Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Juan Anton and his Edible Forest

[Permaculture Principles] 78 year old Juan Anton Mora runs 40 minutes several times a week. What is his secret? A healthy lifestyle and a wish to change the world must have played their part. Because the purpose of each of his actions is to “change the world”, or to be more precise, to fight hunger in the world. No less.
30 years ago, Juan bought a small plot planted with orange trees in Alzira, Valencia in Spain. He followed advice given by the conventional styled gardener who was taking care of the field at that time… who proposed a weedkiller that would kill the grass for 8 years. Juan Anton decided to stop using chemicals and the gardener decided to quit. A few months after, the grass grew back, the trees starve. It’s a disaster.
“I started to study Mother Earth’s working, I’ve been to ecological classes and a permaculture class. I bought some Fukuoka’s books. Then I started to apply what I learned.” He started to put cut grass at the trees base, so it turns into compost. It has taken a few month for the trees to grow again, after the microorganisms killed by chemicals came back and life returned to the soil.
Juan planted new trees: bananas, walnuts, almonds, figs, olives, peaches and many others. He created his edible forest guided by permaculture principles. Its goal is to have the best productivity with the minimum of work. Today, the bulk of the work is to recover production.
Juan Anton’s forest proves it: the trees are healthy and the fruits are delicious. Some simple principles explain this success, for instance about orange trees diseases: “These orange trees are healthy only because the ground is healthy. Chemicals fertilizer make the sap sweet, which increase the risk of disease.”
Today, Juan is looking to find an easy way to produce vegetables all year long. He builds homemade greenhouses with local materials, like bamboo, old fridge, picked up branches. The wall inside the main greenhouse was built with stones from the surrounding forest. He uses it to catch the warmth during the day and give it back during the night so the plants won’t freeze during winter. Read More

Melting Blizzard 2016’s Snow Would Take a Lot of Energy

[Wired] One of the interesting aspects of the 2016 winter storm from Jonas is the snow. Yes, there is lots of snow—but what do you do with all of it? If it wasn’t too much, you could just plow the streets and leave the extra snow on the side. With a bit more snow, you have to scoop it up on the side and ship it out to snow farms—yes, there is such a thing. A snow farm is a place where they just pile up extra snow (and it can take a long time to melt—last year’s snow in Boston didn’t melt until the summer).
But sometimes, a snow farm isn’t good enough. When you need snow removed right now, you need a snow melter. Again, yes—these things actually exist. It’s basically a big machine that you dump snow into and it melts the snow so you can pour it down the storm drain where it hopefully doesn’t freeze.
I’ll be honest. I don’t know much about snow melters. In fact, before this storm I didn’t even know they existed. However, I do know something about estimations. So, let’s get right to it.
As usual, I will start with some assumptions.
  • When it snows, people usually measure it in inches of accumulation (at least in the USA). But what really matters is the mass, which depends on the density. The density of snow can change a lot. Wet snow has a high density; dry snow is low. I remember hearing that 1 inch of rain would be like 10 inches of snow—so I will use that to get the mass of snow.
  • You don’t need to remove all the snow—just the stuff on the streets. So, what percent of surface area for a city is covered by streets? Based on my rough estimations from Google Maps, a random block in Washington DC is about 10 percent street. Really, before looking at a map I was going to say 2 percent of the land is a street. Let’s just go with 10 percent.
  • You might think that snow is frozen at 32°F (0°C), but really it could be colder. For this calculation, I am just going to assume the snow is at the freezing point. Also, what temperature do you want to bring the melt water up to? Just a ballpark figure of 40°F is what I will use.
Now let’s say that it’s snowing fast. Maybe 1 inch of snow an hour. If I want to melt the snow on the roads as it falls, what kind of power consumption would I need? Let’s start with a 1 square meter of ground. In one hour, 1 inch of snow would be a depth of 0.0254 meters. So the total snow on this square would be 0.0254 m3.
If only one tenth of this snow is water, that would just be 0.00254 m3 of frozen water. Also, I only want to melt 10 percent of this, so now I am down to a volume of ice/snow of 2.54 x 10-4 m3. Assuming an ice density of about 1,000 kg/m3 this makes 0.254 kg of ice per square meter that needs to be melted. Read More

Extreme Snowfall Leads to 8 Deaths and Injures 610 in Japan

The severe weather is part of a big chill that has rolled through East Asia

[Time] Heavy snowfall in Japan has caused eight deaths and injured more than 610 people since extreme weather began buffeting the country this weekend. A winter pressure pattern unleashed record levels of snowfall and paralyzed transportation systems, according to Japan’s Mainichi newspaper. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines both canceled flights; 110 passengers were stranded on a bullet train on Monday; and one weather agency warned of avalanches and icy roads.
Some areas of western Japan were blanketed by about 20 in. of snow. Even islands further south felt the cold. Okinawa witnessed its second recorded snowfall in history on Sunday. Read More

Ocean Warming Makes Floods Worse

[Scientific American] Floodwaters that washed icy brine into streets and homes along the eastern seaboard during Saturday’s blizzard reached heights in some places not experienced since Hurricane Sandy. “I just hope it isn’t a sign of things to come,” Pam Bross told a local newspaper as she mopped up the market she operates on a New Jersey street not normally reached by storm surges.
With tides and storm surges inching upward and inward, worsening floods are harbingers of even soggier times ahead. As the weekend’s winter storm hurtles across the Atlantic Ocean, bringing its flood risks to Europe, new research is pointing to an outsized role that ocean warming has been playing in raising sea levels — a problem normally associated with melting land ice.
Water expands as it heats up, and oceans have been absorbing most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases released by fossil fuel burning, deforestation and animal farming. A new study blames expansion of warming waters for as much sea level rise from 2002 through 2014 as the melting of all the glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined.
“Satellite observations show that sea level rise over the last decade is explained, by about 50 percent, by thermal expansion,” said Roelof Rietbroek of the University of Bonn, who led the research, which was published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The team of scientists led by Rietbroek concluded that thermal expansion caused seas to rise globally during the 12 years studied by about two-thirds of an inch, with ice melt and other factors contributing to an overall rise of twice that amount.
“We were surprised to find such high rates for the thermosteric contribution,” Rietbroek said. “Previous studies from hydrographic data indicated smaller signals, mostly confined in the upper ocean.” Read More

Thursday, January 21, 2016

“Weather Made To Order”, Connecting The Dots

Geoengineeringwatch.org recently acquired 2 excellent condition original copies of "Collier's" magazine from May of 1954. The title on the cover of the 61 year old magazine is "Weather Made To Order….. Man's Progress In Weather Control" (our previous post from a 1958 edition of Popular Science, "Weather As A Weapon" is also important to examine).  This kind of straightforward reporting on the issue of global climate modification (geoengineering/solar radiation management) has long since been shut down in mainstream publications. Though global weather modification and weather warfare has been going on in plain site and at a significant scale for over 70 years. The "official" narrative now is that programs of such magnitude are only "proposals". This false narrative is propagated by all those in corporate media and academic circles that are paid to deny the ongoing and blatantly obvious atrocities occurring in skies around the globe. The so called "experts" are all too invested in the denial of climate engineering to turn back, so they just keep doubling down on the lie that it does not exist.
Even more astounding than this "official" denial, is the public's willingness to accept the "official" narrative and thus ignore their own eyes and their own sense of deductive reasoning. In spite of countless up-close film clips of jet aircraft spraying at altitude (turning the spray dispersion on and off), in spite of countless incriminating documents including US military reports like "Owning The Weather", also recent congressional documents for the governance of geoengineering, a 750 page US senate historical documents addressing the ongoing global climate engineering, an extensive list of patents, and even half century old presidential reports on the rapidly expanding US government weather modification programs, the geoengineering elephant in the room continues to decimate the planet and all life with no organized public outrage as of yet. A few damning quotes from the Collier's article are below. Read More

Emergency Planners Plan for Deadly 'Big One' Earthquake

[ABC News] As military helicopters ferry search and rescue teams over the Pacific Northwest, below them are scenes of devastation from a giant earthquake that could strike the region at any time.
Tsunami waters surge through coastal communities. Buildings, bridges and roads lie in ruins. Fires burn out of control. Survivors are stranded on rooftops, cling to floating debris or are trapped inside wrecked buildings.
Seismologists say a full rupture of a 650-mile-long offshore fault running from Northern California to British Columbia and an ensuing tsunami could come in our lifetime, and emergency management officials are busy preparing for the worst.
Federal, state and military officials have been working together to draft plans to be followed when the "Big One" happens.
These contingency plans reflect deep anxiety about the potential gravity of the looming disaster: upward of 14,000 people dead in the worst-case scenarios, 30,000 injured, thousands left homeless and the region's economy setback for years, if not decades.
As a response, what planners envision is a deployment of civilian and military personnel and equipment that would eclipse the response to any natural disaster that has occurred thus far in the U.S.
There would be waves of cargo planes, helicopters and ships, as well as tens of thousands of soldiers, emergency officials, mortuary teams, police officers, firefighters, engineers, medical personnel and other specialists.
"The response will be orders of magnitude larger than Hurricane Katrina or Super Storm Sandy," said Lt. Col. Clayton Braun of the Washington State Army National Guard, referring to two of the best-known natural disasters in recent U.S. history.
Since 2013, Braun has led a team at work on putting together a military response plan for Washington state, to be used in conjunction with efforts by state and federal civilian agencies.
Oregon's response plan is called the Cascadia Playbook, named after the threatening offshore fault — the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The plan, unveiled last year, has been handed out to key officials so the state can respond quickly when disaster strikes.
"That playbook is never more than 100 feet from where I am," said Andrew Phelps, director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. When Phelps goes out to dinner, he keeps the playbook in his car for quick access.
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan in 2011 gave greater clarity to what the Pacific Northwest needs to do to improve its readiness for a similar catastrophe. Read More

