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  • richardmitnick 10:41 am on September 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Termites may have a larger role in future ecosystems", , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , Termites help recycle dead wood from trees.,   

    From The University of Miami: “Termites may have a larger role in future ecosystems” 

    From The University of Miami

    9.23.22

    1
    Amy Zanne with graduate student Mariana Nardi and postdoctoral fellow Paulo Negri from Universidade Estadual de Campinas near termite mounds in tropical cerrado savanna in Chapada dos Veadieros National Park. Photo courtesy of Rafael Oliveira.

    University of Miami tropical biologist Amy Zanne led an international research study to investigate termite and microbial wood discovery and decay.

    Most people think termites are a nuisance that consume wood in homes and businesses. But those termites represent less than 4 percent of all termite species worldwide.

    Termites are critical in natural ecosystems—especially in the tropics—because they help recycle dead wood from trees. Without such decayers, the world would be piled high with dead plants and animals.

    But these energetic wood-consuming insects could soon be moving toward the North and South poles as global temperatures warm from climate change, new research indicates.

    In an international study led by University of Miami biology professor Amy Zanne, researchers learned that termites are pivotal when it comes to breaking down wood, contributing to the earth’s carbon cycle. They also learned that termites are very sensitive to temperature and rainfall. So, as temperatures heat up, the insect’s role in wood decay will likely expand beyond the tropics.

    “With temperatures warming, the impact of termites on the planet could be huge,” said Zanne, the Aresty Chair of Tropical Ecology in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology.

    For the study, published in the journal Science [below], Zanne, along with more than 100 collaborators, studied locations across the globe where bacteria and fungi (microbes) and termites consume dead wood. They also investigated how temperature and rainfall could impact the discovery and decay of wood by using the same experimental set up at more than 130 sites in a variety of habitats across six continents. Their results suggest that areas with high termite activity should increase as the earth becomes warmer and drier.

    “Termites had their biggest effects in places like tropical savannas and seasonal forests and subtropical deserts,” Zanne noted. “These systems are often underappreciated in terms of their contributions to the global carbon budget.”

    Amy Austin, associate professor of ecology at Universidad de Buenos Aires, and a collaborator of Zanne’s, said the global study helped scientists glean broader insight about wood decay.

    “The inclusion of arid, hot bioregions, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, where termites are often plentiful and active, allowed for novel insight into their role in carbon turnover,” Austin said. “As ecologists, we may need to broaden our consideration of woody ecosystems beyond a closed-canopy forest and recognize that woody carbon stores in drier ecosystems are an important component of the global carbon cycle.”

    2
    Asian subterranean termite (Coptotermes gestroi) soldier in carton nest. C. gestroi is a wood-feeding termite. Photo courtesy of Thomas Chouvenc.

    Although microbes and termites both decompose dead wood, there are important differences between them. While microbes need water to grow and consume wood, termites can function at relatively low moisture levels. In fact, termites can search for their next meal even if it is dry out and carry what they want back to their mounds, or even move their colony into the wood they are consuming.

    “Microbes are globally important when it comes to wood decay, but we have largely overlooked the role of termites in this process. This means we are not accounting for the massive effect these insects could pose for future carbon cycling and interactions with climate change,” Zanne explained.

    Like little cows, termites release carbon from the wood as methane and carbon dioxide, which are two of the most important greenhouse gases. Therefore, Zanne noted, termites may increasingly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions with climate change.

    “I am fascinated by how microbial and termite wood decay affect how carbon is being released back into the environment,” said the researcher, who has been studying the feedback from wood-based carbon release for more than a decade.

    Zanne began her research on termites in 2008, connecting with other wood decay experts as she attended a working group in Sydney, Australia. That led to a large National Science Foundation and Natural Environment Research Council-funded research project in Queensland, Australia, which even included collaborating with artist Donna Davis to portray termites, microbes, and decaying wood.

    She expanded the study globally through social media and word of mouth, including researchers across career stages and locations with everyone running the same experiment using locally sourced materials.

    André M. D’Angioli, a Brazilian biologist, collaborated on the project as part of his doctoral dissertation at Universidade Estadual de Campinas.

    “Being involved in the global wood project was a major step for my research,” he said. “It was fascinating to see how the regional-scale data I collected in Brazil was related to the global patterns found in this paper.”

    Zanne said the chance to spearhead a global-scale research endeavor was extremely rewarding.

    “This is one of the most incredible projects I’ve worked on,” she said. “It was a truly international collaboration. Our ability to better understand wood decay and parts of the carbon cycle at a global scale is now stronger because of this research.”

    The study was published in the Sept. 23 edition of Science.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Miami is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2020, the university enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 12 separate colleges and schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami’s Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

    The university offers 132 undergraduate, 148 master’s, and 67 doctoral degree programs, of which 63 are research/scholarship and 4 are professional areas of study. Over the years, the university’s students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries. With more than 16,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, The University of Miami is a top 10 employer in Miami-Dade County. The University of Miami’s main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings.

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The University of Miami research expenditure in FY 2019 was $358.9 million. The University of Miami offers a large library system with over 3.9 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music.

    The University of Miami also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, and hundreds of student organizations. The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper, and WVUM, the student-run radio station, have won multiple collegiate awards. The University of Miami’s intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University of Miami’s football team has won five national championships since 1983 and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.

    Research

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. In fiscal year 2016, The University of Miami received $195 million in federal research funding, including $131.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and $14.1 million from the National Science Foundation. Of the $8.2 billion appropriated by Congress in 2009 as a part of the stimulus bill for research priorities of The National Institutes of Health, the Miller School received $40.5 million. In addition to research conducted in the individual academic schools and departments, Miami has the following university-wide research centers:

    The Center for Computational Science
    The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS)
    Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy
    The Miami European Union Center: This group is a consortium with Florida International University (FIU) established in fall 2001 with a grant from the European Commission through its delegation in Washington, D.C., intended to research economic, social, and political issues of interest to the European Union.
    The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
    John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics – studies possible causes of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
    Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE)
    Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research

    The Miller School of Medicine receives more than $200 million per year in external grants and contracts to fund 1,500 ongoing projects. The medical campus includes more than 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m^2) of research space and the The University of Miami Life Science Park, which has an additional 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m^2) of space adjacent to the medical campus. The University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute seeks to understand the biology of stem cells and translate basic research into new regenerative therapies.

    As of 2008, The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science receives $50 million in annual external research funding. Their laboratories include a salt-water wave tank, a five-tank Conditioning and Spawning System, multi-tank Aplysia Culture Laboratory, Controlled Corals Climate Tanks, and DNA analysis equipment. The campus also houses an invertebrate museum with 400,000 specimens and operates the Bimini Biological Field Station, an array of oceanographic high-frequency radar along the US east coast, and the Bermuda aerosol observatory. The University of Miami also owns the Little Salt Spring, a site on the National Register of Historic Places, in North Port, Florida, where RSMAS performs archaeological and paleontological research.

    The University of Miami built a brain imaging annex to the James M. Cox Jr. Science Center within the College of Arts and Sciences. The building includes a human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) laboratory, where scientists, clinicians, and engineers can study fundamental aspects of brain function. Construction of the lab was funded in part by a $14.8 million in stimulus money grant from the National Institutes of Health.

    In 2016 the university received $161 million in science and engineering funding from the U.S. federal government, the largest Hispanic-serving recipient and 56th overall. $117 million of the funding was through the Department of Health and Human Services and was used largely for the medical campus.

    The University of Miami maintains one of the largest centralized academic cyber infrastructures in the country with numerous assets. The Center for Computational Science High Performance Computing group has been in continuous operation since 2007. Over that time the core has grown from a zero HPC cyberinfrastructure to a regional high-performance computing environment that currently supports more than 1,200 users, 220 TFlops of computational power, and more than 3 Petabytes of disk storage.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:23 am on September 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "This Is How Much Fossil Fuel The World Is Sitting on And It's a Time Bomb", All told the remaining fossil fuel reserves contain seven times the emissions of the carbon budget for 1.5 degrees Celsius., Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology,   

    From “Science Alert (AU)” : “This Is How Much Fossil Fuel The World Is Sitting on And It’s a Time Bomb” 

    ScienceAlert

    From “Science Alert (AU)”

    9.19.22
    Patrick Galey | Agence France-Presse

    1
    (Yaorusheng/Getty Image)

    Burning the world’s remaining fossil fuel reserves would unleash 3.5 trillion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – 7 times the remaining carbon budget to cap global heating at 1.5 degrees Celsius – according to the first public inventory of hydrocarbons released Monday.
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    ​Human activity since the Industrial Revolution, largely powered by coal, oil, and gas, has led to just under 1.2 degrees Celsius of warming and brought with it ever fiercer droughts, floods, and storms supercharged by rising seas.

    ​The United Nations (UN) estimates that Earth’s remaining carbon budget – how much more pollution we can add to the atmosphere before the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature goal of the Paris Agreement is missed – to be around 360 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 9 years at current emission levels.

    ​The UN’s annual Production Gap assessment last year found that governments plan to burn more than twice the fossil fuels by 2030 that would be consistent with a 1.5-degree Celsius world.

    ​But until now there has been no comprehensive global inventory of countries’ remaining reserves.

    ​The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels seeks to provide greater clarity on oil, gas, and coal reserves to fill knowledge gaps about global supply and to help policymakers better manage their phaseouts.

    ​Containing more than 50,000 fields across 89 countries, it found that some countries on their own held reserves containing enough carbon to blow through the entire world’s carbon budget.

    ​For example, US coal reserves embed 520 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent. China, Russia and Australia all hold enough reserves to miss 1.5 degrees Celsius, it found.

    All told the remaining fossil fuel reserves contain seven times the emissions of the carbon budget for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    ​”We have very little time to address the remaining carbon budget,” said Rebecca Byrnes, deputy Director of Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, who helped compile the registry.

    ​”As long as we’re not measuring what is being produced, it’s incredibly hard to measure or regulate that production,” she told AFP.

