My heart bleeds for the plight of the Polar Bear …

Most certainly change is afoot, buildings toppling, tundra reduced to a squishy mess, roads disturbed and in some cases unusable.

I’ve refrained from ever posting a picture of the difficulties for Polar Bears, its sort of perhaps a tad comic in the image below but mostly sad that these fine creatures are reduced to scavenging through human cast off junk and detritus to find a morsel. As I’ve said before, a picture of a starving polar bear should be nailed to the forehead of the nasty clown known as d.j.trump so that he can appreciate the subject to which he is an arch-denier ie climate change.

Maybe yes Polar Bears are scavengers, they can drift inward to seek out something from human presence but we all know these fine animals need to be out on the ice and following tens of thousands or millions of years of pre-programmed instinct.

d41586-019-00843-1_16529292 ... polar bears scavenging a rubbish tip. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00843-1
d41586-019-00843-1_16529292 … polar bears scavenging a rubbish tip. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00843-1

However, we must be careful how we interpret a photograph.

Climate change, a laymans guide.

I often feel there is difficulty in finding or locating the latest on climate change ie increasing methane, ice loss, feedback loops etc.

This overview by Sam Carana holds up well, succinct and eminently digestible for the layman; I am a layman.   http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html

It illustrates the stacking pernicious influences which in themselves arithmetically ensure sufficiently our downfall and even for this guaranteed scenario Sam Carana plays a light touch re the inevitable compounding and accelerating positive feedback loops that will push us into a whole new series of situations. Its all a quite dire mix, highly ironic as its mainly the consumption of oil and gas from ancient diatoms that has led to our demise, taking away the fundamental first layer of oceanic food chain and 20% of the worlds CO2 >O conversion. And yet no-one has ever seen a diatom with the naked eye.

I think I’m correct in saying it was independent scientist James Lovelock that discovered the gas DMS a product of oceanic plankton and its importance. I suggest read his autobiography, an instructive blend of practical science, talent and an independent thinking mind.

Also …  https://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/dms–the-climate-gas-youve-never-heard-of/

Sam Carana in a more recent post highlights the disregard paid by the latest IPCC (Sept 2019) briefing / report in which NO FIGURE IS QUOTED for the effects of subsea methane in its three forms, frozen hydrates, microbial, capped gas deposits. The IPCC are criminal in this neglect. However not as criminal as donald trump in the rolling back and eradication of decades of wise strategies to husband the planet more sensibly; but of course trump would know nothing of the natural world.

 

Greenland ice, carbon capture, climate debate.

Debate is perhaps not the best term but a useful search tag for google to pick-up on, action is more likely a better route. Yet here below is recent material to help us focus and realise we need action and fast.

https://www.channel4.com/news/greenland-melting-four-times-faster-than-predicted

From the above …

02:02 … Greenland ice loss id 8,500 tons per second… PER SECOND.

02:15   Half permanent arctic ice has gone.

09:20   How we will have to live and the 3 trillion that is half of what is present day subsidy to the fossil fuel industries that SHOULD be directed to carbon capture.

Author David Wallace-Wells in the above at 09:20 informs us that the IMF estimated world subsidy to traditional fossil fuel industries is approx 5.3 trillion annually; wheras a spend of 3 trillion could possibly completely neutrelise world carbon emission to zero by  utilising carbon capture.

Here below is author David Wallace-Wells that when talking to scientists ‘off-the-record’ realised the disjoint between what scientists think and realise themselves and what is released to the public for general media / news consumption.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wallace-Wells

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Uninhabitable_Earth

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2019/jan/david-wallace-wells-on-climate-change-and-the-uninhabitable-earth/

 

As foretold.

This newer replacement stack with Windows 10 does not help me get at new information so easily as XP, I feel distanced and I am not being presented the latest discussions. But then again we know where climate change is going. There is so much that is not reported, my own fascination with diatoms is central to the climate change arguament but no-one mentions them. Invisible to the naked eye, yet are responsible for 70% of the worlds oil and gas resources, (were) as oceanic algae responsible for DMS production, something which is essential for ocean cloud systems … a point which only last week is termed ‘news’ when in fact none of the scientific modelling even included !!! Beggars belief. Has no-one even remembered reading James Lovelock or have looked and learned about algae through a microscope? Diatom demise is the reason for coral reef decline.

Likewise Paris and the IPCC does not even include methane release in its (near worthless) predictions. I’ve a one-sided wager with a friend that we are the wrong side of 3 deg by end of 2026, which means catastrophe and our certain demise and my £1k will be safe, not that its going to be of any use, apart from some oxygen bottles and some synthetic food, all quite futile. trumps approach to climate change needs to be regarded as a War Crime.

