Arctic

How to reverse #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Paul Hawken on how to reverse climate change now

Climate change is often quoted as the most pressing issue of our time. But as individuals it’s hard to comprehend how we can play a part in addressing it. Paul Hawken, environmentalist and author, aims to bridge the gap between urgency and agency, showing how we can use the power we have to create change now.

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming is Paul Hawken’s project and book compiles thinking (and doing!) from scientists to farmers.

‘Drawdown’ is the scientific term for the first time greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – the cause of global warming – begin to decline. Paul Hawken says drawdown is the goal, where reduction of emissions isn’t enough and reversal is key.

The good news is that the 80 ways to get there are based not on emerging technologies or concepts, but practises we already have. The solutions are ranked by effectiveness in their carbon impact through to the year 2050, as well as total and net cost to society and total lifetime savings.

So let’s get this out of the way. Drawdown argues that management of fridges and air-con units is the number one solution. It’s not as sexy as electric cars, but chemical refrigerants, which absorb and release heat to enable chilling, have 1,000 to 9,000 times greater capacity to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Removing and transforming these chemicals into other chemicals that don’t cause warming will reduce 89.74 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050, according to Drawdown.

But it’s in combination that the solutions will achieve reversal. It’s a welcome perspective that diversity of land, as well as scaled technology, will allow us to adequately reverse climate change. Here are some examples from Drawdown.

Educating girls (ranked #6)

Thanks to One Girl’s Business Brainsprogram, Sarah now has her own small

business selling homemade butterscotch, which has enabled her to pay

for her continuing education.

Drawdown highlights that women with more years of education lead more vibrant lives that positively affect their families and communities. They also have fewer and healthier children, and curbing population growth significantly avoids emissions.

Further, Drawdown maintains that educated women have better nourished families and more productive plots of land, and are more effective stewards of soil, trees and water. Resilience in food production through a changing climate will have impacts that resound throughout the world.

A few key initiatives that enable girls to access education are:

• making school more affordable

• reducing the time and distance to get to school

• helping girls overcome health barriers, and

• making schools more girl-friendly.

One example of this kind of thinking comes from the not-for-profit One Girl, which is equipping women to start their own businesses in Uganda through their entrepreneurship program called Business Brains.

Drawdown calculates that 59.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide will be reduced by 2050 by educating girls.

Wave and tidal electricity generation (ranked #29)

Drawdown suggests that wave and tidal energy is a largely untapped energy source that utilises oceanic flows to generate electricity. Although the constant and hugely powerful nature of tides and waves holds great potential, the challenges of operating in harsh and complex marine environments has stalled developments in energy generation from the ocean.

Carnegie Energy is working to transform theglobal renewable energy market

through its unsurpassed waveenergy technology, CETO

Wave energy typically relies on generator devices floating on the surface of the water that convert wave movement to electricity. Tidal uses underwater turbines that spin and create power from rising and lowering tides. Supporters believe wave power could provide 25% of US electricity, for example, says Drawdown, and around the world technologies are being tested and improved to capture and convert the incredible power of the ocean into energy.

Drawdown approximates tidal and wave energy could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 9.2 gigatons over thirty years.

Indigenous people’s land management (ranked #39)

It makes sense that those who have lived on the land the longest are those best equipped to care for it. Drawdown’s analysis has found lower rates of deforestation and higher rates of carbon sequestration on lands that indigenous people manage. Sequestration is where carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form – although this can be done artificially, forests do that well.

Indigenous communities have long been the frontline of resistance against deforestation. Their land management practices also encourage biodiversity and safeguard rich cultures and traditional ways of life. Growing the acreage under secure indigenous land tenure can sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says Drawdown. Some actions include:

• engaging the local community to manage forests

• shifting swidden cultivation, which employs slashing and burning to clear land

• agroforestry – growing and conserving trees as part of the agricultural system, and

• using fire as a tool to maintain ecosystem dynamics.

Drawdown estimates that approximately 849.37 gigatons of carbon dioxide captured in the biomass of forests and soil will be protected by indigenous land management.

Finding the most effective way to contribute

The climate has always changed over time. It’s time to acknowledge that we’re contributors to this change and then start focusing on what we can do to positively affect that change. It’s important to reframe the ‘problem’ of climate change to perceive the change as an opportunity for improvement. Hawken pushes to shift the language around climate change away from war-related expressions like ‘fight against’, ‘combat’ and ‘slashing emissions’.

Responding to our changing climate is an opportunity to build a healthier and more inclusive environment and society. It’s also an opportunity for innovation. ‘Coming attractions’ by Project Drawdown is an inspiring collection of new technologies and ideas striving to reverse climate change.

From transitioning to a plant-rich diet (ranked #4) to ridesharing (ranked #75), there are many more solutions to explore, some of which may already be part of your daily life. Hawken says we need all of the solutions to achieve drawdown – so do what you’re passionate about to make a difference.

Want to go in the draw to win one of three copies of Drawdown, signed by Paul himself?! Enter here

The Drawdown Competition Terms & Conditions apply. Australian Ethical has independently chosen to promote the Drawdown Project and has no commercial ties or association with Paul Hawken or the Drawdown organisation.