    Transparency, accountability

    The registry has emissions data for individual oil, gas, or coal projects.

    Of the 50,000 fields included, the most potent source of emissions is the Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia, which churns out some 525 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

    The top 12 most polluting sites were all in the Gulf or Russia, according to the database.

    Byrnes said that the inventory could help apply investor pressure in countries with large hydrocarbon reserves but saw little prospect of popular pressure to shift away from fossil fuels.

    “This just demonstrates that it is a global challenge and many countries that are major producers but aren’t as democratic as the US for example – that’s where transparency comes in,” she told AFP.

    “We’re not kidding ourselves that the registry will overnight result in sort of a massive governance regime on fossil fuels. But it sheds a light on where fossil fuel production is happening to investors and other actors to hold their governments to account.”

    The inventory also highlighted large variability in the price of carbon between countries, with taxes on emissions generating nearly $100 per tonne in Iraq but just $5 per tonne in Britain.

    Simon Kofe, Tuvalu’s foreign minister, said the database could “assist in effectively ending coal, oil, and gas production”.

    “It will help governments, companies, and investors make decisions to align their fossil fuel production with the 1.5 degree Celsius temperature limit and, thus, concretely prevent the demise of our island homes, as well as all countries throughout our global community.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 12:34 pm on September 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Hidden Forests Found Deep Beneath The Ocean Cover Twice The Area of India", , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , Kelp, , Seaweed farms can supplement food production on land and boost sustainable development., We could harness this immense productivity to help meet the world's future food security.   

    From “Science Alert (AU)” : “Hidden Forests Found Deep Beneath The Ocean Cover Twice The Area of India” 

    ScienceAlert

    From “Science Alert (AU)”

    9.16.22
    Albert Pessarrodona Silvestre
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    The University of Western Australia

    Karen Filbee-Dexter
    Research Fellow
    School of Biological Sciences,
    The University of Western Australia

    Thomas Wernberg
    Professor
    The University of Western Australia.

    1
    Global Kelp Forests. (Douglas Klug/Moment/Getty Images)

    Amazon, Borneo, Congo, Daintree. We know the names of many of the world’s largest or most famous rainforests.

    And many of us know about the world’s largest span of forests, the boreal forests stretching from Russia to Canada.

    But how many of us could name an underwater forest?

    Hidden underwater are huge kelp and seaweed forests, stretching much further than we previously realized.

    Few are even named. But their lush canopies are home to huge numbers of marine species.

    Off the coastline of southern Africa lies the Great African Seaforest.

    Australia boasts the Great Southern Reef around its southern reaches.

    There are many more vast but unnamed underwater forests all over the world.

    Our new research has discovered just how extensive and productive they are.

    The world’s ocean forests, we found, cover an area twice the size of India.

    These seaweed forests face threats from marine heatwaves and climate change. But they may also hold part of the answer, with their ability to grow quickly and sequester carbon.

    What are ocean forests?

    Underwater forests are formed by seaweeds, which are types of algae. Like other plants, seaweeds grow by capturing the Sun’s energy and carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.

    The largest species grow tens of meters high, forming forest canopies that sway in a never-ending dance as swells move through. To swim through one is to see dappled light and shadow and a sense of constant movement.

    Just like trees on land, these seaweeds offer habitat, food and shelter to a wide variety of marine organisms.

    Large species such as sea-bamboo and giant kelp have gas-filled structures that work like little balloons and help them create vast floating canopies.

    Other species relies on strong stems to stay upright and support their photosynthetic blades. Others again, like golden kelp on Australia’s Great Southern Reef, drape over seafloor.

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    Few of the world’s most productive forests have been recognized and named. (author provided)

    How extensive are these forests and how fast do they grow?

    Seaweeds have long been known to be among the fastest growing plants on the planet. But to date, it’s been very challenging to estimate how large an area their forests cover.

    On land, you can now easily measure forests by satellite. Underwater, it’s much more complicated. Most satellites cannot take measurements at the depths where underwater forests are found.

    To overcome this challenge, we relied on millions of underwater records from scientific literature, online repositories, local herbaria and citizen science initiatives.

    With this information, we modeled the global distribution of ocean forests, finding they cover between 6 million and 7.2 million square kilometers. That’s larger than the Amazon.

    Next, we assessed how productive these ocean forests are – that is, how much they grow. Once again, there were no unified global records. We had to go through hundreds of individual experimental studies from across the globe where seaweed growth rates had been measured by scuba divers.

    We found ocean forests are even more productive than many intensely farmed crops such as wheat, rice and corn.

    Productivity was highest in temperate regions, which are usually bathed in cool, nutrient-rich water.

    Every year, on average, ocean forests in these regions produce 2 to 11 times more biomass per area than these crops.

    What do our findings mean for the challenges we face?

    These findings are encouraging. We could harness this immense productivity to help meet the world’s future food security. Seaweed farms can supplement food production on land and boost sustainable development.

    These fast growth rates also mean seaweeds are hungry for carbon dioxide. As they grow, they pull large quantities of carbon from seawater and the atmosphere. Globally, ocean forests may take up as much carbon as the Amazon.

    This suggests they could play a role in mitigating climate change. However, not all that carbon may end up sequestered, as this requires seaweed carbon to be locked away from the atmosphere for relatively long periods of time.

    First estimates suggest that a sizeable proportion of seaweed could be sequestered in sediments or the deep sea. But exactly how much seaweed carbon ends up sequestered naturally is an area of intense research.

    Hard times for ocean forests

    Almost all of the extra heat trapped by the 2,400 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases we have emitted so far has gone into our oceans.

    This means ocean forests are facing very difficult conditions. Large expanses of ocean forests have recently disappeared off Western Australia, eastern Canada and California, resulting in the loss of habitat and carbon sequestration potential.

    Conversely, as sea ice melts and water temperatures warm, some Arctic regions are expected to see expansion of their ocean forests.

    These overlooked forests play an crucial, largely unseen role off our coasts. The majority of the world’s underwater forests are unrecognized, unexplored and uncharted.

    Without substantial efforts to improve our knowledge, it will not be possible to ensure their protection and conservation – let alone harness the full potential of the many opportunities they provide.The Conversation

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 8:12 pm on September 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "ECS": equilibrium carbon sensitivity, "Simpler Presentations of Climate Change", Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , The basics of climate change science have been known for a long time and the predicted impact of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide on global temperature hasn’t changed much in 100 years.   

    From “Eos” : “Simpler Presentations of Climate Change” 

    Eos news bloc

    From “Eos”

    AT

    AGU

    9.13.22
    John Aber
    Scott V. Ollinger

    The basics of climate change science have been known for a long time, and the predicted impact of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide on global temperature hasn’t changed much in 100 years.

    1
    Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in April 2006, with warmer colors representing higher concentrations, are depicted in this snapshot from a simulation of the gas’s movement through the atmosphere performed using NASA’s Goddard Earth Observing System model, version 5. Credit: William Putman/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Has this happened to you? You are presenting the latest research about climate change to a general audience, maybe at the town library, to a local journalist, or even in an introductory science class. After presenting the solid science about greenhouse gases, how they work, and how we are changing them, you conclude with “and this is what the models predict about our climate future…”

    At that point, your audience may feel they are being asked to make a leap of faith. Having no idea how the models work or what they contain and leave out, this final and crucial step becomes to them a “trust me” moment. Trust me moments can be easy to deny.

    This problem has not been made easier by a recent expansion in the number of models and the range of predictions presented in the literature. One recent study making this point is that of Hausfather et al. [2022]*, which presents the “hot model” problem: the fact that some of the newer models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) model comparison yield predictions of global temperatures that are above the range presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The authors present a number of reasons for, and solutions to, the hot model problem.

    • See References below.

    Models are crucial in advancing any field of science. They represent a state-of-the-art summary of what the community understands about its subject. Differences among models highlight unknowns on which new research can be focused.

    But Hausfather and colleagues make another point: As questions are answered and models evolve, they should also converge. That is, they should not only reproduce past measurements, but they should also begin to produce similar projections into the future. When that does not happen, it can make trust me moments even less convincing.

    Are there simpler ways to make the major points about climate change, especially to general audiences, without relying on complex models?

    We think there are.

    Old Predictions That Still Hold True

    In a recent article in Eos, Andrei Lapenis retells the story of Mikhail Budyko’s 1972 predictions about global temperature and sea ice extent [Budyko, 1972]. Lapenis notes that those predictions have proven to be remarkably accurate. This is a good example of effective, long-term predictions of climate change that are based on simple physical mechanisms that are relatively easy to explain.

    There are many other examples that go back more than a century. These simpler formulations don’t attempt to capture the spatial or temporal detail of the full models, but their success at predicting the overall influence of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on global temperatures makes them a still-relevant, albeit mostly overlooked, resource in climate communication and even climate prediction.

    One way to make use of this historical record is to present the relative consistency over time in estimates of equilibrium carbon sensitivity (ECS), the predicted change in mean global temperature expected from a doubling of atmospheric CO2. ECS can be presented in straightforward language, maybe even without the name and acronym, and is an understandable concept.

    Estimates of ECS can be traced back for more than a century (Table 1 [see the full article]), showing that the relationship between CO2 in the atmosphere and Earth’s radiation and heat balance, as an expression of a simple and straightforward physical process, has been understood for a very long time. We can now measure that balance with precision [e.g., Loeb et al., 2021], and measurements and modeling using improved technological expertise have all affirmed this scientific consistency.

    Settled Science

    Another approach for communicating with general audiences is to present an abbreviated history demonstrating that we have known the essentials of climate change for a very long time—that the basics are settled science.

    The following list is a vastly oversimplified set of four milestones in the history of climate science that we have found to be effective. In a presentation setting, this four-step outline also provides a platform for a more detailed discussion if an audience wants to go there.

    ~1860: John Tyndall develops a method for measuring the absorbance of infrared radiation and demonstrates that CO2 is an effective absorber (acts as a greenhouse gas).
    1908: Svante Arrhenius describes a nonlinear response to increased CO2 based on a year of excruciating hand calculations actually performed in 1896 [Arrhenius, 1896]. His value for ECS is 4°C (Table 1), and the nonlinear response has been summarized in a simple one-parameter model.
    1958: Charles Keeling establishes an observatory on Mauna Loa in Hawaii. He begins to construct the “Keeling curve” based on measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration over time. It is amazing how few people in any audience will have seen this curve.
    Current: The GISS data set of global mean temperature from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies records the trajectory of change going back decades to centuries using both direct measurements and environmental proxies.

    The last three of these steps can be combined graphically to show how well the simple relationship derived from Arrhenius’s [1908] projections, driven by CO2 data from the Keeling curve, predicts the modern trend in global average temperature (Figure 1). The average error in this prediction is only 0.081°C, or 8.1 hundredths of a degree.

    2
    Fig. 1. Measured changes in global mean temperature (Delta T) from GISS data (open circles) are compared here with predictions (solid circles) from a one-parameter model derived from calculations performed by Svante Arrhenius in 1896 and driven by Keeling curve CO2 data. Temperature changes are relative to the baseline average temperature for the period 1951–1980.

    A surprise to us was that this relationship can be made even more precise by adding the El Niño index (November–January (NDJ) from the previous year) as a second predictor. The status of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) system has been known to affect global mean temperature as well as regional weather patterns. With this second term added, the average error in the prediction drops to just over 0.06°C, or 6 one hundredths of a degree.

    It is also possible to extend this simple analysis into the future using the same relationship and IPCC AR6 projections for CO2 and “assessed warming” (results from four scenarios combined; Figure 2).

    Although CO2 is certainly not the only cause of increased warming, it provides a powerful index of the cumulative changes we are making to Earth’s climate system.

    In this regard, it is interesting that the “Summary for Policy Makers” [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2021] from the most recent IPCC science report also includes a figure (Figure SPM.10, p. 28) that captures both measured past and predicted future global temperature change as a function of cumulative CO2 emissions alone. Given that the fraction of emissions remaining in the atmosphere over time has been relatively constant, this is equivalent to the relationship with concentration presented here. That figure also presents the variation among the models in predicted future temperatures, which is much greater than the measurement errors in the GISS and Keeling data sets that underlie the relationship in Figure 1.

    A presentation built around the consistency of ECS estimates and the four steps clearly does not deliver a complete understanding of the changes we are causing in the climate system, but the relatively simple, long-term historical perspective can be an effective way to tell the story of those changes.

    Past Performance and Future Results

    3
    Fig. 2. Values of assessed global mean warming through the year 2100 from four frequently cited scenarios included in IPCC AR6 are compared here with predictions from the simple model used in Figure 1 driven by the projected CO2 concentrations from the same four scenarios. The dashed line indicates a 1:1 relationship, indicating close agreement between the two estimates.

    Projecting the simple model used in Figure 1 into the future (Figure 2) assumes that the same factors that have made CO2 alone such a good index to climate change to date will remain in place. But we know there are processes at work in the world that could break this relationship.

    For example, some sources now see the electrification of the economic system, including transportation, production, and space heating and cooling, as part of the path to a zero-carbon economy [e.g., Gates, 2021]. But there is one major economic sector in which energy production is not the dominant process for greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide is not the major greenhouse gas. That sector is agriculture.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that agriculture currently accounts for about 10% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) being major contributors to that total. According to the EPA (Figure 3), agriculture contributes 79% of N2O emissions in the United States, largely from the production and application of fertilizers (agricultural soil management) as well as from manure management, and 36% of CH4 emissions (enteric fermentation and manure management—one might add some of the landfill emissions to that total as well).

    If we succeed in moving nonagricultural sectors of the economy toward a zero-carbon state, the relationship in Figures 1 and 2 will be broken. The rate of overall climate warming would be reduced significantly, but N2O and CH4 would begin to play a more dominant role in driving continued greenhouse gas warming of the planet, and we will then need more complex models than the one used for Figures 1 and 2. But just how complex?

    4
    Fig. 3. EPA-reported total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 (left) amounted to 5,981 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, led by emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O. Major sources of N2O (center) and CH4 (right) emissions are also shown. Credit: EPA.

    In his recent book Life Is Simple, biologist Johnjoe McFadden traces the influence across the centuries of William of Occam (~1287–1347) and Occam’s razor as a concept in the development of our physical understanding of everything from the cosmos to the subatomic structure of matter [McFadden, 2021]. One simple statement of Occam’s razor is, Entities should not be multiplied without necessity.

    This is a simple and powerful statement: Explain a set of measurements with as few parameters, or entities, as possible. But the definition of necessity can change when the goals of a model or presentation change. The simple model used in Figures 1 and 2 tells us nothing about tomorrow’s weather or the rate of sea level rise or the rate of glacial melt. But for as long as the relationship serves to capture the role of CO2 as an accurate index of changes in mean global temperature, it can serve the goal of making plain to general audiences that there are solid, undeniable scientific reasons why climate change is happening.

    Getting the Message Across

    If we move toward an electrified economy and toward zero-carbon sources of electricity, the simple relationship derived from Arrhenius’s calculations will no longer serve that function. But when and if it does fail, it will still provide a useful platform for explaining what has happened and why. Perhaps there will be another, slightly more complex model for predicting and explaining climate change that involves three gases.

    No matter how our climate future evolves, simpler and more accessible presentations of climate change science will always rely on and begin with our current understanding of the climate system. Complex, detailed models will be central to predicting our climate future (Figure 2 here would not be possible without them), but we will be more effective communicators if we can discern how best to simplify that complexity when presenting the essentials of climate science to general audiences.

    References

    Arrhenius, S. (1896), On the influence of carbonic acid in the air upon temperature of the ground, Philos. Mag. J. Sci., Ser. 5, 41, 237–276, https://doi.org/10.1080/14786449608620846.

    Arrhenius, S. (1908), Worlds in the Making: The Evolution of the Universe, translated by H. Borns, 228 pp., Harper, New York.

    Budyko, M. I. (1972), Man’s Impact on Climate [in Russian], Gidrometeoizdat, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Gates, B. (2021), How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, 257 pp., Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

    Hausfather, Z., et al. (2022), Climate simulations: Recognize the ‘hot model’ problem, Nature, 605, 26–29, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-022-01192-2.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2021), Summary for policymakers, in Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis—Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by V. Masson-Delmotte et al., pp. 3–32, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, U.K., and New York, https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_SPM.pdf.

    Loeb, N. G., et al. (2021), Satellite and ocean data reveal marked increase in Earth’s heating rate, Geophys. Res. Lett., 48(13), e2021GL093047, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL093047.

    McFadden, J. (2021), Life Is Simple: How Occam’s Razor Set Science Free and Shapes the Universe, 376 pp., Basic Books, New York.

    See the full article here .

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    “Eos” is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:05 am on September 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Decarbonizing the energy system by 2050 could save trillions says Oxford study", A win-win-win scenario in which rapidly transitioning to clean energy results in lower energy system costs than a fossil fuel system., , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , Renewable costs have been trending down for decades. They are already cheaper than fossil fuels in many situations., The real cost of solar energy dropped twice as fast as the most ambitious projections in these models., The researchers used data on 45 years of solar energy costs and 37 years of wind energy costs and 25 years for battery storage., The study’s ‘Fast Transition’ scenario shows a realistic possible future for a fossil-free energy by ramping up solar and wind and batteries and electric vehicles and hydrogen based clean fuels., , There is a pervasive misconception that switching to clean green energy will be painful costly and mean sacrifices for us all – but that is just wrong, Transitioning to a decarbonized energy system by around 2050 is expected to save the world at least US$12 trillion.   

    From The University of Oxford (UK): “Decarbonizing the energy system by 2050 could save trillions says Oxford study” 

    U Oxford bloc

    From The University of Oxford (UK)

    9.14.22

    1
    Clean Energy

    -New study shows a fast transition to clean energy is cheaper than slow or no transition .
    -Idea that going green will be expensive is ‘just wrong’.
    -Green technology costs have fallen significantly over the last decade, and are likely to continue falling.
    -Achieving a net zero carbon energy system by around 2050 is possible and profitable.
    ____________________________________________________________
    Transitioning to a decarbonized energy system by around 2050 is expected to save the world at least $12 trillion, compared to continuing our current levels of fossil fuel use, according to a peer-reviewed study by Oxford University researchers, published in the journal Joule [below].

    The research shows a win-win-win scenario in which rapidly transitioning to clean energy results in lower energy system costs than a fossil fuel system, while providing more energy to the global economy, and expanding energy access to more people internationally.

    The study’s ‘Fast Transition’ scenario, shows a realistic possible future for a fossil-free energy system by around 2050, providing 55% more energy services globally than today, by ramping up solar, wind, batteries, electric vehicles, and clean fuels such as green hydrogen (made from renewable electricity).

    Lead author Dr Rupert Way, postdoctoral researcher at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, says, ‘Past models predicting high costs for transitioning to zero carbon energy have deterred companies from investing, and made governments nervous about setting policies that will accelerate the energy transition and cut reliance on fossil fuels. But clean energy costs have fallen sharply over the last decade, much faster than those models expected.

    ‘Our latest research shows scaling-up key green technologies will continue to drive their costs down, and the faster we go, the more we will save. Accelerating the transition to renewable energy is now the best bet, not just for the planet, but for energy costs too.’

    The researchers analyzed thousands of transition cost scenarios produced by major energy models, and used data on 45 years of solar energy costs, 37 years of wind energy costs and 25 years for battery storage. They found the real cost of solar energy dropped twice as fast as the most ambitious projections in these models, revealing that over the last 20 years previous models badly overestimated the future costs of key clean energy technologies versus reality.

