Extreme Eastern Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Spike Looking A Lot Like El Nino

SST anomaly June 19

(Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly on June 19, 2014. Note the blossom of red and orange off the western coast of South and Central America. That’s very hot water in the Eastern Pacific. Image source: NOAA/ESRL)

The global weather altering event that is El Nino again took a step forward this week as temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific continued to rise, today hitting values of +0.78 C above the 1979 to 2000 average. An impressive climb adding to already warm readings which, since late May, have ranged between +0.6 and +0.68 C. It’s a strong rise that continues to show progress toward El Nino, increasing ocean-to-atmosphere heat transfer, and raising the likelihood that 2014 may break the all-time global high temperature records last set in 2010.

NASA Shows May Heat Record Shattered, Japan Meteorological Agency Records Hottest Spring

Already, even as the monster that is El Nino combined with human warming still struggled to emerge from Pacific waters, spring of 2014 set new global atmospheric heat records. According to NASA, this May was the hottest in the global measure, meanwhile, the Japanese Meteorological Agency marked the March-April period as the hottest spring in all of the past 130 years (NASA showed the same period was second hottest). Rising Pacific Ocean surface temperatures by themselves were enough, when combined with raging human greenhouse gas heat forcing, to nudge atmospheric temperatures into a new record range. But the emergence of full-blown El Nino will likely push current record readings even higher.

Wedge of Very Hot Water Stretching Out From South America

Now by mid-to-late June, a hot wedge of very warm water is flooding out from South America covering a large swath of ocean from the Ecuador coast and stretching all the way into the Central Pacific. Temperatures in this broad zone range from an impressively hot +1 C to an extraordinary +3 to +4 C in hot pools just off shore. This makes the Eastern Pacific a zone of hot water that now rivals and likely exceeds the extreme temperature departures in regions of anomalous warm water off the Pacific Northwest Coast and in the North Atlantic. A well of heat energy that is likely already extending an influence into global weather patterns, as seen in the continued delay and disruption of the Indian Monsoon over the past week.

Hot Pool off Ecuador

(Very hot pool of water off Ecuador showing sea surface temperature anomalies in the extraordinarily hot +2.25 to +4 C range with smaller pools of +4 C and hotter water visible in this NOAA/NWS graphic.)

During March, sub-sea temperature anomalies spiked to +5 to +6 C above average in the hottest zones. So it appears, now, that some of these sub-sea anomalies are hitting the surface, clogging up the Pacific’s ability to soak up atmospheric heat and allowing that heat to accumulate.

Trades Picked Up, Then Stalled Again

Last week, atmospheric feedback promoting El Nino had appeared to weaken. The east-to-west trade winds had picked up and few countervailing west winds running from Asia toward the Americas were observed. But by this week, the trades had again faded with west winds seen north of the Solomons, east of the Phillippines, and along a broad zone in the Eastern Pacific. A re-emergence of an atmospheric feedback necessary for El Nino’s continued development.

Overall, ongoing warming in the Eastern Pacific along with a renewed weakening of the trades shows devolopment toward the predicted El Nino and an ongoing enhanced likelihood that past global high temperature records will continue to fall during 2014.




NASA Shows Global High Temperature Record Shattered

Climate Reanalyzer Daily Summary

Advance of the Southwest Monsoon 2014

Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths

Leave a comment


  1. Robert, can you say how the extraordinary heat in the E. Pacific stacks up with the 97-98 super-El Nino at this point in its development?

    • SST anomalies for 1997 stack up as lower than what we’ve seen over the past couple of days. Note that the anomaly range for the 1997 image is for 1960 to 1990. Current anomalies take into account the warmer period of 1979 to 2000. So the goal posts moved a bit.

      Will see if I can dig up a monthly for June 1997. Might take some work.

      • So it well could be a super, like 1983 or 1997-98. That would be coming every 15 years. In 1998 I wrote an article for Sierra called “The Invisible Hand,” about linkages of El Nino and global warming. Kevin Trenberth, chief scientist at National Center for Atmospheric Research, had calculated the chances for 2 super-El Ninos in 15 years at 1-2,000. If we hit another super that just about nails it. Driving El Nino’s when warming has hit only 0.8 deg C is a monstrous message for our future.

        • A good number of top researchers seem to think so. 0.8 C warming is quite a bit when you consider the context. The forcing, at this point, is enormous.

  2. rayduray

     /  June 20, 2014

    Re: “an ongoing enhanced likelihood that past global high temperature records will continue to fall during 2014.”

    Well, what an inconvenient truth for Anthony Watts. 🙂

    • 😉

      I wonder if he’ll go back to doubting the validity of climate records/temperature sensors…

      • I can hear it now….

        “It must be the heat island effect of concrete & pavement on top of the ocean, off the coast of South America.”

      • rayduray

         /  June 21, 2014

        Nah. The only thing he’ll doubt is the wisdom and facts presented by people smarter and more honest than he is.

        Like those of us aligned on the watchtower of our turtle island.

        • I ran into a comment on a link to this post today, from someone who wrote that this was more likely resultant from heating from radioactive decay of Fukushima waste. This, I thought, should win some kind of prize. Maybe the SMH prize.

        • It’s the new chem trails.

          Something happens in the Pacific… Blame Fukushima, plus add a shot of conspiracy theory. Shaken and stirred.

          One must say the misinformers love their distractions.

        • Yeah. There must be some kinda way outta here…

      • colinc

         /  June 21, 2014

        No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke
        There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
        But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate.
        So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.

        Dare I say, the hour is much too late!

  3. james cole

     /  June 21, 2014

    Do those spots of very warm sea waters that I see off the South West Coast of Greenland and the other off the South West Coast of Kamchatka have any overall meaning, or are they just noise? They just caught my attention as being out of the ordinary and relatively large for their geographic areas.

    • I don’t think they’re noise. They’ve been there for some time and are growing. Others would have better insight on it.

    • They look like good candidates for warm water upwelling. Wish Methane Tracker was still live so we could take a look at local readings. Two words — Nares Strait.

      The one off Greenland is also on the back side of the high, which has been pulling warm air over that zone from the south.

      Good questions and worth a closer look.

  4. Currently it appears we will have a moderate El Niño. However, with another burst of westerlies the chances of a stronger El Niño should grow considerably. That burst may be provided by an area of enhanced tropical rainfall in the Indian Ocean that is associated with the Madden Julian Oscillation as it moves east and reaches the Pacific.

    A little more on this here:

    “Right now, this is the crucial stage for the El Niño to gain amplitude,” Professor Timmermann said. “If the westerlies do not come along, it will be a weak to moderate El Niño.”

    Dr Watkins said the focus was now on a strong pulse of cloud and rain in the equatorial Indian Ocean. That pulse – known as a Madden-Julian oscillation – may be the source of the next burst of westerly winds if it retains sufficient strength when it reaches the Pacific.

    ‘Most-watched’ El Niño gathers pace in Pacific, Peter Hannam, Illawarra Mercury, June 18, 2014

    (Emphasis added as this story may be a little dated)

  5. A little more from Down Under, albeit five days ago:

    “That’s the telltale sign of an early stage to an El Niño event.”

    Professor Stone says the sub-surface temperature across the central and eastern Pacific is warmer by up to 5 degrees.

    “This is why we are saying it is [El Niño] primed,” he said.

    If that comes to the surface you have a major El Niño – it’s just tucked below the surface of the ocean at the moment.”

    El Niño weather pattern already partly formed, climatologist warns drier conditions on the way, ABC Australia, 2014-06-15

    (Emphasis added)

    • The quote should have included at the beginning:

      “The sea temperatures are already 1 or 2 degrees above normal, and right along the South American coast, perhaps 2 or 3 degrees above normal,” Professor Stone said.

      However, the story is actually from 2014-06-14, updated one day later.

    • +4 C anomalies hitting the surface now. As for MJO, let me have a look see.

    • Two areas of convection one just east of the Philippines with 15-20 mph west winds, another well east of the Solomons with 10-18 mph west winds. The areas are of moderate to large size. Smaller areas of convection south of the equator. Doesn’t look like baroclynicity is well established at this time.

      • Phil

         /  June 21, 2014

        Robert, is GFS still projecting WWB over the next couple of days? I remember seeing a piece where Dr Michael Ventrice raised the possibility of WWB’s later on this month/early next month, I think linked to a forecast of a strengthening MJO.

        Not sure if the weather models are starting to forecast this possibility although of course 10 days out is a long way out.

        On another blog I follow, the deniers are starting to get more vocal about the JAMSTEC model’s prediction of a strong negative IDO and potential elimination or serious down sizing of El Nino.

        • GFS shows potential for west winds north of New Guinea and the Solomons through June 26. Will have to keep an eye out. That model sometimes has a few kinks, as we’ve seen in the Arctic lately.

  6. bassman

     /  June 21, 2014

    I spent some time reviewing the 2006 and 2009 El Nino’s influence on global temperature. I looked over 3.4 values, MEI index and PDO index values. What is clear is that PDO index values were the least useful for predicting future monthly anomalies. MEI was the most useful. As expected their was a lot of variation month to month. The most impressive example is Jan 07. A huge record breaking anomaly for both data sets (NASA and NOAA). MEI was high in the months before Jan 07 peeking at a value of 1.29.

    Looking at conditions right now it makes me think that if the current MEI value of .93 (April/May) value increases above 1.2 we could have the potential for the fall to really begin breaking surface records by significant amounts (kind of like NASA’s May .76 values).

