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bronxiteforever

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Name: Andy
Gender: Male
Hometown: Pennsylvania
Home country: Usa
Member since: Fri Jun 30, 2006, 07:47 PM
Number of posts: 6,377

Journal Archives

Death, blackouts, melting asphalt: ways the climate crisis will change how we live

The Guardian
August 20,2019
By Pam Radtke Russell
From power cuts to infrastructure failure, the impact of climate change on US cities will be huge – but many are already innovating to adapt

Between record heat and rain, this summer’s weather patterns have indicated, once again, that the climate is changing. US cities, where more than 80% of the nation’s population lives, are disproportionately hit by these changes, not only because of their huge populations but because of their existing – often inadequate – infrastructure.

“People are coming into urban areas and they cannot be stopped,” says Chandana Mitra, an associate professor of geosciences at Auburn University, who studies the impact of heat on cities...
While the impacts of climate change are fundamentally local, experts say heat is one of the most concerning, especially in cities. “From a disaster perspective, [heat] is invisible,” says Kurt Shickman, executive director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance. Mitra likens the problem to having a finger in a pan of water while someone gradually turns up the heat. “Maybe in 50 or 60 years, living in some cities will be unbearable. There could be a tipping point of no return.”

A study by the University of Maryland published this year predicts that by 2080... if emissions continue at the current pace residents in cities around the nation will:

• Experience an average temperature increase of 8.2F (4.5C)

• Live in climates similar to the current climates of cities 528 miles (850kms) south of their hometowns


More here on how cities are trying to cope with climate change
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/aug/20/death-blackouts-melting-asphalt-ways-the-climate-crisis-will-change-how-we-live?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
Posted by bronxiteforever | Tue Aug 20, 2019, 09:39 AM (4 replies)

Scientists Have Been Underestimating the Pace of Climate Change (Scientific American)

Scientists Have Been Underestimating the Pace of Climate Change
A book titled Discerning Experts explains why—and what can be done about it
Scientific American
By Naomi Oreskes, Michael Oppenheimer, Dale Jamieson on August 19, 2019

Recently, the U.K. Met Office announced a revision to the Hadley Center historical analysis of sea surface temperatures (SST), suggesting that the oceans have warmed about 0.1 degree Celsius more than previously thought....Because the oceans cover three fifths of the globe, this correction implies that previous estimates of overall global warming have been too low. Moreover it was reported recently that in the one place where it was carefully measured, the underwater melting that is driving disintegration of ice sheets and glaciers is occurring far faster than predicted by theory—as much as two orders of magnitude faster—throwing current model projections of sea level rise further in doubt.

In our new book, Discerning Experts, we explored the workings of scientific assessments for policy, with particular attention to their internal dynamics, as we attempted to illuminate how the scientists working in assessments make the judgments they do. Among other things, we wanted to know how scientists respond to the pressures—sometimes subtle, sometimes overt—that arise when they know that their conclusions will be disseminated beyond the research community—in short, when they know that the world is watching...We found little reason to doubt the results of scientific assessments, overall. We found no evidence of fraud, malfeasance or deliberate deception or manipulation. Nor did we find any reason to doubt that scientific assessments accurately reflect the views of their expert communities. But we did find that scientists tend to underestimate the severity of threats and the rapidity with which they might unfold.

...Many scientists consider underestimates to be “conservative,” because they are conservative with respect to the question of when to sound an alarm or how loudly to sound it. The logic of this can be questioned, because underestimation is not conservative when viewed in terms of giving people adequate time to prepare. (Consider for example, an underestimate of an imminent hurricane, tornado, or earthquake.) In the AR4 WAIS debate, scientists underestimated the threat of rapid ice sheet disintegration because many of the scientists who participated were more comfortable with an estimate that they viewed as "conservative" than with one that was not...

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/scientists-have-been-underestimating-the-pace-of-climate-change/

Sounds like a great book. The article details 3 reasons that the authors help create a conservative view of climate change. Much more in the article above.

Posted by bronxiteforever | Mon Aug 19, 2019, 04:24 PM (0 replies)

The Humanities in the Age of Loneliness (Combating ecological and constitutional crises)

The Humanities in the Age of Loneliness
By Robert D. Newman
August 19, 2019
Los Angeles Review of Books

HOW CAN THE HUMANITIES help restore the centrality of the public good, an essential step toward the collective action necessary for combating our current constitutional and ecological crises? Like many Americans, I have been thinking a lot lately about these crises, and about how I might direct my outrage and despair productively. Reading for context and background has taken me through biographies, histories, and humanistic reflections by scientists...

...The term Anthropocene has now become the consensus appellation for our current geological age... An alternative was suggested a few years ago by biologist E. O. Wilson, who prefers the term Eremocene, or the Age of Loneliness (eremo coming from the Greek for lonely or bereft). His notion of loneliness refers to both the rapid decline of biodiversity on our planet and the fact that humans, while increasing their proportion of and dominance over the Earth’s population, suffer a consequent isolation...

