Global Riot Epidemic Due to Demise of Cheap Fossil Fuels


A protester in Ukraine swings a metal chain during clashes - a taste of things to come? Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

submitted by Mikayla McDonald

From South America to South Asia, a new age of unrest is in full swing as industrial civilisation transitions to post-carbon reality - by Nafeez Ahmed - February 28, 2014

If anyone had hoped that the Arab Spring and Occupy protests a few years back were one-off episodes that would soon give way to more stability, they have another thing coming. The hope was that ongoing economic recovery would return to pre-crash levels of growth, alleviating the grievances fueling the fires of civil unrest, stoked by years of recession. . .

. . . The recent cases illustrate not just an explicit link between civil unrest and an increasingly volatile global food system, but also the root of this problem in the increasing unsustainability of our chronic civilisational addiction to fossil fuels. . .

. . . Of course, the elephant in the room is climate change.

Doctors Without Borders Expelled from Myanmar


Myanmar protesters hold placards and shout slogans during a rally against the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) aid agency in Sittwe, Rakhine state, on February 22, 2014 (AFP/File) - by Margie Mason - February 28, 2014

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was "deeply shocked" by Myanmar's decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.



CLICK HERE - MSF - Myanmar: MSF concerned about the fate of thousands of patients after being ordered to cease activities

There Never Was a Pause in Global Warming or Climate Change

Climate scientist Professor Matt England explains his study on the influence of Pacific trade winds on global temperatures

All signs point to an acceleration of human-caused climate change. So why all this talk of a pause?

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Recent intensification of wind-driven circulation in the Pacific and the ongoing warming hiatus - by Graham Readfearn - February 11, 2014

The idea that global warming has "paused" or is currently chillaxing in a comfy chair with the words "hiatus" written on it has been getting a good run in the media of late.

Much of this is down to a new study analysing why one single measure of climate change – the temperatures on the surface averaged out across the entire globe – might not have been rising quite so quickly as some thought they might.

Arctic Seafloor Methane Releases Double Previous Estimates


Methane burns as it escapes through a hole in the ice in a lagoon above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. 
Credit: Natalia Shakhova - University of Alaska Fairbanks - November 25, 2013

The seafloor off the coast of Northern Siberia is releasing more than twice the amount of methane as previously estimated, according to new research results published in the Nov. 24 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is venting at least 17 teragrams of the methane into the atmosphere each year. . .

New Maps Reveal Locations of Species at Risk as Climate Changes


Speed and direction of climate shifts over the past 50 years in Australia.  Credit: Image - CSIRO Australia - CSIRO Austrailia - February 10, 2014

In research published today in the journal Nature, CSIRO and an international team of scientists revealed global maps showing how fast and in which direction local climates are shifting. This new study points to a simpler way of looking at climatic changes and their likely effects on biodiversity.


CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Nature - Geographical limits to species-range shifts are suggested by climate velocity

China Turns Up Smog Alert


A man walks along the moat of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, Feb 21, 2014. A large area of north China including Beijing and Tianjin are experiencing another round of heavy smog and air pollution that is expected to last for a week. [Photo/Xinhua] - February 25, 2014

BEIJING - China's top observatory has raised the severity of its smog alert for northern and central China, with heavy smog expected to continue for another two days.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) late Monday turned up the smog alert from yellow to orange, the second-highest level in severity, and at 8 am Tuesday continued the alert for another 24 hours, according to a statement.


Deadly MERS Virus Circulates Among Arabian Camels


Jockeys take their camels home after racing in Egypt's El Arish desert. The annual race draws competitors from around the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, where camels carry the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus.  Nasser Nouri/Xinhua /Landov

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection in Dromedary Camels in Saudi Arabia - by Richard Knox - February 25, 2014

Scientists have gotten close to pinning down the origin of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a dangerous respiratory disease that emerged in Saudi Arabia 17 months ago.

It turns out the MERS virus has been circulating in Arabian camels for more than two decades, scientists report in a study published Tuesday.

