. To do better than Traps and their LIPs, we need to be more deliberate. That’s called wisdom. We can only brandish our own plumes if we are smart… And the aim of all this human activity, this human violence onto the universe? Not to flood continents with lava, but the universe, with mind.

Patrice Ayme

 

Is The United Nations The Greatest Enemy Of The Climate?

October 9, 2018

In its latest report on climate change, October 2018, UN now claims that climate warming caused by human activities is reversible. That absurd claim is much more damaging than Trump clownish positions on climate change and coal. And yet, contrarily to what UN scientists claim, overshooting the target, and then cooling off will probably not work, because of nonlinear effects. Once ice is gone, ice doesn’t come back easily.

Climate change, so far, has been linear: every year a bit warmer, a bit more CO2. That’s not the main problem. The main problem is that the planet could switch to a Jurassic regime.

The UN scientific report on climate change claims that, in the likelihood that governments fail to avert 1.5 degree Centigrade (2.7 degrees F for US primitives) of warming, another scenario is possible: The world could overshoot that target, heat up by more than 2 C (3.6 F) degrees, and then through a combination of lowering emissions and deploying carbon capture technology, bring the temperature back down below the 1.5C (2.7F) degree threshold.

In that utopical UN climate round trip scenario, some damage would be irreversible, the report claims. (yes, sure, *some*). All coral reefs would die. However, the sea ice that would disappear in the hotter scenario would return once temperatures had cooled off, bleats the UN… The ice will return? This is unproven and most certainly FALSE: once the albedo of the Arctic is changed, it won’t come back, and the Arctic ocean will heat up. The Arctic ocean already contains enough heat 50 meters below its surface, to melt said frozen surface completely.

See: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/prediction-the-arctic-will-melt-suddenly/

The global temperature graph up to 2018. One seems to see an overall acceleration, a nonlinearity, an exponential drawing itself… Exponentiation is the typical nonlinearity.

For governments, the idea of overshooting the target but then coming back to it is attractive because then they don’t have to make such rapid changes,” Dr. Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University and an author of the report, said. “But it has a lot of disadvantages.” Yeah: like it won’t happen. Cheap enough CO2 capture, for example, doesn’t exist.  

Says NYT:

A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.

The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization. “We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.

The report was written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies. The Paris agreement set out to make a big wishful thinking about preventing warming of more than two degrees centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit as US primitives have it) above preindustrial levels — long considered a threshold for the most severe social and economic damage from climate change. Heads of small island nations, hounded by rising sea levels, also asked scientists to examine the effects of 1.5 C (2.7 F) degrees of warming.

Absent aggressive action, many effects once expected only several decades in the future will arrive by 2040, and at the lower temperature, the report shows. “It’s telling us we need to reverse emissions trends and turn the world economy on a dime,” said Myles Allen, an Oxford University climate scientist and an author of the report.

To prevent 1.5 C (2.7 F) degrees of warming, the report said, greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. It also found that, by 2050, use of coal as an electricity source would have to drop from nearly 40 percent today to between 1 and 7 percent. Renewable energy such as wind and solar, which make up about 20 percent of the electricity mix today, would have to increase to as much as 67 percent.

These requirements are not planned by most of the industrialized world. The report concluded that the greenhouse gas reduction pledges put forth under the Paris agreement will not be enough to avoid 2C (3.6 F) degrees of warming.

Despite the policy implications, which go against Trump’s climate skepticism stance, the United States delegation joined more than 180 countries on Saturday in accepting the report’s summary for policymakers. A State Department statement said that “acceptance of this report by the panel does not imply endorsement by the United States of the specific findings or underlying contents of the report… We reiterate that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement at the earliest opportunity absent the identification of terms that are better for the American people,” the statement said. The Trump position has been that a number of provisions of the Paris Accord, such as a 100 billion fund to help the Third World, are unacceptable.  However the fact remains that, after Obama’s giant fracking effort, major US states have the most ambitious sustainable energy programs (especially mighty California).

The UN scientific report emphasizes the necessity of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. “A price on carbon is central to prompt mitigation,” the report concludes. It estimates that to be effective, such a price would have to range from $135 to $5,500 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution in 2030, and from $690 to $27,000 per ton by 2100. 

The cost of fossil-fuel emissions rose to its highest level in more than a decade in Europe, in August 2018, surpassing 20 euros a ton ($23) and adding to the cost of electricity across the continent.

Carbon emission permits have more than quadrupled from less than 5 euros since the middle of 2017 after European Union governments agreed to cut away a surplus that had depressed prices of the CO2 permit market since the financial crisis that started in 2008. Utilities and industrial polluters need the certificates to cover greenhouse gas emissions they produce.

By comparison, in fossil fuel happy USA, under the Obama administration, government economists estimated that an appropriate price on carbon would be in the range of $50 per ton (but they did nothing, as usual in Obama’s administration). Under the Trump administration, that figure was lowered to a ridiculous $7 per ton. Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome will say: we told you so. However, in the area of climate change, Trump is mostly wind: he used to be a climate alarmist (not as bad as yours truly). Now Trump has skeptic, because it brings him votes (but in truth he does nothing, same as Obama).

Whereas what the UN is doing by claiming climate change can be reversed, (with sci-fi technology) is diabolical… and will hogtie leaders such as… Trump: how can one justify thorough changes in all of society, while being told, by the UN it’s all for nothing, it’s not necessary? 

What is going on? A form of ubiquitous corruption: scientists who authored the UN report are all, directly or indirectly, government employees. They want to please their employers, so that they can be paid, be influential, and honored. Those employers themselves are trying to please their plutocratic masters (and future employers). So they engineered a completely unrealistic wishful loophole, resting on non-existing technology (efficient, cheap, mass, planetary sized CO2 capture).

9 years ago, I pointed out the UN ignored the potential for a nonlinear climate change catastrophe:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/2-c-is-too-much/

Now the UN has done even worse: it claims that climate disasters are coming, but won’t cost that much (1% GDP for 1C of warming), & they are reversible. BS!

Patrice Ayme

Prediction: The Arctic Will Melt Suddenly

September 12, 2018

So far, the Arctic sea ice has melted at a pace which is best fitted with lines. 10.4% per decade, more exactly. It sounds reasonable, in first approximation, to suppose that will keep on that way. However, most changes start, in first approximation, linearly, before fitting higher power curves.

In the case of Arctic sea ice, a number of mechanisms seem possible to go from linear to nonlinear.  For example, the more sea ice melts, the warmer the sea gets, the harder it is to form sea ice. Such a self-feeding mechanism is an exponential.

However, we, humanity just found a huge new mechanism to potentially melt all ice, and it is operative. It is even of our own making! As with the Fall of Rome, one cause leads to others, which then can feed back on the first.

The discovery?

A blob of warm water, 50 meters below the surface of the Arctic ocean. Why does not come to the surface, if it is warmer than the water above it? Because it is abnormally salty, thus denser.

How was it created? The Chukchi Sea has become ice-free much too much of the year. It is just north of the Bering Strait, and lies on top of the flooded Beringia land bridge between Eurasia and North America. So it is shallow: average depth, 71 meters only, and warms up well. The Chukchi Sea warms up so much it becomes salty, and that salty water sneaks north below cold upper waters (it is blocked from going south by the Strait.

The redder, the more heat content in the Chukchi sea… When the Arctic Ocean starts to churn, the sea ice will all melt…Study lead author Professor Mary-Louise Timmermans, of Yale University (yes, a woman) said: We document a striking ocean warming in one of the main basins of the interior Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Basin… the upper ocean in the Canadian Basin has seen a two-fold increase in heat content over the past 30 years.

The researchers traced the source to waters hundreds of miles to the south, where reduced sea ice has left the surface ocean more exposed to summer solar warming.

Professor Timmermans added: This means the effects of sea-ice loss are not limited to the ice-free regions themselves, but also lead to increased heat accumulation in the interior of the Arctic Ocean that can have climate effects well beyond the summer season.

 

What next? A strong storm, an Arctic hurricane (they happen!)  could push cold waters out, and that would force the warm water up. I would venture to say that this is exactly what happened in August 2012 (generating thereafter the smallest Arctic sea ice ever recorded, by a long shot).

The same will happen again in the future, on a grander scale.

And all the Arctic sea ice could melt, thus warming the Arctic ocean enough to melt all ice, and that in turn, could warm up the ocean enough that summer to prevent the return of the ice thereafter…

It goes without saying that, after the Arctic ocean is ice-free, trillions of tons of methane hydrates laying inside the shallow sea floor will fiercely erupt, freeing trillions of tons of methane. It has happened in the past, and can be violent enough for tsunamis. It is actually already started, albeit on a small-scale, relative to what it could become. Methane is a greenhouse gas with more than 25 times the warming power of CO2 (the “forcing” effectiveness to be a bit more technical). Thus our effort to engineer a man-made Jurassic climate will make great strides. Maybe we will see class 5 hurricane strike Canada?

Fun springs eternal!

Let’s re-engineer a few dinosaurs and pterosaurs, once Canada’s Arctic archipelago is covered with forests, as we are at it…

Patrice Ayme

    

 

Climate Catastrophe, February 2018

February 14, 2018

A climate catastrophe is enfolding out there. Potentially the biggest in 65 million years, or more. This being civilization, chances are that, as the catastrophe unfolds, our rotten leaders, or one of them at least, and it could be just the plump Kim or his Swiss educated, stern, haughty, smirking, black dressed, even younger sister, decides to distract us all, with a nice thermonuclear showdown.

…For rotten leaders contemplate, Israeli PM Netanyahu, which Israeli police wants arrested, or South Africa’s Jacob Zuma: both are the rule, among the world’s great leaders. The difference is that they are prosecuted there: what makes them exceptional is that institutions, in Israel or South Africa, are after them. In most places, institutions are already too rotten themselves, to do this… Every two weeks, Obama went to visit his multibillionaire masters in the Silicon Valley tech monopolies; I know Californians who were in love with the sounds of his helicopter armada, flapping around, every two weeks, as he came to receive the latest payments. And they still are in love. Never mind that this killed democracy and innovation…

To document these titanic climate happenings while they occur, I will regularly post a “Climate Catastrophe” series, from brand new “moulins” in the supposedly indestructible East Antarctic ice shield (now melting, to the specialists’ unfathomable surprise) to Black Beetles devouring high altitude and high latitude trees…

“Climate change” is simply the fact that the lower atmosphere is stuffed with ever more heat, hence energy. It implies greater everything: greater droughts, floods, fires, heats, colds, bounties, insects, etc. A more chaotic climate, physically, and humanely.

Capetown is supposed to run out of water in April: an exceptional drought festers. It will the first large (4 million) urban area to run out of water. And NOT the last: one expects the dry belts to move up towards the poles. North of southern South Africa, there is Namibia, and it’s very dry…

The climate is getting disorganized, worldwide, as expected. In California, the drought is not just back, it never left (last year it flooded in California, right. However, flooding in some desert areas is chronic). Snow levels are now the lowest. Ever. The Sierra forest, 10,000 years old, is dying. The situation in California is hyper catastrophic, but nobody is talking. Officially the drought is over… but has never been worse!

