Greenhouse Emissions of Agriculture

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:25 AM GMT on July 27, 2013

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Greenhouse Emissions of Agriculture

In the last blog there was a comment by peregrinepickle on the emissions from agriculture. It started:

“It sounds like they may be putting the cart before the workhorse with this study. A 2010 survey of the literature found that too few studies on GHG emissions and the impact of various alternative farming practices have been done in US agricultural regions, including the Great plains Ironically, more research is being done in this vein in China. So it seems premature to appeal to US farmers re: willingness to adopt certain practices before knowing exactly where you are going with it.

Agriculture, compared to other sources, is not a huge contributor to GHGs, relative to the contributions by industry, transportation, and utilities. In the US farming is responsible for 6% of the overall emissions of the six major GHGs. However, farming does contribute about 25% of all CH4 emissions in the US, which is major, as this gas is 21-33 times more potent in warming potential than CO2.”

Back in April and May I wrote two entries on the emissions from agriculture (first entry, second entry). These two entries highlighted both the complexity of calculating the greenhouse emissions related to agriculture as well as suggested some of the controversy associated with the calculation. The controversy is especially high in the calculation associated with livestock.

The amount of direct fossil fuel emissions from use of fuels in machinery and pumps for agriculture is modest, as stated in peregrinepickle’s comment. Those numbers are based on a 2010 inventory by the Environmental Protection Agency. Here is a link to the chapter that details the agricultural inventory. The greenhouse gas emissions compiled in the chapter on agriculture are for greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, especially methane and nitrous oxide. For the EPA inventory, the carbon dioxide associated with agriculture is accounted for in the energy inventory. Additional emissions and removal of greenhouse gasses are calculated with land use, land change and forestry. The national forests are part of the Department of Agriculture.

The accounting with soils and forests influences, greatly, the budget of emissions associated with agriculture. Based on soil management agriculture can remove and store substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. In the U.S. agriculture is a mature and extensive enterprise, and we are not aggressively converting forest to agricultural land. In fact, the amount of forest is increasing and, therefore, can be accounted as an agricultural removal of carbon dioxide. This fact of increasing forest land is not the case in much of the world. World-wide, deforestation as forest is converted to agricultural use, especially rangeland, accounts for much of the carbon footprint of agriculture. Phil Robertson in an article to appear in the Encyclopedia of Agriculture estimates the total greenhouse gas footprint of agriculture is between 26 and 36 percent (thank you Professor Robertson). This range seems soundly based in the synthesis of research, and the number I would quote based on the current state of knowledge.

As detailed in Livestock’s Long Shadow and stated in the entirety of peregrinepickle’s comment, the impact of agriculture reaches far beyond the relevance to climate change. Notably there are impacts on water quality and land quality, and, in my opinion, the impact of nitrogen (fertilizer) pollution is one of the most under appreciated sources of environmental degradation. Management of this whole portfolio of environmental impacts is one of the special challenges of the agricultural sector of human activities.

The mix of greenhouse gas emissions, the details of the practice of land use, the role of biological processes, and the potential to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them in soil and biomass characterize the climate impact of agriculture. Agriculture is also vulnerable to climate change. Since agriculture is a highly competitive, market-dependent undertaking, market response to weather and climate can amplify weather-related impacts. Agriculture becomes more entangled with the climate problem, when we consider the possibility of biofuels to replace some of our fossil fuels. This complexity complicates the accounting of climate impacts, but also offers some of our best opportunities to improve our management of the environment. Agriculture is no doubt an important player in our management of climate change, and notably absent in President Obama recent speech on climate change.

A primary source of agricultural information is Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. An often cited document is the 2006 documentLivestock’s Long Shadow. There has been much criticism of this report, especially in its calculation of the emissions of the transportation sector. The original authors did modify their specific statements about transportation. As noted in an earlier blog in this series, there is substantial controversy about the impact of agriculture. Therefore, I end here with a set of reference materials that I have used.

EPA National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

PDF of Agriculture Chapter of EPA Inventory of Emissions

Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Chapter 8: Working Group 3: IPCC 2007

Energy Efficiency of Conventional, Organic and Alternative Cropping …

Livestock and Climate Change

and to appear

Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions and their Mitigation, G. Philip Robertson, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station and the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

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Quoting 612. Birthmark:

Well, did it develop yesterday? Alright, then. They were right. :)


Nope they said for the next five days it had zero percent chance of development. Today it is at 10% so they were incorrect...LOL..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Quoting 611. cyclonebuster:
LOL! Yesterday it had 0% chance over a 5 day period. Today it is at 10%...


Well, did it develop yesterday? Alright, then. They were right. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LOL! Yesterday it had 0% chance over a 5 day period. Today it is at 10%...

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Arctic Dipole and low pressure at the pole stirring things up now...


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Trouble in fracking paradise (SmartPlanet.com) 8/7/2013

Rising costs across the industry, and declining profitability for the supermajors in an era of triple-digit global prices, suggest that oil prices need to be higher to maintain output. Since domestic gasoline and diesel prices, which are strongly linked to global prices, have remained stubbornly high even while U.S. oil prices were falling this year, that suggests we will likely see gasoline prices pushing toward $4.50 a gallon next year in higher-priced U.S. markets like San Francisco and New York City.

Oil majors are whistling past the graveyard (SmartPlanet.com) 3/20/2013

Peak oil was never about "running out." That's a strawman argument. The word "peak" in peak oil simply refers to the maximum production rate of oil, as I have explained ad nauseam. While oil producers constantly trumpet new discoveries and rising reserves, they tend to avoid talking about production rates.

But reserves are meaningless if they don't amount to an increasing rate of production. If you had a billion dollars to your name, but could only withdraw $1,000 a year, would you be worried about running out of money or paying your bills?


America's oil choice: Pay up, or get off (SmartPlanet.com) 2/20/2013

It may seem strange to suggest that the United States should become a crude exporter, when it remains the world's top oil importer. In 2012, the country imported an average of 7.7 million barrels per day, or about 41 percent of its oil demand, according to EIA data. The second-largest importer is China, which currently imports 5.6 million barrels per day, according to Platts.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Quoting 604. RevElvis:
Rio Grande turning into the Rio Sand



Grist.org


It should be renamed Rio Pequeño...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Quoting 606. Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Did King even take basic science courses in school? I am certain that he only threw CO2 into the sentence as to cause confusion concerning CO2's part in the loss of ice.




Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Quoting 596. RevElvis:
Steve King: Global warming "more of a religion than a science"

"It is not proven, it's not science," he said

Rep. Steve King argued that the push to combat climate change will harm the economy more than it will help the environment, because global warming "is not proven, it's not science. It's more of a religion than a science."

Speaking in Fort Dodge, Iowa at an event sponsored by the conservative group Americans For Prosperity, King contended that environmentalists get too worked about about the potential impact of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. "Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in (environmentalists') analysis," he said, the Fort Dodge Messenger reports.

King also dismissed concerns that the sea levels could "go up four or six inches," because "We don't know where sea level is even, let alone be able to say that it's going to come up an inch globally because some polar ice caps might melt because there's CO2 suspended in the atmosphere."

In addition, a 2010 survey of 1,372 climate researchers found that 97-98 percent believe in man-made climate change.


more at Salon.com


(Maybe he (King) could take a religious pilgrimage to bathe in the new lake that has formed in the center of the North Pole? - unknown poster)



Did King even take basic science courses in school? I am certain that he only threw CO2 into the sentence as to cause confusion concerning CO2's part in the loss of ice.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
Wind and solar power double under Obama



TreeHugger.com
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Rio Grande turning into the Rio Sand



Grist.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Harsh drought is drying up New Mexico’s largest reservoir

Elephant Butte Reservoir (1994)
elephant butte reservoir drought lake low dry

Elephant Butte Reservoir (This Year)
elephant butte reservoir rio grande


more at Grist.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
601. BaltimoreBrian
2:13 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
'It's Too Hot': Shanghai Wilts In Record-Setting Heat Wave (courtesy of Barbamz's blog)

40.8C will be a new record if confirmed. Those poor people!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8055
600. RevElvis
2:11 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
Here's the anti-Keystone ad one NBC station doesn't want you to see



more at grist.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
599. BaltimoreBrian
1:58 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
According to IJIS on August 6th the arctic sea ice extent fell below the average summer minimum during the 1990s.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8055
597. cyclonebuster
1:25 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
Quoting 586. Neapolitan:
Oh, my bad, my bad. I didn't "get lost in the numbers"; I was trying to finish a major software update and post here at the same time, a particular bit of multi-tasking I guess I should never attempt again without the proper intake of caffeine and taurine. Especially when I won't be around to double-check my work. ;-) So, yes, divide my numbers by a factor of a million. Please. But note that 330 tons a day--660,000 pounds, a quarter million tons over the past two years--of radioactive water, while nowhere nearly as gross as my earlier erroneous numbers, is nonetheless substantially more than TEPCO and the Japanese government has been letting on. And it's certainly far more than I'd like the fish I eat to go swimming around in.


Well then I guess that is acceptable then... LOL..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
596. RevElvis
1:23 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
Steve King: Global warming "more of a religion than a science"

"It is not proven, it's not science," he said

Rep. Steve King argued that the push to combat climate change will harm the economy more than it will help the environment, because global warming "is not proven, it's not science. It's more of a religion than a science."

Speaking in Fort Dodge, Iowa at an event sponsored by the conservative group Americans For Prosperity, King contended that environmentalists get too worked about about the potential impact of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. "Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in (environmentalists') analysis," he said, the Fort Dodge Messenger reports.

King also dismissed concerns that the sea levels could "go up four or six inches," because "We don't know where sea level is even, let alone be able to say that it's going to come up an inch globally because some polar ice caps might melt because there's CO2 suspended in the atmosphere."

In addition, a 2010 survey of 1,372 climate researchers found that 97-98 percent believe in man-made climate change.


more at Salon.com


(Maybe he (King) could take a religious pilgrimage to bathe in the new lake that has formed in the center of the North Pole? - unknown poster)

Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
595. cyclonebuster
1:19 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
Quoting 573. Neapolitan:
It's come to light that--unsurprisingly--the amount of radioactive water running freely into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant is far more than we'd been led to believe by TEPCO. And, just as unsurprisingly, it's been going on for the past two years. And, also just as unsurprisingly, TEPCO inists that it's no big deal, and that we should all just shut the hell up and let them handle things. (Wrecked Fukushima nuke plant leaking 330 tons of contaminated water a day)

Yes: 330. Millions. Tons. Per. Day. For. The. Past. Two. Years. That's roughly 240 billion tons* of radioactive water that's flowed into the sea--an Amazon river of the crackling, hissing stuff--under the ever-watchful eye of TEPCO. But that's okay; a little radiation never hurt anyone, amiright?

Yay, nuclear!!! Thanks to you, our energy future is secure!!! And our grandchildren will surely applaud you with all three of their mutated, fingerless hands!!

* - Or, if you'd prefer, approximately 57.8 trillion gallons.


