Month: August 2014

China seeks to become “capital” of South East Asia, by extending high-speed rail

China News

China High Speed Train China High Speed Train

A favourite export from China to its neighbours these days are high-speed rail lines designed to make trade routes in the vast stretches of Asia more accessible and fortify Chinese dreams of turning its southern reaches into the capital of mainland Southeast Asia.

But not everyone wants to be bound so close.

A rail project that would pass through the mountains of northeast Myanmar to the coastal plains on the Indian Ocean would give China a shortcut to the Middle East and Europe. For China, the strategic importance of the proposed line can barely be overstated: The route would provide an alternate to the longer and increasingly contentious trip through the South China Sea.

However, the Myanmar government viewed the project as a one-sided proposition and put it on the back burner last month, allowing a memorandum of understanding to lapse. It gave no timeline…

View original post 988 more words

Naomi Klein: “Our economic model is at war with life on earth.”

How vested interests defeated climate science.

<a href="


Arctic emergency?

...and Then There's Physics

I wrote a post a while ago that included a discussion of the risks of rapid methane emission in the Arctic. The general view was probably quite well represented by Michael Tobis’s comment

I think the prevailing opinion remains that it is a very important threat in the long run, but that there is no realistic mechanism proposed for an abrupt release in the space of a few decades or a century.

Since then, however, there appears to be more and more discussion of methane release in the Arctic. There’s a recent post by Jason Box called Is the climate dragon awakening? This post highlights that there is evidence that methane is reaching ocean surface, rather then being converted into the less greenhouse CO2 before getting to the surface. There’s also the recent discoveries of a few craters in Siberia. It’s thought that these are caused by an…

View original post 370 more words

Humans Driving Planet’s New Mass Extinction, Say Scientists

Revolución Alimentaria

Scientists warn another mass extinction event is underway due to human-made causes. (Photo: ASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli) Scientists warn another mass extinction event is underway due to human-made causes. (Photo: ASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli)

New study finds human-made climate change and habitat loss largely responsible for likely die-off of terrestrial species


by Sarah Lazare

The planet appears to be at the early stages of its sixth mass extinction, and humans are responsible, a new study finds.

Published last week in the journal Science, the study incorporates scientific literature review and data analysis by a team of international scientists, led by author Rodolfo Dirzo, a professor of biology at Stanford.

Scientists say that the Earth has already sustained five mass species die-offs, the most recent having occurred millions of years ago. But unlike the mass extinction events prior, the one likely underway is caused by human-made climate change and habitat loss.

Over 320 vertebrates have gone extinct since 1500, and…

View original post 247 more words

Terrible Thunderstorms of Fire Over Canada as Arctic Territory Continues Record Burn


They call them pyrocumulonimbus. In layman’s terms — fire thunderstorms.

*   *   *   *   *

At the surface, a very large wildfire covering tens of square miles or more can produce quite a lot of heat. The smokey column cast off by the burning blaze rises, generating lift in the atmosphere even as it seeds the air with smoke — nuclei to which water droplets can adhere and from which clouds can form. The rising column contacts water vapor, pushing a vast head of it upward. As this heat-driven column hits the upper reaches of the troposphere, it cools, and the water vapor condenses to the readily available smoke aerosols.

This process produces what is called a pyrocumulus cloud or a fire cloud — a smoke and heat fed version of the normal and far less ominous puffy cumulus clouds we are so accustomed to seeing during summer afternoons. In…

View original post 796 more words