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Sierra Science-Environment News


News and information about the Sierra Nevada Environment, and the environment in general. Posts about science in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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SPACE “GEOLOGY,” The Recent Genesis of the Rings of Saturn sticky icon

SPACE “GEOLOGY?”

Cassini Crosses Rings of Saturn
Artist's concept of the Cassini spacecraft shown against a real photo of Saturn and its rings as Cassini crossed the ring plane. Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Artist's concept of the Cassini spacecraft shown against a real photo of Saturn and its rings, Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Recent Genesis of the Rings of Saturn

Saturn hasn't always had rings,
University of California - Berkeley, January 17, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Ring Mass
“The new mass estimate is based on a measurement of how much the flight path of Cassini was deflected by the gravity of the rings when the spacecraft flew between the planet and the rings on its final set of orbits in September 2017.”

“...perform 22 dives between the planet and the rings to probe Saturn's gravity field. Earth-based radio telescopes measured the spacecraft's velocity to within a fraction of a millimeter per second.”

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WINTER 2019 WEATHER FORECAST, THE POLAR VORTEX, and accessing the WINTER WONDERLAND sticky icon

WINTER WEATHER, THE POLAR VORTEX, and the WINTER WONDERLAND

Enjoy the Show and the Snow

Wet and stormy week ahead for all of California; Dipole pattern to follow,
Weather West, January 13, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Recap of the Season, so far.

View of the Series of Storms we just experienced-are experiencing.

Analysis of Saturated Soils-Wildfire Mud flow Dangers

 

>> KEY POINT <<

Medium-to-Long Forecast

“Unusually strong consensus regarding development of “Warm West/Cool East” pattern”

Blocking Ridge Returns
“...there is rather striking multi-model ensemble agreement (dare I say unanimity?) that a high-amplitude blocking pattern will develop across much of the Northern Hemisphere during the second half of January, and perhaps persisting for weeks (at least through mid-February).”

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PERMAFROST DISASTER GROWING ALMOST EVEYWHERE sticky icon

OCEANS, WATER, ICE, & PERMAFROST

First Global Assessment of Status & Rates of Different Zones of Changing Permafrost

PERMAFROST DISASTER GROWING ALMOST EVEYWHERE

The pace at which the world's permafrost soils are warming,
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, January 16, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

Everything Warming
“..all regions with permafrost soils the temperature of the frozen ground at a depth of more than 10 metres rose by an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius between 2007 and 2016 - in the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as the high mountain ranges of Europe and Central Asia.”

What is Permafrost
“Roughly one sixth of the land areas on our planet are considered to be permafrost regions, which means the soils there have remained permanently frozen for at least two consecutive years.”

How Measured
“...participating researchers monitored and analysed the soil temperature in boreholes in the Arctic, Antarctic and various high mountain ranges around the world for ten years. The data was gathered at depths greater than 10 metres, so as to rule out the influence of seasonal temperature variations.”

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Melting Ice Sheets Release Tons of Methane into the Atmosphere sticky icon

OCEANS, ICE, & ATMOSPHERE

Self-Reinforcing Releases Underway?

Melting ice sheets release tons of methane into the atmosphere, study finds,
University of Bristol, January 3, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“Melting ice sheets release tons of methane into the atmosphere...”

“...methane was continuously exported from beneath the ice. ”

"A key finding is that much of the methane produced beneath the ice likely escapes the Greenland Ice Sheet in large, fast flowing rivers before it can be oxidized to CO2, a typical fate for methane gas which normally reduces its greenhouse warming potency."

New Methane
“...this is the first time that meltwaters produced in spring and summer in large ice sheet catchments have been reported to continuously flush out methane from the ice sheet bed to the atmosphere.”

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Once Thought Invincible, East Antarctic Ice Now seen as Vulnerable sticky icon

OCEANS, ICE, & OUR RAPIDLY CHANGING CLIMATE

Once Thought Invincible, East Antarctic Ice Now seen as Vulnerable

East Antarctica’s ice is melting at an unexpectedly rapid clip, new study suggests,
Science, January 14, 2019.

The Research

MAIN POINTS

East Antarctic Melting
“...have found that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet—considered largely insulated from the ravages of climate change—may also be melting at an accelerating rate. Those results, at odds with a large 2018 study, could dramatically reshape projections of sea level rise if confirmed.”

