Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Accelerating rate of heat increasing in oceans, especially around Australia

‘Concerning’: Marine heatwaves increasing, especially near Australia, https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/marine-heatwaves-australia-tasman-sea-climate-20180410-p4z8qq.html, By Peter Hannam, 

Marine heatwaves are increasing in their frequency and duration at an accelerating rate in many parts of the world, especially around Australia, a team of international scientists has found.

The number of oceanic heatwave days a year has increased by 54 per cent in the past century globally, the researchers determined, using data of sea-surface temperatures from long-established sites and satellites.

“We have seen an increasing trend in the frequency and duration [of marine heatwaves], and that trend has accelerated in the past 30 years or so,” said Lisa Alexander, associate professor at University of NSW’s Climate Change Research Centre, and an author of the paper published in Nature Communications on Wednesday.

Rather than a precursor, the number of heatwave days may even be an underestimate of what is to come as the planet warms, Professor Alexander said. “We could see it accelerated even more, given what we’ve seen recently,” she said.

Episodes of extreme heat over land have been studied more closely than those beneath the waves. Oceans, though, not only absorb about 93 per cent of the additional heat being trapped by rising greenhouse gas levels, they are also the main driver of the Earth’s climate.

Thank goodness we have the oceans as this massive sink [for both heat and carbon dioxide] but they are also changing too, and we tend to forget that,” said Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, an author of the paper and also a researcher at the UNSW CCRC.

Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick likened the oceans to the tropics, where temperatures typically move within a narrow band. Even moderate increases can have big impacts on humans and ecosystems alike.

The paper, which defined heatwaves as at least five consecutive days with sea-surface temperatures in the top 10 per cent of warmth over a 30-year period, found such events were on the increase in most parts of the world.

Global hot spots

Australia was home, along with the north Pacific and north Atlantic, of some of the global ocean hot spots.

While coral bleaching from extended heat over the Great Barrier Reef and elsewhere in recent years had drawn international attention, many other regions had seen “substantial ecological and economic impacts”, as fishing and tourism industries they support were hit, the paper said.

For instance, an extreme event off the Western Australia coast in 2011 led to large-scale effects in the Ningaloo region. Kelp forests south of Ningaloo were hammered and are yet to recover.

“You only need to have that one event to have this complete shift in the ecological environments,” Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said, noting such changes have tended to be less dramatic on land.

“Will it ever change back? Have we reached the point of no return for certain marine environments?” she said. “There are a lot of unknowns there, but it’s quite concerning.”

Coral bleaching events have garnered much of the attention but many other marine species, including kelp forests off Tasmania, can be vulnerable to changing conditions.

“[Corals] are the sort of poster child for ecological change, and other systems aren’t maybe as pretty to look at,” Professor Alexander said. “But [others] are equally as important in the ecosystems and food chains”.

Tasman Sea heat

The westward boundaries of the continents tend to be where oceans are warming fastest, including off the east Australian coast.

The Tasman Sea had experienced an increase in heatwave events even before this past summer’s record burst, that fell outside the researchers’ period of study.

In a special climate statement released last month by the Bureau of Meteorology and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the agencies found the south Tasman Sea recorded sea-surface anomalies of as much as 2.12 degrees last December and 1.96 degrees in January.

Those readings were compared with a 1981-2010 baseline – and broke the record for those months by about a degree – an unusual departure from the norm for ocean readings.

April 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment | Leave a comment

Cumbria Trust raises important questions on “Community Consultations” about nuclear waste dumping

Too many questions left unanswered. https://cumbriatrust.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/too-many-questions-left-unanswered/ April 12, 2018  

The Dept. for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the government department dealing with the GDF programme, has sent Cumbria Trust and other organisations a list of responses to questionswhich went unanswered at recent workshop events which we attended. Unfortunately and perhaps unsurprisingly they have been very selective in which questions they have chosen to answer, and which to ignore. They failed to give adequate responses to a number of Cumbria Trust’s key questions.  Here are just a few of them:

How could it possibly be appropriate for the first and only test of public support to take place 20 years after the process starts, during which time the community will have been subject to a large scale borehole drilling programme lasting for a decade or more?

Why does BEIS suggest (in 4.57) that a local authority member of a Community Partnership may have the power to overrule other partnership members?  What kind of partnership would that be if one member could ignore the others?

Why is the process very simple to enter – even a member of the public can formally express an interest, and yet be extremely difficult to leave?

Why has BEIS gone against the advice of their own advisory committee, CoRWM, and many others, by watering down the geological screening report to such an extent that it no longer screens any areas out at all?

This gives the clear impression that the consultations are not being taken seriously, and they are there to give the appearance of listening, while continuing along a predetermined path.

April 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

India cuts back drastically on new nuclear power plans (bad outlook for uranium exports?)

India Slashes Plans for New Nuclear Reactors by Two-Thirds, April 11, 2018 The Energy Collective,  The Financial Express, one of India’s major newspapers, reports that the Narendra Modi government, which had set the ambitious 63,000 MW nuclear power capacity addition target by the year 2031-32, has cut it to 22,480 MW, or by roughly two thirds.

…….. The drastic reduction in planned construction of new reactors will diminish India’s plans to rely on nuclear energy from 25% of electrical generation to about 8-10%.

…. It appears that India’s long list of nuclear reactors, which at one time it aspired to build, is now in the dust bin. Instead, a much shorter list of 19 units composed of indigenous 700 MW PHWRs and Russian VVERs will be completed for an additional 17 GWE……..

The list of 57 cancelled reactors also includes  700 MW PHWRs and Russian VVERs. In addition it includes future plans for Areva EPRs and Westinghouse AP1000s.  Four fast breeder reactors are part of this list which raises questions about India’s policy commitment to its three phase plan for nuclear energy. …….

While the Department of Atomic Energy did not specify the reasons for the change, it is likely that India has come face-to-face with the same reality that other developing nations seeking rapid construction of nuclear power plants. The challenges are the lack of funding, a reliable supply chain that can handle a huge increase in orders, and a trained workforce to build and operate the plants at the planned level of activity.

April 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Tangentyere Women Take It To Canberra

News 10th Apr 2018
Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety group spokesperson Barbara Shaw
told CAAMA news the message the Tangentyere women carry…

‘An Aboriginal-run Family Safety Group from central Australia have arrived in Canberra
with a strong plea for multi-level support in combating family violence at the community level…

‘They carry a strong message asking for ongoing investment and respectful collaboration
in conversations regarding family and child policies.

‘The two-day visit filled with meetings with
the First Nations Caucus,
the Status of Women meeting,
the Closing the Gap Steering Committees as well as
Aunty Pat Turner from NACCHO and
the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Mr Nigel Scullion.’

Listen to Barbara Shaw on CAAMA news:
caama.com.au/news/2018/tangentyere-women-take-it-to-canberra

April 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New Zealand government takes action to ban future offshore oil and gas exploration

FT 12th April 2018 , New Zealand has become one of the world’s first countries to ban future offshore oil and gas exploration in a move heralded by environmental
campaigners as a symbolic blow to “Big Oil”.

“There will be no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits granted,” said Jacinda Ardern, New
Zealand’s prime minister, on Thursday. “We must take this step as part of
our package of measures to tackle climate change,” she said.

The South Pacific nation’s ban is an important policy move at a time when nations are
exploring how to comply with their requirements under the Paris climate
change agreement.France, Belize and Costa Rica have already announced bans
on either fossil fuel exploration or production, although these are largely
symbolic as none are ma jor oil producers.

However, the policy shift announced by Prime Minister Ms Ardern marks a change in direction for
New Zealand, which under the previous conservative government prioritised
fossil fuel exploration to help the economy grow.
https://www.ft.com/content/d91e9864-3ded-11e8-b7e0-52972418fec4

April 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Home battery storage has trebled – but should you be installing it? — RenewEconomy

Battery storage uptake by Australian households is starting to take off. But is it a financial no-brainer? New analysis from SunWiz says … it’s complicated. If you care about return on investment, there’s some things you should know.

via Home battery storage has trebled – but should you be installing it? — RenewEconomy

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Commercial battery boom headed for Australia, despite “outdated policy” — RenewEconomy

Survey finds 62% of businesses plan to invest in battery storage in next 18 months. But can governments and regulators keep up?

via Commercial battery boom headed for Australia, despite “outdated policy” — RenewEconomy

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnbull’s brown coal hydrogen horror show: $500m for 3 tonnes — RenewEconomy

Turnbull hails half a billion dollar, year long project that will turn Victoria brown coal into just three tonnes of hydrogen fuel. Has the world gone completely mad?

via Turnbull’s brown coal hydrogen horror show: $500m for 3 tonnes — RenewEconomy

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ANU takes lead role in next global climate assessment — RenewEconomy

The ANU is taking a lead role in preparing the next international climate assessment, which will be vital in informing nations about the need to strengthen their actions in order to avoid dangerous global warming.

via ANU takes lead role in next global climate assessment — RenewEconomy

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

State and Territory initiatives beat NEG target by 5 years — RenewEconomy

The Australia Institute’s new Climate and Energy Program has released the Electricity Update of the National Energy Emissions Audit (The Audit*) for March 2018, authored by renowned energy expert Dr Hugh Saddler.

via State and Territory initiatives beat NEG target by 5 years — RenewEconomy

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Poverty of vision is holding back Australia’s energy transition — RenewEconomy

There is broad and consistent support for renewable energy both globally and in Australia, but our policies need to wake up to 21st Century.

via Poverty of vision is holding back Australia’s energy transition — RenewEconomy

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Rationality of Questioning Nuclear Industry Vulnerability in times of War.

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Power too Cheap to be Accountable

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment