A Few Things Ill Considered

This weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H. E. Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup


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Logging the Onset of The Bottleneck Years

December 15, 2013


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Laugh. I dare ya:

Late comments on COP19:

The AGU annual general meeting went down this week:

Late comment on the WTO deal:

  • 2013/12/09: EurActiv: WTO reaches trade reform deal in Bali
    The World Trade Organization reached its first trade reform deal on 7 December to a roar of approval from nearly 160 ministers on the Indonesian island of Bali who had decided on the agreement, which could add $1 trillion (E730 billion) to the global economy.

How is the German Energy Transition [Energiewende] doing?

And on the Bottom Line:

What are the big banks up to?

John Cook and friends continue their point-counterpoint articles:

Various psychological angles arise in considerations of the ecological crisis:

A note on theFukushima disaster:

    It is evident that the Fukushima disaster is going to persist for some time. TEPCO says 6 to 9 months. The previous Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, said decades. Now the Japanese government is talking about 30 years. [Whoops, that has now been updated to 40 years.]
    And the IAEA is now saying 40 years too.
    [Now some people are talking about a century or more. Sealing it in concrete for 500 years.]
    We’ll see.
    At any rate this situation is not going to be resolved any time soon and deserves its own section.
    Meanwhile…
    It is very difficult to know for sure what is really going on at Fukushima. Between the company [TEPCO], the Japanese government, the Japanese regulator [NISA], the international monitor [IAEA], as well as independent analysts and commentators, there is a confusing mish-mash of information. One has to evaluate both the content and the source of propagated information.
    How knowledgeable are they [about nuclear power and about Japan]?
    Do they have an agenda?
    Are they pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear?
    Do they want to write a good news story?
    Do they want to write a bad news story?
    Where do they rate on a scale of sensationalism?
    Where do they rate on a scale of play-it-down-ness?
    One fundamental question I would like to see answered:
    If the reactors are in meltdown, how can they be in cold shutdown?

Not much good news coming out of Fukushima:

The Arctic melt continues to garner attention:

As for the charismatic megafauna:

The Arctic Report Card 2013 came out this week:

That Damoclean sword still hangs overhead:

As for the geopolitics of Arctic resources:

While in Antarctica:

The food crisis is ongoing:

The state of the world’s fisheries is a concern. See also:

The conflict between biofuel and food persists:

Regarding the genetic modification of food:

Regarding labelling GM food:

And how are we going to feed 9 billion, 10 billion, 15 billion?

In the Bay of Bengal, Tropical Cyclone Madi [06B] stormed northward then doubled back and barged into Tamil Nadu:

There is still some Haiyan commentary:

  • 2013/12/13: PLNA: More than 6,000 Typhoon Fatalities in the Philippines
  • 2013/12/13: IndiaTimes: Typhoon Haiyan deaths in Philippines breach 6,000
  • 2013/12/13: ABC(Au): Reporting Haiyan: the view from the newsroom [pix]
  • 2013/12/13: ABC(Au): Philippines typhoon death toll passes 6,000 [6009 dead, 1779 missing]
  • 2013/12/10: ABC(Au): Justin Bieber brings cheer to typhoon-hit Philippines
  • 2013/12/08: CNN: A month later, Typhoon Haiyan death toll still rising in the Philippines [5,924 dead, 1,779 missing]

    While elsewhere in the hurricane wars:

  • 2013/12/14: MODIS: Tropical Cyclone Helen [on Nov.21]
  • 2013/12/11: RScribbler: Typhoon Season 2013: Anomalously Hot Pacific Disgorges Record 52 Cyclones by Early December
  • 2013/12/09: NASA: System 90L No Longer Suspect for Development

    This week in notable weather:

    Got any forecasts?

    Rossby Waves? Blocking Patterns? Arctic Oscillation? What is the Arctic melt doing to our weather?

    As for GHGs:

    Regarding Climate Sensitivity:

    Clouds are one of the major uncertainties in climate. Much research revolves around them:

    As for ozone:

    And on the ENSO front:

    As for the temperature record:

    The lowest temperature record is disputed?

  • 2013/12/11: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth
  • 2013/12/10: Wunderground: Brrrr! -135.8°F Measured at Earth’s New Coldest Spot
  • 2013/12/10: al Jazeera: Antarctic temperature hits record low
    Scientists report temperatures in the Antarctic dipped to minus 93 Celsius in 2010, breaking the previous 1983 record.
  • 2013/12/09: NASA: NASA-USGS Landsat 8 Satellite Pinpoints Coldest Spots on Earth
  • 2013/12/09: BBC: The coldest place on Earth has been measured by satellite to be a bitter minus 93.2 Celsius (-135.8F)
  • 2013/12/09: CBC: Antarctica sets new cold weather record of -93.2 C — Guinness Book of World Records won’t recognize new frigid low
  • 2013/12/09: RT: Minus credibility? Antarctic record low temperature disputed

    While in the paleoclimate:

    Dealing with uncertainties:

    How to deal with Risk:

    What’s the State of the Oceans?:

    And the State of the Biosphere?

