Sunday, April 10, 2016

This is the Sea Ice Extent graph. (click here)

It is an interactive that allows for any or all years to be presented on the graph. The top dark solid line shows the average for most of the years.

The blue line is 2015. 
The dotted green line is 2012.

And in the upper left corner is the beginning of the measure of 2016. 
The north pole is the ice ocean, the Arctic Ocean. The sea ice is an indication of the vitality of the ocean. The ice structures of Earth is how the planet mitigates heat.

Updated December 11, 2015
Sea ice grows throughout the winter (click here) and melts throughout the summer, reaching its maximum extent in late February or March, and its minimum extent in September. The ice that survives at least one summer melt season is typically thicker and more likely to survive future summers. Since the 1980s, the amount of this perennial ice (or multiyear) has declined dramatically.
This animation tracks the relative amount of ice of different ages each week from 1990 through early November 2015. The first age class on the scale (1, darkest blue) means "first-year ice,” which formed in the most recent winter. The oldest ice (>9, white) is ice that is more than nine years old. Dark gray areas indicate open water or coastal regions where the spatial resolution of the data is coarser than the land map....
There are significant methane leaks (click here) all long the manufacturing chain.

And the young people know the negligence of current governace in Washington, DC.

April 10, 2016
By Rmuse

...The Judge, (click here) Thomas Coffin of the Federal District Court in Eugene, ruled that the 21 8-19 year old plaintiffs could continue their “landmark constitutional climate change case.” Despite the federal government’s battle being enjoined by powerful fossil fuel to get the young people’s case dismissed, Judge Coffin said the case is going forward specifically because,

The government has known for decades that carbon dioxide (C02) pollution has been causing catastrophic climate change and has failed to take necessary action to curtail fossil fuel emissions resulting in carbon pollution of the atmosphere, climate destabilization and ocean acidification.”

The ruling also upholds the young plaintiffs’ claims that by not doing everything in its considerable power to combat global climate change, the federal government violated their Fifth and Ninth Amendment protections. As Judge Coffin said, “by denying them protections afforded to previous generations, and by favoring short term economic interests of certain citizens.”

The Judge specifically noted, and agreed with the youngsters, that both ignoring climate change and enabling it was also a violation of the “public trust doctrine.”  It means that the government must adhere to the “principle that certain natural and cultural resources are preserved for public use, and that the government owns and must protect and maintain these resources for the public’s use. Thus, any use or sale of such land must be in the public interest.” Exacerbating anthropogenic climate change and all of its devastating effects is certainly not in “the public interest.”

It was a major win for the young people and all Americans, and a defeat for fossil fuel’s opinion that “the public trust” is an abomination. That opinion informs why Republicans in the employ of the fossil fuel industry oppose the government either owning or regulating, protecting or preserving land and water.


What does Methane and Carbon Dioxide have in common?

They are compounds with a common atom of carbon. Carbon has four bonding electrons. Methane uses single bonds to claim four hydrogen atoms.

Below is CO2. It has a central carbon atom double bonded to two oxygen atoms.

Both are greenhouse gases with a central carbon, four bonding electrons, but, different bonding atoms. Methane has four hydrogens and carbon dioxide has two oxygens. All the bonding electrons are full and stable.

Methane (CH4) is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas (click here) emitted in the United States from human activities. 

In 2013, CH4 accounted for about 10% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Methane is emitted by natural sources such as wetlands, as well as human activities such as leakage from natural gas systems and the raising of livestock. Natural processes in soil and chemical reactions in the atmosphere help remove CH4 from the atmosphere. Methane's lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide (CO2), but CH4 is more efficient at trapping radiation than CO2. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is more than 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.
Globally, over 60% of total CH4 emissions come from human activities. Methane is emitted from industry, agriculture, and waste management activities,...

In thinking back to these two graphs, what are the chances there were there were natural sources of methane such as wetlands and dinosaur farts? 

The point is land use has changed, the planet is full of people, some with an economy that requires large amount of fossil fuels to burn for energy. 

Earth has always had methane emitted naturally. That is not in question. But, the escalating amount of greenhouse gases has become ridiculous and speaks to human nature in being the top predator on Earth. There is not stopping human beings from destroying the biotic content of Earth than Earth itself. 

Earth has no way of communicating it's dominance over life, except, to act out extremely high greenhouse gas levels in the way of drought, floods and the sixth extinction. 

Human beings are the top predators on Earth, but, they sure don't seem to be the smartest predators on Earth.
April 10, 2016
By Elisabeth Lepro

As Pennsylvania’s natural gas production (click here) continues to expand, so does the possibility of potentially harmful methane emissions.
A new study from scientists in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oil and Gas program examined the most common sites for methane leaks at oil and gas pads nationwide. A team of researchers partnered with Gas Leaks Inc., a company that uses infrared technology to inspect well pads, to fly a helicopter over thousands of pads in seven regions in the United States.
In total, the researchers flew over 8,000 pads in areas saturated by drilling, including North Dakota’s Bakken Shale and the Marcellus Shale in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
The goal, according to a blog post from researchers involved, was to “better characterize the prevalence of ‘super emitters’” — the largest sources of the gas industry’s methane pollution.
Results of the study, accepted on Tuesday in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, show that 90 percent of leaks from nearly 500 sources sprung from the vents and hatches, or doors, on gas tanks.
The leaks were not a problem caused by old age, as emissions were more likely to be detected at newer wells. According to researchers, this is a clear indication that control systems already in place to prevent leaks are not up to par....

One more time for emphasis.

These two graphs were compiled by "The Union of Concerned Scientists" to illustrate how high CO2 is today compared to Earth's history. 

I think it is compelling and sound in it's facts. Governance has to take these findings into consideration, otherwise, it is not governance but corruption.

...Long-wave radiation absorbed by these gases (click here) in turn is re-emitted in all directions, including back toward Earth, and some of this re-emitted energy is absorbed again by these gases and re-emitted in all directions. The net effect is that most of the outgoing radiation is kept within the atmosphere instead of escaping into space. Heat-trapping gases, in balanced proportions, act like a blanket surrounding Earth, keeping temperatures within a range that enables life to thrive on a planet with liquid water.  Unfortunately, these gases—especially carbon dioxide—are accumulating in the atmosphere at increasing concentrations due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuel in cars and power plants, the clearing of forests for agriculture or development, and agricultural practices.[4] As a result, the insulating blanket is getting too thick and overheating the Earth as less energy (heat) escapes into space.

"The Guardian" treats the Great Barrier Reef in c\ompetition with coal. It is a competition of priorities.

9 April 2016
By Michael Slezak 

Marine life from the Australian Conservation Foundation’s trip to Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Here on Heron Island, (click here) you could be forgiven for thinking everything is calm on the Great Barrier Reef. There are kilometres of gorgeous coral and a bustling ecosystem around it – huge schools of colourful fish, turtles, rays and sharks.
It is the reef you grew up seeing on documentaries.
And, above the water, the reef is supporting an astounding colony of birds – everything from clumsy mutton birds that fall into trees and haunt the island at night, to cheeky white-capped noddies that appear almost interested in the people walking around. Above it all is a pair of soaring sea eagles, circling the island.
However, driven by climate change, the northern parts of the reef are suffering the worst bleaching ever recorded there. Stark images of ghostly white corals are coming out daily, as scientists document the damage that warm waters are doing to the reef....

I think "The Guardian" has the topic most correct. The heating of Earth is about priorities. Where does a society place it's priorities in the world, on a planet for it's children or a continuation of fossil fuels for energy causing enormous problems.

It is the priority of what is the focus of a country's governance. No government official can stand in opposition of scientists with credentials. It is not about believing the scientists, it is about taking the information they provide and placing it in priority of governance.

...And in corridors and offices on the mainland, a brand new chapter is beginning in an epic environmental battle that’s been going for half a century: the fight between the world’s largest structure of living things on the one side, and the mining industry on the other.
This battle could be a win not just for the Great Barrier Reef but also for any other world heritage area in Australia that is threatened by climate change. And it could add another roadblock to new fossil fuel projects too....

Light comes in different wavelengths.

Light coming to Earth from the sun is a shorter wavelength and passes through Earth's gaseous atmospheres past greenhouse gases.

Once the short (click here) wavelength reaches Earth's surface it is absorbed and reflected back to space as infrared, a much longer wavelength. The longer wavelength won't pass through the greenhouse gases. 

It is the change in the wavelength of light at Earth's surface and the greenhouse gases of it's atmosphere that won't allow the infrared to leave into space. The more greenhouse gases that are in Earth's atmosphere the less infrared that will escape to outer space.

1. Electromagnetic radiation (click here) at most wavelengths from the Sun passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.

2. The Earth absorbs electromagnetic radiation with short wavelengths and so warms up. Heat is radiated from the Earth as longer wavelength infrared radiation.

3. Some of this infrared radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

4. The atmosphere warms up.

I just want to take a minute to thank and congratulate Sesame Street on their new family member, Zari.

April 9, 2016
by AP

She joins (click here) Sesame Street's multi-cultural line-up, which includes Muppets in Bangladesh, Egypt and India who each do separate segments on their own national programs.
Zari, too, will have two segments in each show, one on her own and another in which she interviews people from a wide range of backgrounds aiming to educate her young audience about such things as the importance of study, exercise and health....

This article appears in The Detroit Free Press. Dearborn is not far from Detroit and one of the largest populations of Muslims in the USA. it is a matter of inclusion to all the girls that live there and around the world. It is very exciting the Muppet family is growing.

Sunlight is electromagnetic. It travels in measureable wavelengths.

We know sunlight is powerful because it tell us so. Sunlight alone is studied for the sole purpose of knowing it is there.

The Duration of Sunlight Recorder, (click here) also known as the Campbell-Stokes Recorder, The Stokes Sphere, or simply referred to as a Sunshine Recorder is used to concentrate sunlight into a beam hot enough to burn paper. It is one of the oldest methods for recording periods of sunlight throughout the day, and the device is relatively unchanged since it was invented in 1853. The resulting burn line in the paper (the line is created as Earth rotates) indicates periods of sunshine. Breaks in the line (no burn), indicate periods of cloud cover (during daylight hours). The paper onto which light is concentrated records only 12 hours worth of observations, as there is no need to record sunlight at night!...

I sometimes think people just don't get it, about greenhouse gases. I mean it is a gas right? So, let's start with the fact sunlight exists and it is powerful. It can burn paper. Burning means there is heat. In the absence of sunlight there is no heat or burning. Therefore, sunlight is a serious part of global warming.

The enromity of the negative feedback loop can't be ignored.

April 9, 2016
By Michelle Innis

...A large underwater heat wave (Click here) formed in the northeastern Pacific in early 2014, and has since stretched into a wide band along the west coast of North America, from Baja California to the Bering Sea. Nicknamed the Blob, it is up to four degrees Fahrenheit warmer than surrounding waters, and has been blamed for a host of odd phenomena, including the beaching of hungry sea lions in California and the sighting of tropical skipjack tuna off Alaska.
Then came 2015, with the most powerful El Niño climate cycle in a century. It blasted heat across the tropical and southern Pacific, bleaching reefs from Kiritimati to Indonesia, and across the Indian Ocean to Réunion and Tanzania on Africa’s east coast.
“We are currently experiencing the longest global coral bleaching event ever observed,” said C. Mark Eakin, the Coral Reef Watch coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Maryland. “We are going to lose a lot of the world’s reefs during this event.”
Reefs that take centuries to form can be destroyed in weeks. Individual corals may survive a bleaching, but repeated bleachings can kill them.
Lurid reports of damaged reefs started coming in from worried scientists in the summer of 2014.9...

Methane is the next greenhouse gas in Annex A.

Annex A
Greenhouse gases
Carbon dioxide (C02)
Methane (CH4)
Nitrous oxide (N20)
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) 
When reviewing this list I realized NASA includes H2O as a greenhouse gas. I'll include it here as well.
It's Sunday Night

I listen to the wind
To the wind of my soul
Where I'll end up, well, I think
Only God really knows
I've sat upon the setting sun
But never, never, never, never
I never wanted water once
No, never, never, never
I listen to my words
But they fall far below
I let my music take me where
My heart wants to go
I swam upon the devil's lake
But never, never, never, never
I'll never make the same mistake
No, never, never, never

Cassius Clay and Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. changed their names, too. Cat Stevens always had wonderful music.

According to the words I heard today, Hillary Clinton has already moved on to the national election.

That is her answer to being qualified. Bernie Sanders is correct in wanting to move on. He needs to dialogue about the actual and real problems. There is plenty there. 

April 10, 2016
By John Wager

New York — After a week (click here) in which the two Democratic presidential candidates questioned each other’s preparations and qualifications, Bernie Sanders on Sunday took aim at Hillary Clinton’s judgment, saying “something is clearly lacking.”
During talk show appearances, the senator from Vermont continued to zero in on Clinton’s acceptance of special-interest money, her support for the Iraq War and her past backing of international trade agreements.
“In many respects, she may have the experience to be president of the United States,” Sanders said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “No one can argue that. But in terms of her judgement, something is clearly lacking.”...

Food stamps are being cut to the working poor that will insure their further failure to move above poverty. They can't get their footing without being pulled backward into poverty all over again.

The big issue with social programs is, do we want to provide a path out of poverty or do government programs want to use the poor as a political weapon. Food stamps can be a consistent support to people as they look for work and seek higher wages so they are no longer a dependent at all. Or the removal of social supports takes Americans and their families to a level that will only provide stagnation. 

While this program seems fairly innocent, is it really? These are policy issues that have to be answered in a real way with facts and figures and statements of the people receiving these benefits themselves in Congressional oversight. It is called public involvement and testimony.

With lack of policy, this is nothing more than a political hot topic whereby the recipients CONTINUE to be called lazy and a social parasite.  

One point of view is that the USA is breeding it's own dependency problems while the other view is that the USA economy is failing the people by not demanding a living wage. It is definitely a topic that needs to be at the center of the national elections agenda.

We want the end of the working poor and high impoverishment of children. 

April 1, 2016

...Critics say the 20-year-old mandate (click here) is outdated in the new economy, in which steady manufacturing jobs are harder to come by and employers are imposing erratic schedules on low-wage workers. Falling unemployment rates can mask the reality for the working poor who cycle in and out of unemployment, critics say, with the fluctuating hours and irregular paychecks. "We've seen a long-term trend toward more precarious job conditions for low-skilled workers," said Shawn Fremstad, a lawyer at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "Even if you get a job, you're not guaranteed more than 20 hours a week."....

The national debate isn't just about fear mongering through obsession over ISIS, Russia, Syria and Iran. 

The national media is completely prepared to drag the country into the fear of 911 all over again. Don't let them do it. We need to address the country's need for infrastructure and conquering the ever increasing danger of becoming poor. 

If the USA cannot bring their people out of poverty in a profound way that realizes an increasing middle class with real increase in quality of life then why expect allies or otherwise to be able to accomplish improved quality of life. 

That improved quality of life should be at the center of international dialogue. We need to go there, our planet and our health demands it. Earth is the premium this year with issues of squalor and a planet quickly becoming a place where life is more challenged than reasonable answers.

Broad scale war is out of the question. The END OF WAR is the international agenda. Nuclear arms does not insure the lives of people! How did we ever get here and how is the USA prepared to lead the world to less and less nuclear threat! 

When it comes to good quality of life, how many visas that take American jobs is sincerely important. We can educate Americans beyond imagination, but, if companies are allowed to hire cheap labor through visa preference, it won't do Americans a darn bit of good.

January 25, 2016
By Julia Preston 

Even after Leo Perrero (click here) was laid off a year ago from his technology job at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. — and spent his final months there training a temporary immigrant from India to do his work — he still hoped to find a new position in the vast entertainment company.
But Mr. Perrero discovered that despite his high performance ratings, he and most of the other 250 tech workers Disney dismissed would not be rehired for at least a year, and probably never.
Now he and Dena Moore, another American laid off by Disney at that time, have filed lawsuits in federal court in Tampa, Fla., against Disney and two global consulting companies, HCL and Cognizant, which brought in foreign workers who replaced them. They claim the companies colluded to break the law by using temporary H-1B visas to bring in immigrant workers, knowing that Americans would be displaced....

Hm. Disney? I wasn't all that impressed with the new "Star Wars."