Monday, June 13, 2016

Sea Ice Decline Accelerating Rapidly




Arctic Sea Ice Breaks May Record . . . By A Lot

Arctic sea ice shrank to its lowest level in 38 years last month, setting a record low for the month of May and setting up conditions for what could become the smallest Arctic ice extent in history, according to National Snow and Ice Data Center data released Tuesday.
“We didn’t just break the old May record, we’re way below the previous one,” NSIDC Director Mark Serreze said.
Compared to normal conditions, the Arctic ice cap was missing a Texas-sized slab of ice in May. It spread across 4.63 million square miles of the Arctic Ocean, Hudson Bay and adjacent areas of the North Atlantic — an area 224,000 square miles smaller than the previous low record for the month set in 2004. May’s record low follows four previous monthly record lows set in January, February and April.
Temperatures averaged about 3°C (5°F) above normal across the Arctic Ocean this spring. The warmth made daily sea ice extents average about 232,000 square miles smaller than during any May in the 38 years scientists have been gathering data using satellites. 


US Expands Secret Wars

On any day, elite forces conduct covert missions in an estimated 70 to 90 countries. Special forces have been sent to an unprecedented 147 countries —  75% of the world’s nations last year alone. This is a 145% increase from the rate of operations conducted under Bush. The US continues to maintain  800 to 1,000 bases around the world — the most expansive military empire in history.


Rehearsing for World War III

From a cold war policy of containment, US/NATO has moved into regime change mode: the idea is to encircle Russia militarily, while using “soft power” to undermine pro-Russian regimes in Russia’s periphery and eventually achieve regime change in Russia itself. 

War and Debt - Why Our Trains Are Broken

America’s infrastructure is backwards, primitive, and humiliating for the self-proclaimed ‘greatest country on earth.’ Because Americans and their government has chosen imperialism over taking care of home.


Solar energy costs continue to plunge across the world

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Two stunning auction results in India and Chile in the last week have underscored the extraordinary gains that large-scale solar has made against its fossil fuel competitors.
In both countries, solar is now clearly the cheapest option compared to new coal-fired power stations. In Chile, where the auction was open to all technologies, fossil fuel projects did not win a single megawatt of capacity. And the auction produced the lowest ever price for unsubsidised solar – US6.5c/kWh.
In India, US firm SunEdison won the entire 500MW of solar capacity on auction in the state of Andhra Pradesh, quoting a record low tariff for India of INR 4.63/kWh (US7.1c/kWh). Again, this was unsubsidised. And again, it beats new coal generation, particularly generation using imported coal.
These bids follow an auction in the US last month by the Texas city of Austin, which contracted to build 300MW of large-scale solar PV at a price of less than US4c/kWh. Even after backing out a tax credit, this is still less than US6c/kWh, and still beats gas and new coal plants, if anyone was planning to build one.
As Greentech Media reported last month, and we have signalled in the past, that means utilities are choosing large-scale solar over new peaking gas plants. Solar PV is beating gas on fuel costs alone, and is acting as a safe hedge against fuel price volatility.


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