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Member since: 2002
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Parts of the world have already grown too hot for human survival


More than a decade ago, two climate scientists defined what they considered at the time to be the upper limit of human survivability: 35 degrees Celsius, or 95 degrees Fahrenheit, at 100 percent humidity, also known as the wet-bulb threshold. In those conditions, a person, no matter who they are or where they live, cannot shed enough heat to stay alive for more than a few hours. The scientists’ operating assumption was that carbon emissions would need to warm the planet 5 to 7 degrees C (9 to 12.6 degrees F) before the world exceeded the wet-bulb threshold every year. Since then, more advanced work has demonstrated the world only needs to warm by about 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) before heat waves in the hottest parts of the world first cross that survivability line.


A study published in Science Advances this week used a more realistic threshold to determine when and where the world will become dangerously hot for humans. The researchers, from the University of Oxford and the Woodwell Climate Research Center, used a framework called the “noncompensable heat threshold,” the conditions under which a human being can no longer maintain a healthy core temperature without taking action to cool off. Six hours of unmitigated exposure to these temperatures would be sufficient to cause death. This threshold can be reached under different combinations of air temperature and humidity — the hotter the temperature, the less humidity needed to cross the limit. At 40 degrees C (104 degrees F), for example, you need about 50 percent relative humidity to cross the noncompensable threshold.

The researchers found that parts of the world have already surpassed this threshold. They identified 21 weather stations that clocked conditions exceeding the noncompensable threshold between 1970 and 2020, mainly along coastlines in the hottest regions of the planet such as the Persian Gulf and South Asia. Even more people will face such conditions as the planet continues to warm from fossil fuel combustion.

Sooner than expected. As usual.

Pretty soon we'll experience mass casualty events in poor nations that can't afford AC.

Top global ports may be unusable by 2050 without more climate action, report says


LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Some of the world's largest ports may be unusable by 2050 as rising sea levels hit operations, and efforts to speed up decarbonisation of the maritime sector and bring in new technology are vital, a study showed on Friday.

Weather-related disruptions are already impacting ports across the globe. These include a drought which is hampering operations in the Panama Canal, a top waterway.

The Global Maritime Trends 2050 report, commissioned by leading shipping services group Lloyd's Register and the independent charity arm Lloyd's Register Foundation, looked at future scenarios.

"Of the world’s 3,800 ports, a third are located in a tropical band vulnerable to the most powerful effects of climate change," a Lloyd's Register (LR) spokesperson said.

"The ports of Shanghai, Houston and Lazaro Cardenas (in Mexico), some of the world’s largest, could potentially be inoperable by 2050 with a rise in sea levels of only 40 cm."

Millions of carbon credits are not tied to forest preservation, as claimed


In a new study published in the journal Science, researchers have determined that a significant portion of the carbon credits tied to forest preservation may be based on inflated figures.

The research, led by an international consortium of scientists and economists from the University of Cambridge and VU Amsterdam, has found that the majority of carbon offset schemes might be significantly overestimating the deforestation levels they are preventing.

“This means that many of the carbon credits bought by companies to balance out emissions are not tied to real-world forest preservation as claimed,” says the report.

The only way we'll cut carbon emissions is by burning less fossil fuels. End of story.

India To Ban Sugar Exports In Addition To Rice As Corn, Soybeans And More Crops Falter In HEAT


India is set to ban exports of sugar for the first time in seven years following a low-yield cane crop hurt by a lack of rain, Reuters reported Wednesday, adding to a list of crops that includes corn, sorghum and soybeans suffering amid the Earth's hottest summer on record.

There's more coal being shipped by sea than ever before


Clean, green renewables are on the rise. Coal, the dirtiest fuel, is dying. Or so the energy transition line goes. The reality, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), is that global coal production, consumption, and seaborne volumes are all at all-time highs in 2023.

Coal isn’t dying yet globally, just in the West. It’s still alive and kicking in Asia — and still growing globally as a result. That’s bad news for greenhouse gas emissions, but good news for owners of the dry bulk ships that transport coal, particularly as America exports more of its own mining output via long-haul voyages to Asia.

“Demand to ship coal has been a good support for the dry bulk market over the first half of the year,” said ship brokerage BRS on Thursday. “Despite coal demand in Europe and North America resuming its downward trend, Asia has provided an offset as demand continues to grow there.”

Seaborne coal volumes are predicted to reach 1,335,000 million metric tons this year, topping 2019’s record of 1,331,000 tons, the IEA said in its recently released midyear outlook.

This is bad. Really bad.

North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources warns more CO2 needed to sustain oil production long-te


BISMARCK, N.D. (KUMV) - State Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said more carbon dioxide will be needed in order to sustain oil production for the long term. This comes following the Public Service Commission’s decision to deny a permit for the Summit Carbon Solutions CO2 Pipeline.

While Helms didn’t comment on the matter, he said the state needs to get the gas from somewhere to help with enhanced oil recovery. The emerging technology uses CO2 and other materials to help producers to take more oil than traditional methods. Helms said current CO2 production only meets about 10 percent of what is needed for enhanced oil recovery.

"We’ve got to find a way for carbon capture and utilization to become a part of North Dakota’s economy or we will leave billions of barrels of oil in the ground,” said Helms.

Oh no, how awful! All that poor oil, trapped underground

Carbon capture, but it's used to repressurize old oil fields. Now THAT is greenwashing!

Siberian Carbon 'Sink' May Soon Become Net Source of Emissions - Study


Siberia’s boreal forests, long considered to be a carbon “sink,” may soon become a net source of carbon emissions, as wildfires causing forest loss and degradation have grown increasingly more intense over the past decade, researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences said Thursday.

Citing a recent study, the researchers said carbon emissions from high-intensity fires — those that occur when weather conditions are hot, dry, and windy — have more than doubled since 2000.

Likewise, the study estimates that Siberian wildfires alone are now responsible for around 5–20% of Russia’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Siberian forests are very similar to Canadian forests, and are burning just the same. They're also dealing with dying trees from beetle outbreaks exploding due to warming winters.

We could be 16 years into a methane-fueled 'termination' event significant enough to end an ice age


Large amounts of methane wafting from tropical wetlands into Earth's atmosphere could trigger warming similar to the "termination" events that ended ice ages — replacing frosty expanses of tundra with tropical savanna, a new study finds. Researchers first detected a strange peak in methane emissions in 2006, but until now, it was unclear where the gas was leaking from and if it constituted a novel trend.

"A termination is a major reorganization of the Earth's climate system," study lead author Euan Nisbet, a professor emeritus of Earth sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, told Live Science. "These repeated changes have taken the world from ice ages into the sort of interglacial we have now."

"Within the termination, which takes thousands of years, there's this abrupt phase, which only takes a few decades," Nisbet said. "During that abrupt phase, the methane soars up and it's probably driven by tropical wetlands."

The rapid warming of Svalbard is triggering a positive feedback loop


When glaciers melt, groundwater springs gush forth through the newly-exposed ground. Even during winter, groundwater springs leak out near the edge of glaciers. When groundwater is exposed to surface temperatures, it rapidly freezes. The resulting ice fields can stretch for kilometers, running several meters thick.

Beneath these glaciers and permafrost, lie colossal deposits of the harmful greenhouse gas, methane. Researchers believe that methane escape might be accelerating warming in this part of the world. To test this theory, Gabrielle Kleber, of the University of Cambridge, in the U.K., and colleagues explored the potential seepage of methane from groundwater springs near melting glaciers.

To collect samples of groundwater, Kleber and colleagues drilled deep into these fields of ice, until they hit the pressurized springs. “We were surprised to find just how much methane was present in these groundwater springs,” Kleber told Advanced Science News. “In fact, sometimes when we’d drill into the ice, we’d find that a lot of very pressurized gas was released before the water. This gas could be ignited, meaning that it was mostly methane.”

Study suggests rise in global photosynthesis rate due to increase in carbon dioxide has slowed


The net effect has been a brake on global warming. In this new effort, the research team found evidence that rising atmospheric CO2 has slowed the rate of increase in global photosynthesis because the atmosphere has also grown drier.


The researchers found that as CO2 levels rose over the last century, global rates of photosynthesis rose along with them accordingly. But starting in the year 2000, things changed. The rise of photosynthesis rates began to slow, and they may stop rising altogether in the near future as the planet grows warmer and drier.

Looks like the brake pads are wearing through, just when we need to hit them the hardest.
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