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Climate Change & The Environment Discuss Shinto Monks Have Been Recording Climate Data for 600 Years at the General Discussion; Hundreds of years before climate change was a topic of discussion, monks and merchants kept records when lakes and rivers ...

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Old 05-31-2016, 09:09 AM
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Default Shinto Monks Have Been Recording Climate Data for 600 Years

Hundreds of years before climate change was a topic of discussion, monks and merchants kept records when lakes and rivers froze-over in the winter. These records show how the Industrial Revolution was a major turning point in altering the Earth's climate. A new study examining these records has been published in Nature Scientific Reports.

“What is important about the two ice records analyzed in this paper is that they were recorded far into the past and included years before and after the start of the Industrial Revolution,” John Magnuson, who works at the University of Wisconsin's Madison Center for Limnology, told Quartz.

The data dates back as far as 1443 when Shinto monks recorded the freezing of Lake Suwa, in the Japanese Alps. The records were not meant to document weather trends, but to witness a legendary tale and phenomenon. The freezing and heaving of the ice is known as the Omiwatari or Passage of the Gods. It's told this happens when the male god crosses the lake to visit his spouse, enshrined on the other shore. A crack forms in the ice across the lake, which is supposed to represent the male god's footsteps. Monks have been observing his crossing for the past six centuries, but researchers indicate the deities relationship may be in jeopardy.

“As Suwa no longer freezes every year, the male god, Takeminakata, is no longer able to walk across the lake to see the female god, Yasakatome, every year,” the researchers write. “If atmospheric CO2 emissions and air temperatures continue to rise, the male god may soon never cross the lake again to visit the female god as he has in Shinto legend for centuries.”

Merchants in Finland recorded when the Torne River would freeze or thaw since 1693. The data from this record tells a story familiar to the one of the Suwa Lake; later freezing times and earlier melts after the Industrial Revolution.

“Even though the two waters are half a world apart and differ greatly from one another,” says Magnuson, “the general patterns of ice seasonality are similar for both systems.”

The graph below created by the researchers, show the increase in extreme weather events. Occasions where Suwa Lake (black) did not freeze and when the Torne River (grey) saw ice breakup before the 124th day of the year.
These records are an invaluable source of data, which indicate the Industrial Revolution was a huge turning point for the Earth's climate. Providing further (unnecessary) evidence that humans are the cause of this climate shift we're witnessing.
Shinto Monks Have Been Recording Climate Data for 600 Years | Big Think
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Shinto Monks Have Been Recording Climate Data for 600 Years

That the Shintos and the Finns recorded in a rudimentary fashion the ebb and flow of ice in a specific location for a few hundred years is interesting, but hardly evidence of man made climate change. Science can go back milions of years with a similar or better degree of accuracy using fossil records and other physical evidence and the observations of other cultures existing long before the Shintos.

Papers have been written by settled scientists attributing the decline and fall of the Roman Empire to climate change to use just one example.
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The next big thing for the Arabs to gouge us with...

Oman's mountains may hold clues for reversing climate change
Apr 13, 2017 - Deep in the jagged red mountains of Oman, geologists are searching for an efficient and cheap way to remove carbon dioxide from the air and oceans — and perhaps begin to reverse climate change.
They are coring samples from one of the world's only exposed sections of the Earth's mantle to uncover how a spontaneous natural process millions of years ago transformed carbon dioxide into limestone and marble. As the world mobilizes to confront climate change, the main focus has been on reducing emissions through fuel efficient cars and cleaner power plants. But some researchers are also testing ways to remove or recycle carbon already in the seas and sky.

The Hellisheidi geothermal plant in Iceland injects carbon into volcanic rock. At the massive Sinopec fertilizer plant in China, carbon is filtered and reused as fuel. In all, 16 industrial projects currently capture and store around 27 million tons of carbon, according to the International Energy Agency. That's less than 0.1 percent of global emissions — human activity is estimated to pump about 40 billion tons a year into the atmosphere — but the technology has shown promise. "Any one technique is not guaranteed to succeed," said Stuart Haszeldine, a geology professor at the University of Edinburgh who serves on a U.N. climate body studying how to reduce atmospheric carbon. "If we're interested as a species, we've got to try a lot harder and do a lot more and a lot of different actions," he said.

