Without the ocean Earth would be a pretty inhospitable place even though we lie within our Sun's Goldilocks Zone. Those of you who live by the ocean can probably figure out why that is the case. You see the ocean is a temperature moderator and a heat transport mechanism that evens out the climate across the planet.
I remain skeptical about the economics of industrial technologies for carbon capture. Almost every project started has been heavily subsidized by government. But for the operators without government subsidy there seems to be no return on investment. First of all, all existing industrial carbon capture technologies are expensive to implement.
Some of you who know me personally know that in my formative years I started studying geophysics in university before a physical accident laid me up for more than a year and I in an epiphany changed my major to Islamic Studies and Medieval History. So I was both a science and history nerd all at the same time. Well nothing has changed.
Look below. Have you seen this image before? It's taken from the International Space Station flying over the Earth at night. What looks like three different land areas separated by water is not. What you are seeing here is an image of the Korean peninsula with two areas of China on the left and South Korea to the right. The black area in the middle between China and South Korea is not the Yellow Sea. It's North Korea. And what appears to be an island in the middle is North Korea's capital, a solitary point of light in a sea of darkness.
As I scanned the pages of my morning business-oriented newspaper I noted an opinion piece that suggested a future of water wars brought on by freshwater scarcity.
The Costa Concordia salvage operation has been ongoing for more than two years and has involved a parbuckling process on a scale never conceived before. It includes building a platform near and under the ship, attaching flotation tanks to the ship sides, righting the vessel to a vertical position, and refloating it off the rocks before towing it away.
This morning, I came across a headline from The National, a paper published out of the United Arab Emirates — "How Satellites could help to contain oil spills in the Arabian Gulf." The author points out the Arabian or Persian Gulf as we here in the West call it, contains 800 offshore platforms for oil and gas and 25 major drill and terminal sites. These produce eight major spills annually. Because of the damage these spills do to the environment the oil producers are using real-time satellite surveillance communicated to the Masdar Institute's Coastal and Environmental Remote Sensing facility. The data collected predicts the size and trajectory of each spill so that the UAE can deal with the cleanup and recovery.
Researchers at the University of Hawaii are studying a previously little-known phenomenon called mesoscale ocean eddies. These spinning masses of water can be 50 to 300 miles in diameter. Not to be confused with gyres or the eddies caused by passing ships, these phenomena form depressions in the ocean surface as they spin.
In the June 15 issue of Nature Climate Change, University of Exetor Mathematics Research Fellow James Screen submitted an article entitled "Arctic amplification decreases temperature variance in northern mid-to high-latitudes." The author begins by stating, "There is a common perception and growing concern that human-induced climate change will lead to more volatile and extreme weather."
The picture below, courtesy of Jeff Tollefson of Inside Climate News, is not of a soldier, but a member of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, known for short as IBAMA, an environmental enforcement agency fighting illegal loggers in the Amazonian rainforest. Just a few weeks ago, men like the one depicted here captured an illegal logging operation and burned three of their trucks and a tractor. This act of interdiction led to a riot in a local town with the agents finding themselves under siege at a local hotel.