Climate Change: 2015 Was The Hottest Year On Record, And This Year Is Likely To Be Even Hotter

[IB Times] It’s official. 2015 was the planet’s hottest year on historical records dating back to 1880, shattering the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.13 Celsius (0.23 degrees Fahrenheit), scientists at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed Wednesday.
The latest data provides further evidence that most of the warming due to climate change — driven largely by human-made greenhouse gas emissions — has occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. However, last year was the first time the global average temperature was 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) or more above the pre-industrial average, NASA said, in a statement released Wednesday.
This means that the planet is already halfway toward the internationally-accepted redline of a 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit rise in average global surface temperatures above the pre-industrial levels.
“The reason why this is such a warm record year is because of the long-term warming trend, and there is no evidence that that warming trend has slowed, paused, or hiatused at any point in the last few decades,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, reportedly said, referring to the widely-refuted idea of a so-called global warming hiatus between 1998 and 2013.
When temperatures are averaged at a global scale, the differences between years are measured in fractions of a degree. According to the NOAA, 2015 was 0.29 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2014 — the largest yearly jump ever. NASA, which used the same raw temperature data, but different methods to analyze Earth’s polar regions and global temperatures, calculated a slightly smaller figure of 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit — the largest yearly jump since 1998.
“2015 was remarkable even in the context of the ongoing El Nino,” Schmidt said, in the statement. “Last year’s temperatures had an assist from El Nino, but it is the cumulative effect of the long-term trend that has resulted in the record warming that we are seeing.”
The El Nino weather pattern is a natural cycle of warming in the Pacific Ocean that heats up the ocean surface in the region every two to seven years and has a wide-ranging impact on global temperatures. Given that the strong El Nino, which contributed toward making 2015 a year of extremes — from floods in the U.K. to record-breaking temperatures over the Christmas holiday in the U.S. — has continued into 2016, this year could set another global temperature record, with anthropogenic climate change spurring the vast majority of global warming and El Nino putting “the icing on the cake.”
“In December and recent months in the autumn, records were broken by a substantial margin - much stronger than what we had seen earlier in the year. And it's going to be very difficult for that not to continue into at least the first part of next year because, in particular, the ocean temperatures are so warm,” Thomas Karl, director of the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, told the BBC. Read More

Global Warming Can Turn Indian Ocean Into Ecological Desert, Say Scientists

[Tech Times] The Indian Ocean is an ecological desert in the works, warned scientists who sounded the alarm not just on overfishing but also on the pernicious effects of global warming.
Overfishing is not the sole cause for the lowered catch in the region – food sources for fish are increasingly becoming scarce because of global warming.
Warming in the Indian Ocean has been decreasing phytoplankton by up to 20 percent, revealed Roxy Mathew Koll, a scientist working at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. Along with other scientists, Koll put out related research in December.
Rising water temperatures appear to have been decreasing the number of phytoplankton – microscopic plants located at the base of the marine food chain serve as food for fish – for more than six decades now.
This scarcity of phytoplankton is feared to affect the whole food chain and likely turn the Indian Ocean into an “ecological desert,” according to Koll.
This situation will hound food security not just in the region but also international fish markets that get their supply from such countries.
Fifty-four-year-old Anslem Silva, for instance, has been fishing for 40 years from a harbor on the west coast of Sri Lanka. However, for about five years now, it has been tough for him to fill his boat.
“Where there were fish for decades, now there is very little. It is strange, but all of us have been noticing that.”
Waters in sections of the Indian Ocean have warmed over the past century by 1.2 degrees Celsius or 34.16 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to a slower integration of surface water and nutrient-dense deeper waters. This has barred nutrients from getting to plankton, which mostly find themselves in surface waters. Read More