Antarctica’s glacial movements
Via Gizmodo researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and the University of California, Irvine have made a map of every glacier on the continent, down to its individual shape and flow velocity, illustrating how water melting in the interior of the continent makes its way out to the coasts. Lead author Eric Rignot calls it a “game changer for glaciology.”
I think the implication may be that we will lose more ice than previously thought from East Antarctica with a temperature rise of 1 or 2C.
NASA press release here.
Arctic ice may increase
Arctic ice may increase for up to a decade according to scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR):
“The computer simulations suggest that we could see a 10-year period of stable ice or even a slight increase in the extent of the ice,” said NCAR scientist Jennifer Kay, the lead researcher.
However, Kay noted that there is no doubt about the overall trend. Over a period of 50 to 60 years, the Arctic will lose its ice during the summer.
An August 16 note on this site shows the southern passage of the NW Passage as now open on two out of three monitoring agencies.
Animals on the move
Using a meta-analysis, we estimated that the distributions of species have recently shifted to higher elevations at a median rate of 11.0 meters per decade, and to higher latitudes at a median rate of 16.9 kilometers per decade. These rates are approximately two and three times faster than previously reported.
Climate change leads to 67-84 percent biodiversity loss by 2080
A model study has had a look at total biodiversity loss due to climate change including intra-species loss as well as loss of whole species. The conclusion was that loss by 2080 could be as high as 84% depending on the emissions trajectory.
The scientists also warned that the intra-species biodiversity loss would radically slow down biodiversity recovery when a new stable state was achieved.
ACOSS assessment of the CEF package
We welcome the Government’s commitment to meet at least 100% of the estimated increase in living costs for low income households. On Treasury estimates, the proposed household assistance (delivered through social security payment increases and tax cuts) is adequate to achieve this goal.
Remember, the CEF package is expected to increase average household living costs by $9.90 per week, half of which will be attributable to energy costs.
Ocean acidification is not OK
Skeptical Science have published their eighteenth post on ocean acidification.
They tell us that we are well outside ‘normal’ CO2 levels for the last 800,000 years and more, the changes are very rapid and the chemistry involved is incredibly complex. Ocean buffering will not restore acidity to pre-industrial levels. What the new equilibrium will be is unknown, but not OK.
Sea level dips
Yes, indeed, by half a centimetre, according to NASA. It’s all the rain, you see. The recent La Niña took water out of the sea and piled it up on land, especially places like Australia and Brazil.
Tar sands pipeline extension
Skeptical Science reports that Bill McKibben is leading what may be the largest green civil disobedience campaign in a generation, against the proposed construction of the 1,600-mile long Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Alberta to Texas. The pipeline needs to be approved by the US State Department. President Obama’s climate change credentials are on the line.
A New York Times editorial has opposed the pipeline.
Greg Combet will ask the states to scrap inefficient climate change schemes, including solar feed-in tariffs, when the carbon tax takes effect.
Thanks, Greg. (We acquired some solar panels last year.)
Stephen Lacey at Climate Progress details five ways, with videos, of integrating renewable energy into the grid.
Brazil is building wind power at a cost said to be cheaper than gas.
Origin Energy Origin Energy CEO Grant King has warned that crucial investments in energy generation may still be delayed by political uncertainty around carbon pricing, even if the Clean Energy Future legislation is passed by parliament this year.
He’s worried about Abbott repealing the Clean Energy legislation, he thinks the CSG industry has been demonised by ideologues, he’s still interested in the PNG hydro scheme, has not given up on geothermal, and, as the largest installer of PV rooftop solar, thinks the feed-in tariffs have been too high, but retaining them is desirable to bridge into the time when grid parity is achieved.
He thinks it may be too late to meet the 2020 Mandatory Renewable Energy Target and suggests that a 25/25 target – 25 per cent by 2025 – may be more practical.
He would like to see brown coal phased out earlier to create the demand for additional renewables.
This space is meant to also serve as an open thread on climate change.