Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Evolution of Models - 9

Fig. 1 Well said
Recap

Regular readers know I finished version 1.0 of the Dredd Blog sea level rise (SLR) projection software (The Evolution of Models, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

I came across a statement yesterday which made me glad about the design of that software.

Interestingly, the big boys with their million lines of code programs had to rewrite their software related to Greenland.

I am not privy to that code so I am not sure exactly what they will remodel.

They explained that "results of these studies are expected to improve predictions of the future of the entire Greenland ice sheet and its contribution to sea level rise as researchers revamp their computer models of how the ice sheet reacts to a warming climate" (Hidden Movements of Greenland Ice Sheet, Runoff Revealed). [which means they want it to stop underestimating SLR].

I made the Dredd Blog software data driven, so the software does not need to change as research data changes.

As the data improves the predictions will improve, but not only that, different value scenarios can be projected in "what if" projections.

As an example of that, the three "what ifs" that Dr. James Hansen speaks about in one of his papers can be matched exactly with the same code (The Evolution of Models - 7).

Greenland: Future of East Coast Populations

Fig. 2 Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Quite a few posts have pointed out that the general Arctic current is warming and having an impact on Greenland which then impacts the U.S. East Coast with SLR (Series Posts, # "Sea Level Rise").

Today I am providing some review of just how radical the Arctic is being changed by global warming (see the videos below, and read Arctic Is Changing Radically, PDF).

What Happens In Greenland Stays In New England

Of the two factors, the Arctic in general, and Greenland in particular, Greenland is the focus as the source of SLR.

That said, we can tell to some degree how Greenland SLR will be impacted by the changes in the Arctic Ocean, which is why the two videos below contain very important information.

The oscillations of Greenland melt can fool us into false hope and complacency when its melt vacillates (see Fig. 2).

It is going to melt, so get over the false hope.

That is why we must also watch what happens in the Arctic Ocean, because it will help unlock north eastern Greenland ice drainage systems (Nioghalvfjerdsbræ (79) Glacier, Northeast Greenland).

In Dredd Blog SLR software parlance, that is the back door to the zones called "inland 1", "inland 2", and "no-melt" (The Evolution of Models - 5).

How Radical Arctic Changes Impact North Greenland

Dr. D.G. Barber explains how radically the Arctic has changed during his career as a scientist there.

He also mentions [09:45-11:05 in the first video] that oil drilling rigs being sent there with the permission of the Obama Administration "regulators" (Oil-Qaeda & MOMCOM Conspire To Commit Depraved-Heart Murder, Barry & Oil-Qaeda vs Arctic Wilderness) are imperilled by old ice.

Most of the ice is now called "rotten ice."

The warming air and water convert old ice into rotten ice, then currents take that water toward Greenland (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR? - 4).

Which then impacts the ice shelf floating on the ocean in north Greenland, which weakens, and then like the Larsen B in Antarctica, no longer sufficiently resists glacier flow into the ocean.

That is why it is a great threat to current civilization (Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization, 2).

The previous post in this series is here.

2015 Tedx Video featuring long-time Arctic scientist:



NASA 2003-2012 Melt dynamics:





Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization - 2

Fig. 1 Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
I. Let's Get Started

Regular readers know that I have been focusing on sea level rise (SLR) recently.

The gravity of the danger has been overlooked by our corporate "news" media.

So, I want to continue to hone in on SLR so as to sharpen the focus of all but the deniers.

For those who are just now checking in, and who want to get up to speed on the recent posts concerning SLR, click on the tab "Series Posts" at the top of the page, then move down to the heading "Sea Level Rise".

There you will find a list of posts concerning this matter, from the Dredd Blog System, that have been written and posted over the past few years.

II. The Status Quo

Over the years I have pointed out that the East Coast of the United States, from Cape Cod down to Cape Hatteras, has already experienced a foot or more of SLR:
“We’ve got the highest rate of sea level rise on the East Coast,” said Skip Stiles, executive director, Wetlands Watch, who will be making a presentation on the historic, current and future sea level changes and potential impact on the Eastern Shore.

Stiles said some of the evidence of sea level rise visible to people who spend time around the water include seeing wetlands disappear, ditches going tidal, backyard vegetation changes, and “ghost forests” — full grown trees that are dead along the shore because the water is “moving in underneath them.”
...
Stiles said all of the Virginia tide gage measurements are showing about the same rise of a foot and a half over the last 100 years.
...
There is virtually universal agreement among scientists that the sea will probably rise a good meter or more before the end of the century, wreaking havoc in low-lying coastal counties. So the members of the developers’ lobbying group NC-20 say the sea will rise only 8 inches, because … because … well, SHUT UP, that’s because why.

