Friday, 5 March 2021

Children are dying in Germany

Please share this where you can.

 Children are dying”” An impassioned plea from a German doctor

Have we really become wiser?

We have become such an arrogant species, thinking that we are God. The reality is we are like ants and so insignificant we will be forgotten, individually as well as collectively. 

Shakespeare had it right

All the world's a stage...

All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Scientific paper: The destruction of permafrost in the Laptev Sea provokes methane emissions

 I do not have the time to do this justice right now. But, in brief, it seems to confirm what we already know from observations.

Scientific paper discusses 

extensive release of methane 

from the East Siberian Arctic 


This is the paper, just published.


Extensive release of methane from sediments of the world’s largest continental shelf, the East Siberian Arctic Ocean (ESAO), is one of the few Earth system processes that can cause a net transfer of carbon from land/ocean to the atmosphere and thus amplify global warming on the timescale of this century. An important gap in our current knowledge concerns the contributions of different subsea pools to the observed methane releases. This knowledge is a prerequisite to robust predictions on how these releases will develop in the future. Triple-isotope–based fingerprinting of the origin of the highly elevated ESAO methane levels points to a limited contribution from shallow microbial sources and instead a dominating contribution from a deep thermogenic pool.


The East Siberian Arctic Shelf holds large amounts of inundated carbon and methane (CH4). Holocene warming by overlying seawater, recently fortified by anthropogenic warming, has caused thawing of the underlying subsea permafrost. Despite extensive observations of elevated seawater CH4 in the past decades, relative contributions from different subsea compartments such as early diagenesis, subsea permafrost, methane hydrates, and underlying thermogenic/ free gas to these methane releases remain elusive. Dissolved methane concentrations observed in the Laptev Sea ranged from 3 to 1,500 nM (median 151 nM; oversaturation by ∼3,800%). Methane stable isotopic composition showed strong vertical and horizontal gradients with source signatures for two seepage areas of δ13C-CH4 = (−42.6 ± 0.5)/(−55.0 ± 0.5) ‰ and δD-CH4 = (−136.8 ± 8.0)/(−158.1 ± 5.5) ‰, suggesting a thermogenic/natural gas source. Increasingly enriched δ13C-CH4 and δD-CH4 at distance from the seeps indicated methane oxidation. The Δ14C-CH4 signal was strongly depleted (i.e., old) near the seeps (−993 ± 19/−1050 ± 89‰). Hence, all three isotope systems are consistent with methane release from an old, deep, and likely thermogenic pool to the outer Laptev Sea. This knowledge of what subsea sources are contributing to the observed methane release is a prerequisite to predictions on how these emissions will increase over coming decades and centuries.

This article is from a South African publication

The destruction of permafrost in the Laptev Sea provokes methane emissions

In My City,

2 March, 2021

Scientists have identified the source of methane in the waters of the Laptev Sea: the concentration of the substance is associated with the destabilization of the permafrost at their bottom and the release of ancient gas reserves.

We carried out isotopic measurements, which clearly indicated that the concentration of methane in the waters of the Laptev Sea is increasing mainly as a result of the release of ancient reserves of this gas, hidden under the permafrost layer at the bottom of the ocean. This indicates the possible beginning of the disintegration of this soil layer and the existence of a large reservoir of gas, which can be abruptly ejected into the atmosphere.

Research text

The discovery of such emissions forced scientists to debate where these emissions come from and whether they are all related to the destabilization of ancient permafrost and clathrate deposits.

The authors of the work believe that the release of methane indicates a possible disintegration of the soil layer. There may be a volumetric gas reservoir under the permafrost. With the destruction of the soil layer, all the methane will be abruptly released into the atmosphere. Not so long ago, similar events took place at the bottom of the Barents Sea.

The group of researchers analyzed the isotopic ratios of carbon and three different forms of dissolved methane in the waters of the East Siberian Arctic shelf: they serve as indicators of conditions in the source of gas formation and subsequent diagenetic processes – the transformation of loose sediments into sedimentary rocks.

These measurements showed that, in all cases, the concentration of carbon-14 in methane molecules was close to zero in the vicinity of the alleged gas sources at the bottom of the Laptev Sea and gradually increased with distance from them.

Further research will lead to more accurate conclusions.

The Guardian suggests Covid-like shutdowns every 2 years to meet Paris climate goals

 I have lots to say about this but no time to say it.

Carbon dioxide emissions must fall by the equivalent of a global lockdown roughly every two years for the next decade for the world to keep within safe limits of global heating, research has shown.

