AuthorTopic: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.  (Read 7417 times)

Offline RE

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Odds at 6:1 Antartic Ice Sheet Breaks up. BET AGAINST!
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2017, 09:22:59 PM »
You can make a KILLING here!  Bet the farm it doesn't happen.  If it does happen, WTF cares about the money anymore anyhow?

RE

http://grist.org/briefly/will-this-massive-iceberg-collapse-soon-get-your-bets-in-now/


Briefly
Stuff that matters


Breaking up is hard to do
NASA Earth Observatory
Will this massive iceberg collapse soon? Get your bets in now.

USA Today reports that an Irish bookmaker is offering 6-to-1 odds that this will be the month that an iceberg the size of Delaware splits off from the Larsen C Ice Shelf, a massive sheet of ice along the Antarctic Peninsula. When it does go, it will be one of the 10 largest ice-shelf calving events in recorded history.

Paddy Power, the chain of betting shops offering the odds, says: “You don’t have to be Captain of the Titanic to spot this is a serious problem for the planet, so we thought we’d do our bit to raise some awareness.” But the company is having some fun with the topic too, saying it’ll be “the biggest break-up since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.”

When it does happen, it won’t usher in sea-level-rise apocalypse — at least not right away. “Because ice shelves are actually floating, they are already in the sea level budget, so they don’t contribute to sea level rise when they break up,” Kelly Brunt, a NASA geophysicist, told Wired.

Still, when it does collapse, the previously adjoining glaciers may melt more quickly — and if all the ice that Larsen C now holds back melted, global sea levels could rise by four inches.
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Offline azozeo

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Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2017, 09:35:39 AM »
Actually, the ice sheet is relocating itself in the direction of the magnetic south pole.
Wait until that entry hole into the hollow Earth manifests itself. The globalists are
already shitting string beans about the exposed land mass surfaces' down there,
and what they are exposing. To bad google-earth is airbrushed below the antarctic circle.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Odds at 6:1 Antartic Ice Sheet Breaks up. BET AGAINST!
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2017, 12:02:07 PM »
You can make a KILLING here!  Bet the farm it doesn't happen.  If it does happen, WTF cares about the money anymore anyhow?

RE

http://grist.org/briefly/will-this-massive-iceberg-collapse-soon-get-your-bets-in-now/


Briefly
Stuff that matters


Breaking up is hard to do
NASA Earth Observatory
Will this massive iceberg collapse soon? Get your bets in now.

USA Today reports that an Irish bookmaker is offering 6-to-1 odds that this will be the month that an iceberg the size of Delaware splits off from the Larsen C Ice Shelf, a massive sheet of ice along the Antarctic Peninsula. When it does go, it will be one of the 10 largest ice-shelf calving events in recorded history.

Paddy Power, the chain of betting shops offering the odds, says: “You don’t have to be Captain of the Titanic to spot this is a serious problem for the planet, so we thought we’d do our bit to raise some awareness.” But the company is having some fun with the topic too, saying it’ll be “the biggest break-up since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.”

When it does happen, it won’t usher in sea-level-rise apocalypse — at least not right away. “Because ice shelves are actually floating, they are already in the sea level budget, so they don’t contribute to sea level rise when they break up,” Kelly Brunt, a NASA geophysicist, told Wired.

Still, when it does collapse, the previously adjoining glaciers may melt more quickly — and if all the ice that Larsen C now holds back melted, global sea levels could rise by four inches.


I'll throw 20 at it, who knows ?  :icon_scratch:  WINNER - WINNER, chicken dinner....
Would be interesting if the book maker at Caesar's is game ?
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Odds at 6:1 Antartic Ice Sheet Breaks up. BET AGAINST!
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2017, 09:51:33 AM »
You can make a KILLING here!  Bet the farm it doesn't happen.  If it does happen, WTF cares about the money anymore anyhow?

RE

http://grist.org/briefly/will-this-massive-iceberg-collapse-soon-get-your-bets-in-now/


Briefly
Stuff that matters


Breaking up is hard to do
NASA Earth Observatory
Will this massive iceberg collapse soon? Get your bets in now.

USA Today reports that an Irish bookmaker is offering 6-to-1 odds that this will be the month that an iceberg the size of Delaware splits off from the Larsen C Ice Shelf, a massive sheet of ice along the Antarctic Peninsula. When it does go, it will be one of the 10 largest ice-shelf calving events in recorded history.

Paddy Power, the chain of betting shops offering the odds, says: “You don’t have to be Captain of the Titanic to spot this is a serious problem for the planet, so we thought we’d do our bit to raise some awareness.” But the company is having some fun with the topic too, saying it’ll be “the biggest break-up since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.”

When it does happen, it won’t usher in sea-level-rise apocalypse — at least not right away. “Because ice shelves are actually floating, they are already in the sea level budget, so they don’t contribute to sea level rise when they break up,” Kelly Brunt, a NASA geophysicist, told Wired.

Still, when it does collapse, the previously adjoining glaciers may melt more quickly — and if all the ice that Larsen C now holds back melted, global sea levels could rise by four inches.


2017-01-15 - Antarctic ice shelf crack expanding near British research base, Britain abandons base:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/16/british-antarctic-survey-abandons-polar-base-worrying-crack/
http://www.sott.net/article/339832-British-Antarctic-Survey-abandons-polar-base-as-Brunt-Ice-shelf-crack-grows-larger
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2017, 10:04:12 AM »
2017-01-17 - Tidal surges wiping out coastline in Skipsea, Yorkshire (Britain):
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4128990/Huges-waves-erode-gardens-Skipsea-East-Yorkshire.html
http://www.sott.net/article/340044-Tidal-surge-erodes-coastline-by-1-metre-over-the-weekend-in-Skipsea-Yorkshire
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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Modi's Wall
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2017, 12:03:04 AM »
Trumpty-Dumpty stole the Wall idea from Modi!  He's building one to keep out the Bangladeshis!

