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Meetings ~ The Space Pioneers Foundation The Space Pioneers Foundation is a registered name in Australia for our organisation, which is dedicated to the cosmic survival of humankind, by securing a sustainable industrial presence beyond Earth. To achieve this, we seek the participation of ten million and more Earth and space campaigners, determined individuals who will rise to the challenge. In the light of warnings about a looming crisis on Earth with the destabilising of the carbon balance and a subsequent increase in heat, which is feared to be rapid, we seek immediate action with a ten year program to deliver cosmic survival for all future generations. We propose the development of a mini-robot space program to achieve this, as mini-robots will cost less to send into space, can be managed via remote control systems, can be used to mine for resources on the Moon and asteroids, and use the energy of the Sun for power to establish industry in space, where larger robots can be built to construct human scale habitats, and the shuttle craft to send to Earth to collect passengers for space. The first orbital city in space can be ready for a party in 2029, and then an event with the year of peace in space in 2030, and our own declared year of creativity in space in 2031. With cosmic survival secured, it will be possible to also fight to win back a safe Earth, and begin the long process of turning Venus into a second Earth. The best space home for future generations will be in orbital space habitats, scattered across the Solar System. Whatever nationality you are, whatever organisation you belong to, are you an Earth and space campaigner? If yes, help secure our cosmic survival. We need ten million and more space pioneers, who will work toward creating living space in space for ten million and more space pioneers, and also fight to save the Earth. Once there is a sustainable industrial presence beyond Earth, there will be no further call on resources from Earth, and an infinite return on the investment. In this future, we can begin working out the shape of a stellar economy, where there will be no poverty, in space or on Earth, and which will lead to peace on Earth, and improve security in space. We look to a future where each citizen will have a career, work, income and a home, as a basic universal life expectation. To achieve the impossible, we invite space pioneers to engage with us in the virtual worlds, including Second Life, with a global campaign to secure our survival in space, and also win back a safe Earth. As space pioneers reach for the stars, they can also engage in work on Earth to improve the environment on our home planet, and send poverty into history. We either secure our cosmic survival among the stars, or remain at risk of extinction on Earth. Will you rise to the challenge? Newsletter ~
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Further Notes & News Stories ................................... Earth at risk of 'hothouse climate' where efforts to reduce emissions will have no impact, study finds
Elise Pianegonda, 7 August 2018, ABC News Online
"If humans cause the earth's global average temperature to increase by a further 1 degree Celsius, the world could face a "hothouse" climate and trigger further warming — even when all human emissions cease, an international study has found. The study titled Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene, which involved researchers from around the world, was published in the international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). It found the Earth was heading for a tipping point, known as a "hothouse" climate, which could lead to average temperatures up to 5C higher than pre-industrial temperatures and rises in sea level of between 10 and 60 metres.”
'Many parts of Earth could become uninhabitable': Study's grim warning
Blake Foden, 7 August 2018, Sydney Morning Herald
"Many parts of Earth could become uninhabitable for humans, with the planet at risk of entering an irreversible "hothouse" climate. That's the alarming warning from an international team of scientists, including Australian National University professor Will Steffen, in a study published on Tuesday. As large parts of eastern Australia battle drought and Europe is gripped by a heatwave, Professor Steffen said current efforts to combat global warming would not be enough to meet the emission-reduction targets set by governments in the Paris Agreement, which may be insufficient to prevent the dangerous scenario anyway. The study warns that Earth is already more than halfway towards the point of no return. Global average temperatures are just over one degree above pre-industrial temperatures, but rising by 0.17 degrees every 10 years. The study warns that Earth is already more than halfway towards the point of no return. Global average temperatures are just over one degree above pre-industrial temperatures, but rising by 0.17 degrees every 10 years. Professor Steffen said if temperatures rose to two degrees above pre-industrial levels, a level within Paris Agreement targets, it could trigger natural processes that would cause further warming of the Earth even if all human emissions ceased. If that happened, global average temperatures may reach up to five degrees above pre-industrial levels - the hottest temperatures experienced in more than 1.2 million years. Sea levels could also rise between 10 and 60 metres, threatening coastal areas. "Many parts of the planet could become uninhabitable for humans," Professor Steffen said. "... Sitting on our hands means we are at risk of driving the Earth - and human wellbeing - beyond an irreversible point of no return.""
The report ~
Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1810141115 World is finally waking up to climate change, says 'hothouse Earth’ author Jonathan Watts, 17 August 2018, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/17/world-waking-up-to-reality-climate-change-hothouse-earth-author
"The scorching temperatures and forest fires of this summer’s heatwave have finally stirred the world to face the onrushing threat of global warming, claims the climate scientist behind the recent “hothouse Earth” report. Following an unprecedented 270,000 downloads of his study, Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, said he had not seen such a surge of interest since 2007, the year the Nobel prize was awarded to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “I think that in future people will look back on 2018 as the year when climate reality hit,” said the veteran scientist. “This is the moment when people start to realise that global warming is not a problem for future generations, but for us now.”"
'We've been warned': Swelling Northern Hemisphere heatwaves bring unprecedented fires
Lisa Millar & Conor Duffy, 19 August 2018, ABC News Online
"Firefighters in Sweden have faced their worst bushfire season ever on the back of the country's hottest July since records began more than 260 years ago. Wildfires burned more than 24,000 hectares of land, with authorities battling 80 fires across the Nordic country at one point. For Stockholm's chief fire officer Peter Arnevall, July 15 heralded a new breed of firestorm he had not experienced before, with blazes above the Arctic Circle. "We've never seen anything like this," he said. "It was so many fires at the same time and they were so large, it gave us a sense of hopelessness, because we didn't have enough resources within Sweden to handle it.”” ~ FILMS
War in space 'inevitable' because there's so much money to be made, expert warns
Antony Funnell, 24 August 2018, ABC News Online
"A leading Australian space law expert has warned conflict over space assets is "inevitable", and more needs to be done now to avert the potential for hostility. Professor Melissa de Zwart, the Dean of Law at the University of Adelaide, says growing commercial interest in the mining of precious minerals on asteroids and planets has heightened the danger. "I think you have to be a realist about that," she said. "Where you have resources, where you have competition for those resources, where you have investment of money in the extraction of those resources ... there will be an expectation of security around that investment.”” ~ FILMS
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We have long been warned, and done nothing ~ now we must act
The Braidwood Dispatch and Mining Journal (NSW : 1888 - 1954)
Wed 17 Jul 1912, Page 4
Remarkable Weather of 1911
Francis Molena, March 1912, Popular Mechanics
Eunice Foote's Pioneering Research On CO2 And Climate Warming*
Raymond P. Sorenson 
*Manuscript received and accepted January 11, 2011
 Independent, Tulsa, OK (
According to conventional wisdom John Tyndall was the first to measure the variation in absorption of radiant energy by atmospheric gases and the first to predict the impact on climate of small changes in atmospheric gas composition. Overlooked by modern researchers is the work of Eunice Foote, who, three years prior to the start of Tyndall's laboratory research, conducted similar experiments on absorption of radiant energy by atmospheric gases, such as CO2 and water vapor. The presentation of her report at a major scientific convention in 1856 was accompanied by speculation that even modest increases in the concentration of CO2 could result in significant atmospheric warming.
In recent years the increase in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 due to human activity and its potential effect on global climate have become a focus of scientific research and a major international topic of political controversy. CO2 in the atmosphere very efficiently absorbs radiant energy, and increases in the concentration of that gas over time as a result of the burning of fossil fuels and other human activity is projected to cause global climate warming.
Credit for the first recognition of these concepts is routinely given to John Tyndall, who published a series of papers on this and related topics beginning in 1859 (Fleming, 1998).
Unrecognized by modern researchers is a study by Eunice Foote that was presented at the 1856 AAAS annual meeting in Albany, New York, three years prior to Tyndall's first report. Her research was similar to that of Tyndall and resulted in similar conclusions, but it was not formally published. It is known today only from a journalistic summary published in an annual review of world-wide scientific achievements. The text of that review article is reproduced here to make it more readily available and to give proper credit to Eunice Foote for her innovative research.
John Tyndall's Groundbreaking Research
John Tyndall began his experiments on the absorption of radiant energy by gases and reported his initial results to the Royal Society of London in 1859. He announced that "Different gases are thus shown to intercept radiant heat in different degrees," although in that first paper he did not provide quantitative results or specify which gases were the subject of investigation. In an effort to claim priority for his research, Tyndall included the following comment: "With the exception of the celebrated memoir of M. Pouillet on Solar Radiation through the atmosphere, nothing, so far as I am aware, has been published on the transmission of radiant heat through gaseous bodies. We know nothing of the effect even of air upon heat radiated from terrestrial sources." He also stated that: "With regard to the action of other gases upon heat, we are not, so far as I am aware, possessed of a single experiment" (Tyndall, 1859; Wells, 1860, p. 174-175).
In 1861, Tyndall provided quantitative analyses indicating that CO2, water vapor, and hydrocarbon gases, such as methane, were extremely efficient absorbers of radiant energy, as compared with the oxygen and nitrogen that make up the bulk of the atmosphere. He also speculated that changes in the concentration of those gases could have an impact on climate. (Tyndall, 1861). The numerous publications by Tyndall on heat and other topics related to climate change have been covered in depth by Fleming (1998).
Eunice Foote's Forgotten Work
At the 10th annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Albany in 1856, Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian Institution read a paper on behalf of author Mrs. Eunice Foote. The following summary of Mrs. Foote's paper was reported by David A. Wells in the 1857 volume of his Annual of Scientific Discovery ... for 1856:
"Prof. Henry then read a paper by Mrs. Eunice Foote, prefacing it with a few words, to the effect that science was of no country and of no sex. The sphere of woman embraces not only the beautiful and the useful, but the true. Mrs. Foote had determined, first, that the action of the rays increases with the density of the air. She has taken two glass cylinders of the same size, containing thermometers. Into one the air was condensed, and from the other air was exhausted. When they were of the same temperature the cylinders were placed side by side in the sun, and the thermometers in the condensed air rose more than twenty degrees higher than those in the rarified air. This effect of rarefaction must contribute to produce the feebleness of heating power in the sun's rays on the summits of lofty mountains. Secondly, the effect of the sun's rays is greater in moist than in dry air. In one cylinder the air was saturated with moisture, in the other dried with chloride of lime; both were placed in the sun, and a difference of about twelve degrees was observed. This high temperature of sunshine in moist air is frequently noticed; for instance, in the intervals between summer showers. The isothermal lines on the earth's surface are doubtless affected by the moisture of the air giving power to the sun, as well as by the temperature of the ocean yielding the moisture. Thirdly, a high effect of the sun's rays is produced in carbonic acid gas. One receiver being filled with carbonic acid, the other with common air, the temperature of the gas in the sun was raised twenty degrees above that of the air. The receiver containing the gas became very sensibly hotter than the other, and was much longer in cooling. An atmosphere of that gas would give to our earth a much higher temperature; and if there once was, as some suppose, a larger proportion of that gas in the air, an increased temperature must have accompanied it, both from the nature of the gas and the increased density of the atmosphere. Mrs. Foote had also tried the heating effect of the sun's rays on hydrogen and oxygen, and found the former to be less, the latter more, susceptible to the heating action of sunlight" (Wells, 1857, p. 159-160).
Unfortunately, Eunice Foote did not publish a paper on her findings in the AAAS Proceedings volume for the 1856 meeting (AAAS, 1857), and there is no mention of either Eunice Foote or of Professor Henry's oral presentation in that volume. Judging by the opening comments from Joseph Henry as reported by Wells, it is not obvious that a woman scientist in that time period would have been given an opportunity to present her own work or publish a paper. Nevertheless, her laboratory results showing enhanced absorption of radiation by CO2 are in the published record via the report by Wells (1857), two years before Tyndall started his laboratory work in 1859. It is not certain from the language used whether the potential for atmospheric warming due to rising CO2 levels was part of Edna Foote's presentation or whether it was speculation by Wells using journalistic license, but either way that concept was also clearly stated and in print as of 1857.
Eunice Newton Foote
The affiliation of Mrs. Foote was not mentioned by Wells (1857), but it is likely that she was Eunice Newton Foote, the wife of Elisha Foote (Wikipedia, 2010) of Seneca Falls, New York. Evidence of other scientific work by Eunice Foote has not been found, but she is known to have served on the editorial committee for the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, an early and influential meeting of the women's rights movement (Wikipedia, 2011).
Elisha Foote (1809-1883) was a judge, inventor, and mathematician who later (1868-1869) served as commissioner of the U. S. Patent Office. Elisha Foote was listed in the 1856 AAAS Proceedings volume as a new member elected at the Albany meeting (AAAS, 1857, p. xlvi). "Judge Foot" also presented a paper at the 1856 AAAS meeting, on the heating power of the sun's rays, as reported by Wells (1857, p. 159). It stands to reason that the separately presented papers from Eunice Foote and Elisha Foote could have been the result of a collaborative research effort.
Elisha and Eunice Foote were the parents of Mary Foote Henderson (1846-1931), the wife of John B. Henderson, who served as U. S. Senator from Missouri (1862-69), and who introduced the 13th amendment to the U. S. Constitution that abolished slavery. Mary Foote Henderson later became a leader in the real estate development of Washington, D. C., in particular the Meridian Hill area (Wikipedia, 2011).
