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midtskogen
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19 Oct 2019 11:20

longname wrote:
Source of the post How would we manage nuclear waste and keep meltdowns from being so deadly? You can't just strap waste to rockets, that would just be too expensive.

Waste is manageable.  It doesn't take up much space, and safe storage is not a difficult technical problem.  Rockets are a bad solution not just because it's expensive (and risky), but the waste should be stored since it could turn out to become a resource for future generations.
As for possible accidents, it's frequently argued that nuclear is amongst the least deadly energy per unit produced as a results of accidents, and it keeps getting safer.  But let's not rule out that serious accidents still can happen.  I'll side with nature on this one, since earth is beginning to run out of space for nature.  Not only does nuclear power require relatively little space, but in the case of the worst case accident, what is going to happen is that a large area will become unsuited for permanent human occupation and food production.  So it will have to be given back to nature and basically become a wildlife sanctuary.  It's not good for the displaced humans and such an accident would be a really bad thing that we don't want, but earth has a whole might actually be better off.  If I was given the choice of using many km² of relatively untouched scenery for wind power or building a nuclear power plan which only consists of a few buildings in the same area and some mining, I would much more prefer the latter option for the sake of nature.
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22 Oct 2019 06:58

midtskogen wrote:
longname wrote:
Source of the post How would we manage nuclear waste and keep meltdowns from being so deadly? You can't just strap waste to rockets, that would just be too expensive.

Waste is manageable.  It doesn't take up much space, and safe storage is not a difficult technical problem.  Rockets are a bad solution not just because it's expensive (and risky), but the waste should be stored since it could turn out to become a resource for future generations.
As for possible accidents, it's frequently argued that nuclear is amongst the least deadly energy per unit produced as a results of accidents, and it keeps getting safer.  But let's not rule out that serious accidents still can happen.  I'll side with nature on this one, since earth is beginning to run out of space for nature.  Not only does nuclear power require relatively little space, but in the case of the worst case accident, what is going to happen is that a large area will become unsuited for permanent human occupation and food production.  So it will have to be given back to nature and basically become a wildlife sanctuary.  It's not good for the displaced humans and such an accident would be a really bad thing that we don't want, but earth has a whole might actually be better off.  If I was given the choice of using many km² of relatively untouched scenery for wind power or building a nuclear power plan which only consists of a few buildings in the same area and some mining, I would much more prefer the latter option for the sake of nature.

Fossil fuels are far more deadly than nuclear.  We have a gas leak or pipeline explosion almost every day somewhere in this country- which is why we've banned new pipelines being put in.

It's not about it being an extinction event if we do nothing, but more about a quality of life event.  I'm tired of all the poor air quality days we've been having around here.  I'm considering a permanent move to the mountains, in my private gated community where no vehicles are allowed outside of the people who actually live there.  I suggest all communities become gated and ban trucks and other commercial vehicles if we are to maintain clean air and lower asthma rates.  NYC looks like it will ban commercial vehicles within the next decade, but that's too late for me.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465283/

Traffic and power generation are the main sources of urban air pollution. The idea that outdoor air pollution can cause exacerbations of pre-existing asthma is supported by an evidence base that has been accumulating for several decades, with several studies suggesting a contribution to new-onset asthma as well. In this Series paper, we discuss the effects of particulate matter (PM), gaseous pollutants (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide), and mixed traffic-related air pollution. We focus on clinical studies, both epidemiological and experimental, published in the previous 5 years. From a mechanistic perspective, air pollutants probably cause oxidative injury to the airways, leading to inflammation, remodelling, and increased risk of sensitisation. Although several pollutants have been linked to new-onset asthma, the strength of the evidence is variable. We also discuss clinical implications, policy issues, and research gaps relevant to air pollution and asthma.

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Introduction
Outdoor air pollution contributed more than 3% of the annual disability-adjusted life years lost in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease comparative risk assessment, a notable increase since the previous estimate was made in 2000.1 Previous assessments of global disease burden attributed to air pollution were restricted to urban areas or by coarse spatial resolution of concentration estimates.2 In a study of ten European cities, 14% of the cases of incident asthma in children and 15% of all exacerbations of childhood asthma were attributed to exposure to pollutants related to road traffic.3 Urbanisation is an important contributor to asthma and this contribution might be partly attributed to increased outdoor air pollution (figure 1).4–6 Because many urban centres in the developing world are undergoing rapid population growth accompanied by increased outdoor air pollution, the global burden of asthma is likely to increase. In this context, it is notable that the populations of China, India, and Southeast Asia are equal to the rest of the world combined.

I also wanted to draw your attention to a question I asked a US Navy Climatologist in this thread (at the bottom):

https://www.americanwx.com/bb/topic/48618-arctic-sea-ice-extent-area-and-volume/page/57/#comments

This is going to be a bit OT but did you see the new research on the dinosaur extinction asteroid?  The new research indicates that oceans quickly acidified killing sea life on a global scale rather quickly.  I wonder if climate change induced ocean acidification could do something similar?

 

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I'm still reading through that paper. From what I've read so far, the change is on the order of 0.25 pH post-impact. We've had around 0.15 of change so far, but this hasn't eaten into the aragonite buffer enough to cause undersaturation at the surface or in the mixed layer in most locales so far. That is due to change sometime in the 2030s in the Southern Ocean and the waters next to Antarctica (where colder SSTs allow more gas to dissolve). From there it will spread rapidly across seasons and area.

It's not talked about much and my suspicion is that it won't be until that starts to occur.
 
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22 Oct 2019 20:09

Air pollution is a different problem than CO2 induced climate change.  You can burn carbon neutral biofuel, charcoal and wood and you still pollute.
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24 Oct 2019 02:36

midtskogen wrote:
Air pollution is a different problem than CO2 induced climate change.  You can burn carbon neutral biofuel, charcoal and wood and you still pollute.

But the exhaust from vehicles, especially commercial vehicles (diesel), contributes greatly to air pollution, especially near big cities.  That's why switching to EVs is a really good idea to lower air pollution.  We are seeing that here already with electric-powered buses.

Also have a look here, this was forwarded to me from the climate forum:

https://news.rutgers.edu/more-persistent-weather-patterns-us-linked-arctic-warming/20180919#.XbGtcehKhph

More Persistent Weather Patterns in U.S. Linked to Arctic Warming
Rutgers-led study suggests extreme weather will become more common
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24 Oct 2019 02:43

On a political note, here is an excellent interview showing how the waste of the baby boomer generation led us to where we are now and some potential solutions.  The interview touches on climate change.

https://www.vox.com/2017/12/20/16772670 ... gress-debt

Bruce Gibney

Well, most of our problems have not been addressed because that would require higher taxes and therefore a sense of social obligation to our fellow citizens. But again, the boomers seem to have no appreciation for social solidarity.


The boomers, according to Gibney, have committed “generational plunder,” pillaging the nation’s economy, repeatedly cutting their own taxes, financing two wars with deficits, ignoring climate change, presiding over the death of America’s manufacturing core, and leaving future generations to clean up the mess they created.

Interesting how those on the right came to the same conclusion:

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/22/18617686/ ... -sternberg

Whereas what’s really interesting, from my perspective, about what’s happening on the Democratic side, is that it seems that with the possible exception of Joe Biden, a lot of the Democratic politicians who were more associated with that Clinton wing have been fading, and what you have is the emergence of politicians like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders who weren’t invested in that “third way” policy framework from the ’90s and 2000s that dominated before the crisis.
 
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24 Oct 2019 10:01

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post  That's why switching to EVs is a really good idea to lower air pollution. 

Yes, EVs make sense in cities.  I also think it makes sense, to the degree it's practical, to decouple car propulsion from the energy source.  
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24 Oct 2019 10:09

midtskogen wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post  That's why switching to EVs is a really good idea to lower air pollution. 

Yes, EVs make sense in cities.  I also think it makes sense, to the degree it's practical, to decouple car propulsion from the energy source.  

Yes that makes sense too, and based on evolving technology, I think we're getting there.
Also wanted to illustrate what lowering regulations has been doing to the air around here:
A new study shows that air quality in the United States suffered between 2016 and 2018, after seven straight years of improvement starting during the first years of Barack Obama's administration.

The rise in pollution— which data shows started in 2016, just before Donald Trump took office and after years of economic recovery in the United States — has led to thousands of premature deaths across the country, according to the economists from Carnegie Mellon University who studied Environmental Protection Agency data from those time periods.

“That increase was associated with 9,700 premature deaths in 2018,” wrote Karen Clay and Nicholas Muller in a new paper detailing their research.

 

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 68716.html

For years, the quality of the air Americans breathe had been steadily improving, but that trend is showing signs of unraveling thanks in part to U.S. economic gains that come with potentially deadly ramifications. 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/increased- ... r-quality/

The causes of the rise in particulate matter comes from a variety of sources, the researchers said, including a strong US economy, the burning of wildfires in parched areas of the country, and the destruction of American environmental protection rules, which Donald Trump’s administration has pursued vigorously.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 68716.html

And speaking of the economy...