Press link for more: Australian Ethical

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‘Lying’ greenies accused of killing Queensland mining industry #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange

‘Lying’ greenies accused of killing Queensland mining industry

John McCarthy, The Courier-Mail

June 15, 2018 12:00am

Headline front page of today’s Courier Mail

MINING bosses have issued a dire warning that greenies behind the “Tofu Curtain” and mountains of red and green tape will make it impossible for new projects in some of Queensland’s most successful industries to be built in the future.

Coal, gas and bauxite executives have painted a bleak picture for their industries, which prop up Queensland’s economy to the tune of about $55 billion and employ 38,000 people.

They say the fossil fuel industry has become “the new tobacco”, and ill-informed activism from West End and Melbourne greenies, legal challenges and red and green tape meant the projects that contributed to the state’s prosperity could not be built today.

“My battle is in West End and Melbourne,” the head LNG producer, APLNG’s chief executive Warwick King told a recent BDO-The Courier-Mail function.

Former QGC boss Richard Cottee called it the “Tofu Curtain” that divides the green inner-city suburbs from the rest of Queensland.

Mr Cottee, who started the coal seam gas industry in Queensland, said the industry was losing the argument.

media_camera

Mining bosses believe there is an existential threat to the industry.

Reality check for Mining Bosses

https://www.facebook.com/groups/536118869850084/permalink/1558184997643461/

“One way the industry is going wrong is it still thinking in terms of facts and truth,” he said.

“We still deal in facts and science when they (activists) are using emotion.

“The narrative is that we should get rid of this ‘new tobacco’ industry and concentrate on what is more uplifting. It’s not the new tobacco. It’s not the new gaming.”

Mr Cottee said there was “no logic that will ever prevail” that would allow Australia’s top exporters to ever create export income.

“I’ve been linked with helping create CSG. That couldn’t happen now. The rules keep on changing and regulation keeps on increasing,” he said.

Reality Check for mining companies

The State Government’s Resources Investment Commissioner Todd Harrington said the industry had lost young adults.

“I know kids in my community in Brisbane … I can’t engage with a 20-year-old at a barbecue about resources – they are so polarised with the green view,” he said.

“I reckon there needs to be a focus on kids under 10, because their eyes are open to what is taught to them.”

Their comments were backed by federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan, who said energy costs were at such a level a new refinery or smelter would not be viable and, without coal and gas, the Queensland Government would be even further in debt.

Melbourne protesters target Adani at a mining conference last November.

“(The) current wholesale price of electricity would not support an aluminium smelter,” he said.

“Indeed it would put at risk most of the investments in refining. This is a lot of jobs. It should be natural advantage for Australia.

“If we didn’t have a gas industry in Queensland, we would be running out of gas and if we didn’t have coal the Queensland Government debt would be in a much worse position and they would not be able to fund at all some of the initiatives they’ve announced in the past week.”

Reality renewables create jobs

But state Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said there was a high level of confidence in the future of the Queensland resources sector.

He said there were 13 committed projects valued at more than $9.4 billion and 42 projects at the feasibility stage, valued at a potential $61 billion.

“The community now expects much more from the resources industry than in its infancy and it is important that the Government has appropriate rules in place to allow not only a balance but a prosperous resources industry in co-existence with other users of the land,” he said.

Origin is a partner in APLNG, and its former chief executive Grant King has previously said that if the green activist tactics deployed against coal projects had also been used against the gas sector, “we would have been unlikely to have seen the creation of an entirely new LNG export industry”.

Bauxite producer Metro Mining’s Duane Woodbury said energy costs were crippling industry and made the prospect of smelters and refineries virtually impossible because Australia had gone from the among the cheapest energy markets to the third most expensive.

“The cost of building an alumina refinery in China is terrifyingly cheap. Power is terrifyingly cheap,” he said.

“We could never duplicate that in Australia. And it’s not just labour costs. It’s electricity, it’s everything.

“Who wants to spend $1 billion building a new Yabulu, or whatever, given what’s happened.”

They blamed subsidies to renewables for blowing out energy costs as well as the “gold plating” of electricity infrastructure.

Last year Boyne Smelter, at Gladstone, was forced into significant production cuts because of rising energy costs.

New Hope Group’s Shane Stephan said his $900 million Acland coal mine expansion was facing another potential 10 to 12-month delay in the courts, adding to the 11 years it has taken to get it this far.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the “lawfare” waged in the courts by green groups was “spooking everyone”.

State Gas’s Lucy Snelling said there had been a raft of regulation over the past year in the gas industry.

“Low-cost exploration … you simply can’t do it,” she said

State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the LNP would again speed up approvals for major resource projects.

“When in government the LNP halved the average approval time for major projects,” she said.

The above rant from mining companies appears in today’s Courier Mail.

The battle lines are drawn.

Are you a “Green Activist” a “Tofu Warrior” do you support a clean energy future?

Or do you deny the science and support the filthy 18th Century Coal Mining Companies.

Do you want clean air and a stable climate for your children and future generations.

We sure do live in interesting times.

Let’s have a debate about sea level rise. #auspol #qldpol #climatechange #StopAdani

Let’s have a worthy debate about sea level rise

BY MICHAEL E. MANN AND ANDREA DUTTON, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS — 06/13/18 08:30 AM EDT

While there is a worthy debate to be had about what we do to address the threat to our coastlines posed by global sea level rise, there is no longer a worthy debate about whether that threat exists, or what is causing it.