    These comparisons also make me think that although the 2009 El nino was of decent strength, many natural forcings were all on the negative side (Negative PDO for most of it, low solar forcing and a negative AMO). This I think really held back 2010. With solar a bit higher and more GHG, I expect 2014 and 2015 to really push higher. The next 4 months will be very telling.

    • These are good observations. Niño is a tricky beast to track, though. So many poorly understood/ modeled influences still. I’m a bit surprised by the so sudden surge in EPAC SSTs. That zone of +2-4 and greater just blossomed over the last three days. It’s as if the ghost of that massive March Kelvin wave materialized at the surface.

      • bassman

         /  June 21, 2014

        This is the first El Niño event I have ever followed. Learning as I go but it does seem that things are picking up quite suddenly. Monday’s update will be interesting. It seems we could still get a 1.5-2.0 3.4 value. I’m guessing models in July become far more predictive.

  7. lannie loeks

     /  June 21, 2014

    When the water warmed off the coast of California there were ‘red tides’ causing anoxia. Wondering if that is happening off South and Central America?

  8. At least 12 die as torrential rain, floods hit Bulgaria

    Forecasters in Bulgaria said that a month’s worth of rain fell within 24 hours in Varna and Burgas, and warned that this “extreme” weather would continue.

  9. Kevin Jones

     /  June 21, 2014

    Catching up on GISS, I noticed Jan-May 2014 global surface temps at .66C. This equals record year 2010. And 2010 had a ‘cold’ December. And we likely will not.

  10. Kevin Jones

     /  June 21, 2014

    Data from James Hansen’s site.

  11. Looking at the heat anomaly in arctic Canada seems to be spreading east further. It now runs from roughly the Mackenzie, over Hudson Bay and into northern Quebec. I don’t think that thing is drifting, I think it is just growing.

    • Linking ridge from Beaufort through CAA and northern Canada to Greenland?

      • Looks like it is starting to form exatcly that, and continue into Norway (Svalbard heat anomaly we’ve all been watching for months).

        • Let’s take a look at GFS…

        • GFS shows near continuous ridge persistence for most of this region through June 28. If that high gets much stronger, it will rip the Beaufort ice to flinders along the edge and we’ll see large cracks running through much of the interior.

  12. Kevin Jones

     /  June 21, 2014

    As a veteran of the late 60’s who has yet to quit, I can’t but expect an awakening of furious youth as they come to realize who profits from their stolen future. I would think the contract liars with their greasy pause might consider retirement. And the few who use their real names may wish to retire them as well.

    • Young people have many reasons for direct action including profiteering from destroying a habitable climate, loss of job security, loss of a living wage or wages ensuring a level of promise and prosperity, concentration of capital into fewer and fewer hands, resulting generational loss of equality, and a general failure of current business establishments to provide innovations that increase prospects for a prosperous future that facilitates a reasonable quality of life.

      I tend to think of decisions by the North Carolina government (under the influence of developers, climate change deniers, and fossil fuel companies) to not take sea level rise into account when planning new construction. What happens when the owners of these newly constructed properties inevitably loses them to storms and sea level rise? Do the homeowners sue the developers for strong-arming government to allow development with near certain liability?

      Predatory practices of this kind results in deep social fracturing, especially in the fact of rising climate disruption.

      • Mark from New England

         /  June 21, 2014

        At the most recent national American Planning Association conference, Urban Planners in coastal zone North Carolina were none to pleased about this. They joked about how absurd it is, and how it really hampers their ability to do their jobs, knowing what they know about seal level rise. I think Louisiana’s state govt. may have adopted similar provisions, though not as extreme as North Carolina’s. I’ll have to check to be sure. But still, planners in the South said the words “global warming” or “climate change” were anathema to the locals; and that they have to address climate adaptation in terms of emergency preparedness; not environmental concerns.

        • They open themselves up for unprecedented liability. Amazing how swiftly climate change denial evaporates when the ocean swallows one’s neighborhood.

      • Generally liability for new construction is 10 years, that is what they are banking on.

        • In this case, I think typical period limits aren’t likely to hold. You’re talking about a boatload of peeved people who paid premiums for beachfront property only to see their castles swept away by the sea. Gov’t and developers will get hit if they misled (which they’re doing now in NC). If the insurers are smart they won’t cover these properties. But if they do, you can bet they’ll come calling if gov’t policy set them up. And there’s a long list behind them…

  13. Mark

     /  June 21, 2014


    I so admire and appreciate the efforts you make. I think your articles should be must reading for all 7.2 billion of us.

    You have great clarity in your thinking, a trait that is surprisingly absent in many.

    Something I think I notice these days, but have no statistical proof of, is that the daily repetition of our weather here in Los Angeles seems greater than before, since about 2012. We never had much variability, but it seems less than ever. It’s as if the weather is broken here, like a needle getting stuck on a record. Sure we have one nice day after another, but truth be told the repetition is boring me to tears! I know the rainfall has been way down, and that is measurable. Don’t know about this other trend though, could be real or could be my imagination.

    Well, your work is extraordinary, and I always look forward to reading it.

    Mark Carpenter Monterey Park, CA

    • colinc

       /  June 21, 2014

      It’s as if the weather is broken…

      “Broken?” I’m thinking FUBAR may be more apt, especially in light of Colorado Bob’s citations below.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Mark. I promise to keep doing my best for you.

      ‘Needle stuck on a record.’ I think that’s an excellent analogy for emerging conditions. Very clear observation as well.

      Warmest regards to you, sir.

  14. Colorado Bob

     /  June 21, 2014

    Book excerpt: Changes in the atmosphere make extreme weather and floods the new normal

    Flood Forecast.
    In Flood Forecast, a new Rocky Mountain Books manifesto, longtime Canmore resident and world-renowned water expert Robert Sandford and Water Canada editor Kerry Freek detail the frightening flooding in Alberta and Toronto in 2013 and argue that the worst could well be yet to come. Their most unsettling conclusion? Changes to the earth’s climate have enabled our atmosphere to hold much more water vapour than in years past and that far from “one in 100 year” events, the resulting extreme weather and flooding is the new normal.


    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 21, 2014

      What we have seen is what we are going to get.

      Predicted rises in temperatures of between 2 and 6°C will result in increases 15 to 40 per cent or more in the capacity of the atmosphere to hold water vapour. This problem will not be going away. It certainly didn’t go away after the flood waters receded in Alberta.

      In the second part of this book Kerry Freek describes the flooding that took place in downtown Toronto only three weeks after the flooding in southern Alberta. Freek argues that the uncertainty of a changing climate clearly demands a faster response in Canada’s major cities. She points out that making decisions and funding action in a municipality the size of Toronto is akin to moving mountains. The crippling costs of replacing an outdated stormwater system, Freek notes, combined with a host of competing political interests, are presently making it impossible for Toronto to become a resilient city.

      The key lesson we learn from the 2013 flooding in Alberta and Ontario is that we are not prepared to deal with the climate variability and flood risk that exist now, let alone what we can expect as a more energetic atmosphere is able to transport more water vapour. These serious floods were nothing compared to what the atmosphere is capable of delivering now and in the future. This was made evident by a series of extreme weather events that occurred in Russia shortly afterward.

      What happened in Russia is almost beyond imagination. It is almost the stuff of science fiction. The weakening of the European jet stream caused by reduced snow and sea ice cover led to the creation of a heat dome in northern Siberia. In July 2013 hundreds of wildfires broke out that were so hot they melted the permafrost beneath the burning forests, creating methane releases from the thawing tundra that added fuel to the fires. Then, in early August, in the midst of what was coming to resemble a virtual firestorm, three atmospheric rivers collided over the region and within four days created a flood that covered a million square kilometres. Again we see floods and fires of a magnitude seldom experienced before in the same basin in the same year. But we also see something much darker. It appears we are melting the frozen lid of the jar that contains much of the world’s methane. Compared to this, opening Pandora’s box is like unwrapping a Christmas present.

      We then saw the same theme repeated right before our eyes in Colorado: fires and massive floods in the same basin in the same year. Colorado experts explained that the storm started when “a strong plume of tropical moisture moved up from Mexico.” At first the rain was welcomed. It ended a severe drought and put out the forest fires. But then the storm simply parked itself over the state. Some 19.8 inches of rain fell in the Boulder area, which was unprecedented for the month of September. This is interesting but there was more. The state climatologist of Colorado, Nolan Doeskan, noted that the most remarkable feature of the storm was not the cloudburst per se but the atmospheric water levels. The storm, he said, “shattered all records for the most water vapour in the atmosphere.” What we are experiencing now in terms of extreme weather events appears to be within the realm of natural variability we have experienced in the past. The storms of the future will almost certainly be of magnitudes that are outside that realm.

      • Bob, is you cap-lock broken?

      • Normally when I see someone bolding their entire post, leaving their cap-lock on, or doing both at the same time I simply skip right over what they have written. Bolding and all-caps are to be used sparingly, as a means of emphasis, and using them over an extended piece of text is a bit like screaming at the top of your lungs. That is in fact how my mind interprets it, and I don’t like being yelled or screamed at.

        However, in fairness to you I forced myself to read the comment from beginning to end, and a very large part of what you are writing about is something that I have touched on at various points: “weather whiplash”, where a given region is subject to one extreme, such as drought, only to be followed by the other extreme shortly thereafter.

        This can make agriculture all but impossible. Moreover, with drought, you will have the withering away of plants or fires entirely wiping them out, leaving nothing to bind rich, dried out soil that may then be blown away. Following drought with extreme flash floods likewise carries away soil, and as such, over time, even when weather is less extreme the capacity for growing crops is greatly reduced.