Now, I hardly think Oz is going to take 160M Bangladeshis in. Eurotrashland can't even handle a couple of million towel heads!

You definitely do not want to be born a poor person in a 3rd World country these days.  Life expectancy is not going to be very good.

Interesting that the Defense Department recognizes issues with Climate Change but the Commander-in-Chief doe not.  ::)

RE

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/disaster-alley-australia-could-be-set-to-receive-new-wave-of-climate-refugees

'Disaster alley’: Australia could be set to receive new wave of climate refugees

US defence expert warns people fleeing low-lying Pacific islands a precursor to ‘climate-exacerbated water insecurities’ that could trigger wider conflict


King tides crash through the sea wall, flooding Pita Meanke’s family property on the low-lying South Pacific island of Kiribati.
A king tide crashes through the sea wall, flooding Pita Meanke’s family home on the low-lying South Pacific island of Kiribati. Photograph: jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Alamy

Ben Doherty
@bendohertycorro

Tuesday 4 April 2017 16.00 EDT
Last modified on Tuesday 4 April 2017 19.57 EDT

Australia could be on the frontline of a new wave of “climate refugees” displaced by extreme weather events, droughts and rising seas, a US expert on the national security impacts of climate change has warned.

Sherri Goodman, a former US deputy undersecretary of defence, argues the impact of climate change – rising seas, extreme weather, prolonged droughts – will be a “threat multiplier” for sepacurity challenges, and could be the spark that ignites conflict and drives new waves of mass forced migration.

The Asia-Pacific region was acutely vulnerable, she said.
Lives in the balance: climate change and the Marshall Islands
Read more

“You may be on the frontlines here in Australia for climate refugees,” she told the Guardian in Sydney. “The first wave will be those who have to flee the low-lying Pacific islands, because many of them will be uninhabitable, even in our lifetimes.”

“But you’re also in ‘disaster alley’ here in the Asia-Pacific region and while there have begun to be efforts to reduce risks of disasters, I’m concerned that we’re not acting as quickly as we should to protect our societies from those risks, which is going to mean more migration.”

Goodman cited the example of the ongoing civil war in Syria, which has produced more than five million refugees over six years of fighting.

But the political conflict in Syria was exacerbated by a long-running drought which drove people into food insecurity, poverty and rapid, unsustainable urbanisation.

“From 2006 to 2010, 60% of Syria had its worst long-term drought and crop failures since civilisation began,” Goodman says. “About 800,000 people in rural areas lost their livelihood by 2009. Three million people were driven into extreme poverty, and 1.5 million migrated to cities.”

“Those conditions enable terrorists like the Islamic State of Boko Haram in parts of Nigeria or al-Qaida in Iraq to rise and take advantage of desperate people in desperate circumstances.”

Goodman is careful not to posit climate change as the sole cause of future conflicts, but argues it will be a contributory, compounding factor.

“Climate is a threat multiplier because it aggravates others tensions and conflicts that already exist.

“Climate-exacerbated water insecurities could eventually become a tipping [point] to wider conflict or instability in the region. We see this now playing out in various ways around the world, but particularly here in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Regionally, Goodman sees the example of Pakistan and India, where historical enmity, long-running religious, political and cultural fractures, and territorial disputes over Kashmir, could be reignited by conflict over water or other resources.


Sherri Goodman, a former US deputy undersecretary of defence, describes climate change as ‘a threat multiplier’. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

Low-lying Bangladesh, the eighth-most populous country in the world with more than 160 million people, has been identified as being extremely vulnerable to climate change, on some measures the most vulnerable country in the world.
On the climate change frontline: the disappearing fishing villages of Bangladesh
Read more

“Another extreme weather event, combined with sea-level rise and storm surge, could send upwards up 10 million people or more along that low-lying coastline in Bangladesh fleeing towards higher ground, which is towards India, which is building a massive wall to keep Bangladeshis out.

“I think that could create consequences for which we’re currently unprepared. India shows no signs of wanting or being able to absorb those numbers of refugees. And then where do they flee? These are mostly people who can’t afford to get on a cruise ship and leave. And if they can’t flee by land into India does that mean they, there’s either a massive loss of life or head off in rickety boats, where they might lose their lives at sea.”
Mousuni, an island in the Bay of Bengal, is sinking due to climate change and tidal flooding, leaving thousands of its inhabitants homeless.


Mousuni, an island in the Bay of Bengal, is sinking due to climate change and tidal flooding, leaving thousands of its inhabitants homeless. Photograph: Sushavan Nandy / Barcroft Images

In 2008, the then president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, speculated about buying land in Australia in order to house his country’s population when the archipelago nation was consumed by the rising Indian Ocean.
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Under the global standard for refugee protection, the 1951 refugee convention, there is no such thing as a “climate change refugee”.

The refugee convention, written in the aftermath of the massive displacement caused by the second world war, only recognises refugees displaced from their home countries, and suffering a “well-founded fear of persecution” on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.

Some regional treaties – such as Latin America’s Cartagena declaration – have a broader definition, recognising as refugees people displaced by “circumstances which have seriously disturbed public order”, which is taken to include natural disasters and food insecurity.

Goodman argues national governments, and supranational organisations, will need to redraw, or add to, the current global protection framework.

“We do need to rethink the governance for refugees better to reflect the types of refugees we face today. Current governance structures are just inadequate for the modern era.”

Governments and militaries around the world are becoming increasingly cognisant of the national security threat posed by climate change.

