The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.
(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil confirmed on Wednesday that an oil spill occurred Tuesday on its Pegasus crude pipeline in Ripley County, Missouri - the same line that ruptured thousands of barrels of oil into an Arkansas neighborhood at the end of March.An Exxon spokeswoman said a resident notified the company of oil staining on the surface near the pipeline on Tuesday. The cleanup of the one-barrel leak was near completion, she said.The pipeline was already out of service following a spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, on March 29, Exxon said.
Allan Savory: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change
Not at all what I expected. For just over half his talk, Savory discusses the issue of desertification, which many of you are familiar with. He (like many others) makes the case for restoring these deserts.
Then, in the last six minutes, he completely blows everyone’s minds. You just gotta see it.
Yeah, but we all know about NASA’s left-wing bias.
(via Climate Central)
Only 93 percent?
Global warming skeptic now agrees temperatures are rising
The study of the world’s surface temperatures by Richard Muller was partially bankrolled by a foundation connected to global warming deniers.
Muller’s finding of a warming world is no different from what mainstream climate scientists have said for decades. What is different is who is behind the study. One-quarter of the $600,000 to do the research came from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder of skeptic groups and the Tea Party movement.a
A team of British researchers are preparing to dig down through three-kilometer-thick ice to sample a lake under the Antarctic in the hope of finding new species and clues about the future impact of climate change.
A team of engineers with 70 tons of gear are to head for Lake Ellsworth in West Antarctica. The lake has been isolated from the outside world for at least 125,000 years — but it could be as many as a million. It’s about 10km long and two to three kilometers wide.
The team’s mission is to prepare the way for the “deep-field” research mission that will take place in October 2012. They will then use hot water to melt through 3,000 meters of ice in order to reach the lake, which remains liquid due to geothermal heat coming from inside the Earth. This technique has been used before in Antarctic experiments, but never this deep. The hot-water drill will need to operate continuously for three days to create a 36cm wide borehole through the ice.
Engineer Andy Tait, from British Antarctic Survey, explains: “The design of the hot water drill is very straightforward — very similar to the hot water you might use on a jet spray to clean a car. The nozzle delivers water at 2,000 psi and 90C, which is needed to melt the ice to create the hole.”
Remember good ol’ Sharron Angle
NYTimes: She believes federal energy initiatives are unconstitutional and has called for the Department of Energy to be disbanded… “I don’t, however, buy into the whole … man-caused global warming, man-caused climate change mantra of the left. I believe that there’s not sound science to back that up.”
Politics, Myths and Science.
There’s trouble in the depths. The deep sea is the last true wilderness on Earth, but 1,800 km below the surface, an environmental crisis is growing.
On Monday scientists at the Census of Marine Life (COML) project, the 10-year assessment of the world’s oceans completed in 2010, published their analysis of the impact humans are having on the deep sea. Their conclusions were stark: the largest habitat on Earth is being damaged by pollution, resource exploitation and climate change.
The deep sea accounts for 73% of the oceans, an area of 360 million square kilometres. It is a world completely unlike our own. Sunlight cannot reach the depths and the only flickers of light come from living things that use bioluminescence for hunting or disguise.
Far from being a barren wasteland, the deep sea is teeming with life. From vampire squid to blobfish, these extraordinary animals are found nowhere else and their habitats are as unusual as the creatures themselves. Hydrothermal vents, for example, spew out a variety of chemicals on which communities of bacteria can survive without any need for sunlight. There are even forests of coral adapted to live in the cold and dark, providing shelter for more than a thousand animal species.
All of this is under threat. Writing in the journal PLoS One, scientists led by Eva Ramirez-Llodra of the Institute of Marine Science in Barcelona conclude that humans are having severe impacts on the deep sea. In the past it was the dumping of waste that caused the most harm. “Approximately 6.4 million tonnes of litter per year is dropped into the oceans,” they write.
Plastics are of particular concern. “There is accumulating evidence that ‘mermaids’ tears’ (5mm in diameter) and microplastics (microscopic sand grain-sized particles of eroded plastic) are becoming more common in the world oceans,” says the report. “Little is known however, of the true effect of these particles on the environment and fauna.”
The main problems today are fishing and mining. Deep-sea trawling, say the researchers, is particularly damaging because the species caught are “often long lived, with slow growth and delayed maturity making them poorly adapted to sustain heavy fishing pressure.”
[Image via NOAA]