        It should also be noted water from flooding doesn’t have much of a chance of being absorbed and ending a drought as it will simply run off. Likewise, drought eliminates moist air convection and the cooling it makes possible, forcing surface temperatures higher, thus increases the likelihood of dried out timber or grass catching fire. Additionally, dust due to wind blowing away top soil during times of drought will tend to darken ice and snow, reducing available water the next growing season, or darkening sea ice and thus amplifying global warming due to greater melt exposing darker ocean,

        In any case, I have given similar examples of weather whiplash in the comment section at the Guardian UK. Please see A Question of Values, Part III-V, which includes links to the news stories themselves, where possible.

        In any case, thank you for the comment. I found it valuable.

      • I think we deserve a hat tip for this one…

        Excellent and correct, though.

      • JPL

         /  June 23, 2014

        I watched a short on youtube the other day about the tar sands projects and when they showed aerial views of the tailings ponds my first thought was what a catastrophe could be unleashed by persistent torrential rains in Alberta. Good grief…

        PS – I would read Colorado Bob’s posts if they were in bold, all caps, italics and (gasp!) comic sans font!


        • Completely agree, John. Both on Alberta and RE Bob. He’s a human treasure.

          Depending on how that storm track lines up, we may well end up with the potential for another set of Alberta floods this year. With all that heat, it’s a race between fire and flood. Very common theme for tundra thaw regions these days.

    • Amping up the hydrological cycle is a pretty vicious change.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  June 21, 2014

        TC –
        I was yelling at Robert . Because the comment included something he covered here last summer in great detail. The Siberian fires, and the Great Amur floods.

        The 2013 flooding in Alberta and Ontario , are listed as # 1 and # 2 on the costliest natural disasters in Canadian history.

      • colinc

         /  June 22, 2014

        “[Colorado] Bob deserves credit for amazing research…

        Seconded! I guess that actually makes for a “2-Bob” bet on the best info, re:AGW, on the web. Enough “Kudos” can’t be offered to both of them! 😉

      • Colorado Bob, am I reading you correctly? The above passage is an except from the introduction to a book you have coauthored? If so, congratulations! I am looking forward to reading it.

  15. Something from yesterday on the Madden-Julian which, like the cooler Pacific Decadal Oscillation (assuming you are looking at the North Pacific, but the “Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation” if you are looking at the entire Pacific Basin), is currently favoring a weaker El Niño:

    On the opposite time scale, a cycle called the Madden-Julian Oscillation acts over just a month or two and influences the trade winds. L’Heureux thinks the relative cooling over the past couple of weeks can be attributed to the MJO, which amps up the easterly winds, pushing away those warmer waters. But it’s possible the MJO could flip around in the next few weeks and set off a westerly wind burst, warming things up again.

    “We’re in a ‘wait and let’s see’ mode,” L’Heureux said.

    Atmosphere May Be Getting in Gear for El Niño, Andrea Thompson, Climate Central, 2014-06-20

    Of course, the bigger longer-term question is whether the coming El Niño will be sufficient to flip the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to its warm phase, or the deeper ocean will continue to accumulate heat to be released at a later time. (The former may be preferable.)

  16. Kevin Trenberth is currently (or at least as of 2014-06-19) leaning towards a super El Niiño. In a piece worth reading in its own right, Peter Sinclair links to a post at Planet 3.0 that links to a slide show where Trenberth notes the similarity in the evolution of the sea surface temperature anomaly fields between the Februaries of 1981-1984, 1996-1999 and (so far) 2013-2016.

    Please see:

    El Niiño Sends Mixed SignalsPeter Sinclair, Climate Crock Denial of the Week, 2014-06-21

    • Japan Meteorological Agency seems to be leaning the same way as of 2014-06-15, that is, prior to the ongoing spike in temperatures…

      Please see:

      The trade winds in the equatorial Pacific normally blow from east to west. But two strong westerly bursts were recorded in January and February, and two slightly less powerful westerly bursts occurred in March and April.

      “The trigger for an El Nino has been pulled. If these westerly bursts continue, it could develop into a powerful event,” said Shuhei Maeda, senior coordinator for El Nino information at the Japan Meteorological Agency.

      El Nino’s return could change everything, Kiyoshi Ando, Nikkei Asian Review, 2014-06-15

      (The article was linked to by Skeptical Science today.)

      • PS From the leading paragraph, “… this looks to be not any normal El Nino, but one that could rival the abnormal conditions from the spring of 1997 to the spring of 1998.”

        • Equatorial anomalies at +0.78 C again today. Very strong continued warming. EPAC also looking very warm today. The trend looks quite strong to me.

      • West winds all along the Equator parallel to both New Guinea and the Solomon Islands today. Moderate speed at 10-18 mph. Contiguous and probably widespread enough to be termed synoptic.

        GFS shows the pattern continuing for a few days.

      • I know we don’t want to be sticking too many thermometers in too many places too often, but I am seeing 4.2°C at 0.86°S, 82.90°W as of 2014-06-21-00:00 UTC.

        • Yeah, been getting 4 C + readings in and around that area for a couple of days now. That’s quite strong surface warming even for a single point. Ship observations are probably higher.

  17. Colorado Bob

     /  June 21, 2014
    • Been popping up here and there over recent days. Yakutia and NWT are worth watching. Temps over Yakutia have been extreme recently.

    • I lived through massive fires in NWT, it is NOT a pretty thing. I remember being 20-nothing sitting on top of my rented trailer in “old town” Hay River drinking beer and watching the giant flames over the fuel tanks (all fuel going north went through the tank farm there at that time). Nothing you could do, if it went up nowhere to go, so may as well have some beers and watch.
      If you ever look up Hay River NWT on google maps, and follow the Mackenzie Hwy to the NTCL Syncro lift, there are 2 blocks of houses (quite crappy ones). I lived there.

      After the fire if you flew in or out, it was a moonscape of burnt debris forever.

  18. A conic equidistant projection dynamic map of the Equatorial Pacific temperature anomaly field may be found here. Bookmark it and view later or modify it if you prefer by clicking on “Earth” in the lower left or dragging a point within the map itself.

  19. June 21, 2014 – The wringing out of the atmospheric sponge in the mid western USA:
    “… And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it plans to pull all its gates from locks between Hastings and Guttenberg, Iowa, allowing the mighty Mississippi to flow naturally and ease flooding risks upstream.
    “All that rain has to go somewhere and there are still a ton of smaller streams that haven’t crested feeding the main stem rivers,” said Craig Schmidt, hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. “Some fields are slowly drying out and smaller streams to the west are beginning to crest, but the Mississippi, Minnesota and Crow Wing rivers will continue to rise for a week at least.”
    “The damage is really unprecedented and very widespread,” Gov. Mark Dayton said before boarding a plane to southern Minnesota along with U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. Dayton has already declared a state of emergency in nearly half of Minnesota’s counties.

    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 22, 2014

      This pattern for the last 4 years is really bad when it comes over your house. Because, in 24 hours you become a climate refugee. I don’t care if you farm coffee beans in Columbia, play music in Nashville , drill oil in Alberta, cut trees in Siberia, mine coal in Australia, sell to tourists in Mexico, grow corn in Iowa, raise sheep in Britain ,

      All of these are extreme rain events doing billions of dollars of damage. Around the world.

      And if I got really anal about it , we’d all go blind looking at the type.

      Believe me went one of these rain events comes to breakfast

      Get to high ground

      • Quite strong high digging in over the Beaufort. Lots of compaction and recession of sea ice along the Canadian/Alaskan coast.

      • Colorado Bob wrote:

        And if I got really anal about it , we’d all go blind looking at the type.

        I suppose it is too late to suggest you might try being more Z☯n about this…

  20. Colorado Bob

     /  June 21, 2014

    Not all op-eds are created equal –

    The Coming Climate Crash

    THERE is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.

    For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.

    We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

    This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course.


    • The climate crash will make the 2008 crisis seem like child’s play. We need to start unwinding the fossil fuel stranded assets bubble immediately. We need to start unwinding the coastal real estate bubble immediately. And we need to start building systems that facilitate migration and set up rapid job retraining. Otherwise we end up with a flood of homeless, jobless refugees. Retrain coal workers to build solar panels, for example. The US jobs training program for tech skills is inadequate and needs a boost anyway.

      • Yes, we need updated systems like the old Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) of the 1930s, ASAP. For non carbon intensive energy, ecology education, and repairing and buttressing ecosystems, etc.

    • colinc

       /  June 22, 2014

      WOW! Just freakin’ WOW!!! When I read your comment above, CB, I was thinking, erroneously, the author might be J. Grantham. But… WOW!! I would never, ever have guessed “that guy” was the author of those words. Nonetheless, after reading the entire article, I’m thinking he is just making a CYA ploy! Especially in light of,…

      When you run a company, you want to hand it off in better shape than you found it.

      I have to wonder just how much moola he donated to Mittens campaign a couple years ago since, as we all know, that’s precisely the modus operandi of Mittens LBO operations! (/snark off) Of course, I could be wrong. Regardless, a “carbon tax” is precisely the WRONG way to go as it will ONLY result in making the “little people” poorer and the rich, richer. With the utterly dysfunctional and FUBAR government, any “fee-bate” program is like the “American Dream,” you have to be asleep to believe it. Again, just WOW!

      • I like Hansen’s carbon tax and transfer plan… A policy with multiple benefits.

      • colinc

         /  June 22, 2014

        I understand that. However, there have been many things that “look good on paper.” Hansen’s plan doesn’t have an ice-cube’s chance in hell of ever being implemented the way he proposes. Between the wizards of wall street and their puppets, the majority of congress critters and every other level of “government,” any such “policy” will only produce more profit for the profiteers and more grief for the already struggling. I am surprised that you don’t understand that!