Global sea level rise is the direct result of human-driven global warming as planet-warming greenhouse gases build up in our atmosphere. And, yes — as much as all of us wish it were otherwise — our ongoing dependence on fossil fuels is a big part of the problem.

The basics are easy to understand.

As the oceans warm, seawater expands. As glaciers and ice sheets warm, they melt. To deny these facts is not just to deny climate change.

It is to deny basic physics.

This is precisely what Fred Singer did in his June 8 commentary in The Hill entitled “There’s no need to panic about the rising sea level.” (Tell that, by the way, to those in Miami Beach or Hampton Roads Virginia, in New York City, North Carolina’s Outer Banks, or yes, Washington, D.C., itself.)

Singer is arguably the granddaddy of modern-day climate change denialism.

His latest commentary echoes the same misinformation as his recent Wall Street Journal commentary, “The Sea Is Rising, but Not Because of Climate Change.” It presents a virtual laundry list of discredited climate change denier talking points. No, sea levels aren’t rising at a steady rate — they are in fact accelerating.

The rate of ice sheet melting in Greenland and Antarctica is also accelerating, in part due to warming oceans that erode the ice from beneath, destabilizing it.

These observations fly in the face of those who try to argue that sea level will continue to rise at the same rate, which is why legitimate scientific conclusions are reached not in op-ed pieces such as Singer’s, but through careful peer-reviewed research.

That research shows that sea levels are rising and human-caused climate change is the cause.

Don’t just take our word for it; help yourself to the mountain of scientific literature demonstrating these inescapable conclusions.

Singer indeed knows that he doesn’t have the facts on his side, so he engages in distortion and diversion. For example, he takes a swipe at one of us as an “alarmist,” attacking the “Hockey Stick” curve published more than two decades ago demonstrating that recent warming is unprecedented in at least a thousand years. That work has been overwhelmingly reaffirmed and extended by subsequent work by numerous independent scientific teams. But professional climate change deniers continue to attack the curve because it is an iconic reminder of the profound impact that we are now having on this planet.

Perhaps because of the images of flooding that now permeate news broadcasts around the world as the seas rise and invade our coastlines, we are seeing a renewed attack on climate science: this time to discredit the link between human-caused climate change and sea level rise. Yet, even wealthy stretches of coastal real estate are feeling the pain of increased coastal flooding, the incidence of which has doubled over the past 30 years.

It is time to pivot and confront this head on. Even Singer’s opinion pieces do not deny the fact that sea level is rising. This is an issue that we can all get behind. Ensuring a secure coastal economy will benefit Americans of every stripe. If in doubt, just take in the symbolism painted inside of the dome of the U.S. Capitol building next time you walk through and note Minerva (science), Neptune (marine), and Mercury (commerce).

It is high time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and address the gradual yet persistent attack that is bearing down on our coastlines, an attack that unquestionably threatens the safety and security of the United States. Without strong policy to quickly slow and eventually eliminate fossil fuel emissions, the seas will rise faster and faster, resulting in trillions of dollars of economic damages and displacement of hundreds of millions of refugees from every coastal city in the world. That may sound daunting — and the implications of scientific research sometimes are — but scientific knowledge also can be incredibly empowering. Allow us to empower you to have the courage to pivot and confront.

Michael E. Mann is distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, and author of four books, including “The Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars” and most recently, “The Madhouse Effect” with Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles.

Andrea Dutton is an assistant professor of geological sciences at the University of Florida and a leading expert on rising seas. She was featured in a recent PBS NOVA documentary on climate change. Rolling Stone named her one of 25 People Shaping the Future in Tech, Science, Medicine, Activism and More.

Press link for more: The Hill

Time to Declare Climate Emergency #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange from #Berkeley #California to #Cairns #Australia

BREAK THE SILENCE:

Share the truth about the climate crisis

Our society’s silence about the climate crisis has been created by fossil fuel companies and the politicians who serve them, as well as the media, which has treated the climate crisis’ existence as controversial.

Polls also show that most Americans barely ever discuss the climate crisis — a widespread silence that is leading us toward environmental and social collapse.

But truth is powerful too, and the more we talk about the truth of the climate crisis, the stronger our movement becomes.

Documentary movie screenings, community meetings, petition signature gathering and conversations with your neighbors are an easy and accessible way for people to learn the facts of the climate emergency. And don’t forget to get to know local organizations that may already be working on these issues.

Raising awareness and building relationships in your community will build a solid foundation for a campaign to get your city to declare a climate emergency!

STRATEGIES YOU CAN TRY:

Start spreading the word about the climate emergency

• Organize a screening for a documentary about the climate crisis. Movies are an accessible and enjoyable way to learn about serious issues. You can try Saving Civilization: Plan B 3.0; 11th Hour;  How to Let Go of the World and Love all the Things Climate Can’t Change; or Chasing Ice.

• Organize a community meeting(s) to share the truth about the climate crisis in your home, at a place of worship, or at your organization.

• Knock on doors in your neighborhood, educate your neighbors, and collect petition signatures asking your mayor or other elected representatives to take action.

