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Could Suburbia Be Sustainable?

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Climate Denial Crock of the Week

I suspect this may generate some comment.
Gentlemen and women, start your engines.

Paul Brown for Climate News Network:

Urban sprawl may not be as bad for the environment as we thought – as long as every home is fitted with solar panels and electric cars become the norm.

LONDON, 8 August – Modern planners are building compact cities, believing tightly controlled zones are better for the environment. New research suggests the opposite: urban sprawl might be a better option, with solar power fitted to suburban houses and the adoption of electric cars transforming the energy needs of a city.

Research in Auckland, New Zealand – the largest urban area in the country and a city built for the age of the motor car – shows that solar panels fitted to the average suburban home can produce enough power for that household, extra to charge an electric vehicle, and still…

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Yedoma Region of Russia Showing Significant Methane Pulse

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robertscribbler

(Image source: Methane Tracker)

August 4-7 saw a large and growing pulse of methane emerging from the Yedoma region of Russia and the Siberian Arctic over the past week. By Wednesday, about 30 percent of the Yedoma region was covered in methane readings exceeding 1950 parts per billion, according to measurements published through the online resource — Methane Tracker.

This pulse emerged in conjuction with late summer fires and heatwaves scorching this massive region of permafrost above or near the Arctic Circle. Yedoma includes a broad expanse of permafrost ranging from Siberia to a shallow sea known as the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. In total, this region is estimated to hold 500 gigatons of carbon locked in, now thawing, tundra.

The region has come under increased scrutiny and study during recent years as temperatures throughout the Arctic and especially in this area have rapidly risen due to human…

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Yedoma Region of Russia Showing Significant Methane Pulse

by

robertscribbler

(Image source: Methane Tracker)

August 4-7 saw a large and growing pulse of methane emerging from the Yedoma region of Russia and the Siberian Arctic over the past week. By Wednesday, about 30 percent of the Yedoma region was covered in methane readings exceeding 1950 parts per billion, according to measurements published through the online resource — Methane Tracker.

This pulse emerged in conjuction with late summer fires and heatwaves scorching this massive region of permafrost above or near the Arctic Circle. Yedoma includes a broad expanse of permafrost ranging from Siberia to a shallow sea known as the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. In total, this region is estimated to hold 500 gigatons of carbon locked in, now thawing, tundra.

The region has come under increased scrutiny and study during recent years as temperatures throughout the Arctic and especially in this area have rapidly risen due to human…

View original post 921 more words

Mangled Jet Stream Delivers Four Months Worth of Rain in One Week to Missouri; Central, Eastern US to Remain Under Severe Flood Threat

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robertscribbler

Mangled Jet Stream August 8

(Image source: California Regional Weather Service)

The Jet Stream over North America is a complete basket case. It is far less a river of air flowing between colder northern regions and warmer southern regions than it is a disassociated hodgepodge of cut off air flows. In the far north over a region of coastal Alaska and the Northwest Territory, an Arctic heat dome has formed and grown more prominent setting off temperatures ranging from the high 70s to high 80s as far north as the shores of the Arctic Ocean. This system, which has already lasted for nearly a week over this region is expected to persist until at least mid August as it ever so slowly drifts south and east. Over the west coast of the US, another cut off low sits almost motionless. Over a region between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay a second upper level…

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Climate Monsters We Want to Keep in the Closet: Heinrich Events, Superstorms, and Warming the Deep Ocean

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robertscribbler

“Think of the climate change issue as a closet, and behind the door are lurking all kinds of monsters — and there’s a long list of them,” — Steve Pacala.

***

It has been said that Nature is a serial killer. Within her vast managerie of life, climate, and the physical world, there are many, many terrible processes that could mortally impact individuals, larger groups, entire species and even families of species. And if you were to look for the means by which Nature performs her worst violence, the mass extinction events, your eyes would almost immediately settle upon the uncomfortable issue of climate change, an issue all too relevant today.

Of twelve major mass extinction events identified in past geological epochs, ten were likely caused by climate change. Marked by layers of rocks almost entirely devoid of complex life, these periods in which Earth became little more than a…

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It’s Hotter Up North than Down South: Tundra Fires Erupt Over Canada as Heatwave Pushes to Arctic Ocean Shores

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robertscribbler

(Image source: NASA/Lance-Modis)

Over the past week, large tundra fires have been erupting over a section of extreme northern Canada between the Great Slave Lake and the shores of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. With a major Arctic heatwave predicted as various extreme weather conditions arise, this region will be worth very close monitoring over the next few days.

The fires are emerging in a region of the Arctic between 62 and 66 degrees north latitude, near the Arctic Circle. In the image above, we see the Great Slave Lake in the lower left hand corner, the Great Bear Lake in the upper center, and Coronation Gulf and Amundsen Bay bordering the map’s right hand side. The fires are visible, along with their tell-tale smoke plumes and underlying scorch marks, in a region between the Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake. Terrain type in the regions burned include boreal…

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Oops. Methane Leakage from Fracked Wells “Alarmingly high..”

