Second Monster Kelvin Wave Forming? West Wind Back Bursts North of New Guinea Rival Intensities Last Seen in January.

This January, a powerful period of west wind bursts tapped a very hot, deep pool of Pacific Ocean water and shoved it eastward along the equator. The hot water was driven downward by Eckman pumping forces even as it began to propagate across the Pacific. The resulting Kelvin Wave was, by March, among the most intense sub-sea warming events ever seen for the Equatorial Pacific during this time of year.

By late May and through June, this heat had transferred to surface waters and the Equatorial Pacific, overall, had greatly warmed.

This initial warming prepped the ocean surface for continued atmospheric feedbacks and the emergence of an El Nino by sometime during the summer and fall of 2014. A monster event that, should it form on top of human-caused warming, could push both global temperature and weather extremes to record levels never before seen. But for El Nino to continue to emerge, more strong west wind back bursts are required to keep shoving the hot pool of Pacific Ocean water eastward, spreading it out across the Pacific and dumping its warmth into the atmosphere.

Now, during early July, just that appears to be happening.

image

(Strong west wind back burst visible in the Western Pacific north of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and just north of the Equator. Image source: Earth Nullschool. Data Source: Numerous Including NOAA GFS.)

For along a synoptic band ranging from the Philippines to north of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands a powerful zone of west winds has emerged between two double-barrel low pressure systems. The first set of lows form a broad counter-clockwise circulation along the 10 degree North Latitude line. The second set hovers just south of the equator, forming a clockwise wind flow. These two wind patterns merge in a significant back-burst pushing against the traditional flow of the east-to-west trades.

Wind speeds in the anomaly zone are in the range of 30-40 kilometers per hour with higher gusts, or currently just shy of the wind strength observed during the very strong January west wind back burst.

Strong West Winds Tapping Pool of Very Hot Water

Hot Water Western Pacific

(Very hot water in the Western Pacific hitting 32 C [90 F] in some spots. Image source: NOAA/National Weather Service.)

It is worth noting that winds in this region have been slowly intensifying over the past few days. So any further increase in strength would make this event easily comparable to the January event that spawned such a powerful Kelvin Wave.

Surface waters in this west wind zone range from 86 to upwards of 90 degrees Fahrenheit over a broad zone along the equator and northward to a very hot pool just east of the Philippines. Eastward and downward propagation of such intensely hot water, driven by these strong west winds has the potential to generate a second strong Kelvin Wave. The back-burst winds we are seeing now are strong enough to generate such a wave and the sea surface temperatures in the region are at very high positive anomalies, especially in the region east of the Philippines. Propagation of a second strong Kelvin Wave would spike 0-300 meter temperatures again and would lock in the formation of the expected El Nino later this year.

Links:

NOAA GFS

Earth Nullschool

NOAA/National Weather Service

Climate Prediction Center ENSO Monitoring

Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths

 

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368 Comments

  1. JPL

     /  July 1, 2014

    Robert, do you follow Bill Patzert’s El Nino prognostications at all?

    According to this article he is someone with a pretty good El Nino prediction track record:
    http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20140627/california-drought-blankets-entire-state-el-nixf1o-forecast-dims

    Hadn’t heard of him until I read the above.

    Thanks for the update.

    John

    Reply
    • Thx for this. Hadn’t hear of him until your mention. Will take a look.

      Reply
    • If this WWB fails to propagate a Kelvin Wave, Patzert may well be proven correct. I’m betting this WWB wasn’t in play when they interviewed for the article, though. Will see.

      Reply
    • Ralph

       /  July 2, 2014

      Am I correct in thinking that the vaguely sideways-V structure of average-to-cool temperature in the central pacific is a westwards travelling Rossby wave?
      If so, and a new Kelvin wave is starting now, then they will hit the opposite edges of the pacific at similar times.
      Presumably any cooling of the western pacific at that time would weaken the normal Walker circulation and enhance any El Nino?

      Reply
  2. Pretty interesting new product from NSIDC.

    http://nsidc.org/soac

    Reply
    • Interesting time series. The water vapor and temp series are pretty stark. Too bad they use the anomaly measure for sea ice as it hides some of the loss. Good product overall.

      Reply
  3. Phil

     /  July 2, 2014

    Very interesting developments. I have seen a few recent blogs commenting on reports sourced from NOAA and Australian BOM speculating that one reason why atmospheric forcing associated with El Nino has been slow to emerge is that the water SST’s from WPAC to South America are all well above normal so we are not observing the SST differences associated with past events. This might in turn be slowing down the atmospheric feedback following the upwelling of the initial large EKW.

    Also with the higher temperatures associated with global warming, I wonder if the El Nino end of the neutral phase of SOI will begin to imitiate at least weak El Nino conditions. I have heard more than one comment from people here that last year felt like an El Nino even if it was not officially one, with heat records being set as well as drought conditions occurring in much of Australia, for example.

    Will also be interested to see if the cyclone developments continue to work to produce strong WWB’s, or whether they will diverge and the WWB’s will die down.

    Reply
    • Loss of differential south to north must have some impact. A lag in ocean/atmosphere feed backs would be an interesting result. I suppose with global temperatures and ocean temps rising the El Niño spike would have to be much stronger to generate similar results.

      It’s also worth noting that the mid ocean highs have been very hot and strong lately. This trend would tend to reinforce the trades. That said, trade wind anomalies have been on the westerly/weak side of things since the first strong set of wwb’s in January and February.

      Reply
  4. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology and US NOAA note there has been some recent subsurface cooling inconsistent with El Nino:

    … other indicators such as the temperature of subsurface waters of the Pacific Ocean are cooling rather than warming as would be expected in the build up to an El Nino. NOAA stated in its El Nino update yesterday (30 June 2014) that “Positive subsurface anomalies are evident near the surface (<100m) across most of the Pacific basin, while negative anomalies have strengthened in the central and east-central Pacific at depth."

    BoM Spots Sub Sea Cooling Inconsistent With El Nino, ReportingClimateScience.com, 2014-07-01

    … as such it appears that the ocean may be getting ready to sit out this dance, but the atmosphere is beginning to rise as if to accept the ocean’s recent invitation:

    However, over the past fortnight changes have occurred in the atmosphere that may be a response to the warm surface waters–the Southern Oscillation Index has dropped by over 10 points, and weakened trade winds have re-appeared.

    … but the atmosphere may simply be adjusting its position:

    These changes would need to persist for several weeks in order for an El Nino to be considered established, and it remains possible they are simply related to shorter term weather variability.

    Obviously a Kelvin Wave driven by a Westerly Wind Burst would recharge the cooling ocean depths and both ocean and atmosphere may make it out to the dance floor at the same time. In fact, it is expected that at some point they will, but judges are currently expecting something more along the lines of a slow lambada,than one of the more energetic bossa novas.

    Reply
    • One week long WWB and counting…

      The ocean atmosphere keeps taking shots at El Niño. One year it will hit.

      No warm Kelvin wave and we end up with a fizzle. But this WWB keeps getting stronger. A fickle mess.

      Reply
      • Ralph

         /  July 2, 2014

        GFS via earth.nullschool.net is now picking one of the northern lows to develop into a significant tropical storm, greatly intensifying the westerly winds over the next couple of days, but also the whole system moving north http://earth.nullschool.net/#2014/07/05/1500Z/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-217.56,7.51,513.

        Which “wins” in terms of El Nino potential, wind-speed or latitude?

        I’m guessing speed, on the grounds that the general action of the Coriolis effect on westerly flows near the equator, is to focus the flow back towards the equator. (this is just a vague and imprecise description of the Kelvin wave dynamics, right?)

        (Does anyone have a reference for an objective assessment of the “Kelvin wave potential” of a WWB in terms of size/position/speed/duration? We could really use a “WWB index” if any budding climatolagist is looking for a thesis project….)

        Reply
        • If the winds remain within about 10 degrees of the equator, then they should have an influence. Outside of that zone, and the impact rapidly fades. Ideally, you’d have winds flowing directly over the equator and to regions north and south. Increasing wind speeds, however, have their own added impact.

          With tropical storm formation, the winds would shift north and west, eventually moving away from the zone of highest eastward propagation potential. So though initially intensifying the WWB, it could spell the beginning of its end.

      • robertscribbler wrote:

        If the winds remain within about 10 degrees of the equator, then they should have an influence. Outside of that zone, and the impact rapidly fades. Ideally, you’d have winds flowing directly over the equator and to regions north and south. Increasing wind speeds, however, have their own added impact.

        Thank you! That helps a great deal. Prior to this post I honestly thought that a Western Wind Burst (WWB) would have to run considerably further into the Pacific Basin to create a strong Kelvin Wave. I didn’t know that along the length of New Guinea would be sufficient. How far North or South of the equator was another issue This comment adds one more piece to the puzzle.

        Reply
        • It would be very rare to see a complete shut down of the trades with winds running west to east across the entire Pacific.

