[GWSG] W Bank drops fossil funding; record Arctic melt; EAIS unstable; new SLR modeling; Alberta buys wind power

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Fri Dec 15 06:48:55 EST 2017

1. The World Bank will no longer fund oil and gas exploration after 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/12/uk-banks-join-multinationals-pledge-come-clean-climate-change-risks-mark-carney

2. NOAA reports that Arctic permafrost is melting faster than it has in modern record. The new normal of Arctic warming is expected to influence the pace of Greenland ice sheet melt and the course of the jet stream, with effects on sea level rise and the weather in the northern hemisphere. https://phys.org/news/2017-12-arctic-card-permafrost-faster.html

3.  A new study finds that the East Antarctic ice sheet has a history of growing and melting, and is much less stable than previously assumed. The ice sheet "may contribute substantially to the global sea level rise as Earth's climate warms in the very near future." http://www.ibtimes.com/unstable-antarctic-ice-sheet-could-raise-sea-levels-dramatically-global-warming-2628337

Phys.org supplies more detail. The E Antarctic has been stable for millions of years but current warming may return it to its former instability. The recent instability of Totten glacier may be a sign of the shift. https://phys.org/news/2017-12-east-antarctic-ice-sheet-history.html

Last April Nature published a news feature on Totten Glacier's instability and its implications for the future. https://www.nature.com/news/antarctica-s-sleeping-ice-giant-could-wake-soon-1.21808

4. A scientific team applying new findings on mechanisms of ice sheet disintegration such as ice cliff collapse and ice sheet hydrofracturing to models of sea level rise produce as much as eight feet of rise this century. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017EF000663/abstract;jsessionid=B9E03349F305833B7B0A171792E9A2AC.f02t03

The lead author, Robert Kopp, discuss the general implications of the study. http://www.impactlab.org/news-insights/kopp-ice-sea-level-rise-projections/

As I understand the issues, the findings on the East Antarctic in item three will render this and other model-derived projections too modest. My guess is that projections based in whole or in large part on historical data, such as the papers by James Hanson and his associates, are likely to attract renewed attention. They have doubled Kopp's estimate of up to eight feet of slr by 2100.

5. Alberta, home to tar sands oil production, has invited bids for 600 MW of wind power. The top bids average 3.7 cents per kilowatt hour, a Canadian record low figure. The province has a goal of 5000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2030. https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/14/alberta-tar-sands-capitol-world-invests-600-mw-wind-power/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29 ?

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