sea level – Biofera Sat, 16 Apr 2022 14:31:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 sea level – Biofera 32 32 Is there good news about climate change? This scientist has it. Mon, 07 Mar 2022 10:00:00 +0000 The world’s leading authority on climate breakdown issued its most serious warning yet to world leaders last week. UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls the report of the International Panel on Climate Change “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failing climate leadership”, as people around the world “get crushed by climate change”.

The report follows a trio of sobering new studies in recent weeks projecting accelerating sea level rise, a burgeoning global wildfire crisis and vastly underestimated emissions of methane, a gas shorter-lived but much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

But the IPCC report also reveals a narrow window of opportunity to stop the chaos and offers specific strategies to deal with some of the worst effects. At the same time, scientists offer a glimmer of hope that it is still possible to stop the “train” of global warming in its tracks.

Next Avenue asked famed climatologist Michael Mann to be the harbinger of good news, for change. Mann, 54 (he calls himself “the end of Generation X”) directs the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University and is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

“We still face this monumental effort by vested interests to muddy the public discourse on the climate crisis, ultimately preventing us from making the changes needed.”

—Michael Mann, Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University

He is credited with propelling the climate into the public eye with his legendary “hockey stick curve”, a graphic illustration of global warming since medieval times. It was grabbed by Al Gore for the memorable stepladder scene in his 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Mann recently co-wrote a perspective piece for the Washington Post, in which he says we could stop the process of global warming in more than three to five years and why the hope inspired by this knowledge is an essential first step for keep global warming to 1.5. degrees C (2.7 degrees F), the ceiling to avoid the most serious consequences. The Earth has already warmed by 1.1°C since the pre-industrial era.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Next Avenue: What road are we on right now with our overheated planet?

Man: We are anywhere between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius – like 5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit – global warming, twice as much in the Arctic due to the amplifying effects of melting. So, you know, in business as usual, we’re heading into what can reasonably be described as a disaster.

Play it a bit.

Three degrees Celsius – 5 degrees Fahrenheit – is a world, first of all, where CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels are so high that we will see destruction of the world’s coral reef systems by a combination of bleaching corals and ocean acidification. We will see far more damaging extreme weather events. We are committing not to feet, but to meters of sea level rise, enough to flood major cities and coastal regions of the world. The exact rate at which this would happen is subject to uncertainty due to the uncertainty of ice sheet dynamics, how fast do the ice sheets collapse once you warm up.

Michael Mann in 2016

Getty Images

And yet you say there is good news, which is surprising. For more than a decade, we in the media have dutifully reported that even if we stopped all greenhouse gas emissions, the planet would continue to warm for decades. Now you’re telling us we can stop warming abruptly if we stop warming emissions?

There is warming in the pipeline, but it is offset by something else. What we do is put carbon into the atmosphere, and the Earth system itself determines what happens to that carbon. We know that about half don’t stay in the atmosphere; it is absorbed by the oceans and by the plants, in what we call the terrestrial biosphere.

Now we have to turn it off. We need to get those carbon emissions down to zero. And if you do the math, we have to get them down to zero by mid-century. Once we reach zero emissions in 2050, there will be no more warming. And it took a few decades for this aspect of science to mature.

[Editor’s Note: Stopping the warming is different from stopping all of its effects, some of which, like melting glaciers and rising sea levels, are likely to continue for decades, regardless.]

“We give massive subsidies to fossil fuels and we don’t give the same kind of subsidies to renewables.”

—Michael Mann

You say the science to support this reversal has been evolving for some time. Why is it important to disseminate this information now?

I think there’s so much pessimism right now, and I think some of it is probably made worse by the health crisis we’re going through. We feel like we’ve lived through this dystopia and everything is collapsing on us. And I think there’s a tendency for a kind of climate desperation to be kind of lumped together with this general feeling of desperation.

But misfortune and despair in general do not lead to commitment. This leads to disengagement. Interestingly, in the latest studies, just anger Is lead to commitment. You look at the youth climate movement, you look at Greta Thunberg. There is anger right there and it is very mobilizing.

