Voracious Carbon Eating Microorganisms


Ponder hungry microorganisms lurking within the Arctic tundra. Vast regions of permafrost – defined as permanently frozen layers of rock, soil and sediment – now thawing at alarming rates due to increased global temperatures. I’m not talking the thin “active” top layer of permafrost covering 24% of Northern Hemisphere land – ponder deep layers of ancient glaciated tundra surrendering to the elements.

Boreholes in northern Canada, Norway and Russia indicate a .4 degree increase in ground temperatures at a depth of 60 meters. It might sound like no big deal – let me assure you otherwise. In the last decade it translates to an increase greater than the last 100 years. So why worry about mushy tundra?

Trapped in that permafrost are enormous amounts of formerly frozen ancient carbon. As the ground warms, billions of voracious microorganisms belly up to the all you can eat buffet. Devouring carbon releases vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere – CO2 that contributes to accelerated global warming.

Robert Spencer from the University of Florida, lead researcher of a paper published April 23, 2015 in Geophysical Research Letters said –

“When you have a huge frozen store of carbon and it’s thawing, we have some big questions. The primary question is when it thaws, what happens to it? Our research shows this ancient carbon is rapidly utilized by microbes and transferred to the atmosphere, leading to further warming in the region and therefore more thawing. So we get into a runaway effect.”

http://earthsky.org/earth/carbon-from-melting-permafrost-goes-back-to-atmosphere?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=1ac6825dd9-EarthSky_News&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-1ac6825dd9-393970565

http://icestories.exploratorium.edu/dispatches/big-ideas/tundra-and-permafrost/

While the climate denial camp busily pats itself on the back for convincing the masses we have nothing to worry about – stop and ask yourself why people gobble their self serving propaganda hook, line and sinker.

Holy Fracking Earthquake


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a report on April 23, 2015 outlining evidence of “sharply increased” seismic activity due to human activity – “fracking” to be precise.
DEFINITION of ‘Fracking’

A slang term for hydraulic fracturing. Fracking refers to the procedure of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open. The larger fissures allow more oil and gas to flow out of the formation and into the wellbore, from where it can be extracted.

Slick assertions by fracking advocates, paint rosy pictures of harmless and inconsequential necessity. Common sense dictates otherwise. Last year Oklahoma had more magnitude 3 or greater earthquakes than California. Oklahoma, by far the banner state for “human” triggered seismic activity, went from an average of 1.5 shakes per year in 2009 to 2.5 a day in 2014.

Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Ohio all reported increased seismic activity associated with industrial activity – translation, fracking.

Contained in the USGS official announcement…

“Earthquake activity has sharply increased since 2009 in the central and eastern United States. The increase has been linked to industrial operations that dispose of wastewater by injecting it into deep wells”

Fracking involves more than increased seismic activity – much more than an estimated 72 trillion gallons of water a year. Ponder 360 billion gallons of chemicals – formaldehyde, methanol, hydrochloric acid to name a few. Roughly half of this chemical sludge is recovered, taken by tanker or pumped into open pit pools to evaporate. Final “disposal” requires nothing more than a burial – groundwater, wells, agriculture of little consequence.

An article posted last September on conservative website American Thinker made me laugh. The headline – “The Science Is Settled:Fracking Is Safe” illustrates the sorry state of right wing wisdom. The first paragraph, managed in a few short sentences to take a jab at climate change, declare fracking safe, followed by “end of discussion”. Citing the National Science Foundation, Duke University and “others”, the article stated extensive research examined 130 wells, concluding that only a “subset of cases” – 7 wells in Pennsylvania and 1 in Texas (faulty construction or cement) polluted groundwater. There are over 500,000 wells in America – using the ratio of 7/130, that’s over 26,000 environmental disasters. The rest of the article just made me mad – linked below if you can stomach nonsense about how over 1 million frackings resulted in an infinitesimal 7 screw ups – they “examined” 130 wells, holy crap.

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/09/the_science_is_settled_fracking_is_safe.html

If the world was perfect, each and every one of these nincompoops would be forced to live in a community beside a fracking site.

 

https://i2.wp.com/en.es-static.us/upl/2015/04/earthquakes-manmade-USGS-20151-e1429813354755.jpg

http://earthsky.org/earth/usgs-more-earthquakes-due-to-human-activities?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=2810865bda-EarthSky_News&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-2810865bda-393970565

Survey: WeatherCasters Coming Around on Climate Change


Had to do it 🙂 Be sure to watch the second clip of Pippa the “Weather-girl” going rogue.

Climate Denial Crock of the Week

One of the frustrations for climate communicators over the years has been the unwillingness of TV weathercasters to come to grips with climate change.  That’s a big deal, because for a large majority of citizens, the weather guy or gal is the closest thing they ever see to an actual atmospheric scientist.
Most of them are not meteorologists, but rather communication specialists with (maybe) some met 101 courses in their transcript. Many are employed by extremely conservative media organizations, and are loathe to be seen as promoting a “liberal agenda” (science!).

For several years, there have been ongoing efforts by a number of top flight scientists and communicators to reach out and answer questions for this group.  It may be that these efforts, and the accelerated pounding by Mother Nature, are having an effect.

A new survey offers a glimmer of hope.

Below, Pippa the Weather Girl goes Rogue!

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Making Sense of Climate Science Denial


Starting April 28, 2015 Australia’s University of Queensland launches a remarkable first in “open to all” climate denial education. “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial” is the brainchild of John Cook, Queensland Global Change Institute climate communication fellow, and founder of climate science myth debunking website, Skeptical Science.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/apr/21/university-offering-free-online-course-to-demolish-climate-denial

A seven week course – free, and open to all who register – includes interviews with top scientists, lessons on climate science, psychology of popular myths and how people respond to them.

In a perfect world the likes of James Inhofe, Marco Rubio and propagandists at Heartland Institute would register – if for no other reason than to learn their reigning days of asinine stupidity are numbered. “Students” from over 130 countries have signed-up by the thousands to learn how climate denial “fact” is skillfully twisted into mythical “truth”.

“97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming; however, less than half of Australians are aware of humanity’s role in climate change, while half of the US Senate has voted that humans aren’t causing global warming. This free course explains why there is such a huge gap between the scientific community and the public. Our course looks at what’s driving climate science denial and the most common myths about climate change.” – John Cook

Register on the link below.

https://www.edx.org/course/making-sense-climate-science-denial-uqx-denial101x#!

Another great link from politifact

http://ecowatch.com/2013/09/17/lies-from-climate-change-denying-heartland-institute/

 

Hubble Turns 25


April 24, 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. Instead of pondering the nuts and bolts of Hubble’s quarter century mission – I offer a symphony composed by Russell Steinberg – a musical expression inspired by, and set to images taken by Hubble.

http://www.space.com/29148-hubble-space-telescope-history-25-years.html