In his confirmation hearing in January, the US’s new secretary of defence, James Mattis, said climate change posed a current security threat to America.

“Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today. It is appropriate for the combatant commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.”

In 2015, Australia’s Climate Council released a report, co-authored by the former chief of the Australian defence force, Chris Barrie, that argued climate change “poses a significant and growing threat to human and societal wellbeing, threatening food, water, health and national security”.
Five Pacific islands lost to rising seas as climate change hits
Read more

In 2016, the army chief, Angus Campbell, made climate security a focus of the annual chief of army’s exercise. He said climate change was “immediately relevant” for militaries and “the scale of climate change problems, their unpredictability, and the level of support required from land forces are key issues for us to better understand”.

The Centre for Policy Development policy director, Rob Sturrock, co-authored a report in 2015 arguing that Australia’s struggle to deal with climate vulnerabilities domestically and across the region was the country’s “longest conflict”.

The report recommended the federal government appoint a climate security advisory council, connecting the defence, environment and foreign affairs departments to develop a national climate security strategy.

Goodman, founder of the CNA Military Advisory Board, is speaking this week in Sydney at the Lowy Institute, Canberra at the ANU, and Melbourne at the Breakthrough Institute at screenings of The Age of Consequences documentary, about the security threat posed by climate change.
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Offline RE

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The Great Walls of India
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2017, 12:52:22 AM »
Modi will pay for these walls with new 200 Rupee Notes.  ::)

RE

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/28/asia/india-pakistan-bangladesh-borders/

India wants to seal its borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh

By Huizhong Wu, CNN

Updated 5:11 AM ET, Wed March 29, 2017
What it would take to build Trump's border wall

What it would take to build Trump's border wall 02:34

New Delhi (CNN)US President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border has nothing on India.
The South Asian country wants to secure two borders that, in total, are more than double the length of the US-Mexico boundary.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh reaffirmed the country's intent Saturday to completely shut its borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The government said says around 90% of the border is currently fenced, but they claim that there are still terrorists are still trying to infiltrate the country.

"We have decided to seal the border between India and Bangladesh as quickly as possible. I know that some obstacles may arise in this work, as some areas are mountainous, some have jungles, and others have rivers," Singh said at a graduation ceremony for India's Border Security Forces.
"We will also work as quickly as possible to seal the border between India and Pakistan."
Indian and Pakistani border guards engage in a daily flag-lowering ceremony.
Indian and Pakistani border guards engage in a daily flag-lowering ceremony.
Border problems
India shares land borders with six other countries, a total of more than 8,600 miles (13,000 km), according to the CIA World Factbook.
Delhi's chief concerns though are over its boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh. In the north lies the highly disputed region of Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan have been fighting since 1947.
Indian Home Ministry spokesman K.S. Dhatwalia told CNN the government plans to seal the "line of control," the border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir.
In the east, years of illegal immigration from Bangladesh "have proved to be a huge challenge for India with serious implications for its resources and national security," according to Sanjeev Tripathi, an analyst with Carnegie India.
Tripathi estimated there may be as many as 15 million illegal Bangladeshi immigrants living in India.
Much of the existing border is already secured, Dhatwalia said. The current effort is to seal off the remaining 10% which the government has yet to be able to secure.
"It's a very difficult terrain," he said, adding that the government plans to finish the project by the end of 2018.
Breaking the seal
Analysts however, are far less confident than the government, saying the difficult terrain on the two borders makes securing them nearly impossible.
"These are permeable borders, you cannot seal them off no matter how hard you try, no matter what high technologies you try to import," said Bharat Karnad, a national security expert at the Delhi-based think tank the Center for Policy Research.
Karnad said there are areas of Kashmir where heavy snow wipes out any fences that are built, while the Bangladesh side is littered with marshlands and rivers.
Ajai Sahni, executive director of India's Institute for Conflict Management, said however permeable borders may be, fencing and other security measures do have an effect.
After India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement over Kashmir in 2003, Sahni said, India constructed wire fences along the highly-militarized "line of control," significantly cutting down on the flow of illegal migrants.
A spokesman for the Indian Border Security Force -- which jointly patrols the "line of control" with the Indian army -- said that it has more than 250,000 troops, making it the world's largest border force.
"Infiltration does continue, but it's not as easy as it was," Sahni said.
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Offline azozeo

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Re: The Oceans are Coming - California Submerging
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2017, 03:43:05 AM »
2017-04-27 - California submerging - rising seas are claiming its famed coast faster than scientists imagined:
http://www.fasterthanexpected.com/2017/04/25/california-submerging-rising-seas-are-claiming-its-famed-coast-faster-than-scientists-imagined/
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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Doomsday Glacier
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2017, 05:11:32 AM »
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-doomsday-glacier-w481260

The Doomsday Glacier


In the farthest reaches of Antarctica, a nightmare scenario of crumbling ice – and rapidly rising seas – could spell disaster for a warming planet.

Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is so remote that only 28 human beings have ever set foot on it.

Knut Christianson, a 33-year-old glaciologist at the University of Washington, has been there twice. A few years ago, Christianson and a team of seven scientists traveled more than 1,000 miles from McMurdo Station, the main research base in Antarctica, to spend six weeks on Thwaites, traversing along the flat, featureless prairie of snow and ice in six snowmobiles and two Tucker Sno-Cats. "You feel very alone out there," Christianson says. He and his colleagues set up camp at a new spot every few days and drilled holes 300 feet or so into the ice. Then they dropped tubes of nitroglycerin dynamite into these holes and triggered a blast. Sensors tracked vibrations as they shot through the ice and ricocheted off the ground below. By measuring the shape and frequency of these vibrations, Christianson could see the lumps and ridges and even the texture of a crushed continent deeply buried beneath the ice.

Bill McKibben's New Battle Plan for the Planet's Climate Crisis

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But Christianson and his colleagues were not just ice geeks mapping the hidden topography of the planet. They were mapping a future global disaster. As the world warms, determining exactly how quickly ice melts and seas rise may be one of the most important questions of our time. Half the world's population lives within 50 miles of a coastline. Trillions of dollars of real estate is perched on beaches and clustered in low-lying cities like Miami and New York. A long, slow rise of the waters in the coming decades may be manageable. A more abrupt rise would not be. "If there is going to be a climate catastrophe," says Ohio State glaciologist Ian Howat, "it's probably going to start at Thwaites."

The trouble with Thwaites, which is one of the largest glaciers on the planet, is that it's also what scientists call "a threshold system." That means instead of melting slowly like an ice cube on a summer day, it is more like a house of cards: It's stable until it is pushed too far, then it collapses. When a chunk of ice the size of Pennsylvania falls apart, that's a big problem. It won't happen overnight, but if we don't slow the warming of the planet, it could happen within decades. And its loss will destabilize the rest of the West Antarctic ice, and that will go too. Seas will rise about 10 feet in many parts of the world; in New York and Boston, because of the way gravity pushes water around the planet, the waters will rise even higher, as much as 13 feet. "West Antarctica could do to the coastlines of the world what Hurricane Sandy did in a few hours to New York City," explains Richard Alley, a geologist at Penn State University and arguably the most respected ice scientist in the world. "Except when the water comes in, it doesn't go away in a few hours – it stays."

With 10 to 13 feet of sea-level rise, most of South Florida is an underwater theme park, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's winter White House in West Palm Beach. In downtown Boston, about the only thing that's not underwater are those nice old houses up on Beacon Hill. In the Bay Area, everything below Highway 101 is gone, including the Googleplex; the Oakland and San Francisco airports are submerged, as is much of downtown below Montgomery Street and the Marina District. Even places that don't seem like they would be in trouble, such as Sacramento, smack in the middle of California, will be partially flooded by the Pacific Ocean swelling up into the Sacramento River. Galveston, Texas; Norfolk, Virginia; and New Orleans will be lost. In Washington, D.C., the shoreline will be just a few hundred yards from the White House.

And that's just the picture in the U.S. The rest of the world will be in as much trouble: Large parts of Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, Lagos and London will be submerged. Egypt's Nile River Delta and much of southern Bangladesh will be underwater. The Marshall Islands and the Maldives will be coral reefs.

Christianson, of course, understands all this as well as anyone. That's why he and others spent many weeks on Thwaites. To understand how fast the ice might slide into the sea, they need to know, among other things, the character of the ground beneath it: Is it slippery bedrock? Is it soft sediments? Are there any hills or mountains beneath the ice, anything that the glacier could cling to in order to slow the retreat? At night, they gathered in the mess tent and ate cookies they had baked in their solar oven and talked about being so far from civilization, and yet in a place where civilization has so much at stake. "We like to think that change happens slowly, especially in a landscape like Antarctica," Christianson tells me. "But we now know that is wrong."

Dr. Richard Alley, an American geologist, explains the potentially dangerous situation with Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. 

 
 


Last summer, then-Secretary of State John Kerry was in Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Norway, visiting glaciers and talking with scientists about the risks of climate change. But it quickly became clear to him that he was in the wrong place. "All the scientists there told me," Kerry says, "if you want to understand what is going on with the climate right now, you have to go to Antarctica." So he did. In November, during the week of the presidential election, Kerry spent three days in Antarctica, the highest-ranking U.S. official to ever visit the continent. He helicoptered around the ice sheets, stopped for a lunch of sauerbraten and spaetzle at a scientific way station called Marble Point, and was briefed about the potential for rapid melting in West Antarctica, especially at Thwaites Glacier. "Scientists are seeing instability rising at a rate that is really alarming," Kerry tells me. "It's mind-blowing what's going on down there."

Antarctica is the size of the United States and Mexico combined, with a permanent population of zero. It is not the territory of any nation, and it has no government, in the conventional sense. Ever since British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and Norwegian Roald Amundson captivated the world with their race to the South Pole in 1911, it has been a playground for scientists and adventurers (and penguins). Seventy percent of the Earth's fresh water is frozen here in ice sheets that can be nearly three miles thick. The continent is roughly divided by the Transantarctic Mountains; East Antarctica is bigger and colder than West Antarctica, which is far more vulnerable to melting, in part because the bases of many glaciers in West Antarctica lie below sea level, making them susceptible to small changes in ocean temperatures.

Until recently, most climate scientists didn't worry too much about Antarctica. It is, after all, the coldest place on Earth, and except for a small part of the Antarctic Peninsula that juts north, it hasn't been warming much. It was also thought to be isolated from the warming oceans by a current that surrounds the continent, essentially walling it off from the rest of the planet. The most recent report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is the gold standard for climate-change science, projected between less than 1 foot and 3.2 feet of global sea-level rise by 2100, with very little of it coming from Antarctica (although the IPCC did include a caveat suggesting that could change).

The IPCC's sea-level-rise projections have long been controversial, partly because the melting of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets is so difficult to predict. A few years ago, James Hansen, the godfather of global-warming science, told me that he believed the IPCC estimates were far too conservative and that the waters could rise as much as 10 feet by 2100. For Hansen, the past is prologue. Three million years ago, during the Pliocene Epoch, when the level of CO2 in the atmosphere was about the same as it is today, and temperatures were only slightly warmer, the seas were at least 20 feet higher. That suggests there is a lot of melting to come before the ice sheets reach a happy equilibrium. Mountain glaciers could contribute a little bit, as would the thermal expansion of the oceans as they warmed, but to get to more than 20 feet of sea-level rise, Greenland and Antarctica would both have to contribute in a big way.

For climate scientists, Greenland was an obvious concern. For one thing, the surrounding Arctic has been warming up faster than any other place on the planet. For another, the melt there was visible to anyone who cared to look: Every summer, as the surface of the ice sheet heats up, water pours off in great blue rivers, some of them falling through holes in the ice called moulins. And compared with Antarctica, Greenland is also easy to get to, just a short flight from Europe to one of the old fishing villages on the coast. You can visit the fastest-moving glacier in the world, the Jakobshavn, and be back at your hotel for a whiskey before dinner.

But in recent years, things have gotten weird in Antarctica. The first alarming event was the sudden collapse, in 2002, of the Larsen B ice shelf, a vast chunk of ice on the Antarctic Peninsula. An ice shelf is like an enormous fingernail that grows off the end of a glacier where it meets the water. The glaciers behind the Larsen B, like many glaciers in both Antarctica and Greenland, are known as "marine-terminating glaciers," because large portions of them lie below sea level. The collapse of ice shelves does not in itself contribute to sea-level rise, since they are already floating (just like ice melting in a glass doesn't raise the level of liquid). But they perform an important role in buttressing, or restraining, the glaciers. After the Larsen B ice shelf vanished, the glaciers that had been behind it started flowing into the sea up to eight times faster than they had before. "It was like, 'Oh, what is going on here?' " says Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. "It turns out glaciers are much more responsive than anyone thought."

Luckily, the glaciers behind the Larsen B aren't very big, so sea-level rise wasn't a concern. But the Larsen B prompted scientists to look closer at the ice shelves and movement of glaciers elsewhere in Antarctica. Satellite imagery showed that the ice shelves throughout the continent were thinning, especially in West Antarctica. Some were thinning by a lot. It wasn't clear why, since, unlike Greenland, temperatures in Antarctica weren't warming much, if at all. The only culprit could be the ocean. Scientists figured out that due to changes in the winds and ocean circulation, more deep water was being pushed up under the ice shelves, melting them from below. "Just one degree of change is a big deal to a glacier," says Alley, the Penn State ice scientist.

As it turned out, a lot was going on in Antarctica. The ice shelves were thinning, warmer water was pushing in beneath the glaciers, and the glaciers were flowing faster. The whole place was in dramatic flux. How fast could it go? Nobody knew. Was it possible that the biggest threat to coastal cities wasn't Greenland after all, but Antarctica? If all of Greenland were to melt, that's 22 feet of sea-level rise. If Antarctica goes, it's 200 feet. "Antarctica used to be the sleeping elephant," says Mark Serreze, the head of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. "But now the elephant is stirring."

The 2002 collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf sounded the alarm for scientists. "Antarctica used to be the sleeping elephant," says Mark Serreze, a climate scientist. "Now the elephant is stirring." NASA, MODIS/NASA

The first person to understand the risks that West Antarctica posed in a rapidly warming world was the eccentric Ohio State glaciologist John Mercer. Mercer, who grew up in a small town in England and was known for carrying out his scientific fieldwork in the nude, first visited Antarctica in the mid-1960s. At that time, scientists were just beginning to understand the link between CO2 emissions and a warming climate. They knew that ice sheets had grown and retreated in the past and caused sea levels to rise dramatically, but the discovery that ice ages were triggered by minor shifts in the Earth's orbit suggested that ice sheets were much more sensitive than anyone thought to small changes in the temperature. Ice cores and improved mapping also helped scientists understand that ice sheets were not monolithic blocks, but in fact made up of rivers of ice, each flowing their own way and at their own rate. In the late 1960s, Mercer may have been the first scientist to ask a question that is still central today: How stable is Antarctica in a climate that is being warmed by fossil-fuel consumption?

Mercer was most interested in West Antarctica. As far as anyone knows, no human had ever set foot on the West Antarctica glaciers until the International Geophysical Year, in 1957, a Cold War collaboration of the U.S. and the Soviet Union and other nations to expand the boundaries of scientific exploration. A team of scientists had trekked across the glaciers of West Antarctica, including Thwaites; by drilling ice cores and taking other measurements, they discovered that the ground beneath the ice was on a reverse slope and had been depressed further by the weight of the glaciers over millions of years. "Think of it as a giant soup bowl filled with ice," says Sridhar Anandakrishnan, an expert in polar glaciology at Penn State University.

In the bowl analogy, the edge of these glaciers – the spot where a glacier leaves the land and begins to float – is perched on the lip of the bowl 1,000 feet or more below sea level. Scientists call that lip the "grounding line." Below the lip, the terrain falls away on a downward slope for hundreds of miles, all the way to the Transantarctic Mountains that divide East and West Antarctica. At the deepest part of the basin, the ice is about two miles thick. In the 1950s, before most scientists understood the risks of global warming, this was considered an interesting insight into the structure of Antarctica, but hardly a discovery of huge consequences.

Then, in 1974, Hans Weertman, a materials scientist at Northwestern University, figured out that these glaciers in West Antarctica were more vulnerable to rapid melting than anyone had previously understood. He coined a term for it: "marine ice-sheet instability." Weertman pointed out that warm ocean water could penetrate the grounding line, melting the ice from below. If the melting continued at a rate that was faster than the glacier grew – which is currently the case – the glacier would slip off the grounding line and begin retreating backward down the slope, like "a ball rolling downhill," says Howat, the Ohio State glaciologist. As the glacier becomes grounded in deeper and deeper water, more of the ice is exposed to warming ocean water, which in turn increases the rate of melt. At the same time, parts of the glacier want to float, which places additional stress on the ice, causing it to fracture. As the face of the glacier collapses, or "calves," more and more ice falls into the sea. The farther the glacier retreats down the slope, the faster the collapse unfolds. Without quite meaning to, Weertman had discovered a mechanism for catastrophic sea-level rise.