        • We got Obamacare. Not so fantastic as it could have been, but a far cry better than the free market taking your house if you ended up sick. Hansen needs to be invited to the carbon tax table.

          In any case, any carbon tax is better than no carbon tax. There is already a bit of democratization built in and if the tax is rebalanced with tax credits for renewable energy related purchases, it may end up having a net progressive effect. This is a huge opportunity and we shouldn’t declare defeat before we even get started.

          I’m curious how the regular republicans react to Paulson’s float. Will Fox News and the right wing media crucify him? Or is this a start of a general republican shift toward more seeming rationality on climate change? It would be nice to see the Koch wing of the party marginalized to irrelevance.

      • colinc

         /  June 22, 2014

        Really, Robert? Let me get one thing straight. According to every poll/test I’ve taken on the subject of “personal politics” (more than “a few”), I am so far left of left as to be from a different GD galaxy than anyone on this rock. The ACA is nothing more than a multibillion dollar “gift” to health insurance industry tycoons, the only people it was designed to and will benefit. But I don’t want to derail anything on that sore subject.

        So, I have to ask, what evidence (besides the ACA) do you have that makes you think that Hansen’s proposal could possibly be implemented as policy that will “help” anyone but the oligarchs? Perhaps it was the repeal of Glass-Steagall? That was supposed to benefit everybody! Or maybe it was all the legislation that was passed allowing large American corporations to ship jobs overseas to sweat shops? Who did that benefit? Have you seen the Institute for Policy Studies’ analyses on CEO compensation over the past decade? Again, what makes you believe that any carbon-tax plan will benefit anyone other than those that already have too much?

        • Watch Fox News lately?

          Answer 1:

          ACA was and continues to be fought tooth and nail by the big healthcare companies. The exchanges lower costs for consumers, provide real care to high risk patients, and generate competition, which the big providers hate. ACA shored up Medicare and Medicaid and is forcing conservative states to do the same.

          A single payer plan might have been better. But what we ended up with was far, far superior to the free market crud we had before.

        • Answer 2:

          Apparently you’re not aware what Hansen’s tax and transfer plan involves…

          It’s simple.

          1. Apply a carbon tax at the point of sale.
          2. Transfer the money in the form of a dividend directly to consumers.

          The plan provides capital directly where it is needed most — in the form of enabling consumers to purchase sources of energy other than fossil fuels. In essence, it frees the captive consumer. It grants them capital with which to purchase transformative technologies like solar panels and electric vehicles.

          It’s a fantastic plan that would enable people to make their own energy choices and incentive them to choose clean energy. So what’s not to like?

        • So you bring up Glass Steagall, which to this discussion is a bit of a red herring. What does Hansen’s carbon tax and transfer plan have to do with the repeal of Glass Steagall? For my part, I support the reinstatement of Glass Steagall level regulations. We have far more than we had pre 2008. But I believe out current policies still leave the door to further crisis cracked open.

        • Answer 4:

          CEO compensation at 200 times average worker compensation.

          Yes, it’s absolutely a problem. And if we do a carbon tax right, we might also be able to reduce inequality as well.

      • colinc

         /  June 22, 2014

        Watch Fox News lately?

        Never in my life! Well, except for the excerpts re-aired by Stewart, Colbert, Oliver and Maher. Otherwise, I’ll go ahead and posit, no offense intended, that you suck at chess.

      • robertscribbler wrote:

        For my part, I support the reinstatement of Glass Steagall level regulations. We have far more than we had pre 2008. But I believe out current policies still leave the door to further crisis cracked open.

        For those who are interested, regarding the role of inflation of the credit supply, the housing market, and income inequality in the 2008 Recession, might I suggest:

        David Sington’s documentary The Flaw.

        • The Flaw reveals both the faulty logic of blind faith in markets and a bit of the harm arising from the changing relationship between the rich and the poor in the US. Though, in my view, a bit incomplete, it’s a good documentary.

          For my part, expanding income inequality, substitution of debt for income, and the loss of key regulations (like Glass Steagall) were the roots and bones of the crisis. Republican/neoliberal policy drove almost all the changes that set up the crisis and the current ideology remains vulnerable to inflicting repeated harms of a similar nature. Blind faith in markets remains, ignorance of the damage to society caused by inequality remains, and a broad push to remove needed regulatory and stabilizing government bodies remains. The drive appears to be, instead, to continue to increase inequality (either consciously or through a kind of ideological blindness).

          I’m sure it’s a bit of an irony republicans concerned about the climate tend to miss (though these individuals are well in the minority) but without their enabling policies, the fossil fuel companies would have no-where near the power they do now to resist positive change. The enabling of inequality and monopoly power facilitates the very abuses we are seeing now. In this way, inequality and systemic harm to the climate are deeply linked. Anyone considering so-called free market only solutions to climate change should take a long, hard look at this issue.

          The Flaw, in essence, remains.

      • Also, regarding Brooksley Born’s attempts to rein in the over-the-counter derivatives and the opposition she faced from Greenspan, Rubin and Summers, might I also suggest:

        Frontline: The Warning

        As an aside, I was a bit more of a fan of Greenspan prior to my understanding of the role he played in postponing market corrections by artificially inflating the money supply and his opposition to transparency in the over-the-counter derivatives market.

      • pintada

         /  June 23, 2014

        So, Robert … Good to be the king?

        • My rule is three direct personal attacks and you’re out. Works well for facilitating civil discourse and intelligent discussion. King? No. But am not afraid to moderate. Nor am I willing to put up with passive aggressive crap.

  21. Kevin Jones

     /  June 22, 2014

    Re: “Bob deserves credit….” Yes, Robert. For several years I’ve found myself reading Colorado’s input at other notable sites. Consistently interesting and informative. Thank you Colorado Bob.

    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 22, 2014

      Kevin Jones –

      Your atta boy is just what i needed.

      • I hope so. Paulson seemed to be a rather reasonable fellow. I tend to have an innate distrust of these finance types, though. But putting the carbon tax issue on the table does open a position for positive action that we didn’t have before. And much of what he said in the op-Ed is spot on. The direct embrace of the existential threat posed by climate change is very encouraging.

        Did he have any previous statements on climate change we can use for comparison?

      • Yes, and a kudos or three for Colorado Bob from me too.

  22. Colorado Bob

     /  June 22, 2014


    HENRY M. PAULSON Jr.JUNE 21, 2014 –

    Has come to Jesus .

    • colinc

       /  June 22, 2014

      Nice! I’m LMFAO! I’ll concur with your observation if by “Jesus” you mean Hank’s next multibillion dollar mountain of personal, tax-free income.

    • Colorado Bob

       /  June 22, 2014


      The rich are changing . .Insurance is collapsing.

      The floods in Balkans last month were over 2.5 Billion dollars.

      These rain events eat Insurance people for breakfast/

      There blindness model works like an extinct monarch butterfly.

      • Paulson still living in free market fairyland. Eliminate energy subsidies? Show me a country without government support for energy and I’ll show you Somalia.

        We’re going to need major government support for all kinds of action including rapid build renewables. The conservative ideology remains radically vulnerable to spectacular failure in confronting climate change.

      • I really do hate it when republicans claim to be the party of Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt supported the income tax and radically reigned in the power of monopolies. Republicans today, including Paulson, empower monopolies and seek to undermine the progressive income tax. They are the anti-Roosevelt.

        I think republicans have found themselves suddenly well behind the 8 ball on climate change and are scrambling to remain relevant before their sick, pander only to selfish business interests, party is entirely scrapped. Paulson now proposes a carbon tax, which will help, and then proceeds to spew a bunch of nonsense.

        Getting more and more disappointed as I continue to read.

      • I’m thinking Paulson’s ‘come to Jesus moment’ is, sadly, little more than a sales pitch in which he’s promoting his private firm which appears well positioned to provide consulting services to large corporations seeking to off-shore US alternative energy manufacturing to China. His version of the carbon tax facilitates this transfer and off-shoring.

        Further, cutting US subsidies and incentives for renewables would rapidly gut the US alt energy market for dominance by China-based globalization.

        That said, putting the carbon tax on the table does allow for other inputs. If it’s on the table, then we have a negotiating position and we should push a different version of the carbon tax that both promotes equality and more effectively solves the climate crisis without the built in loot/pillage that Paulson’s vision would promote.

        So what’s more dangerous? Republicans denying climate change? Or republicans using climate change to advance their ugly economic ideology.

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…

        Climate politics are about to get interesting…

      • mikkel

         /  June 22, 2014

        “So what’s more dangerous? Republicans denying climate change? Or republicans using climate change to advance their ugly economic ideology.”

        If you can’t defeat reality then co-opt it. There is going to be a huge push by Silicon Valley/Wall Street to “fight” climate change on its terms and this op-ed is one of the opening salvos. [It’s no coincidence his institution is at U of Chicago, the home of neoliberalism]

        For me, the key question is how much to support programs that may reduce CO2 in the near term even at the risk of continued inequality and addiction to growth. I do think the left can do a much better job at trying to take advantage of market opportunities as they exist in order to build up organizations that can push the messaging towards consumption reduction over the next few decades.

        The cracks are already starting to form and perhaps corporate consumerism is entering a period of long decline — and they’re trying to figure out how to adapt

        • The left can manage a carbon tax issue well and game it to increase equality and rebalance some of the power shift away from neoliberalism. I honestly think the carbon tax is a live wire that could rapidly fall out of neoliberal control. It’s traditionally against what they stand for contradicting the fantasy of rational self-governing markets. Paulson’s plea is practically an admission of this. We should drive full bore on a carbon tax and let the market types think what they will. Full and effective implementation is a loss for neoliberalism.