That is, the meter or so of sea level rise predicted for the NC Coastal Resources Commission by a state-appointed board of scientists is extremely inconvenient for counties along the coast. So the NC-20 types have decided that we can escape sea level rise – in North Carolina, anyhow – by making it against the law. Or making MEASURING it against the law, anyhow.
(Will This Float Your Boat - 3,  2013). That is half-way to the 1m / 3ft. catastrophe level mentioned by the climate scientist, Dr. Rignot, who specializes in the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica (see section III and videos below).

We are half-way to the 1m / 3ft. catastrophe level already, is that all?

Not quite:
For society, it is the regional changes along any particular coastal zone that are most important. Our analysis of multi-decadal tide gauge records along the North American east coast identified an extreme sea-level rise event during 2009–2010. Within this relatively brief two-year period, coastal sea level north of New York City jumped by up to 128 mm. [5.04 inches]
(Will This Float Your Boat - 5, emphasis added). That abrupt event is due to surges caused by the oscillation of, among other things, the Greenland Ice Sheet melt which is not a linear dynamic (see Fig. 1).

This particular notion of catastrophe is not a notion of orderly progression, so stable and linear that even bureaucrats can plan for it in a business as usual manner.

III. Let's Get Real

Fig. 2 USGS (click to enlarge)
To spark your interest, and bind you to a sober view of this phenomenon which is called "The Biggest Story in the World" (according to a worldwide circulation news source), first consider the following quote from the video below:
2:43 - "One meter [of SLR] would be a global catastrophic event, 3 meters would remap the world as we know it?"

2:50 - "Yes, absolutely."
(emphasis added). This allows us to focus our attention on 1m / 3ft. of SLR, because it would be "a global catastrophic event."

The delicacy of the issue can be seen by realizing that only 1.14% of the ice volume needs to melt to get us there (3 ft ÷ 263.5 ft. = 0.011385 = 1.14%).

Since some East Coast areas are half way there already, the percentage of global ice that needs to melt to get us to "a global catastrophic event" is now 0.57% (one half).

Or, if a certain percentage of one glacier (the Totten Glacier) in East Antarctica melts, or otherwise slides into the sea, the same will happen:
How little it will take can also easily be seen by a statement from a scientist who is studying those locations closely and regularly:
"One of them, Totten glacier, holds the equivalent of seven metres of global sea level."
(Dr. Rignot East Antarctica glaciers, cf. Totten Glacier Melting). The percentage of that one glacier which needs to melt to cause 3 ft. / 1 m. of SLR is: 1÷7 = 0.142857143 = 14.3%.
(Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization). Since we are already half-way there, the remaining percentage is (14.3% ÷ 2 ) 7.15%.

Since we were looking at those events individually, as separate, singular occurrences, consider that if both take place at the same time, we would divide the 7.15% and 0.57% in half to derive even smaller percentages.

So, if  3.575% of the Totten glacier makes it to the sea at the same time as 0.285% of the rest of the worlds ice does, we reach about 1m / 3ft of SLR in those places that already have 1.5 ft or more of SLR (e.g. U.S. East Coast).

I won't belabor the point further, today, since only deniers will not detect how close we are to the edge of "a global catastrophic event".

IV. Today's Candidate

Previous posts have dealt with the New York harbor and the Chesapeake Bay areas, while skipping the Delaware Bay area.

So, today's focus will be on the Delaware Bay area.

Which means that we will be taking a look at one of the oldest, busiest ports:
Philadelphia's importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America's revolutionaries. By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire, behind London.
(Wikipedia, Philadelphia, emphasis added). Many probably do not think of Philadelphia, PA as a port city.

SLR is probably not associated with "Philly" either, so let's expand the focus on Philly as a port city:
The port itself claims the ranking of the #1 perishables port in the United States. The combined ports along the Delaware River, which include Philadelphia and Wilmington together, rank #3 in the U.S. for steel imports, and are among the United States' key entry points for forest products and for cocoa.
(Wikipedia, Port of Philadelphia, emphasis added). Expanding our focus out to the Delaware Bay we find:
The bay is one of the most important navigational channels in the United States, its second busiest waterway after the Mississippi River. Its lower course forms part of the Intracoastal Waterway. The need for direct navigation around the two capes into the ocean is circumvented by the Cape May Canal and the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal at the north and south capes respectively. The upper bay is connected directly to the north end of Chesapeake Bay by the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

