$an Franci$co Bay hou$ing drive$ gentrification


As housing prices soar on the shores of San Francisco Bay, those at the bottom of the increasingly steep income pyramid [esnl among them] are being forced out of the place they love.

Consider the following graphic from the results of the annual poll of the Bay Area Council, based on a survey of 1,000 residents and with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points:

BLOG Gentrify

Spain sets yet another unemployment record


The Great Recession’s impact lingers strongest in Southern Europe, with Spain and Greece especially hard hit, and with youth feeling the greatest impact.

Here’s a breakdown of first quarter unemployment numbers from the Spanish National Statistics Institute:

BLOG Spain

And the latest numbers set a record.

From El País:

Spain has just broken one of its more dubious records. The latest statistics show that the country has endured a jobless rate of over 20% for 66 straight months, or five-and-a-half years.

The previous record – of five years and three months – was set not so long ago, in the mid 1990s.

The most recent quarterly figures, released on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE), show persistent joblessness, despite the fact that the job market has actually been recovering for nearly two years.

But many if not most of those new jobs aren’t good, well-paying permanent positions, as the newspaper notes:

In the last 13 months, there was a 10% increase in the number of temporary workers, from 3.4 million up to 3.7 million. The temporary employment rate is now 25%, nearly 1.5 percentage points higher than in the same period last year.

Headline of the day: Bathroom bigotry bastion


From the Christian Science Monitor:

Welcome to the home of the toughest ‘bathroom bill’ in America

The Oxford, Ala., City Council passed an ordinance that punishes transgender people with up to six months of jail for using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. The move draws support – and questions.

Chart of the day: Teen birthrates continue decline


And abstinence isn’t the cause.

From the Pew Research Center:

BLOG Teens

Mr. Fish: Poop and Circumstance


From Clowncrack, his blog of canine cachinnation:

BLOG Fish

Oceans losing oxygen; West Coast affected early


Deoxygenation due to climate change is already detectable in some parts of the ocean. New research finds that it will likely become widespread between 2030 and 2040. Other parts of the ocean, shown in gray, will not have detectable loss of oxygen due to climate change even by 2100.

Deoxygenation due to climate change is already detectable in some parts of the ocean. New research finds that it will likely become widespread between 2030 and 2040. Other parts of the ocean, shown in gray, will not have detectable loss of oxygen due to climate change even by 2100.

The oceans are losing oxygen, and climate change is the culprit.

Areas earliest hit are the western coasts of North America and Africa and the northeastern coast of South America.

The result will be major shifts in marine life, including the development of major dead zones.

And given that much of the world depend son ocean fish for protein, the changes could portend serious human and political crises.

From the American Geophysical Union:

A drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large parts of the ocean between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study.

Scientists know that a warming climate can be expected to gradually sap oceans of oxygen, leaving fish, crabs, squid, sea stars, and other marine life struggling to breathe. But it’s been difficult to determine whether this anticipated oxygen drain is already having a noticeable impact.

“Loss of oxygen in the ocean is one of the serious side effects of a warming atmosphere, and a major threat to marine life,” said Matthew Long, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and lead author of the study. “Since oxygen concentrations in the ocean naturally vary depending on variations in winds and temperature at the surface, it’s been challenging to attribute any deoxygenation to climate change. This new study tells us when we can expect the impact from climate change to overwhelm the natural variability.”

The study [$6 read-only, $38 to print — esnl] is published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Cutting through the natural variability

The entire ocean—from the depths to the shallows—gets its oxygen supply from the surface, either directly from the atmosphere or from phytoplankton, which release oxygen into the water through photosynthesis.

Warming surface waters, however, absorb less oxygen. And in a double whammy, the oxygen that is absorbed has a more difficult time traveling deeper into the ocean. That’s because as water heats up, it expands, becoming lighter than the water below it and less likely to sink.

Thanks to natural warming and cooling, oxygen concentrations at the sea surface are constantly changing—and those changes can linger for years or even decades deeper in the ocean.

For example, an exceptionally cold winter in the North Pacific would allow the ocean surface to soak up a large amount of oxygen. Thanks to the natural circulation pattern, that oxygen would then be carried deeper into the ocean interior, where it might still be detectable years later as it travels along its flow path. On the flip side, unusually hot weather could lead to natural “dead zones” in the ocean, where fish and other marine life cannot survive.

To cut through this natural variability and investigate the impact of climate change, the research team relied on the NCAR-based Community Earth System Model.

The scientists used output from a project that ran the model more than two dozen times for the years 1920 to 2100. Each individual run was started with miniscule variations in air temperature. As the model runs progressed, those tiny differences grew and expanded, producing a set of climate simulations useful for studying questions about variability and change.

Using the simulations to study dissolved oxygen gave the researchers guidance on how much concentrations may have varied naturally in the past. With this information, they could determine when ocean deoxygenation due to climate change is likely to become more severe than at any point in the modeled historic range.

The research team found that deoxygenation caused by climate change could already be detected in the southern Indian Ocean and parts of the eastern tropical Pacific and Atlantic basins. They also determined that more widespread detection of deoxygenation caused by climate change would be possible between 2030 and 2040. However, in some parts of the ocean, including areas off the east coasts of Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia, deoxygenation caused by climate change was not evident even by 2100.

Picking out a global pattern

The researchers also created a visual way to distinguish between deoxygenation caused by natural processes and deoxygenation caused by climate change.

Using the same model dataset, the scientists created maps of oxygen levels in the ocean, showing which waters were oxygen-rich at the same time that others were oxygen-poor. They found they could distinguish between oxygenation patterns caused by natural weather phenomena and the pattern caused by climate change.

The pattern caused by climate change also became evident in the model runs around 2030, adding confidence to the conclusion that widespread deoxygenation due to climate change will become detectable around that time.

The maps could also be useful resources for deciding where to place instruments to monitor ocean oxygen levels in the future to get the best picture of climate change impacts. Currently ocean oxygen measurements are relatively sparse.

“We need comprehensive and sustained observations of what’s going on in the ocean to compare with what we’re learning from our models and to understand the full impact of a changing climate,” Long said.

Headline of the day: Equal opportunity bigotry


From the Los Angeles Times:

Top L.A. County sheriff’s official resigns over emails mocking Muslims and others

A top Los Angeles County sheriff’s official has resigned amid mounting criticism over emails he sent mocking Muslims, blacks, Latinos, women and others from his work account during his previous job with the Burbank Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department announced Sunday.