Thursday 30 November 2017

Monster heat wave reaches Greenland

Monster heat wave reaches Greenland, bringing rain and melting its ice sheet

NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission warns the ice sheet is more at risk to global warming than we knew.

Joe Romm
Temperature departure from normal. CREDIT:

29 November, 2017

It’s been unusually warm in the United States in recent days, with records being set across the country. But it’s been scorching in Greenland, with temperatures as much as 54° above normal, which means above freezing in many places.
And this comes on the heels of new research from NASA’s aptly-named Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission, which finds that the enormous ice sheet is far more unstable than we realized. That’s bad news because the Greenland ice sheet contains enough land-locked ice to raise sea levels by over 20 feet.
The heat wave began out west last week, with large parts of California sweltering in the 90s. As but one example, the National Weather Service Los Angelestweeted on Nov. 22 that the 99°F reading at Camarillo Airport in Ventura County not only broke the record for that day (by 9°F), but broke the record for any day that month.
You could say it's unusually warm right now across America 😵
The heat wave moved east after Thanksgiving, and by Tuesday it was blanketing most of the country, as meteorologist and Grist writer Eric Holtaus pointed out on Twitter:
In late November, a major heat wave is a welcome event in large parts of the country, with temperatures in the 60s in large swaths of the south and with Minneapolis hitting the upper 40s.
But in a place like Greenland, a monster heat wave this time of year pushes temperatures above freezing. It hit the upper 30s in many coastal towns — withrain forecast in some — which means actual melting over parts of the great ice sheet that should be adding ice right now, not losing it.
As Robert Fanney, a former threat analyst and author of Robert Scribbler’s Blog, explained Monday, this heat wave “will generate brief surface melt conditions for parts of Greenland during late November.”
Significantly, a study earlier this month by NASA’s OMG mission looked at the threat from underneath the ice sheet, specifically “how marine glaciers react to the presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water” (see figure below).
Diagram of a typical Greenland glacier. "Below the cold, fresh layer near the surface a layer of warm, salty water reaches into the fjords to melt the glacier's edge. OMG will measure the volume and extent of this warm layer each year and relate it to thinning and retreat of the glaciers." (CREDIT: NASA OMG)
The Geophysical Research Letters study found “new pathways by which AW [Atlantic Waters] can access glaciers with marine-based basins, thereby highlighting sectors of Greenland that are most vulnerable to future oceanic forcing,” which is worsened by global warming. They found that “between 30 and 100% more glaciers are potentially exposed” to Atlantic waters than had been previously thought.
The bottom line is that over half of the entire ice sheet may be at risk from this underwater melting. We knew that global warming is leading to more of the kind of monster heatwaves that intensify and extend the surface melt season on Greenland — the kind it is now experiencing. But we are learning that global warming poses a potentially larger risk to underwater melt from warming ocean waters. 

The more we learn about climate change and the threat it poses, the more urgent aggressive action to slash carbon pollution becomes.

North Korea's ICBM test

North Korea Certain They Can Strike The US Mainland

North Korea is absolutely certain they can reach the US mainland with a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile with their latest test they have now declared themselves a nuclear state. President Trump has said if they go to war with North Korea they would totally destroy the country this would only cause the conflict to spread to her global war. No doubt agenda 21 will get his wish list fulfilled.


If oceans stopped absorbing heat from climate change....

If oceans stopped absorbing heat from climate change, life on land would average 122°F

29 November, 2017

Since the 1970s, more than 93% of excess heat captured by greenhouse gases has been absorbed by the oceans. To understand how much heat that is, think of it this way: If the oceans weren’t absorbing it, average global temperatures on land would be far higher—around 122°F, according to researchers on the documentary Chasing Coral. The global average surface temperature right now is 59°F.

A 122°F world, needless to say, would be unlivable. More than 93% of climate change is out of sight and out of mind for most of us land-dwelling humans, but as the oceans continue to onboard all that heat, they’re becoming unlivable themselves.

Ocean temperatures are the highest since record-keeping began, and hundreds of marine species are suffering because of it. Recent back-to-back coral bleaching events—triggered by too-hot sea temperatures—have killed off significant portions (paywall) of the Great Barrier Reef, and a recent UN report warned that the world’s most significant coral reefs could die out completely by the end of the century, if not sooner.

Warming is projected to exceed the ability of reefs to survive within one to three decades for the majority of the World Heritage sites containing corals reefs,” the report said.

Scientists worry that the warming ocean also risks releasing billions of tons of frozen methane from the thawing seabed. Unlocking that methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, could trigger significant warming here on land.

‘Megathrust’ earthquake & devastating tsunami forecast for NZ

Megathrust’ earthquake & devastating tsunami could hit New Zealand, scientists warn

‘Megathrust’ earthquake & devastating tsunami could hit New Zealand, scientists warn

29 November, 2017

New Zealand could be potentially hit by a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake followed by a “towering” tsunami, scientists warn. According to the researchers, a 2016 quake that hit the area reawakened a hazardous fault that was believed to be dormant.
The Hikurangi subduction zone – a deep trench in the Earth’s crust running along the eastern shore of New Zealand’s North Island – is now active and could trigger magnitude 8.5 earthquakes, which would be far more devastating that the one that hit the islands in 2016, a group of scientists from the GNS research institute warn. The earthquakes are also likely to be followed by tsunamis that could reach New Zealand’s coast within mere minutes, the geologists add.

"We need to think Japan 2011, basically, because if our whole plate boundary ruptured, it would be a magnitude 9 earthquake," Ursula Cochran, an earthquake geologist at the GNS, told the local media.“The Hikurangi subduction zone is potentially the largest source of earthquake and tsunami hazard in New Zealand, but there is still much to learn about it,” GNS Science said in a statement earlier.

Subduction zones similar to the one located near New Zealand are areas in which tectonic plates collide, with one being forced over the top of one another, creating what the geologists call a “megathrust.”In case of the Hikurangi subduction zone, the Australian plate is overhanging the Pacific one.

Earlier earthquakes that took place in such zones include the devastating 2011 earthquake followed by tsunami in Japan that claimed lives of thousands of people and triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as well as a 2004 Indonesia magnitude 9.0 earthquake that left as many as 250,000 people dead.

A disaster that could potentially hit New Zealand would affect many heavily populated areas, such as Napier, Gisborne, Nelson, Wellington, Blenheim and Palmerston North. All those areas are located too close to the Hikurangi subduction zone for the scientists to issue a timely warning.

Another threat posing by a “megathrust” earthquake is a “towering” tsunami that would reach the shores of New Zealand in mere minutes. "We know from tsunami modeling from a hypothetical earthquake from the Hikurangi subduction zone that the travel times could be very short to the coast, so seven minutes for some of the south Wairarapa coast," Cochran said. In case of the Marlborough region, the people would have only between 10 and 30 minutes before a tsunami reaches them.

Subduction zone earthquakes often produce large tsunamis because there are large and rapid displacements of the seafloor,” another GNS earthquake geologist, Kate Clark, warned in October. “The Hikurangi subduction zone is hazardous because we know that the plates are stuck together in places and are building up stress that will be relieved in future earthquakes,” she told the New Zealand Herald at that time.

The ongoing geologic activity could have been triggered by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit New Zealand in 2016. At that time, the tremors left giant cracks in the earth, destroyed buildings and roads, and left two people dead.

"One thing about reflecting on from the Kaikoura earthquake is we don't want people to think this is the big one,” Cochran told the local media, referring to the 2016 earthquake. She went on to say that “the big one” would affect much larger territories of the islands. “Don't be scared, be prepared,” she added, however.
In March 2017, the GNS issued a video explaining the situation in the Hikurangi subduction zone. Now an international team of scientists has launched a special project to study the area and improve their understanding of risks it could pose to New Zealand

Extreme conditions in Victoria, Australia

3 to 4 months of rain to fall in 3 days in Victoria


Good morning everyone, just when you think the models will not upgrade with this weather event they have this morning.

This set up for south eastern Australia especially Victoria and southern NSW is the "perfect storm" the likes that rural Victoria and southern NSW has not seen since 2010. In Melbourne it has been since February 2005 that this city last saw a weather system like this. The BOM have taken it a step further and mentioned it may be 30 years that Victoria has not seen a system like this.

Most of Victoria and southern/central NSW will see 50mm+ from this system however central, northern and northeastern parts of Victoria may see between 100-200mm with localised falls of 300mm about the Victorian north east ranges and southern highlands of NSW. This rainfall is likely to cause widespread flooding.

The rain will not be just concentrated in Victoria and southern/central NSW, large parts of SA will also see good falls from this (15-50mm range) especially southern parts. Tasmania will also see widespread rain 30-80mm with localised falls near 100mm in the far north east which may also cause localised flooding through this area.

Rain and storms will also extend into southern, eastern QLD with the trough and through the Cape York peninsila as the trough pushes through the state 20-50mm.

There is strong signs another upper trough and surface trough will bring more rain and storms through eastern Qld, eastern NSW and eastern Victoria early next week which will add to the problems.

