Saturday Sunset

IMG_7477Well Barb timed her weekend visit with me perfectly to coincide with the end of our latest heatwave. We had to sit on the back deck in the shade for our happy hour because it was still way too hot in the sun but as you can see, by the time the sunset rolled around it was just perfect out there and we were still out there hours later identifying stars  (with a little help from the Star Walk app😉 )

It had cooled down considerably by this morning and it felt great to go out there and get a couple of waterfront miles in before she had to Uber out of here en route to her next party…..    and I nearly forgot, she brought a present for me with her……

IMG_7488 ….. no wonder we get along so well, hahaha😉

 

 

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more visitors :)

Had a nice surprise visit from someone I hadn’t seen in a while yesterday. Nathan & Rhonda stopped off to see me on their way to meet friends and continue north to Vancouver. They timed their visit nicely since it’s the beginning of another mini-heatwave for us and being Texans excessive heat seems pretty normal to them!:) We ate outside on Alki Ave with that great view in the second picture. The first picture?? Oh that’s what Nathan looked like the last time I saw him……..he’s the little guy all in blue smack in the middle of the photograph!!:)

Like I said, it had been a while… hahaha:)IMG_7468IMG_7471

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Green Lake

A quick morning session at Green Lake today before Grandad has to go to work and miss his Cora-fix for at least a week😉 and hey, you try to explain to a 2 yr old why it’s called Green Lake when clearly the lake is actually blue!

We used to love it when Chelsea lived near this lake years ago and were really surprised at how much new stuff has been built since we used to spend a lot of time there. I think I’ll be putting rolls around the lake back on my list of things to do as often as I have a way to get there since now there are lots of new places to eat and drink and food shop as well as the trusty Green Lake Title 9 store that I used to frequent when I was waiting for Chelsea to meet me ( the hidden advantages of your kids not living in wheelchair accessible apartments!!:) )

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Oops!

OK so life is a bit more back to normal for me now that the Olympic swimming and tennis is over, but hey – what a great fight for that gold medal between Murray and del Potro! 😜

We let David’s Dad play with Cora as well as me and Barb so I’m sure he was happy about that! She might not be as loud but she’s MUCH cuter (and she doesn’t make him go to Art Museums and watch really interesting shadow puppetry films!!!)😄IMG_7415

On Monday he flew home and had either of us really paid attention we’d have known that he got stuck at Dulles for 6 hours waiting for the weather to clear so that he could make that final 1 hour and 1 minute leg home but of course it was Monday …… David was playing racquetball and I was having my usual neighborhood happy hour so we were both clueless until the phone rang at 9:50pm Pacific time – oops!

 

 

 

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A little culture before Happy Hour

While David was off playing racquetball yesterday afternoon his Dad and I paired up with my trusty partner in crime Barb and went to see this great Seth Rolland exhibit at the Bellevue Art Museum before ending up at her place for happy hour. Well several very happy hours really because we all know David didn’t cut short his playing time by much!😉

Here we are trying to solve the mystery of how this amazing parabola table was made:)

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I guessed wrong….

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…..thought this must be a new jet from Boeing with a chase plane but no, it’s the first Amazon Prime jet on a photo shoot that happened to be flying past my windows this afternoon.

Always something to look at:) and now, back to the Olympics until Happy hour!

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looking West

Well last night our sunset and moonset were around the same time but it’s tough to see the sliver of the moon to the left of the double mountain peak aka The Brothers in this first photo even when you enlarge itIMG_7331

of course tonight the moon was much easier to see but the clouds were obscuring the Olympic peaks so it wasn’t as glorious a sunset but hey, still not the worst view in the world, right  ;)IMG_7340

And now I have to head off to bed before midnight because I do believe I have some early morning Olympic tennis matches to watch tomorrow:)

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3 guesses where David is…….

And I wonder if this means he might be home later than he planned!

Back in the Pacific Northwest it’s a misty morning but it looks like someone I know will be needing her parasol again by this afternoon:)

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Canoes!

Last Wednesday Alki Beach was an overnight stop on the Paddle to Nisqually 2016 and we made it home in time to see a Seattle Fireboat welcome for all the canoes lined up on shore. Since we’d missed their arrival we made sure we went back down to the beach in the morning so that we could catch their departure. Alki hadn’t been on the route of any of the local Tribal Canoe Journeys for 4 years so it was nice to see them back again:)

  • and I forgot all about this earlier but when David was on the beach taking pictures of the canoes launching on Thursday morning he also saw a pod of common dolphins out there in Elliott Bay:)

For more information on this years tribal canoe journey click here.

Since they were heading south we got to see them one more time as they travelled in front of our house but they were pretty small by then!IMG_7238

Took me a while to get these pictures up because we were relatively busy for the 3 days that David was home between trips but now he’s off hiking in Hong Kong again and I’m getting back to my normal daily routine or at least close to it. Late today I headed out to roll a couple of miles and as I was going through Constellation Park approaching Alki Point I heard someone yelling my name…. I slowed down (yeah, I’m rolling SO fast, hahaha) and looked around………    it wasn’t anyone on the sidewalk….     not in any of the parked cars, not on the beach……..  oh yeah – there was Peter, one of my neighbors……in a kayak out in Puget Sound! He paddled closer to shore and I rolled down to the beach so that we could yell back and forth for a while.

My ‘Only in West Seattle’ moment for the day:)

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Greenland’s Glaciers…

David just showed me the attached pictures that he took whist flying over Greenland the other day and this morning I woke up to see the following article in the news…..

 

 

Study finds Greenland lost 1 trillion tons of ice in just 4 years

Greenland ice loss has recently contributed to twice as much sea-level rise than in the preceding two decades. (Reuters)

It’s no news that Greenland is in serious trouble — but now, new research has helped quantify just how bad its problems are. A satellite study, published last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the Greenland ice sheet lost a whopping 1 trillion tons of ice between the years 2011 and 2014 alone. And a big portion of it came from just five glaciers, about which scientists now have more cause to worry than ever.

It’s the latest story in a long series of increasingly worrisome studies on ice loss in Greenland. Research already suggests that the ice sheet has lost at least 9 trillion tons of ice in the past century and that the rate of loss has increased over time. Climate scientists are keeping a close eye on the region because of its potentially huge contributions to future sea-level rise (around 20 feet if the whole thing were to melt) — not to mention the damage it’s already done. Ice loss from Greenland may have contributed as much as a full inch of sea-level rise in the last 100 years and up to 10 percent of all the sea-level rise that’s been documented since the 1990s.

The new study takes a detailed look at ice loss in Greenland between 2011 and 2014 using measurements from the CryoSat-2, an environmental research satellite launched by the European Space Agency in 2010. It relied on a type of measurement known as altimetry — basically, measuring how the surface of Greenland’s altitude changed over time in response to ice gains or losses.

“Simplistically, if the ice sheet’s going up, we can find that as evidence that the ice sheet is growing,” said lead author Malcolm McMillan, a research fellow at the University of Leeds. “And where we see that the ice sheet surface is lowering, we can find that the ice sheet is losing ice.”

But he cautioned that this is something of a simplification. The researchers also had to consider how other factors such as snowfall — which would be difficult to differentiate by satellite — might be affecting changes on the surface of the ice sheet.

“Snow and ice are at different densities, so they’re associated with a different amount of mass loss,” McMillan explained. “We used a regional climate model and a model of the surface of the ice sheet to really inform us and tell us about the nature of the changes that we’re seeing.”

Using this method — combining the satellite observations with modeling — the researchers found that the Greenland ice sheet lost mass at an average rate of about 269 billion tons per year from January 2011 through December 2014. Altogether, this comes to about 1 trillion tons of ice loss over the four-year period.

That said, there were some major fluctuations from one year to the next — an observation that University of Sheffield climate expert Edward Hanna (who was not involved in the new study) said is one of the paper’s most notable findings. The biggest losses were observed in 2012, when an unusually warm summer helped bring about a loss of more than 400 billion tons of ice. The next year, 2013, saw a comparatively modest loss of just over 100 billion tons.

“There’s not so many studies that do these sort of trend analyses or time studies for the latest few years,” Hanna noted. “So it’s really trying to assess how the ice sheet is responding to ongoing climate variability or change.”

Overall, the ice loss was particularly prevalent in the southwest, but the scientists noted that there were also losses observed in the cooler, northern parts of the ice sheet. Notably, the researchers also found that a solid 12 percent of all the ice loss came from just a handful of glaciers composing less than 1 percent of the ice sheet’s total area.

Each of these five glaciers flows outward into the sea, so that a combination of both rising air temperatures and ocean temperatures likely play a part in their ongoing retreat. Among these was the iconic Jakobshavn glacier, a well-studied location now famous for its recent massive ice losses. It’s been known to calve blocks of ice boasting several square miles in surface area, as measured from above.

Scientists were already fairly well aware of the massive losses being suffered by these glaciers, McMillan acknowledged. But the finding helps reinforce previous observations and drive home their disproportionate role in the ice sheet’s contributions to sea-level rise. “Also … it means that going forward, we’re able to kind of develop long-term and systematic records that we can [use to] regularly monitor these glaciers and see how they’re changing into the future,” he said.

In fact, the study’s results match up reasonably well with measurements taken by certain other satellites. After doing some comparisons, the researchers found that data from NASA’s GRACE satellites, for instance, suggest that Greenland is losing ice at a rate of about 287 billions tons per year. And according to Hanna, the results stand well with scientists’ overall estimates of recent ice loss in Greenland, which he says are consistently suggested to be around 250 billion tons annually for the past few years.

In this way, the study reinforces many beliefs that were already widely held about Greenland’s precarious condition. But the techniques used to do so may strengthen future measurements, which will be used to inform the climate models that help scientists make predictions about how the ice sheet will behave in the future — a crucial step in determining the amount of sea-level rise we might expect over any given time period.

“I guess the most significant or the most novel aspect of the study is really the resolution or the detail that we’re able to measure,” McMillan said. “Although satellite techniques give us a holistic view of how the ice sheet as a whole is changing, what we’re able to do by using this specific technique is identify specific regions that are changing. And that’s really important because it kind of gives us more of an idea of the processes that are causing the changes.”

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