Daily Archives: February 18, 2017

Exploring the world’s digital future – Counting the Cost

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 18, 2017

Ten years ago the number of devices connected to the Internet was under a billion. Now, that number has exploded to 20 billion and it’s going to keep growing. Mobile computing, driver-less connected cars and interactive fridges are a reality. John Chambers, the executive Chairman of Cisco Systems, has been involved in building the infrastructure of the Internet since the 1980s. During his trip to Doha this week, we asked him about where he sees the future, what economies will lead the next Internet evolution and why the Arab World has the potential to leapfrog other countries in terms of innovation.

Wikipedia, open source and the truth – Listening Post (Feature)

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 18, 2017

Facts, trust and the power of open source knowledge with Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Katherine Maher.


Republicans Have Gerrymandered Their Way To A Permanent Majority

The Ring of Fire

Published on Feb 18, 2017

Democratic candidates for U.S. House races actually received more votes than Republicans in the last midterm election. However, Republicans managed to hold onto power in the House because they have gerrymandered their way into a permanent majority. Why aren’t more Democrats and activists speaking out about this important issue that threatens our democracy? Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

Jim White: Greenland, CO2, and more worries (January 2017)


Published on Feb 5, 2017

Jim White at the Weather and Climate Summit 2017 http://www.stormcenter.com/wxcsummit/…

NASA Study Identifies New Pathway for Greenland Meltwater to Reach Ocean


Published on Feb 18, 2017

Cracks in the Greenland Ice Sheet let one of its aquifers drain to the ocean, new NASA research finds. The aquifers, discovered only recently, are unusual in that they trap large amounts of liquid water within the ice sheet. Until now, scientists did not know what happened to the water stored away in this reservoir — the discovery will help fine tune computer models of Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise.

“This paper illuminates the fate of the aquifer’s water,” said Kristin Poinar, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Before, we didn’t know if the water froze inside the ice sheet or reemerged onto the ice surface. In either of those scenarios, the meltwater would not contribute to sea level rise.”

Now, using a new computer model that tests whether certain meltwater-filled cracks can fracture to the base of the ice sheet, Poinar and her colleagues have shown that the meltwater does reach the ocean.

Greenland contributes water to the sea mainly through surface melt and ice flow. Studies have shown that surface melt has increased in recent decades. In western Greenland, so much surface melts forms that it creates a network of rivers and lakes, which drain through the ice to the underlying bedrock, from where water flows to the ocean.

Tipping Points & Extinction Events

The Big Picture RT

Published on Oct 9, 2013

Dr. Peter Ward, University of Washington joins Thom Hartmann. What can the mass extinctions of the past tell us about our future?

Antarctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Smallest Ever Extent

Penguin on a rock outcrop. (photo: Sarah Dawalibi/AFP)

By Reuters 17 February 17

Data contradicts climate change sceptics, who have pointed to earlier increases in areas of sea ice to support their views

ea ice around Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest annual extent on record after years of resisting a trend of manmade global warming, preliminary US satellite data has shown.

Ice floating around the frozen continent usually melts to its smallest for the year towards the end of February, the southern hemisphere summer, before expanding again as the autumn chill sets in.

This year, sea ice extent contracted to 883,015 sq miles (2.28m sq km) on 13 February, according to daily data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

That extent is a fraction smaller than a previous low of 884,173 sq miles recorded on 27 February 1997 in satellite records dating back to 1979. Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC, said he would wait for a few days’ more measurements to confirm the record low.

“But, unless something funny happens, we’re looking at a record minimum in Antarctica,” he told Reuters. “Some people say it’s already happened. We tend to be conservative by looking at five-day running averages.”

In many recent years, the average extent of sea ice around Antarctica has tended to expand despite the overall trend of global warming, blamed on a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuels.

People sceptical of mainstream findings by climate scientists have often pointed to Antarctic sea ice as evidence against global warming. Some climate scientists have linked the paradoxical expansion to shifts in winds and ocean currents.

…(read more).