The other issue which has not been mentioned much with this event is the deepening low over Victoria and north east of Tasmania is also likely to bring very strong winds possibly damaging in parts of Victoria and possibly Tasmania Saturday night into Sunday and with very wet saturated soils it will only make the problem worse.

Thunderstorms will also bring gusty winds and heavy downpours on top of the rain. Hail is also a threat.

Please continue to follow our updates over the coming days as this all unfolds.
- John's Weather Channel.

TASMAN Sea Surface Temperature anomaly.

Red, yellow and grey are all above the normal temperature for this time of year. Yellow is about 3-3.5deg, Grey is 4-4.5deg.

Up in Indonesia, PNG and in a line from PNG to New Zealand it's about 1deg above normal. Oceans are the power house for weather and indiactioins from are it could be a bit stormy next year to the east of the NI like the first 1/3 of 2017 was.

Meanwhile across the Tasman...

Toxic algae bloom forces swimmers out of Hutt River

Wellington swimmers are being warned to stay out of the Hutt River as the warm weather causes toxic algae to bloom.
Search and rescue teams are scouring the Hutt River for signs of the missing 19-year-old.Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-Kin

30 November, 2017

The Greater Wellington Regional Council says if swallowed, the toxic algae can cause serious illness and even death.

Swimmers and dogs should avoid going in the river south of Kaitoke.

The council said the warm weather and lack of rain were ideal conditions for the native algae to suddenly bloom.

Dr Mark Heath, an environmental scientist with the regional council, told Morning Report the council and health authorities were "very worried" about the levels of toxic algae in the Hutt river

"Traditionally the toxic algae is attached to the rocks at the bottom of the river, but currently a lot of that toxic algae is becoming unstable and floating down the stream, and we believe there is a very high probability that a human may accidentally swallow or ingest some of that while swimming in the river.
"You can have some minor skin irritations from touching, but that serious risk is actually associated with ingesting or swallowing."

The substance was not just floating down stream, it was also accumulating on the riverbank, said Dr Heath.

"That is a risk to dogs which are, for whatever reason, are attracted to the toxic algae. It produces a deep earthly odour - it's very distinctive - and for some reasons dogs are attracted to that and they'll ingest it.

"But we also think that might be a big risk to young children who might be playing around the edge of the Hutt River and they might trip over and get some of this toxic algae mat on their fingers and hands and mouth, and they could also become very sick."

Dr Heath said symptoms might include vomiting, numbness, tingling, muscle twitches, weakness and difficulty breathing. He said in the worst-case scenario, victims could suffer convulsions and lack of consciousness.

Dire warning that humans had 40 years to make necessary changes to avoid extinction - 28 YEARS AGO

We cannot survive a 5 per cent or 6 per cent increase in temperature or a 20 per cent erosion of the ozone layer,and everything we are doing must inevitably lead to this result.

Today’s economic policies, if pursued, can only lead to the annihilation of the human race.”

--- Edward Goldsmith, 1989

A man ahead of his time: an appreciation of Edward Goldsmith

My first lessons on the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet came when I encountered Paul Ehrlich and the Population Bomb when I was at school in the early 70’s.

Next came an article in the Bangkok Post in 1988 which was the first mention of what was called the Greenhouse Effect (which I was already familiar with from studies in astronomy and of Venus’ atmosphere) that I came across. This had such an effect on me that I went to the NZ Embassy to check the newspapers to find the only mention was on the possible effects on the ski industry.

Fast forward to March, 1988 and my partner Pam travelled to Auckland for a seminar while I remained home bound in the midst of a terrible storm. The only high point was hearing an interview with Edward Goldsmith on NZ’s National Radio in which I heard for the first time the stark message that humanity had only 40 years to get its act together if it was to avoid inevitable extinction.

This made such an impression on me that has stayed with me through the years that I decided to go and search for the newspaper item in the public record which I eventually found.

As it turns out it made the top of the front page of the paper – for what I suspect was the first and mostly probably the last time in New Zealand media.

Looking back at all the material about him on the Net I realised Edward Goldsmith has attracted almost as much negativity and controversy as Guy McPherson, mostly, I suspect because of his strong anti-growth position. But for me he was one of the most inspiring figures I have met.

He was the publisher of the Ecologist magazine in London and winner of the Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the alternative Nobel award. He is considered one of the fathers of the global environmental movement. 


Here is the item that was on the front page of the Dominion on 27 March, 1989.  Published almost 3 years before the Rio conference and before Kyoto when global warming was referred to be the mechanism, the Greenhouse Effect this was perhaps the first, and almost certainly the last time that scientific concepts such as the Gaia hypothesis were given such prominence in the mass media.

