Reaction to President Obama’s Speech: A U.S. Climate Action Plan?

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 9:38 PM GMT on June 25, 2013

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Reaction to President Obama’s Speech: A U.S. Climate Action Plan?

Here are my reaction and initial analysis of President Obama’s Speech on Climate Change (June 25, 2013). Also below are the post I made before the speech and a previous 2012 blog on Obama’s policy actions on climate change. (Just for comparison 2009 Obama Speech on Climate Change)

The president pulled together many of the challenges of climate change into the most unified position statement on climate change I have seen on the national level. He invoked the Clean Air Act and its bipartisan history as well as relying on statements about the legacy that one generation leaves for the next. He pointed out environmental actions by Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush and John McCain. He even took climate change back to the Founding Fathers with a call for acting as caretakers of the future. (It’s like he has been sitting in on my class. Perhaps, he’s one of the people leaving comments on the blog? Come forth!)

A thread throughout the speech was carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Carbon dioxide was legally affirmed as a pollutant by the April 2, 2007, decision by the Supreme Court (at climatepolicy.org). This ruling provided a path to start dealing with climate change through regulatory means. Since the 2007 ruling, efforts to have the Environmental Protection Agency regulate carbon dioxide have waxed and waned. There have been pushes at times, always stymied by bipartisan concerns about damaging the recovering economy.

Obama made the point that the tension between the economy and the environment in general is not always a matter where it comes at the detriment of the economy. Again, he made numerous references to past policy and regulation decisions, for example, on acid rain, and pointed out that they did not lead to the demise of industry, commerce and the economy. Obama advocated the ability of American business to innovate and expose opportunity. Going further, he noted that a number of major businesses have declared climate change one of America’s greatest economic opportunities. This line of argument reveals the normally exploited environment-economy tradeoff as too simplistic, if not fundamentally spurious. Obama injected the welfare of our children into the environment-economic tradeoff.

With regard to concrete action, the most direct target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions was power plants. Power plants, notably coal-fired power plants, are the source of about 40 percent of current U.S. emissions. Many other power-plant pollutants are regulated, for example, mercury and sulfur. Power plants are relatively easy to target because they don’t move around like cars and trucks. Regulation of power plants is already occurring in some states and regions, and Obama framed this point as the federal government catching up.

Our move to natural gas was counted as a success and posed as a bridge between today’s coal and oil and future carbon-free energy sources. The need for an integrated energy policy was implied, with Obama noting that energy policy was greater than drilling for oil and and a single pipeline crossing the U.S. from Canada. Queuing up the Keystone Pipeline decision, Obama stated that the pipeline had to be in our national interest and cannot significantly enhance carbon pollution.

With regard to renewable energy, Obama emphasized wind energy. Wind energy is taking root in both politically liberal and conservative parts of the U.S. and through its local economic presence, gaining bipartisan support. He also emphasized the need to become players with Germany and China, both of which are investing heavily in renewables. This German and Chinese investment is my reason for speculating that if we don’t play in this field we will be left at economic and policy disadvantage by 2020. The president committed the government to having 20 percent of its energy from renewables. He pointed out the aggressive efforts of the Department of Defense to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to climate change.

With regard to what is happening now, Obama talked about how states are already responding to climate-related challenges and, therefore, are building responses to climate change. There is climate change that we cannot avoid, and globally, our emissions are on an upward trajectory. He specifically noted that Miami is trying to mitigate salt-water intrusion and that the Texas Water Development Board is developing strategies for dealing with extended and extreme drought. Obama also talked about rebuilding of the New York City coastline with smarter, more resilient infrastructure.

As the final leg in the proposed action plan, Obama committed to increasing the nation’s presence in international efforts to address climate change. He lauded the climate benefits of U.S.-China agreement to reduce hydrochlorofluorocarbons, alarmingly powerful greenhouse gases. He challenged the old argument that less developed countries would for some reason have to evolve through the same phases of energy use and pollution as the developed countries, calling for free trade in environmental technologies to leap past that historical polluting phase of development. He called for ambitious, inclusive and flexible approaches to addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

What was missing from the speech? We have to get a handle on agriculture and its role in climate change. It’s even more complex than greenhouse gas emissions – land-use, livestock, deforestation and emissions. And a more subtle issue, which will be relevant to Keystone Pipeline decision. If we sell our coal and facilitate the use of tar sands, are we exporting emissions? How will this national jobs issue play with the The President’s Climate Action Plan?

I expect that many will label the speech as too pragmatic, without the dramatic flare than the global warming might warrant. During the speech, one of my former students wrote me that it was amazing to hear a U.S. president talking about climate adaptation. In my earlier blog today, I wrote about language. My student’s amazement reflects the power of language. In 2007 adaptation was essentially a forbidden word in government circles; it had been for many years. I do not want to diminish or exaggerate the potential of this speech to bring climate change back into the political quagmire. The speech pulls together the climate change problem better than it has ever been pulled together at the national level, and these words of climate change, global warming, adaptation, mitigation, resilience, etc. have to be in our vocabulary if we are to take a responsible position on a sustainable future. What matters after a speech like this is follow up – the hard management that leads to real action and the initiation of policies and programs to make our response to climate change as unified as the problem is stated in Obama’s speech.


Published earlier on June 25, 2013:

Anticipating President Obama Speech: A U.S. Climate Action Plan?

Today President Obama is planning a major speech that will reintroduce climate change as a spoken-of issue into U.S. politics. There has been a lot of pre-speech publicity, for example Youtube and the speech will be broadcast live, currently scheduled at 1:55 PM Eastern. There has already been some information released including The President’s Climate Action Plan and a shorter Fact Sheet.

I will take The President’s Climate Action Plan as a logical outline for the speech. There are three major bullets in the outline:

Cut Carbon Pollution in America

Prepare the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change

Lead International Efforts to Combat Global Climate Change and Prepare for its Impacts

The outline covers mitigation, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation, anticipating and responding to the impacts of climate change. Looking more deeply into the plan, Obama is resetting some of the political battles that have proved and will be most contentious, for example, reduction of subsidies for fossil fuels (conservative support), and public sector financing of clean energy. This will queue up the issues of the Keystone Pipeline, which will remain a complex and difficult decision for the near future. The Keystone Pipeline will be viewed as a measure of the seriousness of administration’s commitment.

Before the speech, I expect its most important aspect will be reintroducing the language of climate change into the political process ( earlier blog on language barriers). To continue to avoid the words climate, climate change and adaptation is damaging to our country’s credibility, economic well-being, technological development, our environment and our future. If we do not take a leadership position, I suspect that by 2020 we will be put into a distinct policy disadvantage as emerging use of renewables in other large economies becomes both economical and influential in the development of trade policy. We are living in a world where the words climate and climate change are scrubbed from documents and they are the legislative targets in the disruptive and destructive ongoing political tribalism. Though a single speech will not end this tribalism, it will start to break down the language barriers, especially as the impacts of weather, climate, climate variability and climate change become more apparent to more and more people.

The last long piece I wrote on policy was just prior to the 2012 election. I reproduce some of this below in anticipation of examining the speech after it is delivered.

Excerpts from Election eve: Climate Science and the 2012 Election – Redux (2)

Originally posted November 4, 2012

Climate change was thrown prominently into the headlines, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City endorsed President Obama, citing at the top of the list Hurricane Sandy and the need to address climate change. Though to my knowledge New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not made any recent statements about climate change, his tour of the hurricane damage with President Obama has ignited a number of anti-climate change pieces and suggestions that the governor has strayed from the conservative mantra. Hurricane Sandy has put climate change into the headlines, and perhaps made it a small issue for the election, but it is not back as a substantive political issue.

If we look back over the past 4 years, then there are a couple of moments when climate change did appear overtly on the political agenda. Most prominently was in 2009 when the House or Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey, American Clean Energy and Security Act. (my blog at the time) The bill did not go very far in the political process. It was part of the run up to the 2009 United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen. The other significant policy posturing prior to COP15 was U.S. EPA’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide. The threat of regulation is often a policy motivator in the U.S. Ultimately; however, any EPA action was burdened by strong bipartisan opposition to any action that would imperil the role of fossil fuels in the economic recovery.

After COP15 I felt that the U.S. had lost any leadership potential that it might have had on the global stage of climate policy. I also felt that we were squandering technological and economic advantage. I made a prediction prior to COP15: “I imagine that the machinations of legislation and lobbying will push climate change legislation close enough to the mid-term election that it will languish next to health care and Afghanistan and the economy. I think that there will be climate legislation, but I bet that it will be early in year 4 of the Obama administration, with its passage dependent on what Obama’s re-election looks like.”

So that prediction was wrong. What I did not anticipate was the sweeping change in the mid-term election that amplified the political attack on climate change, as well as an attack in general on the use of scientific information in policy and regulation. This attack on the use of knowledge in policy, which is complemented by assaults on very small parts of the U.S. federal budget in the name of budget cutting, only amplifies my concern that the U.S. is placing itself at technological, economic, and, now, research disadvantage. I would insert into the argument about, for instance, the bankruptcy of Solyndra, that our unstable policy on technological investment delayed U.S. development while foreign competitors built effective and market-friendly alternatives. We simply came to the game too late. The fragmented up-and-down nature of both energy and climate policy hurts us every day. For example, we are currently enamored of cheap natural gas and its potential to revitalize industry. This is a great local and short-term benefit. As far as climate policy, it does not serve as convincing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, there are other environmental challenges with the acquisition of natural gas that will emerge rapidly in the next few years. Therefore, as far as energy policy, it is only short-term opportunism.

Despite the flurry of chatter of climate change as an issue that has followed Superstorm (nee Hurricane) Sandy, it is difficult to look across such a close election and see climate change emerging as a substantive issue on a national scale. To make progress on this issue requires support in the legislative branch. I expect that tribal partisanship will continue, and I hope that we spend our first quota of bipartisan behavior on stabilizing the federal budget, dealing with political-economic sequestration, and reconciling continuing resolutions. Thinking about voting, more than climate change in particular, the continued assault on science and the use of science-derived knowledge is, fundamentally, part of the threat to our thriving. This notion of American exceptionalism takes on the hollow boosterism of Dust Bowl towns, which looked knowledge in the eyes and denied its existence. The world is changing in ways that we do not control, and it will not be good if we are the ones reliant on burning stuff for our way of life.

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Economic stagnation should not be an excuse for climate inactionLink

Governments have increasingly been using the economic fallout as an excuse for climate inaction. International negotiations are grinding along with no tangible progress and domestic measures are being deferred or abandoned.

But a new research note I have co-authored with Chris Hope of Cambridge University, published in Nature Climate Change today, suggests economic stagnation is no excuse for climate inaction. Obvious disclaimer: I am a co-author of this paper!

Our research shows emitting an extra tonne of carbon dioxide today is actually more costly when there is low economic growth than when economies grow steadily.

Economic excuses

President Obama recognised the difficulty of getting governments to act on climate change in the midst of a global recession back in 2009 when he told a United Nations meeting that leaders would be seeking:

"... sweeping but necessary change in the midst of a global recession, where every nation's most immediate priority is reviving their economy and putting their people back to work".

More recently, the UK Chancellor George Osborne demonstrated the tension between climate policy and economic recovery when he told the Conservative party annual conference that:

"... [w]e're not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business".

Fast forward another two years and the International Energy Agency's (IEA) executive director, Maria van der Hoeven, last week admitted that:

"... amid concerns over global economic pressures, climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of policy priorities".

She was speaking at the launch of the IEA's latest report which prepares for governments failing to act any time soon to meet the internationally agreed target of limiting warming to two degrees above preindustrial levels.

Our research suggests this neglect is unwise, however.

Emissions cause more damage in a low growth world

We find the damage caused by emitting an additional tonne of carbon dioxide today is $107, assuming economic growth of around two per cent per year. The cost if economies continue to stagnate? $138 per tonne.

Scientists predict destructive consequences of climate change like more frequent wildfires, extended periods of drought and a higher risk of strong storms could incur heavy costs in the future.

Integrated assessment models estimate changes in temperature and economic conditions based on emissions predictions. The changes are then compared to the predicted damages to calculate the cost emitting one additional tonne of carbon dioxide today - known as the social cost of carbon dioxide.

We used the PAGE09 model to calculate the social cost of carbon dioxide for a range of economic growth scenarios. Our results show the mean value is significantly higher if there is low economic growth.

The main reason for the higher cost in a low growth world is that people have less money when the worst impacts of climate change hit.

The middle column of the table below shows the global average GDP per person if rich economies don't grow is only $27,000 in 2100, that's about $10,000 less than it currently is in the UK. In contrast, average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person will be around $164,000 if economies grow as in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fourth assessment report's central scenario, as shown in the first column.



This suggest governments should feel more compelled - not less - to implement climate policies if economies are going to continue to stagnate.
One simple change would be to raise the carbon price - either through a tax or adjusting current emissions trading schemes (ETS).

Our results suggest the EU should be charging about $130 more to emit a tonne of carbon dioxide than the current ETS price if economies are expected to continue to grow slowly. The price is still about $110 per tonne too low even when the additional charge of the UK carbon price floor is included.

Our calculations show just how unfit for purpose the EU ETS currently is. Even If there is better economic growth - as Europe's governments hope there will be - the current price is still about $100 too low.

Governments are currently significantly undervaluing the cost of emitting a tonne of carbon dioxide. This climate inaction is not justified, particularly when economies are stagnating.

Getting much richer isn't the answer

If the main problem is that people are much poorer in the future it might seem like governments should actually put all their efforts into stimulating economic growth. Our results show this isn't the case, however.

The social cost of carbon dioxide starts to rise again with rapid economic growth. The curve on the graph below shows the social cost of carbon dioxide is actually lowest with medium levels of economic growth in rich countries - between about two and four per cent per year.

http://www.carbonbrief.org/media/205626/scco2_ima ge_450x288.jpg

If industrialised economies grow at a rate of five per cent per year - an extremely optimistic scenario - average GDP per person is over $2 million by 2100. Which sounds lovely.

But the social cost of carbon dioxide is also higher because the chance of the worst effects of climate change occuring - known as discontinuity - increases as rapid economic growth is accompanied by far greater emissions and and the associated temperature change. Not so nice.

Excuses

Governments should resist the urge to use the economy as an excuse for failing to implement what they see as economically stifling climate policies. Our research suggests they should be in fact be charging more to emit carbon dioxide, not less.

So next time Osborne, Obama or anyone else says a poorly economy means we shouldn't be taking steps to address climate change, raise a sceptical eyebrow and wave our work at the TV screen.

For some reason the paper hasn't yet appeared on Nature Climate Change's Website. We'll update the blog when it does.

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3348
Earth From Space (HD) Discovery Channel

Venture on an epic quest to discover the invisible forces and occurrences that sustain life on this planet and - for the first time - see these processes in action in EARTH FROM SPACE. This sweeping two-hour special reveals the Earth's deepest mysteries, captured in breath-taking detail, and raises profound questions and challenges the old assumptions of how it all works. Using the latest CGI technology, and joining NASA and the world's foremost Earth scientists, EARTH FROM SPACE transforms raw satellite data into a visible spectrum, offering viewers authentic, high-definition moving images that vividly illustrate these processes at work.