      • OK …

        I’ve done some more research RE Paulson…

        Apparently he’s been promoting action on climate change for the better part of at least two years. He joins a cadre of investors including Bloomberg and Steyer who share concerns about climate change. Paulson’s stance is not new, nor a come to Jesus moment.

        The general push appears to be a defensive action to prevent a massive loss of wealth that is bound to occur if there is a poor response to climate change. In addition, the three have advised on constructing sustainable cities, pushed efforts to add resiliency to climate change, and worked for a global carbon tax or carbon regulation.

        Paulson is a republican, Steyer is a democrat, Bloomberg is independent. They all share the perspective of big money finance.

        In general, there’s quite a lot to like about their actions. For example, they advised President Obama not to approve the Keystone pipeline.

        Though I find Paulson’s free market centric view to be short-sighted, naive, and loaded with, unrealized by him, mechanisms of self-sabotage, I think the overall push to get investors to begin moving large-scale monetary machinery to confront climate change is a positive one.

        In short, those of us fighting for action on climate change have a few big-money allies and they’re apparently willing to consider taxation policy as a lever for positive change. Though gamesmanship at this level might well be expected, especially from the neoliberal types, there is a shifting of worldview that appears to be overall beneficial. In this context we need weigh both risks and benefits to ensure that new policies promoting renewable energy and solutions to climate change (as mentioned above) continue to have a democratizing effect.

        Overall, positive and heartening, though I tend to differ with Paulson on means of implementation. Also, I find it unlikely that many republicans will take on Paulson’s views RE a carbon tax. So in this respect, I’m afraid he’s a bit of a voice in the wilderness.

        • Have you read ‘Capital in the Twenty First Century?’ If not, it’s well worth it.

          Have to agree with Mikkel, here, inequality is at levels above those seen in the guilder age and continues to rise. Structurally, we will need stronger equality policies if we go to slow/no/zero population growth as that factor alone tends to concentrate income. Huge challenges ahead. It would be nice to see the wealthy support policies and views that do not serve a narrow interest. Friedman economic thinking needs to go.

        • Repeat these words with me:

          Taxing the rich is good. The progressive income tax is good. The carbon tax is good.

          These are memes most conservatives and neoliberalism are terrified of. As it cuts off the legs of their ‘markets can solve all problems’ world view. If taxes are needed, government policies are needed, if government policies are needed, then public institutions are needed, if public institutions are needed then the notion of effectively self-governing rational private self interest in the pursuit of profit is inherently flawed. And the whole tower of Neoliberal Babel comes tumbling on down.

          Paulson, one of the high priests of neoliberalism proposes blasphemy to the church. He’s, most likely, trying to use a tax to shore up a portion of the structure neoliberalism constructed, the transfer of US labor to unprotected markets in China where workers can be exploited and profits can be maximized for CEOs and shareholders. But can Paulson control what happens with a carbon tax once the notion gets out of the bag? Unlikely, without a Bush III type administration.

          And this is why I call it a live wire. If those concerned about climate change are paying attention, those liberals who understand what a fully implemented carbon tax would mean and not a conservative bastardization, they need to jump all over this. And, yes, the republicans/neoliberals will try to insert as many poison pills as possible. But if we’re fighting over the issue of a carbon tax, then we’re fighting on our ground, over our issues and that’s where we want to be.

      • mikkel

         /  June 22, 2014

        No Robert, I haven’t read Capital in the 21st Century. That said, from the various summaries/reviews I’ve pursued, I’m not sure what it is pointing out that Marx and others haven’t — I guess just the raw data? Or is it that all generations must rediscover basic truths?

        In any case, it is confusing to me because the logic of capitalism dictates that inequality rise like it has and the only “serious” brake is redistribution through social policy, which of course is the underpinning behind social democracies.

        FDR and Keynes both saw their roles, for instance, as saving capitalism from itself. Far from being the enemies the right so often portrays, they were saviors for both good and ill.

        I have just read a completely fascinating non-fiction book called Six Thousand Years of Bread

        It has much to recommend on many levels, but the one consistency the author mentions is the rise of oligarchy creating situations in which 4-5 groups hold 80% of wealth and then cause the inevitable downfall of civilization. He pointed out that far from popular conception, the great (western) empires have long had immense welfare at their peaks, as it is was necessary to maintain power in face of such inequality. The states’ downfall occurred when welfare grew too big and — combined with warring and environmental/weather issues — bankrupted them.

        But money per se wasn’t the issue, it was the lack of basic skills among the populace that was either largely on welfare or hyperspecialized into matters like finance. The bankruptcy only cut off the imports that the civilizations were reliant on; the rest was fear, lack of knowledge and overly centralized decision making.

        By contrast, he is most admiring of cultures who have widely distributed land ownership and responsibility, and pointed out several “golden eras” that took place with almost identical dynamics to post-WWII America.

        It is particularly interesting because the book was written in the 30s and 40s, far before most of the ideology of social democracy was enacted. And yet it is a critique both of that and neoliberalism/libertarianism.

        Another theme in the book is that the US has never had good soil governance policies because it has been so fertile they weren’t needed, while Europe was starting to turn the corner in the 19th century after centuries of famine caused from depleted soil. He talks about the dangers of synthetic fertilizers and the need for polyculture and wild spaces to counter the issue. Again, this was decades before the Green Revolution and “proper” environmentalism.

        All in all I came away with the impression he’d highly approve of the suggestion of George Mobus that there should be a Green Deal in which the under and unemployed are taught permaculture principles and then go out to reclaim land from the agrogiants that have destroyed it; earning not only income but a share of the land in return.

        • It’s an important clarifying work, a bit of education I believe many people in my generation have missed. Though not perfect, I would file it under potential future history, if we last through the 21st Century and if the failing neoliberal policies remain in place.

  23. Griffin

     /  June 22, 2014

    Colorado Bob, thank you for your research and the push I needed to confirm the dark fears I have regarding these rain events. The effect is nearly immediate to the input of heat. If we see higher atmospheric temps this year due to lessening oceanic absorption, we will see increased water vapor potential in the atmosphere. More than the mind blowing amounts we can see right now. That is tough to come to grips with. This may be the first direct consequence of global warming that will occur with such alarming frequency that any attempts to deny it or link it to natural variability fall on deaf ears. Then again, that might be wishful thinking. Most folks have no idea of what goes on with the weather beyond their local forecast.

  24. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 22, 2014

    When all the fancy financial wheels plus the spare broke loose six years ago, we were treated to Henry Paulson’s clear statements about what to do.

    Bankster Henry was Secretary of the Treasury, on loan from Goldman Sachs.

    He knew the solution to the escalating financial chaos –

    Bankster Henry is a tried & true financial genius so, quite naturally, he wanted to keep the proles borrowing & PAYING COMPOUND INTEREST to bankers.

    Said financial priest Paulson in no uncertain terms;
    “We want people to be able to get the credit that they need!”

    A more concise political & existential statement would be hard to find.

    Paulson’s position was received as infallible financial gospel by the Bush Establishment.

    In three days (including a weekend) Bush’s bankster cronies; Paulson, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke, & Alan Greenspan, promptly proceeded to deliver hundreds of billions of public money into the coffers of the private commercial banks.

    Such obvious “commonizing of the costs while privatizing the profits” was unquestionably designed to liquify the on-the-ropes banking establishment & thereby make credit available to the compound interest paying laboring citizenry.

    Bankster Henry’s personal wealth is estimated at more than 800 million dollars.

    Bankster Henry doesn’t need any credit.

    Bankster Henry needs more compound interest income.

    First law of expertise; Don’t ask the barber if you need a haircut.

    Don’t ask Henry for a solution to the rapacious continually expanding economy driven by compound interest.

    Now Henry says; “The solution can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response. We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide — a carbon tax.”

    What did you expect.

    In a culture where everything is for sale, it is simple catechism to put a price on carbon.

    Another terrific example of “commonizing the costs while privatizing the profits”

    Bankster Henry can afford all the carbon he wants.

    We are doomed alright.

    At least a sumbitch like Bankster Henry gets his along with the rest of us.

  25. Kevin Jones

     /  June 22, 2014

    Well. The older I become while witnessing the dissolution of this fantastically diverse and intricately interrelated home planet, the further from ideology I drift. Food, clothing, shelter, a sense of community and first do no harm purpose…. Remove one or more of these basics and people tend towards poor behavior regardless of party affiliation. Since Collapse is the name of this century, the question becomes one of ‘sustainable retreat’. As Yosemite Sam said, on the mud flap of an 18 wheeler: “Back Off!’. For tribal carnivores married to spear and fire, this presents a conundrum. Perhaps we should call the past 400,000 years + of our evolution The Anthropo-pyromaniac-ocene. I mean weaning ourselves off Fire is like weaning a 15 year old off sex. Small wonder so many Burn Again Christians. So let us stack our muskets, till our gardens, watch them bake then wash away? Such adventure awaits! Apologies….

    • Burn Again… Pyromaniac Ocene… Brilliant!

      Throughout history, it seems that when the poor and less well off were taken care of, things were good, personal accountability expanded, and leaders didn’t eat the whole pie. Such times and cultures are more conscientious regarding dangerous externalities, and tend to innovate for sustainability. Today, we call these views liberal, and I wholeheartedly and with clear conscience support them. If you start from the basis of reducing or eliminating harm, people will start labeling you liberal even if you don’t think of yourself that way.

    • Ron L

       /  June 23, 2014

      Anthropyrocene? I like it.