The researchers determined that the deaths had a heavy economic toll, in addition to the obvious human loss: around $89 billion in damages, they say.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 68716.html

We pay the costs both in lives and money.  The difference is with the current system the rich pay much less of the costs (because of lowering regulations) and we "average" people pay much more.

 

note: average life expectancy in America has gotten less for the first time in a generation.
 
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24 Oct 2019 23:23

I would be cautious drawing conclusions from changes from one year to another in air quality.  Weather is a factor, and you need to look for trends smoothed over several years.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post note: average life expectancy in America has gotten less for the first time in a generation.

Lifestyle including food is a likely cause.
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26 Oct 2019 11:10

midtskogen wrote:
I would be cautious drawing conclusions from changes from one year to another in air quality.  Weather is a factor, and you need to look for trends smoothed over several years.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post note: average life expectancy in America has gotten less for the first time in a generation.

Lifestyle including food is a likely cause.

Definitely, thats why we need to curb the soda, fast food and processed food industries.  They are responsible for an unhealthy diet.
About air quality, the trend towards lower air quality started a few years ago with increased forest fires out west and a general denser higher populated city dwellers and suburbanites that drive more.

An update on the ocean acidification issue:

https://www.americanwx.com/bb/topic/48618-arctic-sea-ice-extent-area-and-volume/page/57/#comments

That is a  stunning change. Is there a reference which you could point me to? I've seen some reports, but nothing that suggests global loss of alkalinity on that scale.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases ... 031119.php

 

This is just concerning the appearance of a widespread undersaturation horizon near/in the mixed layer in the next 20 years or so.

 

https://www.pnas.org/content/105/48/18860

 

image.png.afaff2ef01fc94df8869d32eee5014e4.png

 

It's an older paper, but we are very closely following the emissions scenario used (IS92a), so these dates probably aren't far off. Once aragonite undersaturation appears at the surface, it takes just 20-30 years for it to encompass basically entire Southern Ocean south of 50-60S.

If we screw around long enough, by near the end of the century, that will spread towards the tropics and then calcite undersaturation will appear in the Southern Ocean. Once calcite is knocked out, you can kiss most shelled creatures goodbye.

 

 

The thresholds for this seem to be at ~450 and ~650ppm. We're rapidly coming up on the first one.

Additional paper:

 

https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2844
 
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26 Oct 2019 16:06

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Definitely, thats why we need to curb the soda, fast food and processed food industries.

How about rather educating people?  More wealthy people tend to be healthier, so it's not because they couldn't find or afford fast food.
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26 Oct 2019 16:09

midtskogen wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Definitely, thats why we need to curb the soda, fast food and processed food industries.

How about rather educating people?  More wealthy people tend to be healthier, so it's not because they couldn't find or afford fast food.

Well education is an issue too (I support free public college), but I'd also like to punish companies that make unhealthy food and drink.  Tax them the same way alcohol and cigarettes are taxed.
 
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29 Oct 2019 03:46

Thought I should post this update, especially with the recent historic forest fires all over California and now in Los Angeles!

https://twitter.com/RyanMaue/status/1188160398320656385

The climate science is settled on direct causal links to California wildfires.  

Whether it is drier droughts, or whiplashes to wetness, the jet stream is acting freakishly.  

The fingerprints of climate change are all over this current event.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com ... 19EF001210

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... ne.0153589

https://t.co/avouF71zBo?amp=1

https://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Scientists-see-fingerprints-of-climate-change-all-13128585.php

https://www.americanwx.com/bb/topic/48618-arctic-sea-ice-extent-area-and-volume/page/57/#comments

Yeah, the transition time from supersaturated to undersaturated is very short, on the order of ~20 years and every one of those papers focuses on the 2030s as the onset date. 450ppm seems to be the threshold. It starts small in areal extent and depth, but once onset begins, it takes very little time to overtake virtually the entire Southern Ocean in wintertime and begins to encroach on mid-latitude waters with rather alarming speed. I can't imagine that's going to be good for some species (as the authors rightly point out). It also kind of forms a pincer, in that, species will be migrating towards the poles as acidification migrates towards the equator, putting the squeeze on species adaption.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com ... 19EF001210