    ‘There is a pervasive misconception that switching to clean, green energy will be painful, costly and mean sacrifices for us all – but that’s just wrong,’ says Professor Doyne Farmer, who leads the team that conducted the study at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School. ‘Renewable costs have been trending down for decades. They are already cheaper than fossil fuels in many situations, and our research shows they will become cheaper than fossil fuels across almost all applications in the years to come. And, if we accelerate the transition, they will become cheaper faster. Completely replacing fossil fuels with clean energy by 2050 will save us trillions.’

    The study shows the costs for key storage technologies, such as batteries and hydrogen electrolysis, are also likely to fall dramatically. Meanwhile, the costs of nuclear have consistently increased over the last five decades, making it highly unlikely to be cost competitive with plunging renewable and storage costs.

    Professor Farmer continues, ‘The world is facing a simultaneous inflation crisis, national security crisis, and climate crisis, all caused by our dependence on high cost, insecure, polluting, fossil fuels with volatile prices. This study shows ambitious policies to accelerate dramatically the transition to a clean energy future, as quickly as possible, are not only urgently needed for climate reasons, but can save the world trillions in future energy costs, giving us a cleaner, cheaper, more energy secure future.’

    Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the costs of fossil energy have skyrocketed, causing inflation around the world. This study, conducted before the current crisis, takes account of such fluctuations using more than a century’s worth of fossil fuel price data. The current energy crisis underscores the study’s findings and demonstrates the risks of continuing to rely on expensive, insecure, fossil fuels. The research confirms that the response to the crisis should include accelerating the transition to low cost, clean energy as soon as possible, as this will bring benefits both for the economy and the planet.

    The research is a collaboration between the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, the Oxford Martin Programme on the Post-Carbon Transition and the Smith School of Enterprise & Environment at the University of Oxford, and SoDa Labs at Monash University.

    Science paper:
    Joule

    See the full article here.

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    U Oxford campus

    The University of Oxford

    1
    Universitas Oxoniensis

    The University of Oxford [a.k.a. The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford] is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris [Université de Paris](FR). After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the The University of Cambridge (UK). The two English ancient universities share many common features and are jointly referred to as Oxbridge.

    The university is made up of thirty-nine semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Undergraduate teaching at Oxford consists of lectures, small-group tutorials at the colleges and halls, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further tutorials provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Oxford operates the world’s oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the university had a total income of £2.45 billion, of which £624.8 million was from research grants and contracts.

    Oxford has educated a wide range of notable alumni, including 28 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel Prize laureates, 3 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals. Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes.

    The University of Oxford’s foundation date is unknown. It is known that teaching at Oxford existed in some form as early as 1096, but it is unclear when a university came into being.

    It grew quickly from 1167 when English students returned from The University of Paris-Sorbonne [Université de Paris-Sorbonne](FR). The historian Gerald of Wales lectured to such scholars in 1188, and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190. The head of the university had the title of chancellor from at least 1201, and the masters were recognised as a universitas or corporation in 1231. The university was granted a royal charter in 1248 during the reign of King Henry III.

    The students associated together on the basis of geographical origins, into two ‘nations’, representing the North (northerners or Boreales, who included the English people from north of the River Trent and the Scots) and the South (southerners or Australes, who included English people from south of the Trent, the Irish and the Welsh). In later centuries, geographical origins continued to influence many students’ affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. In addition, members of many religious orders, including Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites and Augustinians, settled in Oxford in the mid-13th century, gained influence and maintained houses or halls for students. At about the same time, private benefactors established colleges as self-contained scholarly communities. Among the earliest such founders were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, and John Balliol, father of a future King of Scots; Balliol College bears his name. Another founder, Walter de Merton, a Lord Chancellor of England and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, devised a series of regulations for college life. Merton College thereby became the model for such establishments at Oxford, as well as at the University of Cambridge. Thereafter, an increasing number of students lived in colleges rather than in halls and religious houses.

    In 1333–1334, an attempt by some dissatisfied Oxford scholars to found a new university at Stamford, Lincolnshire, was blocked by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge petitioning King Edward III. Thereafter, until the 1820s, no new universities were allowed to be founded in England, even in London; thus, Oxford and Cambridge had a duopoly, which was unusual in large western European countries.

    The new learning of the Renaissance greatly influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onwards. Among university scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of Greek language studies, and John Colet, the noted biblical scholar.

    With the English Reformation and the breaking of communion with the Roman Catholic Church, recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, settling especially at the University of Douai. The method of teaching at Oxford was transformed from the medieval scholastic method to Renaissance education, although institutions associated with the university suffered losses of land and revenues. As a centre of learning and scholarship, Oxford’s reputation declined in the Age of Enlightenment; enrollments fell and teaching was neglected.

    In 1636, William Laud, the chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury, codified the university’s statutes. These, to a large extent, remained its governing regulations until the mid-19th century. Laud was also responsible for the granting of a charter securing privileges for The University Press, and he made significant contributions to the Bodleian Library, the main library of the university. From the beginnings of the Church of England as the established church until 1866, membership of the church was a requirement to receive the BA degree from the university and “dissenters” were only permitted to receive the MA in 1871.

    The university was a centre of the Royalist party during the English Civil War (1642–1649), while the town favoured the opposing Parliamentarian cause. From the mid-18th century onwards, however, the university took little part in political conflicts.

    Wadham College, founded in 1610, was the undergraduate college of Sir Christopher Wren. Wren was part of a brilliant group of experimental scientists at Oxford in the 1650s, the Oxford Philosophical Club, which included Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke. This group held regular meetings at Wadham under the guidance of the college’s Warden, John Wilkins, and the group formed the nucleus that went on to found the Royal Society.

    Before reforms in the early 19th century, the curriculum at Oxford was notoriously narrow and impractical. Sir Spencer Walpole, a historian of contemporary Britain and a senior government official, had not attended any university. He said, “Few medical men, few solicitors, few persons intended for commerce or trade, ever dreamed of passing through a university career.” He quoted the Oxford University Commissioners in 1852 stating: “The education imparted at Oxford was not such as to conduce to the advancement in life of many persons, except those intended for the ministry.” Nevertheless, Walpole argued:

    “Among the many deficiencies attending a university education there was, however, one good thing about it, and that was the education which the undergraduates gave themselves. It was impossible to collect some thousand or twelve hundred of the best young men in England, to give them the opportunity of making acquaintance with one another, and full liberty to live their lives in their own way, without evolving in the best among them, some admirable qualities of loyalty, independence, and self-control. If the average undergraduate carried from university little or no learning, which was of any service to him, he carried from it a knowledge of men and respect for his fellows and himself, a reverence for the past, a code of honour for the present, which could not but be serviceable. He had enjoyed opportunities… of intercourse with men, some of whom were certain to rise to the highest places in the Senate, in the Church, or at the Bar. He might have mixed with them in his sports, in his studies, and perhaps in his debating society; and any associations which he had this formed had been useful to him at the time, and might be a source of satisfaction to him in after life.”

    Out of the students who matriculated in 1840, 65% were sons of professionals (34% were Anglican ministers). After graduation, 87% became professionals (59% as Anglican clergy). Out of the students who matriculated in 1870, 59% were sons of professionals (25% were Anglican ministers). After graduation, 87% became professionals (42% as Anglican clergy).

    M. C. Curthoys and H. S. Jones argue that the rise of organised sport was one of the most remarkable and distinctive features of the history of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was carried over from the athleticism prevalent at the public schools such as Eton, Winchester, Shrewsbury, and Harrow.

    All students, regardless of their chosen area of study, were required to spend (at least) their first year preparing for a first-year examination that was heavily focused on classical languages. Science students found this particularly burdensome and supported a separate science degree with Greek language study removed from their required courses. This concept of a Bachelor of Science had been adopted at other European universities (The University of London (UK) had implemented it in 1860) but an 1880 proposal at Oxford to replace the classical requirement with a modern language (like German or French) was unsuccessful. After considerable internal wrangling over the structure of the arts curriculum, in 1886 the “natural science preliminary” was recognized as a qualifying part of the first-year examination.

    At the start of 1914, the university housed about 3,000 undergraduates and about 100 postgraduate students. During the First World War, many undergraduates and fellows joined the armed forces. By 1918 virtually all fellows were in uniform, and the student population in residence was reduced to 12 per cent of the pre-war total. The University Roll of Service records that, in total, 14,792 members of the university served in the war, with 2,716 (18.36%) killed. Not all the members of the university who served in the Great War were on the Allied side; there is a remarkable memorial to members of New College who served in the German armed forces, bearing the inscription, ‘In memory of the men of this college who coming from a foreign land entered into the inheritance of this place and returning fought and died for their country in the war 1914–1918’. During the war years the university buildings became hospitals, cadet schools and military training camps.

    Reforms

    Two parliamentary commissions in 1852 issued recommendations for Oxford and Cambridge. Archibald Campbell Tait, former headmaster of Rugby School, was a key member of the Oxford Commission; he wanted Oxford to follow the German and Scottish model in which the professorship was paramount. The commission’s report envisioned a centralised university run predominantly by professors and faculties, with a much stronger emphasis on research. The professional staff should be strengthened and better paid. For students, restrictions on entry should be dropped, and more opportunities given to poorer families. It called for an enlargement of the curriculum, with honours to be awarded in many new fields. Undergraduate scholarships should be open to all Britons. Graduate fellowships should be opened up to all members of the university. It recommended that fellows be released from an obligation for ordination. Students were to be allowed to save money by boarding in the city, instead of in a college.

    The system of separate honour schools for different subjects began in 1802, with Mathematics and Literae Humaniores. Schools of “Natural Sciences” and “Law, and Modern History” were added in 1853. By 1872, the last of these had split into “Jurisprudence” and “Modern History”. Theology became the sixth honour school. In addition to these B.A. Honours degrees, the postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) was, and still is, offered.

    The mid-19th century saw the impact of the Oxford Movement (1833–1845), led among others by the future Cardinal John Henry Newman. The influence of the reformed model of German universities reached Oxford via key scholars such as Edward Bouverie Pusey, Benjamin Jowett and Max Müller.

    Administrative reforms during the 19th century included the replacement of oral examinations with written entrance tests, greater tolerance for religious dissent, and the establishment of four women’s colleges. Privy Council decisions in the 20th century (e.g. the abolition of compulsory daily worship, dissociation of the Regius Professorship of Hebrew from clerical status, diversion of colleges’ theological bequests to other purposes) loosened the link with traditional belief and practice. Furthermore, although the university’s emphasis had historically been on classical knowledge, its curriculum expanded during the 19th century to include scientific and medical studies. Knowledge of Ancient Greek was required for admission until 1920, and Latin until 1960.

    The University of Oxford began to award doctorates for research in the first third of the 20th century. The first Oxford D.Phil. in mathematics was awarded in 1921.

    The mid-20th century saw many distinguished continental scholars, displaced by Nazism and communism, relocating to Oxford.

    The list of distinguished scholars at the University of Oxford is long and includes many who have made major contributions to politics, the sciences, medicine, and literature. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel laureates and more than 50 world leaders have been affiliated with the University of Oxford.

    To be a member of the university, all students, and most academic staff, must also be a member of a college or hall. There are thirty-nine colleges of the University of Oxford (including Reuben College, planned to admit students in 2021) and six permanent private halls (PPHs), each controlling its membership and with its own internal structure and activities. Not all colleges offer all courses, but they generally cover a broad range of subjects.

    The colleges are:

    All-Souls College
    Balliol College
    Brasenose College
    Christ Church College
    Corpus-Christi College
    Exeter College
    Green-Templeton College
    Harris-Manchester College
    Hertford College
    Jesus College
    Keble College
    Kellogg College
    Lady-Margaret-Hall
    Linacre College
    Lincoln College
    Magdalen College
    Mansfield College
    Merton College
    New College
    Nuffield College
    Oriel College
    Pembroke College
    Queens College
    Reuben College
    St-Anne’s College
    St-Antony’s College
    St-Catherines College
    St-Cross College
    St-Edmund-Hall College
    St-Hilda’s College
    St-Hughs College
    St-John’s College
    St-Peters College
    Somerville College
    Trinity College
    University College
    Wadham College
    Wolfson College
    Worcester College

    The permanent private halls were founded by different Christian denominations. One difference between a college and a PPH is that whereas colleges are governed by the fellows of the college, the governance of a PPH resides, at least in part, with the corresponding Christian denomination. The six current PPHs are:

    Blackfriars
    Campion Hall
    Regent’s Park College
    St Benet’s Hall
    St-Stephen’s Hall
    Wycliffe Hall

    The PPHs and colleges join as the Conference of Colleges, which represents the common concerns of the several colleges of the university, to discuss matters of shared interest and to act collectively when necessary, such as in dealings with the central university. The Conference of Colleges was established as a recommendation of the Franks Commission in 1965.

    Teaching members of the colleges (i.e. fellows and tutors) are collectively and familiarly known as dons, although the term is rarely used by the university itself. In addition to residential and dining facilities, the colleges provide social, cultural, and recreational activities for their members. Colleges have responsibility for admitting undergraduates and organizing their tuition; for graduates, this responsibility falls upon the departments. There is no common title for the heads of colleges: the titles used include Warden, Provost, Principal, President, Rector, Master and Dean.

    Oxford is regularly ranked within the top 5 universities in the world and is currently ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, as well as the Forbes’s World University Rankings. It held the number one position in The Times Good University Guide for eleven consecutive years, and the medical school has also maintained first place in the “Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health” table of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the past seven consecutive years. In 2021, it ranked sixth among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. The Times Higher Education has also recognised Oxford as one of the world’s “six super brands” on its World Reputation Rankings, along with The University of California-Berkeley, The University of Cambridge (UK), Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University. The university is fifth worldwide on the US News ranking. Its Saïd Business School came 13th in the world in The Financial Times Global MBA Ranking.
    Oxford was ranked ninth in the world in 2015 by The Nature Index, which measures the largest contributors to papers published in 82 leading journals. It is ranked fifth best university worldwide and first in Britain for forming CEOs according to The Professional Ranking World Universities, and first in the UK for the quality of its graduates as chosen by the recruiters of the UK’s major companies.

    In the 2018 Complete University Guide, all 38 subjects offered by Oxford rank within the top 10 nationally meaning Oxford was one of only two multi-faculty universities (along with Cambridge) in the UK to have 100% of their subjects in the top 10. Computer Science, Medicine, Philosophy, Politics and Psychology were ranked first in the UK by the guide.

    According to The QS World University Rankings by Subject, the University of Oxford also ranks as number one in the world for four Humanities disciplines: English Language and Literature, Modern Languages, Geography, and History. It also ranks second globally for Anthropology, Archaeology, Law, Medicine, Politics & International Studies, and Psychology.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:06 am on September 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "It's Not Just The Amazon Being Torn Apart. These Are The Forests The World Is Losing", An industrial mine can easily disrupt both landscapes and ecosystems., , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , In some tropical countries other land-intensive activities such as cattle farming or palm oil and soybean production cause more deforestation than mining does., In two-thirds of tropical countries deforestation within 50 kilometers (about 30 miles) of mines resulted from factors such as transport infrastructure storage facilities and the growth of townships., One of the best ways to prevent deforestation is to recognize and enforce the property rights of local communities and indigenous peoples who have been living in the forests., Satellite data showed four-fifths of this deforestation happened in just four countries: Indonesia; Brazil; Ghana and Suriname., The Amazon is by no means the only place where dwindling forests are a worry., The current political situations in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia mean that a major reduction in mining and deforestation is unlikely in the near future., The researchers found that some 3264 square kilometers (1260 square miles) of tropical forest was lost due to mining between 2000 and 2019– greater than the area of Yosemite National Park., There is a broad range of environmental damage caused by mining operations on top of deforestation.   

    From “Science Alert (AU)” : “It’s Not Just The Amazon Being Torn Apart. These Are The Forests The World Is Losing” 

    ScienceAlert

    From “Science Alert (AU)”

    9.14.22
    David Nield

    1
    (Andriy Onufriyenko/Moment/Getty Images)

    The devastating destruction that’s happening across the Amazon might be what comes to your mind first when thinking about deforestation – but it’s by no means the only place where dwindling forests are a worry, as a new study highlights.

    It’s the first study to comprehensively examine the amount of forest lost to intensive industrial mining activities in the tropics, and it’s not pretty. Some 3,264 square kilometers (1,260 square miles) of tropical forest was lost due to mining between 2000 and 2019, the researchers found – greater than the area of Yosemite National Park.

    Satellite data showed four-fifths of this deforestation happened in just four countries: Indonesia, Brazil, Ghana, and Suriname. Indonesia was at the top of the table, solely responsible for 58.2 percent of the recorded tropical deforestation directly caused by the expansion of industrial mines.

    “There is a broad range of environmental damage caused by mining operations on top of deforestation, including destruction of ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, disruption of water sources, the production of hazardous waste and pollution,” says Stefan Giljum, an associate professor at the Institute for Ecological Economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria.

    3
    Conceptual framework of direct and indirect forest loss related to industrial mining activities. Direct deforestation is quantified as forest loss within mining areas. Infrastructure, settlements, and artisanal and small-scale mining (white boxes) are conceptualized as effects causing indirect deforestation induced by mining activities in an area of 50 km surrounding industrial mines. Gray boxes indicate control variables in the statistical assessment. SI Appendix, Fig. S3 shows a more extensive illustration of indirect deforestation pathways.

    “Government permitting should take all of this into account: an industrial mine can easily disrupt both landscapes and ecosystems. Industrial mining remains a hidden weakness in their strategies to minimize environmental impacts.”

    The study data covered a total of 26 different countries, accounting for 76.7 percent of the total mining-related tropical deforestation that happened between 2000 and 2019. These mining activities covered coal, gold, iron ore and bauxite extraction.

    The consequences of mining stretched far beyond the extraction of resources. In two-thirds of tropical countries, deforestation within 50 kilometers (about 30 miles) of mines resulted from factors such as transport infrastructure, storage facilities, and the growth of townships.

    If there is any good news, it’s that the level of deforestation due to mining is now falling. Indonesia, Brazil and Ghana all saw forest loss due to industrial mining peak between 2010 and 2014, though coal mining specifically continues to grow in Indonesia.

    “Although Indonesia’s total deforestation has declined annually since 2015, these findings emphasize the continued need for strong land use planning to ensure mining does not destroy forests or violate community rights,” says Hariadi Kartodihardjo, a professor of Forest Policy at Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia.

    The researchers note that the current political situations in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia mean that a major reduction in mining and deforestation is unlikely in the near future – they’re calling on industry groups and conservation organizations to take the lead in reducing the level of damage.

    They also point out that in some tropical countries, other land-intensive activities, such as cattle farming or palm oil and soybean production, cause more deforestation than mining does.

    As previous research has shown, one of the best ways to prevent deforestation is to recognize and enforce the property rights of local communities and indigenous peoples who have been living in the forests long before the mining companies arrived.

    In future studies, the researchers want to look at smaller scale and artisanal mining operations that sometimes fly under the radar when it comes to an environmental analysis like this. Ultimately the aim is to get a better understanding of what’s happening – and then take action.

    “Against the rapidly growing demands for minerals, in particular for metals for renewable energy and e-mobility technologies, government and industry policies must take into account both the direct and indirect impacts of extraction,” says geographer Anthony Bebbington of Clark University in Massachusetts.

    “Addressing these impacts is an important tool for conserving tropical forests and protecting the livelihoods of communities who live in these forests.”