So how can the humanities aid us in developing a productive counter-response?...The principles grounded in the humanities — notions of character, responsibility, civility, empathy, inquiry, collaboration, the public good, the heroic, beauty, and truth — are also at the center of the revolutionary idealism which forged our Constitution. While the antidote to the Age of Loneliness is not easily conjured, it needs a political as well as scientific response — that is, it will need the lessons we can learn through the humanities. The Paris Climate Accord, near-universally accepted as a necessary, if insufficient first step, was a political agreement; leaving it was a political decision justified by weak reasoning and deceitful rhetoric....

...How can the humanities continue to help? By doing what we have always done best, but in more focused, publicly engaged venues..we are charged with...stories and telling them to our fellow citizens.The stories for the Eremocene must speak of the consequences of Love Canal, the Exxon Valdez spill, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Bhopal, the Dust Bowl, whale and elephant slaughter, and the eradication of biodiversity on the planet. Through literature, history, art, and philosophy, we must teach the impact of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord on the sustainable liberty and happiness of our citizens. And we should return to the ideals of extraordinary moral character for both leaders and citizens...

Note: this is a very long and thoughtful article written by the President of the National Humanities Center. It is worth the read. I struggled as to the location of this post, for it details environmental concerns and political issues. I think it belongs here because education is the home of the humanities.

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/humanities-age-loneliness
Posted by bronxiteforever | Mon Aug 19, 2019, 09:49 AM (1 replies)

A Growing Number of Americans Are Alarmed about Global Warming.But many more should be.

Scientific American
By Joseph Holt on August 18, 2019

When it comes to concern about global warming, the good news is that a growing number of Americans are alarmed. The bad news is that most still are not alarmed, though they should be given what we already know, how much worse things seem the more we discover and how much we don’t even know we don’t know...The percentage of Americans who are “doubtful” or “dismissive” decreased by a combined 11 percentage points in that time, and those who are alarmed now outnumber those who are dismissive three to one (29 percent to 9 percent).

The tiny marine organism Prochlorococcus provides a cautionary tale about what we might not even know we don’t know. A Smithsonian article explains that most of the oxygen we breathe comes from organisms in the ocean that release oxygen into the atmosphere while making food for themselves through the process of photosynthesis.

Prochlorococcus, the most abundant of these photosynthesizers, is so small that millions can fit in a drop of water. It produces approximately 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe.] But scientists didn’t even know it existed until 1988, just over 30 years ago. That should make us wonder what other “unknown unknowns” might be vital to our long-term survival.

More here
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/a-growing-number-of-americans-are-alarmed-about-global-warming/


Posted by bronxiteforever | Sun Aug 18, 2019, 01:33 PM (3 replies)

Hard Border likely according to leak of UK government documents

RTÉ
August 17, 2019

(This is just a news summary. No further information in the article is available)

In the UK, the Sunday Times has published what it describes as official government documents, which show that if Britain leaves the European Union without a transition deal, a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic will be likely, as current plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable.

In what it says is an unprecedented leak of government documents, they show Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine.

They also say that up to 85% of lorries using the main channel crossings "may not be ready" for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improves. 

https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2019/0818/1069415-hard-border-likely-according-to-uk-gov-documents/

Posted by bronxiteforever | Sat Aug 17, 2019, 11:23 PM (8 replies)

16 Images Of Oceans Warning Us About The Planet Of Plastic That We Are Creating

India Times
By Anuj Tiwari Updated: Aug 17, 2019, 12:35 IST

Globally, public awareness is growing about the harm that plastic is doing to the oceans and consequently the marine life. Over 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications. At least 8 million tons of that ends up in our oceans every year and makes for around 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.
Marine species ingest and suffer because of this plastic debris, which creates severe wounds and leads to deaths. Plastic pollution endangers food production, human wellness, seaside tourism, and adds to climate change. There is an urgent need to investigate the use of existing, legally binding international agreements to address marine plastic pollution.
According to science writer Mike Berners-Lee, of the nine billion tonnes of plastic ever produced, 5.4 billion has been dumped onto land or the sea.

Photo essay below

https://www.indiatimes.com/trending/environment/16-images-of-oceans-warning-us-about-the-planet-of-plastic-that-we-are-creating-372877.html


Posted by bronxiteforever | Sat Aug 17, 2019, 12:37 PM (4 replies)

The US left a hole in leadership on climate. China is filling it.

China is making greater and faster strides than expected away from fossil fuels.
Politico.eu
By LUIZA CH. SAVAGE 8/17/19, 4:35 PM CET Updated 8/17/19, 4:37 PM CET

Often considered the bogeyman of global climate diplomacy, China is making greater and faster strides than expected away from fossil fuels — becoming the world’s largest investor in solar and wind technology and boasting more jobs in solar energy than in coal-mining. It’s all part of a longterm economic strategy to dominate in critical technologies.

The torrid pace and unprecedented scale of China’s investments in clean energy are driven in part by local concerns about toxic air quality. China remains the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for roughly 30 percent of global carbon dioxide pollution.

But the moves are giving China a growing leadership role on the world stage — precisely at a time when Washington’s voice is becoming less relevant thanks to President Donald Trump’s announced plan to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, according to interviews with POLITICO’s Global Translations podcast.

...China is responsible for a third of wind turbines and solar panels in the world — and its investments have had the side effect of driving down the global price of solar and wind technologies by nearly three-quarters in the last decade...

https://www.politico.eu/article/us-china-climate-renewable-energy-sustainability-leadership-investment/

Posted by bronxiteforever | Sat Aug 17, 2019, 10:57 AM (3 replies)

The water is so hot in Alaska it's killing large numbers of salmon (CNN)

CNN
By Ryan Prior, CNN
Updated 7:23 AM ET, Sat August 17, 2019

CNN)Alaska has been in the throes of an unprecedented heat wave this summer, and the heat stress is killing salmon in large numbers.

Scientists have observed die-offs of several varieties of Alaskan salmon, including sockeye, chum and pink salmon. Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, director of the Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, told CNN she took a group of scientists on an expedition along Alaska's Koyokuk River at the end of July, after locals alerted her to salmon die-offs on the stream.

...The water temperatures have breaking records at the same time as the air temperatures, according to Sue Mauger, the science director for the Cook Inletkeeper.
Scientists have been tracking stream temperatures around the Cook Inlet, located south of Anchorage, since 2002. They've never recorded a temperature above 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Until now.On July 7, a major salmon stream on the west side of the Cook Inlet registered 81.7 degrees.

...last week the Environmental Protection Agency told staff scientists it would no longer oppose a mining project in Alaska that had the potential to devastate one of the world's most valuable wild salmon fisheries, just after President Trump met with Alaska's Gov. Mike Dunleavy.


https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/16/us/alaska-salmon-hot-water-trnd/index.html
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Posted by bronxiteforever | Sat Aug 17, 2019, 08:57 AM (8 replies)

The water is so hot in Alaska it's killing large numbers of salmon

CNN
By Ryan Prior, CNN
Updated 7:23 AM ET, Sat August 17, 2019

CNN)Alaska has been in the throes of an unprecedented heat wave this summer, and the heat stress is killing salmon in large numbers.

Scientists have observed die-offs of several varieties of Alaskan salmon, including sockeye, chum and pink salmon. Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, director of the Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, told CNN she took a group of scientists on an expedition along Alaska's Koyokuk River at the end of July, after locals alerted her to salmon die-offs on the stream.

...The water temperatures have breaking records at the same time as the air temperatures, according to Sue Mauger, the science director for the Cook Inletkeeper.
Scientists have been tracking stream temperatures around the Cook Inlet, located south of Anchorage, since 2002. They've never recorded a temperature above 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Until now.On July 7, a major salmon stream on the west side of the Cook Inlet registered 81.7 degrees.

...last week the Environmental Protection Agency told staff scientists it would no longer oppose a mining project in Alaska that had the potential to devastate one of the world's most valuable wild salmon fisheries, just after President Trump met with Alaska's Gov. Mike Dunleavy.


https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/16/us/alaska-salmon-hot-water-trnd/index.html
Posted by bronxiteforever | Sat Aug 17, 2019, 08:55 AM (0 replies)

NASA scientists track Greenland's melting ice, and the findings are not good

By Associated Press
Published: Aug 15, 2019 7:16 p.m. ET

‘It’s a little scary’ as climate change eats away at massive glaciers

ABOARD A NASA RESEARCH PLANE OVER GREENLAND-
...Like nearly every other glacier on Greenland, the massive Kangerlussuaq is melting. In fact, the giant frozen island has seen one of its biggest melts on record this year. NASA scientist Josh Willis is now closely studying the phenomenon in hopes of figuring out precisely how global warming is eating away at Greenland’s ice.

...Water brings more heat to something frozen faster than air does, as anyone who has ever defrosted a steak under the faucet knows. If Willis’ theory that much of the damage is from the water turns out to be correct, he said, “there’s a lot higher potential for Greenland to melt more quickly than we thought.” And that means seas rising faster and coastal communities being inundated more.

Greenland contains enough ice to make world sea levels rise by 20 feet if it were all to melt. In a single day this month, it lost a record 13.7 billion tons by one estimate.

“It’s a little scary,” Willis said as looked down on an area filled with more water than ice. “We’re definitely watching the ice sheet disappear in front of us.”

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/nasa-scientists-track-greenlands-melting-ice-and-the-findings-are-not-good-2019-08-15



Posted by bronxiteforever | Thu Aug 15, 2019, 08:18 PM (4 replies)
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