[GWSG] Amazon tips?; roadmaps to C neutrality; pryoCB nightmares; Holland faces SLR; Chinese face drought & floods; my holiday gift

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Mon Dec 23 07:08:23 EST 2019

1. The Amazon forest, 17% deforested, appears to be at a tipping point, ready to pour hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. The Arctic permafrost and the Greenland ice sheet appear to be similarly poised to release their methane and rising waters. So far, the transition from being a carbon sink to being a source is slow enough in the Amazon that forestation could reverse it. If we were to cease burning oil, coal, and gas, and then draw down carbon for sequestration, w could still influence the polar ice sheets and permafrost.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/top-scientists-warn-of-an-amazon-tipping-point/2019/12/20/9c9be954-233e-11ea-bed5-880264cc91a9_story.html

2. Stanford’s Mark Jacobson and his team have worked out roadmaps to take 143 countries to 80% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. The plans reduce energy costs by 60% and social costs by 91%. We need no further technology. We need political will and organizational skill.  https://phys.org/news/2019-12-country-green-stanford-paths-countries.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

3. Intense bushfires in Australia have generated their own thunderstorms with pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCB) clouds. “Think of it like a really bad thunderstorm with all the winds and the rain but then take out the rain, and put in embers.” The storms can spread embers 20 miles in advance of the bushfires. The best defense is a fireproof shelter. The added heat and disturbed atmosphere of a changing climate are predisposing conditions.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/20/scientists-fear-surge-in-supersized-bushfires-that-create-their-own-violent-thunderstorms

4. Holland has prepared for 40 centimeters, 15 inches, of sea level rise. Beyond that they face the relocation of their 10 million people. https://www.politico.eu/article/when-will-the-netherlands-disappear-climate-change/

Relocation of the Dutch and other coastal people is likely to preoccupy us in the near future. We need to mobilize planning, governmental, and civic groups to carry out relocation so as to create communities we would wish to join—stable, secure, and sustainable.

5. A Chinese study concludes that the greatest immediate danger to China comes from precipitation, not population relocation. Achieving a heating limit of 1.5C would moderate the effects of flood and drought. https://phys.org/news/2019-12-limiting-global-relieve-populations-extremes.html

6. Here’s my Christmas gift to you. Yesterday I put the following in a pot and cooked it for twenty minutes: ¼ cup of water, a fat tomato (chopped), a diced onion, 8 ounces of chunked button mushrooms, two cubed zucchini, a big can of undrained garbanzos, and a handful of basil leaves, lightly chopped.  My wife and I ate it with some Sharwood’s curry powder and salt. I added some Frank’s hot sauce. I’m ready for my second meal of it today. Eating meals this Christmas that will make room for new forests to pull down carbon emissions, and involve no suffering of animals, may please you as much as it does us.

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