Did West Antarctica’s ice fall into the sea 120,000 years ago? | Ars Technica

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a candidate to have supplied about 3 meters of that sea level rise. Unfortunately, evidence of its history is hard to come by, as the regrowth of the ice sheet destroyed some of it and now conceals even more. Sediment cores show the ice sheet shrank drastically in the past, but it’s unclear when in the past.

A new study led by University of Washington researcher Eric Steig applies a suitably clever work-around to get at the ice sheet’s history. It’s based on the impact a collapse of the ice sheet (if it shrank down to a small remnant) would have had on local atmospheric circulation. Losing the ice sheet, after all, is like deflating an entire landscape. There are good reasons to expect that thickening the atmosphere by lowering the surface in that area would have consequences.

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China and Oil

Originally posted on Power For USA:

China’s history is lost in antiquity.

Prior to the 19th century, China’s rulers did not think of China in terms of being a modern nation state … it was, instead, the central kingdom, a civilization due respect, if not fealty, from all who approached it. This contrasted with the West where, beginning with the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, western governments conducted trade and diplomacy based on rules governing actions between sovereign nations.

This difference in world views created a conflict based on perceptions when western navy’s confronted China in the 1800s.

China viewed itself as having a superior society where all other peoples were to recognize the Middle Kingdom as being superior in knowledge and culture. Neighbors were expected to recognize the blessings of acceding to the Middle Kingdom’s superiority. Suzerainty is the term that fits the situation before the arrival of western navies.

China’s view of the world…

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Drought, or Stupid Rescue Killing Delta Smelt? | Musings from the Chiefio

At present, California is in the middle of a drought. Despite the news calling this the ‘worse ever’, it isn’t. California has had far worse droughts in the past. Some lasting hundreds of years.
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A global ‘Iriai’ in place of the ecomodernist neologism

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The Next Decade Will Decide What the World Looks Like for Thousands of Decades to Come

The next 10 years will be decisive when it comes to the planet’s future — what we do (or don’t) will play out over geologic time.
It could, if we set our minds to it, be the decade when the planet’s use of fossil fuels peaks and then rapidly declines. We’ve built a movement that, for the moment, is starting to tie down the fossil fuel industry: from the tarsands of Alberta to the (as yet unbuilt) giant new mines of Australia’s Galilee Basin, the big players in coal, gas, and oil are bothered and even bewildered by a new strain of activist. They’re losing on the image front: when the Rockefeller family, the Church of England, and Prince Charles have begun divesting their fossil fuel stocks, you know the tide has turned.
And with it comes the sudden chance to replace that fossil fuel, fast and relatively easily. Out of nowhere the price of solar panels has fallen like an anvil from a skyscraper, dropping 75 percent in the last six years. Renewable energy is suddenly as cheap or cheaper than the bad stuff, even before you figure in the insane monetary cost of global warming. So in Bangladesh they’re solarizing 60,000 huts a month; the whole country may be panelled by 2020.
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Geoengineering is fast and cheap but not key to halting climate change | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

About 70,000 years ago, a super volcanic eruption in Indonesia released more than 2,000 cubic kilometres of material, blocking out sunlight and reducing global mean temperature by about four degrees. This rapid change in climate may have had a catastrophic impact on our ancestors, possibly cutting the human population to only 10,000 survivors. Although the academic debate surrounding this hypothesis has not yet been settled, there is strong evidence that rapid warming or cooling episodes have caused multiple mass extinctions of other species over the past 500 million years.

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China and India call on rich countries to step up climate change efforts | Environment | The Guardian

China and India, the world’s first and third biggest greenhouse gas emitters, projected a united front on climate change on Friday with a rare joint statement that asked rich countries to step up efforts to reduce global carbon emissions.
The statement, issued by the two largest developing nations during Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China, asked wealthy countries to provide finance, technology and other necessary support to emerging countries to help reduce their own emissions.
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