Mount Cook, New Zealand. It is hard to believe, but we are on track to have all this ice disappear. That aesthetic blow will accompany an unconceived biological disaster, planet wide, which will disrupt all of civilization, in all ways. Mt Cook lost 50 meters in altitude, in a recent quake…

And our politicians, our self-declared leaders, are doing… nothing. Nothing much, besides moving their mouth parts. It’s not just Trump. Trump is a red herring, a scarecrow people brandish to excuse themselves from thinking, and absolve themselves, by calling him the cause of everything. In reality, the US Federal tax on gasoline is unchanged since 1993, and that has nothing to do with Trump. Obama could have brought the tax up, when he had a supermajority. But he was too busy getting guidance from big money. (Most plutocrats are gas-guzzlers, watch their private jets, or then think, like Trump, that, the more energy, the better…)

The indifference to massive taxes on fossil fuels in the USA has everything to do with the US population feeling little need to do something serious about the climate catastrophe, because it sees no catastrophe looming. Among young people (the ones with the rage to protest) the mental cancer of the so-called “social networks”, with their “likes”, “bots”, millions of “friends”, “trendings”, and veracity from (engineered) popularity or “links” have become the reference for thinking. That thought is organized by plutocrats, for plutocrats.

In England a so-called “judge” (an excellent phrase and concept of Trump, by the way) decided to keep Wikileaks’ Julian Assange under embassy arrest. He has been there for more than 5 years. The corrupt so-called “judge”, in a grandiloquent opinion, declared that Assange seemed to view himself above the law (Assange had good reason to fear deportation to the USA). Originally, Assange had been charged for raping a CIA agent (!) Sounds unbelievable, but I didn’t make it up. To celebrate that, she organized a party for him, two days later, complete with glowing tweets. But then the masters in Washington called, and everybody knew that Obama and his goons would do anything to arrest Assange (Clinton just called him a traitor and a Russian agent; Assange is not US, and Main Stream Media have authenticated many of his stories; Washington was furious, because Wikileaks revealed war crimes by the USA which were left unprosecuted… although those denounced the cover-up, were prosecuted with great ferocity).

Even worse, not content with uncovering US war crimes, Assange endangered cash cows of the so-called “democratic” party, and its pretend-opponents, such as Google.

The “rape” charges against Ms CIA agent were dropped by Sweden in May 2017. But the charge that Assange brutalized Washington and its agents (Google, etc.) is alive and well. Average US citizen don’t give a hoot: all too many are aware that one is best unaware that the USA has been doing so well from plundering, not just the nature of the biosphere, and nature itself, but also human nature.

All signals are red: global sea ice (both poles combined) is at the lowest ever, by a significant margin, sea level rise is accelerating, forests are dying, so are parts of the ocean. Plutocrats have been buying property in New Zealand, just in case. However, to give a slightly different perspective, from Ian Miller blog (Ian is a senior physical chemist):

Summer Storms, February 7, 2018:

New Zealand has just had some more bad weather. Not an outstanding statement, but it does add a little more to the sort of effects that climate change is bringing to us. We have had quite a warm summer. Certainly not as hot as Australia, but where I live we have had many days hotter than what before were outstandingly hot days. On many days, we had temperatures about ten degrees Centigrade above the January average. Apart from one day of rain shortly after Christmas, we had almost no rain from October and the country was in a severe drought. You may say, well, a lot of countries have months without rain – so what? The so what is that October and November are usually the rather wet months here.

Then a week ago we got a storm. It was supposed to be “a depression that was the remains of a tropical cyclone” but with wind speeds of 86 knots reported, by my count that is still a tropical cyclone, except it is no longer in the tropics. (It just limps in to a category 2 hurricane.) Why did it not die down? Probably because the surface waters of the Tasman are at record high temperatures, and seven degrees Centigrade above average in places, and warm sea waters feed these systems with extra energy and water.

Where I am, we were lucky because the system more or less passed us by. The highest wind speed here was 76 knots, but that is still more than a breeze. We also missed most of the rain. Yes, we did get rain, but nowhere near as much as South Westland, where 0.4 meters of rain falling in a day was not uncommon.

