Melt Expanding into East Antarctica as Nansen Ice Shelf Crack Produces 20 Kilometer Long Iceberg

robertscribbler

Ever since 1999 a gigantic crack has been growing in the Nansen Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. By 2014, expansion of the crack accelerated. As of early 2016, the crevice had grown to 40 kilometers in length. Flooded by melt along the Ice Shelf’s warming surface and weakened by the heating of ocean waters from below, on April 7th, according to ESA reports, this East Antarctic Ice Shelf produced an immense 20 kilometer long iceberg. A towering block of ice covering an area larger than Manhattan floating on out toward the world’s shipping lanes.

Nansen Ice Shelf Fracture

(Surface melt water flooding into a great crack along the Nansen Ice Shelf. Large volumes of melt water flooding into ice shelf cracks forces them to widen even as they dive toward union with the warming waters below. Image source. ESA.)

The Nansen Ice Shelf, before this most recent very large iceberg calving…

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Death at Yellowstone: Feds probe shooting of ‘Scarface,’ the park’s most famed grizzly

The Washington Post
Karin Brulliard

 

There are more than 750 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, but none as famed as a brawny, cocoa-colored male dubbed No. 211.

He was best known by his nickname, which was inspired by his fight-maimed face and damaged right ear: Scarface. He roamed far, wide and often within sight of delighted tourists and their cameras. He was captured, collared and released by biologists 17 times, making him “one of the most studied bears,” in the region, according to the Associated Press.

By last fall, those scientists were warning that Scarface might not make it through the winter: He’d dropped from a peak of 600 pounds to 338 pounds. At 25 years old, he was elderly.

[Cubs of a euthanized grizzly that killed a Yellowstone hiker will get a new home]

They were right that his time was short. But Scarface didn’t die of natural causes. Last week, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department released a statement that said No. 211 had been fatally shot in November near Gardiner, Mont., just outside Yellowstone’s northern edge.

FILE - In this Oct. 2005, file photo provided by Ray Paunovich shows a well-known Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear known as "Scarface." Montana wildlife officials have confirmed that the grizzly bear was shot and killed during a confrontation with a hunter north of Gardiner last fall.© Ray Paunovich via AP, File FILE – In this Oct. 2005, file photo provided by Ray Paunovich shows a well-known Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear known as “Scarface.” Montana wildlife officials have…

The bear’s death is now under investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, because grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and most killings not carried out in self-defense are illegal. The Montana state agency offered no details about the the killing or why it was not announced sooner, and a Fish and Wildlife representative contacted by the Washington Post declined to comment.

The killing of the famous bear is sure to fuel opposition to recent Fish and Wildlife proposal to remove federal protections for grizzly bears in the so-called Greater Yellowstone Area, which could lead Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to approve their hunting. Grizzlies were declared threatened in the 1970s, when hunting, trapping and other issues caused their population to decline to less than 150.

Federal officials say the bears’ population has recovered, but many conservation and wildlife organizations are fighting the proposal. The Sierra Club, for example, has said “bears’ naturally slow reproductive rate, loss of key food sources to climate change, and state plans to reduce numbers through methods like trophy hunts, all spell disaster.”

[These undercover robot animals are helping in the hunt for poachers]

Scarface’s killing is being widely mourned among those familiar with the bear, who’d earned a reputation as an unflappable “king of the woods,” in the words of Kerry Gunther, Yellowstone’s bear management program leader, who spoke to the AP shortly before the bear’s death.

 

Scarface was first captured in 1993, when he was a “sub-adult” bear weighing 150 pounds. At his peak, the bruin tipped the scales at about 600 pounds, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. But he’d grown emaciated in recent years, the agency said, noting that less than 5 percent of male grizzlies live to the age of 25.

Scarface owed much of his fame to the scuffles with other bears over females, carcasses and dominance that had made his face so recognizable, and that had so destroyed his right ear that it flopped over. Photographers, in particular, have sung his praises — and, in recent days, angrily mourned his loss.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FGhostBearPhotography%2Fposts%2F935515193234391%3A0&width=500

“I’ve seen him almost kill a black bear for getting too close to his carcass in Antelope Valley and I’ve seen him barely bat an eyelash at people who find themselves far too close,” nature photographer Simon Jackson of Ghost Bear Photography wrote on his blog two years ago, adding that he’d seen the bear 20 times over the years. “There is no one animal that has inspired me like Scarface nor any animal that has played such a profound role in defining the person I’ve become.”

Last week, as news of the bear’s death spread, Jackson’s blog published another post. “Our emotions alternate between shock, sadness, anger and a profound sense of loss,” Jackson and fellow photographer Jill Cooper wrote, urging people to campaign against the proposal to de-list the grizzly bear. “Nothing will bring back our beloved Scarface, but we can still do right by the many bears he fathered and all of the bears that shared the landscape he once roamed.”

Sandy Sisti, a wildlife photographer who blogs at Wild at Heart Images, once wrote a paean about seeing “Yellowstone’s Grand Old Man” in all corners of the park and watching as he grew more scarred over the years.

More: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/death-at-yellowstone-feds-probe-shooting-of-%e2%80%98scarface%e2%80%99-the-park%e2%80%99s-most-famed-grizzly/ar-BBsxLOg?ocid=spartandhp

 

 

Arctic Sea Ice is Falling off a Cliff and it May Not Survive The Summer

robertscribbler

Near zero sea ice by the end of melt season. The dreaded Blue Ocean Event. Something that appears more and more likely to happen during 2016 with each passing day.

These are the kinds of climate-wrecking phase changes in the Arctic people have been worrying about since sea ice extent, area, and volume achieved gut-wrenching plunges during 2007 and 2012. Plunges that were far faster than sea ice melt rates predicted by model runs and by the then scientific consensus on how the Arctic Ocean ice would respond to human-forced warming this Century. For back during the first decade of the the 21st Century the mainstream scientific view was that Arctic sea ice would be about in the range that it is today by around 2070 or 2080. And that we wouldn’t be contemplating the possibility of zero or near zero sea ice until the end of this Century.

But…

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Republican Climate Change Denial is Blinding Our Ability to Observe the Arctic

robertscribbler

Denial.

It’s all-too-often what happens to the powerful when they are confronted with the consequences of their own bad actions. It can best be said that denial is blindness — the willful inability to open one’s eyes to the tough reality of the world. In literature, we can see denial in the tragic sin of hubris and in the metaphor of Oedipus the King gouging his own eyes out as a result of his failure to come to terms with the warnings of prophecy.

In the psychological sense, denial involves the inability to cope with reality such that a person will act in an irrational fashion to the point of generating fantasies that the object of said denial does not exist. Behaviorally, this results in an increasing degradation of a person’s ability to confront or cope with the object of denial — to the point of ardent, irrational, and possibly…

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2009 Revisited – Gray Wolves in the Crosshairs

Howling For Justice

gray wolf

April 28. 2016

 In order to understand wolf persecution, as it stands today, it’s our obligation to look back and re-visit the Obama administration’s war against wolves, which started with the delisting of Northern Rockies gray wolves in the Spring of 2009, four months after the President took office. His rancher Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, wasted no time stripping wolves of their ESA protections. Idaho and Montana almost immediately proposed wolf hunts that started in the fall.

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September 16, 2009

The gray wolf stands at a crossroads in the lower 48.  Stripped of their Endangered Species status by the Obama administration,  they are left unprotected from the guns in Montana and Idaho. The first federally sanctioned wolf hunts in the Continental US are taking place as I write this.  Thanks Ken Salazar for allowing the de-listing of wolves to stand.  I thought a Democrat administration would be…

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Response to Hunting Article in AARP Magazine

dsc_0171
As members of AARP, we are shocked to see that your magazine editor felt it was necessary to feature an article on hunting entitled “Where the Heart Is,” in the April/May issue, Volume 59, Number 3B.
Surely you are  aware that the majority of people do Not Hunt, and that shooting with a camera is one of the most popular ways to visit wildlife, not killing them? The the idea (stated in this article) that “as you hunt, you bond with animals” is nonsense. True “bonding” with an animal is simply respecting them, observing them, and letting them live.
The hunting/NRA lobby certainly has enough media venues already, without AARP enabling them to encourage shooting and maiming animals. Why promote such an activity, which clearly is tied to the overall gun violence in our society?
Perhaps you should have an counter-article featuring the blood trail left by the thousands of wounded wild animals who crawl off to die after being shot, or trapped.
Rosemary Lowe, M.A., RN
Marc Bedner

The Race to End Fossil Fuel Based Vehicle Emissions is On — Tesla Model 3 to hit 500,000 Preorders, Dutch Motions to Ban Petrol, and Shell’s Shilling for Biofuels

robertscribbler

This week Shell and Volkswagon banded together in a big EU lobbying push. Their goal — to promote biofuels as a ‘bridge fuel’ to EVs in what some say has become a rather obvious bid to delay the entry of electric vehicles in large numbers to fleets across Europe. An effort that some analysts are concerned may represent yet one more push to kill the electric car.

(Unofficial Tesla advertisement streamed over a famous speech by Nikola Tesla. A combination of increasingly accessible electric vehicles and renewable energy sources like wind and solar provide hope that human beings can rapidly reduce carbon emissions over the coming years. But the still powerful and established fossil fuel industry continues to attempt to delay progress through its vast monetary power and equally vast legislative, advertising, and public relations based influence. Can we free the captive fossil fuel consumer? Video source: Not a Dream

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NCAR: Global Temperature Increase Depletes Oxygen in Most Ocean Zones by the 2030s

robertscribbler

A reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large regions of the oceans between 2030 and 2040. — The National Center for Atmospheric Research in a press release on April 27th.

*****

Loss of oxygen in the world’s oceans. It’s one of those really, really bad effects of a human-forced warming of our Earth. One of the those climate monsters in the closet that Steve Pacala talks about. The kind of thing we really don’t want to set loose.

Deoxygenated Oceans as Major Killing Mechanism During Hothouse Extinctions

The damage caused by ocean oxygen loss is multi-variant and wide-ranging. The most obvious harm comes in the form of generating environments in which oxygen-dependent life in the oceans can no longer breathe. Any living creature that filters oxygen out…

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How The Presidential Candidates Stack Up When It Comes To Animal Issues

How The Presidential Candidates Stack Up When It Comes To Animal IssuesPin

I have never been a single-issue voter.  I like to think I am intelligent enough to look at the big picture and make my voting decision based on how a candidate stands on multiple issues. But I have to admit that animal welfare issues can weigh heavily on my choice of candidate.

We have come so far in the past few years: animal abuse is finally a felony in all fifty states, it is now a crime to even attend a dog or cock fighting event, many communities are passing laws to outlaw puppy mill dogs in pet stores, and even the White House has come out against breed discrimination.  But we are far from where we need to be as a humane nation.

Related: 7 Reasons Why A Dog Should Be President: The Case For America’s First DOTUS

Related

7 Reasons Why A Dog Should Be President: The Case For America’s First DOTUS

To help me make my voting decision in the upcoming presidential election, I went online to research the front-runner candidates.  For some, those who have served in the US Senate or House, it was as easy as checking the ratings on the Humane Society Legislative Fund. Others required a little more digging.

I started by visiting each candidate’s website and reading through their issues page.  Unfortunately, only one candidate mentioned animal issues:  Bernie Sanders.  Senator Sanders dedicated an entire page to his stance on animal welfare.

For the rest of the field, I had to drill down deeper.  I did newspaper searches to see how candidates had voted or what bills they had signed, which affected animals.  I read opinion pieces.  I looked at state websites and tracked local bills.

Here, in a nutshell, is the information I was able to find on each of the top Presidential Candidates:

Donald Trump and Beagle

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Donald Trump (GOP): Trump has never held public office.  There is no record of him every doing anything in favor of or against animals.  Although both of his sons are trophy hunters, he is on record as saying he doesn’t understand their activities and doesn’t support hunting.  However, he tweeted some disparaging comments on the Ringling Brothers Circus decision to retire their elephants early: “Ringling Brothers is phasing out their elephants.  I, for one, will never go again.  They probably used the animal rights stuff to reduce costs.”

Marco Rubio Family And Dog

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Marco Rubio (GOP): Senator Rubio has a dismal average Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) rating of 12 (out of 100) for his voting record in the US Senate, although he did co-sponsor a bill to make “soring” a crime. Soring is a painful technique to make a gaited horse lift his feet as high as possible.  It is a cruel and painful process.  Senator Rubio’s campaign website does not address animals at all.

Ted Cruz and Family

Source: Ted Cruz

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Ted Cruz (GOP): Senator Cruz’ HSLF rating is even lower. His average for the three years he has served in the Senate is a 4 (out of 100).  The only piece of legislation that he supported that was in an animal’s best interest was a vote against allowing hunting in the National Parks. His campaign website does not address animals at all.

John Kasich and Dog

Source: Dispatch

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John Kasich (GOP): Governor Kaisch has a mixed record as far as animal welfare issues go.  He signed into law a tough anti-puppy mill bill and a bill protecting pets in the event of domestic violence, but he did nothing to address factory farming, and some Ohio residents feel that he dragged his feet before signing the bill outlawing exotic animals (big cats).  Although he does not address animal welfare issues on his campaign website, overall Governor Kasich has the best record of any GOP candidate.

Hillary Clinton and Animals

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Hillary Clinton (DEM): When Secretary Clinton was a US Senator, she had an excellent rating with the HSLF, even getting 100+ one year. Her average for her 4 years in the Senate is a 92.  She voted for a positive outcome for animals almost every time. Since she left the Senate, she has little opportunity to influence animal legislation.  Her campaign website does not address animal issues at all.

Dogs For Bernie Sanders

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Bernie Sanders (DEM): Senator Sanders has the most extensive record of any of the candidates.  I was able to obtain his HSLF rating for 11 years. His average rating is 97 out of 100, and there were multiple years he scored 100 and twice when he scored 100+ ,,, only time I can find a vote that can be deemed not to be in an animal’s best interest, is a vote Senator Sanders made to support hunting in the National Parks.\

How The Presidential Candidates Stack Up When It Comes To Animal Issues