Authors: Derek Paul and Metta Spencer

This planet is gradually warming, mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere. The increased temperature changes the climate in other ways too, including the rise in sea levels; ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide; shifts in the times when flowers bloom; and extreme weather events.

Life on Earth is dependent on a layer of gases, primarily water vapor, in the lower atmosphere that trap heat from the sun, while radiating some of it back and keeping our planet at a temperature capable of supporting life.

The sunlight that remains trapped is our source of energy and is used by plants in photosynthesis, whereas the remainder is reflected as heat or light back into space. Climate forcing (or “radiative forcing”) is the differential between the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the amount of energy radiated back to space.

Several factors determine the size and direction of this forcing; for example light surfaces are more reflective than dark ones, so geographical regions covered by ice and snow reflect back more than areas covered by dark water or dark forests; this variable is called the “albedo effect.”

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The Mt. Pinatubo Eruption Preceded Removal of 20 Gt of Atmospheric CO2 in One Year—Supporting the Feasibility of Climate Restoration through Ocean Fertilization

The Mt. Pinatubo Eruption Preceded Removal of 20 Gt of Atmospheric CO2 in One Year—Supporting the Feasibility of Climate Restoration through Ocean Fertilization

  • 20 Gt of CO2 (2.3 ppm) appears to be permanently removed following the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
  • Carbon-dioxide removal (CDR) through ocean fertilization— similar to what precedes ice ages— is the most plausible explanation because of the duration of the removal.
  • This rate of removal is five times higher than the 3.7 Gt / year limit for CDR  ocean fertilization posited by some researchers.
  •  Data suggests that optimized interventions could produce the needed 60 Gt per year removal to restore pre-industrial CO2 levels by 2050. These would affect roughly 1% of the ocean surface.


Climate restoration—reducing CO2 levels below 300 ppm by 2050—requires net removal of 60 Gt CO2 per year from 2030 to 2050, almost twice current CO2 emissions. This goal restores levels actually proven safe for humans and significantly exceeds “net-zero by 2050,” which would leave CO2 more than 50% higher than humans have survived long-term.

The aftermath of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo demonstrates that this scale of carbon-dioxide removal (CDR) restoration may be feasible through intentional biomimicry of natural processes. Measurements at Mauna Loa show a rapid decrease of 20 gigatons (Gt) in CO2 levels following the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. This 2.3 parts per million (ppm) reduction appears permanent, and is separate from the global cooling of roughly 0.5C that occurred due to reflective sulfate aerosols injected into the stratosphere. The aerosol-related cooling lasted about 18 months, while the CO2 removal appears to be essentially permanent.

The only hypothesis proposed that can explain the long-term reduction in CO2 levels is that iron in the volcanic dust led to healthy phytoplankton blooms. Such “iron fertilization” has been shown to be the major mechanism at work in rapid CO2 decreases leading to ice ages. Other hypotheses—relating to land-based photosynthesis and increased solubility of CO2 in cooler oceans—do not fit the magnitude or duration of the observed CO2 removal.
While some researchers conclude that ocean iron fertilization (OIF) could remove at most 3.7 Gt of CO2 a year, the trend following Mt. Pinatubo suggests otherwise. If CO2 were restored to proven safe levels below 300 ppm by 2050, the mechanism would most likely be optimized ocean iron fertilization, due to its speed, low cost and ease of implementation. 

The next best financially viable option, synthetic limestone, costs 67 times more per ton of CO2 and would take many decades to scale up [See CDR Comparison paper, not yet published]. Popular CDR methods such as Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement and Direct Air Capture are more than 10,000 times more expensive per ton of CO2 removed. Thus rapid testing and scale-up of OIF appears today to be the best way to ensure the survival of future generations.

According to the iron hypothesis, one ton of iron promotes photosynthesis that removes as much as a million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and transports it into the ocean depths as the green plants, grazers, and other sea life die and sink.  Therefore removing 60 Gt CO2 per year, 3 times more than following the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, would require application of 60,000 tons of iron, likely in the form of iron sulfate. The cost of iron sulfate would total $5 million per year. Early, unoptimized OIF studies suggested that 10 – 100 times more iron might be required, increasing material costs to $50 or $500 million—still many thousands of times lower than estimated costs of carbontech CDR methods.
We conclude that through intentional biomimicry, ocean iron fertilization can plausibly withdraw 60 Gt of CO2 a year and restore CO2 levels below 300 ppm by 2050.


EP:554, Russians Who Left Russia

Hello. My name is Vladimir.

I’d like to thank everyone who took part in this episode. All of your stories are unique and really sad because nobody should be in the situation like we’ve got, especially good and intelligent people. And I totally understand your feelings, because I’m a “forced immigrant” too, unfortunately. Due to my position against Russian aggression there’s no way to be safe in Russia anymore.
My wife and I left the country last year and we live in Kazakhstan. But we cannot be sure of our safety because we’re too close to Russia. So we applied for a Canadian visa and we’ve been waiting for an answer for 6 months yet, but there’s no guarantee of success.

RE: 553 In light of the time sensitivity of this proposed research, has there been an exploration of the requirements and time frame for environmental impact reviews for any of these options?

Of course, Metta, given the stage and complexity of what you are doing. I am mainly suggesting that which proposal could get through such a process quickly might be a factor to consider.

Re: 553

Hello All,

Here is the YouTube chat transcript from the March 2023 Global Town Hall:

Jerome Thibodeau​Abrupt Cimate Change…, I’m certain we fit the bill…, a pole goes ice free within 100years, it’s considered, abrupt, I didn’t make the rules, and once the ice is gone, then, it really gets abrupt.
Jerome Thibodeau​: Dig Your Own Hole…, pick and shovel, some mortar and empty bottles…, that’s the only advise, I can give people at this point…
here hold this will ya​: Zelensky did not cause this war.
here hold this will ya: ​what the hell is this guy talking about. bomb me so I can have a war non sense!!
here hold this will ya​yea, if you come in my house, I’m going to fight you. but I have never fought anyone in my life here hold this will ya​tell him Metta
Environmental Coffeehouse​: Hi Paul!

Environmental Coffeehouse: ​Hi Metta
here hold this will ya​; Holy kaka. 40% shortage in just over 5 years

Environmental Coffeehouse: ​Great analogy Paul!
Environmental Coffeehouse​: Oh Peter is here. I thought I changed the show on my phone by accident. Hello Peter.

Environmental Coffeehouse​: They also blame it on sun, cycles, and things like that. Solar movements ofthe sun, or determine climate change.

Yo Mama​well: over the wind that does happen. but in those cases the temperature changes before the co2 levels change as I understand it
Environmental Coffeehouse: ​Well, this one person is really pushing me and I don't have the time to learn
what he wants me to learn: But he causes climate alarmist, and that bothers me.

Yo Mama​it: all very complex and then the misinfo purveyors make it that much worse
Environmental Coffeehouse: ​Agree Yo Mama
Yo Mama​over: the eons
here hold this will ya​: I just wanna be half as bright as Metta when I grow up

Environmental Coffeehouse: ​Good for you, Metta
here hold this will ya: ​I am
Environmental Coffeehouse: ​So why is he putting nukes in Belarus?
Environmental Coffeehouse: ​What defense does Vladimir Putin have to put nuclear weapons in Belarus?
What’s the point?
Sacco and Vanzetti​: The US does it too
Sacco and Vanzettti: and he’s not wrong
Environmental Coffeehouse: I hate war . Period!!!!!
Sacco and Vanzetti: ​yeah

Re episode 544 on urban forests. For reference I point readers to the R Drever et al. paper on natural climate solutions (NCS), and panelist H. Akbari’s papers (mentioned in Drever, above) on urban tree planting impacts:

R Drever et al. 2021 Natural climate solutions for Canada

H. Akbari, S. Konopacki, Energy effects of heat-island reduction strategies in Toronto, Canada. Energy. 29, 191–210 (2004).
H. Akbari, H. Taha, The impact of trees and white surfaces on residential heating and cooling energy use in four Canadian cities. Energy. 17, 141–149 (1992).

Re: Episode 538 Urban Trees – there are limitations, such as application for permits for specific locations. One topic not discussed is that trees produce shade (more as they grow ever bigger).
Another use of urban space would be to grow vegetables, requiring open space and sunlight. This too would save GHG [reduction for transportation and energy for standard agricultural production.]
In other words, urban tree planting requires considerable examination of the potential site(s) before going ahead

Dear Pugwash community,

Please consider making a contribution at our website or becoming a member on Patreon to support our work. We are a very modestly funded organization working with 20-30 volunteers many of whom are graduate students and researchers.

We have a rock dust primer and a research database, and our most current article is a Crash Course on Enhanced Weathering for Carbon Removal. We also have an educational project called Let’s Remineralize! Science Ed K-12 for teachers and students.

Thank you for your support!


Thank you for this very interesting subject for discussion! I have become obsessed with soil quality since I moved to a ground floor flat that has a small garden that had what could only be described as dead soil. It has been a fascinating journey and I can now say that I have success because there are worms everywhere. Composting is also another interesting subject because we all waste such valuable product that can be used!!

