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News July 2012

Apologies for downtime

on Sunday, September 30, 2012

We experienced another episode of down time, this time it was our fault and not our web hosting (Godaddy). The fault is now addressed.


At least the media is starting to catch up

on Saturday, September 29, 2012

I suppose it is a sign of progress that the media is starting to take a more active interest in the Arctic. This story highlights the contrast between the European debt crisis and the disintegration of our historic climatic norms.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/melting-icecap-puts-europes-woes-in-perspective/article4575416/
I am struck not only by how few people seem to be well informed about these issues, but by the substantially smaller number of people who take preparation for them seriously. On the plus side - this means those who do prepare will get a very substantial advantage from doing so over the rest of the population. It isn't a good substitute for trying to stop the problem and preserving billions of lives (and civilisation) - but at least one can try to preserve the lives of a few.

Most people seem to be doing neither.


Forum bug fix

on Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The fix to the forum issue has now been released and forums should now function again. They should also display the number of unread messages for people who are logged in. Forum enhancements will continue as planned.


Site outage

on Saturday, September 22, 2012

Our inferior quality webhosting (Godaddy) resulted in a period of downtime after attempting to apply a fix to a forum bug (failure to properly track read topics). Hopefully this is now remedied (though a further bug has been introduced into forums which will be addressed as soon as possible)


UK Parliament Environment Audit Committee report on the Arctic

on Friday, September 21, 2012

The UK parliament Environment Audit Committee report into the Arctic is finally out, submissions of evidence having been taking place over the last year. This link is their findings:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvaud/171/17108.htm
Note especially the first paragraph:

There is growing evidence that the damaging effects of climate change are being felt strongly in the Arctic. The ice-cap is retreating. In September 2012 it had reached its lowest extent since satellite records began, and new evidence shows that it is also thinning faster than previously thought. The general view that the ice-cap is not at risk of a summer collapse in the next few years may need to be revisited and revised. A collapse not only threatens the unique ecosystems there, but would have damaging ramifications for regional and global climate.

At least they have a realistic view on the risks of near future Arctic sea ice collapse and recognise some of the risks - but will any action take place? Is there time left to take meaningful action?


A media outlet with a comprehensive article

on Friday, September 21, 2012

It's unusual to see a comprehensive exposition of the issue in any media outlet. The only thing that isn't emphasised is that crop failure as a result of increasing extreme weather poses an existential risk to civilisation.
http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/climatesnapshot/arctic-death-spiral-leaves-climate-scientists-shocked-and-worried?page=0,0
So why aren't more people doing something? No interest in giving the children of today a future? No interest even in self preservation?
It's a pretty sparsely populated territory preparing for the oncoming storm...


Is there never a time to stop stealing from children?

on Sunday, September 16, 2012

While the headline is a little misleading (since it presumes a cod isn't adult until 13 years old), it nonetheless highlights a serious attitude problem in modern society - the idea that it's OK to deplete even renewable (if they were managed properly) resources such as fish at the ultimate expense of people in the future who had no say in the legacy left to them.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/9546004/Just-100-cod-left-in-North-Sea.html
When people can't solve a simple problem like overfishing - what hope is there for much larger and more profound issues to be addressed?

This is why we are appealing to people at the individual and personal level to take an interest and to start to act. There's still time to do something, even if it's just preparing for major problems.


From the smallest corner of the media

on Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is happening with methane in the Arctic should arguably be one of the biggest news stories around right now (along with the loss of the Arctic sea ice - the two being connected to some extent). However, right now - this is all I can find in the media about it...
http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_15/Methane-emissions-discovered-in-Arctic-Ocean/
So what is happening with methane? What were the findings of the last expedition? What is this one finding? Why is the mainstream media steadfastly ignoring this story? If there is a press presence on this research vessel can't more media outlets run the story and get information? (ever since the very limited reporting of 1km+ emission sites of methane welling up from the seabed in the Arctic the media has barely touched this story)


Ice and methane - reality versus the modellers

on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The worst news about climate change now is coming from observational data and real world events. There are still significant numbers of people - even including well known and respected climate scientists who cling to models that predict much slower time frames and (in ignorance of both the precautionary principle and common sense) stick to these models. This is unhelpful - this article gives a feel for the division that exists within even the climate scientist community.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-currier/arctic-crisis_b_1859710.html


The media is rather quiet about this

on Saturday, September 08, 2012

Climate change is already affecting the global food supply:

These root causes are the increasing global population as well as climate change, which has led to droughts and floods in many countries, affecting food production, said the three officials.

“There have been three international food price spikes in the last five years. Weather has been among the drivers of each. Droughts in some part of the world have impaired global grain production virtually every other year since 2007. Elsewhere, major floods have also caused severe damage to crops,” they said.

http://ens-newswire.com/2012/09/04/un-officials-seek-cooperation-to-prevent-world-food-crisis/


One of the few

on Friday, September 07, 2012

I stumbled over this recently. It's not a recent news article, but it highlights something that I still don't understand very well - that almost nobody is taking the oncoming risks particularly seriously. The loss of the sea ice isn't some distant abstract "shame it happened" event - it's a fundamental change in the earth system and can be expected to alter the dynamics of oceanic and atmospheric circulation with far reaching consequences for northern hemisphere weather and hence agriculture and civilisation. So why are so few people taking seriously the credible forecast for 2015 loss from PIOMAS (possibly sooner if the weather is unhelpful)? Here at least is one example of someone who apparently does take it reasonably seriously (besides us, of course): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/25/AR2011022503176.html


Better Late Than Never - Forums

on Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The first version of forums is now released and operational. Please note the cosmetic appearance still requires substantial improvement and we are still working on improving these. We will put more priority on forum development if they are used sufficiently by visitors. Please note that while you are able to read some forums without signing in to the site you must log in to participate in forums. Forums are are found under the "Participate" menu.