Tag Archives: Rising sea levels

Melting icebergs sign for the world

In Geophysical Research Letters, the first assessment of how quickly floating ice is being lost today, has been published. (> Andrew Shepherd, Duncan Wingham, David Wallis, Katharine Giles, Seymour Laxon, Aud Venke Sundal. Recent loss of floating ice and the consequent sea level contribution. Geophysical Research Letters, 2010; (in press) DOI: 10.1029/2010GL042496 )

Icebergs around Cape York,Greenland. The icebe...

Icebergs around Cape York,Greenland. The icebergs are beautiful and display many interesting shapes. You could see the iceberg with a hole at the image. The hole was caused by weathering effects – erosion by waves, wind and melting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to lead author Professor Andrew Shepherd, of the University of Leeds, it would be unwise to discount the loss of floating ice which is equivalent to 1.5 million Titanic-sized icebergs each year. However, the study shows that spread across the global oceans, recent losses of floating ice amount to a sea level rise of just 49 microns (μm) per year — about a hair’s breadth.

Professor Shepherd and his team used a combination of satellite observations and a computer model to make their assessment. They looked at changes in the area and thickness of sea ice and ice shelves, and found that the overall signal amounts to a 742 cubic kilometres per year reduction in the volume of floating.

Because of differences in the density and temperature of ice and sea water, the net effect is to increase sea level by 2.6% of this volume, equivalent to 49 microns per year spread across the global oceans.

The greatest losses were due to the rapid retreat of Arctic Sea ice and to the collapse and thinning of ice shelves at the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Amundsen Sea.

Also Dr. John P. Kotter, from Harvard,  strongly believes that the world needs much more action from a broader range of people— action that is informed, committed, and inspired — to help us all in an era of increasing change.

Thirty years of research by leadership guru Dr. John Kotter have proven that 70% of all major change efforts in organizations fail. Why do they fail? Because organizations often do not take the holistic approach required to see the change through.

However, by following the 8-Step Process outlined by Dr. Kotter, organizations can avoid failure and become adept at change. By improving their ability to change, organizations can increase their chances of success, both today and in the future. Without this ability to adapt continuously, organizations cannot thrive.

Dr. Kotter has proven over his years of research that following The 8-Step Process for Leading Change will help organizations succeed in an ever-changing world.

English: Leone, AS, October 2, 2009 -- Chris R...

Leone, AS, October 2, 2009 — Chris Reiner, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), discusses hazardous waste removal with members of the Hawaii National Guard, Civil Support Team. The EPA and U.S. military are part of the federal family that support the Federal Emergency Management Agency in its recovery from the recent earthquake and tsunami. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all, by know, should be fully aware that it seems that in the last 100 years the earth’s temperature has increased about half a degree Celsius and if it continues to increase it shall be causing a lot of problems for many low countries to keep the ground for living and for others it shall present a lot of storms and problems of water by too much run after periods of extreme draught. Lots of people may think half a degree is nothing, but even half a degree can have an effect on our planet. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the sea level has risen 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) in the last 100 years (see How do they measure sea level?).

­On the video below you can see what this higher temperature causes. The last decennial we have seen more some floating icebergs to melt. Icebergs are large floating chunks of ice. In order to float, the iceberg displaces a volume of water that has a weight equal to that of the iceberg. Submarines use this principle to rise and sink in the water, too.

The rising temperature may be causing more icebergs to form by weakening the glaciers, causing more cracks and making ice mo­re likely to break off. As soon as the ice falls into the ocean, the ocean rises a little. The rising temperature and icebergs could play a small role in the rising ocean level and will give a change in water-temperature causing also an effect on the flow of air coming from the seas.

English: Wordie Ice Shelf location within Anta...

Wordie Ice Shelf location within Antarctic Peninsula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90 percent of the world’s ice (and 70 percent of its fresh water). Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 feet) thick. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet). But the average temperature in Antarctica is -37°C, so the ice there is in no danger of melting. {If the polar ice caps melted, how much would the oceans rise?}

At the other end of the world, the North Pole, the ice is not nearly as thick as at the South Pole. The ice floats on the Arctic Ocean.
Acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog was once a sceptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovered undeniable evidence of our changing planet.

Here we present a video where Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.

English: Mike Metzer, from the Environmental P...

Mike Metzer, from the Environmental Protection Agency, checks one of the many air sampling locations set up around the World Trade Center site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Such video should be a warning for us to lower CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. If we do not take measures soon the planet may continue there, but without us! We have no excuse, and cannot say it is all part of nature. There is enough proof it was man’s fault. Lots of people still do not want to know about it, but it is to the others to awaken them. If governments around the world don´t act quickly, it will be too late for humanity to survive. Several people who have been visiting at the centre of the North Pole saw the melting with their own eyes and lots of investigators and scientists who were more than once on the North Pole have seen the changes which took place in a very short time. We ourselves also have been witnessing the changing in the disappearing glaciers in our own Europe.

Upworthy, their mission is to lift up stuff that matters using evocative media. They look for visual content that is both meaningful and shareable (that’s the definition of “Upworthy”) and curate the things that have the best chance of going viral.

Upworthy presents a video where the calving face of 300, sometimes 400 feet tall can be seen and where a comparison is made with Manhattan. Pieces of ice were shooting up out of the ocean 600 feet, and then falling. The only way that you can really try to put it into scale with human reference is if you imagine Manhattan, and all of a sudden, all of those buildings just start to rumble, and quake, and peel off and just fall over, fall over and roll around. This whole massive city just breaking apart in front of your eyes. We’re just observers. It’s two little dots on this side of it now. And we watched and recorded the largest witness calving event ever caught on tape.

You may name it:

magical, miraculous, horrible, scary thing. I don’t know that anybody has really seen the miracle and horror of that.

but we all should be concious that it took a hundred years for the ice to retreat eight miles from 1900 to 2000. From 2000 to 2010 it retreated nine miles. So in ten years it retreated more than it had in the previous 100.

**

Video from the YouTube channel of exposurelabs and excerpted from the award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice.”
**

+

Step 1: Establishing a Sense of Urgency

Help others see the need for change and they will be convinced of the importance of acting immediately. Learn More »

Step 2: Creating the Guiding Coalition

Assemble a group with enough power to lead the change effort, and encourage the group to work as a team. Learn More »

Step 3: Developing a Change Vision

Create a vision to help direct the change effort, and develop strategies for achieving that vision. Learn More »

Step 4: Communicating the Vision for Buy-in

Make sure as many as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy. Learn More »

Step 5: Empowering Broad-based Action

Remove obstacles to change, change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision, and encourage risk-taking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions. Learn More »

Step 6: Generating Short-term Wins

Plan for achievements that can easily be made visible, follow-through with those achievements and recognize and reward employees who were involved. Learn More »

Step 7: Never Letting Up

Use increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the vision, also hire, promote, and develop employees who can implement the vision, and finally reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and change agents. Learn More »

Step 8: Incorporating Changes into the Culture

Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success, and develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession. Learn More »

 

English: Approximate locations of the missing ...

Approximate locations of the missing Larsen A and Larsen B ice-shelves. Note the irregularly shaped island in the north-east corner of the map. Just south of it is where the missing Larsen A ice-shelf began. Note the two islands off the west coast of the peninsula. The southern boundary of the missing portion of Larsen B seems to lie just south of the southernmost island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

++

Please do find to read:

  1. Our Iceberg Is Melting
  2. Voice for the plebs
  3. Preparing the road trip avoiding congestion
  4. Stopping emissions will not stop the warming of our planet
  5. Postponing once more
  6. USA Climate Change Action Plan
  7. Common Goods, people and the Market
  8. A risk taking society
  9. Securing risks
  10. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  11. The natural beauties of life
  12. How to make sustainable, green habits second nature
  • Melting icebergs causing sea level rise (eurekalert.org)
    Professor Shepherd and his team used a combination of satellite observations and a computer model to make their assessment. They looked at changes in the area and thickness of sea ice and ice shelves, and found that the overall signal amounts to a 742 cubic kilometres per year reduction in the volume of floating.Because of differences in the density and temperature of ice and sea water, the net effect is to increase sea level by 2.6% of this volume, equivalent to 49 micrometers per year spread across the global oceans.

