Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rising ocean acidity tips delicate balance |

Rising ocean acidity tips delicate balance |

There are lots of reasons to be concerned about rising ocean acidity. If it kills one year's generation of oysters, that is disquieting. If it starts to kill of the next year, and the next year, that is a disaster.

The kill off of the ocean reefs, pretty much world-wide, is in part because of ocean acidifciation. An estimate of 10% of ocean reefs are dead with some 60% at risk. That should rise to 90% and essentially 100% at risk by 2030 and 2050, respectively. Most of that impact is human caused, and a big part of that is fossil fuel related.

The greenhouse gases raise the air temperatures (again, the big debate is about how much and how fast). The oceans raise in temperature at a much delayed rate, especially deep ocean. So it may be years or decades before ocean temperature rises are felt from the time of increase in air temperatures.

But the other impact is directly from CO2 emissions. Land and water masses absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere. Maybe 30 to 40% go into water, mainly oceans. This ocean sink of carbon dioxide make the water more acidic. This in turn causes lots of problems for shell fish, coral reefs, etc...

Double whammy for the oceans.

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Why the Mail on Sunday was wrong to claim global warming has stopped... Ice cold debate

Why the Mail on Sunday was wrong to claim global warming has stopped | Environment |

The Guardian comes back with a strong argument against the David Rose article in the Daily Mail on Oct 20, 2012.  David argues that there has been only a very small increase in global surface temperatures for the 16 years ending in 2011. Not as much, certainly, as expected, by forecasts.

First, no one anywhere can deny climate change. Higher highs, lower lows, and more extreme temperatures, pretty much everywhere. All of the places I travel (in the US and most of the places I read about and talk to people from) have been exhibiting extremes almost every year. Often the 100-year extremes have been reached a couple times over the last couple years!:-) Ouch.

The chilling goosebumps should come out on anyone who starts to check out the arctic ice caps. Much of the north pole was navigable this summer by ship, something that no researchers forecasted last century, they expected it about 2050 or later. The recession of the Arctic ice seems to be happening at a faster and faster pace.

James Hansen gives a simple but visual image of the warming of our planet. See this blog post here.

Richard Muller, the last skeptic of the climatologists, recently published research that was funded by the right-leaning Koch brothers. (I refuse to call them "conservative" because it debases the word.) In the first report Muller found that there is, in fact, global warming. In the second report he found that humans appear to be almost entirely the cause.

Carbon Dioxide has increased in the atmosphere in a direct match with the industrialization of the world and also with the increase of the population. But, if you look at the earth's systems as, well, systems, it is impossible to believe the the massive buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere would have not effect... And that many of those effects would not be adverse.

Given that we know CO2 has a long persistence, say 100 years, in the atmosphere, it should make a sane man nervous... very nervous.

Ignoring the facts, is a long distance from being helpful in any way.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The next crisis: Sponging boomers | The Economist

The next crisis: Sponging boomers | The Economist:

The math is ugly. This is a great article that summarized some really big key issues that arise from the generational move of the Boomers into retirement. BoomAge could be the syndrome.

Those age 65 or older are expected to consume about $333B more in benefits/services than they paid in taxes. No worries, let's let our kids and grandkids take care of that bill.

And the bad thing about doing nothing (gridlock and more) is that it simply delays the solution and compounds the impact.

Some really cool (ugly really, but interesting) stats are the impact that inflation has had on the US national debt. The young, with debt, benefit from inflation. Older, with savings, get hit. The voting and politically active retirees will increase by almost 10% to 26% of the voters and will have time to push for services, benefits and low inflation.

Social Irresponsibility: Debt, Population, Inflation, Politics, gridlock, Boomers, Boomage

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In China, an underground luxury hotel | SmartPlanet

In China, an underground luxury hotel | SmartPlanet:

Wow. Don't know if we should be happy or sad about this resort project.

Kind of makes you wonder how and why this massive hole in the ground was constructed as a by product of the need for resources?

Good. This should start to make miners think hard about the use of the land when done. The open-pit mines for ore and oil and coal might start to design their end-game for the land as they dig and truck.

So, is this a resort that you wanna go visit? That's the Billion Yuan question?

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