Lockdowns around the world led to an unprecedented fall in emissions of about 7% in 2020, or about 2.6bn tonnes of CO2, but reductions of between 1bn and 2bn tonnes are needed every year of the next decade to have a good chance of holding temperature rises to within 1.5C or 2C of pre-industrial levels, as required by the Paris agreement.

Research published on Wednesday shows that countries were beginning to slow their rates of greenhouse gas emissions before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, but not to the levels needed to avert climate breakdown. Since lockdowns were eased in many countries last year, there have been strong signs that emissions will rise again to above 2019 levels, severely damaging the prospects of fulfilling the Paris goals.

Corinne Le Quéré, lead author of the study, said the world stood at a crucial point as governments poured money into the global economy to cope with the impacts of the pandemic. “We need a cut in emissions of about the size of the fall [from the lockdowns] every two years, but by completely different methods,” she said.

Lockdowns or the planet gets 

it? Guardian ‘accidentally’ 

suggests Covid-like shutdowns 

every 2 years to meet Paris 

climate goals

The Guardian accidentally confirmed the suspicions of a whole lot of conspiracy theorists with an article suggesting a “global lockdown every two years” was needed to meet Paris climate goals. The title was quickly changed.

If carbon dioxide emissions don’t drop by the equivalent of a worldwide lockdown “roughly every two years” for the next decade, the earth will heat to apocalyptic levels, a team of researchers at the University of East Anglia warned in a Nature article published Wednesday.

This apparently so excited a certain strain of climate fanatic on the Guardian staff, that they originally posted the piece under the title “Global lockdown every two years needed to meet Paris CO2 goals – study.” After being dragged mercilessly for such fear porn, the headline was changed to “Equivalent of Covid emissions drop needed every two years – study” with an explainer that “experts say” that “equivalent falls in emissions over a decade” would be “required to keep safe limits of global heating.”

Despite calling for “completely different methods” to achieve and lock in the emissions drop from the pandemic, lead researcher Corinne Le Quéré nevertheless insisted that climate change couldn’t be a “side issue. It can’t be about one law or policy, it has to be put at the heart of all policy.”

Every strategy and every plan from every government must be consistent with tackling climate change.

While Le Quéré didn’t come out and suggest people be arbitrarily deprived of their liberties every two years in order to please a climate model, the other “strategic actions” she mentioned to keep some of the gains of the pandemic were already being implemented – and in many cases had been implemented for years. From city planning to incentivize “active transport” (walking and cycling) and growing public transportation, to promoting remote work where possible, her suggestions were not exactly new – and unlikely to convince anyone they were sufficient enough.

“There is a real contradiction between what governments are saying they are doing to do [to generate a green recovery], and what they are doing,” Le Quéré told the Guardian, calling the phenomenon “very worrisome.” 

Her co-researcher Glen Peters was more explicit in what latitude countries should have to move away from fossil fuels on their own time, calling for “structural changes” to move economies toward renewable energy.

Some on social media, seeing the “quiet part” said out loud on the first edition of the Guardian article, had an “I told you so” moment. The threat of ‘climate lockdowns’ has been alternately presented and “debunked” by mainstream media for months.

…others at first assumed it had to be satire, because no one would post something that on-the-nose –

…except maybe for the World Economic Forum, which actually posted in praise of what lockdowns had done to cities – presumably turned them into uninhabitable hives of snitches where one can’t even take in a Broadway show anymore – earlier this week, before removing its tweet under public pressure. 

The WEF had posted a video praising the “silence” and clearer air – and lack of humans, though they didn’t say that part out loud.

What are New Zealanders being prepared for?

 Longer lockdowns, $30b wage subsidy, and food rationing in Covid worst-case scenario


 4 March, 2021

Longer lockdowns, a $30 billion six-month wage subsidy, rationing food, closing supermarkets and pharmacies, and forcing companies to stop exporting goods overseas were all considered as part of the Government’s “worst-case scenario” Covid response, released to Stuff under the Official Information Act and revealed here for the first time.

On April 7, 2020, New Zealand reached a milestone. With 54 new cases and 65 recoveries, the number of recovered cases exceeded the number of new cases for the first time since lockdown began

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the result suggested the lockdown was working. We now know she was right.

Government officials contemplated rationing food if lockdowns disrupted supply chains.
GovernGovernment officials contemplated rationing food if lockdowns disrupted supply chains.

But behind the scenes, the Government was laying out the groundwork for a strategy that would kick into action if Ardern was wrong and Covid was of control.

That paper landed on ministers’ (virtual) desks on the same day, April 7.

