Archive for July, 2012

GLOBAL METHANE ‘BOMB’ HAS SCIENTISTS WORRIED

Most of the worry over greenhouse gases centers on carbon dioxide, and rightly so: thanks mostly to the burning of fossil fuels, levels of this heat-trapping pollutant have soared to nearly 400 parts per million in the atmosphere, far above the 270 ppm that prevailed before 1800 or so, and they’re still rising — triggering a rise in sea level, temperature, and other telltale signs of climate change.

But CO2 isn’t the only greenhouse gas: methane traps heat too, and it’s a lot more powerful, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide. The good news is that there’s much less methane up there than CO2. The bad news: global warming could release vast natural deposits of methane trapped in the Arctic, making the temperature increase we’re already seeing go into overdrive.

No one knows if and when that might happen, but even the mere possibility has galvanized scientists into pondering what they could possibly do about it should the worst come to pass — and a paper in Environmental Science & Technology is the latest and most comprehensive assault on the problem yet.

 

Methane-induced melt-hole on a frozen lake in the Brooks Range in Alaska. Credit: Katey Walter Anthony.

In a worst-case scenario, suggest Joshuah Stolaroff, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and his co-authors, with huge plumes of methane erupting into the atmosphere from underground, scientists might have to battle the gas with bombs, and more. “If the concentration of methane is high enough . . . ” they write, “. . . then a laser can be used as a remote ignition source.”

This worst-case scenario is by no means certain, but it’s certainly plausible. Scientists know that enormous reserves of methane — rivaling the world’s known reserves of fossil fuels — are buried in the permafrost and along the continental shelf surrounding the Arctic Ocean, trapped in ice formations known as methane hydrates. If the water warms enough, the gas could escape relatively quickly to add it’s planet-warming power to the greenhouse gases that are already there. This is probably what happened during a rapid warming episode known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, about 55 million years ago. The temperature shot up by about 11° F at the time, causing mass extinctions of species, among other effects.

No one knows how long it took for the methane to escape back then, nor how long it might take if it happened again. But if the release were relatively slow — an event stretching over 1,000 years or more — it would make global warming harder to deal with. A slow release would obviously be easier to deal with, Stolaroff said, especially if it emerged in concentrated pockets. “If it came out of particular hotspots,” he said, “like specific Arctic lakes, you could imagine deploying some technological solution at the site, which might involve flaring the gas, or collecting it for energy.”

On the other hand, if it came out uniformly over a large area — even slowly — the challenge would be a lot greater. “It’s hard to imagine putting a tarp down over millions of square kilometers,” Stolaroff said. One option might be to resort to geoengineering — abandoning the idea of suppressing the methane directly and choosing instead to reflect some of the sunlight reaching the Arctic back into space. “You could whiten the ocean by creating microbubbles,” he said, “or put particles into the atmosphere to shade the surface.” Or you might try and seed the atmosphere with some sort of methane-eating substance.

And if the release were sudden and widespread — the worst of the worst case? “I don’t know what the response might look like, but it would be massive,” he said. Laser ignition is one possibility, and, write the authors, “incendiary ballistics” — that is, explosive-laden missiles — “may be another route.” Any possibility mentioned in the paper, said, Stolaroff, “is a possibility. Just on a much larger scale, and more rapid.”

A methane apocalypse isn’t the entire focus of the new paper, although it’s admittedly the most dramatic. But humans are putting the stuff into the atmosphere at a growing rate even without natural eruptions in the Arctic: methane comes out of rotting garbage in landfills, rotting manure in animal feedlots, food digesting in cows’ stomachs. It’s a waste gas that escapes from oil and natural gas wells and oil refineries — and that’s just a partial list.

In many of these situations, Stolaroff said, it’s easy enough to deal with the problem. “If the source is confined [a well or a landfill, for example], or if it can be confined [a cattle barn], you can simply burn it.”

Burning converts methane into CO2, but since methane is some 25 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, that’s a good thing. “Burning,” he said, “reduces the global-warming impact by 90 percent.”

The paper outlines strategies for dealing with unconfined methane sources as well. Ranchers can deal with methane-laden burps from grazing cattle through changes in feed; rice farmers can cut down on the methane bubbling up from rice paddies by draining them of water every so often. And the list goes on.

