Thursday, March 19, 2015

antarctica ice melt gravity co2 ocean acidification usa

antarctica ice melt gravity co2 ocean sea level  acidification usa

Humans have a hard time conceiving of the incredible scale of an ice sheet, so the consequences of such a change can be lost upon us. But in a new paper in the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers — Forensic Engineering, researchers Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., and John Abraham of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. – summarize what we now know about West Antarctica. That includes a finding that may serve as a wake-up call for Americans in particular.
Namely: If West Antarctica collapses entirely — a process that would likely play out over centuries, but that could substantially begin in this one – the expected 11 feet of sea level rise won’t just spread out evenly across the ocean. The United States will actually get a lot more sea level rise than many other parts of the world — possibly over 14 feet. Call it geophysical karma — we’re the nation most responsible for global warming and, at least in this particular case, we’ll get more of the consequences...........

  1. The U.S. has caused more global warming than any other ...
    The Washington Post
    Jan 22, 2015 - The United States will actually get a lot more sea level rise than many ...Antarctica would get more sea level rise, and North America and the United ... held close to West Antarctica when the ice sheet was there and its gravity ...

  • Antarctica Meltdown Weakens Earth's Gravity - LiveScience

    Oct 1, 2014 - So much ice has disappeared from West Antarctica that Earth's gravityis weaker.
  • Antarctic ice melt causes small shift in gravity. - Slate

    Sep 29, 2014 - Gravity—yes, gravity—is the latest victim of climate change inAntarctica. That's the stunning conclusion announced Friday by the European ...
  • Antarctic Ice Melt is Changing Earth's Gravity - D-brief

    Oct 1, 2014 - A new study may help mankind understand the gravity of climate change. West Antarctica has lost so much ice between 2009 and 2012 that the ...
  • GOCE reveals gravity dip from ice loss / GOCE / Observing ...

    European Space Agency
    Sep 26, 2014 - Although not designed to map changes in Earth's gravity over time, ... from West Antarctica between 2009 and 2012 caused a dip in the gravity ...


    The ‘Insane’ Plan To Burn 80,000 Pounds Of Chemical Explosives, Out In The Open, Every Day For A Year


    "The ‘Insane’ Plan To Burn 80,000 Pounds Of Chemical Explosives, Out In The Open, Every Day For A Year"
    Just a few miles away from the population center of Minden, Louisiana, 15 million pounds of military explosives are sitting in cardboard boxes, waiting to detonate.
    The massive stockpile of explosive M6 propellant has been stored at a Louisiana National Guard military training site called Camp Minden since 2010, when the U.S. Army sold it to a company to be destroyed. But the company, Explo Systems, never actually disposed of it — they just left it in the boxes. Now the M6 is rapidly deteriorating, and by August, its risk of spontaneous combustion will greatly increase.

    The Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army, and two Louisiana state agencies have put forth a solution: Burn it. Burn the M6 in the open over the course of one year. Put it in trays, light it on fire, and let the smoke and fumes drift into the air. A year-long schedule would amount to 80,000 pounds of chemicals burned each day.
    “We believe this would be the largest chemical burn of its kind in U.S. history,” said Frances Kelly, director of organizing for Louisiana Progress Action, and one of the loudest opponents of the plan. “It’s very scary.”

    As Kelly and others in Minden fight for an alternative disposal, it’s sparked a bigger conversation about open munitions burning far beyond Louisiana. Across the country, the military regularly disposes of its huge stockpile of excess and obsolete explosives, propellants, and munitions by burning them. The regulations surrounding these burns are confusing, sometimes bypassing environmental review until after a burn has been agreed to. What’s more, these open burns have largely flown under environmentalists’ radar, despite well-documented evidence showing long-term public health and environmental risks.......................

    1. Earth's Gravity Dips from Antarctic Ice Loss

      Discovery News-Oct 1, 2014
      Of all the effects on the Earth from human-driven climate change, this one might be the weirdest. The rapid loss of ice from the WestAntarctica's ...

    2. Scientists Drill through 2400 Feet of Antarctic Ice for Climate Clues

      Scientific American-Jan 16, 2015
      Pebbles just discovered under 730 meters of ice in Antarctica, where the bottoms of glaciers first touch the sea, could reveal clues as to how ...