  26. Kevin Jones

     /  June 22, 2014

    No. I don’t mean to let any of the bastards off the hook: Prometheus, Thomas Newcomen, Dick Cheney…. Just so many of ’em & the last hours of ancient sunlight, if not the banquet of consequences they’ve brought, are winding low.

  27. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 22, 2014

    You DO know whats happening, don’t you, Mr. Jones.
    “Burn again Christians,” is a totally new term for me & it has great potential.
    Burn, burn, burn, & then really burn.
    AS we gasp for a final breath, we can quote the Jevons Paradox, Khazzoom-Bazzooms, & even Milton Friedman.
    “Hey, everybody else is gasping too”
    It will be very democratic – with or without sweet Jesus, Bhudda, Milton Friedman, or Mammon..

  28. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 22, 2014

    Comes now am electric helicopter with lithium batteries staffed by Los Chicago Boys, who drop cash money, wallets, Lewinsky handbags, & recyleable water bottles to the gasping stock brokers, lawyer/politicians, burning again Christians, & even some of the proles below.
    “The economy must expand.”

  29. Kevin Jones

     /  June 22, 2014

    Gerald Spezio. Seems our coffee’s from the same pot this a.m.!

  30. Kevin Jones

     /  June 22, 2014

    CT Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area (6/21) anomaly down to -1.111 million sq. km.

    • Yes. Drop of 300K + in one day. Although some of it appears to be making up for lost time on the graph. Extent below 2007, but above 2012. Area still above 2007 and 2012.

      Huge 1036 mb high ripping the Beaufort to flinders today. Sea ice to soon retreat from entire Alaskan and Canadian coasts west of the mid CAA. GFS shows the high with a one day hiccup, persisting through the week. Strong melt forecast and trend.

      With current atmospheric dynamics supporting fixed weather systems, one wonders if we don’t end up with a kind of Arctic heat dome? It’s worth noting though, that the more the ice breaks up, the more it begs for a storm. War between atmospheric heat inertia and instability. For sea ice melt, the timing of this dynamic means everything. For now, it’s melt acceleration so long as that strong high persists.

  31. Kevin Jones

     /  June 22, 2014

    Rainstorms, Floods Plunge China into Emergency Response reports China Daily (jesus)

    • At the in-laws today. My father in law is a rocket scientist. Sharp guy with a lot of good insights. He, like many here, recommends the book Windfall.

      Need to get back to my desk, though. China’s been ground zero for a building rain pattern since late May…

    • The last three days have left 26 dead, three missing and nearly 5 million impacted. Flooding toppled 8,700 homes, damaged 66,000 others and forced more than 400,000 to evacuated.

      This is the most recent in a long series of major flood events over eastern China since late May. Looking at MODIS we find wall to wall clouds and rainstorms covering much of the region over the past 30 days. The danger is that these storms persist on through late summer…

      • These precipitation bands (alleys?) are causing havoc all over. I was looking at the agriculture forecasts for the US this morning and the deluges are impacting soy planting as well as wheat harvest. I don’t think folks are considering that too much rain can be as bad as too little.

        I’m looking at historical data between futures markets for commodities & FAO index. Wonder if there is a forecast ability in there for social unrest up to 24 months out.

        • Each side of the extreme beats the heck out of agriculture. The droughts get stuck and so do the storm tracks. The crops need a good balance of sun and rain. Instead we have areas with mostly sun or mostly extreme rain.

        • Warm storm forming now at the edge of the Beaufort. Pacific storm track appears to be tilting toward the Arctic. If we get the Pacific storm track running over Alaska and into the Arctic Ocean, it will be unprecedented.

          More later… But holy cow!

    • Equatorial Pacific at +0.80 positive anomaly today, another jump. Ocean looking more and more like 1997. Strong heat pulses emerging off South America and moving westward.

      • Ralph

         /  June 23, 2014

        0.81 today…
        A couple of questions about El Nino development.
        Currrently the trade winds in the western pacific are stopped. Is that enough to develop into El Nino or do we specifically need westerly winds there to kick us over the edge?
        Secondly, yeah the eastern pacific is way hot, but the western pacific is quite hot too…. does heating of the pacific in general favour El Nino development or do you need a west-east imbalance?
        Or are my questions two months too late?

      • Ralph —

        We probably end up with at least a weak to moderate El Nino even without substantial atmospheric feedbacks.

        Over the past few days, we’ve had west winds in the western Pacific and a broad weakening of the trades. This is at least a moderate atmospheric feedback that would promote El Nino.

        Surface warming and warming from the surface into deeper levels in the Western Pacific creates a pool of heat that can fuel El Nino. As the heat builds in that region, pressure increases for the kinds of atmospheric feedbacks we mentioned above. With broad weakening of the trades and strong west wind backbursts, the host water in the western Pacific is avected downward, forming into a kind of warm water wave running beneath the Pacific from west to east. This is called a Kelvin Wave. The Kelvin wave transports potential heat energy into the Eastern Pacific. There, the subsea warms, creating warming pressure at the surface. If the pressure is enough, as it has been over recent weeks, the Eastern Pacific rapidly warms at the start of an El Nino event.

      • Steve

         /  June 23, 2014

        “If we get the Pacific storm track running over Alaska and into the Arctic Ocean, it will be
        unprecedented!” In what way? Even if that doesn’t occur, I would enjoy reading your insight about this event that you now view as a possibility.

        • You end up with a flood of Pacific moisture and relative warmth that typically runs over the northern US or Canada entraining into the Arctic.

          Storm originating from the south outside the Arctic would carry with them much more warmth than those originating in the interior Arctic or at the periphery.

          It would be unprecedented both due to what amounts to a looping of the Jet Stream and moisture river into the Arctic. Though we have had polar vortex collapse events throughout winter, the potential under such an event would be a dissolution of the cold air pack over the Arctic.

          Of course, what is most likely to occur is to have a storm or two hitting the Beaufort and generating warmer than normal temperatures along with rains.

          A longer period event would very rapidly melt sea ice in a manner that is not typical to the Arctic, even during summer. Hence unprecedented.

          GFS shows two storms coming up from a storm track that is essentially bent at a right angle toward the Arctic along the Gulf of Alaska.

          The disruption is essentially arising from the very warm water zones off the Pacific Coasts of the US and Canada facilitating the generation of Oceanic heat dome blocking patterns. The blocking highs keep moving north. As the shift north, the storm track is shoved closer and closer to the Arctic. At a point, it breaks north and the polar cold zone is compromised by an synoptic moisture and heat flow thousands of miles long.

          Again, something to watch.

        • After taking a second look, it appears the blocking ridge off the Pacific Northwest is indeed shoving the Pacific Storm track up Alaska and into the Beaufort.

          So we have a set up for pontential strong warm storm genesis over the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas due to storm track invasion throughout the next 6 weeks.

          Set up for potential rapid melt event. Will keep track.

      • Steve

         /  June 23, 2014

        Fascinating! Thank you

  32. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 23, 2014

    from a review of WINDFALL by McKenzie Funk

    On point for any discussion of bankster Henry’s free market carbon taxing scheme to keep the continually expanding economy continually expanding.

    On point for any discussion about Bankster Henry’s carbon taxing scheme & keeping the
    In climatically benighted Bangladesh, Mr. Funk talks to the country’s leading environmentalist, Atiq Rahman, who tells him of the four horsemen of salinity, cyclones, flooding and sea-level rise menacing his country. As more of the country is flooded, he predicts, more people will move to the cities risking more overcrowding and more civil unrest.

    All because, he says, the first world wants its cars and refrigerators. On a recent visit to Los Angeles, Mr. Rahman says, “I told the Americans: I want a piece of California. I want a piece of Texas. I want a piece of Maryland for my people that you are inundating.”

    At the same time, global efforts to impose change might only penalize smaller nations and their emerging economies. Mr. Rahman has particular contempt for systems that propose to pay polluters, whether companies or countries, to reduce their emissions. The polluters get paid, while those who suffer from pollution while polluting little, like Bangladesh, receive next to nothing. He describes what he calls “the nightmare scenario on climate change” to Mr. Funk: “a lot of zero-carbon technology being transferred to places that already produce virtually zero carbon. And nothing happens. For the poor, absolutely nothing happens.”

    It turns out that climate change is rather like the financial crisis. Those who may have caused it with their emissions are likely to profit most from it, and the gulf between the world’s rich, who can protect themselves from its worst effects, and the poor, who cannot, will only widen. It is an ugly truth, but one well worth recognizing as we ponder what do if Maine turns into Tuscany and the Marshall Islands vanish beneath the sea.

    • That’s why we need to tax the carbon and transfer the resources to those who cannot now afford zero carbon tech. Take income away from polluters and give it to those seeking to end pollution. A very positive form of wealth redistribution.

      I’m sure Paulson, who was so very concerned about climate change during his time asleep at the helm during the growing real estate collapse as Treasury Secretary under the Bush Administration, would agree. 😉

  33. Tom

     /  June 23, 2014

    Robert, please: any continuation of our carbon transfer to the atmosphere and biosphere will only bolster the absolutely mind-boggling climate change we’re now seeing. Industrial civilization is ruining the chemistry of the planet and there’s no way to “get it back.” This, in turn, is destroying the habitat needed to sustain (any and all) life on Earth. Wealth redistribution is a priority far below the ability to exist, imho.

    • Tom…

      So your vision is simply mass abandonment of innocent human beings and no responsibility at all for those more fortunate?

      That’s not my view at all. Harm to human beings and harm to the climate are linked. If you just simply abandon those who are unable to access renewable energy, then you make the problem far worse. Responsible leadership is responsibly empowering those currently less fortunate to make the right choices. If the belief is that you can respond to climate change without taking into account the states of poor and developing countries, like Bagladesh, or the plight of the fracturing middle class in the west, then you shoot yourself in the foot. In doing so, you enable the extended duration of the very fossil fuel burning and poor land use that is wrecking the climate. Do you want to see what happened to China in the form of coal plant proliferation spread to Africa and the Middle East over the coming decades? Go ahead, keep playing to the interests of free market sociopaths and watch what happens.

      Or is it your notion to simply enforce a kind of global austerity and, in doing so, remove the very kinds of innovation incentive that will solve the climate crisis? Along that path, you hit collapse very rapidly… Mass poverty, then mass hunger very soon after.

      The issue is there are positive behavioral changes that can greatly mitigate the crisis at hand and almost none involve a totalitarian enforcement of austerity or the wholesale abandonment of humankind. Policy changes can speed that behavioral shift along. And at this point, we desperately need such a responsible policy shift, one that is inclusive and shores up public equality infrastructure.

      • Steve

         /  June 23, 2014

        But we aren’t seeing any evidence of any meaningful changes taking place. I’m afraid what is being displayed in Californina with individuals refusing to make changes despite the obvious & overwhelminging need to do so can be expected to continue around the world until the devastation actually sets. Check out the middle of the article, usage has actually increased.
        I don’t see countries or companies backing off of resources in the Arctic Ocean either.

        • Apples and oranges. Water and fossil fuels.

          Do we have overarching water use policy and sustainability policy in California? In a word, no. Localities are left to determine their own policies while individuals are essentially enabled to continue over-use, while sometimes facing sporadic rationing, and in some places, potential fines. There is no major disincentive for drilling out the last to the ground water. No over-arching sustainability policy. The federal authorities simply decide whether or not to provide water based on the seasonal situation. So, in essence you have multiple uncoordinated actions base on short-term, seasonal, resource management.

          It proves the point more than it denies it. Lack of over-arching long-term policy results in resource mismanagement and general unsustainability.

          Now, at this point, will large-scale over-arching policy be enough to save all communities out west? Probably not. But it would save some, at least for a time, or at least if we do manage to rapidly reduce fossil fuel use to zero and if we radically change our land management practices.

          So as a next step we need policy for facilitating migration away from hardest hit areas and for helping people who need to relocate.

          RE fossil fuels… We have some national policy engaged in carbon reduction now, thank goodness. But, it’s definitely not enough. More would be helpful. And a global carbon tax would be very helpful. Would it be enough by itself? Almost absolutely not. But it would be another step and it would be one more bandage to slow the bleeding.

          This issue is that there’s a kind of inertia once action starts to take place. If you have broad action that provides some relief but not enough, then follow-up action is more likely to take place.

          This is no panacea, but it is an improvement over sitting around and worshiping the false gods of apathy. But it’s important to note that there is no panacea. We are at war with the dark gods we’ve awoken now. The sooner we realize that and work together to reduce their impact and to build resiliency and, most importantly of all, to work together to help each other, the better off we will be.

      • utoutback

         /  June 23, 2014

        “We are at war with the dark gods we’ve awoken….”

        NYT may 13, 2014:
        I’m afraid that starvation is one of the great “forcing” factors in civil unrest and war. With climate change the breakdown of a global food supply will result in a rising food price index.
        We either find a way to deal with our growing crisis or our resources will be shunted to military and police state actions rather than the changes that are most needed.
        “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
        “the hour is getting late”.

      • Tom

         /  June 25, 2014

        Our “leaders” should have been guiding us into powering down and switching to renewables since the first Bush took office, but we didn’t and now it’s too late. I’m not abandoning anyone, industrial civilization is abandoning life on Earth – including US! The soul-less free-market sociopathic corporations have captured the levers of power and are going after the wealth at all costs – and we are powerless (so far) to stop them. Nothing you or I do or say is going to change the way things are. They’ll keep going until they can’t, taking all life to the brink of extinction in the coming decades. Even if industrial civilization collapses from economic implosion the climate will continue to ruin our habitat so that we can’t grow enough (maybe ANY) food and clean water will become scarce. There’s nothing to be done but chronicle our demise. Once we kicked in the methane and now the continuing ice-melt, we lost control of any possibility of changing our ways in time to leave any kind of viable future for those coming up now. Now that the energy is running out (or its use will do more harm than good) we’re out of options.

        • Oh boo hoo and there’s nothing you can do because these powers, in your view, are omnipotent?

          Sorry, but I’m not willing to cede power and influence so readily to the darkest forces.

          It’s gut check time. So the question is, do you have the courage to fight for a future worth living in, or are you so enamored with visions of collapse as to directly embrace apathy?

  34. Gerald Spezio

     /  June 23, 2014

    Umberto Fanny; above you said; “Friedman economic thinking needs to go.”

    Paulson never even implied such a heinous heresy.

    Paulson’s words are explicit; Keep debt slavery to banksters & the continually expanding economy in order to pay off the debt slavery to banksters, keep burning carbon but tax the carbon.

    Indeed his entire focus is to salvage the inequitable system of debt slavery as per Uncle Milty’s grand design – not the comedian, Uncle Milton Berle, but the genius economist discussed at length in Naomi Klein’s opus, THE SHOCK DOCTRINE.

    I accuse you of reading in about any Paulson plans to help or aid the third world people, who will almost surely suffer EVEN MORE!

    I am totally for your position; but we can’t burn carbon like gangbusters to do it.

    You recommended Windfall above.

    A few pertinent phrase from McKenzie Funk’s analysis above.

    Mr. Rahman has particular contempt for systems that propose to pay polluters, whether companies or countries, to reduce their emissions. The polluters get paid, while those who suffer from pollution while polluting little, like Bangladesh, receive next to nothing. He describes what he calls “the nightmare scenario on climate change” to Mr. Funk: “a lot of zero-carbon technology being transferred to places that already produce virtually zero carbon. And nothing happens. For the poor, absolutely nothing happens.”

    Paulson can openly advocate butt fucking his neighbor proles for a lifetime with compound interest; but he is going to help the worse off proles in the third world?

    A little more CO2, taxed or not taxed, & Bangledesh is mostly a complete horror show.

    Funk is telling the whole trut.

    • OK Gerald, I think you’ve jumped off the deep end by putting words into my mouth. My position is fossil fuel abolition. From a policy standpoint, the carbon tax is one way of doing just that.

      In general, we’ll need a raft of policies of which an effective carbon tax is just one.

      I think I’ve made it very clear that I don’t support Paulson’s neo-liberal worldview, so manufacturing the fantasy that I do is, sadly, a return to trolling. Not unexpected from you Gerald, but disappointing.

      • Tom

         /  June 25, 2014

        Now hold on, Robert. How is taxing the (continued) use of fossil fuels going to lead to its abolition? It just encourages continued use by those who have the means to pass on the costs to consumers in some way or another – like they always do! I agree we need to do a complete switch-out to renewable (which won’t work without fossil fuels anyway) ASAP – like 5 yrs ago – and as nearly as can be done abandon fossil fuels (and nuclear) as bad ideas that are killing us and the planet’s ecosystems. At least that would knock down ff use to a bare minimum.

        No matter what we do, we’ve already crossed the Rubicon and there’s no going back.
        Too many tipping points crossed, the methane is bubbling out into the atmosphere, the ice sheets are melting and we’re in serious doo-doo.

        • It speeds the transition by incentivizing the use of renewables and adding in some of the cost of a dangerous externality. One of many policies that can help lead to a much more rapid abolition of fossil fuel use. A carbon tax in this respect would be scaling to increase over time.

          As for harm, yes, we’ve locked a good deal in already. But for each molecule of carbon we keep from hitting the atmosphere, we reduce that harm.

          I’m not willing to give up on the future, our children, or the poor. It seems some are ready to before the fights really gotten started.

      • Fossil fuels have been getting a free ride forever. By dumping their effluent into the atmosphere, the land and the waters of the earth (i.e. the public commons) they’re avoiding huge costs and therefore are able to sell their product at artificially deflated prices. Renewable energy would be very cost competitive now if these costs had to be factored in. Taxing carbon is one way to consider these costs and level the playing field. By doing that, other energy sources will become competitive to the consumer (not to mention increased emphasis on energy efficiency). The future is bright, or can be, if we don’t give in to the doomsayers and the oligarchs. I think the groundswell is starting. The Average Joe in the US is waking up, and I’m becoming more encouraged. Change is coming, not overnight, but the arc of history is clear. Those of us on the front lines just need to keep fighting!

  35. pintada

     /  June 23, 2014

    I have a great-nephew coming to help with a mulch pit expansion. The amount of money (and work) required to do subsistence farming is a constant shock to me. 🙂 I mention that because i get accused of doing drive-by commenting. No rudeness is intended if you get that feeling as well over the next several months.

    Re: praise for ColoradoBob and robertscribbler – I hate to go ahead and say that I am a fan given that so many have already done so, but yeah, i love you both. Bob for all the article posts and analysis, and Robert for writing, moderation, viewpoint, and amazing productivity that provides this valuable source of information and forum.

    Re: Paulson – I saw a not so subtile, plea for donations and support. Given that he is outragiously rich already, i don’t know why he doesn’t just fund his project himself. Is he raising money for his grad students so that they can do their work? Again, that $800 million of his would go a long way …

    In general regarding society:
    1. I’ve mentioned the fact that we live in an oligarchy before, and provided links to studies showing that I am not alone in that observation.

    2. The oligarchs are rich because they inherited wealth and learned how to keep it, or because they are ruthless and effective businessmen.