    The greatest losses were due to the rapid retreat of Arctic Sea ice and to the collapse and thinning of ice shelves at the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Amundsen Sea.

  • Livermore Scientists Suggest Ocean Warming in Southern Hemisphere Underestimated (prweb.com)
    Using satellite observations and a large suite of climate models, Lawrence Livermore scientists have found that long-term ocean warming in the upper 700 meters of Southern Hemisphere oceans has likely been underestimated.”This underestimation is a result of poor sampling prior to the last decade and limitations of the analysis methods that conservatively estimated temperature changes in data-sparse regions,” said LLNL oceanographer Paul Durack, lead author of a paper appearing in the October 5 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change.

    Ocean heat storage is important because it accounts for more than 90 percent of the Earth’s excess heat that is associated with global warming. The observed ocean and atmosphere warming is a result of continuing greenhouse gas emissions. The Southern Hemisphere oceans make up 60 percent of the world’s oceans.

  • Radioactive Waste: Can Membranes Reduce The Fear Factor? (wateronline.com)
    It’s no wonder that the word “radioactive” scares people. I remember Chernobyl. I was raised on The Simpsons, with its bumbling nuclear plant operators and three-eyed fish. I’ve followed the Fukushima tragedy closely for Water Online. But, scary or not, nuclear power isn’t going anywhere soon — a fact that points to the need for enhanced safety and environmental responsibility.At the recently wrapped International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano announced the “continued growth in the use of nuclear power,” noting that there are 437 nuclear power reactors currently operating in 30 countries, and 70 more reactors under construction. Thirty-three countries, he said, are considering, planning, or starting nuclear programs. Such activity produces a lot of liquid radioactive waste (LRW), but nuclear plants aren’t the only source.

    Beyond what is produced for fuel supply — from the purification and enrichment of uranium, the operation of power reactors, within spent fuel reprocessing, or even during the decommissioning of nuclear facilities — there is also institutional waste to deal with. Institutional LRW arises from the production and use of radioisotopes in medicine, research, industry, and agriculture.

  • Goats better than chemicals for curbing invasive marsh grass (brightsurf.com)
    Phragmites australis, or the common reed, is a rapid colonizer that has overrun many coastal wetlands from New England to the Southeast. A non-native perennial, it can form dense stands of grass up to 10 feet high that block valuable shoreline views of the water, kill off native grasses, and alter marsh function.Land managers traditionally have used chemical herbicides to slow phragmites’ spread but with only limited and temporary success.

    Now, field experiments by researchers at Duke and six other U.S. and European universities have identified a more sustainable, low-cost alternative: goats.

  • The Gravity of Climate Change: How Melting Ice Affects Planetary Pull (prn.fm)
    NASA–German GRACE satellite, allowed scientists to look at changes in ice mass in small glacial systems and compare those to high-resolution measurements of Antarctica’s gravitational field.“They have found that the loss of ice from West Antarctica between 2009 and 2012 caused a dip in the gravity field over the region,” according to a GOCE press release.

    A study earlier this year showed that the world’s two largest ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at the fastest rates ever recorded. Another study, published in August, found that human-caused climate change has become the primary driver of glacial melt.

  • Study suggests current changes in the ocean around Antarctica could trigger steep rise in sea levels (thewatchers.adorraeli.com)
    Researchers at ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science pointed the last time this occurred, 14,000 years ago, the Antarctic alone contributed 3-4 metres to global sea levels in just a few centuries. The accelerating melting of land ice into the sea makes the surface of the ocean around Antarctica colder, less salty and more easily frozen, leading to extensive sea ice in some areas. It is one of the reasons ascribed to the increasing trend in sea ice around Antarctica.According to UNSW ARC Future Fellow Dr Chris Fogwill, the results of model simulations they used demonstrate that while Antarctic ice sheets are remote, they may play a far bigger role in driving past and importantly future sea level rise than we previously suspected.
  • Evolving plumbing system beneath Greenland slows ice sheet as summer progresses (sciencecodex.com)
    A team led by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics has for the first time directly observed multiple parts of Greenland’s subglacial plumbing system and how that system evolves each summer to slow down the ice sheet’s movement toward the sea.
    +
    Each summer, the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet melts as temperatures warm, sending meltwater into channels that drain to the bottom of the ice sheet, lubricating the underside and speeding up the ice sheet’s flow toward the sea. While the basic outline of this process is understood, scientists have been puzzled about how the meltwater interacts with the bed of the ice sheet. These new observations clarify scientific understanding of how this plumbing system evolves each summer and how it may change in the future as the climate continues to warm.

    A camera used to image the structure of glacier ice is lowered into the borehole by a winch. The instrument is encased in a plastic cage to keep it stable as it is lowered 600 meters to the bed of the ice sheet.

  • Prospecting for Archaeology in the Northern Isles (rubiconheritage.com)
    We were recently commissioned to evaluate a proposed housing development near Kirkwall in Orkney. Orkney is one of the richest archaeological landscapes in Britain and therefore there is always high potential for archaeology- with the resulting high risk for developers. Our approach in this case was to carry out a very rapid geophysical survey of the entire site followed by targeted trenching on areas of high potential as defined by the results of the geophysical survey.
  • Tom Daley Announced as New ESD Geophysics Department Head (earthsciences.typepad.com)
    Tom Daley will be the new Geophysics Department Head, effective October 1, 2014. Tom is a Staff Scientist in ESD who has been with Berkeley Lab since 1987. His research focuses on the acquisition and analysis of borehole seismic data from field scale experiments. He has contributed significantly to the use of geophysical approaches to monitor processes critical to many subsurface energy strategies, with an emphasis in recent years on geological CO2 sequestration.
  • Germany removes University Fees – what we Should Learn from That (deanstalk.net)
    Andrei’s background is in geophysics, and he published his first scientific paper when he was still an undergrad; now, his main focus is on how geology and geophysics can be applied to understand and protect the environment. Feeling that there is a gap between scientists and the general audience, he started ZME Science – and the results are what you see today.

1 Comment

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Nature, Video, World affairs

How to make sustainable, green habits second nature

Good intentions are great, but wanting to do the right thing isn’t enough.

Kadir van Lohuizen has visited many areas of the globe which are especially vulnerable to rising sea levels. As land recedes under advancing waters, governments are faced with the costs of building defensive seawalls and relocating coastal populations — and in some extreme cases, finding new homes for entire island nations.

Climate-Kiribati-slide-OP21-jumbo.jpg

Lots of the waters he got to see were also very polluted. Perhaps people could not always see that it was contaminated water but we have so many sees which are full of participles of chemical waste.

The effects of climate change have led to a growing sense of outrage in developing nations, many of which have contributed little to the pollution that is linked to rising temperatures and sea levels but will suffer the most from the consequences.

In the New York Times of March 28, 2014 we can read:

At a climate conference in Warsaw in November, there was an emotional outpouring from countries that face existential threats, among them Bangladesh, which produces just 0.3 percent of the emissions driving climate change. Some leaders have demanded that rich countries compensate poor countries for polluting the atmosphere. A few have even said that developed countries should open their borders to climate migrants.

“It’s a matter of global justice,” said Atiq Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies and the nation’s leading climate scientist. “These migrants should have the right to move to the countries from which all these greenhouse gases are coming. Millions should be able to go to the United States.”

On May the 23rd the Guardian wrote:

Climate change is a scientific fact, and increasingly a lived human experience. But it is not yet what sociologists call “a social fact”. It’s not an integral part of the way we shape our social practices, nor a significant enough cultural norm to act as a constraint on our behaviour.

The signifiers of climate change are part of the problem; we are supposed to see ourselves in the melting ice, the plaintive polar bears and the hockey-stick graphs, but most of us simply don’t. There has been a fundamental failure in the way in which the idea of climate change has been communicated, based on a misunderstanding both of human nature and the systemic nature of the challenge. {How framing can move climate change from scientific to social fact}

English: Biodesign buildings at Arizona State ...

Biodesign buildings at Arizona State University. Photo by Nick Schweitzer. Tempe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In The natural beauties of life we wrote about the photographers who want to share their images of this world with others so that they can witness themselves as well what happens to this world and which treasures we do still have but which should be protected for future generations.