    3. Antarctic Ice Melt Causes Small Shift in Gravity

      Slate Magazine (blog)-Sep 29, 2014
      Gravity—yes, gravity—is the latest victim of climate change inAntarctica. That's the stunning conclusion announced Friday by the European ...
      ESA's GOCE Satellite Confirms Antarctic Ice Loss 1, 2014

    Bombshell: Land, Ocean Carbon Sinks Are Weakening, Making ...

    ThinkProgress-Mar 12, 2015
    That's the bombshell conclusion of an under-reported 2014 study, “The declining uptake rate of atmospheric CO2 by land and oceansinks,” as ...

    1. The melting of Antarctica was already really bad. It just got worse.

      Washington Post-Mar 16, 2015
      [Research casts alarming light on the decline of West Antarcticglaciers] ... Meanwhile, by measuring the pull of the Earth's gravityon the ...
      East Antarctica Melting Could be Explained by Oceanic Gateways
      Highly Cited-University of Texas at Austin News-Mar 16, 2015

    CO2 Emissions Threaten Seafood As Ocean Acidification Spreads ...

    International Business Times-Feb 23, 2015
    Ocean acidification threatens more communities along the U.S. coastline ... "There's no question that [man-made] CO2 contributed to oyster ...
    Mussels, clams hit by ocean acidification: how effects could be ...
    In-Depth-Christian Science Monitor-Feb 24, 2015

    1. Hidden Channels Beneath East Antarctica Could Cause Massive Melt

      Yahoo News UK-17 hours ago
      A glacier the size of California in East Antarctica is in danger of melting ... gravity and magnetic field strengths, which can infer seafloor shape.
    2. Scientists: Antarctica's Ice Melt Growing Larger

      Newsmax-Mar 18, 2015
      And when vast amounts of ice are lost in Antarcticagravity will eventually force the sea levels to rise to the rest of the planet, reports The ...

    3. Drought-Stricken California Has One Year Left of Water, NASA ...

      EcoWatch-14 hours ago
      ... night to discuss the gravity of the crisis and how Republicans' denial ... discovery of warm water troughs under the Antarctic ice sheet which ...

    4. Stephen Hawking, Sir Ian McKellen and Jessica Ennis-Hill answer ...

      Daily Mail-Mar 18, 2015
      I have travelled the world, from the Antarctic to zero gravity.' He accompanied his message with a thumb print. Sir Ian McKellen said: 'All we do ...

    5. How did Stephen Hawking, Jose Mourinho, Matt Le Tissier and Mary ...

      Daily Echo-22 hours ago
      The 73-year-old, who suffers from motor neuron disease, added: "I have travelled the world, from the antarctic to zero gravity." Mr Rhodes, who ...

    6. Earth's Gravity Dips from Antarctic Ice Loss

      Discovery News-Oct 1, 2014
      Of all the effects on the Earth from human-driven climate change, this one might be the weirdest. The rapid loss of ice from the WestAntarctica's ...

    7. We've Lost So Much Antarctic Ice It's Causing A Dip In Earth's Gravity

      io9-Sep 30, 2014
      An ESA satellite has spotted something unusual happening in theAntarctic: As the ice has dwindled there over the last five years, they're also seeing a change ...
      Science Scanner: Gravity Dip & Ice Loss Linked, Settling an ...
      Blog-Voice of America (blog)-Oct 1, 2014
      Explore in depth (89 more articles)

    8. PICTURES: Which famous names answered a Hampshire boss's ...

      Daily Echo-Mar 18, 2015
      The 73-year-old, who suffers from motor neuron disease, added: "I have travelled the world, from the antarctic to zero gravity." Mr Rhodes, who ...
    9. Ancient ocean linked to supercontinent's breakup

      Science News for Students-Mar 12, 2015
      Gravity pulled the crust underneath Tethys into a subduction zone. ... North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Australia and Antarctic.

    1. Discovery: Fish Live Beneath Antarctica

      Scientific American-Jan 21, 2015
      Stunned researchers in Antarctica have discovered fish and other aquatic animals living in perpetual darkness and cold, beneath a roof of ice ...

    2. Earthly Extremophiles Prompt Speculation about Alien Life

      Scientific American-Feb 3, 2015
      And in the newly discovered Antarctic ecosystem crustaceans may eat the protists, and fish, at the top of the pyramid, may eat the crustaceans.

    3. Fate of Earth's Ice Comes Further Into Focus

      Climate Central-Dec 29, 2014
      Antarctica's Twaites Glacier, one of the six glaciers of the Amundsen Sea ... as carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures rise unabated.

    4. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Has Not Collapsed, But New Findings ...

      Discover Magazine (blog)-Dec 5, 2014
      Glaciers in West Antarctica, as seen during NASA's Operation .... The first is emissions [of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases] and ...

    5. An Ill Wind Blows in Antarctica, Threatens Global Flooding

      Scientific American-Oct 30, 2014
      Foreboding winds of change are blowing over the already gale-swept South Pole, threatening to hasten Antarctic melting and worsen flooding ...


    1. Flat CO2 Emissions Not Enough to Curb Climate Change, Experts Say

      Live Science-16 hours ago
      Global CO2 emissions have stalled three times in the 40 years in which ... scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's ...

    2. Once Upon a Time Coccolithophores Thrived in Acidifying Oceans

      CO2 Science Magazine-Mar 10, 2015
      Meier, K.J.S., Berger, C. and Kinkel, H. 2014a. Increasing coccolith calcification during CO2 rise of the penultimate deglaciation (Termination II).
    3. A Better Way To Scrub CO2

      Science 2.0-12 hours ago
      A means by which the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired ... to global climate change and the acidification of our planet's oceans.
      A Better Way of Scrubbing CO2
      Lab Manager | News (press release) (registration) (blog)-15 hours ago
      Explore in depth (2 more articles)
    4. How Phytoplankton Adapt to Ocean Acidification and Warming

      CO2 Science Magazine-Mar 17, 2015
      Adaptation of a globally important coccolithophore to ocean warming and ... 400 ¬ĶatmCO2), respectively, than in non-adapted controls.
    5. Peak warming effects of today's CO2 emissions may be as soon as ...

      Environmental Expert (press release)-Mar 14, 2015
      The benefits of CO2 cuts made now, such as avoided floods and ... the natural uptake and release of carbon by the oceans and life on Earth; 2.

    6. Amazon Absorbs Less Carbon Dioxide as Trees Die Off, Study Says

      Wall Street Journal-Mar 18, 2015
      Each year, human activity releases about 35 billion tons of CO2 into ... of those emissions have been absorbed by the oceans, while another ...

    7. States Should Defy Unlawful EPA Carbon Dioxide Rules

      The Heartland Institute-9 hours ago
      The CPP sets specific CO2 reduction targets for each state, based on four ... Evidence is growing that natural cycles of Earth, such asocean ...

    8. When legally liable, companies don't dispute global warming

      Environment & Energy Publishing-9 hours ago
      ... that is largely explained by increasing deep ocean temperatures. ... He declared that EPA limits on power plant CO2 emissions "would be ...

    Russia Siberia Crater
    One of several huge craters recently found in Sibera. They are “probably caused by methane released as permafrost thawed.” Global warming is projected to turn the tundra into a net source of carbon emissions by the 2020s.
    We are destroying nature’s ability to help us stave off catastrophic climate change. That’s the bombshell conclusion of an under-reported 2014 study, “The declining uptake rate of atmospheric CO2 by land and ocean sinks,” as coauthor Dr. Josep (Pep) Canadell recently explained to me.
    Based on actual observations and measurements, the world’s top carbon-cycle experts have determined that the land and ocean are becoming steadily less effective at removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This makes it more urgent for us to start cutting carbon pollution ASAP, since it will become progressively harder and harder for us to do so effectively in the coming decades.

    As Canadell put it, “clearly Nature is helping us” deal with atmospheric CO2 right now much more than it will be decades to come. He said this was one more reason why delaying action to cut carbon pollution is a costly and dangerous mistake.
    Canadell is executive director of the Global Carbon Project, a project by the international scientific community to “to develop a complete picture of the global carbon cycle, including both its biophysical and human dimensions together with the interactions and feedbacks between them.” Canadell notes that this paper includes co-authors who were previously skeptical that there was “a decreasing long-term trend in the carbon sink efficiency over the last few decades.”
    Because this is one of the most consequential recent findings by climatologists, with significant policy implications, I’ll examine it in more detail.
    The ocean and the land (including vegetation and soils) are carbon “sinks” that currently absorb more than half of all human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. Scientists have long been concerned that these sinks will become increasingly ineffective at absorbing CO2 — because of global warming itself. That would mean a greater and greater fraction of human-caused carbon pollution would stay in the air, which would speed up climate change, causing even more CO2 to stay in the air — an amplifying feedback. And that in turn means humanity will have to work harder and harder in the future to keep CO2 and methane from accumulating in the air.
    For instance, the defrosting permafrost and the resultant release of carbon dioxide and methane (CH4) turns part of the land sink into a source of airborne greenhouse gases (with methane being much more potent at trapping heat than CO2). Similarly, as global warming increases forest and peatland fires — burning trees and vegetation — that also turns one part of the land carbon sink into a source of atmospheric CO2.
    In September 2014, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported:
    The observations from WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) network showed that CO2 levels increased more between 2012 and 2013 than during any other year since 1984. Preliminary data indicated that this was possibly related to reduced CO2 uptake by the earth’s biosphere in addition to the steadily increasing CO2 emissions.
    A similar conclusion was reached by the more comprehensive international study discussed above. That study, published in Biogeosciences, noted that, for the last five decades, roughly 44 percent of total human caused carbon dioxide emissions stay in the atmosphere. It defined the “The CO2 uptake rate by land and ocean sinks (kS, henceforth called the CO2 sink rate)” as “the combined land–ocean CO2 sink flux per unit mass of excess atmospheric CO2 above preindustrial concentrations.” This is a measure of the land and ocean “sink efficiency.” The study found that this uptake rate, kS, “declined over 1959–2012 by a factor of about 1/3, implying that CO2 sinks increased more slowly than excess CO2.”
    What does declining sink efficiency mean in simple terms? As Dr. Canadell explained to me, “For every ton of carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere, we are leaving more and more in the atmosphere” each passing year.
    Significantly, the study found that of the reasons for the decline in land and ocean sink efficiency, “intrinsic” carbon-cycle feedbacks were responsible for about about 40% of the drop:
    Fifth, our model-based attribution suggests that the effects of intrinsic mechanisms (carbon-cycle responses to CO2 and carbon–climate coupling) are already evident in the carbon cycle, together accounting for ∼ 40 % of the observed decline in kS over 1959–2013.These intrinsic mechanisms encapsulate the vulnerability of the carbon cycle to reinforcing system feedbacks…. An important open question is how rapidly the intrinsic mechanisms and associated feedbacks will contribute to further decline in kS under various emission scenarios.
    The study notes that “Many (though not all) of these [feedbacks] are fundamentally nonlinear.” It concludes that “Using a carbon–climate model, continuing future decreases in kS will occur under all plausible CO2 emission scenarios.” So the land and ocean sinks are projected to become increasingly less efficient. There’s uncertainty about exactly how fast that will happen, but there’s a very high probability it will happen faster than it has.
    As noted above, some feedbacks — such as the permafrost melt and wildfires — are already well known to reduce the net uptake of carbon dioxide from the land sink. NOAA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center have estimated that the permafrost will turn from a carbon sink to a source by the 2020s. The permafrost feedback by itself has been projected to add up to 1.5°F to total global warming by 2100. Remember, no climate model used by the IPCC factors in the permafrost feedback!
    2012 study led by the U.K. Met Office‘s Hadley Centre, “High sensitivity of future global warming to land carbon cycle processes,” used a major global climate model to systematically study potential land carbon-cycle feedbacks. The researchers found that those feedbacks were “significantly larger than previously estimated.” Those feedbacks are so large that they could add as much as a few hundred parts per million to carbon dioxide levels in 2100 compared to the no-land-feedback case — even in a scenario of moderate carbon dioxide emissions. That in turn could add 1°C or more to total warming in that case. And that is just for this century.
    The oceans similarly have feedback processes that threaten to reduce their net uptake of carbon dioxide over time. For instance, global warming drives ocean stratification — the separation of the ocean into relatively distinct layers — which in turn reduces the ability of the oceans to take up carbon dioxide (as explainedhere).
    The bottom line is that our best shot at stopping catastrophic warming is to start cutting carbon pollution immediately. The longer we wait, the less nature’s carbon sinks will be able to help us and the greater the risk that we cross tipping points that cause feedbacks like the permafrost melt to become “self-reinforcing.”
    NOTE: The lead author on this 2014 study, Professor Mike Raupach, died last month. He co-founded the Global Carbon Project, and as the GCP tribute notes, he was “an extraordinary carbon cycle scientist and climate change communicator.” To learn more about Raupach, The Conversation has an excellent article on “the scientist who tallied the world’s carbon budget.” He will be missed.

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