      • robertscribbler wrote:

        It would be very rare to see a complete shut down of the trades with winds running west to east across the entire Pacific.

        I wasn’t thinking the entire basin, but the length of New Guinea surprises me. Nevertheless this is what we see looking back at 2014-01-26 00:00 UTC. The Ekman pumping you referred to earlier helps to explain much of this. The water picks up speed along the surface, being driven by the Westerly Wind Burst, then is driven below the surface where it is effectively isolated from the trade winds.

        This also helps to explain the importance of the cyclones themselves. At first they look like they will stand in the way of Kelvin waves making it across the ocean in that they might entrain the water as they do the surface wind. However, Ekman pumping will drive the Kelvin wave deeper where the cyclone’s circular motion will have less of an effect, such that as the cyclone draws surface winds to the north the wave itself will be further removed from its influence. I gather you don’t have to go especially deep to greatly diminish the cyclonic influence, whereas the downward push Ekman pumping will fall off much more slowly.

        I am a little surprised, though, as I tend to associate Ekman pumping with poleward heat transport. I believe I learned of this in relation to Kerry Emanuel’s theory regarding the role of stronger hurricanes in equable climates. Of course beyond a certain point qualitative description has to give way to quantitative physical calculations, and at that point I will probably just focus on the assumptions and results.

        Reply
  5. I still wouldn’t write this year out for a big one. Just basically reporting what BOM and NOAA have to say via Reporting Climate Science… and making use of an extended dance metaphor out of a certain impatience and because I find it slightly amusing

    Reply
    • I’m wondering if this is what typically happens with a PDO flip. The concluding El Niño from negative to positive PDO keeps trying to stage a break out and it takes a number of Kelvin Waves and related atmospheric feedbacks to get it going. The 1982-83 El Niño was a bit like this. A few in the 70s as well.

      Am fine with the music metaphors.

      In any case, we would expect the dip from the cold phase of the Kelvin wave. At that point, atmospheric feedbacks need to kick in or El Niño fades out. We’re seeing healthy feedback now. Looking about as strong as the WWB from January.

      Reply
      • Bear in mind that the whole ENSO / PDO pattern is something that happened with a 20th century climate. We don’t have that climate any more.

        I had a read of the below….

        http://d-nb.info/1024079775/34

        Now, from that there seems to be the conclusion that increasing insolation at the equator due to orbital changes increases the magnitude of ENSO over the course of both the Holocene and Eemian, whilst the period remains unchanged. At first glance this might support bigger el Nino events in a warming world.. Unless what we are really looking at is the effect of Equator-Pole gradients, in which case we’d expect GHG forcing to actually decrease the magnitude of ENSO.

        And we don’t have any real information for what happens for a strongly out of equilibrium climate.

        Reply
        • Good comment. So if polar amplification puts a drag on El Niño (speculative), where does the extra heat go? Deep ocean seems the most likely candidate.

          In any case, you have rapid warming at the North Pole, first. South Pole has more atmospheric inertia due to ice sheet size and geography so polar amplification takes more time there or, the ice sheets get involved due to ocean warming and this negative feedback takes polar amplification somewhat out of play for the Southern Hemisphere.

          Once the northern hemisphere ice sheets become involved, the negative feedback would cause relative warming to intensify at the equator.

          Right now we have strong polar amplification in the northern hemisphere for all months except June, July, and August. In the Southern Hemisphere, polar amplification has been primarily relegated to the austral autumn, with what appears to be a moderate ice sheet melt related negative feedback combining with jet stream retreat and intensification affecting atmospheric conditions during some months.

      • What is the physics behind the action of the Westerly Wind Burst (WWB) on a Kelvin Wave? Is the wind acting on the ocean by actually transferring momentum and kinetic energy to surface waves and thus deeper ocean circulation tens of meters below, or does it have more to do with the atmospheric pressure gradients? Also, I noticed that the length of a WWB doesn’t need to be especially long. Roughly the length of New Guinea seems sufficient as this was roughly the peak of the WWB linked to by Ralph in the earlier thread.

        Here is a link to the same moment. You will notice the westerly effectively begins due north of the western tip of New Guinea, running the length of the island, then is being pulled apart by three lows. One low (1004 hPa) to the North centered at roughly 11.75° N 143.05° E, placing it roughly 10°N of the center of the island. The second low (1003 hPa) to the south centered at about 12.25° S 156.15° E. The third less powerful low (1006 hPa) lies well to the east, nearly centered on the equator at 1.15° N 163.60° E. The point of divergence, where the westerly is split, lies at roughly 3.70°N 151.05°E, due north of the eastern tip of the island.

        Reply
        • The WWB pushes the hot surface waters of the western Pacific eastward. Through cyclonic Ekman pumping, the hot water down-wells as it telegraphs across the Pacific. This is the genesis of the Kelvin Wave.

          The current WWB is very strong today. I can easily find sustained west winds of 46 kph at the surface with higher gusts. This is more intense than the January event based on initial observation.

          The three lows (occasional 4th) are channeling and intensifying the west wind at this time, not pulling it apart. A very strong westerly anomaly that is being lent gradient by the storm track and somewhat cooler waters near Japan.

          Convection is very significant in the WWB pattern which only intensified as of this morning.

      • NOTE: the same moment link above is from the earlier Western Wind Burst (WWB) back in January on 2014-01-26 00:00 UTC. For comparison one might look at the 2014-07-01 15:00 UTC which appears to be close to the peak of the current WWB. The more recent WWB is almost entirely to the north of the equator, with top speeds closer to 35 km/hr rather than 45 km/hr and half the width, but extends somewhat further east.

        Reply
        • I’m thinking that within 3-10 degrees of the equator is close enough. Seasonal changes would shift the westerlies north along with the warm water pool during summer.

          The link isn’t current. Broad field of 40 to 46 kph wind observed now further east of the January event.

          Increased intensity from yesterday.

      • robertscribbler wrote:

        The current WWB is very strong today. I can easily find sustained west winds of 46 kph at the surface with higher gusts. This is more intense than the January event based on initial observation.

        Using Null School, I see that the winds have indeed picked up over yesterday, although the action has shifted north, e.g., 6.52° N, 150.04° E ✕ 230° @ 45 km/hr However, I notice you are speaking of wind gusts. What service are you using?

        Reply
        • GFS shows 3 minute winds, period would show higher gusts in the 1 minute and 10 second range. Informed extrapolation based on observed data.

        • I’ve got a wind speed of 40 kph at 3.4 north.

          http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-190.75,-5.03,602

          … And 46 kph at 6.97 North.

          http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-190.75,-5.03,602

          The band of strong west winds in excess of 30 kph ranges from 1.9 north to 8.4 north for the low with the furthest eastward progression.

          Beneath the second low, further west, is a zone of strong southwesterly winds in excess of 30 kph from 0.2 north to 9 north.

          This is easily a rival intensity to the January event with potentially stronger local wind speeds. The January event had more perfect equatorial alignment and a somewhat larger wind field on given dates.

          It is worth noting that the January even started as a multiple low pressure system similar to the one observed today, but that the lows merged later on.

          The current WWB is a 9 day event with west winds strengthening through to period. It’s likely that strong winds are close enough to the equator to have an effect. Warm water down welling Kelvin wave becomes stronger and more likely the longer such an event persists.

      • robertscribbler wrote:

        The link isn’t current.

        If we want a current link we can simply insure that we clicked “Current”, but if we are going to be referring to data that is time-specific, stepping back one unit then forward one unit will make the hyperlink time specific. Then we should indicate the time, possibly with the link itself. Or at least I will try to do that. I would prefer not to cite numbers that were current when I commented but are out of date when someone reads the comment.

        Reply
      • Phil

         /  July 3, 2014

        Robert, do you have any updates on expected movement of cyclones/storms and impact on WWB’s. I have seen some comments elsewhere that model guidance indicates one is going to move away from the equatorial region taking WWB’s with it?

        Have the WWB’s been enough to kick of the EKW or are WWB’s over a longer duration needed – if an answer is possible given complexity of processes responsible for WWB formation?

        Reply
    • Mike Shouldice

       /  July 16, 2014

      First off all ROBERT. Me and my fellow travelers along.the road of WTF is going on in terms of climate. Are curious if you are working on any new articles. There seems to be alot more intense, extreme events.
      Also, im obsessed with climate. Im 38. Have 3 kids. Is there any good resources online accessible to me. So that I can learn more. Help me understand the acronyms you all use. Thanks. Mike the Father.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  July 16, 2014

        Sometimes the simplest answer is best, Mike. Many acronyms can be sorted out quickly with Google, although the science here can certainly be daunting. Climate Central is a good site for a general audience–you might want to give that a look. At the same time, I think other readers here will be happy to provide more info if asked.

        Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  July 2, 2014

    India –

    Pune: Punekars should be worried, as June proved to be the worst month in terms of rainfall. The normal rainfall in this month, according to statistics, is 137mm. In fact, if India Meteorological Department (IMD) records are to be believed, since 1970, this June registered the least amount of rainfall in Pune. Earlier, it was in 1974 when Pune had recorded just 19.7mm rain in June.

    Pune usually records around 137mm rain from June 1 to 30, but this year till June 29, Pune recorded only 13.8mm rain.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/pune/report-heatwave-grips-state-pune-records-lowest-rainfall-in-june-1998616

    Reply
    • If all it takes is a strong Kelvin wave and a bout of Equatorial Pacific warming to shut down the monsoon, India is really in trouble.

      Still not convinced the El Niño in the Pacific is bound to fizzle, though. Current WWB is quite strong with good reinforcing dynamics.

      Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  July 2, 2014

    Eleventh-hour shower makes June 2014 wettest on record for Fairbanks

    FAIRBANKS—It’s official, but only by a few drops. An eleventh-hour shower dumped just enough rain at the Fairbanks International Airport before midnight Monday to make this June the wettest on record in more than 100 years in Fairbanks as the deluge continued across the Interior.

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/eleventh-hour-shower-makes-june-wettest-on-record-for-fairbanks/article_e67109fe-0159-11e4-bfde-0017a43b2370.html

    Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  July 2, 2014

    Record Wet June for Portions of the Upper Midwest

    The wettest June on record has finally come to an end for portions of Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa. In a few cases it was not only the wettest June on record but also the wettest single month (any month) as well. Here are a few details.

    The focal point of the most anomalous rainfall during June was centered on northwestern Iowa and southeastern South Dakota.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=286

    Reply
    • Saw this. Brutal trough in that region for 15 months now.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  July 2, 2014

        Robert,

        Do you think these troughs will change geographic locale over North America in future years? Could the weather the upper mid-west is seeing now become parked over the northeast or mid-Atlantic / southeast in future years? I do recall the New England flooding of a few years ago, which occurred after weeks of rain, though not as intense as what the mid-west has seen this year. And the weeks of rain Georgia and the southeast also had about then, 4 or 5 years ago.

        Perhaps the NE area was under such a rossby wave feature then? That was well before I was paying as much detailed attention to weather and climate as recently, thanks to the education I’m getting here!

        Reply
        • I think we have about two decades of stuck weather systems before Greenland provides us with enough negative feedback to make the storm track a real monster of a thing. Geographically speaking, the eastern half of the US is likely to be increasingly stormy going forward. Doesn’t take much for the storm track we saw slamming Britain this winter to start backing up into the US and Canadian east coast to spawn some tremendous nor’easters.

          Southwest dries out geographically. Increasingly amplifying storm track runs from northwest to southeast through heart of the country. Greenland melt feedback could greatly add to the storm potentials in this zone as well as give it an occasional but very severe kick.

  9. Colorado Bob

     /  July 2, 2014

    “Saturday night we got right close to 11 inches here at our farm headquarters. In one night,” said Daughhetee.

    He said heavy rainfall in May and June will end up costing him big bucks because soybean seed isn’t cheap, and now he’s forced to plant beans for the third time this season.

    http://wreg.com/2014/06/30/crittenden-county-farmland-flooded-due-to-record-rainfall/

    Reply
    • Normally, you’d expect a tropical cyclone or a monsoon to dump this kind of rainfall total. Now, it’s an east trough/west ridge Rossby type wave pattern continuously dumping moisture and storms into the trough. Add in the atmospheric moisture loading and how sea ice loss grinds the weather systems to a halt and you end up with a real problem.

      Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  July 2, 2014

    Also going down in the record books is San Diego County’s above-average warm temperatures.

    “This past winter from November through May is the warmest on record,” Tardy said. “That’s huge because our records are almost 150 years.”

    The daily combined high and low temperature at Lindbergh Field from November 2013 through June 2014 was 3.6 degrees above average.
    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/jun/30/san-diegos-rain-year-ends-drought-continues/

    Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  July 2, 2014

    Whaling Log Books Reveal Depth of Arctic Ice Loss
    Arctic ice fronts from the early 19th century were far more advanced than they are today, according to whaling log analyses from University of Sunderland researchers, giving scientists a clue to just how much climate change is affecting this region.
    As part of the ARCdoc research project, scientists analyzed historical logbooks recorded by explorers, whalers and merchants during epic expeditions between 1750 and 1850, including famous voyages such as Parry’s polar expedition in HMS Hecla and Sir John Franklin’s lost journey to navigate the Northwest Passage.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 2, 2014

      University of Sunderland press release –

      Whaling logbooks could hold key to retreating Arctic ice fronts

      http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/newsevents/news/news/index.php?nid=2818

      Reply
    • Gem of a find here, Bob. It’s worth noting that Rachel Carson described advanced sea ice losses in her book The Edge of the Sea which was written in the 1950s. Though it may have been relatively non-public knowledge, there were a good number of people, even then, that were observing loss. If the loss since 1979 is as much as 50 percent in extent and area and 80 percent in volume, then the losses since the 19th Century are bound to be far more dramatic.

      What this hints at is the fact that ocean heat content has been steadily climbing since the 19th century and that the sea ice can’t abide warming water. We should think long and hard about how this will impact the submerged and below sea level ice sheets of the world.

      Reply
  12. Tropical Storm Arthur stronger, expected to become hurricane: NHC

    http://planetark.org/wen/71796

    Reply
    • Looking like a cat 1 or very weak cat 2. Outer banks probably in for stormy conditions. The Gulf Stream is very warm in this region, so worth keeping an eye on it.

      Reply
  13. El Nino-like conditions kick with annual temperature record smashed

    “Australia smashed its temperature record in the year to the end of June, beating a high set during the most recent El Nino weather event in the Pacific…

    In fact, mean temperatures were a full 1.08 degrees above the long-term average, smashing the previous record July-June anomaly by 0.18 degrees. The previous record was set in the 12 months to June 2010 – an El Nino period.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/el-ninolike-conditions-kick-with-annual-temperature-record-smashed-20140702-zssez.html#ixzz36Josl2Yc

    Reply
  14. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    RED HOT WATER MARKET IN RED HOT CALIFORNIA

    Economists say it’s been decades since the water market has been this hot. In the last five years alone, the price has grown tenfold to as much as $2,200 an acre-foot — enough to cover a football field with a foot of water.

    “IN A CULTURE WHERE EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE …”

    In dry California, water fetching record prices
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Throughout California’s desperately dry Central Valley, those with water to spare are cashing in.

    Reply
    • Oh great. Water speculation. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse. I’ll take rationing any day over that crud.

      Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  July 2, 2014

        Robert, if you keep questioning the wisdom of the “free market,” you are going to get in big trouble.
        It’s like free will, everybody just knows that they have it.
        Determinism is always the issue in science, but not in the “human sciences” because in the human sciences – anything can happen.
        Ideas arise ex nihilo, don’t they?

        Reply
        • The so called ‘free market’ is just an excuse for laziness, exploitation, systemic failure to progress, abandonment of the poor, the degradation of public systems, overall irresponsibility, and an opening wide to gates of wholesale looting. Never has the so-called ‘free market’ resulted in prosperity. Anytime it is attempted collapse soon follows.

          Who cares if I get in trouble. Which kind of trouble do I want? Trouble from bullies and small minded fools bent on exploitation? Or the wholesale hell on Earth that inevitably arises from their sick world-view? I’ll stick to bloodying the noses of bullies, thank you very much.

      • Paul from NSW

         /  July 4, 2014

        I see the role of government should be to govern the capitalist system. It is failing that mandate in many ways. Marxism doesn’t do the job http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism#Economic_critiques
        Seems capitalism is the best choice we currently have. The problem is that the government is not protecting and providing for the poor, and not protecting and providing for the environment.
        I guess everyone knows this stuff in theory, it’s just not happening in practice. There has to be a minimum level of provision for food, water, energy, health, transport and housing. Eventually the poor are going to see that the system works differently for the rich than for them.

        Reply
  15. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Aldous Huxley said in 1958;

    In a capitalist democracy, such as the United States, it is controlled by what Professor C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite.

    This Power Elite directly employs several millions of the country’s working force in its factories, offices and stores, controls many millions more by lending them the money to buy its products, and, through its ownership of the media of mass communication, influences the thoughts, the feel­ings and the actions of virtually everybody.

    To parody the words of Winston Churchill, never have so many been manipulated so much by so few.

    Brave New World Revisited (1958) by Aldous Huxley
    The text of Brave New World Revisited is online & free.

    Reply
  16. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Whaling log books as detailed historical empirical evidence;

    “Apart from modern-day research vessels, these are the only books in history from ships which seek out the ice edge in great detail and follow it. They describe various type of ice from ‘loose’ to ‘heavy’; using this data I was able to map the ice edge, which has never been done before in any great detail because it melts and freezes every year. For example we found that if you work your way through the months August to September which is the time of maximum melt, data shows in Baffin Bay, there was a persistent feature of middle ice in the early 19th century, which is not there today.”

