We are not in the Anthropocene, and other CLimate news

The Latest Ecology news and views Mar. 2024

Tracking an Invisible Climate Menace From 360 Miles Above.

Methane: 80x more warming to the atmosphere than CO2, but less stable. 

MethaneSAT, a new Earth orbiting satellite,  will sweep the globe using a high-resolution infrared sensor to detect and track methane leaks from oil and gas sites worldwide.

Methane is released into the atmosphere from a number of natural and manmade sources. Scientists think that up to 30% of the manmade global warming is attributable to Methane emissions. Natural gas production and distribution causes release from pipe leaks and burnoffs. 

The satellite was launched into space Monday (03/04/24) on a Space X transporter rocket.


Are We in the ‘Anthropocene,’ the Human Age? Nope, Scientists Say.

Dinosaurs came in the Triassic, mammals in the Paleogene, and the last ice ages in the Pleistocene. 

Scientists have said, “Not yet” to the Anthropocene. 

We are still in the Holocene, which began 11,700 years ago, and marks the retreat of the great glaciers.

Therefore, opponents of the new verbiage agree that the Anthropocene as an “event,” rather than an “epoch.”


Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?

In a new scheme by capitalists “Natural asset companies” would put a market price on improving ecosystems, rather than on destroying them. 

The basic idea would be to invest in Land for its intrinsic value and investors are betting that money would be made in the future, when we will all be looking for more and more open spaces, for carbon sequestration, or just for long walks in the woods, or both.

The Securities and Exchange Commission was considering a proposal to list “Natural Asset Companies” (NACs) for public trading, but groups from all political sides squashed the idea.

Accounting for natural capital is being developed as a sidebar to Gross Domestic Product, a wholly fiduciary account of wealth.

The article discusses the concept of “natural asset companies” that would assign a market value to enhancing ecosystems instead of destroying them. It portrays a scenario where landowners, concerned about preserving the natural environment, could lease their land to a company that shares their environmental values. This approach, supported by pragmatic investors, aims to provide returns while prioritizing the intrinsic value of nature.1

The article, “Why Don’t We Just Ban Fossil Fuels?” by Peter Coy, discusses the idea of banning fossil fuels and compares it to the concept of preventing arson. It explores various approaches to address the issue, emphasizing the challenges and benefits associated with burning fossil fuels. The article delves into the real benefits derived from the combustion of fossil fuels, such as running cars and heating homes, and highlights the complexities of completely banning them. The writer also mentions the various reactions and thoughts of readers regarding the idea of banning fossil fuels, shedding light on the differing perspectives on this topic 1.

Article Summary: “A Collapse of the Amazon Could Be Coming ‘Faster Than We Thought’”

The article discusses a new study pointing to the vulnerability of the Amazon rainforest, stating that up to half of it could transform into grasslands or weakened ecosystems in the coming decades due to climate change, deforestation, and severe droughts. The study suggests that these stresses could drive the entire forest ecosystem into acute water stress, potentially triggering a forest-wide collapse. Unlike earlier studies, this peer-reviewed research focuses on the cumulative effects of various threats on the rainforest, emphasizing its vulnerability to collapse 1.

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