Previous Misconceptions
“...frigid temperatures and a base mostly above sea level are thought to keep the East Antarctic Ice Sheet relatively safe from warm water intrusion.” See “Earliest Research,” below)

(See: Much of West Antarctic below Sea Level)

Alex Wierbinski's picture

WEATHER for High Sierra Backpackers: REPORTS, FORECASTS, PREDICTIONS, SNOW, ROADS, CONDITIONS sticky icon

    HIGH SIERRA WEATHER RESOURCES

 First
Key Quick Reference 

 QUICK VIEWS of the HIGH SIERRA

 

QUICK INDEX

FULL INDEX

 

 NEW SATELLITES

GOES EAST
NW US TRUE COLOR
Smoke Fills the San Joaquin Valley

GOES E GeoColor True Color daytime, multispectral IR at night

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Bigger Global Warming Waves a Surfer’s Dream? sticky icon

OCEANS, WARMING, & WAVES

Global Warming a Surfer’s Dream?

Upper-ocean warming is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger,
University of California - Santa Cruz, January 14, 2018.

Main Points

“Climate change is modifying the oceans in different ways, including changes in ocean-atmosphere circulation and water warming.” And now, wave power.

Direct Association between Heat & Waves
“...researchers report that the energy of ocean waves has been growing globally, and they found a direct association between ocean warming and the increase in wave energy.”

0.4 percent per year since 1948
"For the first time, we have identified a global signal of the effect of global warming in wave climate. In fact, wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948, and this increase is correlated with the increasing sea-surface temperatures, both globally and by ocean regions."

More Extreme Extremes
“...increases have been larger for the most extreme values (e.g., winter waves) than for the mean conditions.”

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Potential Confluence of Grand Orbital Cycles with Human Ignorance could End Antarctic Ice sticky icon

ORBITAL INFLUENCES on OCEANS, ANTARCTIC ICE, & CHANGING CLIMATE

Antarctica on Miocene
The Miocene Antarctic vs Antarctic Today, Caption, image credit Richard Levy & UW@Madison
The Miocene Antarctic vs Antarctic Today, Caption below, image credit to Richard Levy & UW@Madison

 

Potential Confluence of Grand Orbital Cycles with Human Ignorance

Antarctic ice sheet could suffer a one-two climate punch,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, January 14, 2018.

Main Points

“Scientists have long speculated that our planet's climate system is intimately linked to the Earth's celestial motions.” (See Milankovitch Cycles, below…)

“...attributable to changes in the shape of our planet's orbit around the sun as well as to cyclic changes in the tilt of the Earth on its axis and its "top-like" wobble on that axis, all of which combine to influence the distribution and intensity of solar radiation.”

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“Climategate,” and NOAA “Scandal,” were Manufactured FAKE NEWS sticky icon

CLIMATE CRASHING FAKE NEWS

Report puts quiet coda on wild allegations published in the Daily Mail.

“Climategate,” and NOAA “Scandals,” were Manufactured FAKE NEWS

Investigation of NOAA climate scientists finds bupkis,
Ars Technica, January 10, 2019

Main Points

Remember the big NOAA “Climate Scandal,” of 2015?

It was Total BS...

Allegations in 2015 of NOAA scientist/research misconduct, leading to falsely increased global warming measurements, proven completely unfounded. These allegations were the basis of a series of sensational Daily Mail articles about scientific misconduct at NOAA leading to inflated claims of global warming.

The original research documenting increased warming is correct, and those Daily Mail articles criticizing that research, are in error.

 

Original Daily Mail FAKE NEWS

FAKE NEWS

Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data,
Daily Mail, Feb 4, 2017.

 

ANALYSIS OF FAKE NEWS

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Our current drought is worse than most megadroughts, new study says sticky icon

WATER, CLIMATE, ECOLOGICAL & CULTURAL DESTRUCTION

Colorado River Behind Hoover Dam
Diminshing Waters of the Colorado River backs up as Mead Lake behind the Hoover Dam. Image by Carol Highsmith.
Diminshing Waters of the Colorado River backs up as Mead Lake behind the Hoover Dam. Image by Carol Highsmith.

THE SOUTHWESTERN "MEGADROUGHT"

Growing Megacities in the Southwestern Deserts & LA is Driving Yet More Climate Change & Intensifying the Ongoing Process of Aridification-Megadrought

Our current drought is worse than most megadroughts, new study says,
Arizona Star, January 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Current Disaster
“The Colorado River — Tucson’s drinking water supply — carries nearly 20 percent less water than in 2000. Bark beetles are chomping away at our forests and killing off ponderosa pines. Wildfires are rapidly growing in intensity.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

New View of Our Universe, and Meet Al’s, “Superstring” sticky icon

 

ASTROPHYSICS: WHAT IS THIS THING?

Is This what Our Universe really looks like?
An Expanding Bubble in An Extra Dimension, Suvendu Giri at Upsala University.
Our Universe riding on an expanding bubble in an extra dimension. By Suvendu Giri, Upsala University

 

A New View of Our Universe, and Meet Al’s, “Superstring

Our universe: An expanding bubble in an extra dimension,
Uppsala University, December 31, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“...a new model for the Universe - one that may solve the enigma of dark energy…a universe that rides on an expanding bubble in an additional dimension.”

“...dark energy and our Universe riding on an expanding bubble in an extra dimension. The whole Universe is accommodated on the edge of this expanding bubble. All existing matter in the Universe corresponds to the ends of strings that extend out into the extra dimension.”

 

Bottom Line

I’ve come to see the universe centered on what I call, “The Superstring.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra & Great Basin Transforming from Seasonal to Ephemeral Snow Pack sticky icon

TREES & FORESTS CHANGING WITH CHANGING CLIMATE

Winter Snows are a Primary Source of Water for the Western U.S.

University of Nevada, Reno uses 15 years of satellite imagery to study snow's comings and goings,
University of Nevada, Reno, January 2, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Seasonal to Ephemeral Snow
“...snowpacks in the Great Basin appear to be transitioning from seasonal, with a predictable amount and melt rate, to "ephemeral," or short-lived, which are less predictable and only last up to 60 days.”

"Small temperature changes can lead to large ecological changes."

"More intermittent snowpacks means water flow is more difficult to predict. We might not get as much water into the ground, throwing off the timing of water for plant root systems, reducing our supply and use, and even affecting businesses such as tourism."

The Study
“...analyzed both ground-based and satellite-based remote sensing data collected every day from 2001 to 2015.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

41% Sierra & Rocky Mountains Snow Pack Loss since ‘82 sticky icon

ECO-CRASHING NEWS: WEATHER, WATER, and MASSIVE GROWTH

Science in Action
Measuring snowpack in a "snow pit" along Arizona's Mogollon Rim during a snow survey in 2017. Credit Patrick Broxton, copyright 2017.
Measuring snowpack in a "snow pit" along Arizona's Mogollon Rim during a snow survey in 2017. Credit Patrick Broxton, copyright 2017.

Results

41% Snow Pack Loss Since ‘82,

79% of that Gone by 2100

 

Research

Declining snowpack over western US mapped at a finer scale,
University of Arizona, December 12, 2018

Original Research Report Above, for the Article Below

 

The Popular Press

As Snow Disappears, the Sierras and Rockies Are Shrinking,
Wired, December 12, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“...the High Sierra and the Rockies are, in effect, shrinking, according to a new analysis of the nation’s snowpack over the past 36 years.”

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Sierra Snowpack Could Drop 79% by End of Century sticky icon

ECO-CRASHING NEWS: WEATHER, WATER, and MASSIVE GROWTH

California’s Current Irresponsible Population at Risk?

Why’s Our Corporate Leadership Growing our Population into Disaster?

GREED & CORRUPTION

79% Drop in Sierra Snowpack Projected by 2100

Sierra snowpack could drop significantly by end of century,
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, December 11, 2018.

West Sierra Flank Watersheds
 Berkeley Lab)
Berkeley Lab researchers analyzed the headwaters of these 10 major California reservoirs. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

MAIN POINTS

Our ongoing self-induced climate destruction, “...will almost certainly feature a decline in fresh water from the Sierra Nevada mountain snowpack.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Eco Crash News, 2018: Observing Our Rapidly Shifting Seasons and Ecosystems sticky icon

 

 

 CHANGING WEATHER, 

&
CHANING WORLD,
NEWS

2018


Last
Updated Daily 

December 16,  2018

 

Next
2019 Climate Change News

 

 The transitions between seasons, their basic character, their timing, temp, and humidity transitions have all changed. The directions from which the seasonal winds blow have changed. These changes are reverberating through and disrupting webs of life that wrap around the whole planet.

Blooming, feeding, mating, and migration patterns of all living things are changing around the world.

Here we track the obvious and the subtle human affects on Nature. The club and the knife, if you will.

 

 

Next
2019 Climate Change News

Earlier
October through December 2017

 

 

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Looking into the Mirror of Life III: Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Science News & Research for Good Observers, 2018 sticky icon

 

 

ASTRONOMY, PHYSICS 


Really Big and Really Small Scale Sciences

The Fundamental Nature of Reality Big to Small... 

We follow Astro-physics and Science News for fun, because the Nature of Life itself is pretty darn entertaining on its own merits. Understanding the Nature and construction of our reality is a pragmatic move for all its "operators," but especially for backpacker's finding context in, and navigating the terrain to both ascertain & clarify our place in the Universe.

This is the amazing universe we are walking through.

Interestingly enough, we have to understand the fundamental nature of the motions & relationships within the Universe around us to find our precise position on this Earth, to understand our context within its Nature, and how we can or cannot fit perfectly into the greater Universe around us.

We follow science to better understand ourselves, what we are hiking through, and our choices along our journey.

 

 

Last
Updated 

December 22, 2018

 

2018 NEWS BELOW

 

2019 ASTRONOMY-PHYSICS NEWS

 

 

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2018 News of Health Science, Fitness, the Human Past, Potential & Pitfalls for Backpackers sticky icon

 

 

Health, Fitness, & The Human Condition 
News and Science

LAST
Updated

December 27, 2018

 

January 1, 2018 & 19:
HAPPY NEW YEARS!

  

 

2018 News Below

 

Later Health News
Health & Fitness News, 2019

Earlier Health News
Health & Fitness News, 2015-2017

  

 

Our goal here is to provide the best information how to deal with internal and external threats to your health. But why?

 

FIELD GRADE
Our greater goal is to attain "Field Conditioning." Field Conditioning is an advanced state of fitness where we are capable of moving and operating effectively across great distances over all types of terrain, at high or low altitude, in hot, cold, wet, or dry conditions over extended time spans, under all seasonal conditions, while carrying the weight required to withstand these environmental conditions, feed ourselves well, and safely reach our goal. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Looking into the Mirror of Life II: Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Science News & Research for Good Observers sticky icon

ASTRONOMY, PHYSICS 


Really Big and Really Small Scale Sciences

The Fundamental Nature of Reality Big to Small... 

We follow Astro-physics and Science for fun, because the Nature of Life itself is pretty darn entertaining on its own merits. Understanding the Nature and construction of our reality is a pragmatic move for all its "operators," but especially for backpacker's finding context in, and navigating the terrain to both ascertain & clarify our place in the Universe.

This is the amazing universe we are walking through.

Interestingly enough, we have to understand the fundamental nature of the motions & relationships within the Universe around us to find our precise position on this Earth, to understand our context within its Nature, and how we can or cannot fit perfectly into the greater Universe around us.

We follow science to better understand ourselves, what we are hiking through, and our choices along our journey.

 

 

Last Updated 

December 24, 2017

 

September thru December 2017
Astro Phys NEWS BELOW

 

Next Astro Physics Page: 2018

Alex Wierbinski's picture

NEW ERA on our PLANET: Tracking the Anthropocene sticky icon

BELOW

2015
to
JULY, 2018


Next

July 2018 to Present

 

 INTRODUCTION
Nature is no longer in charge. There's a new sheriff in town, and he's a real piece of work. In any case, the greedy motivations of man have replaced the driving fertility of Nature as the leading force on this planet, and even the scientists have noticed. Which means it needs a name...

 

Done. I already named it, when I recognized the depth of our nasty effects a long time ago: The Scum-o-cene. We are leaving the spiritual and physical equivilant of a nasty bathtub ring on the Spirit and Body of Nature as humanity, "consumes" both.

I abhor and reject identification as a, "consumer."

Check out these next introductory articles, then we follow the general outlines of our re-modeling of this world.

 

 REFERENCES

Alex Wierbinski's picture

All News about High Sierra Trees and Plants sticky icon

All Tree News
Generally Covering the Plant World

 

 TREE & PLANT
NEWS

2015 through 2018

 2018

Next Year's Tree & Plant News
2019

 

All
High Sierra Fire and Smoke Information

High Sierra Tree Identification Resources

Tree Forum

 


The Brethren

FERGUSON FIRE

Bottom: 2015

Last
Updated

2018

December 21

PLANTS, TREES, WEATHER, WATER, & FORESTS

Observing the Decline of the Doomed Forests in the Southwestern US

Southwest forest trees will grow much slower in the 21st century

 

 

 

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