We also said everybody has to contribute his own bit, be it small, it always shall contribute for a better place. In Belgium we are already sorting our waste for more than ten years, but still we can see lots of people are not so keen to do the job or loose interest of sorting well.

We may see some people around us who know such sorting is necessary and that we should avoid as much plastics as we can. Unfortunately, wanting to do the right thing isn’t always enough. Here’s a typical example of the problem: Knowing the environmental costs associated with disposable plastic bags, I keep several reusable bags in my car. It’s not difficult to use them, it involves little or no expense, and at some stores it can even earn a small rebate. Yet at the end of a long day at work, rushing into the grocery between my office and a quick stop at home before a round of evening activities, they’re forgotten, abandoned in the trunk or back seat, out of sight and mind until I reach the checkout stand.

Michelle N Shiota, associate professor at the Department of Psychology, Arizona State University wrote in the Guardian:

wanting to do the right thing isn’t always enough. Here’s a typical example of the problem: Knowing the environmental costs associated with disposable plastic bags, I keep several reusable bags in my car. It’s not difficult to use them, it involves little or no expense, and at some stores it can even earn a small rebate. Yet at the end of a long day at work, rushing into the grocery between my office and a quick stop at home before a round of evening activities, they’re forgotten, abandoned in the trunk or back seat, out of sight and mind until I reach the checkout stand.

This illustrates a longstanding problem in human behaviour, of which sustainability is just one facet. For decades psychologists have distinguished between two sets of processes that drive our actions: automatic versus controlled processes. Automatic processes operate effortlessly, and largely outside conscious control. These include cognitions, such as thoughtlessly applied stereotypes, as well as behavioural habits, impulses, and routines. Controlled processing can override our automatic reactions, but we have to think about it, and it requires effort. In a familiar example, the famous “marshmallow task” is used to test whether children deciding between eating a tasty treat now and waiting for a bigger reward a bit later will tend toward an automatic, impulsive response or self-controlled delay.

As most of us know from our own experience, self-control is a very limited resource. When we’re busy, stressed, or simply tired after pushing our minds and bodies for several hours, our self-control reservoir is running dry, so habits and impulses are especially likely to take over. Scientists have considered implications of this dilemma for a variety of behaviour change efforts, including promoting healthy behaviour, reducing alcohol and substance use, and predicting impulsive spending.

In Europe the European Union and the individual states try to get the costumers conscious about what they buy for consumption, how it is packed, transported, which ecological footprint it has, and what we do with the packing. The community tries to make more conscious customers who shall not mind to change their daily behaviour in name of the environment. Though we face a some problem in promoting many day-to-day sustainable behaviours, from reusing grocery bags to recycling, taking shorter showers, unplugging unused electrical devices, and changing the thermostat when leaving the house for the day. In each case, best intentions often come into conflict with our default settings.

Fortunately, research is starting to uncover some ways of resolving this conflict, making it easier to break old habits or develop new ones.

May we recommend to rad more about it in The sustainable living hub and finding there some tips to alter behaviour for the long-term in: How to make sustainable, green habits second nature.

+++

  • On the Run for Water Rising Seas Kadir van Lohuizen Photography (bintphotobooks.blogspot.com)
    Kadir said his projects always start small. “I never wake up one morning and think I’m going to do a big project,”“It always starts when I end up somewhere and realize what’s going on, then think that it should be bigger than just one story,” he said.

    One such incident led to his Diamond Matters photobook, which details the progress of diamonds from the mines of Africa to the world of fashion.

    In the early 1990s, he worked as a photojournalist in many conflict areas in Africa, including Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Liberia and Congo. From 1990 to 1994, he covered the transition in South Africa from apartheid to democracy.

    “It was during that time that I started to realize that there’s a connection between mineral resources and the conflicts,” he said.

  • Climate Council: Without Action, Rising Seas Will Cost Us Billions (science20.com)
    Australia’s coast is famous around the world – but rising sea levels are poised to make things a lot less fun.
    +
    Rising sea levels pose huge financial, economic and humanitarian risks, as shown by the Climate Council’s latest report, Counting the Costs: Climate Change and Coastal Flooding. If the world ignores the problem, by mid-century rising seas could cost the world more than a trillion dollars a year as floods and storm surges hit.
    +
    the recent report of the same name, Risky Business: the Economic Risks of Climate Change, led by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is much more apt. It starkly sets out the economic risks of climate change to the United States, including the threat of damage to coastal property and infrastructure from rising sea levels and increased storm surges.The report predicts that in just over a decade, this double whammy of higher sea levels and storm surges will more than double the costs of coastal storms along the US eastern seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, to US$3.5 billion a year. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are harbingers of things to come.

  • Climate Council: without action, rising seas will cost us billions (theconversation.com)
    Climate change is warming the oceans and increasing the flow of ice from the land into the sea. This drives up sea levels, causing coastlines to recede and making flooding more widespread. The primary cause of the 17 cm global average sea-level rise observed during the second half of the 20th century is the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activities. And sea level is likely to increase by 0.4 to 1.0 m through the 21st century.Strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would keep sea-level rise towards the lower end of that range, while a business-as-usual approach to burning fossil fuels would drive it towards the upper end of the range – with potentially massive economic consequences.
  • Famed beach in Jamaica slowly vanishing to erosion (thehimalayantimes.com)
    Tourists from around the world are drawn to a stretch of palm-fringed shoreline known as “Seven Mile Beach,” a crescent of white sand along the turquoise waters of Jamaica’s western coast. But the sands are slipping away and Jamaicans fear the beach, someday, will need a new nickname.Each morning, groundskeepers with metal rakes carefully tend Negril’s resort-lined shore. Some sections, however, are barely wide enough for a decent-sized beach towel and the Jamaican National Environment and Planning Agency says sand is receding at a rate of more than a meter (yard) a year.

    “The beach could be totally lost within 30 years,” said Anthony McKenzie, a senior director at the agency.

    Shrinking coastline long has raised worry for the area’s environmental and economic future. Now, the erosion is expected to worsen as a result of climate change, and a hint of panic is creeping through this laid back village, one of the top destinations in a country where a quarter of all jobs depend on tourism.

    “If the water takes over this beach, well, that’s the end of the tourists,” Lyn Dennison said as she tended to her beachside stand selling jewelry and wooden statues of roosters, horses and other animals.

  • Famed Jamaican beach slowly vanishing to erosion (koreaherald.com)
    Fearful of losing their main draw, some alarmed hoteliers are pressing the government to refill the beach with dredged sand, a pricey step many experts say is a temporary fix at best.Jamaica is readying plans to build submerged breakwaters it hopes will absorb wave energy and slow loss of shoreline, using an initial $5.4 million in grants from a U.N. climate change convention.

    The breakwater project in Negril, which one study says could cost as much as $77 million over the course of 80 years, offers a glimpse of what may lie ahead for other coastal towns. Caribbean islands, many already heavily in debt, will be faced with the choice of trying to armor shores with seawalls and breakwaters, or conducting a costly retreat from seas that the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says could rise by nearly a meter by the end of the century.

    Beaches across the region are being transformed by a variety of factors: shoreline development; surges from increasingly intense storms; coastal pollution that affects marine life; and coral reefs crumbling in warmer waters.

  • R20 in Paris: Climate-KIC CEO Calls on Climate Change Leaders to Focus Their Efforts on Creating Sustainable Cities (pr.com)
    Nowhere is the climate challenge more pressing than in our cities. By 2050, some 70% of the world’s population will live and work in urban areas, which as well as heightening carbon emissions, will put huge pressure on local ecosystems from urban planning and transport to waste management and food supply.
    +
    An interdisciplinary initiative, bringing ‘systems thinking’ to bear on climate mitigation strategies for Europe’s cities, focusing primarily on non-technical imperatives in order to marry technological innovation with social transformation.Greenhouse gas monitoring, reporting & verification: Collaboration bringing over 30 public and private partners of Europe’s top research bodies together to create ground breaking greenhouse gas monitoring solutions for business, utilities, cities and public authorities.
  • Climate-KIC Launches New Online CO2 Meter to Indicate Carbon Emissions Threat Level (pr.com)
    “CO2 levels are rising, it’s a fact – indeed the Global Carbon Project announced last month that Global emissions of greenhouse gases jumped 2.3% in 2013 to record levels. However, Climate-KIC and our broad network of partners are working hard to support and encourage the entrepreneurs, scientists and students inventing new technologies that will decrease the amount of CO2 that humans put into the atmosphere and thus avert disaster.”Jane Burston, head of the Centre for Carbon Measurement at Climate-KIC partner the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, commented: “We need to know the real size of the challenge and to be able to measure the success or otherwise of our efforts in reducing emissions and mitigating climate change. This new online CO2 meter is the latest step in making that information available to as many people as possible.”

