Australian news, and some related international items

Half a Kilometer of Ice Gone in Just 7 Years — West Antarctica’s Smith Glacier Points To Nightmare Melt Scenario


The nightmare global warming melt scenario for West Antarctica goes something like this —

First, ocean waters warmed by climate change approach the vast frozen continent. Melt already running out from the continent forms a fresh water lens that pushes these warmer waters toward the ocean bottom. The waters then get caught up in currents surrounding Antarctica that draw them in toward numerous submerged glacial faces. The added ocean heat combines with falling melting points at depth to produce rapid melt along sea fronting glacier bases. Since many of these glaciers sit on below sea level beds that slope downward toward the interior of Antarctica, a small amount of initial melt sets off an inland flood of these warmer waters that then produces a cascade of melt. This glacial melt chain reaction ultimately generates a Heinrich Event in which armadas of icebergs burst out from Antarctica — forcing global sea…

View original post 805 more words

October 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy poverty is a real problem. Coal is a bogus solution. #auspol 


Coal only makes global poverty worse.
Some 1.2 billion people around the world lack access to electricity. 2.8 billion burn charcoal, wood, or other biomass to cook and heat their homes. Lack of access to clean, reliable energy services, or “energy poverty,” is a terrible problem for those who face it, leading to hours of drudgery gathering fuels and high mortality from indoor pollution (which kills around 4 million people a year).
Energy poverty stands in the way of better health, better education, and better jobs.

Development experts increasingly agree that there is no way to end extreme poverty without making energy access universal.

That’s what the UN and the World Bank have set out to do by 2030 with the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.
Meanwhile, the coal industry finds its fortunes on the decline in the developed world, losing out to natural gas and renewables. All its hopes…

View original post 1,132 more words

October 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More coal plants will deepen – not cut – poverty, researchers warn #auspol 


Building just a third of planned new coal-fired power plants around the world would push hundreds of millions of people into poverty as it accelerates climate change past an agreed limit of 2 degrees Celsius of warming, development experts warn.
As pressure builds to phase out coal as a power source in favor of cleaner renewable energy, the coal industry has fought back, arguing that coal is the cheapest and most reliable way to bring power to millions without it.
In particular, “clean coal” technology offers emissions 25 to 40 percent lower than traditional coal plants, industry officials say.
But a report by a dozen poverty and development organizations – including the UK-based Overseas Development Institute and the Vasudha Foundation in New Delhi – suggests that falling prices for solar and wind power mean renewable energy is now the fastest and least expensive way to bring electricity to the world’s…

View original post 539 more words

October 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment