‘Lost’ tectonic plate called Resurrection hidden under the Pacific

By Stephanie Pappas – Live Science Contributor a day ago

Scientists have reconstructed a long-lost tectonic plate that may have given rise to an arc of volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean 60 million years ago. 

The plate, dubbed Resurrection, has long been controversial among geophysicists, as some believe it never existed. But the new reconstruction puts the edge of the rocky plate along a line of known ancient volcanoes, suggesting that it was once part of the crust (Earth’s top layer) in what is today northern Canada. 

“Volcanoes form at plate boundaries, and the more plates you have, the more volcanoes you have,” Jonny Wu, a geologist at the University of Houston, said in a statement. “Volcanoes also affect climate change. So, when you are trying to model the Earth and understand how climate has changed … you really want to know how many volcanoes there have been on Earth.”

Wu and his co-author, University of Houston geology doctoral candidate Spencer Fuston, used a computer model of Earth’s crust to “unfold” the movement of tectonic plates since the early Cenozoic, the geological era that began 66 million years ago. Geophysicists already knew that there were two plates in the Pacific at that time, the Kula plate and the Farallon plate. 

Because lots of magma is present east of the former location of these plates in what is today Alaska and Washington, some geophysicists argued there was a missing piece in the puzzle — a theoretical plate they called Resurrection. This magma would have been left behind by volcanic activity at the plate’s edge. 

All of these plates have long since dived beneath Earth’s crust in a process called subduction. Wu and Fuston used the computer reconstruction to undo this subduction, virtually raising the plates back to the surface and rewinding their motion. When they did, they found that Resurrection did indeed fit into the picture. They reported their findings Oct. 19 in the journal GSA Bulletin.

“When ‘raised’ back to the Earth’s surface and reconstructed, the boundaries of this ancient Resurrection tectonic plate match well with the ancient volcanic belts in Washington State and Alaska, providing a much sought-after link between the ancient Pacific Ocean and the North American geologic record,” Wu said. 

Originally published in Live Science.

Climate at a Glance: Islands and Sea Level Rise

Onotoa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific. CC-SA WikiPedia

View this page as a printable PDF:CAAG-sinking-pacific-islandsDownload

Bullet-Point Summary:

  • Most islands and atolls in the Pacific Ocean, including Tuvaluare growing, not shrinking.  
  • As the sea gradually rises, the sea brings sand and sediment along with it, building up the height of islands along with it.
  • Pacific Islanders know they are safe, despite their claims of victimhood and demands for compensation, as shown by their actions. Some are building new airports and resorts. The populations of Tuvalu and other island nations are steadily growing, rather than shedding climate refugees.

Short Summary: Objective scientific evidence debunks claims that climate change is causing small islands to disappear under rising seas. Rising seas bring sand and sediment, which build up coastal shorelines along with rising waters. Also, coral, as living organisms growing near sea level, build up their height along with the rising sea, as seen in Figure 1.

Figure1. Coral atolls, Maldives. Note that the coral rings “float” with the sea level, and because they are living things, they rise with the sea level as new coral grows. Source: Pinterest

For example, climate activists often claim the island nation of Tuvalu is sinking under rising seas and spawning climate refugees. However, a recent peer-reviewed study found 8 out of Tuvalu’s 9 coral atolls have grown in size during recent decades, and 3/4ths of Tuvalu’s 101 reef islands have similarly grown in size. Also, Tuvalu’s population is consistently growing, not declining, with 20% more people living on Tuvalu now than 30 years ago. Tuvalu’s population has doubled since 1970.

Additional peer-reviewed studies (see herehere, and here) confirm the same processes are allowing – and will continue to allow – other Pacific islands to keep up with rising seas.

For example, 30 years ago, the Canberra Times claimed all 1196 islands that comprise the Maldives could be completely underwater by now. Not only are all 1196 islands still there, but the Maldives population has doubled during the past 20 years. People are flocking to the Maldives islands, not fleeing them. The Maldives are absorbing political refugees, not spawning climate refugees.

Further reading:

  1. Sea level rise may not drown low-lying Pacific atolls, Media Release, University of Auckland, July 2019: https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/sea-level-rise-may-not-spell-the-end-for-low-lying-pacific-atolls
  2. Floating Islands, Willis Eschenbach, January 2010: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/floating-islands/
  3. Patterns of island change and persistence offer alternate adaptation pathways for atoll nations, Nature February 2018: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-02954-1
  4. 11 new airports to be constructed in Maldives, Maldives Tourism Update. Originally at  http://www.maldivestourismupdate.com/2009/07/11-new-airports-to-be-constructed-in.html#ixzz0wwSkVxzn but has been “disappeared, and now is available on the “Wayback Machine” Internet archive here: https://web.archive.org/web/20170102101310/http://www.maldivestourismupdate.com/2009/07/11-new-airports-to-be-constructed-in.html

World Bank branch indirectly backs coal megaproject despite green pledge

Published on 22/10/2020, 5:22pm

International Finance Corporation piloted its green equity policy with an Indonesian bank, which went on to fund a 2,000 MW coal complex

A coal processing plant in Indonesia (Pic: Cassidy K/ILO/Flickr)

By Isabelle Gerretsen

The World Bank’s private lending branch is indirectly backing one of the world’s biggest new coal complexes, despite a new green policy.