14 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Nature

The natural beauties of life

When we look around us we should be able to see all the beauty of nature. But many of us live in cities where we are surrounded by buildings and not much green.

The beautiful nature is given to us freely, but not many people do respect that free gift as such. We, as human beings are also not so keen to use it properly and to take into account that many after us still have to be able to enjoy as much as we did or even more. Often terrible things have to happen before we as human being want to think about what is going on or what our responsibility should be for making sure lots of people can enjoy those treasures of earth.

In many Asian countries several people are already seriously feeling the effects of the industrial revolution and the technical progress of the last two centuries. People may be happy the world advanced so much and that we do have a lot of gadgets which make life so much easier. But in many poor countries those people do not enjoy such modern domestication? Several families  by powerful storms found their riverside home destroyed already more than once. Millions have already lost more than the modest roof over their head. Millions spend their days collecting cow dung for fuel and struggling to grow vegetables in soil poisoned by salt water. They live on borrowed time in a vast landscape of river islands, bamboo huts, heartbreaking choices and impossible hopes.

Government representatives and scientists on Tuesday March the 25th opened a five-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to finalize a report assessing the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, options for adaptation, and the interactions among climate changes, other stresses on societies, and opportunities for the future.

The meeting, the culmination of four years’ work by hundreds of experts who have volunteered their time and expertise to produce a comprehensive assessment, was to approve the Summary for Policymakers of the second part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, checking the text line by line.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) wants to achieve a stabilization of green-house gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
All of us should be aware that limiting the effects of climate change is necessary to achieve sustainable development and equity, including poverty eradication. At the same time, some mitigation efforts could undermine action on the right to promote sustainable development, and on the achievement of poverty eradication and equity. Consequently, a comprehensive assessment of climate policies involves going beyond a focus on mitigation and adaptation policies alone to examine development pathways more broadly, along with their determinants.

We all should also know that we have to take a collective action because we are speaking of problem at the global scale, because most greenhouse gases (GHGs) accumulate over time and mix globally, and emissions by any agent (e.g., individual, community, company,country) affect other agents. International cooperation is therefore required to effectively mitigate GHG emissions and address other climate change issues.

Social, economic and ethical analyses may be used to inform value judgements and may take into account values of various sorts, including human well-being, cultural values and non-human values. But all people should be informed how much they themselves also can contribute to the global effect, even when their personal impact may be very small it is important that everybody does his or her own bit for the protection of the earth.
Awareness and appreciation for the environment is very important, so we should help to get others to be more concious of the importance to safeguard the earth’s future and the future of our children their children.
We would like to present a website where the beauties of nature are nicely presented but where one is not afraid to see behind all that beauty the danger of vanishing worlds. We have evolved far away form the snapshots that have served as surrogates, except perhaps for one surrogate which continues to grow, namely the extended reach of the body’s comprehension of the world.
Doing so more insistently than did other forms of mimetic representation, photography seemed to stand in for the direct, bodily experience of the individual, its lens becoming the roving eye of the beholder. Most obviously one sees this in travel and expeditionary photographs of the nineteenth century, for which skilled professionals travelled forth from Western Europe and the eastern USA to record and bring back views of sites as various as India, the American West and the Middle East. {Oxford Companion to the Body }
Photography, you could say, is the visual medium of this modern world, were events can be captured for the future, but were stories of the past can be a witness of the things human beings did or because they did not want to see, refusing to hear the signs, have been lost for the next generations.
As a means of recording, and as an art form in its own, photography pervades our lives and shapes our perceptions…

A private photobook collector and trader, living in the Netherlands, who has sold many photobooks online (Ebay.nl, Marktplaats.nl & Boekwinkeltjes.nl/Bint) and therefore has also set up a devoted website (see http://bintphotobooks.googlepages.com/)& his Blog (see http://bintphotobooks.blogspot.com/) brings us a variety of artists worth viewing.

We do know that:
“Perception is relative and selective”…If the presenter does not clarify a message, then the receiver imposes his own meaning drawing from his/her experience, needs and expectations.

On his website we can find many beautiful photographs which clearly tell a story which has to be heard by many. Therefore we also like to introduce you to it. Our world is much to important to have it been destroyed by the greed of our consumerism.

The one looking through the lens may capture a whole story in one click and make it easy for others to see that what is behind the picture. Every photographer may put his own statement in the way he looks at things. Behind the pictures may be told also a whole story and the writer of Bint photobooks may carry us away along the threads of reality which often stay hidden for those who live in the cities of the Western world.

In Kadir van Lohuizen: Putting stories into perspective for example we can learn that the celebrated Dutch photographer Kadir van Lohuizen feels that there are many big stories around the world that need to be told and that it is his responsibility to tell them in the right way. He brings us with his camera from the North to the South, from Greenland to Kiribati and Fiji, close to Australia, passing by Panama but also showing us the problems of cities in the United States, like Boston, all places where they feel the rising sees. On the net we also can find some other interesting photographs of professional photographers, like Mitch Zeissler, and non-professional photographers, who do have a very good eye, like Cindy Barton Knoke who is willing to share that what she encounters on her many travels. Having such people willing to share the beauties they managed to see others are allowed to enjoy them too, which is great. This way people who are not in good health or do not have the money or no means to make such trips to far away places can receive their dreams by such bloggers.

Having lots of people living between the structures of living quarters and offices, often confronted with the fumes, dust and pollution, they may value such beautiful countrysides, animals and by Cindy Barton Knoke also beautiful art, which give richness to the world. Those living in countries with wide fields, like in the United States perhaps do not see any sign of pollution in their region, and do think perhaps everything is exaggerated, but when they can see and hear the witnesses of those who can move around, come in different places or do scientific work, they perhaps come to believe that it is really time we do something to protect what we still have. In Belgium we are confronted with pollution and climate change nearly every day, so perhaps the Belgians do feel the urge to look for solutions more than some other citizens.

Climate-Greenland-slide-BJBO-superJumbo.jpgClimate-Greenland-slide-YDQV-superJumbo.jpg
Icebergs in a channel between Greenland’s Eqip Sermia glacier and Ilulissat Icefjord, the most active glacier in the Northern Hemisphere and so many other pictures Bint presents with his article on Kadir van Lohuizen is only showing us the figurative and literal top of the ice sheet melting as a result of climate change.

In 2012 van Lohuizen started project looking into consequences of sea-level rise in the world. Therefore he went to different regions that have been or will be affected quite soon by the rise, and researched where people will have to relocate.

The 50-year-old photographer said he started the project after visiting a delta area in Bangladesh around three years ago, where he was struck by the apparent impact of rising sea levels and noticed that Bangladesh expects to evacuate 30 million people by 2050 due to rising sea levels.

He is also aware that the issue is more urgent than most people assume

“it’s very much knocking on our doors.”

The world has waited already too long before taking the matter serious. Like in most places there has to happen something serious before people do something.

“Too often we start to think about the problem when it has happened, but not before.”

Bint writes

Aiming to raise awareness in the general audience, Kadir hoped that the message would also reach politicians and policymakers.

and gives the word to van Lohuizen who says:

“It’s going to be the biggest problem of the century. It’s not just islands disappearing but also sea water seeping into the mainland, causing soil to become saline, rendering people unable to grow crops and having more difficulty accessing clean water.”

We better make sure others get to know the beauties of nature but also show how endangered the species and our own environment is. We clearly have to share the message of the importance to keep our world in good health.

The "burning embers" diagram above w...

The “burning embers” diagram above was produced by the IPCC in 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Nature, Pictures of the World