For some background on the scale of air conditioning and electricity use that might be modified by urban tree planting:


Science & technology | Biocement
Adding bacteria can make concrete greener
They offer ways to produce cement without releasing carbon dioxide
Concrete is one of the world’s most important materials. But making the cement that binds it generates about 8% of anthropogenic carbon-dioxide emissions.
This is not just because of the heat involved. That could, in principle, be supplied in environmentally friendly ways. It is, rather, embedded in the very chemistry of the process. The heat is applied to limestone, to break up its principal constituent, calcium carbonate, into calcium oxide (cement’s crucial ingredient) and CO2.
In a warming world, this CO2 should be disposed of in a manner which keeps it out of the atmosphere. That is tricky. Better, then, not to generate it in the first place, by remodelling the way the aggregates that are concrete’s other ingredient are bound together. Intriguingly, this may be an area where microbes can come to the rescue.
One proposal, literally as well as metaphorically green, is to recruit the services of chlorophyll-laden, photosynthesising organisms called cyanobacteria. That has allowed Prometheus Materials, a firm in Colorado, to develop a cement-making process in which the energy comes not from heat but light—something easily generated from electricity that has, in turn, been provided by renewable sources. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, photosynthesis subtracts CO2 from the atmosphere rather than adding it.
Grow-your-own concrete
Prometheus raises its bacteria in water-filled “bioreactors” surrounded by light-emitting diodes, to allow the bugs to photosynthesise. The water contains inorganic nutrients the bacteria need, and is perfused by streams of air bubbles which provide the CO2. It also has calcium ions dissolved in it—for the purpose of the exercise is to encourage the bacteria to generate from the ingredients provided crystals of calcium carbonate a few microns across—a process called biomineralisation.
The number of bacteria in the bioreactors would double every four to six hours if permitted to do so. Instead, quantities of them are transferred regularly to another tank. Here, they are plied with a proprietary stimulant that accelerates biomineralisation and then allowed to sit for an hour or so to mature. When the crystal-rich gloop that results is mixed with an aggregate, the product is “bioconcrete”.
Bioconcrete actually comes in many varieties, depending on the aggregate employed. For the moment, Prometheus is pinning its hopes on mixing the gloop with sand, together with a so-called hydrogel (think jelly deserts for children’s parties, only more industrial), which further helps to bind the sand grains together.
To reduce the space between the grains in the mixture, and thereby strengthen the resulting material, the company first pours the mix into casts that will shape it into breeze blocks, and then uses machinery which compresses and, for about ten seconds, “vibrates the heck out of it”, says Loren Burnett, Prometheus’s boss. The resulting blocks then take about eight days to cure, compared with 28 days for conventionally produced breeze blocks.
Prometheus says making concrete this way emits a tenth of the CO2 generated by conventional concrete-making. Mr Burnett hopes that will permit the firm to charge a “green premium”—because one thing which the new blocks are not, is cheaper than the conventional variety. He will not, though, be relying on the construction industry’s goodwill for this to happen. Many jurisdictions, including the states of California, Oregon and Washington, are bringing forward regulations that will favour “reduced-carbon” concrete.
How much the premium will need to be to permit a profit is not yet clear, but it should be once Prometheus has shifted production from its laboratory to a pilot manufacturing facility nearby—a move it expects to complete early next year. That said, the firm does hope to bring costs down eventually to a point where it competes with conventional cement-makers on price as well.
One unknown is how permeable to water the new material will prove. But the stuff is certainly strong. Recent batches have withstood pressures of 380kg per square centimetre—more than some conventional concretes can tolerate. Sales of breeze blocks, and also of bricks for sound barriers to dampen traffic noise (an application based on the belief that the hydrogel will dissipate sound better than conventional concrete) should start early next year. Bringing precast bridge segments to market will take a bit longer, as more rigorous certification is involved.
Prometheus says its new plant will be able to turn out nearly 21,000 breeze blocks a month. But, because shipping heavy products long distances is expensive, it is also working on a process that air-dries both the bacteria and the crystals. The idea, says Mr Burnett, is to produce a “just-add-water” biocement mixture that would be lighter than a conventional cement mix, and could thus be shipped more cheaply.
Building on organic growth
Another biocement firm, Biomason, of Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, uses a similar approach, except that its bacteria, Sporosarcina pasteurii, do not photosynthesise, so have to be fed organic nutrients, in the form of sugar and amino acids, as well as inorganic ones. According to Ginger Krieg Dosier, the firm’s boss, the result is better than conventional cement at binding fine particles together. This lets Biomason substitute things like mine tailings for part of the sand that would otherwise be used. Biomason’s first products are wall and floor tiles branded “Biolith”.
Applications for biocement extend beyond conventional construction, too. America’s Department of Defence, for one, has shown interest. Its aim is to be able to build things in remote areas without having to hump in cement and other materials. That would be doubly valuable if the territory through which the humping would otherwise be happening were hostile. Indeed, it was the defence department that catalysed the formation of Prometheus, by awarding the team at the University of Colorado which later founded the firm a grant of $1.8m back in 2017.
The department is also, in the guise of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (darpa) and the Air Force Research Laboratory, collaborating with Biomason to develop biocement sprays that can turn sand or loose soil into runways. Michael Dosier, Biomason’s chief technologist (and the boss’s husband), says the hardening involved could require less than 72 hours.
Even wilder uses are on the cards. In a talk given in August to darpa Forward, a technology conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, Kathleen Hicks, America’s deputy secretary of defence, outlined a goal that is literally out of this world: an ability to spray a bacterial liquid on lunar or Martian regolith, in order to “grow a landing pad”.
Back on Earth, biocements are already being used to consolidate loose ground for reasons other than runway-making. Some concocted in Singapore by researchers at Nanyang Technological University (ntu) are intended to slow coastal erosion.
To do this, ntu’s civil and environmental engineering department is formulating recipes that mix seawater, calcium chloride, urea and an enzyme from soyabeans. For some batches, the calcium chloride and urea have been successfully substituted, respectively, by carbide sludge, an industrial waste, and human urine.
ntu’s biocements are conveniently watery and, once set in concrete as it were, colourless. This means, says Chu Jian, the department’s chairman, that, “you just need to pour the solution on top of the beach”. Singapore’s National Parks Board is testing ntu’s biocements at two beaches that are being worn away by the waves—one fringing the island state’s south coast, the other in a group of offshore islets.
Filling in the cracks
Another ingenious bacterial concoction intended for the construction industry is produced by Basilisk, a firm in the Netherlands. In 2017 it launched a product that heals cracks in concrete.
Basilisk Healing Agent consists of tiny pellets that hold dried spores from a range of bacteria belonging to the genera PlanococcusBacillus and Sporosarcina, together with nutrients including polylactic acid. Construction workers pour the pellets into conventional cement when mixing it with water and aggregate. The high alkalinity of uncured cement stops the moisture activating the spores. That alkalinity drops, however, as the concrete cures. This means that, if a crack appears and water gets in, the spores in the embedded pellets are primed to spring into action and generate calcium carbonate. This fills in fissures up to a millimetre across, nipping potentially dangerous cracks in the bud.
Not only does that lower maintenance costs, it also means the concrete concerned need contain less reinforcing steel, since the quantity of such “rebar” used in conventional concrete anticipates the extra strength which will be needed as cracks inevitably form. A cubic metre of typical concrete thus requires 100-120kg of rebar, at a cost of around a dollar a kilogram. According to Bart van der Woerd, Basilisk’s boss, adding 5kg of Basilisk’s pellets can halve that requirement for some projects, and will set you back only €37 ($37).
Not only does that save money, it also saves CO2 emissions—because making steel from iron ore is another process that releases this gas for fundamental-chemical rather than mere energy-generating reasons. (The ore is iron oxide, and the oxygen is plucked from this to leave metallic iron by its reaction with the carbon in coke.) Less steel equals less CO2. Sometimes then, and luckily, it is the road to heaven, not that to hell, which is paved with good intentions. ■
Curious about the world? To enjoy our mind-expanding science coverage, sign up to Simply Science, our weekly subscriber-only newsletter.
This article appeared in the Science & technology section of the print edition under the headline “Building with bacteria” .Science and Technology, November 25, 2022.

That biocement stuff sounds great — but there’s another important way to reduce the global warming effect of concrete: the creation of carbon-negative aggregate. At the moment they make it from demolished concrete, mixing it with CO2 from an industrial site. The aggregate is so great at containing the carbon dioxide permanently that it offsets the current emissions from the manufacture of Portland cement. Now if we can just combine these two approaches (and why not?) we would have a stupendously carbon-absorbing concrete. We could suck the greenhouse gas out of the air and lock it away in structures that we need to create anyway.

How fast can they test this stuff and get factories made to produce it? We need it NOW!

The Catastrophic Threat of Thawing Permafrost Hangs Over Us All
As the Arctic heats up, sinking buildings and roads are the least of our problems: When carbon locked in the ground ends up in the air, warming could get worse for everyone

Oct 28, 2022

Richard Littlemore is a Vancouver-based journalist, consultant, speechwriter, and co-author of Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.
The Klondike capital of Dawson City is one of the best places in Canada to contemplate the catastrophic consequences of thawing permafrost. Or, if you’d rather, it might be a place to ignore the implications entirely, and with confidence that you are not alone in doing so. It depends on how closely you want to look – or how desperately you want to look away.

Most of Dawson – like 30 per cent to 50 per cent of Canada – is underlain by permafrost, which scientists define as ground that has remained frozen, winter and summer, for at least two years. The notion may seem chilly, even forbidding, in the south, but many northerners call permafrost “our concrete.” They use it as a base for roads and bridges, as the foundation for homes, churches and businesses. In the words of Steve Kokelj, a Carleton University geographer and one of the deans of the Canadian permafrost community, it’s “the glue that holds the northern landscape together.”
But if the promising prefix “perma-” suggests that this essential base is going to remain frozen forever, you might be disappointed. Thanks to climate warming, which a recent study by the Finnish Meteorological Institute showed is advancing in the North at up to seven times the global average, permafrost is thawing at an accelerating rate.
Which means that stuff is starting to break. The Northwest Territories Association of Communities said in 2017 that its annual bill for permafrost-related repairs was already $51-million – a big additional tax for a small population (44,800). And it’s going to get worse. A January study in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment predicted that permafrost-related damage will affect 30 per cent to 50 per cent of all northern infrastructure by 2050.
That’s obviously bad news for everyone who lives in one of the houses that is riding a permafrost thaw slump into the sea. But there is an even greater threat that hangs over us all.

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The New Democrat Bill is Good for Climate
Best guess says that the bill that Joe Manchin has agreed to will allow the US to ALMOST reach the greenhouse gas target that it pledged in the Paris agreement. This is progress. Not enough, but something to celebrate — if it passes Congress. Promote it vigorously, please friends.

NO planet B.png

Basalt is Good Too
Another great possibility is to spread crushed rock (especially basalt) on the soil. It grabs and holds onto carbon from the atmosphere, and it does good to the fertility of soil The question is, how much energy does it require to smash and transport the rock? That all depends.


Reindeer as Ecosystem Engineers?

“On the Yamal Peninsula in West Siberia, the nomadic Nenets people have a long tradition of herding reindeer on the Arctic tundra. In recent decades, however, the tundra has been changing, and so are the ways that reindeer interact with it.

The Yamal Peninsula is shown above in a natural-color image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on July 8, 2021. At that time of year, Nenets herders likely were making their summer migration to the north.

In the Arctic, temperatures have been rising faster than anywhere else in the world. Climate change has been altering the plant communities in tundra and taiga (boreal) ecosystems. As growing seasons become longer and warmer, plant growth has increased—an effect called Arctic greening. Additionally, the tundra grasses and small plants that normally grow here are being replaced by taller, woodier shrubs and trees—a change called shrubification. These changes in vegetation affect the tundra ecosystem, including its carbon cycle, human and wildlife habitat, and susceptibility to wildfire.

But the changes have not been uniform across the Arctic. For example, research supported by NASA’s Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) found that instead of greening, some colder, drier areas have experienced browning. The map below is based on Landsat satellite observations between 2000 and 2020 that show about 27 percent of the Arctic became greener while 8 percent became browner.

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Last edited 1 year ago by Project Save The World

Time for Expansion: The Arctic Council at the Crossroad of Heightened Strategic Tensions and Climate Change

Nima Khorrami | The Arctic Institute: Centre for Circumpolar Security Studies | 12 October 2021

Thanks to its resources, its potential as a maritime shortcut between global trading hubs in Asia, Europe and North America, technological developments, and, above all, climate change, strategic competition is set to keep reaching new heights in the Arctic. Although the current situation is not as fragile as it once was during the Cold War, the anticipated intensification in the Sino-American strategic rivalry, Moscow’s newly acquired habit of violating international legal system, and increased commercial and military activities of both Arctic and non-Arctic nations herald the beginning of a new era; one that is already heavily marred in zero-sum thinking and therefore is considerably more prone to friction.

Given this anticipated state of affairs as well as the commonly acknowledged inadequacy of the existing defence and security arrangements in the region, the need for a well-thought out long term strategy for the region is now, more than ever before, apparent. To this end, the future trajectory of the Arctic Council and its institutional development is of paramount importance. Some scholars claim that regional institutions risk becoming irrelevant should they “fail to respond to the rate of change” while others warn of unsuitability of retaining exclusivity on the Arctic governance based on geographical proximity and simultaneously highlight the urgent need for either reforming the current “Arctic-oriented international organisations” or establishing new ones.

By taking its lead from these works and their findings, this article seeks to make the case for a reformed Arctic Council and the widening of its mandate; one that includes defence and security related issues. Its main argument is that reforming the Council, or more accurately expanding its mandate, does not represent a deviation from its initial purpose but in fact is a vital prerequisite if it is to be able to fulfil its key objectives of environmental protection and sustainable development. Concurring that insistence on exclusivity is bound to failure, moreover, this paper also contends that the Council, thanks to its large number of observer states, is the most suitable and/or natural venue for not only defence related discussions but also the wider issue of Arctic governance.

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Last edited 1 year ago by Adam Wynne

Recently, Greta Thunberg aptly described the global-warming (non)efforts of faux or neo-environmentalist politicos as just more “blah, blah, blah”.
To me, she was also saying that, while bone-dry-vegetation world regions uncontrollably burn, mass addiction to fossil fuel products undoubtedly helps keep the average consumer quiet about the planet’s greatest polluter, lest they feel and/or be publicly deemed hypocritical. Meanwhile, (neo)liberals and conservatives remain overly preoccupied with vocally criticizing one another for their relatively trivial politics and diverting attention away from some of the planet’s greatest polluters, where it should and needs to be sharply focused.
Industry and fossil-fuel friendly governments can tell when a very large portion of the populace is too tired and worried about feeding/housing themselves or their family, and the virus-variant devastation still being left in COVID-19’s wake — all while on insufficient income — to criticise them for whatever environmental damage their policies cause/allow, particularly when not immediately observable. In fact, until recently, I had not heard Greta’s name in the mainstream corporate news-media since COVID-19 hit the world.

Conclusions of the paper “Ocean stratification and sea-ice cover in Barents and

Kara seas modulate sea-air methane flux: satellite data” by


Igor POLYAKOV & Hong ZHANG ( are

(subjective likelihoods are in brackets):

a) CH4 flux in winter prevails over that in summer (99%)

a1) This is due to a change in mixing (90%)

b) for the winter open-water sea a positive trend of the flux is negligible (70%). More accurate measurements are needed to prove its importance. 

b1) A competition between positive seabed temp-re and negative mixing trends dumps the flux from the Barents sea (50%). 

b2) for a partially ice-covered sea the winter trend is very high (90%)

b3) this is due to degradation of the ice cover (70%) or to growing flux from the seabed (30%)

This is the only satellite investigation of Arctic methane.

As a lifelong resident of southwestern B.C. (Canada), the unprecedented heatwave here in late June, described by meteorologists as more of a ‘stalling heat dome’, left me feeling I could never again complain about the weather being too cold. …

After 54 years of life, I find collective human existence has for too long been analogous to a cafeteria lineup consisting of diversely societally represented people, all adamantly arguing over which identifiable person should be at the front and, conversely, at the back of the line. Many of them further fight over to whom amongst them should go the last piece of quality pie and how much they should have to pay for it — all the while the interstellar spaceship on which they’re all permanently confined, owned and operated by (besides the wealthiest passengers) the fossil fuel industry, is on fire and toxifying at locations not normally investigated.  

Clearly there has been discouragingly insufficient political courage and will to properly act upon the cause-and-effect of manmade global warming and climate change. Neo-liberals and conservatives are overly preoccupied with vociferously criticizing one another for their politics and beliefs thus diverting attention away from the planet’s greatest polluters, where it should and needs to be sharply focused. (Although, it seems to be the ‘conservatives’ who do not mind polluting the planet most liberally.)

But there’s still some hope for spaceship Earth and therefor humankind due to environmentally conscious and active young people, especially those who are approaching/reaching voting age. In contrast, the dinosaur electorate who have been voting into high office consecutive mass-pollution promoting or complicit/complacent governments for decades are gradually dying off and making way for voters who fully support a healthy Earth thus populace. 

Last edited 2 years ago by Frank Sterle Jr.


A Massive Methane Reservoir Is Lurking Beneath The Sea

Fanni Daniella Szakal | EOS | 27 April 2021

“Methane bubbles regularly reach the surface of the Laptev Sea in the East Siberian Arctic Ocean (ESAO), each of them a small blow to our efforts to mitigate climate change. The source of the methane used to be a mystery, but a joint Swedish-Russian-U.S. investigation recently discovered that an ancient gas reservoir is responsible for the bubbly leaks.
Methane in the Laptev Sea is stored in reservoirs below the sea’s submarine permafrost or in the form of methane hydrates—solid ice-like structures that trap the gas inside. It is also produced by microbes in the thawing permafrost itself. Not all of these sources are created equal: Whereas microbial methane is released in a slow, gradual process, disintegrating hydrates and reservoirs can lead to sudden, eruptive releases.
Methane is escaping as the Laptev’s submarine permafrost is thawed by the relative warmth of overlying seawater. With an even stronger greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide, methane releases into the atmosphere could substantially amplify global warming.
“To anticipate how these methane releases will develop over the coming decades or centuries, we need to understand what reservoirs of methane the releases are coming from,” said Örjan Gustafsson, leader of the research group that conducted the investigation.”

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One astonishing new discovery about these leaks of methane is that they vary in intensity with the phases of the moon! Why so? Because the amount of weight above the seabed determines how much they are firmly held down. And the tides are influenced by the moon, so when there’s a high tide, the greater amount of water in the column above tends to hold the methane down so there are fewer plumes of gas escaping to the surface!

One astonishing new discovery about these leaks of methane is that they vary in intensity with the phases of the moon! Why so? Because the amount of weight above the seabed determines how much they are firmly held down. And the tides are influenced by the moon, so when there’s a high tide, the greater amount of water in the column above tends to hold the methane down so there are fewer plumes of gas escaping to the surface!

Brazil’s Climate Overture to Biden: Pay Us Not to Raze Amazon

Paulo Trevisani and Timothy Puko | The Wall Street Journal | 21 April 2021

“Brazil’s government, widely criticized by environmental groups as a negligent steward of the Amazon rainforest, has made an audacious offer to the Biden administration: Provide $1 billion and President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration will reduce deforestation by 40%.
The proposal was made as the Brazilian president prepares for a virtual environmental summit with roughly 40 heads of state hosted Thursday and Friday by President Biden, who has made battling climate change a centerpiece of his administration. European governments and activists have publicly expressed misgivings with Mr. Bolsonaro’s proposals on the environment because he has trimmed funds for environmental protection agencies amid an increase in deforestation.
But supported by some influential scholars and Amazon dwellers, Mr. Bolsonaro argues that the only way to save the jungle is through carbon credits and by financing sustainable economic activities so people can make a living from fish farming, cacao production and other activities that don’t require the razing of trees. The theme has been central to talks Brazil’s environment minister, Ricardo Salles, said he has had in recent weeks with Biden administration climate officials.
The request is likely just among the first of many similar to follow as developing nations start to negotiate with industrialized countries about who pays for costly programs to address climate change. This fall, the nations of the world are to set new, more ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and developing countries want their richer peers to make good on pledges from the original Paris climate negotiations to mobilize $100 billion a year in public and private financing for them.”

Read more


New Climate Satellite Spotted Giant Methane Leak as It Happened

Naureen S. Malik | Bloomberg Green | 12 February 2021

“Methane leaks from at least eight natural gas pipelines and unlit flares in central Turkmenistan earlier this month released as much as 10,000 kilograms per hour of the supercharged greenhouse gas, according to imagery produced by a new satellite capable of detecting emissions from individual sites.

“That amount of methane would have the planet-warming impact of driving 250,000 internal-combustion cars running for a similar amount of time, said Stephane Germain, president of GHGSat Inc., the company that picked up on the leak. The company first spotted the eight plumes of greenhouse gas on February 1. “It’s reasonable to say this happened for several hours,” he said in an interview.

The pixelated snapshot showing the eight simultaneous leaks within just 20 square miles is an alarming harbinger of what could be revealed now that satellite technology is capable of pinpointing emissions from specific wells, pipelines, and mines. GHGSat launched its first satellite in 2016, but it wasn’t until last September that it had one in orbit capable of picking out individual wells. In the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, Germain said, it detected hundreds of leaks.”

Read More Here:

Yes! More trees in the city! The best place is where you have a lawn. Grass lawns are environmentally horrible. Dig them up and plant a thicket of trees. Everyone will be happier.

Okay, I don’t like being held for ransom, but I would certainly rather pay it than have the world continue heating up. Maybe Bolsonaro is right. He is a nasty guy, but it is possible that the people in Brazilian rainforest really don’t have many other options. So why not pay up, and get on with it?

Absolutely right — but not quite! They did point out the dangers of these hydrofluorocarbons, but they only PARTLY reduced them They are not going to ban them entirely, as they shouled.

I am shocked but not surprised. We have had plenty of warning that this kind of thing will be increasing, and we are ignoring it. At least the politicians are ignoring it and even the scientists are not all keeping up to date about what each other are finding out.

There’s an invisible climate threat seeping from grocery store freezers. Biden wants to change that.

New undercover survey suggests leaks of powerful planet-warming gases pervade many supermarkets

By Juliet Eilperin and Desmond Butler |Feb. 15, 2021 at 9:29 p.m. EST

Some of the climate impacts of a grocery store trip are obvious, like the fuel it takes to get there and the electricity that keeps its lights glowing, conveyor belts moving and scanners beeping. But then there are the invisible gases seeping out into the atmosphere when you reach for your ice cream of choice.

In nearly every supermarket in America, a network of pipes transports compressed refrigerants that keep perishable goods cold. Most of these chemicals are hydrofluorocarbons — greenhouse gases thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide — which often escape through cracks or systems that were not properly installed. Once they leak, they are destined to pollute the atmosphere.

The Biden administration now sees eliminating these chemicals from the nation’s refrigerators as low-hanging fruit in its broader effort to rein in climate pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a public call last week for companies to report production and import data on HFCs.

Read more

The Washington Post, Feb. 15, 2021

Suggestion Box: More Trees in the City!

Here’s a proposal: “Trees in the City” is an integral part of the Society’s “Trees for Life” centennial program. This will be an informative and enlightening opportunity for you to develop a more significant appreciation, and become more deeply aware of trees where we live and move and have our essential being provincially and municipally. Please forward this link onto others in your circle of influence. What better way to begin a new year 2021 than with trees. DAS President, Royal Commonwealth Society Vancouver Island (RCS VI)”

Hi, Commonwealth Society! We love trees too! If you want to post more comments, we will be glad to hear from you, and we hope you’ll post your upcoming events in the Events Listings. Sorry we missed getting one of your events up in time, but if you post them yourself, it will go up immediately.

This is something we can do while the pandemic is keeping us from traveling this year. We should have ceremonies to thank the trees along our street. Everyone could come out and get some fresh air, honoring the trees.

I agree. But it is true that this would just encourage every other tin-pot dictator to try to extort money from the richer countries as payment for complying with the Paris Agreement. I wonder whether there might be a better, more judicious way of collecting money to be distributed to the poorer countries that need help in fulfilling their commitments?

Eeeek! Turkmenistan now? I hadn’t heard about any permafrost there. Is it from pipelines or what?

Suggestion Box: Stop Traveling!

Brian Beaton has posted this idea in the suggestion box:
“Finding effective ways to stay in our communities doing the work required to support each other, our families, our neighbours to grow in all ways locally while respecting mother earth and Indigenous traditional teachings and ceremonies honouring the earth, the land, the air, the water and all our relations.”
Interesting proposal, Brian! The possibilities are being shown by the decrease in carbon emissions during pandemic lockdowns. If you have further thoughts on this, please share them here in this comment column. I imagine it may create quite a significant discussion.

Stanford Designer is Making Bricks Out of Fast-Growing Mushrooms That Are Stronger than Concrete

Andy Corbley | Good News Network | 10 December 2020

While there aren’t any species of mushroom large enough to live in, one Bay-area designer thinks he can make one if he only cranks out enough of his patented “mushroom bricks.”

In fact, he knows he can do it, because he’s already build a showpiece called “Mycotecture”—a 6×6 mushroom brick arch from Ganoderma lucidum or reishi mushrooms.

Phil Ross doesn’t use the mushroom, or fruiting body of the reishi; he uses mycelium, the fast-growing fibrous roots that make up the vast majority of fungus lifeforms.

Mycelium grows fast, and is incredibly durable, waterproof, non-toxic, fire-resistant, and biodegradable.

Ross uses it to build bricks by growing mycelium in bags of delicious (to mushrooms) sawdust, before drying them out and cutting them with extremely heavy-duty steel blades.

This works because mushrooms digest cellulose in the sawdust, converting it into chitin, the same fiber that insect exoskeletons are made from.

“The bricks have the feel of a composite material with a core of spongy cross grained pulp that becomes progressively denser towards its outer skin,” explained Discover Magazine. “The skin itself is incredibly hard, shatter resistant, and can handle enormous amounts of compression.”

One design/architecture website described these mushroom bricks as “stronger than concrete,” while another quotes Ross in an interview suggesting that it could replace all manner of plastic polymer building materials.

Indeed, designers have already used mycelium to make cloth hats, sea-worthy canoes, and eco-friendly coffins. Ross’ next plan, according to the same interview, is to build an entire house for 12-20 people out of reishi mycelium.”


Somehow I don’t think this is going to become a major industry. Nice idea, but ….

Trias of carbon, silicon and water – silicate weathering and “stone eating microbes”

1) Important is the trias of carbon, silicon and water. Silicon as biochar increase soil water capacity. Plant and soil need silicates, which are produced by continues weathering. Weathering of one molecule silicate, e.g. MgSiO4 consumes 4 molecules of CO2: “Mg2SiO4 + 4 CO2 + 4 H2O ⇌ 2 Mg2+ + 4 HCO3− + H4SiO4 [H4SiO4 = Si(OH)4]. 

2) So silicates work as antacids/liming agents, without liberating CO2 (opposite to usual liming agents). Silicate weathering is promoted by “stone eating microbes, especially mycorrhizaea” [Koele N, Hildebrand EE (2008) ]

3) Plants consume silicates the same amounts as main cations and decrease the plant available silicon. Recycling is important, but usually cannot replace the losses. The space science could show the importance of silicon by astronauts. On the earth – possibly in oceans – the losses of silicon can be balanced by silicon amendments, e.g. by fine stone meal.
(Reference: Hensel J (1894) Bread from Stones: A New and Rational System of Land Fertilization and Physical Regeneration.

4) Space science should build one or several “laboratory community/ies” on the earth for studying and improving the methods for managing recycling and silicate-carbonate cycle.