Called the “All-of-Government paper on Managed Economy”, it laid out what it called the “worst-case scenario”.

It foresaw lockdowns of various rigour and length (a separate paper considered six months of level 4 restrictions and another six at level 3), and had the Government picking up a greater and greater share of the economy as the private sector slowly atrophied.

The worst-case scenario

This worst-case scenario envisaged disruption to supply chains, meaning essential businesses wouldn’t have enough goods to sell.

“New Zealand’s inclusion in international shipping routes may be reduced if our imports of non-essential goods are limited and our exports are significantly reduced,” the paper warned.

Despite the climbing unemployment rate then envisaged, the Government also foresaw workforce shortages for essential businesses, in some cases because of “people refusing to work due to concerns about health risks”.

Worse still, the Government feared “level 4 proving insufficient”, and that this could require the use of “a more extreme form of lockdown, for example a narrower definition of ‘essential’, stronger restrictions on movement, and deliveries only permitted for essential supplies”.

And what to do about it

With international trade routes deteriorating, the Government was worried that New Zealand would be “unlikely to be able to source the normal range of food, beverage and other products, and temporary shortages will become more likely”.

The Government looked at rationing the amount of essential goods New Zealanders could access, and blocking the export of some essential products.

“In some critical areas, New Zealand may want or need to (rapidly) become more self-sufficient, to the extent practicable,” the paper said.

The Government proposed underwriting manufacturers as they sought to repurpose factories to make things such as PPE, and expediting the consents of new plants that would manufacture things onshore.

Rationing could be brought in to ensure that the limited resources left in the country were doled out fairly, although people would still have to pay for goods.

State Highway 1 in central Wellington was empty during the coronavirus lockdown.
State HighHighway 1 in central Wellington was empty during the coronavirus lockdown.

“A worst-case scenario might require the Government to consider some combination of rationing and price control to ensure as much as possible that everyone in New Zealand has access to sufficient essential goods and services,” the paper said, although it said the probability of rationing was “low”.

Another reason for rationing could be because a more extreme form of lockdown shut supermarkets, forcing some sort of delivery system to be set up. To prevent price gouging, these deliveries would be made at prices dictated by the Government.

“Formal food rationing could be considered in the future because of sustained shortage of staples or because of a more extreme form of lockdown, most likely at a sub-regional level.

“This could be based on a rapid scaling-up of existing arrangements, for example online ordering, physical delivery and administered prices.

“Alternative arrangements would have to be found for those not online. Consumers would pay for their rations, with existing income support mechanisms helping those otherwise unable to meet the cost,” the paper said.

Getting people to work

Officials were also concerned that there might not be enough people to staff the public health response. Some staff would be sick, while others would have to take time off for their families.

But the Government was also concerned that fears around the pandemic would be so great that some people would refuse to go to work. At the time, its modelling feared tens of thousands of New Zealanders would die from causes related to Covid-19.

The Government came up with a few ideas to ensure the health response was staffed. One was targeted “incentives” to work in critical roles, probably involving increased pay.

Officials considered “targeted additional incentives to work in critical public sector roles, if necessary and feasible (which would depend on prospects for eliciting increased supply rather than driving up cost)”.

Another option was “relaxing occupational regulation to enable less qualified people to perform essential tasks (and accepting the associated risks)”.

This could mean people without appropriate registration performing essential tasks.

Banning exports

Officials also considered banning the export of some essentials and redirecting them to New Zealanders.

“There is potential for conflict between business interest and the public good if, for example, a New Zealand-based business decides to export medical products or primary produce that also are in demand locally,” the paper said.

There were concerns that this would risk retaliation from other countries, so it was decided against.

“Selectively banning export of ‘essentials’ would be difficult to do and would risk retaliatory action by trading partners,” officials said.

The desperate situation in Israel

 If you watch nothing else listen to this! Share if you can.

A desperate plea from Israel

7.2 earthquake hits NZ followed by large quakes in the Kermedec Islands

I was woken up by a long quake that was felt throughout New Zealand as far south as Dunedin. No sleep after that!

Very strong M7.2 earthquake hits off the east coast of North Island, New Zealand

the Watchers,

4 March, 2021

A very strong earthquake registered by GeoNet as M7.2 hit off the east coast of the North Island, New Zealand at 13:27 UTC on March 4, 2021 (02:27 LT, March 5). The agency is reporting a depth of 94 km (58 miles). USGS is reporting it as M6.9 at a depth of 10 km, EMSC as M7.3 at the same depth.

The epicenter was located 178 km (111 miles) NE of Gisborne and 228 km (142 miles) E of Whakatane, New Zealand.