    Reply
  17. Loni

     /  July 2, 2014

    Does anyone know if the recently launched satellite; Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 has any potential for measuring methane?

    Reply
    • Primarily a CO2. GEOSAT would have had a strong capacity to observe both. Launch of that system failed, though.

      Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  July 2, 2014

        Primarily or only?

        If it is true that there is no capacity for measuring methane, I am flabbergasted.

        from the mission site;
        3. OCO-2 studies carbon dioxide by looking at the colors (or wavelengths) of sunlight that carbon dioxide absorbs. To identify very small changes in this absorption from one wavelength to the next, the OCO-2 instrument separates light into many narrow bands of wavelengths. In three wavelength regions, which represent only a small portion of the spectrum, it can measure more than 3,000 individual bands. A camera divides the same range of wavelengths into just three colors.

        Reply
        • It uses a spectrometer, so the sensor array ‘could’ take a shot at methane. But since the array is optimized for its intended mission, CO2 absorption variance, it’s not likely we get any better methane observation capability than what we have now. Mission objective is CO2 focused. So resources are likely to be used in that context.

          We do need a better methane sensor. Too bad GEOSAT didn’t make it.

      • LJR

         /  July 2, 2014

        Launch succeeded today!

        Reply
      • loni, robertscribbler, it appears that OCO-2 won’t be much help with methane. Too specialized.

        OCO-2 focuses on three channels that are of value primarily for observing O2 and CO2

        Please see::

        The spectral range and resolving power of each channel includes the complete molecular absorption band as well as some nearby continuum to provide constraints on the optical properties of the surface and aerosols as well as absorbing gases. To meet these requirements, band channel covers 0.758 to 0.772 µm with a resolving power of >17,000, while the 1.61 and 2.06 µm CO2 channel cover 1.594 to 1.619 µm and 2.042 to 2.082 µm, respectively with a resolving power > 20,000 [Crisp et al. 2007; Crisp 2008].

        pg. 5, Crisp, David, et al. OCO (Orbiting Carbon Observatory)-2 level 2 full physics retrieval algorithm theoretical basis. (2010)

        Methane isn’t very active in those ranges.

        Please see:

        Methane produces negligible absorption within the spectral ranges of strong and weak CO2 bands used by OCO-2, but produces strong absorption at wavelengths near 1.66 µm, which is measured by the EnviSat SCIAMACHI and GOSAT TANSO FTS instruments. The CH4 line parameters near 1.66 µm included in the HITRAN 2008 database were not sufficiently accurate for retrieving this gas from GOSAT or SCIAMACHY spectra. However, updates to this database proposed by Frankenberg et al. [2008] and Lyulin et al. [2010] can produce substantial improvements in accuracy. More improvements were expected from the GOSAT mission for the methane line parameters.

        pp. 25-26, ibid.

        As of 2010, OCO-2 was limited to O2 and CO2, but other gases (including water vapor) may be possible.

        Please see:

        Several gases besides CO2 and O2 absorb within the spectral ranges used by OCO-2. The most important gas is water vapor (H2O), which produces measureable absorption in all 3 bands. Line parameters for H2O transitions in the OCO-2 channels are currently taken from the HITRAN 2008 database [Rothman et al., 2009]. Efforts to revise the near-IR water parameters are underway. [e. g. Jenouvrier et al., 2007 and Tennyson et al., 2009].

        pg. 26, ibid..

        Reply
    • Perhaps with images from OCO I will soon be able to update my avatar. I am relying on a polar view of atmospheric carbon dioxide from July of 2003. It might be time for something new. Regardless, glad they got this one up.

      Reply
    • The AIRS instrument aboard the Aqua satellite has been able to measure carbon dioxide concentrations at better than 2 ppm by simultaneously solving for the concentrations of several gases at the same time using a method of vanishing partial derivatives. This made for better imaging than what I have used and became available I believe back in 2006.

      Please see:

      Chahine, M., et al. On the determination of atmospheric minor gases by the method of vanishing partial derivatives with application to CO2. Geophysical research letters 32.22 (2005).

      (PDF Available)

      I would assume they will be doing something similar with the OCO-2.

      Reply
  18. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Detailed observational empirical evidence from a living & suffering Baffin Bay Islander.

    Jesse Mike on Climate Change in the Arctic.

    Reply
  19. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Loni, you taught me a lesson.
    When I read your question, I thought; “What else?”
    NASA’s CARVE does both.
    When I looked for the answer at NASA’s mission statement, there is no mention of methane or methane measurement.
    Natalia Shakhova’s recent videos plead & beg for more methane measurement data.
    We surely know that the IPCC missed the methane connection, & that serious error wildly skewed their prognostications.

    http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/oco2/five-things-20140627/#.U7QXe7Fg2M8

    Reply
  20. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Timothy, I also searched AIRS instrument Aqua Satellite.

    This is what Natalia Shakhova discusses in her recent Nick Breeze interviews.

    Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy
    Gas Fluxes Across the Ocean-Air Interface
    One of the most important uses of the continuous CRDS measurements in marine settings is the determination of gas fluxes across the ocean-air interface. These calculations provide the most direct evidence that methane released at the seafloor may be contributing to methane concentrations in the atmosphere. Calculating gas fluxes from the measured gas concentrations requires water-quality parameters, such as temperature and salinity, and meteorological data.

    Real-Time Mapping of Seawater and Atmospheric Methane Concentrations Offshore of Alaska’s North Slope

    View on soundwaves.usgs.gov

    Reply
  21. pintada

     /  July 2, 2014

    Thank you Robert and all.

    Brilliant post followed by intelligent/informed commentary with a hint of controversy. Gotta love it.

    Reply
  22. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Issue Date: 6-Dec-2006
    Publisher: American Geophysical Union
    Citation: Journal Of Geophysical Research, Vol. 111, D23302, doi:10.1029/2006JD007080, 2006
    Abstract: Space-based measurements of reflected sunlight in the near-infrared (NIR) region promise to yield accurate and precise observations of the global distribution of atmospheric CO2. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) is a future NASA mission, which will use this technique to measure the column-averaged dry air mole fraction of CO2 (XCO2) with the precision and accuracy needed to quantify CO2 sources and sinks on regional scales (~1000 x 1000 km²) and to characterize their variability on seasonal timescales. Here, we have used the OCO retrieval algorithm to retrieve XCO2 and surface pressure from space-based Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) measurements and from coincident ground-based Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) measurements of the O2 A band at 0.76 mm and the 1.58 mmCO2 band for Park Falls,Wisconsin. Even after accounting for a systematic error in our representation of the O2 absorption cross sections, we still obtained a positive bias between SCIAMACHY and FTS XCO2 retrievals of ~3.5%. Additionally, the retrieved surface pressures from SCIAMACHY systematically underestimate measurements of a calibrated pressure sensor at the FTS site. These findings lead us to speculate about inadequacies in the forward model of our retrieval algorithm. By assuming a 1% intensity offset in the O2 A band region for the SCIAMACHY XCO2 retrieval, we significantly improved the spectral fit and achieved better consistency between SCIAMACHY and FTS XCO2 retrievals. We compared the seasonal cycle of XCO2 at Park Falls from SCIAMACHY and FTS retrievals with calculations of the Model of Atmospheric Transport and Chemistry/Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (MATCH/CASA) and found a good qualitative agreement but with MATCH/CASA underestimating the measured seasonal amplitude. Furthermore, since SCIAMACHY observations are similar in viewing geometry and spectral range to those of OCO, this study represents an important test of the OCO retrieval algorithm and validation concept using NIR spectra measured from space. Finally, we argue that significant improvements in precision and accuracy could be obtained from a dedicated CO2 instrument such as OCO, which has much higher spectral and spatial resolutions than SCIAMACHY. These measurements would then provide critical data for improving our understanding of the carbon cycle and carbon sources and sinks.
    URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/40389

    All about CO2 – nothing about methane.

    Is it a reasonable suspicion that this specific research in 2006 was a part of the IPCC’s central focus on CO2 to the exclusion of what should have been an equally critical additional emphasis on CH4?

    Shakhova has stated that most early Arctic researchers considered sub sea Arctic methane sources as very stable.

    Semelitov & Shakhova have been emphasizing CH4 & its consequences since at least 2004-2005.

    Reply
  23. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Timothy, please don’t scratch too much – keep it acomin.

    Reply
  24. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Cutting edge science, Igor’s & Natalia’s red noses.

    Reply
  25. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Remember this from 2012?

    Gas Hydrates and Climate Warming—Why a Methane Catastrophe Is Unlikely

    By Carolyn Ruppel and Diane Noserale
    May / June 2012

    News stories and Web postings have raised concerns that climate warming will release large volumes of methane from gas hydrates, kicking off a chain reaction of warming and methane releases.

