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Sun, 26 Jan 2020
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Cloud Grey

The rumbling methane Enigma

rocks and snow
© Nixette – CC BY-SA 4.0
The northern continental shelves of Russia, inclusive of the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea (ESAS) are some of the least researched yet most controversial subjects in climate science today. It's the one region that has the biggest potential to trigger runaway global warming because of sizeable subsea methane deposits, thereby taking civilization down to its knees. But, that prospect is also extremely controversial within the scientific community.

Scientific opinion runs the gamut: (1) high risk- methane bursts will bury civilization with runaway global warming - a dreadful, deadly risk (2) not to worry, it's low risk because almost all of the massive deposits of undersea methane will stay put (3) not to worry, low risk because any methane seepage via undersea permafrost is oxidized and dissolves within the seawater and not a threat to runaway global warming.

By and large, climate scientists dismiss the ESAS and some go so far as to vilify published research. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) dismisses its near-term/intermediate-term risks. The reasons are manifold (more on that later).

Unfortunately, recent events in the high Arctic lean towards option number one as the more likely outcome. In that regard, I recently met with Dr. Peter Wadhams, world-renowned Arctic expert, to discuss the issue (more on that follows).

Comment: Even if our futile attempts at reducing CO2 emissions had any effect (they don't in the larger scheme when compared to natural emissions), the potential threat from methane outgassing or volcanic eruptions is far greater. However even the risk from methane needs more study. According this study, methane may lead to cooling instead of warming. See also:


Seismograph

Shallow M6.0 earthquake hits Papua, Indonesia

Earthquake seismograph
A strong 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia's easternmost region of Papua on Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said.

There was no tsunami warning accompanying the quake which struck inland 158 kilometres (98 miles) from the provincial capital Jayapura at a shallow depth of almost 34 kilometers, USGS said.

The Southeast Asian archipelago is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth.

In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude quake and a subsequent tsunami in Palu on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

Snowflake

Winter blunderland: Numerous crashes on roads as storm blankets central US with snow, ice

The scene of a crash in the Town of Bovina Jan. 17, 2020.
© Outagamie Co. Sheriff's Office
The scene of a crash in the Town of Bovina Jan. 17, 2020.
Blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings heralded the arrival of icy roads that would plague residents across the central Plains throughout the day on Friday. After a slick blanket of snow and ice latched itself to roadways, travel hazards and mishaps quickly followed.

Snow accumulations reached up to 7 inches in parts of Iowa by Friday night and 1-5 inches in parts of central Nebraska, western Iowa and spots of Missouri. According to the National Weather Service office in Kansas City (Missouri), some roads were rendered 'nearly impassible' by the precipitation Friday morning.

"Tomorrow morning there could be ice on untreated roads as temperatures drop well below freezing around sunrise. Drive safely tomorrow especially when off the beaten path," the office warned Friday night in a tweet.

Friday evening in Iowa, a pickup truck on I-80 in Western Iowa slid off the road and came hurtling toward a delivery truck, a state trooper and the truck driver. A video had been captured of the incident from the inside of the delivery truck.


Cloud Lightning

Two missing, 3,000 in shelters as Cyclone Tino hits Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Tino batters Pacific

Tropical Cyclone Tino batters Pacific
Tropical Cyclone Tino strengthened to a Category Three storm Saturday as it closed in on Tonga after battering Fiji where two people were missing and more than 3,000 fled to emergency shelters.

The Fiji Meteorological Service said the wind gusts from Tino had increased to 180 kilometers per hour and would likely have its biggest impact in the northern areas of Tonga when it hits overnight.

The Pacific kingdom is still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Gina two years ago which caused widespread devastation, destroying houses and crops.

"The sea is very high and I'm sure beaches are being washed away in the more exposed places and the outer islands," Tupoutu'a Tonutonu told AFP from northern Vava'u.

"It's been bucketing down for about three days, the soil is waterlogged and I'm hearing trees are down in the village."


Attention

New ash cloud sparks fears of Taal volcano eruption in the Philippines

A family evacuates to safer grounds as Taal Volano continues to spew ash in Lemery, Batangas, southern Philippines on Monday Jan. 13, 2020.
© Aaron Favila
A family evacuates to safer grounds as Taal Volano continues to spew ash in Lemery, Batangas, southern Philippines on Monday Jan. 13, 2020.
The Taal volcano near the Philippine capital emitted more ash clouds on Saturday, posing the threat of another eruption.

The ash and steam explosions have gotten weaker after seven days of eruption. But despite the seeming lull, factors such as continuing volcanic quakes, the drying of the crater lake and other signs indicate magma is moving beneath, said Maria Antonia Bornas, an official with the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

The volcano in Batangas province, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital, Manila, has remained at alert level 4, the second-highest warning, indicating a hazardous explosive eruption is possible in hours or days.


Cloud Precipitation

At least 6 dead as severe weather triggers floods, landslides and lightning strikes in Bolivia

Floods in Tarija, Bolivia, January 2020.
© Secretary of Environment of Tarija
Floods in Tarija, Bolivia, January 2020.
Severe weather including lightning strikes, heavy rain and hail storms has affected several departments in Bolivia since 11 January 2020, with at least 6 fatalities reported.

Chuquisaca Department

In Chuquisaca Department, a storm and heavy rain caused the Quirpinchaca river to overflow, flooding several districts in Sucre City from around 13 January. Over 60 families were affected. Media reported 1 person died as a result of flooding and 2 others as a result of lightning strike during the storm.

Snowflake

Huge blizzard slams Canada's Newfoundland, state of emergency declared in capital St. John's

Newfoundland blizzard
© NOAA/GOES-East. Acquired at 17:50 UTC on January 17, 2020
A winter blizzard hammered Canada's Atlantic coast on Friday packing wind gusts of more than 120 km/h (75 mph) and dumping more than 60 cm (2 feet) in some areas, prompting several towns in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to declare a state of emergency.

The mayor of St. John's, the provincial capital, ordered all businesses to close and told people to stay home. Later in the day the conditions grew so poor that snow plows were taken off the roads.


Comment: Less than two weeks ago another huge blizzard left parts of Newfoundland buried under 50 cm of snow.


Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Vultures signal impending changes for Earth

Fuel truck stuck in snow in Idaho
© Matt Berry
Fuel truck stuck in deep snow in Idaho.
Record snows blanketed the Eastern Himalaya areas of India's N.E states in the same range as the Giffon Non-Migratory Vulture which suddenly abandoned the Himalaya and is 2000 miles south in Singapore. Massive avalanches and unprecedented snow fall in Indian, Pakistan and Afghan mountain ranges and Ice chokes 1/4 of China's second longest river.


Comment: See also:


Cloud Precipitation

Hundreds of thousands of fish killed in Australia after rains wash bushfire ash and sludge into Macleay River

fish kill Macleay River New South Wales
© Larry Newberry
Results of a fish kill in the Macleay River in northern New South Wales, which locals said was like ‘cake mix’.
Hundreds of thousands of native fish are estimated to have died in northern New South Wales after rains washed ash and sludge from bushfires into the Macleay River.

Parts of the Macleay River - favoured by recreational fishers - have been turned into what locals described as "runny cake mix" that stank of rotting vegetation and dead fish.

One freshwater ecologist told Guardian Australia the impact of the fish kill might be felt for decades to come, with long-lived species like Australian bass hit hard.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has been receiving reports of "hundreds of thousands" of fish dead in the river since December 2019.

Locals say rain in the past 10 days has seen more ash and mud from the parched and burned landscape running into the river.

The disaster on the Macleay River is one of eight fish kills reported to the department this year, with the cause of most linked to lack of rainfall.

Comment:


Snowflake

Lake Tahoe resorts receive up to 26 inches of snow in 24 hours

Sierra-at-Tahoe is busy Friday morning after receiving about 17 inches of fresh snow.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is busy Friday morning after receiving about 17 inches of fresh snow.

The snowstorm that hit Lake Tahoe Thursday performed as expected and dumped up to 2 feet on the mountains.

Flurries still expected this morning and that will add to the already abundant snowfall.

Tahoe Donner has the most reported snow as of early morning reports with over 2 feet, 26 inches.

Northstar California received 22 inches, Sugar Bowl got 21, Heavenly Mountain Resort got 18, Sierra-at-Tahoe 17 and Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Diamond Peak is reporting 15 inches.

Chain controls are in effect all around Lake Tahoe and traveling to resorts will take extra time with the snowy, icy conditions.