Stolaroff emphasized that the new study shouldn’t be taken as final or definitive. Just the opposite, in fact. “Our goal,” he said, “was to get people thinking about this. We wanted to lay out the options, then let each researcher figure out what aspect of the problem they might want to study. We believe that the consequences of a large-scale release are so dire that we need to start planning for it immediately.” 

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Rapid Arctic Sea Ice Loss On Par with 2007 Record Season

With about a month and a half remaining in the Arctic melt season, sea ice cover continues to decline at a rapid pace, and is currently on par with where the 2007 record melt season stood at the same time of year. Arctic sea ice extent has been declining at a rate of about 12 percent per decade since the start of satellite measurements in 1979, and a new study suggests that natural climate variability explains some, but not the majority, of this trend. The study concludes that manmade global warming is the most plausible explanation for recent sea ice decline.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo., Arctic sea ice extent tracked at “very low levels” during July, setting daily records early in the month. Sea ice volume measurements, which incorporates measurements of ice extent as well as thickness, is currently running below where it was at this time during 2007, and well below the 1979-2011 average.

 

Arctic sea ice extent trend in 2012 compared to the 1979-2000 average and the record low melt season in 2007. Click on image for a larger version. Credit: NSIDC.

This follows an unusually early start to the melt season in most areas of the Arctic, and the region experienced its largest June sea ice loss in the satellite era, when about 1.1 million square miles of ice — equivalent to the combined land area of Alaska, California, Florida, and Texas, melted.

According to the NSIDC, ice extent as of mid-July was especially low in the Barents, Kara, and Laptev Seas where open ocean extended “as far north as typically seen during September, the end of the summer melt season,” the NSIDC said in a July 24 statement. Ice extent in the Chukchi Sea, north of Alaska, was near average levels.

Weather conditions during each melt season play a major role in determining the severity of seasonal ice loss. So far this year the weather pattern has generally promoted sea ice loss, but winds and air temperatures have not been nearly as conducive to melting as they were in 2007, when unusually clear skies brought more sunshine than normal, and winds flushed older sea ice into the North Atlantic near Greenland.

 

Arctic sea ice volume showing the volume of the mean annual cycle, the volume of the current year, the volume in 2010 (the previous September volume minimum), and the volume in 2007 (the year of minimum sea ice extent in September). Click on image for a larger version. Credit: University of Washington Polar Science Center.

One blogger who closely follows Arctic sea ice trends wrote that the significant melt this season despite the absence of ideal melting conditions may demonstrate that the thinner sea ice cover in recent years is making the ice more vulnerable to melting, regardless of weather conditions.

“There comes a point when large parts of the ice pack become so thin that it doesn’t matter what the weather does. Sure, ideal conditions will cause a nosedive, but the train keeps chugging along, even when the weather isn’t so great for melt, transport and compaction,” wrote the blogger Neven on his eponymous sea ice blog.

Study: Manmade Global Warming Accounts For Much of Sea Ice Decline to Date

The 2012 melt season is playing out as scientists work to untangle the various causes of the sharp decline in sea ice. The general consensus among Arctic climate and sea ice specialists is that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are a major factor behind the recent decline, but natural climate variability is also playing a role. The computer models that scientists use to simulate the climate system have consistently underestimated the speed and scope of recent sea ice trends.

The new study, published on July 26 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, examines two key natural factors that are thought to influence sea ice extent: a weather pattern known as the Arctic Oscillation, and a natural pattern of climate variability called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or AMO.

The study found that the Arctic Oscillation does help move sea ice around, but it does not have much of an influence on sea ice extent at the end of the melt season.

However, the study found that the AMO, which involves long-term changes to the circulation of water in the Atlantic Ocean, does have an influence on sea ice extent during the melt season. “We find that between 5 and 30 percent of the decrease in sea ice we have seen is due to the AMO,” said J.J. Day of the University of Reading in the U.K. in a video statement accompanying the study.

By accounting for these two natural factors, the authors conclude that manmade global warming is a plausible explanation for the majority of sea ice loss seen during the past three decades. “That is a fair amount to be attributed to natural causes; on the other hand it implies that 70-95 percent of the changes are caused by human-induced global change.”