    But recent research indicates that most of the world’s gas hydrate deposits should remain stable for the next few thousand years. Of the gas hydrates likely to become unstable, few are likely to release methane that could reach the atmosphere and intensify climate warming.

    Gas Hydrates Primer

    Gas hydrates are an ice-like combination of natural gas and water that can form in deep-water ocean sediments near the continents and within or beneath continuous permafrost. Specific temperatures and pressures and an ample supply of natural gas are required for gas hydrates to form and remain stable.

    An estimated 99 percent of gas hydrates are in ocean sediment and the remaining 1 percent in permafrost areas (see map). Methane hydrate or “methane ice,” which is the most common type of gas hydrate, represents a highly concentrated form of methane: one cubic foot of methane hydrate traps about 164 cubic feet of methane gas.

    The amount of methane trapped in the Earth’s gas hydrate deposits is uncertain, but even the most conservative estimates conclude that about 1,000 times more methane is trapped in hydrates than is consumed annually worldwide to meet energy needs.

    Reply
    • Potential scientific blind spot, like assumed glacial ice sheet and sea ice stability from the early 2000s. From the point of view of risk, you’d better keep checking the blind spots…

      Reply
  26. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Carolyn Ruppel; CV & her two most recent service activities

    EDUCATION
    Ph.D. MIT, Solid Earth geophysics (continental) and geology, January 1992; Thesis Advisor: McNutt
    M.S. MIT, geophysics, 1986 (simultaneous with B.S.); Thesis Advisors: Royden, Hodges
    B.S. MIT, earth sciences, 1986

    PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS
    Present Chief, USGS Gas Hydrates Project
    7/06-present Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey
    10/06-present
    Visiting Scientist, MIT, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
    7/00-6/06
    Associate Professor of Geophysics (tenured), Georgia Tech
    7/03-6/06
    Program manager (faculty “rotater”), National Science Foundation, Ocean Sciences

    2000-2002
    Coordinator, Georgia Tech Focused Research Program (proto-center) on Methane Hydrates
    1/1994-6/00
    Assistant Professor of Geophysics, Georgia Tech
    1993
    Postdoctoral Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    1992
    Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    1986-1991
    Graduate research and teaching assistant, MIT

    SELECTED SERVICE ACTIVITIES
    Lead proponent, IODP Pre-Proposal 797, Late Pleistocene to contemporary climate change on the Alaskan Beaufort Margin (ABM)
    Lead organizer, Catching climate change in progress, circum-Arctic Ocean drilling workshop, December 2011 (sponsored by US Science Support Program for IODP)

    Reply
  27. FYI & INCYMI: As Tropical Storm Arthur gains attention in the USA east coast, Dr. Jeff Masters referenced this NOAA link re: Experimental Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map -(Updated 19 May 2014). Graphics/data/projections…
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/inundation/

    Reply
  28. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Timothy, the Crisp 2010 paper describes a beautiful experiment to precisely identify CO2 fluxes from every angle.

    As the prevailing theory would prescribe, all eyes were on the CO2 because for most researchers methane was a non problem.

    Not so with Semelitov & Shakhova, who were busy faithfully gathering the empirical data of methane fluxes in the Arctic.

    From my beloved mentor Stanislav Andreski; “Some of our worst mistakes do not come from poor reasoning or bad logic. Those terrible mistakes often come from a faulty premise & proneness to delusion.”

    Reply
  29. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    dtlange, There is a handy rule of thumb for grasping both the simplicity & the severity of inundation from sea level rise.
    Every foot of vertical sea level rise translates into 100 feet of horizontal area inundated.

    North Carolina politician/legislators, who openly say it ain’t happening in our N.C, may get their comeuppance in spades plus millions of tons of water.

    Reply
    • 100-200 feet of horizontal distance for a single foot, though the curve increases dramatically with each additional foot. 6 feet of sea level rise can flood regions many miles inland, for example.

      On vulnerable beaches, a few inches of sea level rise can take out 100 feet of unreplenished shore. In the Chesapeake Bay, we’re losing entire islands to just an 8 inch sea level rise. And an 8-10 foot rise is enough to take out a good chunk of Florida and most of Delaware, to name a couple.

      1 foot of additional sea level rise is trouble for most coastal regions and 3 feet is enough to knock out many towns and cities without additional protection. At six feet, you’re talking about many coastal states losing 20-40 percent of their cities without major flood protection funding. At ten feet, these battles will probably be lost regardless of expense.

      Reply
    • If I remember correctly, rule of thumb, every meter rise in sea level would displace 1% of the Earth’s population. Urban population was greater than 50% as of 2010 and rising. Cities cluster along the shores. Something to do with commerce, I believe. As such, if urban growth continues without regard to rising sea levels populations would become more concentrated along the shorelines.

      Reply
      • 49 kph west wind at 5 degrees north. 42 kph west wind at 3 degrees north. Local intensity consistently greater than January WWB.

        Reply
      • 6 north WWB at 50 kph now…

        Reply
      • Ralph

         /  July 3, 2014

        54km/h at 6.97° N, 146.78° E now, slightly southerly component, but I expect Eckman pumping from the developing storm will be “correcting” that, effectively boosting the eastwards forces on the water.
        How long before the Kelvin wave activity becomes clear?

        Reply
  30. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Robert, the highest natural elevation in the Everglades is 11 feet above sea level.
    Cape Coral FL, near Fort Misery, is about 4.5 ft above.

    Reply
  31. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    dtlange’s recommended site is an exercise in – “information is beautiful.”
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/experimental/inundation/

    Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  July 2, 2014

    Prairie flooding prompts evacuations in western Manitoba
    Total of 87 municipalities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan declare state of emergency

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/prairie-flooding-prompts-evacuations-in-western-manitoba-1.2692933

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  July 2, 2014

    Latest reading from a buoy near the north pole:
    IABP ICEX Buoy 835100 latest weather data
    07/02/1200Z 86.052°N 87.201°W 7.6°C 1021.5mb

    45.68 degrees Fahrenheit!!! near the north pole.

    Reply
  34. Griffin

     /  July 2, 2014

    Atmospheric CO2 at 400.44 ppm yesterday according to the Keeling Curve. Nature is nearing the top of her inhalation and we are still over 400. Last year it was a big deal when we hit it. This year it has been more than three months already. While obviously our massive emissions are to blame for the increase, I wonder how much of a role that the warmer Pacific has played in reducing the uptake of the carbon and thus contributed to the far longer peak period this year?

    Reply
  35. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    “45.68 degrees Fahrenheit!!! near the north pole”… & climbing.
    70 plus hot summer days until mid September.

    Reply
  36. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    Concerning the probability of a large & abrupt methane release in the Arctic; sainted scientific researcher, Natalia Shakhova, said in 2012; “The worst thing might happen.”
    Her simple prediction may be the most momentous scientific prediction in all history.
    Her simple prediction could very well become a reality within the next 15 months.

    Reply
  37. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 2, 2014

    from Robert Scribbler
    gerald spezio August 18, 2013

    “If there is a more pregnant statement about our future than this, I can’t find it.
    Robert is following Semelitov & Shakhova.
    “Only 1% of methane needs to be released to cause total disaster. ”
    The area of the ESAS is more than four times the total area of TEXAS, & it is releasing a prodigious amount of methane at .8 C above baseline as we observe.”

    Ten months later I would add; Although estimates vary, we can be confident that the minimum amount of carbon stored as clathrates in the Arctic Sea bottom is more than 1500 gigatons & that is low balling it.

    Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    El Nino-like conditions kick with annual temperature record smashed

    Australia smashed its temperature record in the year to the end of June, beating a high set during the most recent El Nino weather event in the Pacific.
    Buried in the Bureau of Meteorology’s monthly report on national conditions, the agency noted the 12-month mean temperature was a “solid highest-on-record” result.
    In fact, mean temperatures were a full 1.08 degrees above the long-term average, smashing the previous record July-June anomaly by 0.18 degrees. The previous record was set in the 12 months to June 2010 – an El Nino period.

    Read more: Link

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    Uncertainties in the timing of unprecedented climates

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v511/n7507/full/nature13523.html

    Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    Western Australia shark mystery sparks bigger questions over ocean predators

    “It started as a film about the demise of a shark, and what could have done it – but it has opened up this huge other discovery,” Riggs said.
    “It is a multi-species seasonal bonanza, and it happens to be on what is now recognised as a major hydrocarbon resource.
    “It is mind boggling.”
    As the film, to be screened on the ABC on November 3 uncovers, the area off Bremer Bay in WA’s South West is home to a natural phenomenon involving a leak from massive hydrocarbon pocket under the seabed, which fuses with the surrounding water to create an ice-like reef known as methane hydrate.
    This in turn sparks a food chain involving crustaceans releasing billions of nutrient-rich eggs into the desolate waters.
    And that food source brings with it the ocean’s big boys.
    “On one particular day, over a four nautical mile period, we saw in excess of 100 killer whales – it was ridiculous,” Riggs says.

    Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/environment/western-australia-shark-mystery-sparks-bigger-questions-over-ocean-predators-20131029-2wdo8.html#ixzz36MSnRxnU

    Reply
    • Paul from NSW

       /  July 4, 2014

      This is a controversial view on it, but it seems to fit with a lack of dissolved oxygen in the ocean. I am speculating here but they may actually going there because of a methanotroph that generates oxygen (in the absence of light).
      http://preppingforexile.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/the-oceans-are-dying.html
      If anyone can debunk it please do, because I think it might be a symptom of a serious problem and I would love to be proven wrong.

      Reply
  41. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 3, 2014

    One per cent of 1500 = 15 gigatons.

    But we will be very conservative & claim that only one-thousandth of our 1500 gigaton total is released, equaling ONLY 1.5 gigatons of methane.

    Multiplying 1.5 gigatons of methane by100 puts us at 150 gigatons of CO2 equivalent.

    Adding 150 MORE CO2 equivalent gigatons to our yearly production of 38 gigatons of CO2 = 188 gigatons of CO2 equivalent.

    Don’t shoot the piano player.

    Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    Scientists sight better simulations of soot’s sway on Arctic climate warming

    No one but a Grinch enjoys black snow—it has no redeeming qualities. Yet scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory trained their sights on soot to understand its undesirable effects on the Arctic environment. Using global climate model simulations, they evaluated soot’s effects in Northern China and the Arctic against measurements over the region. PNNL and a University of Michigan collaborator found key model parameters that correctly spot soot buildup and melt-away in a complex seasonal and latitudinal dependence swing. Their study will help the climate modeling community better understand soot’s great influence on regional and global climate.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  43. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 3, 2014

    Big boy & big girl financiers feeding all over the planet.
    Do Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, & Larry Summers know killer whale speak?

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    The volcano of a hundred thousand mouths

    When the 1893 World’s Fair opened in Chicago, fairgoers aboard the world’s first Ferris wheel soared high enough to compare two cities: the White City—gleaming whitewashed architecture built for the massive fair—and its dark twin, the blackened, soot-stained buildings of the Loop just a few miles to the north.

    Chicago, like many industrialized cities in the 19th century, lay under a thick layer of soot of its own making. Dirt from trains and factories soiled linen shirts and blew into homes past tightly shut windows. Across the Atlantic in London, residents lit lamps at midday to wade through pea-soup fogs, yellow with sulfur, that lingered over the city for days.
    Nineteenth-century meteorologist Luke Howard called London “the volcano of a hundred thousand mouths,” referring to the city’s factories and engines that constantly exhaled soot, which is mostly made up of tiny particles of black carbon. Black carbon is released when things burn: coal and other fuels, bush fires, and the combustion that powers diesel engines and generators.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  45. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 3, 2014

    During the summer of 1962 when I was a whippersnapper student hoping for the good life, I worked as a longshoreman on the Houston, TX waterfront – $2.96 per hour was manna from heaven.

    Yabut, one of the horrors was charging/loading the infamous cargo of “carbon black.”

    The carbon black was in paper sacks weighing about 50 – 60lbs.

    That black soot carbon shid went everywhere, when the bags broke.

    It was carbon black, cow hides, & the goddamn banana boat that turned me against the longshoreman business.

    Reply
  46. messtime

     /  July 3, 2014

    From the NZ “The Northern Advocate” Newspaper Today:
    New Zealand North enjoys warmest June yet.
    By Mike Dinsdale
    Thursday Jul 3, 2014
    The Winterless North may have finally earned its title with the warmest June on record causing confusion for fruit and vege growers, with plants flowering much earlier than normal, and a drop in winter-clothing sales. The Niwa climate summary for last month reveals the warmest June on record for Northland and the whole of New Zealand, with temperatures above average across the country. But in Northland things were even rosier, with the average maximum air temperature in Kerikeri 18.3C, 1.7C above average, and the warmest June average ever. Kaitaia recorded an average maximum of 17.8C, 1.6C above normal, Whangarei’s was 17.6C (1.5C above); Cape Reinga 16.9C (1.2C above) and Kaikohe 16.7C (1.9C above). Whangarei recorded an almost summer-like high of 20C on June 26, with Kaitaia’s high for the month also 20C on June 3 and Kerikeri recording its high of 19C on June 18, 23, and 27. Sue Culham, Whangarei-Mangawhai representative for the Avocado Growers’ Association, said the warm weather had seen the pollinisers on her Glenbervie avocado orchard burst into flower much earlier than usual. “They seem to think it’s spring,” Ms Culham said.

    Reply
  47. (almost) the same is true down this end messtime – @ 46.50 South we’re having another officially weird winter. Yesterday was the first proper winter’s day, although we’ve had almost no frosts, just snow near sea level and icy winds. Earlier in the week temps were upto 17C (unheard of here in July – normally 12 is thought good). About 3 frosts so far this winter. And regarding news coverage almost nothing in NZ probably due to Fairfax holding market share – and here too the comments overflowing with trollish vitriol – it’s simply not worth posting a scientific, reasoned view on their pages.

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  July 3, 2014

      Probably worth composing a boilerplate comment that just says something like “For those who want to learn more about climate science, some good websites are XXX.” I usually use Skeptical Science, Climate Progress, and Real Climate. That way, you expend minimum time and may reach some readers who are not taken in.

      Reply
  48. US drought and dust storms affect crops

    Parts of the United States are experiencing the worst drought for decades, with farmers warning that harvests are being badly hit.

    The state of Oklahoma has endured persistent drought for the past three-and-a-half years and people there are fearful of a return of the so-called Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s.

    The BBC’s science editor David Shukman visited one of the worst-affected areas, known as the Oklahoma Panhandle.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27995690

    Reply
  49. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    (Riverton, Wyo.) – The National Weather Service office in Riverton retweeted a note from their colleagues in South Dakota this afternoon who traced the hazy conditions over a wide area of the Northern Plains to forest fires in far north Alberta and the Northwest Territories, Canada. Residents of the Wind River Basin woke up this morning to the hazy conditions.

    See the graph above created by the National Weather Service in South Dakota:

    http://county10.com/2014/07/01/wonder-hazy-outside-today-forest-ires-alberta-cause/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 3, 2014

      Terra/MODIS
      2014/183
      07/02/2014
      18:45 UTC
      Fires and smoke in northern Canada

      Link

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 3, 2014

        N.W.T. experiencing one of its worst forest fire seasons

        A major hydroelectric plant has been closed down and a small community evacuated in what officials are calling one of the worst fire seasons the Northwest Territories has ever seen.

        So far officials have logged 123 fires this season, at least 92 of which are still burning. Most are caused by lightning striking hot, dry forest that hasn’t seen significant rain since the spring snow melt.

        “We’re going through a period of extreme burning conditions across most of the southern N.W.T.,” says Bill Mawdsley, director of forest management with the Department of Environment in Fort Smith. “We’re observing extreme drought. Everything right from the mineral soil right to the top of the trees is burning.”

        Link

        Reply
  50. Fairbanks sees 1/4 of average annual rainfall in 24 hours

    “For the third time in two weeks, a rainstorm laden with moisture from the eastern Gulf of Alaska drenched the Fairbanks area Tuesday and early Wednesday, dumping more than 3 inches of rain. Over the last two weeks, Fairbanks has received about half of its average annual rainfall, one of the wettest stretches since Felix Pedro discovered gold in 1902. During a 24-hour period Tuesday and Wednesday, about one-quarter of the average annual rainfall fell.”

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140702/fairbanks-sees-14-average-annual-rainfall-24-hours

    Reply
  51. An Issue with Null School: water surface speed and direction may be well out of date.

    I begin by selecting a mode of ocean, a “Control” datetime of current, then an overlay of either sea surface temperature (SST) or sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA).

    When looking at sea surface temperature or temperature anomalies I can click a given point to get temperature, water surface speed and direction, Doing that at present I get a datetime stamp of 2014-07-02 00:00 UTC. Now if for overlay I toggle from temperature to currents, the datetime stamp is 2014-06-17 00:00 UTC, two weeks before. Toggling back and forth between an overlay of temperature and currents I notice that the pattern of the currents remain the same. Likewise, the speed and direction of the water surface currents remain the same, even though for the temperature overlay I have a datetime stamp of 2014-07-02 00:00 UTC and for the currents overlay I have a datetime stamp of 2014-06-17 00:00 UTC. I also notice that when currents overlay is selected and I step back one unit in time using the “Control” single arrow pointing left, the datetime stamp is 2014-06-12 00:00 UTC. From there I can step forward one unit to 2014-06-17 00:00 UTC. However, I cannot step forward one additional unit.

