[GWSG] Drought farming; tornado conditions; Biden's Gulf sale; and restrictions; the AirBattery; plastic killer; by law; Thwaites threat

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Dec 14 10:51:28 EST 2021

1. In Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, Indians such as the Tohono O’odham developed crops and practices which are providing food again now that the Colorado River will no longer irrigate crops. Thanks to Suzanne Montgomery for the story. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/interactive/2021/native-americans-farming-practices-may-help-feed-warming-world/

2. The conditions under which tornadoes develop are still not well understood. It seems likely though, that late season tornadoes will be more common and those in summer less common as temperatures rise, and that tornado alley, the area of the US most often struck, is moving east to the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys. https://phys.org/news/2021-12-tornado-outbreak-climate.html

3. It is painful to report that the Biden administration was not legally constrained to lease over 80m acres of the Gulf seabed for fossil fuel extraction. It scarcely matters what the justification is; the sale will generate significant emissions for around half a century, and that is unjustifiable. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/13/revealed-biden-administration-was-not-legally-bound-to-auction-gulf-drilling-rights

4. In accordance with a pledge signed at COP26, the Biden administration has ordered cessation of federal support for fossil fuel projects abroad except under restricted circumstances. https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/biden-orders-us-stop-financing-carbon-intense-overseas-fuel-projects-2021-12-10/?utm_campaign=Carbon%20Brief%20Daily%20Briefing&utm_content=20211213&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue%20Daily

5. Renewable energy sources such as sun and wind usually require power storage (or gas peakers) to be reliable grid sources. An Israeli firm is manufacturing steel tanks which can hold compressed air to drive a turbine to produce power when needed. Compressed air is an old idea, but the containers have been too expensive or, like underground voids, untrustworthy. This one costs about the same as batteries and promises to become cheaper, is only a little less efficient, lasts a lot longer, and has no dangerous components. The AirBattery, which can be located at the site of power production, is manufactured by Augwind. https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/israeli-firm-uses-air-water-store-solar-energy-nighttime-2021-12-13/

6. Bamboo is a plastic killer. It is strong as steel, economical, and adaptable to many of the current uses of plastics.  https://www.treehugger.com/bamboo-help-plastic-free-home-5212973?utm_campaign=treehugger&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cn_nl&utm_content=26033086&utm_term=

7. Plastic production is the fall-back plan of the fossil fuel industry. Serious efforts to reduce plastic production and use are already underway, and the industry is wiggling and squealing. https://grist.org/regulation/beyond-reusing-recycling-how-us-could-reduce-plastic-production/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=daily

8. The ice shelf which fronts the Twaites Glacier in the Western Antarctic Peninsula is showing signs of destabilization and is expected to disintegrate within about five years. When it goes, the glacier itself will begin to contribute more to sea level rise, and will further destabilize surrounding glaciers. The 5-minute video introduces the topic and an article from Science sketches the implications.  https://climatecrocks.com/2021/12/13/keystone-ice-shelf-cracking-up/

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