T-Rump, Climate Change and ‘Nobody Really Knows’

December 11, 2016

Some sunshine this Sunday morning on California’s north coast, but mostly overcast.

Surreal darkly is T-Rump on TV, fork-tonguing on Fox News —  first on Russkies hacking the US election (Yahoo): ‘“I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it…I think it’s ridiculous.”
And on climate change happening and the EPA (Washington Post): ‘“I’m still open-minded. Nobody really knows…Look, I’m somebody that gets it, and nobody really knows. It’s not something that’s so hard and fast. I do know this: Other countries are eating our lunch.”

Real-underlying essence, however:  ‘At the urging of daughter Ivanka, Trump has met in the past week with former vice president Al Gore and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, both environmental activists. Trump described the sessions as “good meetings” but did not elaborate.’

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Self Portrait Facing Death‘ (June 30, 1972), was originally found here).

A grifter plays all the cards, though, mostly just for show, and augments nothing. Until stupid mouth opens…and he’s playing to the marks…
As in Hillary Clinton, and the ‘lock-her-up’ mantra: ‘“That plays great before the election — now we don’t care, right?”
He’s such a horrifyingly-lying asshole.

And with our only environment, even-worse fears might be realized — Via EcoWatch this morning:

Donald Trump’s transition team is instructing the Department of Energy (DOE) to hand over the names of all of the agency’s contractors and employers who have worked on key climate policies under President Barack Obama, raising concerns that a witch hunt is being orchestrated by the incoming administration.

In the 40th question, the Trump administration requests a complete list of staffers who have participated in international climate negotiations.
“Can you provide a list of Department employees or contractors who attended any of the IA Conference of the Parties (under the UNFCCC) in the last five years?” the document states.
During his campaign, Trump vowed to ” cancel” the Paris climate agreement, which was negotiated by representatives of nearly 200 countries.
The 27th question in the document states, “Can you provide a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended any Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon meetings? Can you provide a list of when those meetings were and any materials distributed at those meetings, EPSA emails associated with those meetings, or materials created by Department employees or contractors in anticipation of or as a result of those meetings?”

Not only nobody knows, but anybody who knows must go…

All this despite the apparent nightmare coming, aided/abetted by T-Rump — the latest comes from the ice sheet that blankets most of Greenland, and the melting of said ice sheet. Although scientists/brainiacs have assumed the sheet would remain intact during all these global hot temperatures arising the last few years, a groundbreaking study published on Thursday in the journal Nature, reports that may not be the case.
Via HuffPost last Friday:

“Unfortunately, this makes the Greenland ice sheet look highly unstable,” said study co-author Joerg Schaefer, a paleoclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in a news release.

Interestingly, another study published this week in the same edition of Nature revealed a significantly different picture of the ice sheet’s past.
Also a result of bedrock testing but from a sample taken from a different location, the paper concluded that Greenland had maintained at least some ice cover for the past 7.5 million years.
Scientists say, however, that the two studies aren’t necessarily contradictory, and may in fact inform the other. Nearly all of Greenland’s ice could’ve melted at certain times in the past, but some ice might’ve remained in areas of higher elevation.
“Both studies show that there’s the potential for the ice sheet to be quite dynamic and change over time,” University of Vermont professor Paul Bierman, lead author of the second study, told Time magazine.

A kind of payola point: ‘“We do what we’re doing with the atmosphere right now at our own risk,” Bierman told Time.
“We’re dealing with an incredibly complex system on Earth and we don’t know the half of it. There are surprises lurking out there.”

And a worse for last — the organic carbon that has been locked in that permafrost for thousands of years is starting to melt, raising concerns a massive release of carbon is way-possible.
From Columbia.edu a week ago:

“We know the Arctic today is under threat because of growing climate warming, but we don’t know to what extent permafrost will respond to this warming. The Arctic carbon reservoir locked in the Siberian permafrost has the potential to lead to massive emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere,” said study co-author Francesco Muschitiello, a post-doctoral research fellow at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The new study looks at a parallel process, estimating the change in the amount of carbon released from permafrost by examining the amount of organic carbon that was washed from destabilized permafrost into the Lena River and out toward the Arctic Ocean.
When permafrost starts to melt, its top “active layer” deepens and the soil loosens, allowing water to flow through it more easily, releasing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and washing away stored carbon from long-dead plants and animals.
“The results indicate severe deepening of the active-layer permafrost in the watershed and release of previously frozen-lock soil carbon, which also implies enhanced microbial respiration of CO2 with important implications for carbon-climate feedback during climate warming,” said lead author Tommaso Tesi, a researcher at the Italian National Research Council.
Oceans also release CO2 from organic carbon.

So bad is this situation, two years ago climatologist and Arctic expert Jason Box ran a-twitter with his assessment of the damage to come:

“Even if a small fraction of the Arctic carbon were released to the atmosphere, we’re fucked,” he told me.
What alarmed him was that “the methane bubbles were reaching the surface. That was something new in my survey of methane bubbles,” he said.

Box was discussing methane off the Arctic sea floor, but hey, ‘nobody knows,’ right?

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