    At present, the data for surface currents is roughly two weeks out of date, Moreover, this data does not appear to be updated as often or as regularly as other data. This is not as much a problem if you are looking at the currents overlay as you can see the datetime stamp associated with the data. However, if you are looking at either sea surface temperature or sea surface temperature anomaly the datetime stamp displayed is specific to the sea surface temperature or sea surface temperature anomaly, not the sea surface currents. Moreover, this means that one cannot directly compare surface winds with surface currents as the data for surface currents may be several weeks out of date.

    Reply
  52. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    Precipitation in Reykjavík measured 115.8 millimeters in June, the highest since records began in 1920 and more than three times the June average, according to the Icelandic Met Office.

    Link

    Reply
  53. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    The oldest known living thing, she answers, is the “Siberian bacteria.” It is between 400,000 and 600,000 years old.

    “It was discovered by planetary scientists who were looking for clues to life on other planets,” Sussman explains. “They visited Siberia, one of the harshest places on earth, and they took a core sample of the permafrost. They discovered that this bacteria was doing DNA repair below freezing temperatures. This means that the organism is not dormant, but has been living and growing for what they estimate to be about half a million years.”

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-07-03/one-woman-traveled-world-10-years-find-oldest-living-things-earth

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 3, 2014

      Perhaps this bacteria will survive the coming mass extinction.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  July 3, 2014

        Perhaps the bacteria will touch-off an extinction. I don’t like the idea of these microbes that have been locked up for so long being released back into the game so quickly.

        Reply
  54. james cole

     /  July 3, 2014

    For the layman I think the most obvious thing that points to climate change over the last three decades is the frequency and level of extreme rainfall events. The media may remain silent on global warming, but they do report rainfall and floods. Now a days every morning brings a new report of one or more extreme rainfalls in the USA. If anything is grabbing people’s attention in relation to global warming it is the rainfall event in their local area that breaks all records. The Upper Midwest has just gone through a wide ranging set of extreme rainfalls. This gets people’s attention because they can not ignore it. In my local area, two years ago, we experienced a 24 hour epic rainfall event that burned it’s way into everyone’s mind, as it smashed all experience and all records by a massive amount. From 6-8 inches in some areas, going all the way up to record smashing 20+ inch readings in isolated areas. Nothing has ever come close to this. A coastal area absorbing a hurricane may get such a 24 hour event, but not the far upper Midwest Boreal forest.
    All across America people are seeing these record rainfalls, and that is just what climate science says should be happening. Bad new for deniers because the rains fall on them and flood their houses just like all others.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 3, 2014

      James,

      Well said. I wonder how many Alaskans are changing their opinion on AGW now that it too is getting record breaking rains, as TGI’s link above points to.

      With all that heavy rain, it must be very humid where you are. It’s finally hot and humid where I am, but we had about 2 weeks of perfect low-humidity, 70’s F weather a few weeks ago, so I can’t complain, certainly compared to people in the mid-west!

      Reply
  55. Apneaman

     /  July 3, 2014

    Let the deniers and their spawn drown. They have and are promoting death and suffering of billions.

    Reply
    • Ralph

       /  July 3, 2014

      I wonder how many sea-level-rise-denying-politicians in North Carolina have been quietly selling beach-front properties.
      Someone should challenge them to put their money where their mouth is by selling them long term futures on coastal land…

      Reply
    • Paul from NSW

       /  July 4, 2014

      The sad reality is that apart from a very few self-sufficient ones, we are all conspirators. We might not be promoting it, but we are part of the system. Perhaps at the pearly gates we can claim ignorance, but RS has seen to it that may be a shallow defense.
      By the way, I am not pointing the finger at anyone apart from myself. Just not sure how I can pick the kids up from school without burning fossil fuels. Perhaps I should get an electric car, but how do I charge it without burning fossil fuels? Change will take time, but time we may not have.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  July 4, 2014

        Paul, Good points. Unless one becomes a nearly self-sufficient permaculture homesteader, it’s hard to fully extricate ourselves from dependence on fossil fuel run industrial civilization. That’s why change at the scale needed to avert disaster must come from both the top and the bottom. As long as one is moving in the direction of using less fossil fuels and reducing impacts in other ways, I’d say that’s a good start.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  July 4, 2014

        Right, the problem of “letting the deniers and their spawn drown” is that we are stuck on the same planet. Regarding an electric car, the key question is, if you get a gasoline car, how long will it take you to get off fossil fuels? The answer is, the life of the car. The degree to which an electric car is fueled by fossil fuels depends on the electric utility system, which in many places is using more and more renewable energy. You can also just perform your own private offset system, installing solar or purchasing green power in a quantity sufficient to cover your own electricity usage. We have a residential solar system and an electric car, and are working on finding a way to add more solar to cover the increased demand resulting from the car.

        Reply
  56. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    Paraguay’s capital issues alert over floods

    Paraguayan officials warned on Thursday of a possible environmental disaster because a flooding river is threatening a dump site for toxic residues.

    State environmental chief Marina Cristina Morales said the Paraguay river already has flooded the Cateura dump in the capital city of Asuncion. The river has risen nearly 6.5 feet (2 meters) above normal, though it was still 9 feet (2.8 meters) below the level of a containment site for toxic waste.

    “If the river continues to rise we will likely be facing an environmental disaster,” Morales said.

    http://www.khou.com/news/world/265710781.html

    Reply
  57. Colorado Bob

     /  July 3, 2014

    RS –
    I have comment with a double link in the spam filter.

    Reply
  58. messtime

     /  July 3, 2014

    Warm conditions on horizon – New Zealand
    By Mike Dinsdale
    Wednesday Jul 2, 2014
    The next three months are set to be warmer than the last.
    Just getting used to the warmer than normal winter in New Zealand Northland? Well hang on, because the next three months are set to be warmer than normal too, with the Niwa climate forecast for July to September painting a relatively rosy picture for Northland. Niwa climate scientist Chris Brandolino said Niwa’s outlooks indicate the likelihood of climate conditions being at, above, or below average for the season as a whole. They are not “weather forecasts” as it is not possible to forecast precise weather conditions three months ahead of time. However, Northland is likely to be warmer than average over the next three months, with Niwa saying there is a 40 per cent probability of temperatures being above average, 40 per cent chance of temperatures being near average and only a 10 per cent chance of them being below average. There is a 35 per cent probability that rainfall levels will also be above average. While above normal sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean have crossed El Nino thresholds in June 2014, most atmospheric indicators – sea level pressure, convection, trade winds – have remained at neutral levels, indicating that El Nino conditions have not yet become fully established, Mr Brandolino said. “The latest climate model guidance indicates continued warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific through July-September 2014, with peak strength expected during October-December 2014.” – NORTHERN ADVOCATE NEWSPAPER, By Mike Dinsdale

    Reply
  59. “California’s drought is intensifying, turning more farms to dust, fanning fires, draining fountains and driving “unbelievable” prices at water auctions.

    A map released by the US Drought Monitor on Thursday classified nearly 80% of California as in “extreme” drought, the second highest of five categories. Within that area an estimated 36% is “exceptional” drought, the highest category….

    The price of water in the private market has reportedly soared tenfold in the past five years. It now costs $2,200 for for an acre-foot, a measurement approximate to covering a football field with a foot of water.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/04/california-severe-drought-intensifying-napa-wildfire–on

    Reply
  60. Rather interesting.

    If you check the arctic ice extent (nsidc), you can see it plummeting like a rock. It’s pretty much at the 2012 level for the date, but the delta is much steeper.

    Now flip over to climate reanalyzer and check the water temperature – Average. You’ll see a huge plume of 40 to ~45 degree (F) burst coming out from the ice all over the arctic. This showed up when the delta on the extent started diving. It is cold water plowing out from under the ice in massive amounts and now runs down the side of Newfoundland, and the opposite side in Scandinavia.

    Now the interesting part. Flip to water temperature – Anomaly. Where that 40-45 F water is plowing out all over the arctic is above the 1979-2000 average! And by a lot. Where you thought it was “cold water” by traditional standards, it is not. It is anomalously high.

    It looks like the ice is getting destroyed from below concurrent with the traditional surface melt (30’s to 50’s F average over most of the cap). The thinning must be insane.

    Anyone know of any daily arctic ice cap thickness daily data? I would love to see the past 2 weeks overlaid with these other data items.

    Happy 4th to all of you.

    Reply
    • Andy (in San Diego) wrote:

      Anyone know of any daily arctic ice cap thickness daily data? I would love to see the past 2 weeks overlaid with these other data items.

      Estimated daily sea ice volume is available through the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System model. You can learn about their project here:

      PIOMAS Arctic Sea Ice Volume Reanalysis
      http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/

      On the right you will find a link to PIOMAS Data where you can immediately download the data after hitting a submit button. (They are asking for your name, email and institution.) The download page includes a link to where you may obtain gridded data.

