Thursday, 27 April 2017

CO2 levels cross 410ppm

Key Heat Trapping Gas Crosses 410 Parts Per Million Threshold — Highest Level in Past 5-20 Million Years


26 April, 2017

This past week, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels passed a new ominous milestone.
Clocking in at 410.7 parts per million at the Mauna Loa Observatory, this key heat trapping gas hit a range not seen on Earth for many millions of years.
(The world crossed the 410 part per million milestone in the daily measure this week. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)


Record Rates of Accumulation

These new records come following two years of record rates of atmospheric CO2 accumulation. According to NOAA, carbon dioxide accumulated by 3.03 parts per million during 2015 and by 3.00 parts per million during 2016. These now represent the two fastest rates of carbon dioxide accumulation in the climate record to date. By comparison, the substantial warming at the end of the last ice age was accompanied by an approximate 0.01 part per million per year rate of CO2 increase averaged over 10,000 years.

2017 rates of atmospheric CO2 accumulation, according to NOAA, appear to have backed off somewhat in the first quarter. Comparative gains from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017 are about 2.8 parts per million. A weak La Nina in the Pacific during late 2016 probably helped ocean surfaces to cool and to draw down a bit more CO2. However, the rate of increase is still disturbingly rapid. A 2.8 ppm increase in 2017, should it emerge, would be the 4th highest annual rate of increase in the record and would be substantially above past decadal averages. Hopefully, this still-disturbingly-rapid rate of increase will continue to tail off a bit through the year. But it is increasingly clear that the time for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions and this very harmful related rate of accumulation is now upon us.
(The CO2 growth rate has recently been ramping higher due to record carbon emissions during the present decade. Rates of carbon emission will need to fall away from record high rates in order to tamp down the presently high rate of accumulation which will tend to trend higher even if such emissions remain at plateau due to various faltering carbon sinks and leaking natural carbon stores. Image source: NOAA.)

The total CO2 increase since major fossil fuel burning began in the 19th Century is now in the range of 130 parts per million from 280 (ppm) to today’s high of 410 (ppm). By comparison, during the end of the last ice age, levels of this heat trapping gas jumped by about 100 (ppm) from around 180 (ppm) to 280 (ppm). Atmospheric averages for 2017 should range about 3-4 ppm lower than the April-May high mark (which might still hit daily highs of 411 ppm or more). But at present rates of increase, we’ll be leaving the 410 ppm threshold level in even the lower average months behind in just a handful of years.
Depending on How You Look at it, We’re 5 to 30 Million Years Out of the Holocene Context

The primary driver of the present extreme rate of CO2 increase is global carbon emissions(primarily from fossil fuel burning) in a record range near 11 billion tons per year (or nearly 50 billion tons of CO2 equivalent gas each year). Though 2014 through 2016 saw a plateau in the rate of global carbon emission, the decadal average accumulation of this emission is still at record highs. Meanwhile, it appears that warming oceans, lands more susceptible to deluges and wildfires, increasingly deforested regions like the Amazon, and thawing Arctic permafrost are less able to take in this record excess. As a result of these factors, human fossil fuel emissions will need to fall for a number of years before we are likely to see an impact on the average annual rate of atmospheric accumulation of this potent heat-trapping gas.
(Past paleoclimate proxy records show that we are millions of years out of the Holocene context when it comes to present levels of atmospheric CO2 accumulation. Image source:Skeptical Science.)

Paleoclimate studies of past epochs are unable to provide 100 percent accuracy for past atmospheric CO2 levels. However, proxy data provides a good range of estimates. Based on these measures, it appears that the most recent likely time when atmospheric CO2 levels were comparable to those we now see today occurred around 5 million years ago. Meanwhile, it appears possible that the last time CO2 levels were so high extended as far back as 20 to 25 million years ago.

Unfortunately, carbon dioxide is not the only heat trapping gas humans have emitted into the atmosphere. Add in methane and other greenhouse gasses and you end up with a heat forcing roughly equivalent to 493 parts per million of CO2 (CO2e) during 2017 at present rates of increase. This level is very close to the maximum Miocene boundary level of 500 parts per million — a total amount of heat forcing that likely hasn’t been seen in 20-30 million years.
Serious, Concerted Action Required to Avoid Worsening Disasters

The only safe and reliable way to halt the rapid rise of heat trapping gasses and concurrent warming is to cease emitting carbon to the atmosphere. Such an undertaking would primarily involve a major shift away from fossil fuel burning machines and infrastructure. Present low-cost renewable energy provides a powerful option for just such a transition. In addition, various forms of atmospheric carbon capture from changes to land use, to biofuel-based carbon capture, to materials-based carbon capture will be necessary to draw down the extraordinarily high level of carbon overburden that has already been emitted. Failing such an undertaking, however ambitious, would consign the world to increasingly harmful temperature increases and related damaging geophysical changes for the foreseeable future.

Links:

Hat tip to Ryan in New England
Hat tip to Wili
Hat tip to Erik Frederickson


Reports that Israel air raid strikes Damascus International Airport

Damascus Airport rocked by series of blasts – reports


Damascus Airport rocked by series of blasts – reports

RT,
27 April, 2017

Several large explosions have reportedly occurred in the vicinity of Damascus airport, triggering a large fire, according to Syrian media.

The incident was reported by Al-Mayadeen TV, as well as Reuters and AFP citing Syrian monitoring groups.

'Huge' explosion near Damascus Airport: monitor


Witnesses shared photos and videos showing the blasts and burning fuel or gas, claiming that the incident took place near Damascus International Airport.


The cause of the blast was not immediately clear. Meanwhile, conflicting unconfirmed reports have emerged, suggesting either an airstrike or the bombing of a gas pipeline.

air port under fire tonight. Multiple explosions are rocking the air port where many fighter jets are.


According to “senior” Syrian rebel sources who spoke to Reuters, the blasts allegedly struck an ammunition warehouse “used by Iranian-backed forces.” At least five explosions were reported, although it was not clear if they were caused by a missile or an airstrike.

Syrian authorities are yet to comment on the incident.

Damascus International Airport was the country's busiest air hub before hostilities erupted in 2011. Since the onset of the Syrian war, most international airlines have ceased flights to Damascus.



BREAKING: Reports that Israel air raid strikes Damascus International Airport


AMN,
27 April, 2017

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:35 A.M.) – Preliminary reports have emerged that an Israeli air raid has targeted Damascus International Airport or its perimeters.

This cannot be independently verified by Al-Masdar News at this moment however.

Photos have emerged of burning fuel or gas at the international airport.

The reports say that there were five airstrikes against the airport or its vicinity.

It has not been revealed yet the nature of the damage to the airport, but the strikes occurred at around 03:25 A.M. local time.

The Damascus International Airport is still used for civilian flights, including routes to Qamishli in Syria’s northeast, Tehran in Iran and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates


Maria Zakharova responds to western journalist

Newsweek troll left speechless by Russia's Maria Zakharova


Newsweek’s biggest troll on the subject of Russia and Ukraine, Owen Matthews, was joined in the studio of a Russian TV show by Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. The subject at hand was the inadmissibility of Western propaganda, as it pertains to Russian Foreign policy – but Freudian slips can be a real menace! Matthews, several times and unbeknownst to himself, stated that Western mainstream media does in deed partake in propaganda against the Russian Federation. Skilfully, Maria pinpoints where he went wrong.

One irony of the situation is that Matthews, working from his Moscow bureau, is probably on triple the salary of his RT counterparts. Imagine if RT employees in Washington, received 3 times the standard industry salary? That would all be part of “Putin’s propaganda machine” surely.

US and Western corporate media are only “non-governmental” in name, but receive funds from moneyed interests ("corporate") as well as “non-governmental” agencies, funded in the end by none other than US taxpayers via USAID.

Therefore, just because one has a ‘middle man company sponsor’ to cover for it, does not mean that the news source is not government sponsored or linked to official foreign policy interest. RT and Sputnik do not hide behind a manipulative façade and state their sources of funding openly – it’s the Western viewer that seems to be duped the most.


PS- when was the last time a US political show hosted a pro-Russian candidate?

US largely defenseless to EMP attack from space

I do not believe that tiny North Korea is a threat to the United States any more than other countries that it has invaded and/or bombed back to the Stone Age.


Kim’s regime might be paranoid but they are not suicidal and any response, such as the one described below, will be a direct response to US (and allies’) aggression.

REPORT: N KOREA ‘SPACE NUKE’ PROGRAM GREATER THREAT THAN ICBMS
US largely defenseless to EMP attack from space


Launched from a satellite, a small nuclear warhead only needs to explode 300 miles above the Earth to knock out a power grid – and the US is largely defenseless to such an EMP attack North Korea could potentially deliver.

26 April, 2017

And if a power grid goes down completely, it’ll take critical, life-sustaining systems down with it: mass infrastructure for banks, hospitals, communications, food, water and the Internet could be disrupted for a year, if not outright destroyed.

If a nuclear device designed to emit EMP were exploded 250 to 300 miles up over the middle of the country, it would disable the electronics in the entire United States,” said EMP expert Gale Nordling. “That would disable the entire electric grid. It would disable communications, it would disable fuel manufacturing and production, it would disable hospitals and medicines, it would disable 911 call center.”

Right now, an EMP attack by North Korea poses a potentially greater threat to the US than an intercontinental ballistic missile – and the hermit kingdom already orbited its KMS-3 satellite over the U.S. in 2012.

It’s currently unknown if North Korea has a warhead small enough for a satellite, however, its space program shows more promise than its development of ICBMs.

North Korea claims its space program is designed to provide agricultural images to improve its crop yields; but the country is small enough that aircraft could do the same with greater flexibility; satellites are only useful to vast nations like Russia.

In fact, the KMS-3 made several passes above Russia and the US, but not North Korea:

And remember, North Korea operates on a “military first” policy.  Why would it override that policy for just satгellites?

Jim Oberg, who is perhaps the only western spaceflight engineer to visit North Korea, warned that North Korea’s Sohae launch site is geographically suitable for launching satellites to orbit above America’s East Coast.

On the very first pass around Earth, after crossing near Antarctica, the satellite tracks northwards off the west coast of South America, over the Caribbean, and right up the US East Coast,” he wrote. “Sixty-five minutes after launch, it’s passing a few hundred miles west of Washington DC, and with a minor steering adjustment during launch it could pass right overhead.”

What might be inside that half-ton package [in the satellite] is literally anybody’s guess.”

Interestingly, the federal government is currently running mass casualty drills in Manhattan as part of Operation Gotham Shield.

The US, however, is behind Russia, China, Israel and even Iran in EMP preparedness.



French Factory Workers Love Le Pen, Reject Globalist Macron

Amiens: Le Pen upstages Macron at Whirlpool factory

Far-right candidate beats centrist favourite in meeting with Whirlpool factory workers threatened with outsourcing.



26 April, 2017

French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has been booed and heckled with chants backing his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in his home town.

Wednesday's incident happened outside the Whirlpool appliance factory in northern city of Amiens after Macron arranged to meet the plant workers' union representatives, without actually visiting the facility.

He only arrived there after Le Pen turned up unannounced outside the plant and posed for selfies with workers.

Le Pen fails to attract voters within north stronghold

"Everyone knows what side Emmanuel Macron is on - he is on the side of the corporations," Le Pen said. "I am on the workers' side, here in the car park, not in restaurants in Amiens."

After arriving, Macron told angry workers that the only reason that anti-EU Le Pen had come was "because I'm here".

He also retorted on Twitter that she had spent "10 minutes with her supporters in a car park in front of the cameras" whereas he had spent "an hour and a half with union representatives and no media".

Le Pen's campaign coup

Al Jazeera's Natacha Butler, speaking from Arras, said Le Pen showed Macron that "the gloves are off in the battle for the French presidency".


"He was totally upstaged by the far-right leader. It was a real campaign coup. It perhaps shows what some people have been saying that he is inexperienced," she said. "Marine Le Pen is a veteran politician. She knows how to campaign hard."

The factory operated by Whirlpool, a US multinational company, is threatened with outsourcing to Poland.

Macron was in Amiens to try to counter accusations that he had made a complacent start to campaigning for the presidential runoff on May 7.

After winning Sunday's contest with 24.1 percent to Le Pen's 21.3 percent, Macron gave an exuberant victory speech followed by a high-profile celebration at La Rotonde bistro in Paris, drawing criticism from some quarters.

READ MORE: Parisians react to first round, mull Le Pen's chances

Socialist Party chief Jean-Christophe Cambadelis told French radio: "He was smug. He wrongly thought that it was a done deal. It's not a done deal."

President Francois Hollande appeared on Tuesday to admonish his former economy minister for not taking the fight to Le Pen immediately after the first round.

Macron shot back, saying: "I will continue to fight for two weeks ... I will defend the progressive camp to the end."

A poll on Wednesday suggested that Macron will defeat Le Pen by a margin of 21 points, but as the day's events showed, the far-right candidate is a more experienced political campaigner.

After the shocks of Britain's vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's unlikely ascent to the White House, analysts say a late surge by Le Pen is still possible.

Who to endorse

A key factor in the race is which candidate the supporters of Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon, who finished in fourth place with 19.58 percent on Sunday, will support in the run-off.



Melenchon faced criticism after he failed to urge people who voted for him to get behind Macron as part of the so-called "republican front", the decades-old French tactic of closing ranks to block the far-right.

Melenchon's spokesman Alexis Corbiere said the hard-left firebrand would not endorse anyone.

Corbiere, however, told French TV channel LCI earlier Wednesday that "for us the National Front is a danger" and urged viewers to not give "a single vote to the National Front".



French Factory Workers Love Le Pen, Reject Globalist Macron




Can Marine Le Pen Win?

Can Marine Le Pen upset the odds and beat the establishment lackey Macron?

Front National parliamentary candidate Tony Thommes joins me to break it down