Oy, vey. Trying again, awake this time:

It's come to light that--unsurprisingly--the amount of radioactive water running freely into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant is far more than we'd been led to believe by TEPCO. And, just as unsurprisingly, it's been going on for the past two years. And, also just as unsurprisingly, TEPCO inists that it's no big deal, and that we should all just shut the hell up and let them handle things. (Wrecked Fukushima nuke plant leaking 330 tons of contaminated water a day)

Yes: 330. Tons. Per. Day. For. The. Past. Two. Years. That's roughly a quarter of a billion tons* of radioactive water that's flowed into the sea--an Amazon river of the crackling, hissing stuff--under the ever-watchful eye of TEPCO. But that's okay; a little radiation never hurt anyone, amiright?

Yay, nuclear!!! Thanks to you, our energy future is secure!!! And our grandchildren will surely applaud you with all three of their mutated, fingerless hands!!

* - Or, if you'd prefer, approximately 5.8 million gallons, enough to fill nine Olympic-sized pools.


That's correct radioactivity never hurt anyone just ask the radioactive Boyscout.. It doesn't even matter if we eat the radioactive fish either..

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
594. RevElvis
1:11 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
Two Big Climate Stories You Didn't Read About In The New York Times

Times Skips Stories Soon After Closing Environmental Desk And Green Blog

The New York Times failed to cover both a major government report and a scientists' statement indicating that global warming marches on, just months after the paper shuttered both its environment desk and an affiliated blog with the promise that coverage would not significantly change.

On Monday, the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a scientific organization comprising thousands of earth scientists, published a quadrennial renewal of its position statement affirming that "humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years." One day later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the annual "State of the Climate" report, showing that 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record worldwide and saw record-low Arctic sea ice extent. NOAA included these charts, illustrating warming of 0.16%uFFFDC (0.28%uFFFDF) per decade since 1970 and plummeting Arctic sea ice extent compared to the 1979-2000 average, respectively:


The AGU statement garnered mentions by National Public Radio and NBCNews.com, and NOAA's "sobering portrait of vast swaths of the planet transformed by rising temperatures" was covered by the Associated Press, Reuters, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and CBS, and featured in wire reports in The Washington Post and on the websites of Fox News, NBC and ABC.

However, you didn't read about either story in The New York Times.,,,


more at http://mediamatters.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
593. barbamz
12:41 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
Well, this is Germany too ;)

'Hands Off My Sausage'
Spiegel English, 08/06/2013 | By Charles Hawley

Massive web surveillance by the US? German voters seem to have lost interest. The euro crisis? Boring. Comprehensive minimum wage? Zzzzzz. It has been a somnolent election season thus far. At least until this week. Suddenly, the German electorate is up in arms, furious with a proposal made by the Green Party which, many fear, could violate one of their most cherished rights: that of eating sausage whenever they want.

Specifically, the Greens have proposed the introduction of one vegetarian day each week in workplace cafeterias across the country. "A veggie day would be a great opportunity to see how we can nourish ourselves without meat and sausage," senior Green politician Renate Künast told the tabloid Bild on Monday.

From the reaction, one would almost think she was proposing the introduction of speed limits on the Autobahn, a beer ban and the elimination of Oktoberfest all at once. Even senior German politicians have jumped into the fray, with Agricultural Minister Ilse Aigner saying through a spokesman that "we don't place much stock in paternalism. At the end of the day, we need a balanced diet and meat is part of that." ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 44 Comments: 5030
592. barbamz
12:26 AM GMT on August 08, 2013
Study questions nature's ability to 'self-correct' climate change
Phys.org., 13 hours ago

Forests have a limited capacity to soak up atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study from Northern Arizona University.

The study, available online in the journal New Phytologist, aimed to explore how rising atmospheric carbon dioxide could alter the carbon and nitrogen content of ecosystems.

By performing tests on subtropical woodland plots over an 11-year period, the researchers found that ecosystem carbon uptake was not significantly increased by the high CO2 treatment—in contrast to expectations. While plants did contain more carbon when CO2 levels were increased, soil actually lost carbon due to microbial decomposition; both factors essentially balanced one another out.

"Nature cannot 'self-correct' entirely against climate change, and the scientific community has been both overestimating the impact of plants and underestimating the impact of soil microorganisms in how they absorb CO2 and ultimately impact global warming," said Bruce Hungate, director of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at NAU and lead author on the study.

"Models of land ecosystems need to be revised to represent microbial responses explicitly," Hungate said. "They're the carbon balance 'trump card,' reversing the effect of plants on total carbon storage."

According to Hungate, the tests confirmed that although soil microorganisms are microscopic, they are just as important as plants in determining carbon storage by ecosystems...


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-08-nature-ability-self-c orrect-climate.html#jCp
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 44 Comments: 5030
591. RevElvis
10:50 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Fukushima plant operator cannot confirm volume of contaminated water leaking into ocean

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, said on Wednesday that it cannot confirm the exact volume of contaminated groundwater that is leaking into the ocean.

The Japanese government believes radiation-contaminated water has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean at a rate of 300 tons a day, an industry ministry official told reporters on Wednesday.

“We are not currently able to say clearly how much groundwater is actually flowing into the ocean,” said Tokyo Electric Power spokesman Noriyuki Imaizumi in response to a reporter’s question about the government estimate.

RawStory.com
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
590. FLwolverine
8:46 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Quoting 587. Patrap:
At the sushi Bar in Chicago..

No, I'm gonna pass on the Glowing NEON Yellow Fin Tuna, thanx..
Not feeling adventurous today? :-)

All of us who grew up in the 50's know that radiation is good for you! Like CO2 is good for plants.

/sarc off
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 1900
589. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7:39 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Quoting 586. Neapolitan:
Oh, my bad, my bad. I didn't "get lost in the numbers"; I was trying to finish a major software update and post here at the same time, a particular bit of multi-tasking I guess I should never attempt again without the proper intake of caffeine and taurine. Especially when I won't be around to double-check my work. ;-) So, yes, divide my numbers by a factor of a million. Please. But note that 330 tons a day--660,000 pounds, a quarter million tons over the past two years--of radioactive water, while nowhere nearly as gross as my earlier erroneous numbers, is nonetheless substantially more than TEPCO and the Japanese government has been letting on. And it's certainly far more than I'd like the fish I eat to go swimming around in.


LOL. Did you not catch my past hint that the secret to multitasking is to concentrate on one thing at a time?

BTW - Have you seen this website? It is very well done and quite informative. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
588. JohnLonergan
7:38 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Drift preview for Artic Basin:

c

A lot of motion towards Fram Strait
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2764
587. Patrap
7:28 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
At the sushi Bar in Chicago..

No, I'm gonna pass on the Glowing NEON Yellow Fin Tuna, thanx..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
586. Neapolitan
7:26 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Oh, my bad, my bad. I didn't "get lost in the numbers"; I was trying to finish a major software update and post here at the same time, a particular bit of multi-tasking I guess I should never attempt again without the proper intake of caffeine and taurine. Especially when I won't be around to double-check my work. ;-) So, yes, divide my numbers by a factor of a million. Please. But note that 330 tons a day--660,000 pounds, a quarter million tons over the past two years--of radioactive water, while nowhere nearly as gross as my earlier erroneous numbers, is nonetheless substantially more than TEPCO and the Japanese government has been letting on. And it's certainly far more than I'd like the fish I eat to go swimming around in.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
585. JohnLonergan
6:55 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
From HotWhopper:

STATE OF THE CLIMATE IN 2012


The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has released State of the Climate in 2012 as a supplement to the August 2013 issue. You can download it here.

Here are some highlights from the NOAA:(Large PDF)

The report used dozens of climate indicators to track and identify changes and overall trends to the global climate system. These indicators include greenhouse gas concentrations, temperature of the lower and upper atmosphere, cloud cover, sea surface temperature, sea-level rise, ocean salinity, sea ice extent and snow cover. Each indicator includes thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets.

Warm temperature trends continue near Earth’s surface: Four major independent datasets show 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record, ranking either 8th or 9th, depending upon the dataset used. The United States and Argentina had their warmest year on record.

La Niña dissipates into neutral conditions: A weak La Niña dissipated during spring 2012 and, for the first time in several years, neither El Niño nor La Niña, which can dominate regional weather and climate conditions around the globe, prevailed for the majority of the year.

The Arctic continues to warm; sea ice extent reaches record low: The Arctic continued to warm at about twice the rate compared with lower latitudes. Minimum Arctic sea ice extent in September and Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in June each reached new record lows. Arctic sea ice minimum extent (1.32 million square miles, September 16) was the lowest of the satellite era. This is 18 percent lower than the previous record low extent of 1.61 million square miles that occurred in 2007 and 54 percent lower than the record high minimum ice extent of 2.90 million square miles that occurred in 1980.

The temperature of permafrost,
or permanently frozen land, reached record-high values in northernmost Alaska. A new melt extent record occurred July 11–12 on the Greenland ice sheet when 97 percent of the ice sheet showed some form of melt, four times greater than the average melt this time of year.

Antarctica sea ice extent reaches record high: The Antarctic maximum sea ice extent reached a record high of 7.51 million square miles on September 26. This is 0.5 percent higher than the previous record high extent of 7.47 million square miles that occurred in 2006 and seven percent higher than the record low maximum sea ice extent of 6.96 million square miles that occurred in 1986.

Sea surface temperatures increase: Four independent datasets indicate that the globally averaged sea surface temperature for 2012 was among the 11 warmest on record. After a 30-year period from 1970 to 1999 of rising global sea surface temperatures, the period 2000–2012 exhibited little trend. Part of this difference is linked to the prevalence of La Niña-like conditions during the 21st century, which typically lead to lower global sea surface temperatures.

Ocean heat content remains near record levels: Heat content in the upper 2,300 feet, or a little less than one-half mile, of the ocean remained near record high levels in 2012. Overall increases from 2011 to 2012 occurred between depths of 2,300 to 6,600 feet and even in the deep ocean.

Sea level reaches record high: Following sharp decreases in global sea level in the first half of 2011 that were linked to the effects of La Niña, sea levels rebounded to reach record highs in 2012. Globally, sea level has been increasing at an average rate of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm per year over the past two decades.

Ocean salinity trends continue: Continuing a trend that began in 2004, oceans were saltier than average in areas of high evaporation, including the central tropical North Pacific, and fresher than average in areas of high precipitation, including the north central Indian Ocean, suggesting that precipitation is increasing in already rainy areas and evaporation is intensifying in drier locations.

Tropical cyclones near average: Global tropical cyclone activity during 2012 was near average, with a total of 84 storms, compared with the 1981–2010 average of 89. Similar to 2010 and 2011, the North Atlantic was the only hurricane basin that experienced above-normal activity.

Greenhouse gases climb: Major greenhouse gas concentrations, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, continued to rise during 2012. Following a slight decline in manmade emissions associated with the global economic downturn, global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production reached a record high in 2011 of 9.5 ± 0.5 petagrams (1,000,000,000,000,000 grams) of carbon, and a new record of 9.7 ± 0.5 petagrams of carbon is estimated for 2012. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased by 2.1 ppm in 2012, reaching a global average of 392.6 ppm for the year. In spring 2012, for the first time, the atmospheric CO2 concentration exceeded 400 ppm at several Arctic observational sites.