Mercer saw that Weertman's breakthrough had big implications. In a 1978 paper called "West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the CO2 Greenhouse Effect: A Threat of Disaster," Mercer focused on the floating ice shelves that buttress the West Antarctica glaciers. Because they are thinner and floating in the ocean, as the water warms they will be the first to go. And when they do, they will not only reduce friction that slows the glaciers' slide into the sea, they will change the balance of the glaciers, causing them to float off the grounding line. And that, in turn, will advance their retreat down the slope. Mercer argued that this whole system was more unstable than even Weertman had realized. "I contend that a major disaster – a rapid [16-foot] rise in sea level, caused by the deglaciation of West Antarctica – may be imminent," he wrote, predicting it would lead to the "submergence of low-lying areas such as much of Florida and the Netherlands." Mercer didn't know how soon this might happen, but when he made his calculations in the mid-1970s, he predicted that if fossil-fuel consumption continued to accelerate, it could begin in 50 years. That is, right about now.

A crack in the Larcen C ice shelf is more than 100 miles long. John Sonntag/NASA

Someday soon – possibly even by the time you read this – a chunk of the Larsen C ice shelf will break off and float into the ocean that surrounds Antarctica. The crack in the Larsen C, which is a close cousin to the Larsen B that broke up in 2002, has been developing for several years. But in the past few months, it has increased dramatically. As I write this, the crack is more than 100 miles long. Such a collapse of ice shelves is exactly what Mercer predicted would be the first sign that disaster is imminent. When it breaks, it will likely be front-page news and cited as evidence that Antarctica is rapidly falling apart.

But it also may not be. "Ice shelves break continually, and sometimes it's not a big deal," says Alley, who was a student at Ohio State when Mercer was a senior professor there. "It will depend a lot on what we see after the shelf breaks off, and how the glaciers in the area react." Alley points out that the glaciers behind the Larsen C shelf are modest, and even if they all accelerated and flowed into the water, it would likely only make a few centimeters' difference in sea-level rise. In other words, this crack-up, in itself, is not what Alley calls an "end-of-the-world screaming hairy disaster conniption fit." But it also doesn't mean that such a disaster isn't underway in West Antarctica on a slightly slower time scale.

Alley is a slight, gnomish man with a beard who keeps a Hula-Hoop in his office and is known for his mean Johnny Cash imitation. When Alley was an undergraduate at Ohio State in the 1970s, he often saw Mercer in the halls and went to a few of his talks. ("I can't confirm whether he practiced science in the nude," Alley says.) He had read Mercer's paper about the risk of Antarctic collapse when it was published in 1978, and it has haunted him ever since. "Did we screw up?" he asked a group of scientists during a talk recently. "I always believed that we would learn enough and be useful enough to society before it was too late. Did we take John Mercer's knowledge and fail to use it?"

Illustration by Brobel Design

In recent decades, new satellite technology has given scientists a much better view of what is happening in West Antarctica, and most of it has confirmed Mercer's hypothesis. From space, it is possible to measure changes in ice thickness, as well as how fast glaciers like Thwaites are retreating from the grounding line. And the news isn't good. In 2014, two highly respected ice scientists, Eric Rignot at NASA and Ian Joughin at the University of Washington, published separate papers that reached the same conclusion. As Joughin put it, "Our simulations provide strong evidence that the process of marine ice-sheet destabilization is already underway on Thwaites Glacier." In an interview, Rignot was more succinct. In West Antarctica, he said, "we have already blown the fuse."

Alley has spent much of his scientific career thinking about ice dynamics – how ice moves (or doesn't move) when it is pushed, pressured or heated. The collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in 2002 surprised and worried him, in part because it didn't just break off, as the Larsen C is poised to do – the entire 1,250-square-mile ice shelf disintegrated in a few weeks, going from a nice clean stable ice shelf to a jumble of icebergs in the geological blink of an eye. "Nobody had ever seen anything like that happen before," Alley told me. "As it turns out, a big chunk of ice melts fairly slowly – but it can fracture very, very fast."

After the Larsen B collapse, Alley started thinking more about Mercer's prophecy in West Antarctica, especially as it applied to Thwaites Glacier. He knew that the calving front on Thwaites was about 90 miles long and almost 1,800 feet high – all but 300 feet or so of that was underwater. The pressure of the ocean supported the underwater portion of the glacier, but the rest of it was just a tottering wall of ice that was propped up, for the moment, by ice shelves. And Alley knew that if the glacier retreated into thicker and thicker ice, the calving front would only get higher. How tall, he wondered, could an ice cliff stand before inherent weaknesses in the ice caused it to topple over? Alley knew that by the time Thwaites was fully retreated into the basin, the ice cliffs could theoretically be 6,000 feet high – twice as high as El Capitan, the famous granite face in Yosemite Valley. Imagine mile-high cliffs collapsing into the sea. It is a surreal notion, one that even the most lurid disaster-movie screenwriter would consider implausible. But Alley wondered if such an event was possible. And if so, how fast could it happen?

At Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, where only 28 human beings have been, glaciologist Kurt Christianson and his team set up camp at a new spot every few days, mapping the topography below the ice along the way. "You feel very alone out there," Christianson says. Courtesy of Kurt Christianson

Like many climate scientists, Alley has long been fascinated by the collapsing ice cliffs on the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland. The Jakobshavn is the fastest-moving glacier in the world, sliding into the sea at a rate of about 15 miles per year. If you've seen dramatic images of a calving glacier, such as in the 2012 documentary Chasing Ice, it was probably shot at Jakobshavn. A few years ago, while I was reporting another story, I flew along the face in a helicopter. I was struck by how cracked and tortured the sapphire-blue glacier was. I watched a huge chunk collapse into the water. I noticed how it fell straight down, like a trap door had opened beneath it. This was, I now understand, a classic example of ice-cliff collapse. It doesn't topple over. It just implodes.