Edit:
I prefer the Nova Documentary by the same name.
I'll put a link up to the Nova special later.
Member Since: February 2, 2011 Posts: 3 Comments: 904
Chemists Work to Desalt the Ocean for Drinking Water, One Nanoliter at a Time

June 27, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas

By creating a small electrical field that removes salts from seawater, chemists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Marburg in Germany have introduced a new method for the desalination of seawater that consumes less energy and is dramatically simpler than conventional techniques. The new method requires so little energy that it can run on a store-bought battery.

The process evades the problems confronting current desalination methods by eliminating the need for a membrane and by separating salt from water at a microscale.

The technique, called electrochemically mediated seawater desalination, was described last week in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The research team was led by Richard Crooks of The University of Texas at Austin and Ulrich Tallarek of the University of Marburg. It’s patent-pending and is in commercial development by startup company Okeanos Technologies.
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Quoting 447. spathy:
Ok let me have a stab at this. I know enough to be dangerous.

Ocean acidification has not become wide spread critical yet. The claim is that it will within the century.
Most coral die offs are bleaching etc... due to temp,so when the water cools, silt runoff and nutrient infusion is reduced it allows the restoration to be successful.

There are some hopeful studies out there that I remember reading.
There are natural fluctuations in ocean ph,that could help corals be able to withstand a more acid condition (to a point) in the future.
Many calcium building organisms can adapt to changing ph but not quickly.
Some studies have shown the symbiotic algae that feeds coral can be exchanged/slowly replaced with a different one that isnt as heat sensitive..But only after long periods of time,and the water cant then get too cold,without a similar period of adjustment.



That's correct bleaching occurs due to the heat stored in the oceans... Remove the heat build up in the oceans and stop the bleaching... See how simple that is? OTEC can get us there...
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Quoting 446. theshepherd:


No tunnels, thank you.

Just science, please.





Where did I mention those? Oh that's right I didn't.......
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Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
OK so a lightening strike is to blame but what about the dry/hot conditions caused by fossil fuel GHG's sucking the moisture from the ground thus making such fires more easy to start from lightening strikes? Could fossil fuel GHG's be partially to blame???



(CNN) -- Nineteen firefighters were killed Sunday battling a blaze in Arizona, the state forestry division said.

The vast majority were from Prescott, said Wade Ward with the Prescott Fire Department.

The crew was fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, which broke out Friday northwest of Phoenix. The fire has grown to 1,000 acres, damaged three homes and forced the evacuations of residents in the communities of Peeples Valley and Yarnell, forestry official Art Morrison said.

The blaze is believed to have been started by lightning.

Not including the 19 deaths reported in Arizona, there have been 43 firefighter fatalities reported so far in 2013, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A total of 83 firefighters died last year while on duty.

A Facebook page in memory of the Arizona firefighters was created Sunday night.



Link


We need Blitzkrieg on fossil fuels...........




...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting 466. JohnLonergan:
Scientists Predicted A Decade Ago Arctic Ice Loss Would Worsen Western Droughts. Is That Happening Already?

Scientists predicted a decade ago that Arctic ice loss would bring on worse western droughts......
The situation is truly frightening.
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Quoting 438. theshepherd:


I have a question. And "NO" I'm not "denying" anything:

In light of what is reported by Katharine and Ken, how can coral restoration projects be so successful in the very water conditions that are reported to be killing them?

http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/coralrestoration/

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/nort hamerica/unitedstates/florida/howwework/stimulatin g-coral-restoration.xml

http://www.reefresilience.org/Toolkit_Coral/CCR_C oralRestoration.html

Mote Marine Laboratory recognizes the importance of Spiny Urchins.

http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Ree fRestoration&category=Coral%20Reef%20Research

Spiny Urchins were killed off en-mass all over the world by a nasty virus. Spiny Urchins clean the scum and other smothering algae off coral and help them thrive.

A level headed reporting may be found here.

http://www.biohabitats.com/newsletters/coral-reef -restoration/

...snip'..."It’s important to remember that we had already lost a lot of coral before these mass bleaching events started occurring, and we are only just now beginning to see the effects of acidification, so that is relatively new.

In the Caribbean, we lost about 80% of living coral in the last three decades, mostly due to a combination of local stressors like overfishing and poor water quality. Coral reefs can only exist when seaweeds are kept under control. When you remove a lot of the seaweed-eating fish, that allows seaweed to smother the corals.

In the Caribbean, we have also had an invasion of lionfish, which are hugely efficient consumers of baby fish and so aggravate the problem of overfishing.

Nutrients in the water from, say, runoff from the land, stimulates the growth of seaweed at the expense of corals.

In other parts of the world, like Southeast Asia, the problem is not just overfishing, but the use of dynamite and cyanide to catch fish, which of course directly kills the corals. So in different places, the relative importance of these local stressors vary. Until the 1980s, those were the primary causes of coral death, not climate change and acidification. In the coming decades we are likely to see more problems associated with climate change."

And then, there is the Corals' own inherent viruses.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/1207 12092610.htm


None of these links disclaim acidification as a factor.

Therefore my question:
In light of the very conditions that are purported to be killing off all the coral, how can coral restoration projects be so successful?





Hello, theshepherd. I, for one, am genuinely pleased that you have decided to rejoin us in the conversations here. I have always thought that you do hold a real interest in protecting nature. I have seen your posts, on other blogs here at WU, and you have a love for the outdoors and all of nature. I am also of the opinion that you are a conservationist, until you sense that it will begin to cost you in some way. This may not be true of you, but it is the impression that you have left me with of you.

Coral reef restoration projects are having some success. Many, but not all, of the world's coral reefs are being stressed by acidification of the oceans and by the warming of the oceans. Coral reef restoration projects will not be as successful in the future as they are now as the oceans become more acidic and continue to warm. The only reason that coral reef restoration projects are enjoying some success now is because we are in the beginning processes of what a warming planet will bring us.

Now, let us get to your question, "In light of the very conditions that are purported to be killing off all the coral, how can coral restoration projects be so successful?" - I believe that I answered this for you with my above comments. Now, I have to try to reason as to why you would ask this specific question. I do not think that you doubt that the coral reef restoration projects are enjoying some success. So, is it that you are suggesting that the "alarmist" have overstated the problem and that it is not nearly as bad as they would suggest it to be? Again, we are just in the beginning stages of a warming climate. Sadly, the "alarmist" will almost certainly to be shown to be anything but "alarmists" as the planet continues to warm. You may well serve yourself by always being willing to adapt the now always changing "normal".
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Record temps in the Houston area. Source - WU email alerts:

06/30/2013 - "...Record high temperature tied at Houston hobby Airport ...

Hobby Airport has reached 99 degrees this afternoon...which ties the previous record high of 99 degrees set in 1969.
"

06/30/2013 - "...New record high temperature on Galveston Island ...

Scholes Field Airport recorded 98 degrees this afternoon on Galveston Island...which is a new record for maximum temperature for today. The previous record was 95 degrees in 2011.
"

06/30/2013 - "...Record high temperature set at Houston intercontinental ...

a record high temperature of 107 degrees was set at Houston intercontinental yesterday. This breaks the old record of 103 set in 2009. This also break the all time record high temperature for June which was 105 degrees set back on June 26th, 2012.

...Record high minimum temperature set at Houston intercontinental...

a record high minimum temperature of 80 degrees was set yesterday at Houston intercontinental. The Breaks the old record of 79 set in 1994.