Cool temperature trends continue in Earth’s lower stratosphere: The average lower stratospheric temperature, about six to ten miles above the Earth’s surface, for 2012 was record to near-record cold, depending on the dataset. Increasing greenhouse gases and decline of stratospheric ozone tend to cool the stratosphere while warming the planet near-surface layers.

HotWhopper points out that WTFUWT spins it as:

2012 was among the coolest years this century ...and among the hottest 10 years on record

Of course, WATTSians are fractally inumerate and not very likely to realize the have only been twelve years in the 21st century.

The graph of Gisstemp temperature looks like this:


Source
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2764
584. pintada
6:13 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Another few minutes with Guy McPherson ... sadly only audio. (My embed skills are more limited only by my current patience for learning computer crap.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odlReNpGQ7c

Skip to 27:30 to see why he is so sure that things are happening ...
at about ~31:00 he discloses how influential he is "none ...". "Disaster porn."

His web site.


MEANWHILE


Richard Heinberg has a new book out:

"
The peak rate of discovery, when many large fields were being found each year, occurred globally in the early 1960s. In recent years the oil industry has found (on average) one barrel of new oil for every four or five consumed.

Even if forecasting the exact date of the peak is a fool%u2019s errand, only a fool would miss the signs that the world oil industry has entered a new, desperate era. Discoveries are down, costs are up. Production has flatlined, environmental impacts from petroleum operations are soaring.

The math of EROEI reveals what has come to be known as the net energy cliff. At first thought, it might appear that a 100: 1 EROEI is 10 times more beneficial to society than a 10: 1 energy profit. But it turns out that there%u2019s a practical turning point at around 10: 1 (the cliff).

But there was a more immediate , practical motive for oil and gas companies to ballyhoo fracking%u2019s significance: their need for investment capital. Small operators willing to assume substantial risk by developing marginal resource plays using expensive technology have led the fracking boom from its inception. These companies need investors to believe that fracking is the Next Big Thing. As in every resource boom since the dawn of time, hyperbole has become a tool of survival."

Heinberg, Richard (2013-07-24). Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (p. 26). Post Carbon Institute.

The August 3 issue of the Economist waxes poetic about our 200 year supply of fracked gas and oil. Their source? That well known and reliable expert on oil economics - Citi Bank. Would Citi lie?


Richard closes ...

"
%u201CLet%u2019s think about this for a while longer before making any rash decisions,%u201D the masses murmur in unison. In this context, %u201Ca while%u201D could mean a decade or longer. By that time, it will be far too late to begin a successful energy transition. The choice is rigged. The promise of economic fossil energy abundance is a mirage. Like a thirsty desert castaway, we chase that mirage even though it lures us to our doom. Dazzled by the prospects of a hundred years of cheap natural gas or oil independence , we embrace an energy policy of %u201Call of the above%u201D that is hardly distinguishable from having no energy policy at all. With every passing year the fossil fuel industry consumes a larger portion of global GDP, reducing society%u2019s ability to fund an energy transition. And every year the environmental costs of continued fossil fuel reliance compound. Everything depends upon our recognizing the mirage for what it is, and getting on with the project of the century.

Heinberg, Richard (2013-07-24). Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (p. 126). Post Carbon Institute. Kindle Edition.


My corn is beginning to make ears, and the pumpkins are getting bigger, peppers and tomatoes nearly ready to harvest. Bunnies and chipmunks eat pea pods. Coyotes and harriers eat the rodents. The lifestyle that Guy McPherson and I are living is really wonderful, especially when one considers the lack of guilt ...

Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 218
583. yoboi
5:23 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Quoting 582. Naga5000:


Too bad that was all a huge hoax.




part of it is true.....they have some looking at compressing salt water.....the main problem they are having is the vapor lock that occurs.....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 1993
582. Naga5000
5:10 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Quoting 581. yoboi:
Link



You just need water........


Too bad that was all a huge hoax.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 2694
581. yoboi
4:48 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Link



You just need water........
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 1993
580. yoboi
4:35 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Quoting 573. Neapolitan:
It's come to light that--unsurprisingly--the amount of radioactive water running freely into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant is far more than we'd been led to believe by TEPCO. And, just as unsurprisingly, it's been going on for the past two years. And, also just as unsurprisingly, TEPCO inists that it's no big deal, and that we should all just shut the hell up and let them handle things. (Wrecked Fukushima nuke plant leaking 330 tons of contaminated water a day)

Yes: 330. Millions. Tons. Per. Day. For. The. Past. Two. Years. That's roughly 240 billion tons* of radioactive water that's flowed into the sea--an Amazon river of the crackling, hissing stuff--under the ever-watchful eye of TEPCO. But that's okay; a little radiation never hurt anyone, amiright?

Yay, nuclear!!! Thanks to you, our energy future is secure!!! And our grandchildren will surely applaud you with all three of their mutated, fingerless hands!!

* - Or, if you'd prefer, approximately 57.8 trillion gallons.



What is worse..... carbon based energy or nuclear energy????????
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 1993
579. SteveDa1
4:09 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
I think Nea got lost in the numbers. When I saw 330 million I had to check just how much water that is and I knew it was way too much.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
578. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:03 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Quoting 577. SteveDa1:
Guys, it's 330 tons per day not 330 million! 330 million tons per day is the equivalent of 2 Niagara Falls!!