So far MERS has sickened more than 180 people, killing at least 77 of them — an alarming 43 percent.


Is Weird Winter Weather Related to Climate Change?

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The polar jet stream may be driving a "hemispheric pattern of severe weather."

submitted by Paul Pritchard - by Fred Pearce - February 24, 2014

Scientists are trying to understand if the unusual weather in the Northern Hemisphere this winter — from record heat in Alaska to unprecedented flooding in Britain — is linked to climate change. One thing seems clear: Shifts in the jet stream play a key role and could become even more disruptive as the world warms.

This winter’s weather has been weird across much of the Northern Hemisphere. Record storms in Europe; record drought in California; record heat in parts of the Arctic, including Alaska and parts of Scandinavia; but record freezes too, as polar air blew south over Canada and the U.S., causing near-record ice cover on the Great Lakes, sending the mercury as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius in Minnesota, and bringing sharp chills to Texas.



It Still Isn’t Over: The Polar Vortex is About to Hit for the Third Time


The first polar vortex (Credit: NASA/Facebook)

Next week is going to be brutal - by Lindsay Abrams - February 20, 2014

Remember that time when a giant pattern of Arctic air descended over the U.S. and Canada, freezing everything in its path? Remember when it came back? Yeah, that’s all happening again.

Here’s Wunderground’s Jeff Masters, who completely buried the lede with something about a “major February thaw” across the Midwest U.S. before delving into this forecast of horrors:


High Methane Levels Over the Arctic Ocean

                                             (CLICK ON POSTER IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE)


submitted by Tim Siftar - February 19, 2014

High methane concentrations have persistently shown up over the Arctic Ocean since October 1, 2013.

The danger is that methane will further warm up the air over the Arctic, causing further weakening of the Jet Stream and further extreme weather events, particularly extreme warming of water all the way along the path of the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic Ocean into the Arctic Ocean, in turn triggering further releases from hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean and escalating into runaway global warming.


Video - Dr. Michael D. McDonald | Public-Private Partnerships in Aid - USAID

Wavier Jet Stream May Drive Weather Shift

Pallab Ghosh: "We may have to get used to winters where spells of weather go on for weeks - or even months" - by Pallab Ghosh - February 15, 2014

The main system that helps determine the weather over Northern Europe and North America may be changing, research suggests.

The study shows that the so-called jet stream has increasingly taken a longer, meandering path.

This has resulted in weather remaining the same for more prolonged periods.

The work was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.


CLICK HERE - RESEARCH STUDY - Exciting Science: Rapid Arctic Warming and Wacky Weather: Are They Related?

CLICK HERE - Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes

UK Floods: Prime Minister Says Money No Object in Relief Effort


David Cameron: "Whatever money is needed, we will spend it." - February 11, 2014

The prime minister says money will be no object as flood relief efforts continue across swathes of the UK.

David Cameron warned the severe weather was not over, saying: "Things could get worse before they get better."

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference after returning from the flood-stricken South West, Mr Cameron said: "Money is no object in this relief effort. Whatever money is needed, we will spend it."

He said recovering from the floods could take time, telling reporters: "It will be a long haul and it will require a stepped up national effort, with the whole country pulling together.

He vowed lessons would be learned, adding: "We will deal with the floods and we will build a more resilient country for the future."



Climate Change is to Blame, Says Met Office Scientist


Dame Slingo has warned that the country should prepare for similar events in future Photo: JAMES DADZITIS/SWNS

Flooding like that in Somerset may become more frequent - by Tim Ross - February 8, 2014

Climate change is behind the storms that have struck Britain this winter, according to the Met Office.

Dame Julia Slingo, the Met Office’s chief scientist, said while there was not yet “definitive” proof, “all the evidence” supported the theory that climate change had played a role.

She warned that the country should prepare for similar events in future.


UK - Met Office - Most Exceptional Periods of Winter Rainfall in at Least 248 Years - February 6, 2014

Regional statistics suggest this is one of the most exceptional periods of winter rainfall in at least 248 years

UK’s exceptional weather in context

Met Office



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