The bay offers several challenges to mariners: a significant current of up to three knots, which quickly builds a nasty chop when the wind is in opposition; mainly shallow water, with its channel often occupied with ocean-going vessels; and relatively few places to take shelter.
(Wikipedia, Delaware Bay, emphasis added). It is an estuary too, like New York and Chesapeake are:
The Delaware Estuary is the tidal portion, or the lower half, of the Delaware River Basin. It includes all of the watersheds draining into this portion of the Delaware River and Delaware Bay. The area surrounding the estuary stretches as far west as the Schuylkill River’s headwaters near Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and as far east as the Rancocas Creek’s headwaters near Fort Dix, New Jersey. The vastness of this watershed makes the Delaware Estuary one of the largest estuaries in the country, or approximately 6,800 square miles (18,000 km2) in size. Within these boundaries are over 200 species of fish, the continent’s second-highest concentration of shorebirds, and over 400,000 acres (1,600 km2) of wetlands.
(Wikipedia, Delaware Estuary, emphasis added). Thus, yet another large population and international commerce and intercourse location is at risk to SLR.

V. Going Nuclear

Furthermore, like other estuaries, nuclear power plants have been built on the shores of the Delaware Bay estuary:
Nuclear reactors are often located near the ocean because they need plenty of water to cool their reactors. The fact that many are built at low elevations further exposes them to hazards of rising sea levels due to global warming and climate change.

The nine major US nuclear plants are within two miles of the coast.

In response to the threat, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ordered nuclear facilities in the US to review assessments of their vulnerability to flooding and earthquakes and plans to address the risks.
(SLR Threatens Nuke Plants, cf. Salem, & Hopium Creek). Ok, so let's put some sandbags around everything and go back to the bingo games?

No, because the fact is that SLR is like the movie "Groundhog Day."

That is, you wake up every morning and the sea level is still rising (Will This Float Your Boat - 9).

Nuclear power plants, like fossil fuel shipping ports, will be shut down one way or the other eventually.

VI. Catastrophe Is Coming Even If Inhofe Is A Prophet of God

The High Priest of Denial, Senator Inhofe, disagreeing with the Pope, says that God is doing this SLR thingy, so not to worry.

It is a godly catastrophe to get rid of the wicked, he evidently surmises.

It seems, then, that we can all agree on one thing: a serious catastrophe is coming.

VII. Conclusion

As I wrote in a recent post, the 1% who benefit most by international commerce and intercourse have the most to lose:
Highly organized groups are still hunting down and prosecuting the NAZI architects in a society that killed some six million people in death camps.

By all indications, they will continue to hunt down those NAZI criminals as long as the hunters still have breath.

How do you in the 1% think you will fare should they determine that you did far worse than those NAZI mass murderers?

See you in the camps.
(The 1% May Face The Wrath of Sea Level Rise First). Take note 1% folk: the sea is an equal opportunity sub-merger that can't be bought off like politicians.

The previous post in this series is here.

HBO Vice: "Our Rising Oceans", with Dr. Eric Rignot:

2:43 - "One meter [of SLR] would be a global catastrophic event, 3 meters would remap the world as we know it?"

2:50 - "Yes, absolutely."





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Economic War Of The Pacific - 6

The M.V. Usetowas
Background

This series began in 2009.

It began when Dredd Blog came across some concerns of Lee Kuan Yew, a statesman from Singapore (Economic War Of The Pacific, 2, 3, 4, 5).

A related post was also begun in 2009 to help describe and detail dynamics taking place in the Pacific Basin (First Shots Fired In The Currency Wars).

Dynamics that focus on international trade and competition among various nations.

The U.S. is one of those nations.

These dynamics concern and impact national and international economies and currencies.

It may also be that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is related to this international competition since it is a classified matter  ("the text of the TPP agreement remains classified information").

Concerns Involved

The overall concern pointed out in Dredd Blog posts mentioned above was economic, which has turned out to have been a realistic view:
“The 21st century will be a contest for supremacy in the Pacific because that’s where the growth will be,” Lee said. U.S. President Barack Obama, he said, must understand this.

“If you do not hold your ground in the Pacific you cannot be a world leader,” Lee said, “That’s number one.”

“Number two, to hold ground in the Pacific, you must not let your fiscal deficits and dollar come to grief,” he said.
(Economic War Of The Pacific, 2009). That may have been ignored, because the results expected were confirmed:
Hang on to your hats, America.

And throw away that big, fat styrofoam finger while you’re about it.

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just
Review Due - On Sale Now
overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world.
For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.

It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.

The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.

As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.

To put the numbers slightly differently, China now accounts for 16.5% of the global economy when measured in real purchasing-power terms, compared with 16.3% for the U.S.

This latest economic earthquake follows the development last year when China surpassed the U.S. for the first time in terms of global trade.
(Economic War Of The Pacific - 5, 2015). That eventuality sets the stage for the next concern, the "reserve currency" used by international commerce and intercourse.

Here is what Dredd Blog posted concerning that issue:
China’s central bank governor has issued a bold proposal to overhaul the global monetary system and one day replace the dollar as the world’s main reserve currency with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Special Drawing Right
(First Shots Fired In The Currency Wars, 2009). This is a concern because, we would be impacted more so than other players in this game:
One of the concerns of US financial experts is the removal of the dollar as the "reserve currency" of the world:
The United States of America, if we didn't have the dollar as the de facto reserve currency of the world, we'd be Greece. I mean, we are broke, bankrupt. Really bankrupt.
(James Baker on GPS with F. Zakaria). James Baker was a former Secretary of the Treasury of the U.S.A. for Bush I.
(Phase Five Of The Currency Wars? - 2). That dynamic has grown stronger over the past few years, with the U.S. losing a lot of ground:
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Monday of living beyond its means "like a parasite" on the global economy and said dollar dominance was a threat to the financial markets.

"They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy," Putin told a Kremlin youth group while touring its summer camp north of Moscow.

"They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar."
...
"If over there (in America) there is a systemic malfunction, this will affect everyone," Putin told the young Russians.

"Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities ... There should be other reserve currencies."
(Phase Six Of The Currency Wars?). That talk has been converted into one significant action after the other:
The group of emerging economies signed the long-anticipated document to create the $100 bn BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 bn. Both will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar.
...
“BRICS Bank will be one of the major multilateral development finance institutions in this world,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday at the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The big launch of the BRICS bank is seen as a first step to break the dominance of the US dollar in global trade, as well as dollar-backed institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, both US-based institutions BRICS countries have little influence within.
(BRICS vs Western dominance). It could be that the secret, classified TPP is a reaction to the ongoing success of BRICS nations.

It is sometimes called "the pivot to Asia" which one documentary journalist sees as part of the preliminary dynamics of The Coming War Between America and China.

Surrounded

Another concern of mine, in this international trading scene, is sea level rise (SLR), even though it is mostly ignored.

The secret, classified, TPP is not immune to the SLR problem, even if it bolsters economies in the short run (The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Sea Level Rise (SLR)).

Conclusion

The only thing absolutely certain in this matter is that SLR cannot be defended against by the use of military force (Why The Military Can't Defend Against The Invasion).

Thus, the gunboat diplomacy of recent decades has been a waste of "blood and treasure" (the warmonger description).

We should have been addressing the unstoppable threats, which no international agreement can resist successfully (unless it is a comprehensive international agreement to halt civilization's burning of fossil fuels as a source of energy).

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Sea Level Rise (SLR)

Ports, SLR and the TPP
I haven't read anything concerning the TPP that mentions SLR in what I consider to be a meaningful way (Everything you need to know about the TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)).

The map to the left shows the sea lanes from the West Coast to pacific trading partners.

Some of those nations have negative bottom lines, such as Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, and Canada (5 nations @ $1.4 trillion), but others have positive bottom lines, such as Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, and Chile (6 nations, $142.5 billion).

My purpose, today, is not to discuss the good or bad financial dynamics in the context of the TPP.

Dynamics that could end up to be either a profitable or non-profitable exercise (Economic War Of The Pacific, 2, 3, 4, 5; cf. "the text of the TPP agreement remains classified information").

Instead, since I have discussed SLR mainly in the context of its impact on the East Coast from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras, today I want to discuss, for the most part, the impact SLR will have on the ports of those nations.

It is a fact that SLR is involved in the contemplated international ocean-based commerce and intercourse whether they discuss the issue or not.