That comes out to 240 900 tons of contaminated water over the 2-year period.


That is correct. The article did sates tons/day and not gallons/day. Thanks! I did not catch that.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
577. SteveDa1
4:01 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Guys, it's 330 tons per day not 330 million! 330 million tons per day is the equivalent of approximately two Niagara Falls!! Flow rate of Niagara falls is 1 834m3/second.

That comes out to 240 900 tons of contaminated water over the 2-year period.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
576. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:01 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Quoting 570. JohnLonergan:
Climate change is making poison ivy grow bigger and badder

Poison ivy's shiny green leaves are gourmet cuisine for deer, bear and other animals. Birds like its white berries and spread the seeds by unmentionable means. But the leaves, berries and vine are the bane of humankind and primates. In the hours after the lacquer-like oil, urushiol, gets transferred at the slightest contact, mad scratching begins.

Enough urushiol to fit on the head of a pin can cause misery for 500 people. Even a billionth of a gram of urushiol on the skin is said to cause agony. But now the news worsens.

Chances are rising that whitetails and bruins will have plenty of the leafy greens to consume in coming decades, with people facing a growing challenge to avoid the green curse. Climate change is making poison ivy grow faster, bigger and meaner. Rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and higher temperatures are to poison ivy what garbage is for rats, dormant water is for mosquitoes and road kill is to buzzards.

Opposite of humans and mammals, plants take in carbon dioxide, which photosynthesis converts into carbohydrates, and release oxygen into the atmosphere. Higher CO2 benefits plant growth but especially poison ivy. Pie-pan sized leaves now are common. Poison ivy is choking trees and filling the edge of woodlands.

Lewis H. Ziska, a research weedecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said laboratory and field studies show that poison ivy is advancing with climate change. That trend will continue as carbon dioxide levels keep rising from the current average level of about 400 parts per million to 560 ppm or higher in the next 30 to 50 years, with predicted levels reaching 800 ppm by century's end, he said.

Already poison ivy's growth and potency has doubled since the 1960s, and it could double again once CO2 levels reach the 560 ppm mark, Mr. Ziska said. As a result, Americans might have to scratch their way into a climate-altered future....


Read more


You can say that again! I spent the early part of the summer clearing the poison ivy from my fence lines. The root system sends out long runners, just underground, and new stalks appear off of these runners. If I could find a market for it, I could soon retire!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
575. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:57 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Quoting 573. Neapolitan:
It's come to light that--unsurprisingly--the amount of radioactive water running freely into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant is far more than we'd been led to believe by TEPCO. And, just as unsurprisingly, it's been going on for the past two years. And, also just as unsurprisingly, TEPCO inists that it's no big deal, and that we should all just shut the hell up and let them handle things. (Wrecked Fukushima nuke plant leaking 330 tons of contaminated water a day)

Yes: 330. Millions. Tons. Per. Day. For. The. Past. Two. Years. That's roughly 240 billion tons* of radioactive water that's flowed into the sea--an Amazon river of the crackling, hissing stuff--under the ever-watchful eye of TEPCO. But that's okay; a little radiation never hurt anyone, amiright?

Yay, nuclear!!! Thanks to you, our energy future is secure!!! And our grandchildren will surely applaud you with all three of their mutated, fingerless hands!!

* - Or, if you'd prefer, approximately 57.8 trillion gallons.


I was reading an article on this earlier today. I would imagine that it would be difficult to assess how much highly contaminated water has escaped into the ocean due to the fact that TEPCO has not been forthright on the size of the leaks all along. I am not certain that we are given accurate information on the leaks now or for how long this rate of leakage has been occurring. The 57.8 trillion gallons may be too high and it may be too low. Whatever the case, it certainly is not good news.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4728
574. JohnLonergan
2:35 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
For some climate scientists, speaking out is a moral obligation

We scientists talk to each other…a lot. Usually it is about breaking studies or techniques that can help us better understand the world around us. On occasion, however, we talk about how to communicate our science to the world. We believe that our research is critical to helping us all make better decisions now to preserve the future for all of us.

During one such conversation I had with a colleague, Dr. Andrew Dessler, we got onto the topic of how scientists should advocate to the general public. In particular, we focused on a shortsighted article recently published in the Guardian. After our conversation. Dr. Dessler wrote his thoughts which are contained below as part of this blog post. Take it away Andy…

"In a recent Guardian post, Dr. Tamsin Edwards argued that scientists should scrupulously avoid advocating for particular policies — going so far as to say that this is a "moral obligation".

The foundation of Dr. Edward's argument is that the general public is too dumb to understand the difference between a scientist talking science and one advocating policy. While it is certainly true that most members the general public are not scientific experts, they are experts in figuring out who the experts are and in discerning what the practical importance of expert opinion is. Arguing that we must filter what we tell the general public so as not to confuse them is patronizing and greatly underestimates their intelligence and abilities.

Given that values play a huge role in policy debates, it is certainly true that scientists have no special claim to authority in policy debates. And the fact that, decades after scientists recognized the global-warming problem, we still don't have a climate policy in place, is evidence of this. But this does not mean that scientists therefore have NO authority. The values held by scientists are as legitimate as the values of any other citizen and scientists have as much of a right to advocate for policy as anyone else. The argument that I gave up my rights to engage in the policy debate when I became an expert in the science is, to me at least, both offensive and absurd.

A more interesting question is whether, from a practical standpoint, scientists do more harm than good when they advocate for policies. For example, Dr. Edwards claims that "much climate skepticism is driven by a belief that environmental activism has influenced how scientists
gather and interpret evidence." She certainly may believe this, but it's wrong. Cognitive research has shown that views on climate science can be almost entirely explained by an individual's values — e.g., their view on the proper role of government.