As Alley knows better than anyone, there are many factors that control how quickly a glacier can slide into the sea, including the amount of friction on the land it is sliding through, as well as how tightly it is buttressed by ice shelves. But another big issue is the strength of the ice itself. There are many differences between the Jakobshavn Glacier and Thwaites. For one thing, Thwaites is many times larger. The calving face of Jakobshavn is only about 10 miles long, versus 90 miles at Thwaites. Also, Thwaites is not constrained in a valley the way that Jakobshavn is, which means there is little friction on the sides to slow it down. If it really gets going, it could collapse much faster than Jakobshavn. More important, Jakobshavn does not sit on the edge of a reverse-slope basin the way Thwaites does. It can calve fast, but it is not what scientists call a threshold system. Thwaites is. But one thing they do have in common is that their structural integrity – and possible future collapse – is dictated by the basic physics of ice.

Standing 300 feet tall, the ice cliffs on the calving face of Jakobshavn are the highest anywhere on the planet. As it happens, there's good reason for that. Alley and other scientists found that ice cliffs on marine-terminating glaciers like Jakobshavn or Thwaites have a structural limit of about 300 feet – after that, they collapse because of stress and weight. So, even if there are sections on Thwaites that are 6,000 feet deep, Alley realized, the structural integrity of ice would never allow a glacier's face to stand that tall. In other words, glaciers with a face up to 300 feet can be relatively stable; after that, forget it. As Alley puts it to me, "It's just collapse, collapse, collapse."

One day, Alley was thinking about a problem that Dave Pollard, a colleague at Penn State, and Rob DeConto, a climate scientist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, had been having with their climate model. DeConto and Pollard had been collaborating for years to develop a sophisticated model to help them understand the impact of warming from fossil-fuel pollution on Greenland and Antarctica. Climate models are computer programs that try to capture fundamental physics of the natural world, such as, if the temperature warms one degree, how much will the seas around the world rise? It is not a simple question, and requires calculating everything from changes in how much sunlight the ice reflects to how much one degree of heat causes the Atlantic Ocean to expand. Models have gotten a lot better in the past few decades, but they still can't simulate all the processes in the real world.

One way that scientists test how well a model might predict the future is by seeing how well it recreates the past. If you can run a model backward and it gets things right, then you can run it forward and trust that the results might be accurate. For years, DeConto and Pollard have been trying to get their model to re-create the Pliocene, the era 3 million years ago when the CO2 levels in the atmosphere were very close to what they are today, except the seas were 20 feet higher. But no matter what knobs they turned, they couldn't get their model to melt the ice sheets fast enough to replicate what the geological record told them had happened. "We knew something was missing from the dynamics of our model," DeConto tells me.

Alley suggested they plug in his new understanding of ice physics, including the structural integrity of the ice itself (or lack thereof), and "see what happens." They did, and lo, their model worked. They were able to get the Pliocene melt just about right. In effect, they found the missing mechanism. Their model was now road-tested for accuracy.

Alley (center) before a congressional committee on climage change. "We are dealing with an event no human has ever witnessed before," he says. Chuck Kennedy/ZUMA

The next thing that DeConto and Pollard did, of course, was run the model forward. What they found was that, in high-emissions scenarios – that is, the track we are on today – instead of virtually zero contribution to sea-level rise from Antarctica by 2100, they got more than three feet, most of it from West Antarctica. If you add in a fairly conservative estimate of the contribution to sea-level rise from Greenland in the same time frame, as well as expansion of the oceans, you get more than six feet – that's double the high-end IPCC scenario.

For anyone living in Miami Beach or Brooklyn or Boston's Back Bay or any other low-lying coastal neighborhood, the difference between three feet of sea-level rise by 2100 and six feet is the difference between a wet but livable city and a submerged city – billions of dollars worth of coastal real estate, not to mention the lives of the 145 million people who live less than three feet above sea level, many of them in poor nations like Bangladesh and Indonesia. The difference between three feet and six feet is the difference between a manageable coastal evacuation and a decades-long refugee disaster. For many Pacific island nations, it is the difference between survival and extinction.

Of course, DeConto and Pollard could be wrong. Or there could be mechanisms they have not considered that might slow down the collapse. Alley wonders if the ice will tumble down so fast that it will create a traffic jam of icebergs in front of it – called a mélange – that will prop up the ice cliffs and keep them from collapsing. Christianson and others are surveying the ground beneath the glacier to see how slippery it is, or to find irregularities in the slope of the bowl that might cause the backsliding glacier to stall for a century or two. DeConto is interested in the firn, the compacted layer of old snow that has not yet turned to ice. "Depending on how it channels meltwater, it could have a big impact on how fast the ice fractures," DeConto says. It could slow it down. But, as DeConto cautions, it could also speed it up. Uncertainty cuts both ways, and once the collapse of West Antarctica begins, it could keep going until the seas have risen as much as 13 feet.

In any case, the threat is clear. In a rational world, awareness of these risks would lead to deep and rapid cuts in carbon pollution to slow the warming, as well as investment in more research in West Antarctica to get a clearer understanding of what is going on. Instead, Americans elected a president who thinks climate change is a hoax, who is hellbent on burning more fossil fuels, who installs the CEO of the world's largest oil company as secretary of state, who wants to slash climate-science funding and instead spend nearly $70 billion to build a wall at the Mexican border and another $54 billion to beef up the military.