Build a group of people who are passionate about addressing the climate crisis

• Connect with others by using one of the above strategies or by reaching out to friends, co-workers, and other people you know from your community.

• You may decide to become a chapter of The Climate Mobilization, to do this work as members of another organization, or to organize as a loose group of volunteers.

Strengthen the broader climate movement by showing up in support of climate and environmental justice work that is already happening in your community

• The movement is stronger when we support each other! Build relationships with other people and organizations by showing that you support their work — whether by attending their rallies or events, volunteering or responding to another specific need. You’re not in it alone!

• Creating a just mobilization will mean that the needs of communities who are hit worst by climate catastrophe and environmental injustice come first. Think about how you can bring this idea to life — whether by aligning your work to support other local campaigns, or bringing people out to support other groups’ events.

• Reflect on how you are approaching other organizations. Learn about their history and coalitions they are part of. Think about what you can give, how you can find true alignment through active hope, empathy and understanding, and about how your messaging can either support other groups in positive ways, or cause harm by erasing important issues.

Launch a Campaign for a Climate Emergency Declaration, Climate Emergency Mobilization Department, and Plan

Leading cities and counties across the U.S. are beginning to shift into climate emergency mode.

Thanks to the hard work of local climate mobilizers, Hoboken, NJ, and Montgomery County, MD, have declared a climate emergency and committed the city to ending greenhouse gas emissions at emergency speed.

Organizers in Maryland and Los Angeles are also pushing for climate emergency mobilization departments — demanding that their locales give resources to a city department in charge of eliminating the city’s carbon emissions and catalyzing a larger climate emergency mobilization effort beyond the city.

Or, perhaps your area is ready to take even bolder action.

Be creative, and don’t be afraid to think big!

You can try pushing for your locality — and perhaps its new climate emergency mobilization department — to adopt and implement a mobilization plan that completely eliminates fossil fuels, installs solar panels on rooftops across the city, builds green affordable housing, offers free zero emissions public transit, and plants gardens in open spaces to sequester carbon.

For more ideas on policies you can pass as part of a mobilization plan, you can look at our local Draft Climate Mobilization Implementation Plans. Your plan may also include the city’s role as a climate advocate, pushing other localities and higher levels of government to launch their own mobilizations.

As part of this organizing toolkit, we’ve included a resolution for declaring a climate emergency and committing to achieve zero emissions (and beyond) at emergency speed, as well as optional policy language triggering a report into the creation of a climate emergency mobilization department.

Getting your local government to treat climate change like the emergency it is will make you part of the movement we are building across the U.S.!

STRATEGIES YOU CAN TRY:

Launch a coalition to launch a climate mobilization in your area

• Find other organizations and individuals in your area with similar goals, and see if they would be interested in joining forces. (Stuck? Use some of the ideas above in Phase I!)

Create a way to communicate, whether it’s an email list, a text group or regular meetings.

• After getting more people on board, your coalition can reach out to policy makers; launch a campaign urging them to declare a climate emergency and commit to addressing it at speed and scale; and hold them accountable for local implementation. Similar coalitions have already formed in Los Angeles and Montgomery County, MD.

Organize a launch party or kickoff meeting for the campaign

• Invite anyone you think may be interested: community organization members, clergy, labor leaders, environmental and environmental justice organizers, and business leaders, as well as parents, young people, and others who have a stake in the issue.

• Ask those who attend to meet with their city council members, mayor or mayor’s staff about creating a climate emergency declaration, department, and plan.

Meet with a city or county council member, mayor, or mayor’s staff to propose the idea of an emergency climate declaration and climate emergency mobilization department

• Try to identify leaders who seem like they would be receptive. There may be city or county council members who are already looking to take action, but are unsure how to do so or that they have enough public support.

• Consider sharing model resolution language and an example resolution from Los Angeles, HobokenMontgomery County or the Bay Area, a fact sheet on the need for climate emergency resolutions, Talking Points, and/or petition signatures.

Meet with candidates for local, state and federal offices. Educate voters about their stance on the climate crisis

• Create a candidate questionnaire to make sure your meeting stays on track, and that you ask the same questions of each candidate.

• Educating voters about a politician’s stance is the first step toward getting them to hold their representatives .

responsible — whether by voting for someone else, protesting at their events or putting pressure on their donors.

Press link for more: The Climate Mobilisation

Berkeley City Council voted at its Tuesday meeting to hold a climate emergency town hall meeting and work toward achieving a fossil fuel-free Berkeley by 2030.

The two items were introduced separately, but voted on together — one declared a climate emergency and called for a town hall to engage the community in discussion, while the other delineated goals for working toward a future in which Berkeley does not rely on fossil fuels.

“It is an act of unspeakable injustice and cruelty to knowingly subject our fellow humans now and into the future to societal disintegration, food and clean water shortages, economic collapse, and early death on an increasingly uninhabitable planet,” read the text of item 49, a Declaration of Climate Emergency.

Press link for more: Daily Cal

Ocean waves following sea ice loss trigger Antarctic ice shelf collapse #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani Stop #ClimateChange

Ocean waves following sea ice loss trigger Antarctic ice shelf collapse.

Ice calving off an ice shelf in the Antarctic. Credit: Ian Phillips, Australian Antarctic Division

Storm-driven ocean swells have triggered the catastrophic disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves in recent decades, according to new research published in Nature today.

Lead author Dr. Rob Massom, of the Australian Antarctic Division and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, said that reduced sea ice coverage since the late 1980s led to increased exposure of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula to ocean swells, causing them to flex and break.

“Sea ice acts as a protective buffer to ice shelves, by dampening destructive ocean swells before they reach the ice shelf edge,” Dr. Massom said.

“But where there is loss of sea ice, storm-generated ocean swells can easily reach the exposed ice shelf, causing the first few kilometres of its outer margin to flex.”

“Over time, this flexing enlarges pre-existing fractures until long thin ‘sliver’ icebergs break away or ‘calve’ from the shelf front.”

“This is like the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’, triggering the runaway collapse of large areas of ice shelves weakened by pre-existing fracturing and decades of surface flooding.”

Study co-author Dr. Luke Bennetts, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Mathematical Sciences, said the finding highlights the need for sea ice and ocean waves to be included in ice sheet modelling.

This will allow scientists to more accurately forecast the fate of the remaining ice shelves and better predict the contribution of Antarctica’s ice sheet to sea level rise, as climate changes.

“The contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is currently the greatest source of uncertainty in projections of global mean sea level rise,” Dr. Bennetts said.

“Ice shelves fringe about three quarters of the Antarctic coast and they play a crucially important role in moderating sea level rise by buttressing and slowing the movement of glacial ice from the interior of the continent to the ocean.”

“While ice shelf disintegration doesn’t directly raise sea level because they are already floating, the resulting acceleration of the tributary glaciers behind the ice shelf, into the Southern Ocean, does.”

Study co-author, Dr. Phil Reid, from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, said the research identifies a previously under-appreciated link between sea ice loss and ice shelf stability.

“Our study underlines the importance of understanding the mechanisms driving these sea ice trends, particularly in regions where sea ice acts as a protective buffer against ocean processes,” he said.

The discovery comes after the international research team, from Australia, the United States and New Zealand, combined satellite images and surface and ocean wave data with modelling, to analyse five major ice shelf disintegrations, between 1995 and 2009.

These included the abrupt and rapid losses of 1600 square kilometres of ice from the Larsen A Ice Shelf in 1995, 3320 square kilometres from the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002, and 1450 square kilometres from the Wilkins Ice Shelf in 2009.

Each disintegration event occurred during periods when sea ice was significantly reduced or absent, and when ocean waves were large.

In only a matter of days, the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002 removed an area of ice shelf that had been in place for the previous 11,500 years. Removal of the ice shelf buttressing effect also caused a 3- to 8-fold increase in the discharge of glacial ice, behind the shelf, into the ocean, in the year following disintegration.

Explore further: Giant iceberg set to calve from Larsen C ice shelf

More information: Robert A. Massom et al, Antarctic ice shelf disintegration triggered by sea ice loss and ocean swell, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0212-1

Journal reference: Nature

Provided by: University of Adelaide

Press link for more: PHYS.ORG

After Decades of Losing Ice, Antarctica Is Now Hemorrhaging It! #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange

Global warming has already cost the continent 2.7 trillion tons of mass.

Robinson Meyer is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers climate change and technology

A small boat floats in Neko Harbour, Antarctica Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters

Climate change has not been kind to Antarctica. According to a comprehensive new study, global warming has already bled the frigid continent, which is larger than Europe, of about 2.7 trillion tons of ice. This enormous amount of ice has already raised global sea levels by as much as a centimeter.

This outflow seems to be increasing: Almost half of all losses have occurred in just the last five years. And the continent is hemorrhaging that mass in a way that will lead to especially high sea levels on the East Coast of the United States.

“The continent is causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years,” said Andrew Shepherd, a leader of the new study and a professor of Earth observation at the University of Leeds, in a statement.

“If you take the big picture, when we compared before and after 2012, there was a three-times increase in the amount of melting,” said Beata Csatho, an author of the paper and a professor of geophysics at the University at Buffalo.

The results, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, present what is generally considered to be highest-quality census of the world’s glaciers and ice sheets. Written by 84 scientists across 44 different institutions, including NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the paper combines several different modes of measurement to produce one consensus result.

“This is the gold standard in terms of demonstrating that ice sheets are changing,” said Robin Bell, a professor of geophysics at Columbia University who was not involved in the paper. “You have three measurements, three approaches, from three different instruments, and they all show pretty much the same thing.”

When something is the size of a continent, how can you tell if it’s shrinking? Scientists have a few different tools at their disposal. First, Antarctica is so massive that it exerts its own gravity field, which can be sensed from orbit by satellites like NASA’s GRACE. Second, researchers can shoot radar or lasers at the surface of Antarctica to detect its surface altitude, which they can then combine with knowledge of ice physics and topography to compute its balance.

Finally, they use the “input-output method.” You may have heard of the 16th-century medical pioneer Santorio Santorio, who discovered human metabolism by weighing his food, his urine, his feces, and himself every day for 30 years. The input-output method applies the same idea to a continent: By measuring the velocity of moving glaciers (often with GPS), researchers can calculate how much snow is being added to a glacier and how much is disappearing into the sea.