Reading this I feel a real grief,not only in terms of the 'road not taken' but for what we have lost in the last 30 years. It is a reminder that we have lost the art of journalism and proper use of language in even an ordinary newspaper article.

When was the last time you saw these concepts discussed on the front page of a national newspaper?

Mankind given 40 years

the Dominion,
27 March, 1989

Humanity has less than 40 years left unless destructive policies are halted,a leading British environmentalist said in Auckland at the weekend.

Author and lecturer Edward Goldsmith, who earlier addressed the Living Earth conference said: “In the past 40 years we have done more destruction than during the whole of man’s tenancy of this planet.

Economic and industrial policies had caused “the most terrrible” soil and erosion and deforestation and were altering the ozone layer and climates.

We cannot survive a 5 per cent or 6 per cent increase in temperature or a 20 per cent erosion of the ozone layer,and everything we are doing must inevitably lead to this result.

Today’s economic policies, if pursued, can only lead to the annihilation of the human race.”

He wants a global emergency declared, with energy consumption cut by 70 to 80 per cent, the world’s youth planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide and an end to development projects which destroy forests - NZPA

Scientist issue ‘last chance’ warning

Humans would have to make wide-ranging changes in attitudes and lifestyles quickly if they were to survive the changes begun by pollution and deforestation, scientists told an Auckland symposium at the weekend.

the Dominion,
27 March, 1989

Scientists and researchers said the human race might die out without a new spirit of co-operation and collectivism.

They said it was becoming increasingly likely that the planet would re-organise its systems to rid itself of pollution, the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion.

While the planet would survive, there was a fair chance the human race would not, they said.

They believe a theory known as the Gaia hypothesis may be the key to our survival.

Gaia is the classical Greek word for earth.

The hypothesis was developed by Dr. James Lovelock, who worked for the American space programme searching for signs of lie on Mars.

He suggested the earth was one complex organism, with an underlying organisation between every species ans system on the planet.

The human race was only one of that organism, scientists said, and there was a chance the planet was already organising itself to counteract the greenhouse warming, pollution, deforestation and ozone depeltion, by effectively kicking the human race out, moving into a diferent state in which humanity could not survive.

Ecologist Dr. Warwick Fox, a national research fellow at the centre for environmental studies at the University of Tasmania said the planet’s geological, chemical and biological cycles were so closely linked that scientists had to view the system as a single organism.

Professor John Morton said it looked as if humanity was likely to fail.

We have to as ourselves if Gaia will at last become impatient and restructure itself to survive, making one of its species, humanity, redundant”, he said.

Scientists warned that when the global system was disturbed, it reached a critical threshold after a time and took on a completely different state.

Dr. Fox said people saw this every day when they heated water.

The water in the pot quietly gets hotter and hotter, and suddenly its temperature reaches a critical threshold.

And you’ve got turbulence and big bubbles of air and the water is boiling.

A very different state from when you put it into the pot.”

What worried scientists so much was that the human species had introduced many disturbances in the past century and there was no way of telling when the earth would reach its critical threshold and flip into a different state which might or might not include humans.

That’s the double-edged sword. We’re playing with fire if we muck around with a highly-ordered system. And we’ve already done a great deal of mucking around with this planet in the past century or so,” Dr. Fox said.

Scientists involved in biological and microbial research said their research was starting to yield proof the Gaia hypothesis was correct.

Michael Crofoot, a researcher and writer on microbial symbiosis said scientists agreed that virtually all land plants had a symbiotic relationship with the fungi attached to their roots.

These fungi fed water and nutrients into the root and the extent of this assistance had astonished forest scientists.

Up to four years ago, carefully controlled experiments found plant communities share nitrogen and other nutrients through the mycorrhizal fungi attached to their roots,” Mr. Crofoot said.

Someone pointed out that in that case, you could say the tree was an appendage of the fungi.

That means the forest is in fact one living organism. It’s the best physical evidence we’ve got of the truth of the Gaia hypothesis. We’re being taught a most amazing lesson, one we could perhaps only have learned now, when we are on our deathbed,” he said.

Here is a documentary made by Teddy Goldsmith

"Edward Goldsmith - The Green Revolutionary" 

Edward 'Teddy' Goldsmith, the grandfather of the modern environmental movement argues that the planetary crisis facing us today cannot be solved by further economic progress and technological innovation but only through the cooperative efforts of ordinary people guided by their faith in traditional wisdom

Part 1 - The Problem: industrial society

Part 2 - The Solution: people and planet

Publisher of the Ecologist Speaks About Biotechnology and Global Warming

Democracy Now!
30 April, 1999

Listen to the podcast HERE

And a discussion between Goldsmith and Jack Shallcrass. There are 

6 parts to this discussion.