Continued: High methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are 70% higher than official reports : IEA

We’ve read a lot about the things we can do in our own lives to reduce emissions, but you warn that this could be a distraction from the real work that needs to be done. How? ‘Or’ What?

Individual action cannot be the solution to the problem. We need systemic change. We need policies that collectively move us all in the right direction. Not just people who are environmentally conscious or concerned about the climate crisis, but we want everyone to make climate-friendly choices.

And the way we do it is through market signals [e.g.] encourage clean energy. It shouldn’t cost you more to get your electricity from sources that don’t harm the planet. We give massive subsidies to fossil fuels and we don’t give the same kind of subsidies to renewables.

It’s the over-emphasis, this overwhelming tendency to talk about plastic straws and hamburgers (encouraging animal husbandry) and not traveling and not having children. This plays into an industry tactic, an old playbook that has been used by [Big] Tobacco, by the gun lobby, by the beverage industry: the whole idea of ​​diversion.

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Individual action is part of it. We should do all those things, right? I mean, why do not save us money, improve our health, set a good example for others? We feel better about ourselves, but we must recognize that only individuals like us who choose to engage in climate-friendly actions alone will not deliver the reductions we need. So there is this very delicate balance.

Two of the five books you’ve written have called climate policy a “war,” including your latest, “The New Climate War.” Corn polls show that most people now recognize climate threats and support reducing emissions. So where is the front in this war?

We are still faced with this monumental effort of vested interests to muddy the public discourse on the climate crisis, ultimately preventing us from making the changes needed if we are to avoid catastrophic global warming.

So to the extent that there are bad actors intentionally blocking this effort to address the greatest challenge we face as a civilization, to me, yes, it’s a war on climate action. I do not use this formulation lightly. But my belief is that you have to call the bad actors. And as I say in “The New Climate War,” the easiest way to lose a war is to refuse to acknowledge that you are part of it.

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Considering all of this, would you call yourself a climate optimist?

It is a monumental challenge. We must reduce carbon emissions by 50% in this decade and bring them to zero by the middle of the century. can we do this? Yeah. We are not lacking in technology. And this is where I fault some, like Bill Gates, for communicating this notion that we need new technologies to do this.

You gotta keep fighting the good fight, knowing you might lose, and I don’t deny that we might lose. If there isn’t even a 50% chance of success, we keep fighting, knowing with 100% certainty that we will fail if we don’t.

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I can say in good faith that the science indicates that there is still hope to avoid the worst impacts. And because of that, it would be so tragic if we were to fall into unhappiness and despair just when we need action the most.

You can read the full report IPCC Working Group II, which addresses impacts, vulnerabilities and potential strategies to adapt to changes already underway.

Craig Miller’s career in broadcasting and journalism spans over 40 years, although since 2008 he has focused on monitoring climate science and policy. Miller launched and edited the award-winning multimedia initiative Climate Watch for KQED in San Francisco, where he remained science editor until August 2019. Prior to KQED, he spent two decades as a television journalist and documentary producer in the big market stations like as well as CNN and MSNBC. When he’s not working, his favorite place is in his kayak on a scenic river or mountain lake.

This article is reproduced with permission from© 2022 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Seismic Study Reveals Main Reason Patagonia Is Rising With Melting Glaciers Mon, 28 Feb 2022 15:25:11 +0000 The ice fields that stretch for hundreds of kilometers atop the Andes Mountains in Chile and Argentina are melting at some of the fastest rates on the planet. The ground that was under this ice also shifts and rises as these glaciers disappear. Geologists have discovered a link between recent ice mass loss, rapid rock uplift, and a gap between the tectonic plates that underlie Patagonia.

Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, led by seismologist Douglas Wiens, Robert S. Brookings Professor Emeritus of Arts and Sciences, recently completed one of the first seismic surveys of the Patagonian Andes. In a new issue in the journal Geophysical Research Lettersthey describe and map the local dynamics of the subsoil.

“Variations in the size of glaciers as they grow and shrink, combined with the mantle structure we imaged in this study, results in rapid and spatially variable uplift in this region,” said Hannah Mark, former fellow. Steve Fossett Postdoctoral Fellow in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of Washington, the publication’s first author. Mark is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Seismic data analyzed by Mark and Wiens reveals how a void in the descending tectonic plate about 60 miles below Patagonia allowed warmer, less viscous mantle material to flow beneath South America.

