Jun 302017
Monday's new study greatly increases the potential for catastrophic near-term sea level rise. Here, Miami Beach, among the most vulnerable cities to sea level rise in the world. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels. The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years. The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, brings new importance to a feedback loop in the ocean near Antarctica that results in cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forcing warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, speeding up the melting rate. Hansen, who is known for being alarmist and also right, acknowledges that his study implies change far beyond previous consensus estimates. In a conference call with reporters, he said he hoped the new findings would be “substantially more persuasive than anything previously published.” I certainly find them to be. To come to their findings, the authors used a mixture of paleoclimate records, computer models, and observations of current rates of sea level rise, but “the real world is moving somewhat faster than the model,” Hansen says. Hansen’s study does not attempt to predict the precise timing of the feedback loop, only that it is “likely” to occur this century. The implications are mindboggling: In the study’s likely scenario, New York City—and every other coastal city on the planet—may only have a few more decades of habitability left. That dire prediction, in Hansen’s view, requires “emergency cooperation among nations.” We conclude that continued high emissions will make multi-meter sea level rise practically unavoidable and likely to occur this century. Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating. It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization. The science of ice melt rates is advancing so fast, scientists have generally been reluctant to put a number to what is essentially an unpredictable, nonlinear response of ice sheets to a steadily warming (more…)
Oct 282016
The Global Situation Landfill gases have an influence on climate change. The major components are CO2 and methane, both of which are greenhouse gas. In terms of global warming potential, methane is over 25 times more detrimental to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Landfills are the third largest source of methane in the US. Biomass derived CO and CO 2 from landfills is not “counted” as contributing to global warming by the world organizations. Globally, trash released nearly 800 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2010 — about 11 percent of all methane generated by humans. The United States had the highest total quantity of methane emissions from landfills in 2010: almost 130 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. China was a distant second, with 47 million then Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil and India, according to the Global Methane Initiative, an international partnership of government and private groups working to reduce methane emissions. Our landfill problems contribute directly to climate change. As organic material such as food scraps break down in a landfill, they eventually release methane into the atmosphere. Methane from landfill sites account for 12% of total global methane emissions and almost 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The Personal Situation We all take out our trash and feel lighter and cleaner. This statement includes everyone in the world. But at the landfill, the food and yard waste that trash contains is decomposing and releasing methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Landfill gas contributes to smog, worsening health problems like asthma. The Solution Green Fire does not try to capture the gases of the landfill, we change the conditions of the dump to reduce landfill greenhouse gas emissions. Green Fire processes all hydrocarbons on the landfill reducing them to useful fuels. These fuels are used to generate electricity to feed back into the local grid. The byproduct from the gasification process is carbon. Carbon can be used to "quite" a landfill by spreading it on fires and spreading it to absorb a great many toxins. Green Fire Engineered Reclamation has developed new ways to reclaim and recycle waste by producing fuels to generate electricity and reusable raw materials from landfill waste. Green Fire and its "Green" and "renewable" resources doesn't produce pollution in the process of reclamation and making energy. Our "Green Power" has no environmentally-damaging (more…)