Monday, December 20, 2021

Epic sea level rise drove Vikings out of Greenland

This is ridiculous. Expanding ice sheets should have locked up more water and LOWERED sea levels. The claim that they raised sea levels is therefore illogical and the proffered explanation is far-fetched. It is normally accepted that the wintry conditions wiped out the settlers' crops and it was therefore starvation that drove them out

The Vikings are remembered as fierce fighters, but even these mighty warriors were no match for climate change. Scientists recently found that ice sheet growth and sea level rise led to massive coastal flooding that inundated Norse farms and ultimately drove the Vikings out of Greenland in the 15th century.

The Vikings first established a foothold in southern Greenland around A.D. 985 with the arrival of Erik Thorvaldsson, also known as "Erik the Red," a Norwegian-born explorer who sailed to Greenland after being exiled from Iceland. Other Viking settlers soon followed, forming communities in EystribyggĂ° (Eastern Settlement) and VestribyggĂ° (Western Settlement) that thrived for centuries. (At the time of the Vikings' arrival, Greenland was already inhabited by people of the Dorset Culture, an Indigenous group that preceded the arrival of the Inuit people in the Arctic, according to the University of California Riverside).

Around the 15th century, signs of Norse habitation in the region vanished from the archaeological record. Researchers previously suggested that factors such as climate change and economic shifts likely led the Vikings to abandon Greenland. Now, new findings show that rising seas played a key role, by submerging miles of coastline, according to data presented Wednesday (Dec. 15) at the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), held this week in New Orleans and online.

Between the 14th and 19th centuries, Europe and North America experienced a period of significantly cooler temperatures, known as the Little Ice Age. Under these chilly conditions, the Greenland Ice Sheet — a vast blanket of ice covering most of Greenland — would have become even bigger, Marisa Julia Borreggine, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, said in a presentation at the AGU conference.

As the ice sheet advanced, its increasing heaviness weighed down the substrate underneath, making coastal areas more prone to flooding, Borreggine said. At the same time, the increased gravitational attraction between the expanding ice sheet and large masses of sea ice pushed more seawater over Greenland's coast. These two processes could have driven widespread flooding along the coastline — "exactly where the Vikings were settled," Borreggine said.

The scientists tested their hypothesis by modeling estimated ice growth in southwestern Greenland over the 400-year period of Norse occupation and adding those calculations to a model showing sea level rise during that time. Then, they analyzed maps of known Viking sites to see how their findings lined up with archaeological evidence marking the end of a Viking presence in Greenland.

Their models showed that from about 1000 to 1400, rising seas around Greenland would have flooded Viking settlements by as much as 16 feet (5 meters), affecting about 54 square miles (140 square kilometers) of coastal land, Borreggine said. This flooding would have submerged land that the Vikings used for farming and as grazing pastures for their cattle, according to the models.

However, sea level rise was probably not the only reason the Vikings left Greenland. Other types of challenges can cause even long-standing communities to collapse, and a perfect storm of external pressures — such as climate change, social unrest and resource depletion — may have spurred the Vikings to abandon their settlements for good, Borreggine said.

"A combination of climate and environmental change, the shifting resource landscape, the flux of supply and demand of exclusive products for the foreign market, and interactions with Inuit in the North all could have contributed to this out-migration," she said. "Likely a combination of these factors led to the Norse migration out of Greenland and further west."


EU supply chain crisis looms as HGV drivers blow top over green taxes

Industry leaders have reacted furiously at the EU as it plans to increase carbon taxes on commercial road transport in the next few years. They argue that it is unjust to increase carbon taxes before clean low carbon solutions for road freight and coaches are widely affordable.

While zero-emission electric and hydrogen fuel-cell heavy-duty vehicles are available, these tend to be prohibitively expensive for most companies.

Part of the reason for the higher price tag is the fact that they are not yet produced at the same level of scale as heavy-duty fossil fuel-based vehicles.

Furthermore, many in the industry are sceptical about these electric vehicles. They are particularly hesitant about whether the technology is suitable for long-distance journeys, especially given Europe’s limited charging infrastructure for alternative fuels.

For these reasons, HGV drivers are reluctant to make the shift to greener vehicles.

At a conference organised by the International Road Transport Union (IRU), Alexander Klacska, the CEO of Austrian logistics company Klacska Group criticised the EU’s plans.

She said: “The European economy is based on competitiveness, and to be penalised without having alternatives just demolishes that competitiveness.”

Jos Sales of the Luxembourg Federation of Bus and Coach Operators (FLEAA) agreed with this sentiment, saying that there must be green options available prior to implementing punitive taxes.


EU leaders battle over carbon price as energy costs soar

A group of EU leaders have demanded that Brussels intervene to help curb the record price of CO2, arguing that potential market manipulation is raising energy costs and exacerbating Europe’s winter gas crisis.

European member states led by France and including Spain, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, and the Czech Republic objected to the European Commission’s assertion that there were no irregularities in the EU carbon market as they come under pressure to cushion consumers from the rising cost of energy.

The complaints were raised at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, where leaders ultimately failed to bridge divisions and abandoned attempts to agree common language on the energy crisis.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council who chaired the meeting, described the issue as “difficult” after Poland and the Czech Republic demanded references to the emissions trading scheme (ETS) and forthcoming EU rules on its green “taxonomy” in the summit conclusions. The requests were resisted by Germany’s new chancellor Olaf Scholz, along with Austria and Luxembourg.

European gas prices hit their highest level since October earlier this week on the back of concerns about Russia’s new Nord Stream 2 pipeline to deliver natural gas to Europe.

The gas supply crunch has provided an incentive to energy producers to switch to cheaper but more polluting coal — raising demand for carbon allowances under the EU’s cap-and-trade system. The carbon price as reflected in the ETS surged to more than €90 per tonne of CO2 last week.

Heavy polluters are obliged to buy ETS allowances to cover their carbon emissions, in an effort to place a cost on the dirty fuel and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

EU diplomats told the FT that a number of leaders demanded the commission carry out more rigorous scrutiny of the price dynamics in the ETS. Some suggested direct political intervention in the market for allowances which is effectively controlled by the commission.

Leaders also clashed over Brussels’ much-anticipated rules on green finance, known as the taxonomy. The commission is due to publish a legal bill next week that will decide whether nuclear power and natural gas can be awarded a “green” label in the classification system, designed to help investors stamp out so-called “greenwashing”.

A large majority of EU member states, including France, the Netherlands, Poland and Hungary, support the inclusion of nuclear power in the rules — arguing that it is a low-emission technology that is crucial to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This has been resisted by environmental groups who says nuclear power produces toxic waste.

“It is no secret that there are different positions [on the taxonomy] . . . and it was not possible to have an agreement” said Michel.

The spats over energy and green policy will cast a shadow over the EU’s attempts to agree more than a dozen pieces of legislation designed to drastically cut CO2 emissions over the next three decades.

At the heart of the EU’s net zero plan is a an extension of the ETS to cover sectors such as cars and housing. The proposal is opposed by France, Spain, Portugal and eastern European countries who say it will impose a direct tax on consumers who cannot afford to switch vehicles or domestic goods to those with lower emissions.


Australia: Greenie thugs protected by Leftist Qld. government

Protesters are hurling sex slurs at female miners, chasing staff in cars and even flying in booze at Adani’s Carmichael coal site.

Cashed-up activists are hurling sex slurs at female mine workers, chasing staff in cars and even flying in booze as part of an almost daily confrontation of abuse and intimidation at Adani’s Carmichael coal site

The tension created by environmental protesters is putting lives at risk, CEO Lucas Dow said, with staff forced to wear body-worn cameras and the mine company forced to spend $9000 a day on security to keep workers safe.

The “outrageous” display of abuse included one female worker being called a “slut” by activists, merely for going to work.

Protesters also chartered a helicopter stocked with beer and wine to their camp.

In another shocking act, activists drove a 4WD at a female staffer as conflicts become more aggressive in what Mr Dow describes as attempts to “create a confrontation with our people for their PR cameras”.

With protest activity dragging into its fourth month, Mr Dow said it was “outrageous” the Queensland Police Service and state government were valuing the sensitivities of activists above worker safety.

“They’ve verbally abused and threatened our employees, often targeting women, they recently chased one of our female workers in a four-wheel-drive, and flew a helicopter onto the mine to deliver supplies including alcohol to their camp,” he said.

“We’ve made several complaints to the Queensland Police Service about the presence of the activists and their behaviour, however, after nearly four months, police refuse to move them on.

“This is outrageous given the camp is within 200m of our operational open-cut mining pit.”

A spokesman for Queensland police acknowledged they had received several complaints relating to incidents involving people associated with the camp.

“The Queensland Police Service continues to investigate these complaints as part of an overall engagement and negotiation strategy,” he said.

The spokesman said the service would ensure public safety while working towards an appropriate resolution.

“The QPS also acknowledges the response to these issues are complex, we have and will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders,” he said.

About 10 million tonnes of coal will be extracted each year from Adani’s $2bn Carmichael Mine in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Following a decade of controversy and rigorous approvals construction of the mammoth mine, which will employ 2000 workers, started in June 2019.

Mr Dow questioned why protesters were exempt from strict site rules imposed on workers, and called for the government to step in and protect miners.

“It’s the behaviour of the professional activists using it that makes a mockery of the workplace health and safety laws the tens of thousands of people who make up the resources industry abide by every day,” he said.

“Like any other business in Queensland that operates within the law and within its approvals and conditions we expect our government to enforce the rule of law and protect our operations and our people from premeditated activist intimidation, harassment, or sabotage – that shouldn’t be too much to ask.”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive officer Ian Macfarlane called for tougher penalties for protesters who illegally disrupt mining activities and abuse and harass workers.

“It’s no exaggeration to say people’s lives are being placed in danger – not only the lives of protesters, but that of honest, hardworking people whose workplace safety is being threatened on a regular basis,” he said.

“Protesters are entitled to lawfully express their views, but they’re not entitled to abuse or harass people or to disrupt our workplaces and make them unsafe just because they don’t like our industry.

“The constant harassment, abuse and law-breaking happening on Queensland mine sites and at port and rail facilities has got to stop.”

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said Adani could apply to the Land Court for an order to have people removed from their lease. “Those people then have to show why they shouldn’t be removed, Bravus have been informed of this multiple times,” he said.

Mr Dow argued Mr Stewart’s proposal to file proceedings in the Land Court was an abrogation of responsibility.

“The failure of the Queensland Government to propose an immediate and effective solution shows a lack of leadership by politicians who are more worried about protecting inner-city seats from the Greens than protecting hard working people in Queensland’s coal communities,” he said.

Police Minister Mark Ryan declared he would not order the Queensland Police Service to act, but acknowledged investigations into the protest activity were ongoing.

“While people have the right to protest, they don’t have the right to do so in such a manner that impinges upon the rights of others to go about their lawful business,” he said.

“The fact is Queensland has some of the toughest laws in the nation and protesters who damage certain types of infrastructure could go to jail for 14 years and face substantial fines.

“I am advised the Queensland Police Service is continuing to investigate this matter.”




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