    3. If you are a person born with a silver spoon in your mouth, and someone suggests that you downgrade to stainless (i’m thinking Paris Hilton) you will not do it willingly regardless of the motivations short of some revolutionary putting a gun to your head (or a guillotine to your neck). If you are a ruthless businessman (i.e. Romney) – well – you’re ruthless.

    4. (or should this be #2?) Conventional politics as practiced among the poor in an oligarchy is just a distraction, just entertainment. The political parties therefore like protest movements, and any other bottom up movement keeps the serfs busy while the people in power get more power. Meanwhile, the Empire is charged with providing the minimum to keep the poor pacified.

    5. At some point (2008?), the empire will be unable to spend enough money to keep the poor pacified and will resort to debasement of the currency or other tricks to keep money flowing (Tainter, 1988). The 1% will keep their money and power as long as they can. Gates and Carnegie not withstanding since by definition, only a few robber barons have a conscience.

    6. The above implies that to save the world we would need a revolution. And this is the funny part! Imagine a revolution motivated and implemented for the expressed purpose of lowering the revolutionaries standard of living. The battle cry/motto might be, “Take my hummer you SOB and melt it down. I want to ride a bicycle for the rest of my days!” or “Please, move into my McMansion you don’t need one of your own!”

    7. Bottom line, we will behave just like bacteria in petri dish and no amount of chest beating, guilt mongering, or political talk will change us. Therefore, I am still with Guy, Aristippus, and Carolyn.

    Where is that kid?

    • Great comment Pintada.

      My view is that Paulson should be donating his money to schools so that they can purchase solar panels, donating heaps of money to sustainable agriculture and to vegan food item promotion.

      The fundraiser for neoliberal think tanks and consulting groups under the aegis of a mangled carbon tax is certainly exploitative. That said, if the usual suspects are shouting carbon tax, then the writing is clearly on the wall. We should take advantage of that and do our best to give ’em a carbon tax and then some.

      • pintada

         /  June 23, 2014

        Thank you.

        Yes, he has some to spare. 🙂

        Yup, the reason that they might do the right thing isn’t really material. (I’m a little tired, but i’ll say it anyway.) My misgiving is that it might be some sort of gambit to get something else – a trick. We all remember T.Boone and his wind power.

    • That said, people still have a massive amount of power in the US. If that wasn’t the case, then conservatives wouldn’t do everything they can to suppress the vote.

      So on the parts of hopelessness and apathy, I wholeheartedly disagree. The more people become involved, the more the power of the oligarchs will shrink. If that wasn’t the case, then we’d have the Keystone pipeline already.

      In my view, strong policy is worth a million subsistence farms. Policy can affect positive change and through direct political action we can affect policy.

      Anyone promoting apathy is simply contributing to the problem. Want to do positive work — do your best to make your own behavior as least harmful as possible. Then, go out and fight like hell for positive action through beneficial policy. That’s the way you can maximize your power as an individual. That’s the way you can help ensure the newborns of today have a glimmer of hope that this crisis, primarily created by the wealthy of our world, can be reduced in scope and intensity.

    • utoutback

       /  June 23, 2014

      money for subsistence farming is mostly front-end; work on the other hand is forever.
      you do need a small town or close local group to make things work. in our community we have folks that have set up a tool share program (I signed out “crimpers” for a plumbing repair last week). I provide physical therapy services for little or no $ for my neighbors (everyone in our small town). In return, when I need manure for my compost pile I just go get it. We also have a local seed bank for plants (vegetables) that do well in our area.
      it has to be a community thing.
      these solutions are local and no substitute for national & global policy, but …..

      • …But they do help 🙂

      • pintada

         /  June 23, 2014

        Thanks for the support utoutback:
        As you say, the money flow is slowing. This work on the mulch pit is not going to cost much and it is likely our last capital outlay (nah, I’ve been saying that for 3-4 years already). But it is the only one that we will do this year – 2 or 3 hundred bucks.

        If i do any work for society, it is to build a local group of people that will work together. People need to make a living, so, the niece that is loaning me her son doesn’t have time to plant the onion starts we gave (ahem, pushed on) her. She gets it though. Another niece just got a job, but she still keeps her chickens and provides our eggs in trade for our produce.

        Each person tries as best they can, and I can’t push too hard. I figure just being here and doing what we are doing gets us talked about … makes people think.

        When i first started here, my wife was still consulting. A couple facts are germane:
        1. We had never raised an eggplant (we are in the mountains) so she asked around the office in Baltimore how to tell when they are ripe. And the survey SAAIID: “When they turn purple.” LOL (And this is Drs, nurses, executives at Johns-Hopkins not stupid people.)

        At first, when she talked about what i was doing people could hardly contain their derision, before she retired all of them were expressing genuine interest, and some were looking for advice.

  36. Today, a small victory, but a victory none the less.
    Supreme Court upholds rules curbing greenhouse gases from power plants
    “In a 7-2 vote, the justices agreed the Environmental Protection Agency could force major polluters to use new and better technology to limit their emissions of carbon dioxide.”

  37. Water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean increased drastically last week, prompting expectations of an upward warming trend that would confirm the development of El Niño….

    The growth of temperature anomalies from +0.4°C in mid-April to +0.9°C now has encouraged projections of an upward warming trend confirming the development of El Niño.

    “This is a big jump in temperature, from now on waters will hardly be cooled, the event is irreversible,” oceanic scientist Luis Icochea told Undercurrent….

    “Everything suggests El Niño will be very strong, without ruling out the possibility of an extraordinary event,” Icochea said.

    Sudden jump in water temperatures evidence of ‘irreversible’ El Niño
    Alicia Villegas, Undercurrent news, 2014-06-23

    Luis Icochea is a fisheries expert at Lima’s National Agrarian University. He has previously been interviewed by The Guardian UK on the subject of this year’s El Niño.

    Undercurrent News brings you “seafood business news from beneath the surface”. As such it might be called an “industry rag”. As such it is likely to give you a valuable perspective that you will find less often in regular newspapers. It runs stories on a variety of topics that may be of interest, such as warming oceans, dead zones, and ocean acidification. One of its latest five is titled “Florida stone crab hit by increasing carbon dioxide in the oceans”. The website has an internal search engine that will help you find articles relevant to your current focus.

    • Thanks for this, Tim. All the factors are looking rather strong at the moment. Today’s Pacific SSTs along the Pacific are a very warm +.81 C anomaly. Significant El Nino looking much more likely.

    • … and I just have to say… we called it 😉

    • NOAA is still giving us mixed signals… Latest data shows surface and subsurface temperature anomalies weakening, the Southern Oscillation Index has been positive whereas we expect it to be negative for a strong El Niño

      Computer models indicate a likely warming of Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures of only around 1°C above the long term average by October; much less than the 3°C-4°C associated with previous strong El Niños. Meanwhile the 30-day Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) – a key metric used by El Niño watchers – remains positive in contrast to the negative state usually associated with El Niño events. Furthermore, trade winds remain weak and the latest data indicates that sea surface and sub-surface temperatures appear to be weakening and are not consistent with the development of a strong El Niño.

      Mixed Signals Continue Over 2014 El Niño Development, Reporting Climate Science, 2014-06-23

      However, a daily SOI has been dipping into negative territory more recently. Reporting Climate Science provides you with a static image, but for updates please see Queensland Government’s Recent (preliminary) Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values.

      • Most recent NOAA report shows SSTs rocketing in the Eastern Pacific and again rising in the Nino 3.4 zone. Sub sea anomalies are falling through the up welling phase of the current Kelvin wave. WWBs are moderate in both the Eastern and Western Pacific at this time with general trade wind weakening since the 16th of June.

        Warmth at the surface, especially in the Eastern Pacific is very significant. We still need atmospheric feedback for a second strong Kelvin Wave to seal the deal. But with temperatures rising, it tends to lock the atmospheric feedback in.

        MJO moving through now. SOI falling, but still not low.

        So though EPAC is very warm, it’s probably still too soon to call it. Equatorial Pacific at +0.81 now is a rather strong jump, though. So I’ll reign in my thoughts for the moment. That said, El Nino looks a lot stronger than it did this time last week.

  38. Brian

     /  June 24, 2014

    I remember the winter of 2010/11. I was home in Northern Alberta and for large portions of the winter temperatures were above freezing during the day and we are talking + 8 or 9 degrees celcius for daytime highs. Everybody commented on how strange that kind of warmth was – almost preturnatural warmth.

    If this winter is anything like that, it will be very disturbing to say the least.

    Of course it will give the deniers a new endpoint to set their graph. I can just see them in 2029 saying, “no warming for 15 years” – unless…………

    • Brian

       /  June 24, 2014

      sorry, that was the 2011/12 season now that I think about it. Is that still relevent to an el nino event?
      That was my first post on your excellent blog so I apologise for the mix-up on dates.
      I am very concerned for the way the climate is changing in my country and around the world.

      You can really see the change in ecosysems here whereas in warmer countries it may not be so noticable..

      • 2011-2012 were non El Niño years. What you experienced then was simple, direct human-caused warming without the El Niño variability sitting on top.

        Though El Niño will push global averages higher, not all regions will be similarly impacted. Overall, though, we can expect warming.

        The near polar regions of our world, especially in the Arctic, are heating up the fastest. So odds are that by 2029, you’ll have an even warmer winter. Unless, of course, we have a massive negative feedback inducing release of icebergs and cold, fresh water from Greenland. Then, everyone’s weather gets very, very stormy.

        Warmest regards to you, Brian and welcome. Please feel free to drop in with observations and thoughts at any time. I’m glad you decided to join us.


  1. Another Week in the Ecological Crisis, June 22, 2014 – A Few Things Ill Considered

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