    And on the extinction watch:

    The bees and Colony Collapse Disorder are a constant concern. And then, there are the Neonicotinoids:

    Intimations of Overshoot:

    More GW impacts are being seen:

    • 2013/12/14: BBC: Savvy bar-tailed godwit equipped for climate challenge
      The bird world’s long-distance champion is probably savvy enough to cope with climate change, researchers believe. The bar-tailed godwit makes the biggest no-stop migration, flying 11,000km from Alaska to New Zealand every autumn. It relies on the right type of winds to make this epic journey – winds that computer models indicate could become less favourable in the future. But scientists say the godwit’s ability to judge weather conditions means it should rise to the challenge.

    And then there are the world’s forests:

    Aerosols affect the climate, but they also affect people’s health:

    On the tornado front:

    As for heatwaves and wild fires:

    Corals are a bellwether of the ocean’s health:

    Acidification is changing the oceans:

    Glaciers are melting:

    Sea levels are rising:

    As for hydrological cycle disruptions [floods & droughts]:

    First, stop subsidizing fossil fuels
    Second, put a price on carbon
    Third, begin to reduce the human population
    And elsewhere on the mitigation front:

    Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation has somehow seemed chimeric:

    • 2013/12/12: RTCC: Panama rainforest tribes settle UN REDD dispute
      Panama’s government has resolved a bitter dispute over the alleged violation of indigenous people’s human rights, reviving a forest preservation scheme that was forcibly suspended earlier this year. […] In 2010, Panama’s rainforests covered approximately 45% of the country, or 3,364,591 hectares, down from 70% cover in 1947.

    Synthetic Biology is moving into industrial production of food, fuel and precursor chemicals:

    Consider transportation & GHG production:

    While in the endless quest for zero energy, sustainable buildings and practical codes:

    As for carbon sequestration:

    Large scale geo-engineering keeps popping up:

    What’s new in conservation?

    While on the adaptation front:

    Meanwhile in the journals:

    And other significant documents:

    As for miscellaneous science:

    In the science organizations:

    What developments in the ongoing struggle for Open Science?

    Regarding Hansen:

    Regarding advocacy:

    Regarding Chelton :

    Meanwhile at the UN:

    And on the carbon trading front:

    The Robin Hood tax, aka the Tobin tax, aka the Bank tax, aka the Financial Transaction tax, keeps coming up:

    On the international political front, tensions continue as the empire leans on Iran:

    South [& East] China Sea tension persists:

    In the “global competition for natural resources”:

    The Megatons to Megawatts deal between Russia and the USA wound up this week:

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership looks like a stealth corporate takeover:

    As for miscellaneous international political happenings:

    The issue of the law and activism is playing out around the world:

    What are the activists up to?

    The move to divest from fossil fuel investments is growing slowly:

    Regarding Water Politics and Business; See also:

    And on the groundwater front:

    While in the UK:

    And in Europe:

    Meanwhile in Australia:

    Now we get to watch the suppository of wisdom destroy what little Australia has done to fight climate change:

    The Abbot Point coal port has been given the go-ahead:

    After years of wrangling, the Murray Darling Basin Plan is in place, but the water management fights are far from finished:

    • 2013/12/13: ABC(Au): Menindee water saving plan unconvincing
      The commonwealth and NSW governments announced $800,000 in funding to work out how to save water in the Menindee Lakes.
      […]
      However, Former chairmen of the Darling River Action Group (DRAG) Mark Hutton is not convinced and says he’s been hearing empty promises for years.

    And in New Zealand:

    While in the Indian subcontinent:

    And in China:

    And Japan:

    While elsewhere in Asia:

    In the Middle East:

    • 2013/12/15: IndiaTimes: Qatari-funded fuel enters Gaza to ease power crisis
      Gaza: Israel allowed the entry of 450,000 litres of fuel, paid for by Qatar, into the Gaza Strip on Sunday to enable the Palestinian territory’s sole power plant to resume operations. Gaza’s 1.8 million people have been enduring daily blackouts of around 12 hours since the power plant was switched off 43 days ago due to a fuel shortage caused by neighbouring Egypt’s closure of smuggling tunnels.

    While in Africa:

    And South America:

    In Canada, neocon PM Harper, aka The Blight, pushes petroleum while ignoring the climate and ecology:

    The Lac Mégantic tragedy drags on:

    Harper clearly has a vindictive streak:

    The Harper gang is claiming as much of the Arctic as it can:

    Fort Chipewyan Métis have gone to court:

    • 2013/12/12: CBC: Fort Chipewyan Métis launch $3B dam lawsuit
      The Métis Nation of Alberta in Fort Chipewyan is suing BC Hydro and the federal government for $3 billion for damages to the Lake Athabasca delta. The Métis group says that two dams operated by BC Hydro in northern British Columbia have significantly reduced the flow of water in the Peace and Athabasca rivers, both of which feed the largest freshwater inland delta in the world. They argue that the dams have had irreversible impacts on wildlife and plants in the region, preventing the Métis from continuing their way of life.