...Record high temperature set at Houston/hobby Airport...

a record high temperature of 105 degrees was set at Houston/hobby Airport yesterday. This breaks the old record of 100 set in 2009.
This also break the all time record high temperature for June which was 102 degrees set back on June 25th, 2012. Yesterdays record high
temperature tied for the fifth warmest temperature ever recorded at Houston/ hobby Airport.

...Record high minimum temperature tied at Houston/ hobby Airport...

a record high minimum temperature of 79 degrees was set yesterday at Houston/ hobby. The ties the old record of 79 set in 2010."

06/30/2013 - "...Record high temperature set at College Station...

a record high temperature of 106 degrees was set at College Station yesterday. This breaks the old record of 105 set in 2009."

06/29/2013 - "...Record high temperatures for the day and month set at Houston intercontinental and hobby airports...

Intercontinental Airport temperature made it up to 107 degrees...which is the new record high temperature for today June 29th. The previous record for the day was 103 degrees in 2009.

This 107 degree reading is also the new record for the highest temperature in June. The previous record was 105 degrees on June 5th and 6th in 2011...and 105 degrees on June 26th in 2009.

A record high temperature of 105 degrees was set at Houston/hobby Airport today. This breaks the old record of 100 set in 2009.

This 105 degree reading is also the new record for the highest temperature in June. The previous record was 102 degrees on June 25th and 26th of 2012...and June 5th of 2011."

06/29/2013 - "...Update to new record high temperature for today and for the month of June at Houston Intercontinental Airport...

Intercontinental Airport has climbed up to 107 degrees...which is the new record high temperature for today June 29th. The previous record for the day was 103 degrees in 2009.

This 107 degree reading is also the new record for the highest temperature in June. The previous record was 105 degrees on June 5th and 6th in 2011...and 105 degrees on June 26th in 2009."

06/29/2013 - "...Hobby Airport also has a new record high temperature for today and for the month of June...

Hobby Airport has now reached 104 degrees...which is a new record high temperature for today June 29th. The previous record for the day was 100 degrees in 2009.

This 104 degree reading is also the new record for the highest temperature in June. The previous record was 102 degrees on June 25th and 26th of 2012...and June 5th of 2011."

06/29/2013 - "...New record high temperature for today and for the month of June
at Houston Intercontinental Airport
...

Intercontinental Airport has now reached 106 degrees...which is a new record high temperature for today June 29th. The previous record for the day was 103 degrees in 2009.

This 106 degree reading is also the new record for the highest temperature in June. The previous record was 105 degrees on June 5th and 6th in 2011...and 105 degrees on June 26th in 2009."

06/29/2013 - "...Record high temperature set at Galveston...

a record high temperature of 94 degrees was set at Galveston yesterday. This ties the old record of 94 set in 2011."

06/28/2013 - "...Record high temperature set at College Station...

A record high temperature of 102 degrees was set at College Station today. This ties the old record of 102 set in 2009."

06/28/2013 - "...Record high temperature tied at Galveston this afternoon...

Galveston Scholes Field Airport has reached 94 degrees early this afternoon...which ties the record high temperature of 94 degrees set in 2011."

Bolding is mine .... Yes, I know. This is local weather. This is summer time in Texas. What draws my attention is how quickly the previous records fell or were tied. These are not long standing records from 1913, 1941 or 1979 in almost every case. These are recent high records that are falling to the new normal.
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Quoting 456. Patrap:


All of us Globally, if we do nothing.

You are absolutely right, and so was Weatheringpoints. My question was really to spathy, who declined to answer. Tsk, tsk, spathy. You should have the courage of your convictions.

Sorry for the delay in answering. I spent the day with my grandkids.

Edited to give credit where credit is due.
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A record day with many newly-achieved maximum temperature records. Most communities dealt with 103 to 107 degree afternoon heat. This was Houston's hottest day ever recorded during the month of June!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
This one is pretty funny.

The Strip | By Brian McFadden
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Everyone agrees that the only way to fix the Gulf of Mexico dead zone - is to fix the Mississippi, but not everyone agrees how.

Dead zones begin when rivers carry nitrogen and phosphorus-based nutrients - primarily agricultural fertilizers%u2014into the ocean. In the case of the Gulf of Mexico, it is the Mississippi River that delivers nitrates, nitrites, and phosphates from the American heartland into the Gulf at a rate of 1.7 million tons per year. Once this stew of nutrients reaches the ocean, algae bloom in prodigious amounts. When those algae die and settle to the bottom, bacteria consume them, sucking life-giving oxygen from the water. Compounding the problem: The freshwater that brings in these nutrients is less dense than the hypoxic saltwater and acts as something of a lid on the crypt below.

As industrial agriculture and animal feedlots have spread around the globe, dead zones have been spreading exponentially along with them. According to a 2008 study published in the journal Science, dead zones now affect 95,000 square miles of water in 400 different systems. They can be as small as the one in Mobile Bay or as large as the nearshore of Europe's Black Sea. They are as far away from the United States as the dozens of dead zones off the coast of the booming economies of Asia or as close to home as the ones in the Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound.

But there is something about dead zones that makes them different from many other seemingly intractable environmental crises: Dead zones can be fixed. As the international dead-zone researcher Laurence Mee points out, the Black Sea dead zone - then the world's largest vanished in the 1990s when the Iron Curtain countries bordering the Danube River collapsed and fertilizer subsidies fell. Indeed, as the Danube/Black Sea system showed, the equation is simple: Turn off the flow of nutrients into rivers, and dead zones go away.

The question for Americans is, can we save our coastal waters before they choke to death? The collapse of the Iron Curtain countries, not choice, salvaged what remained of the Danube/Black Sea ecosystem. Americans, though, will have to choose to eliminate their dead zone.






more at Prospect.org
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From the Lecture Embedded Video,



25:19 "The increase in freshwater discharge to the arctic has increased 30-40%. . .the arctic has become an estuary holding 7,000 cubic kilometers more (freshwater) than it used to have only 10 years ago.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
Published on Mar 22, 2013

The Arctic is the least studied of all regions of the planet, but also that which has warmed fastest to-date and which is predicted to continue to do so throughout the 21st century. While the Antarctic Treaty opened an era of scientific investigation and collaboration in Antarctica, the bases in the Arctic were not really for science, but for the US and the USSR to watch each other's movements on the chess board of the
Cold War.

International collaboration remains challenging in the Arctic.

Meanwhile, rapid melting of ice in Greenland and the Arctic Ocean have both shown catastrophic acceleration in 2012, qualifying the changes in the Arctic as "dangerous climate change" as per the UN Climate Convention.


While there are some positives, such as ease of access to resources in the Arctic, triggering a Gold Rush, the forces that the rapid changes in the Arctic
can unlock are phenomenal, and can propagate a wave of change for the rest of the planet. The changes in the Arctic should be of concern to everyone.

The challenge is that dangerous climate change does not spread, unchecked across the planet.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
Published on Oct 2, 2012
From the National Snow and Ice Data Center: Animated map of 2012 sea ice extent shown side-by-side with 1979--2009 climatology

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
By the Numbers: The Economic Benefits of a National Climate Action Plan

President Obama’s newly announced National Climate Action Plan will make serious progress on reducing pollution and curbing climate change. But importantly, the United States can also save billions of dollars each year by fully implementing all aspects of the plan.

We’re Already Experiencing the Costs of Climate Inaction

Last year alone, federal spending related to the impacts of extreme weather events amounted to more than $1,100 per taxpayer. After decades of warming, extreme weather and climate events such as floods, droughts, and wildfires are increasing in frequency and intensity, resulting in major costs to families, communities, and businesses. Some of these costs include:

At least $1 billion: The amount of damages caused by each of the 25 extreme weather events the United States experienced in 2011 and 2012. Their collective damages add up to about $188 billion

$80 billion: Losses in New York and New Jersey caused by Hurricane Sandy, according to state officials

$426 million: Value of damages to Oklahoma’s crops, livestock, municipalities, and property as a result of drought-induced wildfires. At the end of August 2012, nearly 63 percent of the contiguous United States was experiencing drought conditions

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, every $1 invested in community resilience reduces extreme weather damage by $4.

While no single step can reverse climate change, the National Climate Action Plan will make a serious dent in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions—and the costs that come with them.


Read more »

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Scientists Predicted A Decade Ago Arctic Ice Loss Would Worsen Western Droughts. Is That Happening Already?

Scientists predicted a decade ago that Arctic ice loss would bring on worse western droughts. Arctic ice loss has been much faster than the researchers — and indeed all climate modelers — expected (see “CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed“).
It just so happens that the western U.S. is in the grip of a brutal, record-breaking drought. Is this just an amazing coincidence — or were the scientists right and what would that mean for the future? I ask the authors.
Here is the latest drought monitor:



Back in 2004, Lisa Sloan, professor of Earth sciences at UC Santa Cruz, and her graduate student Jacob Sewall published an article in Geophysical Research Letters, “Disappearing Arctic sea ice reduces available water in the American west” (subs. req’d).
As the news release at the time explained, they “used powerful computers running a global climate model developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to simulate the effects of reduced Arctic sea ice.” And “their most striking finding was a significant reduction in rain and snowfall in the American West”:

Where the sea ice is reduced, heat transfer from the ocean warms the atmosphere, resulting in a rising column of relatively warm air. The shift in storm tracks over North America was linked to the formation of these columns of warmer air over areas of reduced sea ice in the Greenland Sea and a few other locations, Sewall said.


I contacted Sloan to ask her if she thought there was a connection between the staggering loss of Arctic sea ice and the brutal drought gripping the West, as her research predicted. She wrote (back in late March):

Yes, sadly, I think we were correct in our findings, and it will only be worse with Arctic sea ice diminishing quickly. California is currently in a drought (as I watch every day — our reservoirs are at about 50% capacity right now, and I fear for the coming fire season, owning a house that backs up to greenspace and forest).


She directed me to her ex-student, now Assistant Professor of Geology at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania because he had done some additional work.
Sewall wrote me:

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Enough rhetoric. It's evidence that should shape key public decisions
Issues such as GM food and fracking are too important to debate without full knowledge of the scientific facts



"As government becomes more open and transparent, we are all increasingly asked to help shape policy decisions. Issues ranging from fracking to three-parent babies and genetically modified crops are all difficult, so how should we negotiate a tangle of often conflicting and technical complexities to produce the best policy decisions?

Many of the issues have a scientific element and a social science element. They involve politics, religious preferences, economic considerations and ethical concerns. We need debate and it must be based as much on listening as talking: the differing views of individuals have to be heard and their concerns addressed. Questions should not go unanswered, or if they cannot be answered that needs to be acknowledged. What is key is reliable evidence, and if the evidence does not exist it has to be researched.

It should be remembered that there is rarely a right or wrong answer on these sorts of issues, although some people of faith who deal more in moral absolutes might disagree with me. There are always people who have 100% conviction in their views but, as a general rule, when society is looking for the best outcome it should take such absolutist views with a pinch of salt. If you start out with certainties you are unlikely to have considered all the evidence or maybe any of the evidence.

So evidence is where we should start. Sadly, scientific evidence was not much to the fore 10 years ago when we debated genetically modified crops in the UK. Scientists tended to hang back while big corporations battled it out with anti-capitalists and environmentalists. Opinions were thrown around as if they were facts. The debate became toxic, with people often forming their decisions based on who shouted the loudest. There were echoes of that recently when GM hit the headlines and some people yet again rolled out the trite "Frankenstein foods" nonsense. If we want to make the best decisions, those opinions should only bear weight if they are evidence-based.

We need to base our debate on high-quality scientific advice, which is dependent upon high-quality science. Good science is a reliable way of generating knowledge because of the way that it is done. It is based on reproducible observation and experiment, taking account of all evidence and not cherry-picking data. Scientific issues are settled by the overall strength of that evidence combined with rational, consistent and objective argument. Central to science is the ability to prove that something is not true, an attribute which distinguishes science from beliefs based on religions and ideologies, which place more emphasis on faith, tradition and opinion.

A good scientist is inherently sceptical – the Royal Society's motto, in Latin of course, roughly translates as "take nobody's word for it". We have to make sure that those making policy decisions begin by having timely access to all the relevant scientific evidence in as easy to understand a format as possible. That puts a responsibility on scientists to engage effectively and straightforwardly with society."


Read on>>
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Climate change poses grave threat to security, says UK envoy
Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, special representative to foreign secretary, says governments can't afford to wait for 100% certainty

Climate change poses as grave a threat to the UK's security and economic resilience as terrorism and cyber-attacks, according to a senior military commander who was appointed as William Hague's climate envoy this year.

In his first interview since taking up the post, Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti said climate change was "one of the greatest risks we face in the 21st century", particularly because it presented a global threat. "By virtue of our interdependencies around the world, it will affect all of us," he said.

He argued that climate change was a potent threat multiplier at choke points in the global trade network, such as the Straits of Hormuz, through which much of the world's traded oil and gas is shipped.

Morisetti left a 37-year naval career to become the foreign secretary's special representative for climate change, and represents the growing influence of hard-headed military thinking in the global warming debate.

The link between climate change and global security risks is on the agenda of the UK's presidency of the G8, including a meeting to be chaired by Morissetti in July that will include assessment of hotspots where climate stress is driving migration.

Morisetti's central message was simple and stark: "The areas of greatest global stress and greatest impacts of climate change are broadly coincidental."


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"Toon for the weekend"
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Quoting 454. FLwolverine:
But who will pay for it?


Not The Laissez Fairy

Even Hayek recognized that the market is not capable of dealing effectively with externalities.

“Nor can certain harmful effects of deforestation, or of some methods of farming, or of the smoke and noise of factories, be confined to the owner of the property in question or to those who are willing to submit to the damage for an agreed compensation. In such instances we must find some substitute for the regulation by the price mechanism. But the fact that we have to resort to the substitution of direct regulation by authority where the conditions for the proper working of competition cannot be created, does not prove that we should suppress competition where it can be made to function.” (Hayek, Road to Serfdom, 1944)
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I know, but the reflex was instantaneous me tinks'

; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
..will never disappear...,


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
Quoting 454. FLwolverine:
But who will pay for it?


All of us Globally, if we do nothing.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
GE’s Brilliant Wind Turbine — Wind Power Cheaper Than Coal Or Natural Gas (Part 1)

GE made a big energy industry splash recently when it introduced its Brilliant 1.6-100 wind turbine and power management system at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2013 exhibition in Chicago in early May. One of the first utility-scale wind power systems to incorporate short-term, grid-scale battery storage, the GE Brilliant 1.6-100 addresses one of the criticisms (if not the biggest and most frequently cited criticism) of wind energy: its intermittent nature.

lready cost-competitive with thermal coal and natural gas power generation – not to mention its numerous other often ignored and unaccounted for social and ecological benefits and cost savings, which are substantial – GE’s looking to drive the cost of wind energy down further, pushing the envelope outward by incorporating “industrial Internet” capabilities and short-term, grid-scale power storage in the Brilliant 1.6-100 systems platform.
Clearly excited about the Brilliant 1.6-100′s prospects and the tremendous advances in wind power engineering that have been made to date, GE Power & Water invited a group of reporters, including yours truly, to take a tour of the GE Research wind turbine testing facility in southern California’s Tehachapi Mountains, between the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert.
The outing included not only the chance to see the GE Brilliant 1.6-100 turbine (1.6-megawatt max capacity and 100-meter rotor diameter) and real-time power management system up close and in action, but to climb 80 meters to the turbine’s hub, enter the machine head, and then step outside to see the 100-meter-diameter turbine rotor and get a birds-eye view of the wind turbine testing facility and surrounding area.