The new study combines two dozen previous estimates of Antarctica’s changing mass, arrived at through all three techniques. “These are completely independent data sets,” said Csatho, the University at Buffalo professor. Her team worked on the altimetry data. She told me that she was pleased by how the different methods arrived at roughly the same conclusions. “We didn’t know until a few weeks ago where our results would sit relative to each other. It was a very nice surprise to see our results sitting right where they should be,” she said

The study contains two particular pieces of ominous news—especially for Americans. First, it finds that two glaciers in western Antarctica, named Thwaites and Pine Island, are losing mass at a particularly fast clip. Recent research has suggested that these glaciers may be subject to a feedback loop called “marine ice-cliff instability,” in which huge walls of ocean-facing ice buckle under their own weight and tumble into the sea. It’s not yet clear whether marine ice-cliff instability will happen at these two glaciers, but if it does kick in, then Thwaites and Pine Island would begin rapidly disintegrating, catastrophically raising global sea levels. Under that scenario, the two glaciers could increase global sea level by more than four and a half feet by 2100, inundating the homes of more than 150 million Americans.

Rob DeConto, a professor of climatology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, published research that first warned of that scenario a few years ago. He said it was too early to know whether marine ice-cliff instability had taken hold. “It’s pretty amazing that there’s been such a big uptick in the pace of mass loss down there, but we still can’t say that it’s because this cliff mechanism is kicking in now,” he told me.

But the good news ended there. “This should get people’s attention, especially here in North America,” he said. “This little hook where the ice is going into the ocean, it’s at the worst possible place in terms of its impacts on North America.”

Why? It has to do with one of the stranger mechanisms in ice physics. Glaciers, it turns out, don’t just alleviate sea-level rise by freezing water and keeping it out of the ocean. Their gravity fields are strong enough that they actually attract ocean water from elsewhere on the planet. The farther you go from a certain patch of glacier, the greater the gravitational effects—and West Antartica is very far from the United States. So Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers essentially swaddle themselves with water that would otherwise slosh against the beaches of the East Coast.

But if West Antarctica’s ice melts, and it loses mass, then its gravitational field will also lose its protective power. And North America will suffer the consequences. For example, for every bit of West Antarctic ice that tumbles into the sea, sea levels in Boston will bear an additional sort of gravity tax of 25 percent.

“For every centimeter [of sea-level rise] from West Antarctica, Boston feels one and a quarter centimeters. And that extends down the East Coast,” said DeConto.

And all of that is only the first bit of ominous news.

Data derived from the IMBIBE team’s paper. (Nature / Shepherd, et al.)

The second is more straightforward. For years, researchers have generally believed that the eastern two-thirds of Antarctica—dubbed “East Antarctica”—have been growing in mass. As the climate changed, snowfall had seemed to increase there, and the region seemed to be absorbing more sea level rise than it was contributing.

This no longer seems to be the case. “East Antarctica has begun to contribute to sea-level rise,” said DeConto. “It’s actually become a source now. That’s where most of the ice is—it’s vastly bigger than West Antarctica.”

This offers further evidence of the team’s largest contention that Antarctica’s 3-trillion-ton problem is rapidly getting worse. DeConto referred to a chart that showed the continent’s mass loss over time.

“If you look at the figure—it’s not a straight line going down, it’s like a downward-bending banana,” he told me. “That’s acceleration. You don’t have to be a statistician to see the pace of mass loss is increasing.”

Press link for more: The Atlantic

Antarctic ice melting faster than ever: #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange

Antarctic ice melting faster than ever, studies show

Rate of melt has accelerated threefold in last five years and could contribute 25cm to sea-level rises without urgent action

Matthew TaylorThu 14 Jun 2018 03.00 AEST

Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies.

A report led by scientists in the UK and US found the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has accelerated threefold in the last five years and is now vanishing faster than at any previously recorded time.

A separate study warns that unless urgent action is taken in the next decade the melting ice could contribute more than 25cm to a total global sea level rise of more than a metre by 2070. This could lead eventually to the collapse of the entire west Antarctic ice sheet, and around 3.5m of sea-level rise.

Prof Andrew Shepherd, from Leeds University and a lead author of the study on accelerating ice loss, said: “We have long suspected that changes in Earth’s climate will affect the polar ice sheets. Thanks to our satellites our space agencies have launched, we can now track their ice losses and global sea level contribution with confidence.”

He said the rate of melting was “surprising.”

“This has to be a cause for concern for the governments we trust to protect our coastal cities and communities,” Shepherd added.

The study, published in Nature, involved 84 scientists from 44 international organisations and claims to be the most comprehensive account of the Antarctic ice sheet to date. It shows that before 2012, the Antarctic lost ice at a steady rate of 76bn tonnes per year – a 0.2mm per year contribution to sea-level rise. However since then there has been a sharp increase, resulting in the loss of 219bn tonnes of ice per year – a 0.6mm per year sea-level contribution.

The second study, also published in Nature, warns that time is running out to save the Antarctic and its unique ecosystem – with potentially dire consequences for the world.

The scientists assessed the probable state of Antarctica in 2070 under two scenarios. The first in which urgent action on greenhouse gas emissions and environmental protection is taken in the next few years, the second if emissions continue to rise unabated and the Antarctic is exploited for its natural resources.