Capture it in the Smokestack

The IEA (International Energy Agency) says that Carbon Capture, Sequestration and Storage (CCUS) is an important part of the mix in moving forward on mitigating climate change, so the article below is good news.

Carbon capture and storage pipeline grows by 10 large scale facilities globally 8th June 2020

8 June 2020, Washington, DC – The Global CCS Institute, an international think tank, has added 10 carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities to its global database, bringing the total number of CCS facilities in various stages of development to 59 with a capture capacity of more than 127 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). There are now 21 facilities in operation, three under construction, and 35 in various stages of development.

“Our recent CO2RE Database update shows that despite the current CV-19 crisis we are observing a significant increase in CCS facilities in the pipeline which demonstrates continued progress towards meeting climate targets, and will also result in significant job creation and economic growth”, said Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page.

In a recent flagship report on the value of CCS, the Global CCS Institute found that CCS deployment in line with the Paris Agreement and energy-related Sustainable Development Goals could create some 100,000 jobs in the industry by 2050.
Read more

Shockingly Simple!

How Farmland Could Absorb an Extra 2 Billion Tonnes of CO2 From the Atmosphere Each Year
Adding crushed rock dust to farmland could draw down up to two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air per year and help meet key global climate targets, according to a major new study led by the University of Sheffield.

Major new study shows adding rock dust to farmland could remove carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent to more than the current total emissions from global aviation and shipping combined — or around half of Europe’s current total emissions
Research identifies the nation-by-nation potential for CO2 drawdown, as well as the costs and the engineering challenges involved
Findings reveal the world’s highest emitters (China, India and the US) also have the greatest potential to remove CO2 from the atmosphere using this method
Scientists suggest unused materials from mining and the construction industry could be used to help soils remove CO2 from the atmosphere

Adding crushed rock dust to farmland could draw down up to two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air per year and help meet key global climate targets, according to a major new study led by the University of Sheffield.

Read more


Thanks for the article and references

Stop cutting down trees for biomass. . .STOP WOODY BIOMASS!

“According to Earth Institute, burning wood biomass emits as much, if not more, air pollution than burning fossil fuels — particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, mercury, and other hazardous air pollutants — which can cause cancer or reproductive effects.” Have other folks heard similar claims?


That should be a bumper sticker on every vehicle in America and around the world as easy-to-read bumper stickers are more effective than many forms of advertising.

According to LSA — University of Colorado/Boulder, wood accounts for 79% of biomass production and accounts for 3.2% of energy production. Wood dominates the worldwide biomass industry.

For perspective purposes, a paid lobbyist on behalf of trees could rightfully claim: (1) Trees cool and moisten our air and fill it with oxygen. (2) They calm the winds and shade the land from sunlight. (3) They shelter countless species, anchor the soil, and slow the movement of water. (4) They provide food, fuel, medicines, and building materials for human activity. (5) They also help balance Earth’s carbon budget. Name another organism with credentials like that!

Meanwhile, the worldwide woody biomass industry consumes forests, gobbling up trees by the minute. But, it’s a wayward ruse to classify woody biomass as “carbon neutral.” It is not carbon neutral. It’s a carbon emitter, the antithesis of clean renewable energy.

A 1,000-kilowatt-hour wood-pellet power plant, enough to power 1,000 homes, emits a total of 1,275 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. That’s according to Dr. Puneet Dwivedi, a research professor at the University of Georgia. By way of comparison, a 1,000-kilowatt-hour coal plant emits 1,048 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour. The net result is that coal produces 227 grams less CO2 than the biomass plant. Hmm. (Source: A Burning Question: Throw Wood on the Fire for 21st-Century Electricity? CNBC, Sept. 15, 2017)
Read more

Stopping Deforestation Can Prevent Pandemics

By the Editors of Scientific American, June 1, 2020

“SARS, Ebola and now SARS-CoV-2: all three of these highly infectious viruses have caused global panic since 2002—and all three of them jumped to humans from wild animals that live in dense tropical forests.

Three quarters of the emerging pathogens that infect humans leaped from animals, many of them creatures in the forest habitats that we are slashing and burning to create land for crops, including biofuel plants, and for mining and housing. The more we clear, the more we come into contact with wildlife that carries microbes well suited to kill us—and the more we concentrate those animals in smaller areas where they can swap infectious microbes, raising the chances of novel strains. Clearing land also reduces biodiversity, and the species that survive are more likely to host illnesses that can be transferred to humans. All these factors will lead to more spillover of animal pathogens into people.

Stopping deforestation will not only reduce our exposure to new disasters but also tamp down the spread of a long list of other vicious diseases that have come from rain forest habitats — Zika, Nipah, malaria, cholera and HIV among them. A 2019 study found that a 10 percent increase in deforestation would raise malaria cases by 3.3 percent; that would be 7.4 million people worldwide. Yet despite years of global outcry, deforestation still runs rampant. An average of 28 million hectares of forest have been cut down annually since 2016, and there is no sign of a slowdown.

Read more

Sweden shuts down coal power two years early!

Great news from Sweden in that Sweden shut down their last coal-fired power plant 2 years ahead of schedule!

“It seems like a lot of countries are falling behind on their climate goals lately, and Sweden is currently putting them all to shame — and that’s not only because the Nordic country produced Greta Thunberg. Sweden just shut down its last remaining coal-fired power plant, two years before it was scheduled to close.

The coal-fired cogeneration plant KVV6 at Värtaverket, located in Hjorthagen in eastern Stockholm, has been in operation since 1989, according to Stockholm Exergi, the local energy company that owns the plant. Stockholm Exergi is equally owned by the municipality of Stockholm and Fortum, a Finnish energy company that operates across Europe and Asia.

As Stockholm Exergi explained, before the winter of 2019-2020, the company shut down one of KVV6’s two boilers, and converted the other to a power reserve. Because the winter wound up being mild, Stockholm Exergi did not need to use energy from the reserves, meaning the company was able to close the plant down this month, rather than in 2022 as planned.

Additionally, there is a chance that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on Sweden’s recent energy use. For example, Britain just beat its personal record of going more than 18 days without using coal-powered electricity, thanks in part to the recent mild weather, but more interestingly, due to people needing less power during the coronavirus pandemic. With many areas on lockdown, people are using less electricity and driving cars less, reducing dependence on fuel overall.

“Our goal is for all our production to come from renewable or recycled Exergi,” Anders Egelrud, CEO of Stockholm Exergi, said in a translated statement. “This plant has provided the Stockholmers with heat and electricity for a long time, today we know that we must stop using all fossil fuels, therefore the coal needs to be phased out and we do so several years before the original plan.”

“Since Stockholm was almost totally fossil-dependent 30-40 years ago, we have made enormous changes and now we are taking the step away from carbon dependency and continuing the journey towards an energy system entirely based on renewable and recycled energy,” Egelrud added.

In 2018, 54.6 percent of the energy used in Sweden came from renewable sources, according to the Swedish Energy Agency. While that is still pretty far from the country’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy, Sweden is far ahead of many other countries. For example, in 2018, renewable energy sources only accounted for 11 percent of U.S. energy consumption, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

As reported by The Independent, Sweden is the third country in Europe to cut off its reliance on coal. Belgium closed its last coal power plant in 2016, according to Climate Change News, and Austria said Auf Wiedersehen to its last remaining coal-fired power station earlier this April, as per CNBC. Hopefully now that three European countries no longer have coal-fired power plants, other nations across Europe — and all over the world — will ramp up efforts to do the same.”

Why the Most Environmental Building is the Building We’ve Already Built

About one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings. That’s why we should be retro-fitting our houses and workplaces. But watch out for the demolition that precedes rebuilding. Half of the residue winds up in landfills. But retrofitting is almost always more energy efficient–especially if we reduce the amount of waste.

By Emily Badger
Reusing an old building pretty much always has less of an impact on the environment than tearing it down, trashing the debris, clearing the site, crafting new materials and putting up a replacement from scratch. This makes some basic sense, even without looking at the numbers.

But what if the new building is super energy-efficient? How do the two alternatives compare over a lifetime, across generations of use?

“We often come up against this argument that, ‘Oh well, the existing building could never compete with the new building in terms of energy efficiency,’” says Patrice Frey, the director of sustainability for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We wanted to model that.”

Read more

Crisis in the Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean is changing faster than any other body of water on Earth. In some cases, elements of the ecosystems and environments appear to be changing quicker than studies can be conducted – and many undiscovered species are thought to exist in the region.

Article Excerpt(s):
“The top of the world is turning upside down, says the first overall assessment of Canada’s Arctic Ocean.

The assessment, the result of work by dozens of federal scientists and Inuit observers, describes a vast ecosystem in unprecedented flux: from ocean currents to the habits and types of animals that swim in it.
Read more

Each cherry tree can absorb 20 pounds of greenhouse gas!

By Aila Slisco

This is an excerpt of an article on research from South Korea on the potential of cherry trees as carbon sinks.

A study from South Korea’s Forest Research Institute indicated that each 25-year-old cherry tree can absorb about 20 pounds of emissions each, according to a Tuesday report from UPI.

The country’s cherry trees are said to be capable of absorbing about 2.4 tons of carbon, roughly equivalent to the emissions of 6,000 cars per year. Thee emissions of a single car can be absorbed by 250 mature trees.
Read more

Mutant Enzymes feed on Plastic

Party time!

I have heard a number of reports of microorganisms or microorganism-derived compounds which have been discovered to have potential to decompose plastic. Most of the time it appears as if these are studied, though subsequently have limited applications outside of laboratories and test sites. Has anyone heard of large-scale applications of these microorganisms that eat plastic?

Regardless, I would like to share this interesting article with readers of Plank 9 – as it bears relevance to the subject. This article specifically discusses an enzyme – discovered in a compost pile – which breaks the plastic down to building blocks that facilitate recycling of the material into high quality (and food quality) products. Notably, the enzyme can be derived from specific types of fungi.

Read more

These stickers have always irritated me. Now I know why!

I am shocked!

I am shocked there is not a separate section on this site for invasive species management – particularly as these are linked to ecological decline.

Icy Road Ahead!

With Global Warming, Arctic Ice Road Season Grows Shorter
By Sarah Kennedy
Article Excerpt:
“Many people avoid driving on icy roads. But in Northern Canada’s Arctic tundra, some roads are made of ice.

A network of seasonal roads on frozen rivers and lakes allows trucks to reach remote areas. Many of these places are otherwise accessible only by boat or plane. But as the climate warms, the ice road season is getting shorter.

Xiao Yang of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill analyzed more than three decades of satellite images of rivers around the globe. He looked at which rivers were frozen and when.

“We detect widespread decline in river ice in the past 34 years,” he says. “In general, we have later freeze-up of the river surface and we have earlier breakup of the river surface. … And that has consequences for … when you can actually be on these ice roads.”

Yang also studied what is likely to happen to river ice if global carbon pollution and temperatures continue to rise. He found that by 2100, some rivers could be ice-free for weeks longer than they are now.
Read more

Deforestation in the Congo

By Eliza Barclay, Umair Irfan and Tristan MConnell

“Dozens of countries have extraordinary tropical forests, but three stand out: Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These countries not only have the largest areas of tropical forest within their borders, they also have the highest rates of deforestation.

Read more

NASA satellite images reveal dramatic melting in Antarctica after record heat wave

By Sophie Lewis February 22, 2020 / 2:58 PM / CBS News

Article Excerpt
Earlier this month, temperatures in Antarctica appeared to reach a record-breaking 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit, matching the temperature in Los Angeles that day. New images released by NASA show the dramatic ice melt caused by the heat wave, a phenomenon that is becoming more and more common in the peninsula.
NASA’s Earth Observatory released two new images Friday by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 that show the difference on the Eagle Island ice cap between February 4 and February 13.

The before-and-after snapshots show a dramatic decrease in ice and snow along the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. In the later shot, a large portion of the ground is visible, as are bright blue melted ponds in the center of the island.

Read more

Earthships: Heat Your House with Car Tyres and Earth

Earthships use earth and tires for insulation. Gorgeous ones have been built in several countries, including the UK and the US, but to build yours, you may have to change the local building codes first.

By Kris de Decker
A dirt cheap and 100 percent ecological house that has all the comforts of an ordinary home, without being connected to the electricity grid, waterworks, sewer system or the natural gas network. It does exist, but in most countries, building one is not allowed.

An Earthship is a completely self-sufficient house that has a natural temperature regulation, without the use of a heating system. The building also generates its own electricity, collects and filters its own drinking water and cleans its own effluent water. The house is partly buried into the earth and is constructed mainly with waste materials; car tyres, aluminium cans and glass bottles. This low-tech building approach is ecologically as well as economically advantageous.

This autumn, the British coastal city of Brighton approved the construction of 16 Earthships. It’s the first time that a European city council has given builders the green light to mass construct this radical ecological housing form. In the United States nearly one thousand Earthships have been built, most of them in the desert of New Mexico.

Read more

Is Russia Finally Waking Up to Climate Change?

By Daniel Kozin, The Moscow Times, 4 March 2020

Notes: Mr. Kozin is the Saint Petersburg correspondent for the Moscow Times.

Article Excerpt:

Siberian nomads have anthrax now in their herds

“However, Russian leaders have been reluctant to take steps to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. While this comes as no surprise — as Russia’s economy is largely dependent on fossil fuel exports — it also means the country is doing little to slow global warming.”
Read more

Fruit Walls: The Centuries old Technology

Fruit walls were a pre-greenhouse technology used for several centuries (beginning in the 1600s) to grow food in areas where the climate would not otherwise support it. The article also point out how energy intensive agricultural greenhouses are. This was published in the website of Low Tech Magazine, which is solar powered. The site’s servers are powered by solar panels and sometimes goes offline while it needs to recharge.

[Article excerpt here, but check out the original article for its interesting photos and explanations!]

“We are being told to eat local and seasonal food, either because other crops have been tranported over long distances, or because they are grown in energy-intensive greenhouses. But it wasn’t always like that. From the sixteenth to the twentieth century, urban farmers grew Mediterranean fruits and vegetables as far north as England and the Netherlands, using only renewable energy.

These crops were grown surrounded by massive “fruit walls”, which stored the heat from the sun and released it at night, creating a microclimate that could increase the temperature by more than 10°C (18°F). Later, greenhouses built against the fruit walls further improved yields from solar energy alone.

It was only at the very end of the nineteenth century that the greenhouse turned into a fully glazed and artificially heated building where heat is lost almost instantaneously — the complete opposite of the technology it evolved from.

Read more

The Unexpected Link Between The Ozone Hole And Arctic Warming: U of T Expert

By Karen Smith, University of Toronto News, 19 February 2020

Article Excerpt:

“One of the earliest climate model predictions of how human-made climate change would affect our planet showed that the Arctic would warm about two to three times more than the global average. Forty years later, this “Arctic amplification” has been observed first-hand.

Record-breaking Arctic warming and the dramatic decline of sea ice are having severe consequences on sensitive ecosystems in the region.

But why has the Arctic warmed more than the tropics and the mid-latitudes?

We now know that this is due, in part, to tiny concentrations of very powerful greenhouse gases, including ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

A wonder gas?

The ozone layer is the protective layer in the stratosphere, roughly 20-50 kilometres above the Earth, that absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Ozone-depleting substances are potent greenhouse gases, but they are more commonly known for their devastating effect on the ozone layer.

These chemicals were invented in the 1920s. They were touted as “wonder gases” and used as refrigerants, solvents and propellants in refrigerators, air conditioners and packing materials. It wasn’t until the 1980s when scientists discovered a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica that they realized the full extent of the ozone-depleting nature of these chemicals.

Read more

Seeding oceans with iron may not impact climate change

By Jennifer Chu, Phys. org Feb 17, 2020
Publication(s): [Science X Network]

Article Excerpt:

“Historically, the oceans have done much of the planet’s heavy lifting when it comes to sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Microscopic organisms known collectively as phytoplankton, which grow throughout the sunlit surface oceans and absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, are a key player.

To help stem escalating carbon dioxide emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels, some scientists have proposed seeding the oceans with iron—an essential ingredient that can stimulate phytoplankton growth. Such “iron fertilization” would cultivate vast new fields of phytoplankton, particularly in areas normally bereft of marine life.

A new MIT study suggests that iron fertilization may not have a significant impact on phytoplankton growth, at least on a global scale.

The researchers studied the interactions between phytoplankton, iron, and other nutrients in the ocean that help phytoplankton grow. Their simulations suggest that on a global scale, marine life has tuned ocean chemistry through these interactions, evolving to maintain a level of ocean iron that supports a delicate balance of nutrients in various regions of the world.
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How Produce Stickers Contribute to Climate Change

By Emily Chung, CBC: What on Earth? 14 February 2020

Article Excerpt:

“About three years ago, Susan Antler was at a composting facility in B.C. when a truck full of rotting avocados pulled up.

It was “51 feet, 52 feet [approx. 14 metres] — like, [a] massive truckload,” said Antler, executive director of the Compost Council of Canada. “And the facility just wouldn’t accept it.”

Why? Because each of those thousands of rotting avocados was “contaminated” by a little plastic PLU (or price look up) sticker. It carries a number, standardized around the globe, that identifies the type of produce and whether it’s conventionally or organically grown, to help cashiers enter the right price at the supermarket checkout.

Jane Proctor, vice-president of policy and issue management at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, said while the stickers are voluntary, most chain supermarkets require them. “It is not a regulatory requirement,” she said. “It’s a business requirement.”

The stickers are too small to be screened out in the waste sorting process, but don’t break down during composting. Antler said they end up sprinkled as “foreign matter” through the finished product — compost that’s destined to be used to enrich soils in places such as gardens, farmland and parks.

The stickers aren’t toxic and don’t harm the compost — although presumably they add microplastics to the environment — so it’s mostly a cosmetic issue, Antler acknowledged. But there are strict guidelines about how much foreign matter is allowed in compost, especially higher grades. And too much can make compost unmarketable.
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Are these cacti endangered? I’ve never seen them. Where do they grow in Canada?

Heavy fuel oil and the Arctic — are they compatible?

By Niels Bjorn Mortensen, Lloyd’s List: Maritime Intelligence, 1 July 2017

Article Excerpt:

“Whether carried or burned, heavy fuel oil is a particular threat in Arctic waters

Read more

I cannot believe Canada even has Cacti, it’s so cold here.

Fuel Oil Pollution in the Arctic!

Too much heavy fuel is used the Arctic. Heavy fuel is a dirty fuel that causes lots of pollution.It poses a risk regardless of whether it is burned for energy or being transported. Cold temperatures in the environment and water cause the fuel to break down slower and prolongs the impact on ecosystems. There are ongoing calls – by countries such as Canada and the Scandinavian nations – to prohibit the use of heavy fuel as a fuel source in the Arctic. However, these proposals will not prevent heavy fuel from being shipped as cargo through the Arctic.

BY Niels Bjorn Mortensen
“Whether carried or burned, heavy fuel oil is a particular threat in Arctic waters

In March 2017, Arctic sea ice hit a new record — the lowest amount of winter ice since satellite records began 38 years ago.

As Arctic waters open up, most likely due to human use of fossil fuels, vessels powered by heavy fuel oil are likely to divert to Arctic waters in search of shorter journey times. This will mean more burning of marine fuels and black carbon emissions, accelerating further melting. More open water means further absorption of the sun’s warmth and heating of the Arctic Ocean — a vicious cycle.

As a former navigator I have sailed on ships in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. In 1979 I was second officer on the first ship to east Greenland that season and we arrived at Angmagssalik around July 1 after spending a day navigating very heavy multi-year ice. Later that year, I was in the Thule (Qaanaaq) district in northwest Greenland, which opened up for ship traffic only in early August.

Read more

Ship pollution is bad for public health

By Samuel White

European health agencies spend approximately €58 billion ($83 billion CAD) each year on serious diseases connected to ship emissions and ship-related pollution. These are mostly heart and lung diseases. Furthermore, this annual €58 billion ($83 billion CAD) expense does not include environmental damage.

Additionally of note: “the NGO Transport & Environment said, “Marine fuel is 2,700 times dirtier than road diesel and €35 billion of fuel tax is paid yearly in Europe for road transport, while shipping uses tax-free fuel.”

“Given that shipping accounts for over one fifth of global fuel consumption, the fact that its emissions are not more strictly regulated is cause for concern.”

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Pollution from ships kills thousands each year

European health agencies spend approximately €58 billion ($83 billion CAD) each year on serious diseases connected to ship emissions and ship-related pollution. These are mostly heart and lung diseases. Furthermore, this annual €58 billion ($83 billion CAD) expense does not include environmental damage.

Given that shipping accounts for over one fifth of global fuel consumption, the fact that its emissions are not more strictly regulated is cause for concern.”

By Samuel White. Euractiv, June 20, 2015
Article Excerpt:

Shipping emissions are an invisible killer that cause lung cancer and heart disease, a new study has found, but researchers say the 60,000 deaths they cause each year could be significantly cut by exhaust filtration devices.

The University of Rostock and the German environmental research centre Helmholzzentrum Munich have established a firm link between shipping exhaust emissions and serious diseases, that cost European health services €58 billion annually.

Conventional ship engines that burn heavy fuel oil or diesel fuel emit high concentrations of harmful substances including heavy metals, hydrocarbons and sulphur, as well as carcinogenic particulate matter (PM).

People in coastal areas are particularly at risk, researchers said. Up to half of PM-related air pollution in coastal areas, rivers and ports comes from ship emissions, according to the study.
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UN Will Force Shipping to Clean Up its Act

By Laramée de Tannenberg, Valéry, Euractiv, 26 October 2016

Article Excerpt:

The UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is pondering measures to cut shipping pollution and bring emissions into line with the Paris Agreement. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.

Like commercial aviation, marine transport slipped through the cracks in the Paris Agreement. Responsible for more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, commercial shipping is also a major source of local air pollution.

But the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MPEC) has begun to take local and global impact of shipping pollution seriously; it was on the agenda for the committee’s 70th meeting in London this week.

The UN organisation is considering enforcing stricter regulations on large ships. Under the proposals, the owners of the tens of thousands of ships with a displacement greater than 5,000 tonnes would be obliged to measure their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and to declare the results to the IMO and the ships’ countries of registration. This is a first step.
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UN Will Force Shipping to Clean Up its Act

By Laramée de Tannenberg
The UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is pondering measures to cut shipping pollution and bring emissions into line with the Paris Agreement. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.

Like commercial aviation, marine transport slipped through the cracks in the Paris Agreement. Responsible for more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, commercial shipping is also a major source of local air pollution.

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What a nutty form of charity! Wouldnt you do better spending your time working on a campaign to ensure that everyone has a place to live?

Builders Shouldn’t Count on Liquified Natural Gas

Revealed in a Common Ground magazine article (“BC’s LNG industry – flogging a dead horse,” posted Dec. 8, 2018) is that Coastal GasLink’s liquefied fractured gas project is a bad deal for both British Columbians and the environment, with the following disturbing facts (extracted and listed below as published in point-form word for word) I’ve yet to hear reported in the mainstream news-media:
“ …. Faced with such competition for a resource product widely available worldwide, BC’s fledgling gas industry turned to Governments for concessions to help “make them competitive”.

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Canadian Cacti: Let’s eat ’em!

Did you know that Canada has several native cacti species? These are all in the Opuntia family of cacti – commonly called prickly pears. Opuntia (prickly pears) are more commonly found in Latin America, Mexico, and the Southwestern USA – though grow throughout the Americas. Indigenous and Latin American peoples have used the species for centuries as sources of dyes, fibers, and food. One common cuisine produced from Opuntia (prickly pears) are Nopales – which are grilled cacti pad. Thornless varieties or cacti pads with the thorns (glochids) removed are preferred for culinary applications. Prior to colonization, cacti were only native to the Americas.

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Russia’s $300B investment in Arctic oil and gas

By John Last, CBC News, 15 February 2020

Russia’s $300 billion gas and oil investment in the Arctic will encourage development of and increased traffic in Northern sea routes. What impacts will these activities will have on locals – including Indigenous (Chukchi, Nenets, etc.) peoples? There is international concern that gas and oil drilling in this ecologically sensitive region could result in long-term, environmental damage through leaks or spills.

The Soviet Union formerly used the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, and areas around Novaya Zemlya as a nuclear waste dump. These areas abut and/or intersect the Northern Sea Route. Several gas and oil companies proposed drilling the Kara Sea due to its large gas and oil reserves but shifted plans about 5 years ago. In recent years, Russia additionally has developed floating nuclear reactors, such as the Academic Lomonosov, which can be moved along the Northern Sea Route to supply power to remote regions.

Article Excerpt:

“Last month, the Russian government pushed through new legislation creating $300 billion in new incentives for new ports, factories, and oil and gas developments on the shores and in the waters of the Arctic ocean.

The incentives are part of a broader plan to more than double maritime traffic in the Northern Sea Route, on Russia’s northern coast — and give a boost to state energy companies like Gazprom, Lukoil, and Rosneft.

But analysts say their immediate impact will be increased exploration and development for offshore oil and natural gas.

How is the money being spent?
Russia’s government is offering tax incentives for offshore oil and gas developments, including a reduced five per cent production tax for the first 15 years for all oil and gas developments.
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This explains why Russia may be slow to develop electric cars (Arctic oil is profitable)

Russia is investing $300 billion in the Arctic – specifically within the realm of gas and oil. These investments would encourage development of and increased traffic in Northern sea routes. There is hope that this could assist with economic bolstering and potential development of remote Northern communities along the Northern Sea Route. What impacts these activities will have on locals – including Indigenous (Chukchi, Nenets, etc.) peoples – has yet to be fully determined.

There is international concern that gas and oil drilling in this ecologically sensitive region could result in long-term, environmental damage – such as through leaks or spills.

The Soviet Union formerly used the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, and areas around Novaya Zemlya as a nuclear waste dump. These areas abut and/or intersect the Northern Sea Route. I am hoping that some of these $300 billion in investments could go towards cleaning up these sites. Former President Boris Yeltsin’s science advisor first reported on the state of the Kara Sea nuclear waste dump in 1993 – though according to recent media articles – little has been done in subsequent decades to clean-up and contain the nuclear waste, move it to a more appropriate and secure location, and remediate the contaminated environments. Interestingly, several gas and oil companies proposed drilling the Kara Sea due to its large gas and oil reserves – but shifted plans about 5 years ago.

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Hooray for Thunder Bay!

Article Excerpt:

Thunder Bay is among nine other Canadian cities being recognized for their commitment to urban forestry management by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Arbor Day Foundation.

The Tree Cities of the World list was released last week, and includes cities from across the world and in Canada, including Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, and Regina, in addition to Thunder Bay.

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Crocheting Plastic

“Renee Outhouse is crocheting plastic sleeping mats for people who are homeless, just as Fundy Region Solid Waste plans to stop accepting plastic bags for recycling beginning in March.”

“Because the mats are made of plastic, fleas or bedbugs won’t nest in them, Outhouse said. The mats would melt if exposed to fire, however.”

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Indigenize Toronto’s Black Oak Savannah

There’s a wonderful urban black oak savannah in Toronto’s High Park that reflects indigenous land stewardship in urban contexts.

Article Excerpt:

An Indigenous collective wants a more active role in land restoration and management in Toronto, with a focus on High Park’s rare black oak savannah.

The Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle is a collective of elders, knowledge holders and members of the urban Indigenous community who want to Indigenize and decolonize land restoration by healing the land through traditional approaches.

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I think the real question here is: DOES IT SMELL?

Hey, Israel! Trees are not your enemy!

Israel’s army blocks activists who work with Palestinians from planting trees in the West Bank. More information about this can be found at the link below – though unfortunately the article is now behind a paywall.

Title: Israeli Army Blocks 200 Activists From Planting Trees With Palestinians in West Bank
Author: Hagar Shezaf
Date: 14 February 2020
Publication: Haaretz

Geothermal energy has significant potential for a number of global regions. Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility recently shared this article indicating geothermal energy is being explored in Massachusetts. Is there an opportunity for expansion of geothermal systems to other regions?

Thinking About A Geothermal Future

By Bruce Gellerman, 13 January 2020, WBUR (Boston University)

Article Excerpt:

Natural gas utilities in Massachusetts are facing an existential crisis: they could be out of business by mid-century. That’s because the state’s 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act requires emissions from burning fossil fuels — like natural gas — be cut by 80% economy-wide by 2050.

But now a solution that could help save the companies — and the climate — is at hand. Or, more accurately, underfoot. It’s geothermal energy, which takes advantage of the biggest energy storage system on earth: the earth itself.

Our planet absorbs the sun’s solar energy and stores it underground as thermal energy that can be used to heat and cool homes and businesses. Just a few yards down, the earth’s temperature is a constant 50 to 60 degrees; warmer than the air above during winter, cooler in the summer. You can take advantage of the temperature difference using what is called a geothermal or ground source heat pump: plastic pipes filled with water and antifreeze pick up the heat from the ground, and the pump circulates it through a building.
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A Geothermal Future

By Bruce Gellerman, 13 Jan 2020

Natural gas utilities in Massachusetts are facing an existential crisis: they could be out of business by mid-century. That’s because the state’s 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act requires emissions from burning fossil fuels — like natural gas — be cut by 80% economy-wide by 2050.

But now a solution that could help save the companies — and the climate — is at hand. Or, more accurately, underfoot. It’s geothermal energy, which takes advantage of the biggest energy storage system on earth: the earth itself.

Our planet absorbs the sun’s solar energy and stores it underground as thermal energy that can be used to heat and cool homes and businesses. Just a few yards down, the earth’s temperature is a constant 50 to 60 degrees; warmer than the air above during winter, cooler in the summer. You can take advantage of the temperature difference using what is called a geothermal or ground source heat pump: plastic pipes filled with water and antifreeze pick up the heat from the ground, and the pump circulates it through a building.
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Nine ‘tipping points’ that could be triggered by climate change

By Robert McSweeney, Carbon Brief, 10 Feb, 2020


Say Goodbye to Salt, Say Hello to Beet Juice Brine

Did you know that beet juice brine can be used to melt ice on roads in an ecologically friendly manner?

Calgary has undertaken this initiative to use a more ecologically friendly way (than salt) to melt ice on winter roads. Other municipalities are exploring similar options too.

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Don’t plant trees in permafrost!

We should GENERALLY protect forests, but not those in permafrost. They — at least most of those in the Arctic — are speeding up the melting. If anything, they should be cut down. Forests and shrubs are spreading throughout the Arctic now — which may be one of humankind’s worst challenges.

How hot does the Arctic get?

Historically, for many Arctic regions — specifically those inland — it would be rare for 20C to be sustained more than a few days a year — if at all — though this is changing with climate change and is becoming increasingly more frequent.

I don’t know what is problematic here. What is wrong with the electric grids we have now?

Is Cannabis Better Than Concrete?

Yes, these are hemp bricks

I’ve seen videos lately about hemp bricks instead of concrete. How realistic is that option?

Resisting Earthquakes with 3D Printers

By Will Webster

We talk to the research team from Purdue University who’ve combined 3D printing and inspiration from the natural world to give cement some very new behaviours.

Earthquakes are one of the most destructive forms of natural disaster, but the biggest hazard during an quake isn’t the shaking itself – it’s the collapse of human-built structures caused by it.

For centuries people have aimed to make buildings, bridges, and roads stronger and more rigid, with the hope that they would progressively become better at their jobs. That’s largely been the case, apart from when an earthquake strikes, where rigidity immediately becomes a big issue.
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Nordic trash

In Iceland, 6 to 10% of all emissions come from landfills. This is particularly a problem for methane. Nordic Innovation is using drones to better analyze and map these sites for tailored and targeted interventions for areas of high emissions. Methane is then collected by a gas collection system – which cleans the methane – and delivers it to gas stations in Reykjavik for use by automobiles. This is a way to recycle methane – and Iceland has been using this technology for over a decade.

Reykjavik is additionally monitoring for microplastic contamination within their drinking water system. These are fascinating and initiative technological applications with potential applications for elsewhere globally.


Sweden wants to ban sale of gas and diesel cars?

“Sweden launches inquiry on how to ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars and phase-out fossil fuels” – Green Car Congress [25 December 2019]

“The Government of Sweden has launched a study to offer proposals on how to implement a ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars, and the timeline for the phase-out of fossil fuels. The final report is to be presented by 1 February 2021.

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Cherish the lichens, algae and mosses!

Bryophytes and cryptogamic covers are an often overlooked carbon sink. These terms refer to organisms such as algae, lichens, and mosses. In some regions – such as certain areas of Iceland – these are one of the few plant-like organisms which grow. As such, it is important to address their role in broad and specific ecological systems – as well as their role in assisting with global climate change.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry noted that these organisms were often omitted from climate models and started researching the role that these played in greenhouse gas cycles.

“Mat-forming ‘‘ground layers’’ of mosses and lichens often have functional impacts disproportionate to their biomass, and are responsible for sequestering one-third of the world’s terrestrial carbon as they regulate water tables, cool soils and inhibit microbial decomposition.”
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3D printers are now being used to reconstruct homes in areas decimated by natural disasters. Research is additionally being conducted on the notion of using biomimicry (nature-inspired designs) to create crack and earthquake resistant structural design. Fascinating fields!

Forest fire smoke transports microbes and other influential particles

I’ll summarize here an article from Popular Mechanics about a newly emerging field of science (pyroaerobiology) which examines how forest fires spread life – specifically microbial life. On a related note, scientists working at the Chernobyl site noted that radiation contamination impedes fungal, insect, and microbial activity (such as decomposition) and can contribute to the increased risk of large forest fires – such as through a larger layer of leaves, old trunks, etc. on the forest floor.

“Pyroaerobiology, a new field of science with a badass name, seeks to understand how colonies of bacteria, fungi, archaea, and viruses are swept up in smoke. These organisms float off into distant lands thousands of miles away, altering the microbial composition of the ecosystem. Microbes floating in this smoke can also impact the weather, seeding the ice crystals that form clouds. There’s also been evidence to suggest these microbiotic zoos could potentially contain allergens that could be harmful to humans.”

Leda Kobziar, the inventor of the field and scientist publishing materials on it, said “I became curious about smoke after I learned that bacteria were being added to snow-making machines—believe it or not—because they act as powerful ice nucleators, which means they can be the nuclei for ice crystals, [spawning snowflakes] at higher temperatures than you would otherwise find.” […]
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Asbestos in the Cement?

Asbestos is being used in India to create a low-cost cement – one of the main industries for a product otherwise on its way out due to overarching toxicity.

“The problem was not the use of asbestos in Canada, which has practically been outlawed. Indeed, Harper’s government is paying millions of dollars to remove asbestos from the Parliament Buildings. Rather, the problem is what Canadian asbestos is doing in other countries.”
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One Day= A Million Cars

Which Premiers are promoting small modular reactors?

Several Canadian province’s premiers have committed to develop and promote the installation of small modular reactors in their communities. These provinces include New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.

Many areas in Canada have concerning trends in the management and trends of radioactive waste products – such as radioactive materials being stored only a few hundred meters from the shores of various Great Lakes (Lake Huron, Lake Ontario.). Where will the eventual waste products (spent activation products) from these small modular reactors be stored for hundreds or thousands of years post-use?

Is it worth encouraging exploration and investment in other modes of energy production? Surely New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have potential for hydroelectric, solar, and wind to various extents… Could these be integrated in ecologically friendly manners?

Dilbit, Dilbat

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and those of like-mind have such a strong sense of free-flow dilbit-oil revenue entitlement that they cannot see or really care about its serious environmental consequences.

They, including PM Justin Trudeau, appear recklessly blind to the significantly increased risk caused by the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to B.C.’s far-more valuable (at least to us) tourism, food and sports fishing industries—not to mention pristine natural environments and ecosystems themselves—in the case of a major oil spill, which many academics believe is inevitable.

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Let’s befriend those helpful methanotropic bacteria

Besides carbon dioxide we have to worry about methane too. It is apparently produced mainly by the agricultural sector — either by ruminant livestock or by rice paddies. But there are methanotropic bacteria that consume methane. From what i have been reading, they live mainly in swamps and waterways. But shouldn’t there be more of them and shouldn’t they live in pastures where the cows produce all that methane? Does anybody know much about these little guys? They sound like things we want to make friends with.

How is fish farming coming along? Is there any way to do that sustainably and without using antibiotics to prevent fish diseases? It seems to me that ought to be a big solution.

Is recycling really worth it?

This recycling morality may be running its course. People feel virtuous doing it, but from everything I read about its effectiveness, it may not be worth the effort. Anyway there seems to be no way to make it a profitable business. A lot of stuff goes to landfill sites in the end, and some countries were even shipping their debris over to other countries, until finally China, and maybe other recipient countries, refused to accept it. So what is left to do with our materialistic residue? I don’t know. Stop buying things? But we won’t. (Tell the truth: Will you?)

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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