Read more>>
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Quoting 451. spathy:
450. Naga5000 3:30 PM GMT on June 30

Naga
I couldnt agree more. We have the tech to be clean when it comes to our waters. And we arent doing enough to be clean in that regard.
But who will pay for it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 450. Naga5000:


This literally. I live in Central Florida and grew up in Fort Lauderdale (south Florida). I will not swim in the ocean here, mainly due to our dumping of waste water into the oceans. My wife and I try to go to the Virgin Islands about once a year. The difference in water quality and clarity is unbelievable. The spiny urchins need to be accounted for before swimming, they seem to be everywhere. While ocean acidification is definitely a major issue, the way we treat the ocean as a dumping ground needs to be stopped.

On an interesting side note, a good friend of mine started a non-profit attempting to get the old tires that were dumped off the coast of Fort Lauderdale removed. Someone years ago got the "bright idea" that old tires would be a great base for artificial reefs, without adequate research. Our disregard for the coastal ocean habitat is astounding.


Yes, and the EPA could help out a bunch by outlawing acid based ecological chemicals in coastal areas.

...not to mention all the poop.

edit: Isn't poop a pollutant?



...editor's note..."That's two questions, shep"

:{

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 451. spathy:
450. Naga5000 3:30 PM GMT on June 30

Naga
I couldnt agree more. We have the tech to be clean when it comes to our waters. And we arent doing enough to be clean in that regard.


I wish that this agreement in sentiment is where we go in the climate change discussion. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, we should all agree that environmentalism is a good thing, and we should all want to take steps to make sure we protect our environment. I think the overwhelming majority of the world can see eye to eye there.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3463
Quoting 445. theshepherd:


Those features and circumstances are lucky corals.
They can handle it because "a rock didn't fall on their head", if I may :}.
They were mostly just geologically fortunate.
Subtle variance in DNA may be an outside factor. We will see.
That's why they are bringing foreign healthy transplants into decimated areas.

Now, if we could only repopulate the Spiny Urchins and stop dumping crap in the oceans, everything might be peachy keen again.






This literally. I live in Central Florida and grew up in Fort Lauderdale (south Florida). I will not swim in the ocean here, mainly due to our dumping of waste water into the oceans. My wife and I try to go to the Virgin Islands about once a year. The difference in water quality and clarity is unbelievable. The spiny urchins need to be accounted for before swimming, they seem to be everywhere. While ocean acidification is definitely a major issue, the way we treat the ocean as a dumping ground needs to be stopped.

On an interesting side note, a good friend of mine started a non-profit attempting to get the old tires that were dumped off the coast of Fort Lauderdale removed. Someone years ago got the "bright idea" that old tires would be a great base for artificial reefs, without adequate research. Our disregard for the coastal ocean habitat is astounding.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3463
Quoting 447. spathy:
Ok let me have a stab at this. I know enough to be dangerous.

Ocean acidification has not become wide spread critical yet. The claim is that it will within the century.
Most coral die offs are bleaching etc... due to temp,so when the water cools, silt runoff and nutrient infusion is reduced it allows the restoration to be successful.

There are some hopeful studies out there that I remember reading.
There are natural fluctuations in ocean ph,that could help corals be able to withstand a more acid condition (to a point) in the future.
Many calcium building organisms can adapt to changing ph but not quickly.
Some studies have shown the symbiotic algae that feeds coral can be exchanged/slowly replaced with a different one that isnt as heat sensitive..But only after long periods of time,and the water cant then get too cold,without a similar period of adjustment.


Thanks, spathymon.
I'm more inclined to believe that simply the fact that a coral population is healthy, is all the armor it needs in upping it's calcium carbonate production when needed. I think they will roll with the punches if they can keep their heads above the ever-increasing algae growths that try to smother them and the crap we dump in it.

...Am I the only Spiny Urchin fan? j/k :)))

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As I've mentioned before, at 8.75° N latitude I live in the belt near the equator (± 10° latitude) where few tropical cyclones ever go. However, both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are at the southern end of cyclogenesis regions.

There are many micro-climates in the narrow isthmus that is Panama, and they are based mostly on rainfall and altitude, and there are no deserts or dry regions. The country is mostly tropical rainforest ranging from classic lowlands jungle to high elevation cool and very wet cloudforest.

I live in the central mountains of western Panama on the slopes of the dormant volcano, Volcan Baru. I'm about 40km (25mi) from the Costa Rica border at 1,280 meters (4,200 ft) elevation. A friend operates the WU Palmira weather station at the same altitude about 3 miles from my home. There is no good climate data for this area, although I assume that there is good data for the Canal Zone 300 miles to the east of me, where water levels in Lake Gatun are critical to running the locks on the Panama Canal. For my purposes, I'm playing with data the seven year records from the WU Palmira station. Panama gets most of it's precipitation from pop-up thunderstorms - no northern jetstream style frontal weather for us. At least 40% of our electricity comes from hydro, and last year - my first year living here, was pretty low in rainfall - only 105" in 2012. That lead to electricity rationing after the end of the dry season when the rains did not come back as strongly this spring. We have had even less rain this season - by far the lowest through June in the 7-year record of the Palmira station. Because of the nature of scattered popup t-storms, there is a very large range of year to year and month to month variation, and we won't know for a couple of months how bad the deficit will be, and what problems it will cause, although extremely poor and horribly maintained domestic water systems may run out next winter if things don't turn around. Here's a couple of up-to-date rainfall charts I assembled with Excel.


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Quoting 444. cyclonebuster:



I think the bottom line is we need to cool the oceans they live in to stop this...


No tunnels, thank you.

Just science, please.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 443. Naga5000:


She's probably correct in her assumption. I hope their research shows what factors allow coral to rebound and continue to thrive in the new world we've created. My only concern is that these corals that seem to have whatever feature or circumstances that allow them to remain relatively okay, don't seem to be in the majority. Also, I hope they figure it out before political reasons take away much needed funding.


Those features and circumstances are lucky corals.
They can handle it because "a rock didn't fall on their head", if I may :}.
They were mostly just geologically fortunate.
Subtle variance in DNA may be an outside factor. We will see.
That's why they are bringing foreign healthy transplants into decimated areas.

Now, if we could only repopulate the Spiny Urchins and stop dumping crap in the oceans, everything might be peachy keen again.




Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 438. theshepherd:


I have a question. And "NO" I'm not "denying" anything:

In light of what is reported by Katharine and Ken, how can coral restoration projects be so successful in the very water conditions that are reported to be killing them?

http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/coralrestoration/

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/nort hamerica/unitedstates/florida/howwework/stimulatin g-coral-restoration.xml

http://www.reefresilience.org/Toolkit_Coral/CCR_C oralRestoration.html

Mote Marine Laboratory recognizes the importance of Spiny Urchins.

http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref =Ree fRestoration&category=Coral%20Reef%20Research

Spiny Urchins were killed off en-mass all over the world by a nasty virus. Spiny Urchins clean the scum and other smothering algae off coral and help them thrive.

A level headed reporting may be found here.

http://www.biohabitats.com/newsletters/coral-reef -restoration/

...snip'..."It’s important to remember that we had already lost a lot of coral before these mass bleaching events started occurring, and we are only just now beginning to see the effects of acidification, so that is relatively new.