The rain did some good. A couple of scrub fires broke out in Otago, and it looked like they would be extremely difficult to contain, thanks to the drought. The best the fire service could do would be like spitting at it compared with what the cyclone brought to bear.

However, the main effect was to be a great inconvenience, especially to Westland. Westland is largely a very thin strip of flat land, or no flat land, running through very tortuous mountain country. If you have nothing better to do, go to Google Earth and zoom in on the town of Granity (41o37’47″S; 171o51’13″E). What you will see is the hill, which goes up very steeply to over 300 meters before rising more “gently to the town of Millerton at about 700 meters. Between the road and the sea is one layer of houses, and the storm was washing up into their back doors.

The hills and mountains are very young, which means they have very little erosion, whole a lot of the rock is relatively soft sedimentary rock. There are some granitic extrusions, and these merely provide another reason for the rest to be even more tortuous. The whole area is also torn apart, and constructed, from continuing earthquakes. Finally, there is fairly heavy subtropical rain forest, parts getting over ten meters of rain a year. The area is quite spectacular, and popular with tourists, and it is very well worthwhile driving through it. Once you could see glaciers flowing through rain forest; now, unfortunately, the glaciers have retreated thanks to global warming and they only flow down mountainsides but they are still worth seeing.

The net result of all this is that when this cyclone struck, the only road going north-south and was west of the mountains got closed thanks to slips (one was a hundred meters wide of fallen rock from a hill) and trees knocked over by the wind. Being stuck there would be an experience, especially since the place is basically unpopulated. If you want to see the wild, you tend to be short of facilities. Some were quite upset about this, but my question to them was, this cyclone was predicted for about three days in advance. If you really could not put up with it, why go there? One grump was recorded as saying, “This sort of thing would not happen in . . . ” (I left out the country – this person did not define them.) Well, no, it would not. They don’t get tropical cyclones, hurricanes typhoons, or whatever you want to call them, and they don’t have this difficult terrain. One way or another, we have to put up with weather.

However, the real point of this is to note there is still glacial progress being made to do anything sensible to hold global warming. There is a lot of talk, but most of it is of the sort, “We have to do . . . by the next fifty years.” No, we have to start a more determined effort now.

***

Another force 4 hurricane just struck Tonga and is now heading towards New Zealand. Yes, extra-tropical tropical cyclones were predicted, as a consequence of global warming, and have become facts (one hit Portugal last Fall; its enormous winds fed hundreds of fire storms before the rains hit). See the following essay, from 2008, to understand why the rise of temperature is just part of the problem:

Applying Equipartition Of Energy To Climate Change PREDICTS WILD WEATHER

“We” have to start a more determined effort? I agree. We are running out of time. As I said, raising fossil fuel taxes should be done immediately. And it’s not enough. And who is “we”? There is no “we” here! Our masters like it as it is, complete with a feeling of doom and gloom, alleviated by industrial escapism… The French president just declared that “counter-power” should not rise to the power of putting our great leadership, that great power, in difficulty, worldwide (or words to that effect). All our present leadership, worldwide, have not realized they are a new feudalism.

To get out of the hellish spiral we are in, a massive, total war effort in research and development should be engaged. Especially with thermonuclear fusion. However, the exact opposite has happened: the effort on ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, has been slowed down by ten (10) years… to save money (or, more exactly, how much it cost per year). Yet, at this point, it’s highly likely to work (especially in reactors larger than ITER)… modulo specific progress on an arsenal of attainable technologies. Thermonuclear fusion would replace ALL fossil fuels…

And the alternative is world war and one more return to the traditional fare of cannibalism (forget vegetarianism, when land is at a premium!)

You have been warned. It may be time to reconsider how people in general, and in particular the intellectuals, or experts, advising the great leaders, think! Hint: they are more biased than they think, and the more official the thinker, the more biased!

Patrice Aymé


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