There are about 200 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

8 000 people are estimated to have felt moderate shaking and 89 000 light.

Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km (180 miles) of the earthquake epicenter, PTWC said.

A tsunami is a series of waves. The time between wave crests can vary from 5 minutes to an hour.

"We are assessing whether the earthquake has created a tsunami that could affect New Zealand. We will provide an update as soon as the initial assessment has been completed," New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency said.

"Anyone near the coast who felt a LONG or STRONG quake should MOVE IMMEDIATELY to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can."

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

The USGS issued a Green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly resistant to earthquake shaking, though some vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are reinforced masonry and unreinforced brick with timber floor construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

8.0 Aftershock Rocks New 

Zealand's Kermadec Islands; 

"Tsunami Watch" For Hawaii

Update (1520): Another massive aftershock has been reported by New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency. They say the magnitude 8.0 aftershock hit near the Kermadec Islands. 

"We are assessing whether the M8.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION earthquake poses any tsunami threat to New Zealand. If a tsunami has been generated, it is not likely to arrive in New Zealand for at least Please Select hours," National Emergency Management Agency tweeted. 

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports the quake at a magnitude 8.1.

"Tsunami Watch" has been issued for Hawaii following the massive aftershock in the western Pacific. 

The tsunami threat forecast has been updated. 

Three very strong earthquakes have been reported around New Zealand on Thursday. 

* * * 

Update (1305ET): What the hell is happening around New Zealand?

A massive aftershock was just reported by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre of a magnitude 7.2 strike near the Kermadec Islands, an island arc in the South Pacific Ocean 800 to 1,000 km northeast of New Zealand's North Island. 

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports the quake at a magnitude 7.5. 

* * * 

Update (1030 ET): Following a massive earthquake off the coast of New Zealand earlier this morning, with warnings of an imminent tsunami - it appears the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has called off the warning. 

* * * 

A powerful earthquake struck off New Zealand's North Island at 2:27 a.m. local time on Friday, registering a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, according to United States Geological Survey (USGS). 

USGS warns "hazardous tsunami waves" are possible 300km (186 miles) from the epicenter. New warnings suggest tsunami waves could be at least 1 meter above tide. Here's the approximate area where the quake struck.

"We are assessing whether the M7.3 EAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND NEW ZEALAND earthquake at 2021-03-05 2:27 a.m. has created a tsunami that could affect New Zealand. We will provide an update as soon as the initial assessment has been completed," New Zeland's National Emergency Management Agency tweeted. 

National Emergency Management Agency now warns:

"Anyone near the coast who felt a LONG or STRONG quake should MOVE IMMEDIATELY to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can."

Here's the full warning via National Emergency Management Agency: 

"This evacuation advice overrides the current COVID-19 Alert Level requirements. Do not stay at home if you are near the coast and felt the earthquake LONG or STRONG. Evacuate immediately to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones or as far inland as possible. Stay 2 metres away from others if you can and it is safe to do so." 

National Emergency Management Agency issues tsunami warnings east of North Island New Zealand. It also says, "there is a LAND and MARINE TSUNAMI THREAT. An EMA will be issued to areas under land and marine tsunami threat."

"The first waves may have reached NZ in the areas around East Cape at approximately 3:34 am. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is canceled," National Emergency Management Agency tweeted.

Risklayer, a risk-mitigating firm, outlines the areas where "shaking" from the quake could produce damage.

Twitter users are already reporting the quake: 

"By far the largest earthquake I've felt in Auckland, in the 22 years I've lived here," one user said. 

Alleged video emerges on Twitter of potential building damage sustained during the quake. 

Another person tweeted: Bloody decent earthquake woke us all up, has been aftershocks and such, hopefully, everyone near the coasts are being careful with the tsunami warning..." 

*This story is developing...

What you need to know:

  • A severe 7.1 magnitude quake has struck off New Zealand's east coast, followed by a 7.4 quake and an 8.0 quake near the Kermadec Islands later in the morning.
  • There are tsunami warnings in place for the West Coast of the North Island from CAPE REINGA to AHIPARA, the East Coast of the North Island from CAPE REINGA to WHANGAREI, from MATATA to TOLAGA BAY including Whakatane and Opotiki, and for Great Barrier Island
  • Strong, unusual currents and unpredictable surges near the shore are expected nearly everywhere in coastal New Zealand.
  • The first waves were detected on the East Cape at about 3.15am
  • The first quake struck at 2.27am and was widely felt across the North Island and parts of the South Island
  • More than 50,000 people have reported feeling it on GeoNet