    The research has been published in PNAS.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 4:38 pm on September 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Summer Heat Waves Caused Several Glaciers to Collapse", , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, ,   

    From Columbia University – State of the Planet: “Summer Heat Waves Caused Several Glaciers to Collapse” 

    From Columbia University – State of the Planet

    at

    Columbia U bloc

    Columbia University

    9.13.22
    Jaden Hill

    Summer 2022 heat waves smashed temperature records throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In Europe, temperatures spiked in Spain, Portugal, France and elsewhere. The United Kingdom experienced the hottest day ever recorded (104°F/ 40°C) in its history. Rising temperatures have increased the number of mountain landslides occurring in Europe. The heat wave also affected East Asia, particularly China and Korea, and South Asia, especially India and Pakistan. These countries experienced increased mortality and sharp drop-offs in crop yields.

    The heat waves have also led to the collapse of several glaciers around the world, which were already suffering due to rising global temperatures. Glacier collapses are characterized by large pieces of ice that suddenly break away from the glacier, causing an avalanche or landslide in cases of mountain glaciers. These pieces of ice are large enough that they compromise the glacier’s structure, causing it to continue to break until minimal ice remains.

    2
    Heat waves and fires scorch Europe, Africa, and Asia, breaking temperature records. (NASA Image of the Day July 15, 2022).

    In the Italian Dolomites, the heat wave led to a total glacier collapse on July 3 after temperatures climbed to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This summer’s heat waves are not the beginning of glacial disappearance in the Dolomites; rather, glaciers in the Dolomites had already shrunk 30% in volume from 2004 to 2015. Additionally, glaciers that begin to show warning signs of possible collapse often maintain a higher sensitivity to increased temperatures during the summer months. Italy has lost 25% of its glacier meltwater in the last 20 years, and the trend is likely to continue following the recent collapse.

    In Asia, a heat wave caused a July 8 glacier collapse in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. This event triggered an avalanche that missed killing a group of hikers by a matter of minutes. Central Asia experienced an intense heat wave last summer, causing large portions of that glacier to melt and destabilize.

    A third glacier — central Switzerland’s St. Annafirn Glacier — is not long for the world as a result of the summer heat waves. St. Annafirn was categorized as a small glacier: small glaciers make up 80% of all Swiss glaciers, yet there is minimal research on them when compared to data collected for larger glaciers. Since 1850, St. Annafirn had lost over 80% of its total surface area, and a significant portion of the loss occurred in the last 40 years. As a result of this summer’s abnormally high temperatures, the glacier is disappearing faster than anticipated.

    Glaciers are essential parts of the hydrological cycle and of habitats for a wide variety of organisms; however, they also stir something deep within the human spirit, allowing them to connect with nature in a unique way. Glaciers have long served as key features in Indigenous cultures, particularly in oral traditions and in rituals. Tourism is another source of interaction between humans and glaciers, but the increase in frequency of landslides and glacial collapses threatens tourists traveling to glaciers. Ice stabilizes mountain materials, and increased melting due to rising atmospheric temperatures makes glacial excursions increasingly dangerous. Patterns of glacial disappearance are not unique to Switzerland, Italy, or Kyrgyzstan, but rather are occurring on a global scale.

    In 2021, annual carbon emissions were up to 36.3 billion tons, the highest in history. Carbon emissions are still increasing in 2022, and glacial melting will only worsen as a result. This summer’s heat wave serves as a dramatic lesson, prompting multiple unexpected changes all at once. In light of the multiple glacier melting events this summer, it is painfully clear that we must prioritize minimizing carbon emissions to protect and maintain glaciers globally.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Earth Institute is a research institute at Columbia University that was established in 1995. Its stated mission is to address complex issues facing the planet and its inhabitants, with a focus on sustainable development. With an interdisciplinary approach, this includes research in climate change, geology, global health, economics, management, agriculture, ecosystems, urbanization, energy, hazards, and water. The Earth Institute’s activities are guided by the idea that science and technological tools that already exist could be applied to greatly improve conditions for the world’s poor, while preserving the natural systems that support life on Earth.

    The Earth Institute supports pioneering projects in the biological, engineering, social, and health sciences, while actively encouraging interdisciplinary projects—often combining natural and social sciences—in pursuit of solutions to real world problems and a sustainable planet. In its work, the Earth Institute remains mindful of the staggering disparities between rich and poor nations, and the tremendous impact that global-scale problems—such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, climate change and extreme poverty—have on all nations.

    Columbia U Campus
    Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

    University Mission Statement

    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

    Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

    Columbia was established as King’s College by royal charter from King George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.

    Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university’s research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States.

    The university’s endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. As of October 2020, Columbia’s alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:33 pm on September 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What Lies Beneath Melting Glaciers and Thawing Permafrost?", All of the predictions are way too conservative in terms of change—the change will be much faster., , Between 2000 and 2019 the world’s glaciers lost 267 billon tons of ice each year., Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , , The Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the planet., The resulting potential sea level rise would spell disaster for the 680 million people who live in low-lying coastal areas around the world., Two-thirds of Arctic Sea ice has disappeared since 1958 when it was first measured.   

    From Columbia University – State of the Planet: “What Lies Beneath Melting Glaciers and Thawing Permafrost?” 

    From Columbia University – State of the Planet

    at

    Columbia U bloc
    Columbia University

    9.13.22
    Renee Cho

    1
    Greenland ice cap. Photo: Doc Searls.

    Across the planet, ice is rapidly disappearing. From mountain tops, the poles, the seas, and the tundra. As the ice melts, it’s exposing new surfaces, new opportunities, and new threats — including valuable mineral deposits, archaeological relics, novel viruses, and more.

    Melting glaciers and sea ice

    The Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the planet, and this means that glaciers, which sit on land, and sea ice, which floats on the ocean surface, are melting rapidly. Two-thirds of Arctic Sea ice has disappeared since 1958 when it was first measured. Between 2000 and 2019 the world’s glaciers lost 267 billon tons of ice each year. Himalayan glaciers are on a trajectory to lose one-third of their ice by 2100, and Alpine glaciers are projected to lose half of theirs.

    “I can tell you from our research that the bedrock underneath the ice will become exposed at a much higher speed than we think,” said Joerg Schaefer, a climate geochemist at the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who is researching the Greenland ice sheet. “All of the predictions are way too conservative in terms of change—the change will be much faster. That’s true globally. But Greenland might be one of the areas where these predictions of ice change are way, way, way too conservative because of a variety of climate factors.”

    Because of the global warming human activity has already caused, Greenland’s melting will cause sea levels to rise 10.6 inches, according to a new study [Nature Climate Change (below)]. This amount of melting is already locked in, said the study authors. They added that 10.6 inches is a low estimate; if emissions continue and Greenland’s record-breaking melting of 2012 becomes the norm, we could be facing 30 inches or more of sea level rise. The loss of ice from the West and East Antarctic ice sheets and from other glaciers would add to this.

    The resulting potential sea level rise would spell disaster for the 680 million people who live in low-lying coastal areas around the world, a number expected to top one billion by 2050.

    What lies under melting ice?
    Fossil fuels and precious metals

    Until recently, most exploitation of the Arctic’s oil and gas resources were on land. But summer ice cover in the Arctic could disappear as early as 2035, making the region more accessible to ships and providing new opportunities for fossil fuel extraction and mining.

    The United States Geological Survey has estimated that about 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil may be found north of the Arctic Circle, mostly offshore in the ocean. In addition to these fossil fuels, the U.S. Congressional Research Service estimated that the Arctic contains one trillion dollars’ worth of precious metals and minerals.

    Greenland has deposits of coal, copper, gold, nickel, cobalt, rare-earth metals, and zinc. As the melting ice uncovers land that has been inaccessible for thousands of years, prospectors are moving in.

    3
    The southwestern tip of Greenland. Photo: Doc Searles.

    Schaefer’s research involves sampling underneath Greenland’s ice and using isotope tools to figure out when the area was last ice-free in order to identify the most vulnerable segments of the Greenland ice sheet. He is often questioned by mineral consortiums. “They just want to know what is underneath the ice sheet. ‘Send us your rocks, we need to know what minerals are in there. And when is it gone? Or what does it take to melt it?’ They just want to get into these mineral deposits,” he said.

    Valuable metals are also found in the deep seabed in the Arctic and elsewhere. Potato-like nodules on the Arctic Ocean floor contain copper, nickel, and rare earths such as scandium, used in the aerospace industry. Norway is exploring deep sea mining of the ocean floor to exploit deposits of copper, zinc, cobalt, gold, and silver. The International Seabed Authority has already approved 30 contracts for seabed exploration.

    Mining the ocean floor could cause serious harm to marine ecosystems, including to the plankton that are the basis of the food chain. And while deep sea mining companies claim their environmental impacts are less than those of land mining, much of the deep sea and its ecosystems remain largely unexplored. Several companies and environmental groups are calling for a global moratorium on deep seabed mining until its environmental impacts are better understood.

    However, avoiding the worst impacts of climate change means transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy, which requires large quantities of minerals. As much as three billion tons of metals — including lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, copper, silicon, silver, zinc, iron ore, and aluminum — may be needed for technologies such as batteries for electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and other clean energy technologies. The World Bank estimates that the production of minerals could increase by nearly 500 percent by 2050 to meet the growing demand for renewable energy technologies.

    One ecologically sound alternative to mining the exposed land or deep seabed would be to extract valuable metals from recycled electronic waste, but the reality is that only about 20 percent of e-waste is recycled—the rest is discarded. In any case, more precious metals than are currently in circulation will be needed to supply materials for the transition to clean energy. As a member of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition said, “You can’t recycle what you don’t have.”

    More shipping

    Melting sea ice has opened up waterways in the Arctic, enabling shipping to increase by 25 percent between 2013 and 2019.

    As more oil tankers and bulk carriers traverse the region, the result has also been an 85 percent increase in black carbon mainly from their use of heavy fuel oil. When black carbon — a form of air pollution that results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels — lands on snow or ice, it darkens it and hastens melting. Black carbon also causes respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses in humans. The U.N.’s International Maritime Organization has banned the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic, but the ban won’t go into effect until 2029.

    With the melting summer ice, cruise tourism is also increasing. In 2016, the first large cruise ship traversed the Arctic and stopped at Nome, AK. This summer, 27 cruise ships were scheduled to dock there. More cruise ships mean more carbon emissions that blacken the ice and disrupt marine ecosystems.