Ponder on the problems of an absent or interrupted electrical supply, moving money and people, web, communications, sewage, water etc.

As an antidote to present and forthcoming stress I found this youtube v useful, I don’t have the ability (or patience) to sit quietly and watch in linear fashion, but hopping along I got what I could.

Note at night time its an all enveloping dark, and sleep comes quickly and easily. Contemplation comes easy and a good book would be treasured. Many times at my favourite place I have stood and delighted in the landscape around me as daylight turns to dusk and then to a starry night; quite magical, impressive and always a joy.

arctic methane.

Arctic methane is the biggie, on a ten year timescale x120 more potent then CO2 … this we know already from many sources online, I mean blogs and material from sensible people not alarmist junk of which the latter I tend to avoid.

Explaining to a new friend yesterday its not just the two and three deg C rise by at my guess 2026 (I’ve a £1k wager on this for 3C+ by end 2026) that will in itself hurt us ie its just a hotter day to endure … BUT its the effect on world interconnected natural systems with locked in feedbacks and associated drives that respond at such fine-scale limits that will alter this biosphere to become un-livable, this literally one thou inch thick biosphere on an eight inch diameter childs football.  This is thinner than any layer of modern varnish, more like the old fashioned shellac.  Already the jet stream has split into two loops and is streaming hot moist air over the Arctic. My guess is that the end of the greenland ice sheet I quote “By 2100” as bandied in the general press is woefully overestimated; the nature of ice melt is a law unto itself.

Note that of recent years no-one is bandying the expression that ‘nature is resilient’ anymore …

8 inch dia = 8k miles dia of planet Earth

therefore .001 in (one thou inch) = 1 mile approx.

cigarette paper = 0.001 in (copier paper is 0.004 in)

And still diesel drivers idle their engines all day, at work, at supermarkets whilst waiting, during lunchbreaks etc etc.

So much if not all of our CO2 to O conversion shuts down at increased CO2 levels, it does not / can not ‘rise to the occasion’, ie green plants and forests, diatoms, algae.  Likewise my particular ‘hobby horse’ and fascination with diatoms is a critical factor, the irony of using ancient deposits of oil and gas mainly derived from diatoms has led to their own and our demise, see also the loss of the symbiotic relationship of diatoms to bryozoans ie coral reef.  No-one has ever seen with the naked eye a diatom yet nearly all of our petrol and oil carbon lifestyle is based upon them.

http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/06/when-will-we-die.html

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/9/6/251

 

 

 

 

Older garden varieties and the knowledge inherent seems doomed ?

I don’t know if some words were altered and even the original Daily Telegraph copy leaves something to be desired in how it reports the impending possible/ probable loss of a great variety of horticultural material, ie bred named forms, diversity,  varieties treasured, things kept going for generations, the product of clever hands and minds. In other words anything that is produced for a ‘mass market’ seems to be squeezing other more knowledgable specialist approaches. I found the article via MSN and clicked to the Telegraph original. It certainly could be better worded, to be clearer, to make the point far better; the loss of specialist growers and the lack of younger people to take on such a precarious business with often a low financial reward. Reads as if the writer possibly had no real understanding of the subject.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/17/british-rose-snowdrop-risk-extinction-42-per-cent-nurseries/

What they really meant is the nationwide network of SPECIALIST ENTHUSIAST plant nurseries is declining. The prospective not particulary knowledgeable or even totally unknowledgeable customer finds it easier to go to the big commercial garden centres where its often bought-in and all designed to sell and sell quickly. I can appreciate that position. That is good news in avoiding pot bound con-jobs, worst case recently was my unknowingly bought a £30 shrub from an unknowledgable so-called garden centre (non-specialist) ie a buyer-in of all material only to find half of the lower pot bound rootball sliced off to leave a disc four inches thick in a eight inch deep pot!

In other words the specialist growers are finding both that no-one wants to follow on after them and fewer people nowadays hunt out their specialist plants, that the general non-specialist garden centre ie plastic furniture, ornaments, novelties are one-stop shopping centre for most ordinary occasional gardeners; plants and shrubs are dealt with as if any other bought-in product. Like it or not we live in the here and now.

Its called the pushing aside of  ‘knowledge and experience’ … things that if not presented or primarily existing within the screen are seemingly irrelevant to much of the population. Its not only the young apparently middle aged folk also seem bewitched by online activity.