David Wells and The Annual of Scientific Discovery
The Annual of Scientific Discovery, published in Boston by Gould and Lincoln, was a serial book-length review of scientific progress in the year preceding publication. It attempted to cover the full breadth of scientific endeavor from all of the scientific journals of North America and Europe, as well as reports presented at scientific conferences and important patents. From the time of its first volume in 1850 through 1865, the editor was David A. Wells. In these volumes can be found not only coverage of Eunice Foote's forgotten research (Wells, 1857, p. 159-160), but also John Tyndall's well-known work from 1859 (Wells, 1860, p. 174-175), as well as other research on related topics.
David Ames Wells (1828-1898) graduated in 1851 from Harvard University's Lawrence Scientific School, after starting his career in 1848 with the Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican newspaper. His background as a journalist and his access to the Harvard library clearly were factors in his becoming the first editor for The Annual of Scientific Discovery, and his scientific and writing skills were in evidence as he published introductory textbooks on chemistry, geology, natural philosophy, and general science in the late 1850s and early 1860s.
David Wells also wrote widely distributed papers related to economics, sufficiently impressing President Abraham Lincoln that he was appointed chairman of the U. S. Treasury Department's newly formed Revenue Commission in 1865, an assignment that caused him to turn over The Annual of Scientific Discovery to a new editor. For the rest of his career, Wells focused on government and business, and he is best known today for his innovative work in economics in the late 19th century (Anonymous, 1899; Wikipedia, 2011).
In the course of scientific discovery, it can be difficult to assess claims of priority, particularly if research results are not placed in the public domain through formal publication. This is commonplace for presentations at scientific conventions, where often only a title or perhaps an abstract is preserved for posterity. In the case of Eunice Foote's pioneering research on absorption of radiant energy by greenhouse gases, such as CO2, and the implication that compositional changes in the atmosphere could impact climate changes, it was only through the journalism of David Wells that the originality of her work has been documented. Despite the absence of a formal publication, it is clear that Eunice Foote deserves credit for being an innovator on the topic of CO2 and its potential impact on global climate warming
AAAS, 1857, Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Tenth Meeting, held at Albany, New York, August, 1856. Joseph Lovering, Cambridge, 258 p.
Anonymous, 1899, David Ames Wells: The Journal of Political Economy, v. 7, University of Chicago Press, p. 93-95.
Fleming, James Rodger, 1998, Historical Perspectives on Climate Change: Oxford University Press, New York, 194 p.
Tyndall, John, 1859, Note on the transmission of heat through gaseous bodies: Proceedings Royal Society of London, v. 10, p. 37-39.
Tyndall, John, 1861, On the absorption and radiation of heat by gases and vapours, and on the physical connexion of radiation, absorption and conduction: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, v. 151, part I, p. 1-36.
Wells, David A., ed., 1857, Annual of scientific discovery: or, year-book of facts in science and art, for 1857, exhibiting the most important discoveries and improvements in mechanics, useful arts, natural philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, meteorology, zoology, botany, mineralogy,
geology, geography, antiquities, etc., together with a list of recent scientific publications; a classified list of patents; obituaries of eminent scientific men; notes on the progress of science during the year 1856, etc.: Gould and Lincoln, Boston, 406 p.
Wells, David A., ed., 1860, Annual of scientific discovery: or, year-book of facts in science and art, for 1860, exhibiting the most important discoveries and improvements in mechanics, useful arts, natural philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, geology, zoology, botany, mineralogy, meteorology, geography, antiquities, etc., together with notes on the progress of science during the year 1859; a list of recent scientific publications; obituaries of eminent scientific men; etc.: Gould and Lincoln, Boston, 430 p.
Wikipedia, 2011, “David Ames Wells”: Web accessed, January 9, 2011,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ames_Wells . Wikipedia, 2010, “Elisha Foote”: Web accessed, December 31, 2010, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisha_Foote . Wikipedia, 2011, “John Tyndall”: Web accessed, January 3, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tyndall . Wikipedia, 2011, “Mary Foote Henderson”: Web accessed, January 9, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Foote_Henderson . Wikipedia, 2011, “Seneca Falls Convention”: Web accessed, January 9, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seneca_Falls_Convention .
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Unexpected Future Boost of Methane Possible from Arctic Permafrost
Ellen Gray, 23 August 2018, Space Daily
"New NASA-funded research has discovered that Arctic permafrost's expected gradual thawing and the associated release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere may actually be sped up by instances of a relatively little known process called abrupt thawing. Abrupt thawing takes place under a certain type of Arctic lake, known as a thermokarst lake that forms as permafrost thaws. The impact on the climate may mean an influx of permafrost-derived methane into the atmosphere in the mid-21st century, which is not currently accounted for in climate projections. The Arctic landscape stores one of the largest natural reservoirs of organic carbon in the world in its frozen soils. But once thawed, soil microbes in the permafrost can turn that carbon into the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane, which then enter into the atmosphere and contribute to climate warming."