Travertine pools with white films of carbon fused with calcium

One such action is underway in the al-Hajjar Mountains of Oman, in a quiet corner of the Arabian Peninsula, where a unique rock formation pulls carbon out of thin air. Peter Kelemen, a 61-year-old geochemist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been exploring Oman's hills for nearly three decades. "You can walk down these beautiful canyons and basically descend 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the earth's interior," he said. The sultanate boasts the largest exposed sections of the Earth's mantle, thrust up by plate tectonics millions of years ago. The mantle contains peridotite, a rock that reacts with the carbon in air and water to form marble and limestone. "Every single magnesium atom in these rocks has made friends with the carbon dioxide to form solid limestone, magnesium carbonate, plus quartz," he said as he patted a rust-colored boulder in the Wadi Mansah valley. "There's about a billion tons of CO2 in this mountain," he said, pointing off to the east.

Rain and springs pull carbon from the exposed mantle to form stalactites and stalagmites in mountain caves. Natural pools develop surface scum of white carbonate. Scratch off this thin white film, Kelemen said, and it'll grow back in a day. "For a geologist this is supersonic," he said. He and a team of 40 scientists have formed the Oman Drilling Project in order to better understand how that process works and whether it could be used to scrub the earth's carbon-laden atmosphere. The $3.5 million project has support from across the globe, including NASA. Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas driving climate change, which threatens political instability, severe weather and food insecurity worldwide, according to the United Nations climate body.

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Old 04-17-2017, 05:37 PM
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Granny gets out the willow switch when possum leaves the 'fridge door open...

Freezer failure sees 22,000 years of history evaporate
Tue, Apr 18, 2017 - Within them sits about 80,000 years of history, offering researchers tantalizing clues about climate change and the Earth’s past. At least that was the case — until the precious cache of Arctic ice cores was hit by warming temperatures.
A freezer malfunction at the University of Alberta in Edmonton has melted part of the world’s largest collection of ice cores from the Canadian Arctic, reducing some of the ancient ice into puddles. “For every ice-core facility on the planet, this is their No. 1 nightmare,” glaciologist Martin Sharp said. The ice cores — long cylinders extracted from glaciers — contain trapped gases and particles that offer a glimpse into atmospheric history. “When you lose part of an ice core,” Sharp said. “You lose part of the record of past climates, past environments — an archive of the history of our atmosphere. You just don’t have easy access to information about those past time periods.”

The university had recently acquired the dozen cores, or 1.4km of ice, drilled from five locations in the Canadian Arctic, and carefully transported them from Ottawa to Edmonton. The samples were moved into the university’s brand new, custom-built C$4 million (US$3 million) facility earlier this month. Days later, one of the freezers tripped a high-heat alarm. “The way in which the freezer failed meant that it started to pump heat into the freezer,” Sharp said. “So it wasn’t just a question of it gradually warming up... It was actually quite rapidly raised to a temperature of 40?C.” Sharp rushed to the walk-in storage freezer to survey the damage and found steaming puddles gathered around the millennia-old ice. “It was more like a changing room in a swimming pool than a freezer,” he said.

About 13 percent of the archive had been exposed to high heat, representing more than 180m of ice. None of the cores were completely destroyed. “There are some which are clearly toast and there are others which are not obviously very much affected,” Sharp said. An ice core from the Penny Ice Cap on Baffin Island lost about a third of its mass, amounting to about 22,000 years of history, while a core from Mount Logan, Canada’s tallest mountain, saw 16,000 years melted away. However, much of the collection was unaffected by the malfunction, thanks to a stroke of luck. A television crew had been documenting the ice core move and had asked that the samples be put in a second freezer because the lighting was better. The university complied, storing nearly 90 percent of the collection in an unaffected freezer. “That’s basically what saved us,” Sharp said.

The question is now whether any research can be carried out on the affected cores. “This incident will affect research, no question,” Sharp said. “It rules out certain studies that we might have wanted to conduct on the cores, such as reconstructing continuous long-term histories where parts of the cores have been lost or contaminated.” As returning to the Arctic to replace the damaged ice cores would be a costly endeavor, the focus is now on regularly monitoring and safeguarding the ice cores that are left. “It’s by no means a write-off from a scientific point of view,” Sharp said. “It’s just disappointing to have this happen at all.”

Freezer failure sees 22,000 years of history evaporate - Taipei Times
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:35 AM
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UN Warns Fix Climate Risks or Face Much More Hunger by 2050...

UN Warns Manage Climate Risks or Face Much More Hunger by 2050
November 15, 2017 — Climate change threats, from worsening drought and flooding to sea level rise, could increase the risks of hunger and child malnutrition around the world by 20 percent by 2050, food security researchers warned Wednesday.
But looking carefully at the very different risks facing each country, region and type of food producer — from highland rice farmers in Cambodia to cattle herders in South Sudan — could help reduce that threat of growing hunger, they said. In North Africa, for instance, both herders and farmers face fast-growing risks from more frequent, longer and more intense heatwaves and declining water availability, while population growth and greater urbanization could also hit food security, according to a report by the World Food Program (WFP) released Wednesday at the U.N. climate talks in Bonn. In South Asia, by comparison, dense populations of farmers face threats from worsening floods, cyclones and droughts, as well as long-term threats to the stability of monsoons and water flow in glacier-fed rivers. “Different groups are affected by different types of risks, at different intensities and at different times,” said Gernot Laganda, the director of climate and disaster risk reduction programs at WFP.

Residents wade through flood water in northern province of Son La, Vietnam

Building greater resilience to the threats will require “layers” of responses, he said. Catastrophic threats of large-scale losses of crops or animals — the type that might come along every 5 to 10 years, for instance, and force those hit to migrate — might be dealt with in part with insurance plans, Laganda said. But more regular seasonal threats — of smaller-scale flooding, for instance — cannot be insured, he said, as the problems come too frequently. In those cases, building savings groups among women farmers, for instance, to ensure cash is on hand to deal with the crop failures, could be a better way to deal with risks. The report aims to give country governments, and food security organizations, a clearer and more specific look at the threats they face, and better tools to deal with them. It looks in detail at particularly threatened regions, including parts of Africa and Asia, and at 15 specific countries, from Afghanistan to Mali.

One surprise from the work, Laganda said, is that it was not always the poorest countries that were most vulnerable to hunger threats. “Sometimes we assume middle-income countries have a much easier time ... which is not necessarily the case,” he said. South Asia, in particular, has big numbers of hungry people, he said and overall “the largest vulnerabilities to loss and damage in food systems occur in Asia.” In Africa, drought is the biggest threat to hunger levels, but conflicts also play a big role, he said.

A young Somali girl stands outside her makeshift hut at a camp of people displaced from their homes elsewhere in the country by the drought, shortly after dawn in Qardho, Somalia

Laganda said such differences need a careful look if countries and food security agencies are to better manage coming climate threats and achieve the international goal of ending hunger by 2030, one of a set of so-called Sustainable Development Goals. “We are not going to achieve zero hunger by 2030 if we do not factor climate-related shocks and stresses into our equation,” he warned. “Climate needs to factor into food security discussions ... at a country level in a much bigger form than it does now.” And aid agencies like WFP “as much as governments” need to focus more on risk management, he said. Mikael Eriksson, who works on climate, energy and environmental issues for Sweden’s government, said the growing complexity of humanitarian disasters requires innovation and rethinking old ways of doing things. “Prevention is so much more efficient than disaster management,” he said.

See also:

Study: Better Soil Could Trap as Much Planet-warming Carbon as Transport Produces
November 14, 2017 — Improving soil health in farmlands could capture extra carbon equivalent to the planet-warming emissions generated by the transport sector, one of the world's most polluting industries, experts said Tuesday.
Soil naturally absorbs carbon from the atmosphere through a process known as sequestration, which not only reduces harmful greenhouse gases but also creates more fertile soil. Better soil management could boost carbon stored in the top layer of the soil by up to 1.85 gigatons each year, about the same as the carbon emissions of transport globally, according to a study published in the journal Nature. "Healthier soils store more carbon and produce more food," Louis Verchot of the Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture, and one of the study's authors, said in a statement. "Investing in better soil management will make our agricultural systems more productive and resilient to future shocks and stresses."

Using compost, keeping soil disturbance to a minimum, and rotating crops to include plants such as legumes can help restore organic matter in the soil, Verchot told Reuters. The extra carbon that could be stored from rejuvenated soil is equivalent to 3 to 7 billion tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide, he said. "The U.S. emits around 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. So [emissions] equivalent of a major economy could be sequestered in soils each year with changes in farming practices," he added.

Trucks are seen at Haj Omran border, on the border between Iran and Kurdistan, Iraq, Oct. 14, 2017. Improving soil health could capture extra carbon equivalent to the emissions generated by the transport sector, experts said.

The study found the United States has the highest total annual potential to store carbon in the soil, followed by India, China, Russia and Australia, if soil management is improved. Carbon sequestration could be increased intensively in parts of southern Africa, Ethiopia and Sudan too, Verchot said in a phone interview. The Earth's soils contain more carbon than the planet's atmosphere and vegetation combined, but when land is overexploited or degraded, trapped carbon is released back into the atmosphere, resulting in planet-warming emissions.

About a third of the world's soils are degraded because of soil erosion — the loss of the topsoil by wind, rain or use of machinery — and other practices, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Agriculture, forestry and changes in land use together produce 21 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making them the second-largest emitter after the energy sector, FAO said.


Last edited by waltky; 11-16-2017 at 04:42 AM..
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