However, the researchers did not conduct a formal analysis of how manmade global warming is causing sea ice decline.

“We do not explicitly account for human causes. In the video abstract and the press release we assert that the most likely cause of the rest is man made global warming,” Day said in an email conversation. This assertion is based on previous studies that have attributed between 50 to 100 percent of sea ice decline to manmade causes, he said, and the “lack of another hypothesis . . . to account for the rest of the decline.”

Judging from the pace of sea ice decline so far this season and predictions of a largely seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean sometime during the next few decades, by the time scientists sort out with more precision how much of sea ice decline is from manmade causes, and how much is naturally driven, there may not be much ice left. 

Pacific Coral Triangle ‘at risk of collapse’

ENN: Environmental News Network — Know Your Environment

From: Nora Gamolo, Science and Development Network, More from this Affiliate
Published July 30, 2012 04:20 PM

Pacific Coral Triangle ‘at risk of collapse’

The Coral Triangle, a roughly triangular marine zone in the Indo-Pacific region that is considered to have the world’s richest concentration of marine biodiversity, is facing potential ecological collapse due to heavy pressure inflicted by human activities, according to a new report.

 

The warning appears in a collaborative study, ‘Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle’, produced by a consortium led by the World Resources Institute, a global environmental think-tank based in Washington DC, United States.

It serves as a status report on the wellbeing of coral reefs in or near the six countries comprising the triangle.

The study aimed to identify where reefs are most threatened and to provide “baseline data to help groups establish and prioritise specific management strategies,” Kathleen Reytar, a lead author of the study, told SciDev.Net.

According to the report, 85 per cent of reefs in the Coral Triangle are directly threatened by local human activities such as overfishing, the use of poisons and dynamite in fishing, watershed-based pollution (fertilisers, pesticides and other runoff from the land), and coastal development.

When combined with developments related to global warming, the percentage of threatened reefs rises to more than 90 per cent, the report says.

Fishing boats in Hong Kong harbor courtesy http://knowledge.allianz.com/?515/water-pollution-plastics-poisoning-pacific

Read more at ENN Affiliate, SciDevNet.

Preventing More Middle East Wars Tops All Priorities

By Stephen Lendman, Contributor
theintelhub.com
July 28, 2012

Washington’s dirty hands control regional belligerence. Longstanding policy unleashed a regional bloodbath.

It advances America’s imperium. Willing partners include NATO and Middle East allies. They’re serial killers for their own self-interest.

Post-9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were ravaged. Destroying Syria is underway. Expect Iran and other targeted states to follow.

A previous article discussed Canadian psychiatrist Robert Hare. He describes psychopathic behavior clinically. Administration and congressional leaders exhibit prominent features.

They’re amoral, unethical, deceitful, and manipulative. They breach social and legal standards. They suffer no remorse. They’re callously unconcerned about others. They’re indifferent to human suffering.

They’re “without conscience.” Their agenda is global conquest and dominance. They’re clinically insane. They’re psychopathic.

They should be interned for their own good and ours. No other way can stop them from harming others. The alternative is letting them ravage the world one country at a time and destroy it.

PRIORITY ONE IS STOPPING THEM!!

Hare warned that otherwise we’re doomed.

We’re all in it together. We have two choices. We can live in peace or perish. There’s no in between. There’s no time to waste.

Rhetoric from Washington, other Western capitals, Israel, and supportive media scoundrels grows more heated.

A July 27 Fox News headline screamed “Syrian government reportedly planning a massacre in Aleppo.” Other media scoundrels echoed the same theme.

Syrian forces are trying to prevent mass slaughter. Western directed death squads are committing it. They’ve done it across the country. They’re killing civilians in cold blood. They’re using human shields. Assad’s wrongfully blamed for their crimes.

Media reports are scandalously one-sided. Assad’s forces are accused of massacres committed by Western recruited death squads. Other accusations include summary executions, and sexually assaulting detainees.

In mid-June, ABC News claimed government forces sexually tortured men, women and children. Corroborating proof was obsent. Sources lacking credibility were cited.

Gaddafi faced similar accusations. Charges levied were later proved false. It was too late to matter.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay made numerous false accusations. She lost all integrity. She sold out to imperial Washington for whatever benefits she gets.