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Global warming’s paper trail Benjamin Franta
, 13 September 2018, New York Times
STANFORD – One day in 1961, an American economist named Daniel Ellsberg stumbled across a piece of paper with apocalyptic implications. Ellsberg, who was advising the US government on its secret nuclear-war plans, had discovered a document that contained an official estimate of the death toll in a preemptive “first strike” on China and the Soviet Union: approximately 300 million in those countries, and double that globally.
Ellsberg was troubled that such a plan existed; years later, he tried to leak the details of nuclear annihilation to the public. Although this attempt failed, Ellsberg would later become famous for leaking what came to be known as the Pentagon Papers – the US government’s secret history of its military intervention in Vietnam. America’s amoral military planning during the Cold War echoes the hubris exhibited by another cast of characters gambling with the fate of humanity. Recently, secret documents have been unearthed detailing what the energy industry knew about the links between their products and global warming. But, unlike the government’s nuclear plans, what the industry detailed was put into action. In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2090, CO2 levels would double relative to the 1800s, and that this, according to the best science at the time, would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 3°C. Later that decade, in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects, but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections. Shell’s assessment foresaw a 60-70cm rise in sea level, and noted that warming could also fuel the disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, resulting in a worldwide rise in sea level of “five to six meters.” That would be enough to inundate entire low-lying countries. Shell’s analysts also warned of the “disappearance of specific ecosystems or habitat destruction,” predicted an increase in “runoff, destructive floods, and inundation of low-lying farmland,” and said that “new sources of freshwater would be required” to compensate for changes in precipitation. Global changes in air temperature would also “drastically change the way people live and work.” All told, Shell concluded, “the changes may be the greatest in recorded history.” For its part, Exxon warned of “potentially catastrophic events that must be considered.” Like Shell’s experts, Exxon’s scientists predicted devastating sea-level rise, and warned that the American Midwest and other parts of the world could become desert-like. Looking on the bright side, the company expressed its confidence that “this problem is not as significant to mankind as a nuclear holocaust or world famine.” The documents make for frightening reading. And the effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants’ refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Shell’s report, marked “confidential,” was first disclosed by a Dutch news organization earlier this year. Exxon’s study was not intended for external distribution, either; it was leaked in 2015. Nor did these companies ever take responsibility for their products. In Shell’s study, the firm argued that the “main burden” of addressing climate change rests not with the energy industry, but with governments and consumers. That argument might have made sense if oil executives, including those from Exxon and Shell, had not later lied about climate change and actively prevented governments from enacting clean-energy policies. Although the details of global warming were foreign to most people in the 1980s, among the few who had a better idea than most were the companies contributing the most to it. Despite scientific uncertainties, the bottom line was this: oil firms recognized that their products added CO2 to the atmosphere, understood that this would lead to warming, and calculated the likely consequences. And then they chose to accept those risks on our behalf, at our expense, and without our knowledge. The catastrophic nuclear war plans that Ellsberg saw in the 1960s were a Sword of Damocles that fortunately never fell. But the oil industry’s secret climate-change predictions are becoming reality, and not by accident. Fossil-fuel producers willfully drove us toward the grim future they feared by promoting their products, lying about the effects, and aggressively defending their share of the energy market. As the world warms, the building blocks of our planet – its ice sheets, forests, and atmospheric and ocean currents – are being altered beyond repair. Who has the right to foresee such damage and then choose to fulfill the prophecy? Although war planners and fossil-fuel companies had the arrogance to decide what level of devastation was appropriate for humanity, only Big Oil had the temerity to follow through. That, of course, is one time too many. The writer is a former research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. __________________
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RECENT REPORTS ~