    Thawing permafrost

    4
    Permafrost thawing near the Yukon. Photo: Boris Radosavljevic.

    Global warming is also causing the thawing of permafrost—ground that remains frozen for two or more consecutive years. It is found at high latitudes and high altitudes, mainly in Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau, Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland, parts of Scandinavia and Russia. Permafrost, some of which has been frozen for tens or hundreds of thousands of years, stores the carbon-based remains of plants and animals that froze before they could decompose. Scientists estimate that the world’s permafrost holds 1,500 billion tons of carbon, almost double the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere. As permafrost thaws, the microbes within consume the frozen organic matter and release carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. This accelerates warming, precipitating even more permafrost thaw in an irreversible cycle. Scientists project that two-thirds of the Arctic’s near-surface permafrost could be gone by 2100.

    When the ice in permafrost melts, the ground becomes unstable and can slump, causing rock and landslides, floods, and coastal erosion. The buckling earth can damage buildings, roads, power lines, and other infrastructure. It is affecting many Indigenous communities that have lived and depended on the stability of frozen permafrost for hundreds of years.

    What lies under thawing permafrost?

    Microbes

    As permafrost thaws, bacteria and viruses that have been hidden underground for tens of thousands of years are being uncovered. One gram of permafrost was found to harbor thousands of dormant microbe species. Some of these species could be new viruses or ancient ones for which humans lack immunity and cures, or diseases that society has eliminated, such as smallpox or Bubonic plague. In 2016, a hundred people in Siberia were hospitalized and a boy died after contracting anthrax from an infected reindeer carcass that had frozen 75 years earlier and become exposed when the permafrost thawed. Anthrax spores entered the soil and water, and eventually the food supply.

    Much older specimens have also been uncovered. Scientists have revived a 30,000-year-old virus that infects amoebas and discovered microbes more than 400,000 years old. Some of these microorganisms may already be resistant to our antibiotics.

    Pollutants

    Because the Arctic has been covered by ice and permafrost for much of human history and was largely inaccessible, it was an ideal place to dump chemicals, biohazards, and even radioactive materials. The risks these materials pose in the light of thawing permafrost are poorly understood.

    Radioactive waste from nuclear reactors and submarines, nuclear testing, and dumped nuclear waste can be exposed by melting ice and thawing permafrost. Chemicals and pollutants, such as DDT and PCBs, that were transported through the atmosphere and frozen in the permafrost, may also resurface. Heavy metal mine waste resulting from decades of extensive mining in the Arctic is found in permafrost as well.

    The increased water flow resulting from thawing permafrost will enable pollutants and microorganisms to spread more easily, with potential risks to ecosystems, local communities, and the food chain. The increase in cruise ships, tourism, mining, and commerce in the Arctic could also expose more people to pathogens and pollutants.

    Is there anything positive about melting glaciers and thawing permafrost?

    There are many disasters that could result from melting glaciers and thawing permafrost, but there may also be a few potential benefits.

    5
    Melting ice sheet in Greenland. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    One study [PNAS (below)] found that the new shipping routes opened by melting ice in the Arctic could reduce the travel time between Asia and Europe substantially. The Arctic routes are 30 to 50 percent shorter than the Suez Canal and Panama Canal routes and can cut travel time by 14 to 20 days. Ships will thus be able to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 24 percent, while saving money on fuel and ship wear and tear.

    New mining opportunities in previously inaccessible areas and in the deep sea will make it possible to obtain the quantities of rare and precious metals needed to transition to a clean energy economy. The chairman of the Metals Company said, “The reality is that the clean-energy transition is not possible without taking billions of tons of metal from the planet.”

    The microbes and viruses that have lived in the permafrost for millennia had to develop many adaptations to withstand the harsh environment and may help to develop new antibiotics. To survive, bacteria competed with each other by producing antibiotics, some of which may be entirely new. While some microbes have been found to be antibiotic resistant, others might be able to help develop new antibiotics for medical use. In Arctic soil uncovered by thawing permafrost, scientists discovered new bacteriophages—bacteria eaters—each one of which consumes a different bacterium.

    Researchers found one bacterium that could survive in cold and biodegrade oil in contaminated Arctic soil; the bacterium was able to take up 60 percent of the oil around it. This could potentially help clean up oil spills in the Arctic. Two other bacteria species recovered from thawing permafrost were found to degrade dioxins and furans, volatile liquids, which could aid in remediating contaminated sites. One researcher is studying whether organisms in permafrost can produce enzymes that break down plastics.

    The melting ice and thawing permafrost have also revealed geography and ancient artifacts that are deepening archaeologists’ understanding of history and culture. In the mountains of Norway, melting ice revealed a remote ancient mountain pass and artifacts from the Roman Iron Age and the time of the Vikings. The pass was an important path for moving livestock between grazing sites and a passageway for travel and trade. Researchers also found numerous tools, artifacts, and weapons that had belonged to the Vikings. In the Jotunheimen Mountain Range of Norway, archaeologists discovered an iron arrowhead dating back to the Norwegian Iron Age.

    This year, when Antarctic sea ice cover hit a record low, researchers in the Weddell Sea, a remote part of the Antarctic, were searching for the wreckage of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance. It had been trapped by the sea ice and sunk in 1915.

    They were able to find the ship almost 9,900 feet underwater, due in part to reduced ice cover.

    In the thawing permafrost of the Yukon, scientists found a perfectly preserved wolf pup that lived 57,000 years ago during the Ice Age, camel bones from 75,000 to 125,000 years ago, and teeth from a hyena-like creature that lived 850,000 to 1.4 million years ago. Because the specimens are well-preserved and contain genetic material, they can help scientists understand how species responded to climate change and human impacts long ago.

    As the planet warms, some countries and regions will lose out, while others will benefit. For example, Siberia will likely become a huge wheat producer, and Canada a major wine producer.

    Greenland’s economy currently relies on fishing, tourism, and hunting but it will need to exploit its natural resources to support an aging population. The sand and sediment released by Greenland’s melting glaciers could be worth more than $1.11 billion because the world faces a severe shortage of the sand needed to make concrete, computers, and glass. While dredging sand and transporting it could cause environmental damage, a clear majority of Greenlanders polled want their government to explore the extraction and exportation of sand.

    As Greenland’s glaciers retreat, they also leave behind silt crushed into nano-size particles by the weight of the ice. This nutrient-rich mud, called glacial rock flour, gives plants more access to nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and silicon, while absorbing CO2 from the air. Adding 27.5 tons of glacial rock flour per hectare increased barley yields in Denmark by 30 percent. Applying 1.1 tons of it to fields absorbs between 250 and 300 kilograms of CO2. The more than one billion tons of glacial rock flour deposited yearly on Greenland could enable farmers to sell carbon credits because of the CO2 absorbed, and boost the country’s economy.

    The changes raise complex questions

    Ultimately, these relatively small potential benefits cannot outweigh the enormous impacts climate change will have on local communities and the planet. “Do I believe that these kinds of changes [mining and shipping opportunities] are translating into something positive for the broader society on the planet? Absolutely not,” said Schaefer. “[They] will further enrich an already incredibly rich tiny minority of capitalists.”

    6
    Map of the Arctic. Photo: Rosie Rosenberger.

    Eight countries claim territory in the Arctic: Canada, Denmark (because Greenland was its former colony), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States, some with overlapping geological claims. As the region warms, and new opportunities for exploitation arise, “near-Arctic” countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Britain, and EU members are becoming more focused on the region as well. Intelligence analyst Rebekah Koffler has warned, “The Arctic is going to be the future battlefield for economic dominance and possession of natural resources.”

    It is a geological reality that as ice melts and permafrost thaws, many surfaces will get exposed. Schaefer believes the best thing to do is to tighten laws so that outsiders or wealthy private companies cannot simply exploit resources without any responsibility to the planet or the people who own the land.

    The question of who will benefit from climate change impacts, and from the melting and thawing regions in particular, is complicated. Schaefer believes these issues are moving away from climate science and into law and ethics, and that perhaps the best framework for resolving them is to prioritize climate justice. He said, “The voices and votes of the people who live there and own the land needs to be at the center of everything.”

    Science papers:
    Nature Climate Change
    PNAS

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Earth Institute is a research institute at Columbia University that was established in 1995. Its stated mission is to address complex issues facing the planet and its inhabitants, with a focus on sustainable development. With an interdisciplinary approach, this includes research in climate change, geology, global health, economics, management, agriculture, ecosystems, urbanization, energy, hazards, and water. The Earth Institute’s activities are guided by the idea that science and technological tools that already exist could be applied to greatly improve conditions for the world’s poor, while preserving the natural systems that support life on Earth.

    The Earth Institute supports pioneering projects in the biological, engineering, social, and health sciences, while actively encouraging interdisciplinary projects—often combining natural and social sciences—in pursuit of solutions to real world problems and a sustainable planet. In its work, the Earth Institute remains mindful of the staggering disparities between rich and poor nations, and the tremendous impact that global-scale problems—such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, climate change and extreme poverty—have on all nations.

    Columbia U Campus
    Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

    University Mission Statement

    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

    Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

    Columbia was established as King’s College by royal charter from King George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.

    Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university’s research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States.

    The university’s endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. As of October 2020, Columbia’s alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:43 am on September 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Electrified Processes at the Intersection of Water, , Clean water/malnutrition/air pollution/extreme climate events relating to climate change, Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, Developing membranes for water treatment technology., Electrically-driven pathways to generate chemicals from sustainable inputs., , Energy & Climate", , NSF's Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT), Plasma catalysis, The Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, , Using an electricity-based plasma process at room temperature and ambient pressure   

    From The Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science: “Electrified Processes at the Intersection of Water, Energy & Climate” 

    Yale SEAS

    From The Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science

    at

    Yale University

    8.31.22
    Kevin Pataroque

    Lea Winter joined the Yale’s Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering this past July as an assistant professor. Born and raised in New Haven, she is excited to continue her career at Yale, where she previously completed her undergraduate degree and a postdoctoral fellowship.