    The West-East pipeline is a focus of much dispute:

    • 2013/12/08: G&M: Energy companies struggle with aboriginal needs on pipelines
    • 2013/12/07: PostMedia: Committee approves Enbridge pipeline reversal plan, but adds conditions
      A Quebec National Assembly committee has given unanimous approval to the controversial plan by Enbridge Inc. to reverse its 9B Pipeline to bring western Canadian crude to Quebec oil refineries, but with conditions. Fearing the pipeline would be used to export western crude through the province, the first recommendation of the committee is that Enbridge agree to transport oil only to Quebec refineries. Quebec has two refineries, Suncor Inc. in Montreal and Valero Inc., formerly called Ultramar, in Lévis, across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City. The committee also called on Enbridge to conduct hydrostatic studies on the integrity of the pipeline, meaning that water under pressure would be pumped through the line to detect flaws that could lead to a rupture.

    Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer has crossed the floor to join the Greens:

    Another Tory is trying for a backdoor route to abortion restrictions:

    The ISA/PRV/IHN/Alpha virus in Canadian waters is potentially disastrous:

    Meanwhile in BC:

    Meanwhile in that Mechanical Mordor known as the tar sands:

    Also in Alberta:

    In Ontario, Wynne is struggling to establish herself. Energy still looms large:

    In the Maritimes:

    In the North:

    As for miscellaneous Canadiana:

    And on the American political front:

    The Keystone XL wheel grinds slowly. And it grinds woe:

    The GOP War on Women continues. See also:

    Scripps needs funding to continue the Keeling Curve CO2 data collection:

    The actions of the Obama administration are being watched closely:

    As for what is going on in Congress:

    What are the lobbyists pushing?

    The movement toward a long term ecologically viable economics is glacial:

    In nature, there is no garbage:

    IPAT [Impact = Population * Affluence * Technology] raised its head once again:

    Apocalypso anyone?

    How are we going to deal with this mess?

    How do the corporate media measure up?

    And for your film & video enjoyment:

    As for podcasts:

    Meanwhile among the ‘Sue the Bastards!’ contingent:

    It looks like this BP trial over the Gulf oil spill is going to take a long while:

    Developing a new energy infrastructure is a fundamental challenge of the current generation:

    What do you have in energy comparisons and transitions?

    Hey! Let’s contaminate the aquifers for thousands of years! It’ll be a fracking gas!

    On the coal front:

    On the gas and oil front:

    And in pipeline news:

    Ships and boats and trains — How to tranport the stuff?

    Marvelous. Now the USA has their own Mechanical Mordor:

    • 2013/12/09: BismarckTrib: Spill, fire reported at well sites
      The North Dakota Department of Health said Monday that it is monitoring a spill of saltwater and oil in Billings County, of which some reached a small tributary of the Little Missouri River. According to a Health Department statement, the amount of material spilled is estimated at 650 barrels of saltwater and 20 barrels of crude oil.

    A rush of American triumphalism pervades the energy independence PR campaign. Think it will last?

    Yes we have a peak oil sighting:

    • 2013/12/15: PeakEnergy: Inexpensive oil vanishing at alarming rate
    • 2013/12/13: G&M: Inexpensive oil vanishing at alarming rate
      The United States is awash in shale oil. Iran, once OPEC’s second-largest producer, is slowly ramping up output. Oil consumption growth in the Western world has been somewhere between negative and flat since the 2008 financial crisis. The “peak oil” theory has pretty much vanished, along with The Oil Drum, the bible of peak oil believers. Rest in peace.
      Or turn in your grave, for the oil price charts tell a different story.
      On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil futures are up 13 per cent over one year. Since 2009, they have climbed every year except 2012. In Europe, the Brent crude futures are flat over the year after rising three years on the trot. Brent, the de facto global benchmark, trades at about $108 (U.S.) a barrel; West Texas Intermediate, the North American benchmark, is at $97. For the sake of argument, let’s say the world is valuing oil at $100. You would think the price would be far less as the United States challenges Saudi Arabia for top producer status.

    Biofuel bickering abounds:

    The answer my friend…

    Meanwhile among the solar aficionados:

    The nuclear energy controversy continues:

    Nuclear fusion projects around the world limp along:

    Like a mirage, the dream of a Hydrogen Economy shimmers on the horizon:

    More people are talking about the electrical grid:

    How are the utilities adjusting (or not)?

    Automakers & lawyers, engineers & activists argue over the future of the car:

    As for Energy Storage:

    Who’s fielding theFAQs?

    What do we have in (weekly) lists?

    The carbon lobby are up to the usual:

    This week in intimidation:

  • 2013/12/14: QuarkSoup: More About the Legal Harassment of Scientists
  • 2013/12/14: QuarkSoup: No, Scientists Don’t Just [get] Sued for Their Data
  • 2013/12/13: YaleCMF: When Scientists Get Sued
  • 2013/12/14: QuarkSoup: AGU13: “Facing Legal Attack: Scientists Tell Their Stories”
  • 2013/12/12: PI: Smearing environmental groups won’t help tarsands

    As for climate miscellanea:

    And here are a couple of sites you may find interesting and/or useful:


    Low Key Plug

    1. Current ye@r *