The scenario which plays out largely depends on choices made over the next decade, on both climate-change and on environmental regulation, they conclude.

Co-author Profe Martin Siegert, from the Grantham Institute, said: “Some of the changes Antarctica will face are already irreversible, such as the loss of some ice shelves, but there is a lot we can prevent or reverse.

“To avoid the worst impacts, we will need strong international cooperation and effective regulation backed by rigorous science. This will rely on governments recognising that Antarctica is intimately coupled to the rest of the Earth system, and damage there will cause problems everywhere.”

As well as being a major cause of sea-level rise, scientists say the oceans around Antarctica are a key “carbon sink” – absorbing huge amounts of greenhouse gases helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Siegert said: “If the political landscape of a future Antarctica is more concerned with rivalry, and how each country can get the most out of the continent and its oceans, then all protections could be overturned.

“However, if we recognise the importance of Antarctica in the global environment, then there is the potential for international co-operation that uses evidence to enact changes that avoid ‘tipping points’ – boundaries that once crossed, would cause runaway change, such as the collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet.”

Greenpeace which is campaigning for a large tract of the ocean surrounding the Antarctic to be made into the world’s biggest ocean sanctuary, said government’s must heed the warning.

Louisa Casson, of Greenpeace UK’s Protect the Antarctic campaign, said: “Governments can take a historic step forward in October this year if they decide to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, protecting 1.8 million square kilometres in what would be the largest protected area on Earth.

“Ocean sanctuaries create havens for marine life to build resilience to a changing ocean, but also crucially help us avoid the worst effects of climate change, by preserving healthy ocean ecosystems that play a vital role storing carbon.”

Press link for more: The Guardian

Comments of the UN Secretary-General to the 44th G7 Summit #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Secretary-General António Guterres.

Excellencies,

I welcome your decision to bring a focus on oceans.

The facts are clear.  Our oceans are a mess.

Some 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year.  Unless we change course, it could outweigh all the fish in the oceans by 2050.

Plastic waste is now found in the most remote areas of the planet.  It kills marine life and is doing major harm to communities that depend on fishing and tourism.

One mass of plastic in the Pacific is now bigger than France.

So, I welcome today’s G7 Plastics Charter.  But we all need to do so much more – not just on plastic waste but on all ocean issues.

Because, make no mistake, we are in a battle.  And we are losing on every front.

Overfishing is crippling fish stocks.

Pollution from land is creating vast coastal dead zones.

Nearly 80 per cent of wastewater is discharged into the sea without treatment.

And, to compound these issues, we have the growing impacts of climate change.

Ocean acidification is disrupting the marine food chain.

And ocean temperatures are at record levels, killing coral reefs and creating fiercer and more frequent storms.

Forty per cent of all people live within 100 kilometres of a coast.

Many of these people are vulnerable not just to storms but to sea level rise and coastal erosion.

Low-lying island nations face inundation, as do many major coastal cities.

So – coastal communities are in jeopardy, the oceans are being swamped by a tide of pollution, marine life is in decline, and climate change is having an increasingly powerful impact.

Thankfully, we have a battle plan.

Our guide is the Sustainable Development Goals, and especially Goal 14 with its 10 targets from addressing marine pollution and acidification, to ending overfishing and protecting ecosystems.

Our legal framework is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea — the world’s “constitution for the oceans”.

And, at last year’s Ocean Conference, we registered more than 1,300 commitments and partnerships.

But none of these initiatives and declarations are worth anything unless we accept that we face a global emergency.

And that is why I am here today.  To sound the alarm.  To inject a sense of real urgency in your deliberations and decision-making.

Your leadership is needed now, more than ever – on combatting land-based pollution; on creating marine protected areas; on sustainably reviving fisheries; on building the resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities, and, especially, on climate change.

And on the issue of leadership, let’s not forget that women empowerment and leadership will make an essential contribution to safeguard the environment and to deliver solutions.

If we don’t protect our seas and oceans, and if we don’t win the battle against climate change, all the assumptions on which we base our policy-making will be worthless.

I therefore appeal to you all to take seriously these threats to our global environment and understand that our collective future and security is at stake.

Thank you.

Secretary-General António Guterres.

Press link for more: UN.ORG

The Oceans, which protect us against climate change, teeter on verge of collapse. #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

By Pakalolo

Pakalolo’s Profile

Ocean and climate defender residing in the epicenter of sea level rise, Fort Lauderdale, FL USA. I am a layman working hard to understand and educate myself on the complexities and intricacies of climate science.

It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came. — John F. Kennedy

Today is World Oceans Day!  A day to celebrate the Ocean and raise awareness of the vital importance of our oceans, and the critical role that they play in sustaining a healthy and livable planet.

In this handout photo from the University of Bergen taken on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, plastic bags are shown inside the stomach of a two-ton whale that was beached in shallow waters off Sotra, an island west of Bergen, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of Oslo.

Norwegian zoologists have found about 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast.

Terje Lislevand of the Bergen University says the visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale was euthanized. Its intestine “had no food, only some remnants of a squid’s head in addition to a thin fat layer

This years theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution” a disastrous problem that UN Secretary General António Guterres warned; “Our world is swamped by harmful plastic waste; every year, more than 8 million tons end up in the oceans, microplastics in our seas now outnumber stars in our galaxy.”

Let’s be honest. Donald Trump doesn’t give one flying fuck about the Oceans. He stated on a visit to Japan in 1990 that he would not eat “fucking raw fish”, but he will wolf down a heavily processed McDonalds Filet of Fish sandwich harvested by fishing trawlers on occasion. That is, when he doesn’t have a Big Mac or fried chicken in his mouth. He clearly enjoys his waterfront properties, that you and I pay the mortgage for when he visits with his entourage. And he will pressure local governments to protect these opulent properties from sea level rise, even though he is one of the most deplorable climate change deniers on Earth.

So, it is no surprise that protecting the Ocean is not on his radar, in fact, he is just as hostile to the oceans as he is towards the climate. Margaret Cooney writes on Trump’s war on the oceans.

In just his first six months in office, President Donald Trump undertook a range of actions that gravely undermined common-sense stewardship of America’s oceans—enough for the Center for American Progress to conclude that he had launched a “War on Oceans.” His attacks included withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change; signing executive orders aimed at reckless expansion of offshore oil drilling; direct attacks on the spectacular wildlife protected within national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments; and proposing draconian cuts to the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Altogether, these rollbacks amount to an attack on America’s coasts and oceans the size of which has not been seen in decades.

And President Trump’s war on oceans has not stopped there: Since June 2017, this onslaught has continued largely unabated. As citizens and advocates for ocean conservation convene in Washington, D.C., this week for Capitol Hill Ocean Week and the first-ever March for the Ocean, the Trump administration is accelerating its rollbacks of basic safeguards and pollution controls for the marine environment, as well as the sell-off of oceans to special interests.

National Geographic News reports on how the Oceans have protected us and that they will be unable to protect us anymore.

Since 1970, global waters have been a “powerful ally” against global warming, absorbing 93 percent of the carbon dioxide released by human activities. (See “Ocean Warming Faster Now Than in 10,000 Years.”)

“Without this oceanic buffer, global temperature rises would have gone much, much speedier,” Andersen said Monday at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

To put it bluntly, if the oceans weren’t there to protect us, our lower atmosphere would have already heated up by 36 degrees Celsius, says Dan Laffoley, principal advisor of marine science and conservation for IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme

Now, as global warming continues apace, the ocean will continue to warm by between 1 to 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, Andersen says. “In an ecological timescale, 2100 is tomorrow.”

Oceans produce most of our oxygen, we are in for a world of hurt if we do not rein in our fossil fuel emissions immediately.

Besides plastic waste, acidification, overfishing, pollution, marine heatwaves, emerging pathogens, and the Atlantification and Pacification of the Arctic ocean are all threats to every living creature on earth. Tick Tock!

Oceans Are Heating Up #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

By Climate Central

June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day to raise awareness of the ocean’s importance to the planet. 93 percent of the excess heat absorbed by the climate system goes into our oceans, creating major consequences.

While more extreme storms and rising sea levels are some of the impacts of warmer oceans, rising CO2 levels and the resulting warmer oceans are impacting ocean health itself.

The most well­known effects are coral bleaching and ocean acidification, but an emerging issue is the decreasing oxygen levels in the warming waters.

Oxygen enters the ocean through two ways: interactions between its surface and the atmosphere, and as a photosynthesis byproduct from phytoplankton in upper layers of the ocean, much in the same way plants on land produce oxygen.

As the ocean waters warm, they aren’t able to hold as much oxygen (decreased solubility).

Normally, oxygen­rich water mixes with deeper layers of the ocean that tend to be oxygen­poor.

But warmer water creates an ocean that is more intensely stratified, meaning it is less likely to mix with the colder water found below. As a result, not only is less oxygen dissolved in the oceans, but it’s harder for it to be mixed to deeper areas.

When water loses most of its oxygen, it creates areas referred to as “dead zones,” where most marine plants and animals cannot survive.

While these dead zones are often caused by fertilizer runoff currently, it seems the decreasing ability of the oceans to hold dissolved oxygen with continued warming will increasingly become a problem for marine ecosystems and fisheries in the coming decades.

A recent study found that 15 percent of the observed oxygen loss in oceans since 1960 could be attributed to the effects of warming water.

Since 1960, the researchers found that dissolved oxygen content in oceans has declined by 2 percent on average.

This percentage is not evenly distributed, and some oceans have lost significantly more. Another recent study projects that with unabated greenhouse gas emissions, oxygen lows will fall below their current range by midcentury. Marine ecosystems will thus either need to adapt or move in order to survive.

Warmer oceans also lead to coral bleaching.

Coral reefs, the “rainforests of the sea,” are important ocean ecosystems that protect coastlines, support fisheries, and draw in a lot of tourism around the world.

When ocean waters get too hot, corals expel the algae that live within them, losing their source of nutrients, turning white and sometimes dying.

In addition, the more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more is taken up by the oceans leading to ocean acidification.

When carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, it reacts with water to produce carbonic acid, a process that depletes the ocean of carbonate ions, which corals and many other animals use to build shells and reef structures.

Some of these animals may be small, such as phytoplankton, but they form the base of the ocean food chain and are critically important for overall ocean health.

Press link for more: Climate Central