The argument advanced by skeptics that "scientists are political advocates" is simply a post hoc rationalization for rejecting the expert opinion of the world's scientific community, thereby allowing the skeptics to reach a conclusion consistent with their values. If scientists stopped advocating for policies, skeptics would simply come up with another excuse to reject expert scientific opinion. Blaming scientists for skeptical irrationality is hopelessly naive.

So what do I think scientists should do? First, I think is up to every individual scientist to decide where to draw the line. If Dr. Edwards is uncomfortable talking about a carbon tax, then she should certainly not talk about it. When I talk in public about climate change, I'm comfortable saying that, as a citizen who happens to know a lot about the science, I strongly support action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. If people want more details, I add that the policy experts agree that the key policy action we need to take is a price on carbon, which could be accomplished to either a carbon tax or a cap and trade system.

As a citizen in a democracy and as a father of two young boys, I feel I have a lot invested in getting the policy on climate change right. Sitting on the sidelines and refusing to answer questions about policy is simply not an option. For me, speaking out is the moral obligation."


And I agree with Dr. Dessler. It truly is absurd to argue that the people who know most about the problem should be silent about potential solutions. It is also incredibly naïve to not acknowledge the role of funded sources who systematically attack and harass scientists. When the history books are written (they are being written right now), we will all wish the climate scientists had spoken out more, not less.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2764
573. Neapolitan
2:10 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
It's come to light that--unsurprisingly--the amount of radioactive water running freely into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant is far more than we'd been led to believe by TEPCO. And, just as unsurprisingly, it's been going on for the past two years. And, also just as unsurprisingly, TEPCO inists that it's no big deal, and that we should all just shut the hell up and let them handle things. (Wrecked Fukushima nuke plant leaking 330 tons of contaminated water a day)

Yes: 330. Millions. Tons. Per. Day. For. The. Past. Two. Years. That's roughly 240 billion tons* of radioactive water that's flowed into the sea--an Amazon river of the crackling, hissing stuff--under the ever-watchful eye of TEPCO. But that's okay; a little radiation never hurt anyone, amiright?

Yay, nuclear!!! Thanks to you, our energy future is secure!!! And our grandchildren will surely applaud you with all three of their mutated, fingerless hands!!

* - Or, if you'd prefer, approximately 57.8 trillion gallons.


Oy, vey. Trying again, awake this time:

It's come to light that--unsurprisingly--the amount of radioactive water running freely into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant is far more than we'd been led to believe by TEPCO. And, just as unsurprisingly, it's been going on for the past two years. And, also just as unsurprisingly, TEPCO inists that it's no big deal, and that we should all just shut the hell up and let them handle things. (Wrecked Fukushima nuke plant leaking 330 tons of contaminated water a day)

Yes: 330. Tons. Per. Day. For. The. Past. Two. Years. That's roughly a quarter of a billion tons* of radioactive water that's flowed into the sea--an Amazon river of the crackling, hissing stuff--under the ever-watchful eye of TEPCO. But that's okay; a little radiation never hurt anyone, amiright?

Yay, nuclear!!! Thanks to you, our energy future is secure!!! And our grandchildren will surely applaud you with all three of their mutated, fingerless hands!!

* - Or, if you'd prefer, approximately 5.8 million gallons, enough to fill nine Olympic-sized pools.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
572. JohnLonergan
2:08 PM GMT on August 07, 2013
Current(almost) conditions in the Central Arctic Basin:



More plus discussion here >>
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2764
571. no1der
5:24 AM GMT on August 07, 2013
'Critical phase' for Iter fusion dream

The world's largest bid to harness the power of fusion has entered a "critical" phase in southern France.

The Iter project at Cadarache in Provence is receiving the first of about one million components for its experimental reactor.


Member Since: June 5, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 442
570. JohnLonergan
3:41 AM GMT on August 07, 2013
Climate change is making poison ivy grow bigger and badder

Poison ivy's shiny green leaves are gourmet cuisine for deer, bear and other animals. Birds like its white berries and spread the seeds by unmentionable means. But the leaves, berries and vine are the bane of humankind and primates. In the hours after the lacquer-like oil, urushiol, gets transferred at the slightest contact, mad scratching begins.

Enough urushiol to fit on the head of a pin can cause misery for 500 people. Even a billionth of a gram of urushiol on the skin is said to cause agony. But now the news worsens.

Chances are rising that whitetails and bruins will have plenty of the leafy greens to consume in coming decades, with people facing a growing challenge to avoid the green curse. Climate change is making poison ivy grow faster, bigger and meaner. Rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and higher temperatures are to poison ivy what garbage is for rats, dormant water is for mosquitoes and road kill is to buzzards.

Opposite of humans and mammals, plants take in carbon dioxide, which photosynthesis converts into carbohydrates, and release oxygen into the atmosphere. Higher CO2 benefits plant growth but especially poison ivy. Pie-pan sized leaves now are common. Poison ivy is choking trees and filling the edge of woodlands.

Lewis H. Ziska, a research weedecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said laboratory and field studies show that poison ivy is advancing with climate change. That trend will continue as carbon dioxide levels keep rising from the current average level of about 400 parts per million to 560 ppm or higher in the next 30 to 50 years, with predicted levels reaching 800 ppm by century's end, he said.

Already poison ivy's growth and potency has doubled since the 1960s, and it could double again once CO2 levels reach the 560 ppm mark, Mr. Ziska said. As a result, Americans might have to scratch their way into a climate-altered future....