    1
    Lea Winter.

    Eleven years ago, she began her academic journey as an aspiring chemical engineering major. Throughout her four years at Yale, she explored different research topics under summer research fellowship opportunities, ranging from immuno-genomics to alternative fuels. She spent part of her academic career under the mentorship of Dr. Menachem Elimelech, whose research centers around developing membranes for water treatment technology. Winter’s involvement in sustainability research fostered her interest in environmentally-focused research to preserve human health.

    “I realized that people get sick because of a lack of access to clean water, malnutrition, air pollution, extreme climate events relating to climate change…I wanted to work on these environmental issues to prevent these situations from happening,” Winter said. “I wanted to increase access to clean water, or increase access to fertilizer and ways to improve food security, or try to mitigate climate change to prevent catastrophic climate events from happening.”

    After completing her degree at Yale in 2015, she began her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University under the mentorship of Dr. Jingguang Chen, who researches heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis to improve chemical manufacturing processes.

    Throughout her graduate career, she developed electrically-driven pathways to generate chemicals from sustainable inputs. Many industrial processes that produce consumer goods are indirectly driven by fossil fuels: for example, conventional alcohol production is reliant upon hydrogen, which is largely sourced from natural gas and coal, as a key reactant. As an alternative, alcohols could be made by reacting CO2 with ethane, an underutilized compound extracted with natural gas, as the hydrogen source to generate alcohols. This reaction cannot occur using heat-driven processes, but it is achievable using an electricity-based plasma process at room temperature and ambient pressure.

    “It’s possible that the best way to find electricity-based processes isn’t just to take the same reaction and run it on electricity [instead of heat], but instead to do it in an entirely different way, or even to have different inputs in the process,” she said. “And by changing those details for how we do the process, we might be able to find more efficient routes to making these products.” In her graduate research, she targeted carbon dioxide as a reactant to generate fuels and chemicals widely used in industrial processes.

    2
    Credit: The Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science.

    As she was finishing her Ph.D. at Columbia, she began applying for postdoctoral fellowships that complemented her research in energy and sustainable inputs. She soon discovered that researchers in the Elimelech Lab were beginning a project coupling membranes and electrically-driven phenomena. Applying her expertise in heterogeneous catalysis and plasma catalysis, Winter rejoined the Elimelech Lab in 2020 to develop electrified membranes.

    Conventional membranes do not break apart contaminants in water supplies, but rather separate these from a target stream. As a result, membranes produce a “waste stream” that must be disposed of, running the risk of recontaminating water supplies. In contrast, electrified membranes are advantageous because they can both capture and degrade contaminants into harmless byproducts.

    “It was serendipitous,” Winter said. “I had this idea about making membranes that could do electrochemistry, and there were people in the Elimelech Lab who were thinking of writing a review paper on that topic at the same time. I had read a paper from the Elimelech Lab on using photocatalysts in membranes to degrade contaminants. You need to somehow deliver the solar energy to photocatalysts in water. Imagine coating a membrane with a catalyst: that membrane needs to be exposed to the water, and be exposed to sunlight. The reaction might be limited by how much sunlight can get to the membrane surface under the water.”

    Traditional technologies have used photocatalysts, particles that use light to jumpstart electron-based reactions, to degrade contaminants. However, these catalysts are reliant upon light exposure, limiting their use in industrial facilities to the daytime. In contrast, conventional water treatment systems are running at all hours of the day to constantly supply clean water to the general public.

    The electrified membranes that Winter is developing decouple the renewable energy capture from the catalytic reaction. By using a conductive membrane, electricity can be transferred from an external source, extending the hours that these membranes can be used in industry.

    “I thought — what if we were to decouple the solar radiation capture from where the reaction is happening? In other words, what if we were to separate out the solar panel from where the catalysis is happening?”

    Already, the Winter Lab has an ambitious group of researchers who are collaborating with centers both internally and externally, such as The Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture and the NSF’s Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT), a collaboration that spans across four different universities to improve methods for water treatment technology. Her research will focus on water treatment technologies, a traditional strength of the Yale Environmental Engineering program, as well as energy storage, resource loops, and electrically-driven processes.

    As an environmental engineering faculty with a chemical engineering background, she seeks to utilize traditional chemical engineering principles towards challenges that the environment is facing. In the upcoming academic year, Winter is planning on teaching courses such as the Water Energy Nexus and Engineering Solutions to Climate Change to better prepare environmental engineers to tackle issues relating to climate change.

    In the span of eleven years, when she began her undergraduate career at Yale, the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering has changed drastically. Many faculty members that taught her courses have left or retired, and new professors with novel research areas have joined the faculty. Still, she notes that the spirit of Yale’s engineering departments, which she hopes to contribute to throughout her future career as a Yale professor, was as she remembers it.

    “Something that I learned from my peers when I was a Yale undergraduate: follow your passions,” Winter said. “When I was a Yale undergraduate, people tended to work on things that they were passionate about, and that’s something which I think is really important. If you work on something you’re passionate about, you’ll enjoy it, and you’ll do it well.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science Daniel L Malone Engineering Center
    The Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science is the engineering school of Yale University. When the first professor of civil engineering was hired in 1852, a Yale School of Engineering was established within the Yale Scientific School, and in 1932 the engineering faculty organized as a separate, constituent school of the university. The school currently offers undergraduate and graduate classes and degrees in electrical engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, applied physics, environmental engineering, biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering and materials science.

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation, Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:51 pm on September 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Southern Ocean takes on the heat of climate change", Antarctica which is surrounded by the Southern Ocean is also surrounded by strong westerly winds., Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , The Southern Ocean does the lion’s share at slowing the pace of climate change by absorbing most of the excess heat trapped in the planet’s atmosphere., The Southern Ocean encircling Antarctica is a small ocean but is responsible for the vast absorption of excess planetary heat., , The waters pushed northward absorb vast quantities of heat from the atmosphere before sinking into the ocean’s interior at 45°S north of the eastward flowing Antarctic Circumpolar Current., The westerly winds can exert this influence while remaining uninterrupted by land masses.   

    From The University of New South Wales (AU) : “Southern Ocean takes on the heat of climate change” 

    UNSW bloc

    From The University of New South Wales (AU)

    9.8.22

    New modelling shows the Southern Ocean to have absorbed the majority of excess greenhouse-related warming due its unique geographic properties.

    1
    The Southern Ocean encircling Antarctica is a small ocean but is responsible for the vast absorption of excess planetary heat. Photo: MarcAndreLeTourneux/Shutterstock.

    Of all the oceans on earth, the Southern Ocean does the lion’s share at slowing the pace of climate change by absorbing most of the excess heat trapped in the planet’s atmosphere, say scientists from the ARC Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science (ACEAS) at UNSW Sydney.

    In the past 50 years, the oceans have absorbed more than 90 per cent of the excess heat caused by carbon dioxide emissions, with one ocean absorbing the vast majority.

    “The Southern Ocean dominates this ocean heat uptake, due in part to the geographic set-up of the region,” said UNSW PhD candidate Maurice Huguenin, the lead author of a new study published in Nature Communications [below].

    “Antarctica which is surrounded by the Southern Ocean is also surrounded by strong westerly winds,” Mr Huguenin said.

    “These winds influence how the waters absorb heat, and around Antarctica they can exert this influence while remaining uninterrupted by land masses – this is key to the Southern Ocean being responsible for pretty much all of the net global ocean heat uptake,” he said.

    Mr Huguenin said that these winds blow over what is effectively an infinite distance – cycling uninterrupted at southern latitudes – which continuously draws cold water masses to the surface. The waters are pushed northward readily absorbing vast quantities of heat from the atmosphere before sinking into the ocean’s interior at around 45°S north of the eastward flowing Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

    But, while ocean warming helps slow the pace of climate change, it is not without cost, said co-author Professor Matthew England at UNSW Science and Deputy Director of ACEAS at UNSW.

    “Sea levels are rising, ice is melting, ecosystems are experiencing unprecedented heat stress, and the frequency of extreme weather events is increasing,” Prof. England said.

    Mr Huguenin said we still have a lot to learn about ocean warming beyond the previous 50 years highlighted in the study.

    “All future projections, including even the most optimistic scenario of 1.5°C global warming, predict even warmer oceans in the future.

    “If the Southern Ocean continues to account for the vast majority of heat uptake until 2100, we might see its warmth increase by up to seven times more than what we have already seen up to today.”

    Prof. England said this will have an enormous impact around the globe including disturbances to the Southern Ocean food web, the melting of Antarctic ice shelves and changes in the conveyor belt of ocean currents.

    Measuring heat uptake in the world’s oceans

    The scientists used a novel experimental approach to find exactly where excess heat is taken up by the oceans and where it ends up after absorption. This was previously difficult to detect as observational records were not only sparse, but only began recently.

    The team ran a model with atmospheric conditions fixed in the 1960s – prior to any significant human-caused climate change. They compared this model to others in which the oceans experience the past 50 years of climate change using actual observational data. The results showed that the Southern Ocean is the most important absorber of greenhouse gas-trapped heat and that it’s ocean circulation – driven by wind – that forces excess heat into the ocean interior.

    2
    Global ocean heat uptake, heat loss and heat transport over the last half century, run through different historical simulations. The red and blue vertical arrows indicate heat gain and loss in each basin. The black (slanted) arrows show the heat transport rates. Figure: Maurice Huguenin, 2022.

    To better understand how Southern Ocean heat uptake continues to evolve, the scientists call for ongoing monitoring of this remote ocean – including installing additional deep-reaching Argo floats, which are pivotal for tracking ocean heat content. They also stress the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    “The less carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere, the less ocean change we will lock in,” the authors said.

    “This can limit the level of adaptation required by the billions of people living near the ocean by minimizing the detrimental impacts of ocean warming on their primary food source.”

    Science paper:
    Nature Communications

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U NSW Campus

    The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
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