In the Caribbean, we lost about 80% of living coral in the last three decades, mostly due to a combination of local stressors like overfishing and poor water quality. Coral reefs can only exist when seaweeds are kept under control. When you remove a lot of the seaweed-eating fish, that allows seaweed to smother the corals.

In the Caribbean, we have also had an invasion of lionfish, which are hugely efficient consumers of baby fish and so aggravate the problem of overfishing.

Nutrients in the water from, say, runoff from the land, stimulates the growth of seaweed at the expense of corals.

In other parts of the world, like Southeast Asia, the problem is not just overfishing, but the use of dynamite and cyanide to catch fish, which of course directly kills the corals. So in different places, the relative importance of these local stressors vary. Until the 1980s, those were the primary causes of coral death, not climate change and acidification. In the coming decades we are likely to see more problems associated with climate change."

And then, there is the Corals' own inherent viruses.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/1207 12092610.htm


None of these links disclaim acidification as a factor.

Therefore my question:
In light of the very conditions that are purported to be killing off all the coral, how can coral restoration projects be so successful?






I think the bottom line is we need to cool the oceans they live in to stop this...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting 441. theshepherd:


Thanks. I've seen that report also.

...snip'...
Meaghan Johnson:
"A resilient reef is able to resist or rebound from any sort of stress, whether it be hot water or disease or a storm or some other disturbance. Think about that person you know who never gets sick even when everyone else is under the weather. That lucky person is resilient and there are corals and reefs that are just like that."

Meahgan's work may well indeed be money well spent.

She may arrive at the conclusion (which has been my supposition for years) that acidification and warmer seas don't hold a candle to other stressors.

She's a brave girl.
She won't be well received. IMHO



She's probably correct in her assumption. I hope their research shows what factors allow coral to rebound and continue to thrive in the new world we've created. My only concern is that these corals that seem to have whatever feature or circumstances that allow them to remain relatively okay, don't seem to be in the majority. Also, I hope they figure it out before political reasons take away much needed funding.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3463
Quoting 440. Naga5000:


Great question, and this took some major google-fu to get an answer. Short answer is they are researching what makes reefs able to come back after a bleaching. Link

Seems like the long answer is more of a "we don't know, we are studying it, sometimes it works, and we got money from the government to try it out" which I think is a good thing. I'm glad they got a bit of funding.
Thanks for researching this. I took a stab at it and came up empty handed. I think this funding is money well spent.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 440. Naga5000:


Great question, and this took some major google-fu to get an answer. Short answer is they are researching what makes reefs able to come back after a bleaching. Link

Seems like the long answer is more of a "we don't know, we are studying it, sometimes it works, and we got money from the government to try it out" which I think is a good thing. I'm glad they got a bit of funding.


Thanks. I've seen that report also.

...snip'...
Meaghan Johnson:
"A resilient reef is able to resist or rebound from any sort of stress, whether it be hot water or disease or a storm or some other disturbance. Think about that person you know who never gets sick even when everyone else is under the weather. That lucky person is resilient and there are corals and reefs that are just like that."

Meahgan's work may well indeed be money well spent.

She may arrive at the conclusion (which has been my supposition for years) that acidification and warmer seas don't hold a candle to other stressors.

She's a brave girl.
She won't be well received. IMHO

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 438. theshepherd:


I have a question. And "NO" I'm not "denying" anything:

In light of what is reported by Katharine and Ken, how can coral restoration projects be so successful in the very water conditions that are reported to be killing them?

http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/coralrestoration/

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/nort hamerica/unitedstates/florida/howwework/stimulatin g-coral-restoration.xml

http://www.reefresilience.org/Toolkit_Coral/CCR_C oralRestoration.html

Mote Marine Laboratory recognizes the importance of Spiny Urchins.

http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref =Ree fRestoration&category=Coral%20Reef%20Research

Spiny Urchins were killed off en-mass all over the world by a nasty virus. Spiny Urchins clean the scum and other smothering algae off coral and help them thrive.

A level headed reporting may be found here.

http://www.biohabitats.com/newsletters/coral-reef -restoration/

...snip'..."It’s important to remember that we had already lost a lot of coral before these mass bleaching events started occurring, and we are only just now beginning to see the effects of acidification, so that is relatively new.

In the Caribbean, we lost about 80% of living coral in the last three decades, mostly due to a combination of local stressors like overfishing and poor water quality. Coral reefs can only exist when seaweeds are kept under control. When you remove a lot of the seaweed-eating fish, that allows seaweed to smother the corals.

In the Caribbean, we have also had an invasion of lionfish, which are hugely efficient consumers of baby fish and so aggravate the problem of overfishing.

Nutrients in the water from, say, runoff from the land, stimulates the growth of seaweed at the expense of corals.

In other parts of the world, like Southeast Asia, the problem is not just overfishing, but the use of dynamite and cyanide to catch fish, which of course directly kills the corals. So in different places, the relative importance of these local stressors vary. Until the 1980s, those were the primary causes of coral death, not climate change and acidification. In the coming decades we are likely to see more problems associated with climate change."

And then, there is the Corals' own inherent viruses.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/1207 12092610.htm


None of these links disclaim acidification as a factor.

Therefore my question:
In light of the very conditions that are purported to be killing off all the coral, how can coral restoration projects be so successful?





Great question, and this took some major google-fu to get an answer. Short answer is they are researching what makes reefs able to come back after a bleaching. Link

Seems like the long answer is more of a "we don't know, we are studying it, sometimes it works, and we got money from the government to try it out" which I think is a good thing. I'm glad they got a bit of funding.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3463
Quoting 438. theshepherd:
In light of the very conditions that are purported to be killing off all the coral, how can coral restoration projects be so successful?




Got me. That's so outside my sphere of knowledge that it may as well be orbiting a different star. But it's an interesting question that I hope someone has the answer to.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting 420. cyclonebuster:
Major Changes Needed for Coral Reef Survival

June 28, 2013 — To prevent coral reefs around the world from dying off, deep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions are required, says a new study from Carnegie's Katharine Ricke and Ken Caldeira. They find that all existing coral reefs will be engulfed in inhospitable ocean chemistry conditions by the end of the century if civilization continues along its current emissions trajectory.

Link





...


I have a question. And "NO" I'm not "denying" anything:

In light of what is reported by Katharine and Ken, how can coral restoration projects be so successful in the very water conditions that are reported to be killing them?

http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/coralrestoration/

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/nort hamerica/unitedstates/florida/howwework/stimulatin g-coral-restoration.xml

http://www.reefresilience.org/Toolkit_Coral/CCR_C oralRestoration.html

Mote Marine Laboratory recognizes the importance of Spiny Urchins.

http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Ree fRestoration&category=Coral%20Reef%20Research

Spiny Urchins were killed off en-mass all over the world by a nasty virus. Spiny Urchins clean the scum and other smothering algae off coral and help them thrive.

A level headed reporting may be found here.

http://www.biohabitats.com/newsletters/coral-reef -restoration/

...snip'..."It’s important to remember that we had already lost a lot of coral before these mass bleaching events started occurring, and we are only just now beginning to see the effects of acidification, so that is relatively new.

In the Caribbean, we lost about 80% of living coral in the last three decades, mostly due to a combination of local stressors like overfishing and poor water quality. Coral reefs can only exist when seaweeds are kept under control. When you remove a lot of the seaweed-eating fish, that allows seaweed to smother the corals.

In the Caribbean, we have also had an invasion of lionfish, which are hugely efficient consumers of baby fish and so aggravate the problem of overfishing.

Nutrients in the water from, say, runoff from the land, stimulates the growth of seaweed at the expense of corals.