In September, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) published its green equity approach (GEA), outlining that: “IFC no longer makes equity investments in financial institutions that do not have a plan to phase out investments in coal-related activities.”

Yet the client it chose to pilot the approach with in 2019, Hana Indonesia, has since approved project finance to the 2,000 MW Java coal power station in Banten, Indonesia.

A source with knowledge of the matter told Climate Home that when confronted, IFC officials claimed not to be aware of Hana Indonesia’s involvement in the coal megaproject.

“We are in discussion with PT Bank KEB Hana Indonesia to better understand its recent lending activities,” a spokesperson for IFC said.

Poland’s largest utility announces pivot from coal to renewables

Java 9 and 10 is predicted to release 250 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years, equivalent to the annual emissions of Thailand or Spain, according to a report by sustainable finance watchdog Recourse.

Greenpeace report warned that the $3.5 billion coal project could lead to more than 4,700 premature deaths over a 30-year period and affect the air quality in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, 120km from the power plant. 

Indonesia has the fourth largest coal pipeline in the world and is one of only five countries in the world to start construction of new coal power plants in 2020, according to Climate Action Tracker.

The GEA was developed precisely to encourage equity clients in such countries to shift away from coal, with a goal to reduce their coal exposure by 50% by 2025 and to zero by 2030.

“The approach will allow IFC to continue engaging with banks that finance coal, but with a transparent framework and declining limits in line with the Paris Agreement and various climate scenarios,” the IFC said. 

The policy came two years after the IFC said it would proactively seek clients committed to moving away coal.

“If the IFC continues to fund really egregious coal such as Java 9 and 10 that is a huge disappointment and frankly a betrayal of all the GEA stands for,” Recourse co-director Kate Geary told Climate Home. 

“The GEA will be revised in 2021 and we need to see this loophole closed – no new coal has to be a condition of IFC agreement to partner with a bank under the GEA.”

South Korea pursues Vietnamese coal plant, drawing international criticism

Hana Indonesia’s parent bank is Hana Korea, South Korea’s fourth largest bank. IFC has a “long-term relationship” with Hana Korea, according to Seongeun Lee, a researcher at the Korea Sustainability Investing Forum. “They have invested in Hana Korea from their inception.”

IFC and Hana Korea are both shareholders in Hana Indonesia. IFC owns almost 10% and Hana Korea almost 70% of equity in the bank, according to Recourse. Neither bank has made a public statement on coal financing.

Hana Korea is one of several South Korean banks to invest in Java 9 and 10, noted Yuyun Indradi, the executive director of campaign group Trend Asia.

“Korea is financing dirty energy projects [overseas], while they try to implement the Green New Deal domestically. It’s a double standard,” Indradi said.

When President Moon Jae-in won the election earlier this year, he announced an ambitious Green New Deal, which included a 2050 net zero pledge and ending state support for overseas coal projects. 

In July, South Korean lawmakers proposed a bill that would end financing for overseas coal projects. Seongeun said it is currently unclear whether the bill will pass and said that to date only six Korean financial institutions have declared that they will no longer invest in coal. 

“Hana has seen that [Java 9 and 10] is the last chance as a business opportunity [to invest] in the dirty energy sector,” Indradi said. 

According to Recourse, IFC could play a pivotal role in ending Indonesian and Korean investment in coal.

“We need IFC to take Hana Indonesia to task over this, and to use its relationship with Hana Korea to have a serious discussion about the bank’s huge coal exposure around the world,” said Geary.

This article was amended to clarify the emissions comparison.

The post World Bank branch indirectly backs coal megaproject despite green pledge appeared first on Climate Home News.

A Biden/Harris Election Victory Would Be a Disaster (Guest: Steve Milloy)

Operating oil and gas well profiled on bright sky with clouds in active European oilfield

By H. Sterling Burnett -October 23, 2020

This election presents Americans with a sharp choice, a future of continued economic growth and geopolitical influence based on cheap abundant fossil fuels produced via fracking, or a future of limited or no growth and economic and national insecurity. Heartland’s Steve Milloy says this will occur if Joe Biden shuts down or significantly limits fracking. A Trump/Pence victory helps ensure the former, a Biden/Harris Presidency will likely cement the latter.

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F916640785&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=true&show_comments=false&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=falseThe Heartland Daily Podcast · A Biden/Harris Election Victory Would Be a Disaster (Guest: Steve Milloy)

The post A Biden/Harris Election Victory Would Be a Disaster (Guest: Steve Milloy) appeared first on Climate Realism.