Some discussion of the San Francisco Bay and port area (the U.S. side of the coin), in the context of Pacific Ocean SLR has been posted:
2.4 Resources Threatened by Sea Level Rise

In any given area, rising seas pose a threat to many different types of resources. Among the vulnerable coastal systems are transportation facilities such as roadways, airports, bridges, and mass transit systems; electric utility systems and power plants; stormwater systems and wastewater treatment plants and outfalls; groundwater aquifers; wetlands and fisheries; and many other human and natural systems from homes to schools, hospitals, and industry. Any impacts on resources within the affected area may lead to secondary impacts elsewhere.
...
3,2 ... Facilities At Risk [@ 1 m/3 ft. SLR]

Schools ... 60 ... Healthcare facilities ... 29 ... Fire stations ... 10 ... Police stations ... 8 ... hazardous material sites ... 208 ... buildings ... 49,000 ... lives ... 220,000

3.4.2 Ports
...
Our assessment of future flood risk with sea level rise shows significant flooding is possible at the Port of Oakland. The San Francisco and Oakland airports are also vulnerable to flooding with sea level rise. In addition to directly affecting port operations, sea level rise may cause other interruptions to goods movement at ports. Sea level rise can reduce bridge clearance, thereby reducing the size of ships able to pass or restricting their movements to times of low tide. Higher seas may cause ships to sit higher in the water, possibly resulting in less efficient port operations (National Research Council 1987). These impacts are highly site specific, and somewhat speculative, requiring detailed local study. We also note the connection between possible direct impacts of sea level rise on the ports themselves and possible flooding of transportation (rail and road) corridors to and from the ports.
...
4.1 Conclusions

Rising sea levels will be among the most significant impacts of climate change ...

We estimate that sea level rise will put 220,000 [people at risk] ... with a 1.0 m ... rise in sea levels ... A wide range of critical infrastructure, such as roads, hospitals, schools, emergency facilities, wastewater treatment plants, power plants, and wetlands is also vulnerable. In addition ... property is at risk ... with a 1.0 ... m rise in sea levels ...
(The Evolution of Models - 5, emphasis added; cf. this). Let that be an example, in terms of SLR, of the difficulties all of the following ports are facing.

The countries and ports at issue in the TPP, in alphabetical order, are:
 
Australia 
(106 ports)
(most popular)
Adelaide
Brisbane
Darwin
Fremantle
Geelong
Gladstone
Melbourne
Newcastle
Sydney

Brunei
(1 port)
Port of Muara

Canada 
(239 ports)
(Pacific ports)
Alberni
Bella Coola
Chemalmus
Dixon Entrance
Kelsey Bay
Kitimat
Ocean Falls Harbour
Port Hardy
Prince Rupert
Skidegate Landing
Stewart
Tahsis
Vancover Metro
Victoria

Chile
(46 ports)
(most popular)
Arica
Iquique
Lirquen
San Antonio
San Vicente
Valparaiso

Japan
(292 ports)
(most popular)
Chiba
Kashima
Kobe
Mizushima
  Moji
Osaka
Sendai
Tokyo
Yokohama

Malaysia
(25 ports)
Bintulu
Dermaga Tanjung Lembung
Johor
Kemaman
Kertih
Kota Kinabalut
Kuantan
Kuching
Kudat
Kunak
Labuan
Lahad Datu
Lumut
Malacca
Miri
Penang
Port Dickson
Port Klang
Sandakan
Sepangar Bay Oil Terminal
Rajang
Sungai Udang
Tanjung Pelepas
Tawau
Teluk Ewa Jetty

Mexico
(42 ports)
(most popular Pacific ports)
Ensenada
Guaymas
  Lazaro Cardenas
Manzanillo
Mazatlan
Port of Veracruz

New Zealand
(25 ports)
Akaroa Harbour
Auckland
Bluff
Dunedin
Gisborne
Greymouth
Lyttelton
Marsden Point
Napier
Nelson
Onehunga
Opua
Otago
Picton
Taranaki
Taharoa
Tarakohe
Tauranga
Te Hapua
Timaru
Wanganui
Wellington
  Westport
Whakaaropai
Whangarei 
Peru
(33 ports)
(most popular)
Callao
Ilo
Iquitos
Matarani
Paita
Salaverry

Singapore
(2 ports)
Jurong
Singapore

Vietnam
(15 ports)
Ba Ngoi
Cai Mep
Cam Pha
Cao Lanh
Cua Cam
Da Nang
Dai Hung
Sa Dec
Hai Phong
Ho Chi Minh City
Saigon
Nha Trang
Phu My
Quang Ninh
Vat Cach

Have you found any discussion about how those ports are preparing for SLR ("the text of the TPP agreement remains classified information")?

This re-emphasizes the point that governments are not publicly thinking about the SLR that is certainly coming!

Perhaps, because in their sovereign denial they cannot think about it.

Well, perhaps one U.S. Senator knows his stuff, suggesting that we stop building ports at sea level.


HBO Vice: "Our Rising Oceans", with Dr. Eric Rignot:

2:43 - "One meter [of SLR] would be a global catastrophic event, 3 meters would remap the world as we know it?"

2:50 - "Yes, absolutely."