[GWSG] Wind; GAO on infrastructure; rainy days; moving community; Greenland unstable; circulation too; AAAS warning

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Mar 18 08:53:10 EDT 2014

1.  Wind is the fastest growing renewable energy source.  New designs promise to reduce the footprint and increase the efficiency of wind power.  In the last five years domestically made turbines in the US have gone from ¼ to ¾.  Development has been hampered in the US by the intermittent politics of the production tax credit, now expired, but spurred by new technology, including that based on low wind.   http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/13/3366401/future-of-wind-power/

2.  A new US Government Accountability Office report finds that our energy infrastructure is increasingly exposed to risk of failure due to climate change.  The report focusses on the financial consequences of failing to act on climate.  http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/government-report-climate-change-threatens-energy-infrastructure?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDaily

3.  Within this century the number of days without rain in the dry regions is expected to decrease dramatically, according to a new study which uses the increasingly detailed climate projections to go beyond mean precipitation changes.  Thanks to Henry Thomas for the link.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314095100.htm

4.  A conference in New Orleans confronted the difficult question of what happens when a community is relocated—what must be lost, what might be preserved if care is taken.  http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/03/difficulties_of_defining_coast.html#incart_river

5.  The northern edge of the Greenland ice sheet is now its last coastal area to become unstable.  Because it drains the large interior sheet the new melt is likely to accelerate Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise.  http://www.climatecentral.org/news/new-greenland-ice-melt-fuels-sea-level-rise-concerns-17187?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatecentral%2FdjOO+Climate+Central+-+Full+Feed
More detail on the state of the Greenland ice sheet indicates growing instability.  http://climatecrocks.com/2014/03/17/new-paper-awakening-greenland-giant-not-so-jolly/

6.  A news report in the 21 February 2014 issue of Science by Richard Kerr, “Atlantic Current Can Shut Down for Centuries, Disrupting Climate,” indicates that just over 100,000 years ago the global thermohaline circulation system, of which the Gulf Stream is a part, shut down several times for centuries at a time under warming conditions similar to today’s.  The evidence comes from sediment cores off southern Greenland.  The effects would be complex and include the cooling of the North Atlantic, an increase of global heating, and an extra meter of sea level rise for the east coast of North America.  One factor in shutting down the current is the pace of melt in Greenland.  http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6173/831.summary

7.  The American Association for the Advancement of Science (The Guardian has it Scientists!) has issued a rare warning of the growing risk of “abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes” unless we act swiftly on climate.  The story includes a brief film from the AAAS.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/18/climate-change-world-risk-irreversible-changes-scientists-aaas
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