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... ne.0153589
 
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30 Oct 2019 02:59

Wildfires in California are getting fewer and more violent.  This has nothing directly to do with climate change.  Humans try to prevent fires, and are successful to some degree, but it also means that there will be more fuel so when a fire runs out of control, the fire gets more violent.  And this also means that California gets more sensitive to changes in the weather and climate.  And to human activity.  Just stating climate change as a direct cause for violent wildfires in California is silly and covers up the complexities, which is not helpful.

https://www.usgs.gov/news/fast-fire-facts-usgs
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01 Nov 2019 09:21

midtskogen wrote:
Wildfires in California are getting fewer and more violent.  This has nothing directly to do with climate change.  Humans try to prevent fires, and are successful to some degree, but it also means that there will be more fuel so when a fire runs out of control, the fire gets more violent.  And this also means that California gets more sensitive to changes in the weather and climate.  And to human activity.  Just stating climate change as a direct cause for violent wildfires in California is silly and covers up the complexities, which is not helpful.

https://www.usgs.gov/news/fast-fire-facts-usgs

They are getting fewer?  Not according to this, which states that the California wild life season is becoming year long (well, about 6 months long, when it used to be around 1.5 months long prior.)
We demonstrate that human-caused climate change caused over half of the documented increases in fuel aridity since the 1970s and doubled the cumulative forest fire area since 1984. This analysis suggests that anthropogenic climate change will continue to chronically enhance the potential for western US forest fire activity while fuels are not limiting.

https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/113/42/11770.full.pdf

An even more recent study:

Recent fire seasons have fueled intense speculation regarding the effect of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire in western North America and especially in California. During 1972–2018, California experienced a fivefold increase in annual burned area, mainly due to more than an eightfold increase in summer forest‐fire extent. Increased summer forest‐fire area very likely occurred due to increased atmospheric aridity caused by warming. Since the early 1970s, warm‐season days warmed by approximately 1.4 °C as part of a centennial warming trend, significantly increasing the atmospheric vapor pressure deficit (VPD). These trends are consistent with anthropogenic trends simulated by climate models. The response of summer forest‐fire area to VPD is exponential, meaning that warming has grown increasingly impactful. Robust interannual relationships between VPD and summer forest‐fire area strongly suggest that nearly all of the increase in summer forest‐fire area during 1972–2018 was driven by increased VPD. Climate change effects on summer wildfire were less evident in nonforested lands. In fall, wind events and delayed onset of winter precipitation are the dominant promoters of wildfire. While these variables did not change much over the past century, background warming and consequent fuel drying is increasingly enhancing the potential for large fall wildfires. Among the many processes important to California's diverse fire regimes, warming‐driven fuel drying is the clearest link between anthropogenic climate change and increased California wildfire activity to date.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com ... 19EF001210
84% of fires are man made

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-ne ... 180962315/

  Quote
According to a press release, researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Earth Lab took a deep dive into the U.S. Forest Service’s Fire Program Analysis-Fire Occurrence Database, analyzing all wildfires recorded between 1992 and 2012. The researchers found that humans caused more than 1.2 million of the 1.5 million blazes in the database.  

The cost of those human-induced fires is staggering. The researchers estimate that man-made fires have tripled the average fire season over the past 21 years from 46 days to 154 days. It now costs over $2 billion per year to fight the fires, and that figure does not include the impacts to recreational lands or local economic impact that fires can have.


Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-ne ... GrFUlcG.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
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Mid, your link itself stated this:

Is it just about fuels? No, other factors affecting fire today include changes in climate and weather patterns —  warming temperatures, periods of drought, and erratic rains. Development in the wildlands has resulted in more human-caused caused fires. Invasive species also play a role in wildland fire. For example cheatgrass has increased the frequency of wildfires from about every 50-100 years in native sagebrush and bunchgrass habitats to about every 20 years when cheatgrass becomes established. These fires destroy the native habitat which further increases the spread of the invasive cheatgrass.

What does the change in fuels, climate, and weather patterns mean? Scientists have determined that these changes mean bigger fires over longer periods of time, with more damaging effects.
 
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01 Nov 2019 12:23

As I wrote, if fuel piles up, things get more sensitive.  To most things, just make your pick.

Things are complicated but people want simple answers.  That's also one reason why we still have religions.  Ask someone religious for evidence of God, and he'll find it everywhere.  Ask a climate alarmist for evidence of climate crisis, and he'll find it everywhere.  Often the logical fallacy is a variant of affirming the consequent, because the complexity of the whole system is ignored. 
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