In other parts of the world, like Southeast Asia, the problem is not just overfishing, but the use of dynamite and cyanide to catch fish, which of course directly kills the corals. So in different places, the relative importance of these local stressors vary. Until the 1980s, those were the primary causes of coral death, not climate change and acidification. In the coming decades we are likely to see more problems associated with climate change."

And then, there is the Corals' own inherent viruses.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/1207 12092610.htm


None of these links disclaim acidification as a factor.

Therefore my question:
In light of the very conditions that are purported to be killing off all the coral, how can coral restoration projects be so successful?



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Quoting 433. JohnLonergan:
The Central Arctic Thinning: Is It Real?

I saw that this morning. It's a pretty good piece of work. I've come to expect that from Chris Reynolds.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Polish town says 'no' to shale gas
Deutsche Welle English, Date 27.06.2013
Author Paul Rimple, Zurawlow, Poland / jlw

Fracking is big business, especially in Poland. Estimates did suggest the country may be sitting on a gas supply that could cover domestic needs for the next 300 years and end the country's dependence on Russian imports. ...

... The protestors in Zurawlow remain defiant - not only do they want Chevron off their land, they want the company out of Poland.

Legal advisors come to the site to explain to the farmers what rights they have. Activists from the US, the Czech Republic and Lithuania come to share their experiences about fracking too.

Filmmaker Lech Kowalski has documented the town's story since 2010. His latest film, Drill Baby Drill, compares the plight of these Polish farmers with the fracking experiences of Pennsylvania.

"These farmers here are the first people that have actually stopped a big multinational corporation from drilling for gas - it hasn't happened before. That's pretty significant. These people want to determine by themselves what is being done to their land and on their land," Kowalski tells DW in an interview. ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 55 Comments: 6023
The Green Party's response to Obama's speech:

RELEASE: Obama's climate proposals fall dangerously short, ignore time-critical opportunity to revive the economy

"The Green Shadow Cabinet said today that while President Obama's call for the Environental Protection Agency to strengthen regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants was a long overdue step in the right direction, his “all of the above” approach to energy is still a disaster for the climate.

Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party's 2012 presidential nominees noted, "You can't give your child an 'all of the above diet' with toxic lead and arsenic, and think that adding some spinach and blueberries is going to make it OK. Likewise, reducing carbon pollution from coal does not make fracking, tar sands oil, deep water and Arctic drilling OK. The climate is spiraling into runaway warming. Obama's promotion of cheap dirty fossil fuels makes coal regulations just window dressing on a disastrous policy."

In addition to its broad concerns on fossil fuel use, the Cabinet strongly opposes the Obama administration's continued push to revitalize the expensive, dangerous, nuclear power industry. The massive subsidies required by the nuclear industry siphon away funds needed to expand renewable energy. Nuclear power still has lethal, unsolvable, long term waste-storage problems. In addition, the White House's proposed plants could not be built in time to have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

President Obama's proposals fall far short of an urgently-needed Green New Deal to revive the American economy with clean, renewable energy. The Green New Deal would create 25 million jobs, particularly jobs that transition us to a carbon-free economy. It would be paid for through cuts to the military budget, elimination of the $40 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels and nukes, a Wall Street transaction tax yielding $100s of billions in revenue per year, and requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share.

As an example, a recent Stanford University report showed how NY could convert to 100% renewable energy by 2030 in a program that would create jobs and pay for the costs of conversion with health care savings alone. ( "Examining the Feasibility of Converting New York State's All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water and Sunlight", co-authored by Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson,)

The Cabinet also pointed to Germany’s energy transformation, (Energiewende), that shifts from nuclear and fossil fuels to renewables. Thanks in large part to its Green Party, Germany will cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 40% relative to 1990 levels by 2020. By comparison, the goals set by President Obama translate to only a 4% cut in emissions - about one-tenth of the German commitment. The Cabinet also calls for a feed-in tariff program that Germany has used to create a vibrant renewable energy sector – benefitting small businesses, homeowners, farmers and communities - by insuring profitable rates for renewable power. This has helped fuel Germany’s vigorous economy, and put renewable energy technology on track to be the major employment sector in the nation within the decade.

To help put us on a similar path, the Green Shadow Cabinet calls for Congress to impose fees on the use of carbon. In addition, the federal government should also use its immense purchasing power to drive the development of clean renewable energy, conservation and efficiency.

EPA should accelerate and increase fuel efficiency standards. Under the Clean Air Act, it should phase out the use of HFCs and replace them with alternatives that protect the ozone layer without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Clean Water Act, it should set standards for acid pollution in water to reduce the negative impact carbon dioxide has on coral, plankton, shell fish and other marine animals. It should approve the petition by the Center for Biological Diversity to revise water quality criteria in light of new scientific information about ocean acidification, adopting a criterion for pH stating: “For marine waters, pH should not deviate measurably from naturally occurring pH levels as a result of absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide.”

The Cabinet challenged Obama's escalating development of extreme fossil fuels that has been the major focus of “all of the above” - mountain top removal of coal, fracked oil and gas, deep water and Arctic drilling, and tar sands oil. The world already has five times as much oil, coal and gas available as climate scientists say the atmosphere can tolerate if global temperature rise is to stay below the internationally accepted limit of two degrees Celsius. So rather than drill for more fossil fuels, we must keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away safely underground to avoid a climate disaster. In order to achieve this, and protect the climate for everyone rather than corporate profits for a few, we need to consider making energy a democratically-controlled public utility, with a mission to take us from fossil fuels to renewables at least cost.

Steve Breyman, EPA Adminstrator for the Green Shadow Cabinet, noted that, "Obama's 'all of the above' energy strategy is unrealistic and cowardly. It's overly expensive and unscientific. It ignores climate change and generates waste that remains dangerous for a thousand generations. Rather than face up to even a single powerful industry--nuclear, coal, oil, or gas--the President punted. Actually, he went golfing with fossil fuel company executives. We end up having to fight the Keystone XL pipeline, with the likelihood that the President will ultimately approve it, paving the way to full exploitation of the Canadian tar sands, a development called 'game over' for the climate by James Hansen."

Breyman added that, "International leadership, a major theme of the President's speech, is only possible when national policy is at the leading edge. Unfortunately, Obama has yet to match the carbon reduction policies we see in other countries, including China, the world's other global warming superpower. The U.S. has been both the major contributor to climate change and the major denier of the need for action at both the domestic and international level. Enacting policies proposed by the Green Shadow Cabinet would put America in a good position to lead internationally.”

Stein concluded her comments by stating that, “The fact that 80% of climate warming has occurred since 1980 shows how this crisis is accelerating. We now have unprecedented storms, permanent drought ("megadrought") in the American southwest, and just witnessed three major forest fires in California and Colorado in springtime that would normally happen only after a long hot dry summer. In short, we don't have time for false assurance while climate catastrophe continues to escalate.“

“The American people understand that real progress on climate is urgently needed, and support this in poll after poll. The obstacle to progress is the American political establishment - bought and paid for by fossil fuel companies and closely allied Wall Street interests.” Obama himself was the third largest recipient of campaign donations from the oil and gas industry in the last election cycle, receiving more than $800,000.

"The question of the hour is not how to persuade the American people to do the right thing on climate. It's how to force our hijacked political establishment to act in our interests - for the climate, and for our economy. Congress and the President continue to throw us under the bus on both counts, inflicting austerity on everyday people - cutting Medicare, social security, schools, etc. - while they squander trillions on wars, Wall Street bailouts and tax giveaways for the wealthy," said Stein.

“We cannot wait to reclaim our children’s future – and our future. We must act now. If Obama won’t lead, the people will find a way to provide that leadership. It’s not the President’s legacy that’s at stake. It’s ours.”"
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3348
Low pressure at the pole...Run the link loop AREA H and here's an image..


Link



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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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