After Kerry returned from Antarctica, we discussed the Trump administration's attacks on climate science, including the decision to strip every mention of climate change from the White House website. "Such a stunningly Luddite moment," Kerry says. "It just underscores the raw, shocking absence of fact from their process. As if to strip the website of something as important as that is somehow going to solve the problem or make it go away is so laughable; it's hard to find the words for it, really. I find that such a huge symbol of a new know-nothingism that is really dangerous for our country, and the world."

In the end, no one can say exactly how much longer the West Antarctica glaciers will remain stable. "We just don't know what the upper boundary is for how fast this can happen," Alley says, sounding a bit spooked. "We are dealing with an event that no human has ever witnessed before. We have no analogue for this." But it is clear that thanks to our 200-year-long fossil-fuel binge, the collapse of West Antarctica is already underway, and every Miami Beach condo owner and Bangladeshi farmer is living at the mercy of ice physics right now. Alley himself would never put it this way, but in West Antarctica, scientists have discovered the engine of catastrophe.

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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Doomsday Glacier
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2017, 07:33:05 AM »
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-doomsday-glacier-w481260

The Doomsday Glacier



<p>In any case, the threat is clear. In a rational world, awareness of these risks would lead to deep and rapid cuts in carbon pollution to slow the warming, as well as investment in more research in West Antarctica to get a clearer understanding of what is going on. Instead, Americans elected a president who thinks climate change is a hoax, who is hellbent on burning more fossil fuels, who installs the CEO of the world's largest oil company as secretary of state, who wants to slash climate-science funding and instead spend nearly $70 billion to build a wall at the Mexican border and another $54 billion to beef up the military.</p>
<p>After Kerry returned from Antarctica, we discussed the Trump administration's attacks on climate science, including the decision to strip every mention of climate change from the White House website. "Such a stunningly Luddite moment," Kerry says. "It just underscores the raw, shocking absence of fact from their process. As if to strip the website of something as important as that is somehow going to solve the problem or make it go away is so laughable; it's hard to find the words for it, really. I find that such a huge symbol of a new know-nothingism that is really dangerous for our country, and the world."</p>
<p>In the end, no one can say exactly how much longer the West Antarctica glaciers will remain stable. "We just don't know what the upper boundary is for how fast this can happen," Alley says, sounding a bit spooked. "We are dealing with an event that no human has ever witnessed before. We have no analogue for this." But it is clear that thanks to our 200-year-long fossil-fuel binge, the collapse of West Antarctica is already underway, and every Miami Beach condo owner and Bangladeshi farmer is living at the mercy of ice physics right now. Alley himself would never put it this way, but in West Antarctica, scientists have discovered the engine of catastrophe.</p>[/html]

This is probably the most damning aspect of Dump and his administration.  Even more so than the Russian fiasco.  At a time when we really need to be taking climate science more seriously.  It's even worse than Raygun removing the solar hot water heaters from the White House...although that was fucking retarded. 

El Dumpo is such a steaming smelly dump pile.  Merika has never been more of a joke!  What more proof do you need for collapse? 

Offline RE

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Re: Doomsday Glacier
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2017, 08:01:27 AM »
What more proof do you need for collapse?

No more proof is necessary.  Go UPHILL Young Man! Go NORTH! North to Alaska!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/JSt0NEESrUA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/JSt0NEESrUA</a>

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Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2017, 08:25:14 AM »
I doubt this is a black swan.  Catastrophic ice retreat down the 'bowl' is not going to be anything like a ball rolling downhill.  In the greater scheme, sea level will rise, ice will melt, and the Antarctic submerged ice reservoir will shrink in size.  The laws of thermodynamics will be observed.  Will Florida be submerged.  Yes it will but it will take years to happen.  Many years.

The graphic in the RS is scary but it distorts the horizontal scale by perhaps 1000:1.  A thousand foot drop over thousands of miles is not a 'bowl'.  The graphic suggests inappropriate physics.  Ice debris would choke off large vertical cliff collapse behind a zone of instability where slow crumbling would be the norm.  This debris would also cool any water doing undercutting.  Undercutting water would be cooled to ineffectiveness after it transitioned through miles of slush and Ice boulders.  A correct horizontal scale is important to get an accurate picture. 

Modeling this in a computer would be much better than doing science in the nude.

Quote
he first person to understand the risks that West Antarctica posed in a rapidly warming world was the eccentric Ohio State glaciologist John Mercer. Mercer, who grew up in a small town in England and was known for carrying out his scientific fieldwork in the nude, first visited Antarctica in the mid-1960s.

How much fieldwork did he do in Antarctica really?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 08:40:19 AM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2017, 08:49:46 AM »
Personally, this does not concern me much at all.  Long before the ice sheets crash into the ocean, our economic and geopolitical problems will cause a shit load more havoc.

RE
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 08:53:47 AM by RE »
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Offline K-Dog

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Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2017, 11:30:07 PM »
Personally, this does not concern me much at all.  Long before the ice sheets crash into the ocean, our economic and geopolitical problems will cause a shit load more havoc.

RE

True, but this is what people who rape the planet worry about.  Out out damn spot!  A case of the guilts as the Bard would have put it.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 11:31:39 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline azozeo

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Re: The Oceans are Coming? BFD, I got other Worries.
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2017, 01:27:14 PM »
2017-08-13 - Ocean mysteriously suddenly recedes from beaches in Brazil and Uruguay:
http://strangesounds.org/2017/08/and-the-sea-disappeared-suddenly-ocean-water-mysteriously-recedes-from-various-beaches-in-brazil-and-uruguay.html

Note: Extremely bizarre! Subsurface landslide in the area? Massive methane eruptions in the ocean?
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

 

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