Hope Springs…Out The Window

May 5, 2015

2010HanHazy sunshine this early Tuesday on California’s north coast, but from all appearances so far this morning, we might have a full day of clear, or ‘mostly‘ clear skies, and if like previous days, a good wind is due up this afternoon, carrying some sharp, chilled gusts.
The NWS calls for ‘mostly sunny‘ the rest of the week and into Saturday and Sunday. generally par for the weather-agenda up here.

The environment is a fickle living creature, and as the California drought continues, sidebar repercussions will also continue, from teens not liking the ‘funky’ drinking water, to a reportedly 12 million trees statewide dying this past year, undergoing “very heavy mortality” and in turn, increasing intensity of the fire season

(Illustration found here).

Into dire climate news, there’s always a faltering hope of some ray of unadulterated sunshine. One of those articles the eye spies — a positive pin-head light in a vastly-dark room, found from a piece at Scripps Institution of Oceanography UCSD, dated April 22, 2015 (only aware this morning via Reddit): Headline of the story hopefully beckoned — “Research Highlight: Arctic Sea Ice Loss Likely To Be Reversible,” which on the face, some decently-good news on the climate scene, as explained in the opening graphs:

New research by Till Wagner and Ian Eisenman, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, resolves a long-running debate over irreversible Arctic sea ice loss.
Ever since the striking record minimum Arctic sea ice extent in 2007, the ominous scenario of a sea ice tipping point has been a fixture in the public debate surrounding man-made climate change and a contingency for which Arctic-bordering countries have prepared.
For decades, scientists have been concerned about such a point of no return, beyond which sea ice loss is irreversible.
This concern was supported by mathematical models of the key physical processes (known as process models) that were believed to drive sea ice changes.
The process models forecasted that increased global warming would push the Arctic into an unstoppable cascade of melting that ceases only when the ocean becomes ice-free.
Implications of a permanently ice-free Arctic for the environment and for national and economic security are significant, driving deep interest in predictive capabilities in the region.

Wagner and Eisenman resolve this discrepancy in the study in an upcoming Journal of Climate article,  “How Climate Model Complexity Influences Sea Ice Stability.”
They created a model that bridged the gap between the process models and the GCMs, and they used it to determine what caused sea ice tipping points to occur in some models but not in others.
“We found that two key physical processes, which were often overlooked in previous process models, were actually essential for accurately describing whether sea ice loss is reversible,” said Eisenman, a professor of climate dynamics at Scripps Oceanography.
“One relates to how heat moves from the tropics to the poles and the other is associated with the seasonal cycle.
“None of the relevant previous process modeling studies had included both of these factors, which led them to spuriously identify a tipping point that did not correspond to the real world.”

And then in the final paragraphs, abruptly the legs are kicked out from under an over-wrought table:

“Our results show that the basis for a sea ice tipping point doesn’t hold up when these additional processes are considered,” said Wagner.
“In other words, no tipping point is likely to devour what’s left of the Arctic summer sea ice.
“So if global warming does soon melt all the Arctic sea ice, at least we can expect to get it back if we somehow manage to cool the planet back down again.”

My underline for fucking emphasis — in other words, WTF!

In my post yesterday on greenhouse-gas pledges not enough to halt the worst aspects of global warming, I totally spaced, and left out a real-major handicap in getting a handle on a runaway environment — denying, lying Republicans.
Last week, the GOP majority on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology voted to really-slash NASA’s budget for Earth science, and in a quest to throttle aid for the biggest shitbird of a catastrophe coming our way, climate change, the Republican hard-nosed, arrogant ignorance also cut NASA’s funds to “provide a basis for knowledge and understanding of natural hazards, weather forecasting, air quality, and water availability.”
Asshole bastards…
From the LA Times last Friday:

As outlined by Marcia Smith at SpacePolicyOnline, the measure would cut NASA’s Earth science budget to at most $1.45 billion in fiscal 2016, from $1.77 billion currently — a cut of $323 million, or nearly 20 percent.
Under some circumstances, the budget could shrink even further to $1.2 billion, a cut of nearly one-third.
Compared with President Obama’s request for fiscal 2016, which is $1.95 billion, the proposal would amount to a cut of at least 26 percent.

The announcement of the vote by committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), was a model of misdirection and deceit.
It mentioned “space” and “space exploration” a couple of dozen times, (not including the names of space-oriented organizations or his own committee).
Earth science got one mention, and that one was an undisguised political slam: “The Obama administration has consistently cut funding for … human space exploration programs, while increasing funding for the Earth Science Division by more than 63 percent.”

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, the committee’s ranking Democrat, said her caucus “did not even know [the markup] existed before last Friday. … After we saw the bill, we understood why.”

And this from DeSmogBlog last week and the corrupt idiocy of a GOP-like obstruction system: ‘Documents obtained by DeSmogBlog reveal an alarming rate of corrosion to parts of TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline. A mandatory inspection test revealed a section of the pipeline’s wall had corroded 95 percent, leaving it paper-thin in one area (one-third the thickness of a dime) and dangerously thin in three other places, leading TransCanada to immediately shut it down. The cause of the corrosion is being kept from the public by federal regulators and TransCanada.’

Real sad notes in a rather sad saga within which we’re living…

(Illustration out front: ‘Surrealistic Painting of Industrialized Man,’ found here).

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