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Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Full disclosure. Like a lot of other houses, mine is heated in the winter with natural gas – methane.  I’ve taken a lot of steps to make the house much more energy efficient than it was when I moved in- including better insulation, new windows, efficient furnace – and I know it uses a lot less energy than it used to. Still, I’m looking for other alternatives.

For the moment, we are stuck with natural gas as a widely used fuel. That’s something that probably needs to change sooner than we thought – certainly sooner than the rosy “100 years of natural gas” scenarios contemplate.

The leakage of natural gas from well heads, pipelines, and fracked fields is a major challenge, and seemingly turns the “natural gas is a bridge fuel” argument, one that I’ve subscribed to in the past,  on its head.

MySanAntonio:

Almost a tenth of the methane…

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Antarctic Coastal Permafrost Melting Faster Than Expected

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Climate Denial Crock of the Week

I’ve set up a script where I just hit the F2 key and a wordpress page comes up starting with the phrase, “For the first Time..”.

F3 brings up “Melting Faster than expected…”

Climatestate:

 For the first time, scientists have documented an acceleration in the melt rate of permafrost, or ground ice, in a section of Antarctica where the ice had been considered stable. The melt rates are comparable with the Arctic, where accelerated melting of permafrost has become a regularly recurring phenomenon, and the change could offer a preview of melting permafrost in other parts of a warming Antarctic continent.

Tracking data from Garwood Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica, Joseph Levy, a research associate at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, shows that melt rates accelerated consistently from 2001 to 2012, rising to about 10 times the valley’s historical average for the…

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Extensive Dark Snow, Very Large Melt Lakes Visible Over West Slope of Greenland as Late Season Melt Pulse Continues

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robertscribbler

(Image source: NSIDC)

A strong, late-season melt pulse continued over the Greenland ice sheet this weekend as melt covered a much greater portion of the ice sheet than is typical for this time of year. As of late July, the area of the Greenland ice sheet subject to melt had spiked to nearly 45%. Soon after, a second melt spike to around 38% followed. Over the past two weeks, melt area coverage has fluctuated between 5 and 25 percentage points above the seasonal average for this time of year, maintaining at or above the typical melt season maximum of around 25% for almost all of this time.

This late-season melt surge was driven by a switch in the polar Jet Stream. A trough which had dominated through much of summer, bringing near average temperatures and melt conditions, had eroded and by late July a broad ridge began to form…

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I, for One, Welcome our New Brain Eating Overlords…

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Climate Denial Crock of the Week

It seems there is an increasing geographic occurrence of infections from an amoeba that attacks brain tissue – it is now being seen in areas further north than has been historically recorded, likely due to warmer water conditions.

I hope I’m not accused of being too flip with this one. Ok, I probably am. The most recent tragedy involving a 12 year old girl is not funny.

But the larger issue of climate denying politicians ignoring warning signals is what’s really important here. Not long ago, uber-denier James Inhofe contracted a severe illness from toxic algae in overheated Oklahoma lake waters, and laughed it off.  Maybe the brain-eaters got to him as well.

Add this to the recent report in Science that warmer temperatures lead to increased violence, and you’ve got yourself the ingredients for a zombie apocalypse. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Accuweather:

A 12-year-old girl contracted a rare…

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Climate Change, Conflict and Certainty: New Research in Context

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The Center for Climate & Security

Failed-states-index-2012A new peer-reviewed study published yesterday by Hsiang, Burke and Miguel in Science, concludes that there is a significant causal link between a warming climate (even minor temperature variability), more extreme rainfall, and the likelihood of different scales of conflict, ranging from domestic violence to intra and inter-state conflict. It is a meta-analysis of 60 previous peer-reviewed studies, and 45 data sets, published in a respectable scientific journal.

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Greenland Ice Sheet Slipping Under Hottest Temperatures Ever Recorded

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robertscribbler

According to reports from Weather Underground, Greenland experienced its hottest temperature ever recorded on July 30th, 2013. The new record, 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit, was measured at Maniistoq Mittarfia on the western coast of Greenland near Baffin Bay. The event occurred during a period of rapidly increasing Greenland melt as a high amplitude wave in the Jet Stream surged over Greenland, pulling warm air up from the south.

This southerly flow set up conditions for what is called a foehn event — a warm, dry airflow that occurred in the slopes of Greenland’s western mountains. This associated warm flow amplified heat over a broad region of Greenland, creating 2013’s largest melt spike, even as it set new temperature records. The previous record was 77.9 degrees (F) which was set in 1990 at Kangerlussuaq on July 27th.

As Greenland was experiencing its hottest foehn wind event ever recorded, a number…

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