Read more
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2764
569. RevElvis
2:09 AM GMT on August 07, 2013
Water, Water, Nowhere

When water becomes scarce, conservatives become environmentalists.

If any problem is potent enough to overcome conservatives’ animus against government, it might be water scarcity. To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, fear of death focuses the mind wonderfully.

Red states across the Midwest, Southwest and Great Plains glimpsed the demise of their way of life during last year’s drought, the worst in half a century. By August 2012, 43 percent of U.S. farms—encompassing nearly 60 percent of all U.S. cropland—were under “severe” drought conditions or worse according to USDA statistics. By September, more than 2,000 counties had been declared disaster areas.

The drought, which has eased somewhat but lingers in much of Kansas, is both a mirror of our global predicament and a warning about our collective future. The earth’s population is expected to grow by as many as 3 billion people by 2050, which translates into a 70 percent increase in food demand, according to UN statistics. Agriculture is by far the greatest drain on global water supplies, consuming nearly three-fourths of freshwater “withdrawals.” So the rapidly growing population will require ever-greater freshwater resources.

Yet it isn’t clear where that water will come from. And the problem of water scarcity is compounded by global warming, which is expected to increase the frequency and severity of droughts.

Even conservatives who are skeptical of environmental initiatives can see the logic of a public policy that addresses the problem.

In his State of the State speech last year (delivered before the worst of the drought), ultra-conservative Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, said that it was “way past time we move from a development policy with our water to a conservation ethic,” since “we have no future without water.”

One short-sighted solution to the problem of water scarcity is for states—and nations—to wage legal and rhetorical battles for access to water sources of neighboring states.

article at InTheseTimes.com
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
568. BaltimoreBrian
1:31 AM GMT on August 07, 2013
To RevElvis #567--that is a great article. I did not include it in my list so I am glad you have.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8055
567. RevElvis
1:29 AM GMT on August 07, 2013
Life in a Toxic Country

BEIJING — I RECENTLY found myself hauling a bag filled with 12 boxes of milk powder and a cardboard container with two sets of air filters through San Francisco International Airport. I was heading to my home in Beijing at the end of a work trip, bringing back what have become two of the most sought-after items among parents here, and which were desperately needed in my own household.

China is the world’s second largest economy, but the enormous costs of its growth are becoming apparent. Residents of its boom cities and a growing number of rural regions question the safety of the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat. It is as if they were living in the Chinese equivalent of the Chernobyl or Fukushima nuclear disaster areas.

Before this assignment, I spent three and a half years reporting in Iraq, where foreign correspondents talked endlessly of the variety of ways in which one could die — car bombs, firefights, being abducted and then beheaded. I survived those threats, only now to find myself wondering: Is China doing irreparable harm to me and my family?

The environmental hazards here are legion, and the consequences might not manifest themselves for years or even decades. The risks are magnified for young children. Expatriate workers confronted with the decision of whether to live in Beijing weigh these factors, perhaps more than at any time in recent decades. But for now, a correspondent’s job in China is still rewarding, and so I am toughing it out a while longer. So is my wife, Tini, who has worked for more than a dozen years as a journalist in Asia and has studied Chinese. That means we are subjecting our 9-month-old daughter to the same risks that are striking fear into residents of cities across northern China, and grappling with the guilt of doing so.

Like them, we take precautions. Here in Beijing, high-tech air purifiers are as coveted as luxury sedans. Soon after I was posted to Beijing, in 2008, I set up a couple of European-made air purifiers used by previous correspondents. In early April, I took out one of the filters for the first time to check it: the layer of dust was as thick as moss on a forest floor. It nauseated me. I ordered two new sets of filters to be picked up in San Francisco; those products are much cheaper in the United States. My colleague Amy told me that during the Lunar New Year in February, a family friend brought over a 35-pound purifier from California for her husband, a Chinese-American who had been posted to the Beijing office of a large American technology company. Before getting the purifier, the husband had considered moving to Suzhou, a smaller city lined with canals, because he could no longer tolerate the pollution in Beijing.

Every morning, when I roll out of bed, I check an app on my cellphone that tells me the air quality index as measured by the United States Embassy, whose monitoring device is near my home. I want to see whether I need to turn on the purifiers and whether my wife and I can take our daughter outside.

continued at NYTimes.com
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
565. RevElvis
12:47 AM GMT on August 07, 2013
Arizona firefighter’s widow denied benefits over city’s ‘seasonal employee’ claim

The widow of one of the 19 Arizona firefighters killed battling a wildfire on June 30 is being denied salary and health benefits due to her despite her husband being a full-time employee, CBS News reported on Monday.

“I said to them, ‘My husband was a full-time employee. He went to work full-time for you,’” Juliann Ashcraft told CBS. “And what their response to me was, ‘Perhaps there was a communication issue in your marriage.’”

Ashcraft’s husband, Andrew Ashcraft, was part of the “hotshot” crew based out of Prescott, Arizona, that was consumed by a fire fueled by severe wind changes.

City officials contend that Andrew Ashcraft and 12 other members of the team were employed on a seasonal basis, which disqualifies them from the benefits for bereaved families of full-time city employees. The families of all 19 victims will get a one-time federal payment of $328,000 and worker’s compensation.

But CBS reported that Andrew Ashcraft was employed on a full-time basis, and officials with local union group United Yavapai Firefighters told CBS that he was the only one working 40 hours a week on a year-round basis among the firefighters currently denied full-time benefits



more at RawStory.com
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
563. Patrap
11:27 PM GMT on August 06, 2013
TEPCO struggling to contain contaminated water

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628

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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.