She turns a blind eye to Western slaughter. She points fingers the wrong way. So does UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Top Western and Arab League officials are no different. They spread lies.

They want blood. Before they’re done they’ll have ours unless stopped. The threat of global war is real. Weapons used may be horrific. They include nuclear, chemical and biological ones.

They’ve been used before. They’ll be again in greater regional war.

The battle for Aleppo continues. Syria’s SANA state media is repeatedly hacked and shut down. At issue is silencing truth. On July 27, it was operating. For how long isn’t known.

One report said Syrian forces confronted insurgents in Aleppo, Daraa, Deir Ezzor, al-Qseir, and Homs. They inflicted heavy losses, dismantled explosive devices, and destroyed vehicles used to transport fighters and weapons.

On July 27, Ria Novosti headlined “Syrian Army Launches Anti-Opposition Operation in Aleppo,” saying:

Army forces are “push(ing) to regain control of key territories across the country.” Syrian television claims most Aleppo areas are “returned to government control.” Fighting, however, persists.

Qatar-controlled Al Jazeera earlier misreported that Assad fled Syria. On July 27, it said UNSMIS head General Robert Mood claims:

“Sooner or later, the regime will fall. The spiral of violence, the lack of proportion in the regime’s reactions, its incapacity to protect the civilian population, mean that the regime’s days are numbered….”

In June, an unnamed UNSMIS monitor accused him of spying. He “gather(ed) critical coordinates and visit(ed) military bases for his own purposes.”

They were unrelated to violence-affected areas. Syrians believe he’s spying. His comment was inappropriate. His mandate calls for observing and reporting impartially. Instead, he’s a partisan. He supports Western interests. Doing so spurns millions of Syrians.

He’s leaving. Senegalese Lt. General Babacar Gaye replaces him. His mandate runs 30 days. What follows isn’t known. Half the original observer force left. Perhaps evacuating them all is planned.

On the eve of war with Iraq, UN weapons inspectors were removed. They had enough time to discover no WMDs. It didn’t matter. On March 19, 2003 (March 20 Baghdad time), shock and-awe bombing began.

Perhaps it’s planned for Syria. It could start in weeks or sooner.

On July 27, a Reuters story perhaps suggests something is planned. Headlined “Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syrian rebels,” it says:

Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar “set up a secret base (to) direct vital military communications aid to Syria’s rebels from a city near the border, Gulf sources told Reuters.”

It’s in or near Adana. It’s about 60 miles from Syria’s border. Incirlik air base is there. US and Turkish forces use it jointly. It’s not clear if the nerve center is within or outside Incirlik.

Turkey serves as “mail co-ordinator/facilitator.” It’s America’s main regional attack dog. Prime Minister Erdogan takes orders from Washington. He’s a shameless imperial tool. He was earlier against Gaddafi.

Reuters said Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are supplying weapons cross-border. Washington and Israel are very much involved. So are other key NATO partners and regional states.

Reuters also said Washington drafted another resolution. It authorizes “greater covert assistance.” It claims it stops short of providing arms. Resolutions aren’t needed for that purpose.

At this stage, circumventing the Security Council is likely. An unnamed EU official expects Assad to hang tough and fight. Why not. Syrian forces way outclass insurgent death squads.

At the same time, body counts mount. Death squad terror rages.

The US Army Operational Concept for Terrorism (TRADOC Pamphlet No. 525-37, 1984) calls it “the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature. This is done through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear.”

The US Code calls “international terrorism” activities involving:

(A) “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;”

(B) are intended to –

(i) “intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States….”

All definitions reflect longstanding US policy. Blood lust defines it. Serial killing, mass destruction, and unspeakable human misery reveal it. Media scoundrels suppress it.

At issue is either stopping it or perhaps watching it come to a neighborhood near you. When regional wars become global ones using weapons of mass destruction, safe havens don’t exist.

Bertrand Russell once explained two choices. Either we renounce war and live in peace or end the human race. The bottom line’s that simple.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/

The Assault on 2nd Amendment Precursor to Martial Law in America

By Susanne Posel
theintelhub.com
July 31, 2012

The disinformation mafia at Time magazine says that the phrase “’Guns don’t actually kill people’ is sometimes a refrain from gun rights advocates when they run low on arguments in a policy discussion.”

Concerning the false flag staged attack in Aurora, Colorado, the National Rifle Association is pushing for the right to bear arms and the retention of our 2nd Amendment while the talking heads at CNN want us to believe the globalist’s lie that America would be safer if semi-automatic weapons were banned from purchase.

In a commentary piece, they say that America’s violent culture can be directly blamed on our ability to have guns to protect ourselves. Never does the author of the article mention that the increase in violent films, television shows and music could be a factor in brainwashing average Americans to think enacting violent outbursts would be acceptable.

More attacks on our right to defend ourselves against the tyrannical takeover of our nation by the global Elite and the banking cartels come from Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice, who wrongly states that the 2nd Amendment allows the US government to regulate firearms.

Scalia asserts that limiting “assault rifles” is up to the government and they should be outlawed.

In the US Senate, a group of 51 senators threatened to oppose the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State wrote a letter to Obama admitting that the ATT’s allocation of international gun control was unacceptable to the US Congress.

The Senators wrote: “We strongly encourage your administration not only to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership, but to ensure — if necessary, by breaking consensus at the July conference — that the treaty will explicitly recognize the legitimacy of lawful activities associated with firearms, including but not limited to the right of self-defense. As members of the United States Senate, we will oppose the ratification of any Arms Trade Treaty that falls short of this standard.”

According to Thomas Countryman, US assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, who supports the ATT remarked:

“We want any treaty to make it more difficult and expensive to conduct illicit, illegal and destabilizing transfers of arms. But we do not want something that would make legitimate international arms trade more cumbersome than the hurdles United States exporters already face.”

Victoria Nuland, US Ambassador to the UN released a statement on the US State Department website wherein it was admitted that “the illicit trafficking of conventional arms is an important national security concern for the United States.”

While the bureaucracy surrounding the ATT and gun control makes the rounds on Capitol Hill, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for the prospect of civil unrest in America.

Secretly, DHS have been taking bid for contractors who can install “aerial remote sensing” which uses light detection and ranging (LIDAR) that would be part of the unmanned drone missions within domestic US territory.

In the US Army Military Police Training manual specified for “Civil Disturbance Operations” the procedures for dealing with civilian riots, gun confiscation and the murder of Americans by US military in the name of continuity of government is outlined under the complete civil unrest scenario.

As well as Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the DHS, told a House Committee meeting on Homeland Security that the more than 30,000 drones that will be deployed into American skies are just arbitrarily watching out for US citizens.

The Federal Protective Service (FPS) has been given the responsibility to protecting federally owned property while preparing for civilian led riots expected in the near future. And part of the preparatory measures was an order of 150 sets of riot gear that was requested to be filled exponentially. The FPS is anticipating that police or military wearing the gear would encounter “blunt force trauma” to the upper torso, as well as potential beatings with “blunt objects”.

In June of this year, the US Army requested bids for riot gear, that was answered by A2Z Supply Corp, in which specified equipment was to be delivered to West Point Academy in New York.

In 2008, the report from the Army Times that the US military was reassigning troops arriving home from Afghanistan to serve domestically in homeland patrols which would be used during the necessity of maintaining order during an economic collapse.

The purpose of these patrol units was to aid “with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack” and provide “coordinate defense support of civil authorities” under NORTHCOM and other commands including federal homeland defense efforts.

The use of “nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them” will be part of the control measures, according to 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier.

The US government, under the guise of continuity of government, are preparing for controlling the American public under any circumstances necessary.

While the total disarmament of Americans with the eradication of the 2nd Amendment is part of the plan, it may not be necessary for them to enact their complete lock down of our nation. Currently, armed forces are training their troops to maintain civil order for national security purposes, even if that means firing on American civilians.

This is why the retention of the 2nd Amendment is so important. First they take our right to bear arms. Then they forcibly remove them from us. And at this point the full-blown tyrannical Fascist Dictatorship begins.

Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of Occupy Corporatism. Our alternative news site is dedicated to reporting the news as it actually happens; not as it is spun by the corporately funded mainstream media. You can find us on our Facebook page.

Open Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton- July 31, 2012

***EXTREME HIGH PRIORITY***July 31, 2012Hi US State Dept.I Cannot find a DIRECT e-mail link to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  You NEED to install a simple link for citizen comments on your website and NOT limit the amount of characters or words in your description section.  Here are my comments to Hillary Clinton:GET the HELL out of Syria (and Iran)!You’re crossing the line and are about to initiate world war 3.This is NOT the way forward.  Nuclear War is in nobody’s interest.Iran has the RIGHT to defend herself against the International Jewish/Zionist Terrorist network- the US/UK and Israel.Peace in the region (and in the world) requires mutual trust and cooperation amongst contending parties.  Achieved, then disarmrment negotiations can begin.  Here is the ONLY solution to peace in the middle east: http://jonastheprophet.tk No to WAR, NO to a DHS/TSA fascist nazi police state in America.You must LEARN to BUILD a Global Green World Order for the Human species- it is the ONLY way forward.  Here is your blueprint:SAVING THE PLANET:http://pulsar774.tripod.com  Failure will lead to what i can only call the IRON FIST:http://antarctica777.tripod.com  2012 is the year where the future of humanity will be decided and “locked in”.  DO NOT cross the line to eugenics/depopulation/planetary suicide.Another world is possible, hillary.  Take a stand for LIFE and for the future of the Earth.  Do NOT fear what the JEWS can do to you physical body, FEAR HIM who can destroy BOTH body and SOUL in Hell, sweetheart.Selah.

Putin Foils The Jews In Syria

see url:

 

http://www.realjewnews.com/?p=742

 

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Chronic North American 2012 Drought to become commonplace, scientists warn

Rows of crops stretch to the horizon as drought continues in the area near Piedmont, Okla., on Monday, July 30, 2012. (AP /Sue Ogrocki)

Burnt stalks lie on the ground among rows of corn damaged by drought in a parched field in Louisville, Ill. on Monday, July 16, 2012. (AP / Robert Ray)

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, Jul. 30, 2012 11:21AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, Jul. 30, 2012 10:42PM EDT

The four-year-long drought that affected western Canada and the U.S. at the turn of the century was the worst to hit the region in 800 years, say scientists who warn that dry spell was nothing compared to the “megadroughts” still to come.

A group of 10 scientists from the University of British Columbia as well as several American universities write in Nature GeoScience that they believe the bone-dry conditions seen between 2000 and 2004 could become the “new normal” in the region.

They say that climatic extremes have increased because of global warming. And as bad as conditions were during the 2000-04 drought, that drought won’t be as severe as the “megadrought” they expect to see during the last half of the 21st century.

“Projections indicate that drought events of this length and severity will be commonplace through the end of the 21st century,” the group of scientists writes.

“Even worse, projections suggest that this drought will become the wet end of a drier hydroclimate period.”

For their research, the scientists looked at historical drought data based on tree-ring analysis. Rings in a tree’s trunk reflect the amount of growth in a given year: wide rings indicate years with good moisture and extensive growth, while narrow rings suggest periods of extreme climactic change and drought.

Based on that data, the scientists say the 2000-04 drought was unlike any since the period between 1146 and 1151.

What’s more, the 2000-04 drought may have made climactic conditions in the region even worse. As trees, crops and vegetation of all kinds dried up and died in those years, the land lost 51 per cent of its ability to capture or “sequester” carbon dioxide.

That means more carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere in those regions, worsening the problem.

“During this drought, carbon sequestration from this region was reduced by half,” Beverly Law, a co-author of the study, professor of global change biology and terrestrial systems science at Oregon State University, said in a statement. “That’s a huge drop. And if global carbon emissions don’t come down, the future will be even worse.”

Many parts of the western and Midwest U.S. are once again facing a drought that’s being called one of the worst since the Dust Bowl.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said 45 per cent of the country’s corn crop is in poor or very poor condition. Soybeans are also being hard hit, with more than a third in poor or very poor condition.

It’s unclear whether this current drought is related to these same forces that controlled the 2000-04 drought, Law said, since this study did not look at this most recent period.

But she says her team is certain that droughts are going to continue and worsen, leading to the deaths of large swaths of forest.

“Areas that are already dry in the West are expected to get drier,” Law said.

“We expect more extremes. And it’s these extreme periods that can really cause ecosystem damage, lead to climate-induced mortality of forests, and may cause some areas to convert from forest into shrublands or grassland.”

250 Years of Global Warming: Berkeley Earth Releases New Analysis

The temperature of the Earth’s land surface, as determined from over 36,000 temperature stations around the globe. The data is well fit by a simple model containing only known volcanic eruptions and carbon dioxide (dark line). No contribution from solar variability was necessary to make a good match. The rapid but short (decadal) variations are believed to be due to changes in ocean flows, such as El Nino and the Gulf Stream. (Credit: Image courtesy of Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature)

ScienceDaily (July 30, 2012) — According to a new Berkeley Earth study released July 29, 2012, the average temperature of Earth’s land has risen by 1.5 °C over the past 250 years. The good match between the new temperature record and historical carbon dioxide records suggests that the most straightforward explanation for this warming is human greenhouse gas emissions.

Together with their most recent results and papers, Berkeley Earth also released their raw data and analysis programs. They will be available online at BerkeleyEarth.org on July 30.

The new analysis from Berkeley Earth goes all the way back to 1753, about 100 years earlier than previous groups’ analyses. The limited land coverage prior to 1850 results in larger uncertainties in the behavior of the record; despite these, the behavior is significant.

Robert Rohde, Lead Scientist for Berkeley Earth and the person who carried out most of the analysis, noted that “Sudden drops in the early temperature record (1753 to 1850) correspond to known volcanic events.” Volcanoes spew particles into the air, which then reflect sunlight and cool the earth for a few years. In the Berkeley Earth temperature plot, sudden dips in temperature caused by large volcanic explosions are evident back to the late 1700s.

Berkeley Earth compared the shape of the gradual rise over 250 years to simple math functions (exponentials, polynomials) and to solar activity (known through historical records of sunspot numbers), and even to rising functions such as world population.

Richard Muller, Founder and Scientific Director of Berkeley Earth, notes “Much to my surprise, by far the best match was to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice.” He emphasizes that the match between the data and the theory doesn’t prove that carbon dioxide is responsible for the warming, but the good fit makes it the strongest contender. “To be considered seriously, any alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as does carbon dioxide.”

In its 2007 report the IPCC concluded only that “most” of the warming of the past 50 years could be attributed to humans. It was possible, according to the IPCC, that increased solar activity could have contributed to warming prior to 1956. Berkeley Earth analyzed about 5 times more station records than were used in previous analyses, and this expanded data base along with its new statistical approach allowed Berkeley Earth to go about 100 years farther back in time than previous studies. By doing so, the Berkeley Earth team was able to conclude that over 250 years, the contribution of solar activity to global warming is negligible.

Some of the scientists on the Berkeley Earth team admit surprise that the new analysis has shown such clear agreement between global land-­‐temperature rise and human-­‐caused greenhouse gases. “I was not expecting this,” says Richard Muller, “but as a scientist, I feel it is my duty to let the evidence change my mind.”

Elizabeth Muller, co-­‐Founder and Executive Director of Berkeley Earth, says that “One of our goals at Berkeley Earth is complete transparency — we believe that everyone should be able to access raw climate data and do their own analysis. Scientists have a duty to be ‘properly skeptical’, and we are trying to lower the barriers to entry into the field.”

Robert Rohde created an online feature that allows look up temperature records by location. “If you want to know what the temperature change has been in your city, your state, or even your country, you can now find this online at BerkeleyEarth.org” says Rohde. He adds, “We hope people will have a lot of fun interacting with the data.” This feature should be available to the public by Monday, July 30.

A previous Berkeley Earth study, released in October 2011, found that the land-­‐surface temperature had risen by about 0.9 °C over the past 50 years (which was consistent with previous analyses) and directly addressed scientific concerns raised by skeptics, including the urban heat island effect, poor station quality, and the risk of data selection bias.

The Berkeley Earth team values the simplicity of its analysis, which does not depend on the large complex global climate models that have been criticized by climate skeptics for their hidden assumptions and adjustable parameters. The conclusion that the warming is due to humans is based simply on the close agreement between the shape of the observed temperature rise and the known greenhouse gas increase.

Elizabeth adds, “The current data does not include ocean temperatures; these will be added in the next phase of the Berkeley Earth studies. Another next step for our team is to think about the implications of our findings.”

Sacramento, California International Airport Evicts TSA Screeners

Sacramento International Airport Evicts TSA Screeners

Posted By admin On July 31, 2012 @ 9:18 am In Featured Stories,Steve Watson Articles,Tile | 8 Comments

More airports opting out from federal agency after scandals

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com [1]
July 31, 2012

Sacramento International Airport Evicts TSA Screeners

Sacramento International Airport is dropping the TSA and replacing all security screeners with private contractors after it was given approval to opt out of the TSA program.

The Airport will become the third largest in the country to ditch the TSA and hire private security. Only a few other airports have done so after Congress passed legislation earlier in the year, opening the door for the widely loathed federal agency to be marginalized from aviation security altogether.

Airport Director Hardy Acree told reporters [2] that he believes private screeners can do a better job than federal employees. “I think there is going to be a higher level of customer service”, Acree said.

“It’s a win-win for everything has no bearing on security procedure or the processes the public has become accustomed to,” another Sacramento Airport official told CBS News [3].

Linda Beech Cutler added that the move “Makes us more flexible for staffing, for peak times and not being so staffed up for not so busy times”.

Passengers notified of the coming change approved, suggesting that they would feel safer with private security on hand.

“It might be better, less intrusive on us. I don’t like how the government runs their business,” said one flyer.

In San Francisco, where TSA screeners have already been replaced, private security has been a success. “It’s been awesome in San Francisco.” said one flyer. “They get travelers through faster, they do a better job finding test devices, and the moral is better than the TSA.”

Watch the CBS report:

Although the eviction of TSA screeners is growing, many will be concerned by the fact that in accordance with federal law, private contract screeners are still trained by the TSA, and must adhere to TSA procedures.

“They will issue proposals, evaluate the private security companies and ultimately choose the company that would operate here,” said Linda Beech Cutler .

The new security agents will still use TSA equipment (body scanners), will still wear TSA badges, and will still be overseen by TSA supervisors. Current TSA employees at the airport will also be able to apply to become part of the new private security team.

The TSA had frozen the ability for airports to apply to use their own private screeners. However, a law passed by Congress [4] reinstated the right and now forces the TSA to reconsider applications to the Screening Partnership Program [5].

Sacramento Airport applied to opt out from the TSA program in April. Just one month prior to that application, another major airport, Orlando Sanford International [6], announced that it was also opting out of using TSA workers.

The agency has been slow to reissue the guidelines on the the rule change, prompting Republican Representatives John Mica of Florida, Darrell Issa of California and Jason Chaffetz of Utah to press TSA head John Pistole to implement the mandate.

Mica has personally written to 200 airports [7] advising them of the opportunity to op out of using TSA screeners.

The TSA has been keen to downplay the opportunity for airports to dispense with their screeners, fearing a mass exodus that could undermine the justification for the agency’s continued existence, especially given the fact that its reputation has been repeatedly savaged by a number of scandals [8], alleged privacy rights violations and intrusive pat-down techniques.

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Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com [9], and Prisonplanet.com [1]. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.


Article printed from Prison Planet.com: http://www.prisonplanet.com

URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/sacramento-international-airport-evicts-tsa-screeners.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Prisonplanet.com: http://prisonplanet.com/

[2] told reporters: http://www.fromthecapitol.com/sacramento-international-airport-dropping-tsa-3115

[3] CBS News: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/07/27/sacramento-international-airport-may-replace-tsa-with-private-security/

[4] a law passed by Congress: http://www.prisonplanet.com/senate-passes-bill-allowing-airports-to-evict-tsa-screeners.html

[5] Screening Partnership Program: http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/optout/index.shtm

[6] Orlando Sanford International: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/14/2692799/sanford-fla-airport-wants-to-opt.html

[7] written to 200 airports: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-13/tsa-chief-pistole-pressed-to-expand-private-screeners

[8] number of scandals: http://www.prisonplanet.com/you-dont-have-to-be-a-criminal-sexual-deviant-to-work-for-the-tsa-but-it-helps.html

[9] Infowars.com: http://infowars.com/

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