[GWSG] Rising groundwater; pro-SAI; Himalayan glaciers; vanadium flow batteries; multi-stressor analysis

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Fri Jun 23 07:24:29 EDT 2023

1. In coastal areas, groundwater levels rise higher than sea levels. That has been common knowledge in the scientific community since studies were done in Hawaii about ten years ago. However, not much application of that knowledge has been included in sea level rise vulnerability studies. “A new report finds that over the next century, rising groundwater levels in the San Francisco Bay Area could impact twice as much land area as coastal flooding alone, putting more than 5,200 state- and federally-managed contaminated sites at risk.” Obviously, other coastal regions need to do similar studies. https://news.berkeley.edu/2023/06/20/rising-groundwater-threatens-thousands-of-toxic-sites-in-the-bay-area/

2. Here is a report on the 2012 Hawaii study, which also found that areas exposed to flooding doubled when groundwater rise is taken into account. https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrFFHLxbpNkHL8BR1kPxQt.;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1687412593/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fphys.org%2fnews%2f2012-11-groundwater-inundation-previous-future-sea.pdf/RK=2/RS=NGN0yEGWBXJNAB4kFOxkeRQO3QI-

3. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine workshop on climate interventions did not neglect the issue of opposition to solar radiation management. Wake Smith observed that discussions have presumed current conditions; we don’t need to take the chance of unintended consequences by sending particulates aloft now. Stratospheric aerosol injection, though, can’t be delivered for about twenty years. (SAI was the only solar radiation management method discussed at any length; we have some experience of it through volcanic eruptions and know about how it will work and for how long.)  Particulate aerosols must be injected at an altitude of 20,000km for effective circulation. No existing plane, rocket, or balloon can do that well. We have an initial design for a plane up to the job, but it will take about twenty years to finish designing, testing, and producing such a plane. By that time either our ideas of what heat we will be facing will have proved too extreme and we can sell our planes for scrap, or we will be proved right, and the pressure will be entirely for implementation. SAI could be used to shave the peak off global heating as it begins to be reduced by emissions control and carbon drawdown. I was convinced. I will post the link to a record of the 8-hour workshop when it is made available.

4. A quarter of the world’s people rely on the Himalayan glaciers for water. The Himalayan glaciers, permafrost, and their biome are at increasing risk. https://climatecrocks.com/2023/06/21/himalayan-glaciers-changing-fast-and-irreversibly/

5. Vanadium flow batteries do not hold as much charge as Li-ion batteries, but they last indefinitely. One paired with a solar installation in South Australia is expected to produce a peak of 6MW. https://reneweconomy.com.au/largest-vanadium-flow-battery-in-southern-hemisphere-ready-to-go-live-at-port-pirie/

6.  Studies of the vulnerability of ecosystems to tipping points have used a single stressor. A study published in Nature Sustainability combining several stressors shows that a fifth of the world’s systems, including the Amazon, “are at risk of a catastrophic breakdown within a human lifetime.” A more hopeful indication of the study is that small changes can combine to bring a system back toward recovery more readily than has been supposed. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jun/22/ecological-tipping-points-could-occur-much-sooner-than-expected-study-finds

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