I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
January 15 2022

lithium’s role in Chile’s constitutional convention, the big thaw, climate and historical human crises, whales as a climate solution, Don’t Look Up

In Chile, the worldwide demand for lithium (which Chile has in abundance) has initiated a series of controversies and precipitated a constitutional convention. The New York Times reports that the convention will consider many things: "How should mining be regulated, and what voice should local communities have over mining? Should Chile retain a presidential system? Should nature have rights? How about future generations?" Facing a crippling drought supercharged by climate change, the convention also will decide who owns Chile’s water. The previous constitution, written in 1980 by Pinochet’s people, has produced an economy where mineral-rich areas became known as “sacrifice zones” of environmental degradation. The incoming president finds lithium mining a major issue he must consider.

The New York Times takes a detailed look at the Goro nickel mine in New Caledonia, with which Tesla has recently signed an agreement to purchase a major proportion of the nickel for its car batteries. The company seeks to brand this source as "green nickel", citing major changes in the mining operation that will reduce pollution (including greenhouse-gas emissions). Given the socio-political history of the mine, achieving this admirable and valuable goal will be a great challenge. The article notes that the carbon footprint of electric vehicles is relatively large because of the energy used to mine the metals contained in car batteries…

read more
December 31 2021

the threat from Thwaites, tornadoes and climate change, hacking the ocean, Build Back Better vital for climate goals, offshore-wind turbines get larger

A worrisome set of cracks has appeared in the surface of the ice shelf that is holding back part of the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica, notes the Washington Post. Scientists studying the ice shelf liken the cracks to those that can appear in a windshield, which can quickly spider-web across the entire surface and generate instability. This suggests the shelf could collapse in the next 3-5 years, which would accelerate the flow of the glacier into the ocean and consequently increase the rate of sea level rise. The Thwaites glacier already contributes 4% of global sea level rise annually.

As described by the New York Times, this is just one of several indicators of rapid shifts in Antarctica — changes that could complicate adapting to our new climate in the future. The article includes excellent animations and a history of scientific exploration of the Southern Ocean. This ocean, long a relative mystery because of its inhospitable conditions, is better-studied now due to the availability of remote instruments (including satellites). Scientists are documenting changes in wind patterns, ocean currents and water temperatures. These changes could result in the release of more carbon dioxide from the ocean as carbon-rich deep-ocean water is brought to the surface. In addition, this water is getting warmer, which increases the melting of ice shelves like the one in front of the Thwaites glacier.

The Washington Post notes that changes in the ice of Greenland are redefining the concept of "glacial pace." At the end of the last melt season, Greenland lost more ice than it gained for the 25th year in a row, and it rained at Greenland’s highest elevations. Rain on the ice sheet (instead of snow) also reduces the amount of solar energy reflected, which further accelerates melting. Another article in the Post states that the expected shift from snow to rain in Arctic regions, long predicted by climate scientists as the world warms, may arrive sooner than previously thought. This will have some significant consequences worldwide due to impact on sea levels, and the release of more greenhouse gases from soils and Arctic fires. An article at CNBC describes the ice loss being documented in the Himalayas, which threatens agriculture and water supplies for millions of people in South Asia…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES
 

NEWS
+
VIEWS
I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
January 15 2022

lithium’s role in Chile’s constitutional convention, the big thaw, climate and historical human crises, whales as a climate solution, Don’t Look Up

In Chile, the worldwide demand for lithium (which Chile has in abundance) has initiated a series of controversies and precipitated a constitutional convention. The New York Times reports that the convention will consider many things: "How should mining be regulated, and what voice should local communities have over mining? Should Chile retain a presidential system? Should nature have rights? How about future generations?" Facing a crippling drought supercharged by climate change, the convention also will decide who owns Chile’s water. The previous constitution, written in 1980 by Pinochet’s people, has produced an economy where mineral-rich areas became known as “sacrifice zones” of environmental degradation. The incoming president finds lithium mining a major issue he must consider.

The New York Times takes a detailed look at the Goro nickel mine in New Caledonia, with which Tesla has recently signed an agreement to purchase a major proportion of the nickel for its car batteries. The company seeks to brand this source as "green nickel", citing major changes in the mining operation that will reduce pollution (including greenhouse-gas emissions). Given the socio-political history of the mine, achieving this admirable and valuable goal will be a great challenge. The article notes that the carbon footprint of electric vehicles is relatively large because of the energy used to mine the metals contained in car batteries…

read more
December 31 2021

the threat from Thwaites, tornadoes and climate change, hacking the ocean, Build Back Better vital for climate goals, offshore-wind turbines get larger

A worrisome set of cracks has appeared in the surface of the ice shelf that is holding back part of the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica, notes the Washington Post. Scientists studying the ice shelf liken the cracks to those that can appear in a windshield, which can quickly spider-web across the entire surface and generate instability. This suggests the shelf could collapse in the next 3-5 years, which would accelerate the flow of the glacier into the ocean and consequently increase the rate of sea level rise. The Thwaites glacier already contributes 4% of global sea level rise annually.

As described by the New York Times, this is just one of several indicators of rapid shifts in Antarctica — changes that could complicate adapting to our new climate in the future. The article includes excellent animations and a history of scientific exploration of the Southern Ocean. This ocean, long a relative mystery because of its inhospitable conditions, is better-studied now due to the availability of remote instruments (including satellites). Scientists are documenting changes in wind patterns, ocean currents and water temperatures. These changes could result in the release of more carbon dioxide from the ocean as carbon-rich deep-ocean water is brought to the surface. In addition, this water is getting warmer, which increases the melting of ice shelves like the one in front of the Thwaites glacier.

The Washington Post notes that changes in the ice of Greenland are redefining the concept of "glacial pace." At the end of the last melt season, Greenland lost more ice than it gained for the 25th year in a row, and it rained at Greenland’s highest elevations. Rain on the ice sheet (instead of snow) also reduces the amount of solar energy reflected, which further accelerates melting. Another article in the Post states that the expected shift from snow to rain in Arctic regions, long predicted by climate scientists as the world warms, may arrive sooner than previously thought. This will have some significant consequences worldwide due to impact on sea levels, and the release of more greenhouse gases from soils and Arctic fires. An article at CNBC describes the ice loss being documented in the Himalayas, which threatens agriculture and water supplies for millions of people in South Asia…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES