Sunday, February 02, 2020

Climate change is causing the Arctic to become GREENER as warmer temperatures cause trees and plants to flourish in the frozen world

Most of the Arctic is water, with ice floating on top of it.  So this article is referring to peripheral regions of the Arctic, which vary greatly in climate.

The largest land mass is Greenland, which is known to have substantial subsurface vulcanism.  And even the oceanic parts of Arctica have extensive vulcanism -- along the Gakkel ridge, for instance.  So Arctica commonly warms out of synchrony with the rest of the globe. It warms and cools in response to fluctuations in volcanic activity.   Its temperature is determined only partly by global influences. A lot of its warming is due to the greater volcanic activity at the poles.

The earth is not a perfect globe.  It is flattened at the poles.  So that is where volcanic activity is most likely to break through.  And it does, at both poles

So the findings below are attributed to global warming in defiance of the fact that Arctic warming is NOT synchronous with global warming.

And the greening observed is easily explained not by temperatures but by CO2 levels -- which have undoubtedly risen.  Higher CO encourages plant growth and enables plants to survive with less water. Terrestrial Arctica is essentially a desert so that latter fact is crucial.  In the results below we may simply be seeing the normal fertilizing effect of increased CO2.

Ecologists are on 'red alert' as warmer temperatures caused by climate change causes the Arctic to become greener. The Arctic is normally a vast and barren expanse of frozen land but higher temperatures are now allowing foliage to thrive.

Trees and plants are being found in areas that were once perennially frozen, according to a new study.

The worrying phenomenon - branded 'Arctic greening' - is being studied by researchers using drones and satellites.

A group of 40 scientists from 36 institutions, led by two National Geographic Explorers, are behind the huge project.

As Arctic summer temperatures warm, snow is melting earlier and plants are coming into leaf sooner in spring.

Tundra vegetation is spreading into new areas and in the areas where plants have always survived, they are now flourishing.

Study lead author Dr Isla Myers-Smith, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: 'New technologies including sensors on drones, planes and satellites, are enabling scientists to track emerging patterns of greening found within satellite pixels that cover the size of football fields.'

Changes in vegetation alter how carbon is captured and released into the atmosphere.

Small changes to this balance could significantly impact efforts to keep warming below 1.5°C – a key target of the Paris Agreement.

But researchers in Europe and North America also found Arctic greening, which can be seen from space, is caused by various factors.

Ground warming is important, researchers found, but so are changes to the timing of snow melt and the wetness of landscapes.

The new study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The team behind it say it is vital for understanding global climate change because tundra plants act as a barrier between the warming atmosphere and huge stocks of carbon stored in frozen ground.

Co-lead author Dr Jeffrey Kerby, who was a Neukom Fellow at Dartmouth College while conducting the research, said: 'Besides collecting new imagery, advances in how we process and analyse these data - even imagery that is decades old - are revolutionising how we understand the past, present, and future of the Arctic.'

Alex Moen, Vice President of Explorer Programmes at the National Geographic Society, added: 'We look forward to the impact that this work will have on our collective understanding of the Arctic for generations to come.'


Groundbreaking footage of Antarctica's large Thwaites glacier captured by an underwater robot shows warm water under the glacier

Notice the dog that didn't bark?  They do not mention global warming. As with all Green/Left writing, you are given only half the story.  They COULD NOT attribute the warming observed to global warming because  the warming was UNDER the glacier whereas atmospheric warming would affect the SURFACE of the glacier!

And note that the Thwaites glacier is in the middle of West Antarctica, which is well known for it extensive vulcanism.  The warming observed could only have come from volcanic activity, making this just another confirmation of West Antarctic vulcanism

Given the sporadic nature of volcanic activity, it is puerile to extrapolate the observations below into the distant future

First ever footage of the underside of the 'doomsday' Thwaites glacier has been sent back by a robotic yellow submarine dubbed Icefin.

Glaciologists have likened the groundbreaking images and video to the first steps on the moon taken by Neil Armstrong in 1969.

Early analysis reveals that turbulent warm waters underneath the ice sheet, which is the same size as Britain, are causing an 'unstoppable retreat'.

Experts have previously predicted that if Thwaites was to melt completely, it would lead to a significant increase in worldwide sea levels of around two feet (65cm).

Preliminary data from Icefin was analysed by a team of researchers at New York University and found, for the first time, the presence of warm water underneath the glacier at its grounding line — where the glacier rests on the ocean bed.

David Holland, director of New York University's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, said: 'If these waters are causing glacier melt in Antarctica, resulting changes in sea level would be felt in more inhabited parts of the world.'

'The fact that such warm water was just now recorded by our team along a section of Thwaites grounding zone where we have known the glacier is melting suggests that it may be undergoing an unstoppable retreat that has huge implications for global sea level rise,' notes Holland, a professor at NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Icefin was deployed five times and covered a distance of more than nine miles (15km) after being released through a borehole 2,000ft (600-meter) deep and 12 inches (35cm) wide earlier this month.

Two of the missions involved travelling as close as possible to the grounding line.

It was recently announced that in mid-January scientists conducted the first fieldwork on Thwaites.

One of the projects from a vast UK-US joint task force involved drilling holes through the glacier near its grounding line.

Some experts call it a grounding line, and some call it a grounding zone, as its exact shape is unknown and  the glacier's base may come into contact with the seabed at various locations.

At this grounding zone, the ice shelf is 1,900 feet (580m) thick.

The submersible yellow submarine-like robot Icefin is capable of navigating the sub-zero waters and was fed through one borehole to study how the glacier is melting.

Icefin is designed to take several measurements, including tracking the turbulence of the water as well as its temperature.

Turbulence causes fresh meltwater from the glacier to mix with salty water from the ocean.

Icefin swam more nine miles (15 km) during five missions, including two to the grounding site — where most melting is thought to be occurring.

Dr Britney Schmidt, a glaciologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said: 'We saw amazing ice interactions driven by sediments at the [grounding] line and from the rapid melting from warm ocean water.'

Icefin measured, imaged and mapped the process causing melting at this critical part of the glacier.

The icy 'ceiling' seen in the video is the bottom of the glacier's ice shelf. This section floats in the water as opposed to being nestled on the seafloor.

The observations made by Icefin capture sediment that was on the sea floor just hours previously, as the glacier drifts constantly, exposing new sections of the ice.

Britney Schmidt, a glaciologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told The Athletic: 'We can definitely see it melting.

'There are a few places where you can see streams of particles coming off the glaciers, textures and particles that tell us it's melting pretty quickly and irregularly.'

Melting of Thwaites is cause for global concern as its sheer enormity means that it contains enough ice that, if it was to melt, there would be worldwide implications.

Sea level rise would be drastic, up to around 25 inches (63.5cm), and the reach of the ripple-effect would be vast.


Doctor Who and the Deadly Wokeness Peril

On 12 January 2020 the BBC aired Episode 3 of their latest season of Doctor Who, starring Jodie Whittaker as the eponymous Doctor. The episode was called Orphan 55, it was about climate change and was, it seems, not generally well-received by the viewers.

The story starts with the Doctor and her companions being teleported to a mysterious holiday resort. Various mishaps occur and it turns out that this luxury resort exists in a kind of bubble, outside of which lies a barren, toxic wasteland inhabited by vicious (and rather rubbery) monsters called “dregs”. We find out eventually that the planet is in fact a future Earth which has been ruined by catastrophic man-made climate change, and the unfriendly “dregs” are the CO2-breathing descendants of humans who have adapted to the horrible conditions on Earth by becoming pretty horrible themselves.

Much has been said by various reviewers about the lame story, sub-par costumes, leaden script and uninspired acting, But what stood out for me was the fact that there wasn’t really much in the way of science fiction at all in this episode, despite all the SF trappings. It basically amounted to being a sermon about the evils of man-made climate change.

“How did Earth end up like this?” asks one character.

“You had warnings, from every scientist alive”, says the Doctor. “The food chain collapses – mass migration and war.”

And a sermon is what Jodie Whittaker actually delivers at the end, with all the subtlety of a ball peen hammer to the head.

“You want me to tell you that Earth’s going to be okay. ‘Cos I can’t. In your time, humanity is busy arguing over the washing up, while the house burns down. Unless people face facts and change, catastrophe is coming. But it’s not decided. You know that. The future is not fixed, it depends on billions of decisions and actions, and people stepping up. Humans… I think you forget how powerful you are. Lives change worlds. People can save planets or wreck them – that’s the choice. Be the best of humanity, or…” [scene cuts to a roaring “dreg”.]

Well, some people liked it. Rotten Tomatoes currently gives this episode a score of 50%, with an average rating of 5.8/10. And on IMDb there are a handful of 10-star reviews. However, Season 12 as a whole currently gets an audience score of only 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. And the majority of reviews of Orphan 55 on IMDb fall into the 1-3 star bracket and are somewhat scathing!

1. Amongst the negative reviewers there were some who were fine with the climate change message but nevertheless hated the unsubtle and preachy way that it was delivered at the expense of the story. And this goes to the heart of the matter, really. People watch Doctor Who to be entertained, rather than be hit over the head with a sandwich board.

2. An environmental message can be woven into a story without this kind of preachy overkill. When Jon Pertwee was the Doctor in 1973 there was an adventure called The Green Death – it featured industrial pollution, a sinister mega-corporation and toxic green slime that infected and slowly killed anyone who touched it. The environmental message was definitely there – but it did not get in the way of what was an enjoyable, thoughtful and very creepy tale from Doctor Who’s heyday.

3. The show’s ratings now seem to be falling steeply – and the previous season’s ratings were on the bumpy side, too. Back in 2018, my impression was that viewers were already being turned off by the tedious and excessive wokeness, once the wow factor of having a female Doctor began to wear off. The BBC had a chance then to step back and reflect on why their customers were voting with their feet (or their remote controls, rather) and going elsewhere for their entertainment. Maybe lay off a bit on the sermonising and focus on creating some great stories? They managed it in 1973, why not now?

But no. And that’s what ties this in with the “culture war” being played out elsewhere in 2020. The BBC (and the establishment in general) still don’t seem to get it, that outside their bubble, there are a lot of people – voters, customers, viewers, ordinary folk – who are beginning to get tired of being preached at and told that they are bad people for having opinions that deviate even slightly from the approved, progressive, bien-pensant vision of the world. Even people who consider themselves to be basically on-message are getting tired of it.

How will all of this end? I don’t know. But (unlike Doctor Who, in its current form) whatever happens next should at least be interesting to watch.



Three current articles below

Gas investment will drive more extreme weather

So says the self-appointed Climate Council below.  Natural gas gives off much less CO2 when burnt than coal does so you would think the climate council would welcome it.  But like all Greenies, they know no compromise. They want it all now.

Their claim that renewables are cheaper is misleading.  It is cheap in some ways only because it receives large subsidies.  It is tax powered.

And the claim that CO2 drives extreme weather is just an assertion.  The U.N., among others, says there is no proof of that

The bushfires are the result of negligent forest management, nothing more

SCOTT MORRISON, just days after addressing the nation with ‘climate action now’, has today announced a significant investment in new fossil fuels, with the New South Wales Government.

“Fossil fuels are the problem. Burning coal, oil, and gas is driving climate change, which is making Australia’s extremes, more extreme,” said the Climate Council’s CEO, Amanda McKenzie. “Every dollar toward fossil fuel projects is a dollar toward making heatwaves worse and fires more damaging. It is just crazy, given everything we have lost this summer to even suggest opening new fossil fuel reserves,” said McKenzie.

“More gas isn’t a climate policy it is a pollution policy. While fires are still threatening lives and properties - why is the Government investing in making the problem worse,” she said.

“You don’t reduce emissions by increasing investment in fossil fuels,” said Climate Councillor and energy expert, Greg Bourne. “The idea that gas will reduce prices is nonsensical. Gas is the reason power prices are so high along the east coast of Australia. Renewables are the cheapest form of new generation. Cheaper than coal, oil and gas,” said Climate Councillor and energy expert, Greg Bourne.

“Investing in gas will ensure power prices keep rising, and Australia spews out even more greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to pushing climate change to new and terrifying extremes,” said Bourne.

 “We have just witnessed an unprecedented bushfire crisis. Lives, homes, wildlife and millions of hectares of Australia simply burnt and gone. The Prime Ministers’ job is to protect Australians but he's making the problem worse,” said McKenzie.

Via email. Contact Communications Advisor, Brianna Hudson on 0455 238 875.

Struggling public hospital REFUSES to accept a $15M donation - because it was made by a coal mining company

Destructive Greenie fanaticism again

A struggling hospital has been accused of 'ideological grandstanding' after turning down a $15million cash injection - because it came from a coal mining company.

Wyong Hospital, on the New South Wales Central Coast, has been dogged by complaints over low nurse numbers and emergency wait times - and last October sent a one-year-old home with a fractured neck without staff ordering scans.

But the hospital board has refused Wallarah 2 Coal Project's offer to donate $14.8million over the mine's 28-year life span because of 'community sentiment' and 'public health effects'.

The project, due to begin in 2022, has been approved by the state ­government and the ­independent planning commission, which takes into consideration pollution and health impacts.

Wyong Coal Wallarah 2 general manager Peter ­Allonby and site manager Kenny Barry claimed a board member said hospital board members compared the handout to 'taking money from a tobacco company', The Daily Telegraph reported.

Central Coast Local Health District boss Andrew Montague released a statement this week stating the offer was not appropriate 'to accept at this stage'.

'[This is] due to current community sentiment and potential public health effects, particularly in relation to air quality and noise pollution,' he said.

It is common for mining companies to pour money into local community infrastructure, and the state government alone rakes in $2billion from industry royalties annually.

The contribution would be an average of $528,000 a year - or the wages of at least six nurses.

According to the Department of Planning and Environment, the $800million mine is expected to create more than 1,700 direct and indirect jobs.

The hospital board's decision to reject the funds has been criticised by officials, but many within the community have launched online petition to stop the mine.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the decision would impact the Wyong community.

'For them to reject what is a very generous donation from a company wanting to be a good corporate citizen is a slap in the face for that community,' he said.

The father of the one-year-old sent home with a fractured neck last year also described the refusal to accept the offer as a 'slap in the face'.


Federal Government chooses Kimba farm on the Eyre Peninsula for nuclear dump

The Federal Government has selected a farm on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula as the site of a controversial nuclear waste dump.

The decision to use the 160-hectare area for what the Government calls a "disposal and storage facility" was made after four years of consultation.

Nearly 62 per cent of people voted in favour of the site being used in November, while a site near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges was opposed by Aboriginal traditional owners and residents.

The Federal Government said the $200 million facility would boost the region's economy and create about 45 jobs during construction.

It comes with a $31 million community development package to give local businesses and workers skills to build and run the dump. "I am satisfied a facility at Napandee will safely and securely manage radioactive waste and that the local community has shown broad community support for the project and economic benefits it will bring," Resources Minister Matt Canavan said.

Dump to consolidate nuclear waste

Local federal Liberal MP Rowan Ramsey said waste would come in from more than 100 sites around Australia, such as hospitals and universities, and the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney.

Processed medium-level nuclear fuel rods from Lucas Heights will be temporarily stored at Kimba while a permanent site is found for them, he said.

Mr Ramsey, who tried to nominate his own property near Kimba for the dump but was barred as a federal MP, said there would be no fly-in, fly-out workers at the facility. "All of those things should provide a long-term economic benefit to the community," he said.



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