Above this gap, the ice fields have shrunk, removing the weight that previously caused the continent to flex downward. Scientists have found very low seismic velocity in and around space, as well as a thinning of the rigid lithosphere covering space.

These particular mantle conditions are driving many of the recent changes that have been observed in Patagonia, including the rapid uplift of some areas that were once ice-covered.

“Low viscosities mean that the mantle responds to deglaciation on a time scale of tens of years, rather than thousands of years, as we observe in Canada for example,” Wiens said. “This explains why the GPS measured a large uplift due to the loss of ice mass.

“Another important thing is that the viscosity is higher under the southern part of the Southern Patagonian Icefield compared to the Northern Patagonian Icefield, which helps explain why uplift rates vary from north to south. “, did he declare.

Bounce and rise

When glaciers melt, an enormous weight is lifted from the ground that once supported them. Huge amounts of water, previously stored as ice, are flowing into the oceans. The newly discharged earth bounces and rises.

Geologists are seeing evidence of this combination of ice mass shifts and uplift in places around the world.

The continuous movement of land – the so-called “glacial isostatic adjustment” – is important for many reasons, but most importantly because it affects predictions of sea level rise in global warming scenarios. future.

Mark said one of the most interesting things they found in this study was that the hottest, least viscous parts of the mantle were in the gap region, or slab window, below the part of the Patagonian ice fields that had opened up the most. recently.

“This suggests to us that perhaps the mantle dynamics associated with the slab window may have intensified over time, or that the continental plate to the south started thicker and cooler and was therefore less affected by the slab window than the part of the slab furthest north,” Mark said.

Mark and Wiens worked with colleagues from the California Institute of Technology/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Southern Methodist University and Universidad de Chile to complete the seismic survey, which was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Patagonia is a remote region that is not densely populated and earthquake risks are relatively low, which is why few seismic surveys have been conducted in this region in the past, Wiens said. The data he and his team collected are already being used for purposes other than this mantle imaging effort.

Wiens first visited Patagonia over 25 years ago. He said he was shocked by the changes he has seen in his lifetime.

“The magnificent glaciers are shrinking,” Wiens said. “Over the next few decades, the ice fronts will retreat higher into the mountains and further inland, potentially making them harder to visit. I can easily see that the glaciers have shrunk since I visited. this region for the first time in 1996.”

The highs and lows of fieldwork in Patagonia

A group of University of Washington students helped Wiens and his team maintain and collect data from the seismographs that were installed for this study as part of a field trip to the geology class at undergraduate in 2019, led by Phil Skemer and Alex Bradley of the Department of Earth and Planetary. Sciences. The students had the opportunity to spend their spring break gaining first-hand experience of the geology of Patagonia – exploring the tectonics, sediment accumulations and geomorphological effects of Alpine glaciation in the region.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and international travel came to a halt.

“The instruments were trapped in Chile and Argentina during COVID, so they weren’t returned in April 2020 as planned,” Wiens said. “Instead, they were returned in February 2021 thanks to the tremendous help of our colleagues in these countries.

“But the seismographs worked fine without any maintenance during that time, so we collected about 10 months more data than originally planned,” he said.

Knowing more about what’s happening below ground is important for monitoring future changes in places like the Patagonian Icefields.

“One thing we can and will do now is incorporate 3D mantle structure into a model of glacial isostatic adjustment in Patagonia, along with constraints on the extent of glaciation over time,” Mark said. .

“Plate tectonics and deep earth properties are vitally important to understanding how the earth responds to glaciation. [and deglaciation]”Wiens said. “With better Earth models, we can better reconstruct recent changes in the ice sheets.

A photographer’s perspective on Jordan’s many splendors Mon, 07 Feb 2022 10:00:28 +0000

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For 10 days, we traveled the country from north to south in a rental car, totaling around 760 miles. Our route took us almost the full length of Highway 35, also known as the King’s Highway, which runs from the northern town of Irbid to a point about 25 miles north of Wadi Rum, the famous valley desert to the south.