Plans for first Chinese solar power station in space revealed Kirsty Needham, 15 February 2019, Sydney Morning Herald https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/plans-for-first-chinese-solar-power-station-in-space-revealed-20190214-p50xtg.html "China is taking its renewable energy push to new heights, with scientists revealing plans to build the first solar power station in space. A solar power station orbiting the earth at 36,000 kilometres could tap the energy of the sun's rays without interference from the atmosphere, or seasonal and night-time loss of sunlight, Chinese media reported. Construction of an early experimental space power plant has begun in the inland city of Chongqing, China's Science and Technology Daily reported on its front page. A researcher from the China Academy of Space Technology Corporation, Pang Zhihao, said a space solar power station held the promise of providing "an inexhaustible source of clean energy for humans”.” ~ "It could reliably supply energy 99 per cent of the time, at six-times the intensity of solar farms on earth, he said. Chinese scientists first plan to build and launch small to medium-sized solar power stations to be launched into the stratosphere to generate electricity, between 2021 and 2025.” ~ "Solar energy would be converted to electricity and a microwave or laser beam would transmit the energy to earth. The long-term safety impact of microwave radiation from a space power station on the atmosphere and earth's ecology would also need to be studied, the researchers said. In addition to overcoming the problems of polluting fossil fuels on earth, a solar power station could assist China's deep space exploration program by providing an energy supply, the report noted.” Met Office: global warming could exceed 1.5C within five years Jonathan Watts, 7 February 2019, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/06/met-office-global-warming-could-exceed-1-point-5-c-in-five-years "Global warming could temporarily hit 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for the first time between now and 2023, according to a long-term forecast by the Met Office. Meteorologists said there was a 10% chance of a year in which the average temperature rise exceeds 1.5C, which is the lowest of the two Paris agreement targets set for the end of the century. Until now, the hottest year on record was 2016, when the planet warmed 1.11C above pre-industrial levels, but the long-term trend is upward. Man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are adding 0.2C of warming each decade but the incline of temperature charts is jagged due to natural variation: hotter El Niño years zig above the average, while cooler La Ninã years zag below. In the five-year forecast released on Wednesday, the Met Office highlights the first possibility of a natural El Niño combining with global warming to exceed the 1.5C mark.” UN warns world on track to breach 3C rise by 2100; last year was fourth warmest on record ABC Nerws Online, 7 February 2019 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-07/climate-change-un-data-shows-2018-fourth-hottest/10788072 "Last year was the fourth warmest year on record and the outlook is for more sizzling heat approaching levels that most view as dangerous for humankind on the Earth, a United Nations report has shown. The new report said the world was on track to have average global temperatures rise to 3 degrees Celsius by 2100, as record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is trapping more heat in the Earth's atmosphere. In 2015, almost 200 governments adopted the Paris climate agreement to phase out the use of fossil fuels and limit the rise in temperatures between 1.5C to 2C, to avert "dangerous" man-made climate change.” Ocean temperature data shows warming is accelerating faster than we thought Nick Kilvert, 11 January 2019, ABC News Online https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-01-11/ocean-warming-accelerating-faster-than-thought-science/10693080?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=%5bnews_sfmc_newsmail_am_df_!n1%5d%3a8935&user_id=ba520dff3eeb28ed636c99a1223eb57cf8d1be6ca9a784fd234ff25f8ffeebc6&WT.tsrc=email&WT.mc_id=Email%7c%5bnews_sfmc_newsmail_am_df_!n1%5d%7c8935ABCNewsmail_topstories_articlelink "The rate of ocean warming today has accelerated significantly since 1991, and is increasing much faster than previously recorded, according to a new study of ocean temperature research. Higher sea-level rise and more extreme tropical cyclones are just some of the consequences forecast as ocean temperatures increase. Argo — a global system of satellite-linked ocean temperature measuring devices — has allowed researchers to better calculate our ocean warming trajectory. The results published in Science today show that previous ocean warming data has significantly undercalculated how steep that trajectory is, according to study co-author Zeke Hausfather from the University of California. "Our best estimate is that the rate of warming since the 1970s is about 40 per cent faster than was reported in the estimates published in the last IPCC report," Dr Hausfather said. In the period between 1991 to 2010, the ocean warmed, on average, more than five times faster than in the 1971 to 1990 period, according to the research. When water heats up, it expands. Under worst-case-scenario projections, the expansion of the oceans due to warming will add around 30 centimetres to sea-level rise by 2100. That's on top of the sea-level rise that will be caused by melting ice caps.” ~ ""Really it just gives us more certainty, as if we didn't have enough already, that the earth is warming and it's warming more and more rapidly, and the impacts of that warming will be broad.” Water takes much more energy to heat up than the atmosphere, and holds onto that energy far more effectively than air. The oceans contain 93 per cent of the extra energy that is stored in the climate system as a result of climate change. Even if we were able to cut our emissions to zero today, the oceans will act like a hot-water bottle — they'll be warming our atmosphere for decades or centuries to come. And with that warming comes consequences that scientists are still working to predict and understand, according to Dr Rintoul.” Undersea gases could superheat the planet Space Daily, 14 February 2019 http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Undersea_gases_could_superheat_the_planet_999.html "The world's oceans could harbor an unpleasant surprise for global warming, based on new research that shows how naturally occurring carbon gases trapped in reservoirs atop the seafloor escaped to superheat the planet in prehistory. Scientists say events that began