I’ve said this for years, the ability to work with soil, to nurture, to create a worthwhile and ‘intelligent garden’ are quite rare and increasingly rare. An interesting illustration is my patch of the English lake District where its very difficult to find a small scale garden that instills any sense of depth or age, everywhere everything is never older than a decade. ie retirement then infirmity scupper what can be achieved over decades as the garden, the plot itself determines the winners and losers.

 

postscript: its hard to get the point across of basic soil husbandry with many people, ie how to garden. Each autumn I treasure the leaf fall as nourishment for the myriad soil inhabitants, worms, algae, mold, bacteria and its also an insulating blanket for the impending winter cold. Note bulbs by the end of September already are showing significant underground development, in waiting for the spring push. Likewise buds on trees by the September are set and waiting for the Spring dash!  Yet so many unwitting households adore their silly garden vacuums and love to hoover away all that is set by nature to help them! And yes I’m aware of excessive leaf fall and the possible plague of midges, point taken. The so called ‘garden compost’ so beloved of the bbc r4 GQT I am most sceptical of, its not inherent in any truly natural system of organic soil development, can throttle off self sown seedlings in the established flower garden, is much over-rated in fact, most certainly it will kill off all your crocus! I build my compost heaps for the mice. I remember a customer trying to loosen up a v heavy clay soil with annual mulches of sand … my suggestion of a top dressing of FYM to aid worm and soil life development went totally unheeded. She had no realisation of Nature and nurture, establishing the right framework to aid her little assistants underground, yet lift up any lump of FYM and the life is teeming from under.

A fifty yard bank of cowslip from Seaham, seed first cast twenty years ago.
A fifty yard bank of cowslip from Seaham, seed first cast twenty years ago. ie my annexe / nature reserve, a private venture so to speak.
Heres a tricky area, lots of shade, probably its best year yet, a patch three decades old. I've also planted Amelanchier to the left and a few weeks ago the small white flowers were a delight in the semi-shade.
Heres a tricky area, lots of shade, probably its best year yet, a patch three decades old. I’ve also planted Amelanchier to the left and a few weeks ago the small white flowers were a delight in the semi-shade.
Two dozen native british north country species introduced over as many years, latest successes are avens and primrose where my wifes ashes are scattered.
Two dozen native british north country species introduced over as many years, latest successes are avens and primrose where my wifes ashes are scattered.
Doronicum looking good, ivy at right is for nesting wren, lots of honeysuckle and rambler rose to flower in a couple of months.
Doronicum looking good, ivy at right is for nesting wren, lots of honeysuckle and rambler rose to flower in June and July.
Just a small part, looking north, all paths are herringbone brick from thirty years ago. The garden itself decides what shall flourish! The clever part if the unfolding of so many layers and years of planting as the weeks progress from Christmas.
Just a small part, looking north, all paths are herringbone brick from thirty years ago. The garden itself decides what shall flourish! The clever part if the unfolding of so many layers and years of planting as the weeks progress from Christmas.

 

All it takes is a little bit of appropriate habitat and to be left alone ... much like myself!
All it takes is a little bit of appropriate habitat and to be left alone … much like myself! ie damselflies taken on a secondhand £20 ebay camera.

 

 

 

 

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Insect decline, moths, butterflies …

Time to see what new material we can find on this …

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/17/where-have-insects-gone-climate-change-population-decline

An old article, I’d say it is meantime that the loss has been so apparent … https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/01/british-moths-calamitous-decline

Its peculier how the obvious decline of moths these last five years is so little reported.

Where have all the insects gone?

Australia … http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/faqs/gone.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/as-insect-populations-decline-scientists-are-trying-to-understand-why/

1,005 comments …  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/magazine/insect-apocalypse.html

For the UK an old book E B Ford ‘Moths’ in the Collins New Naturalist Series is a good all round starter. https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Moths.html?id=mVsxvgAACAAJ&source=kp_cover&redir_esc=y

Roy Pitman ‘A Naturalist at Home’

Newman ‘Looking at Butterflies’

Quick I/D guide … Collins ‘Complete British Wildlife’… good for moths and butterflies.

Anything Richard South on moths, the old Warne series but still useful.

Theres lots, thank goodness for ebay.

Remember, our liveable space on the planet (half a mile up and half a mile down) is represented by a one thousandth of an inch ie 0.001″ cigarette paper placed on a childs eight inch dia football. A cigarette paper is one quarter of the thickness of copier paper ie at 0.004 inch. We have so little space, therefore if we mess with its chemistry, its temperatures and a myriad of multi-webbed feedback loops then we are in trouble; or a single species such as ourselves takes too big a bite of burning resources and upsetting natural systems alien to nature, then as again, we are in trouble.