on the ocean bottom thousands of years ago so disrupted the Earth's atmosphere that it melted away the ice age. Those new findings challenge a long-standing paradigm that ocean water alone regulated carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during glacial cycles. Instead, the study shows geologic processes can dramatically upset the carbon cycle and cause global change. For today's world, the findings could portend an ominous development. The undersea carbon reservoirs released greenhouse gas to the atmosphere as oceans warmed, the study shows, and today the ocean is heating up again due to manmade global warming. If undersea carbon reservoirs are upset again, they would emit a huge new source of greenhouse gases, exacerbating climate change. Temperature increases in the ocean are on pace to reach that tipping point by the end of the century. For example, a big carbon reservoir beneath the western Pacific near Taiwan is already within a few degrees Celsius of destabilizing.” ~ "In many cases, the carbon reservoirs are bottled up by their hydrate caps. But those covers are sensitive to temperature changes. As oceans warm, the caps can melt, a development the paper warns would lead to a double wallop for climate change - a new source of geologic carbon in addition to the manmade greenhouse gases. Oceans absorb nearly all the excess energy from the Earth's atmosphere, and as a result they have been warming rapidly in recent decades. Over the past quarter-century, Earth's oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year than scientists previously had thought, other studies have shown. Throughout the marine water column, ocean heat has increased for the last 50 years. The federal government's Climate Science Special Report projected a global increase in average sea surface temperatures of up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, given current emissions rates. Temperature gains of that magnitude throughout the ocean could eventually destabilize the geologic hydrate reservoirs, Stott said. "The last time it happened, climate change was so great it caused the end of the ice age. Once that geologic process begins, we can't turn it off," Stott said.” Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature’ Damian Carrington, 12 February 2019, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threaten-collapse-of-nature?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlBVVMtMTkwMjEx&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayAUS&CMP=GTAU_email "The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review. More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century. The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.” ~ "The analysis, published in the journal Biological Conservation, says intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, particularly the heavy use of pesticides. Urbanisation and climate change are also significant factors. “If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind,” said Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, at the University of Sydney, Australia, who wrote the review with Kris Wyckhuys at the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing. The 2.5% rate of annual loss over the last 25-30 years is “shocking”, Sánchez-Bayo told the Guardian: “It is very rapid. In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none.”” ~ "Sánchez-Bayo said the unusually strong language used in the review was not alarmist. “We wanted to really wake people up” and the reviewers and editor agreed, he said. “When you consider 80% of biomass of insects has disappeared in 25-30 years, it is a big concern.”” ALSO ~ Climate change is killing off Earth’s little creatures Bill Laurance, 12 February 2019, The Conversation https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-killing-off-earths-little-creatures-109719 Amended threatened species list set to grow as Wet Tropics suffers through extreme heat events Brendan Mounter, 23 February 2019, ABC News Online https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-23/flying-fox-decline-signals-dire-warning-for-health-of-tropics/10838580 "Official recognition that the spectacled flying fox is now an endangered species was bittersweet for those who lobbied for its change in status. This week Environment Minister Melissa Price amended the list of threatened species — among the changes was an up-listing of the tropical fruit bat from 'vulnerable' to 'endangered' — four years after the CSIRO recommended a change. The species is in rapid decline. CSIRO monitoring showed a 50 per cent loss between 2004 and 2017 and heatwaves this summer have further decimated the remaining population by an estimated 30 per cent. "After the heat event, the species is probably closer to 'critically endangered'," CSIRO ecologist David Westcott said.” ~ ""The recent heat waves were intense even at the tops of the mountains so I'm dreading the potential impacts that may have already occurred. "I suspect the next wave of extinctions is going to be mostly due to extreme events — extreme climate events like heatwaves.”” ~ ""About 80 per cent of all the world's species occurs in the Tropics, so we've got a lot more to lose there," Dr Williams said. "The animals and plants in the Tropics have evolved to a higher mean temperature but a low variability so they don't like extreme temperature in either the cold or hot direction. "A lot of tropical species are much closer to the edge of the tolerances, so they very much are the 'canary in the coalmine' for the world in what's going to start happening with climate change.” Flying foxes are dying across Cairns during the heatwave Danaella Wivell, 14 February 2019, The Cairns Post https://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/flying-foxes-are-dying-across-cairns-during-the-heatwave/news-story/d7b42d484fef36e59f4b5f92553a47db "“Usually we see the bats come down at 41C, that’s their limit, but they’re still recovering from the heatwave, the flood, and this heatwave.” Earth Is 'Missing' at Least 20 Ft of Sea Level Rise. Antarctica Could Be The Time Bomb Chris Mooney, 12 February 2019, Washington Post https://www.sciencealert.com/earth-s-climate-s-now-like-115-000-years-ago-when-the-sea-was-much-higher "Some 115,000 years ago, Homo sapiens were still living in bands of hunter gatherers, largely confined to Africa. We still shared the globe with the Neanderthals, although it's not clear we had met them yet. And though these various hominids didn't know it, the Earth was coming to the end of a major warm period. It was one that's quite close to our current climate, but with one major discrepancy - seas at the time were 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 metres) higher.” Antarctic mission reveals Totten Glacier secrets, along with rethink on sea level rise
Jessica Hayes, 25 March 2019, ABC News Online
"Scientists using seismic testing at the largest glacier in east Antarctica find massive subglacial lakes beneath its surface — which they say radically alters estimates on predicted sea level rise. A team of international researchers from the Australian Antarctic Program have this week returned from a 160-day expedition at the Totten Glacier, located near Casey Station — about 3,431 kilometres (2,132 miles) from Hobart. Glaciologist Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi said in order to find out what was underneath, researchers drilled into the ice sheet and set off small explosives about two metres below the surface of the glacier, which is up to 30 kilometres wide and up to two kilometres thick. "These explosions sent out sound waves, which then echoed off different layers in the ice and bedrock," he said. "We place geophones along the surface of the glacier to listen to the reflected sound, giving us a picture of what lies beneath the ice.”” ~ "Dr Galton-Fenzi said "a substantial amount of water" was contained in the subglacial lakes, which could impact the rate at which ice flows into the ocean. "In the context of climate change, we need to understand the characteristics of the bed, because they exert a very powerful control over the flow of the glacier," he said.” ~ "While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates sea levels will rise by a metre by 2100, Dr Galton-Fenzi said those estimates did not factor in the increased discharge of Antarctic ice due to climate change.” ~ ""The Totten Glacier drains an area of east Antarctica that contains about seven metres of sea level rise equivalent of ice," he said.”
NOTE: The Totten Glacier is separate from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is more vulnerable to Earth changes, and contains enough ice for 5 metres of sea level rise. __________________
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The day the world burned
"When UC Santa Barbara geology professor emeritus James Kennett and colleagues set out years ago to examine signs of a major cosmic impact that occurred toward the end of the Pleistocene epoch, little did they know just how far-reaching the projected climatic effect would be. "It's much more extreme than I ever thought when I started this work," Kennett noted. "The more work that has been done, the more extreme it seems.” He's talking about the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, which postulates that a fragmented comet slammed into the Earth close to 12,800 years ago, causing rapid climatic changes, megafaunal extinctions, sudden human population decrease and cultural shifts and widespread wildfires (biomass burning). The hypothesis suggests a possible triggering mechanism for the abrupt changes in climate at that time, in particular a rapid cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, called the Younger Dryas, amid a general global trend of natural warming and ice sheet melting evidenced by changes in the fossil and sediment record."
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Radical climate action 'critical' to Great Barrier Reef's survival, government body says
Nicole Hasham, 14 April 2019, Canberra Times
"Australia's top Great Barrier Reef officials warn the natural wonder will virtually collapse if the planet becomes 1.5 degrees hotter - a threshold that scientists say requires shutting down coal within three decades. This federal election campaign is a potential tipping point for Australia's direction on climate action, as the major parties pledge distinctly different ambitions for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” ~ "Climate change has already wrought devastating effects on the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, including two consecutive years of mass coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017. In response to the threat, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - the federal government's lead agency for managing the reef - has prepared a climate change position statement. The document, obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age under freedom of information laws, has not been released to the general public despite being in development for the past 15 months. It states that limiting the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees or below since industrial times began - the higher end of the Paris agreement target - "is critical to maintain the ecological function of the Great Barrier Reef". The world has already warmed by 1 degree.” ~ "The document cites scientific evidence that the reef could experience temperature-induced bleaching events twice per decade by about 2020 and annually by 2050 under high-emissions scenarios. The authority has long said climate change is the greatest threat facing the reef. However climate action advocates say to date, it has not sufficiently emphasised the repercussions of exceeding a 1.5-degree temperature rise." __________________