      [continued below]

      Reply
    • [continued from above]

      There is also CryoSat-2 of the European Space Agency. They are able to provide thickness and freeboard as part of their Level 2 data, but I do not know how comprehensive or current the data is. You would have to register and wait for your username and password to arrive in two working days.

      If you are interested in this more information is available here:

      CrySat – Data Samples
      https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/-/how-to-access-cryosat-data-6842

      Reply
  61. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 5, 2014

    How many watts insolation are absorbed per m^2 of open Arctic Sea in July & August?

    Reply
  62. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 5, 2014

    Not exactly what I wanted but …from Arctic News;

    Professor Wadhams estimates the present summer area of sea ice at 4 million square km, with a summer albedo of about 0.60 (surface covered with melt pools). When the sea ice disappears, this is replaced by open water with an albedo of about 0.10. This will reduce the albedo of a fraction 4/510 of the earth’s surface by an amount 0.50. The average albedo of Earth at present is about 0.29. So, the disappearance of summer ice will reduce the global average albedo by 0.0039, which is about 1.35% relative to its present value.

    As NASA describes, a drop of as little as 0.01 in Earth’s albedo would have a major warming influence on climate—roughly equal to the effect of doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which would cause Earth to retain an additional 3.4 watts of energy for every square meter of surface area.

    Based on these figures, Professor Wadhams concludes that a drop in albedo of 0.0039 is equivalent to a 1.3 W/sq m increase in radiative forcing globally.

    The albedo change resulting from the snowline retreat on land is similarly large, so the combined impact could be well over 2 W/sq m. By comparison, this would more than double the net 1.6 W/sq m radiative forcing resulting from the emissions caused by all people of the world (see IPCC image below). Professor Wadhams adds: “Remember that this is going to happen in only about 3 years if the predictions of alarmist glaciologists like myself are correct”.

    Reply
    • I tend to be less alarmed than some (e.g., Guy McPherson), although I certainly believe that continued existence modern civilization might very well depend on how quickly decisively we choose to address global warming. However, I find the following recent paper of interest, and it is in certain respects reminiscent of Wadham’s views.

      From the abstract:

      We find that the Arctic planetary albedo has decreased from 0.52 to 0.48 between 1979 and 2011, corresponding to an additional 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2 of solar energy input into the Arctic Ocean region since 1979. Averaged over the globe, this albedo decrease corresponds to a forcing that is 25% as large as that due to the change in CO2 during this period, considerably larger than expectations from models and other less direct recent estimates.

      Pistone, Kristina, Ian Eisenman, and V. Ramanathan. “Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.9 (2014): 3322-3326.

      Available at Veerabhadran Ramanathan’s online collection of peer-reviewed papers.

      Reply
    • Somewhat related….

      According to Tamino’s calculations (e.g., Anthropogenic Global Cooling, Tamino, Open Mind, 2010-08-23), the modern era of global warming began in 1975, as one would expect, given the role of reflective sulfate aerosols in masking global warming (by means of “global dimming”) from the mid 1940s to early 1970s and the clean air legislation that was put in place in modern industrialized nations during the early 1970s. So obviously reflective aerosols due to fossil fuel use can play a major role in temporarily slowing global warming.

      More recently China has undergone explosive industrialization with extreme pollution making the air unfit to breath and the water unfit to drink or to be used in agriculture. Gavin Schmidt (who is taking over Jim Hansen’s position at Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies) at one point mentioned how when he visited there were days when, even though there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, you literally couldn’t see the sun.

      China will have to clean up its act soon given the severity of the problems they have been experiencing with air and water quality. When they do, this should greatly reduce the reflective aerosols that have been masking a substantial amount of global warming, and depending on how quickly they act, temperatures may climb somewhat rapidly (due to “global brightening”) to where they would have been without the reflective aerosols. This probably won’t double the forcing, but it should be fairly significant.

      Reply
    • Paul from NSW

       /  July 10, 2014

      “…which will reduce albedo by 0.0039” – during summer only – because the Antarctic ice remans reflective during the Arctic winter. The Arctic winter is dark while Antarctic is light. I don’t think that the Arctic “midnight sun” totally compensates here because it lasts 60 days depending on your location. Not the full summer.

      The calculations also ignore the Solar Zenith Angle which is much greater at the poles. Because of that radiation is dispersed in the atmosphere before hitting the surface. In addition, you have a greater reflection angle which increases the albedo of water. (Just look at the relections in the pictures on Wikipedia of midnight sun) That means the amount of energy absorbed is far from uniform around the world. That is because energy absorbed is a factor of albedo and energy presented.

      So it seems to me the calculation may be closer to a reduction the global average albedo by 0.002

      That reduces the calculation to an additional .65 W/sq m resulting from the loss of Arctic sea ice.

      I can appreciate S. Carana getting the message out, I am not denying the problem just perhaps trying to make sure the views are realistic. The link below has more detail about the Solar Zenith Angle.
      http://preppingforexile.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-realist.html
      By the way I fully expect someone to correct me, that is what science is all about right?

      Reply
  63. Null School ocean currents are sometimes as much as two weeks out of date. However, they have been recently updated to 2014-07-02 00:00 UTC, so at the moment they should give us a clearer idea of the dynamics.

    The most recent ocean current data is available here.

    Incidentally, all of the Nino3.4 (5°N-5°S, 170-120°W) region over which El Nino is defined is visible. 120°W runs through the Los Angeles area, whereas 130°W doesn’t run through North America until after you reach Canada. 160°W runs through the western most part of the Hawaiian Islands chain, thus 170°W is the next visible line of longitude after that.

    Reply
  64. Early season thin ice and the impact of storms… the dynamics are at work.
    From the Arctic News
    Friday, July 4, 2014
    The Threat of Storms Wreaking Havoc in the Arctic Ocean
    “…The threat posed by storms is illustrated by the track projected to be followed by Hurricane Arthur over the next few days, as shown on above NOAA image.
    The path followed by Hurricane Arthur is influenced by the current shape of the jet stream. As the animation below illustrates, the jet stream looks set to prevent Hurrican Arthur from moving to the east and instead make it move into the Labrador Sea to the west of Greenland and – partly due to the high mountains on Greenland – continue to wreak havoc in Baffin Bay further north…”
    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-threat-of-storms-wreaking-havoc-in-the-arctic-ocean.html

    Reply
  65. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 5, 2014

    “….take the fraction of the Earth’s surface covered by the Arctic ice cap in the height of summer (about 2% of the planet) and multiply that by the average insolation the region receives (170 – 180 watts / m^2) and then by the plausible change in albedo (perhaps 0.5).

    That gives a change in the amount of energy captured by the earth – before taking into account clouds and such – of about 1.75 watts / m^2 (averaged across the whole planet). That compares to 1.6 watts / m^2 of heating effect caused by humans via other changes to the earth system.

    The math is slightly different than Wadhams’, but the answer is roughly the same – a warming effect (a ‘climate forcing’ in the parlance of the field) roughly as large as all current human-caused warming.”

    ONE MORE TIME; “a warming effect (a ‘climate forcing’ in the parlance of the field) roughly as large as all current human-caused warming.”

    Although from 2012, a very thorough discussion;
    Arctic Sea Ice: What, Why and What Next | Guest Blog, Sci Am…

    Reply
  66. Colorado Bob

     /  July 5, 2014

    Dark snow: from the Arctic to the Himalayas, the phenomenon that is accelerating glacier melting
    Industrial dust and soil, blown thousands of miles, settle on ice sheets and add to rising sea level threat

    When American geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj set up a mini weather station at 5,800m on Mount Himlung, on the Nepal-Tibet border, she looked east towards Everest and was shocked. The world’s highest glacier, Khumbu, was turning visibly darker as particles of fine dust, blown by fierce winds, settled on the bright, fresh snow. “One-week-old snow was turning black and brown before my eyes,” she said.

    The problem was even worse on the nearby Ngozumpa glacier, which snakes down from Cho Oyu – the world’s sixth highest mountain. There, Horodyskyj found that so much dust had been blown on to the surface that ability of the ice to reflect sunlight, a process known as albedo, dropped 20% in a single month. The dust that was darkening the brilliant whiteness of the snow was heating up in the strong sun and melting the snow and ice, she said.

    The phenomenon of “dark snow” is being recorded from the Himalayas to the Arctic as increasing amounts of dust from bare soil, soot from fires and ultra-fine particles of “black carbon” from industry and diesel engines are being whipped up and deposited sometimes thousands of miles away. The result, say scientists, is a significant dimming of the brightness of the world’s snow and icefields, leading to a longer melt season, which in turn creates feedback where more solar heat is absorbed and the melting accelerates.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/05/dark-snow-speeding-glacier-melting-rising-sea-levels

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 5, 2014

      Insidious feedback that Dark Snow. “Dark Snow crashes, pouring its light into ashes” … that settle on the snow and ice. Leading to more melt, leading to …, leading to…

      Reply
  67. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 5, 2014

    Total collapse of Arctic Sea Ice is becoming more probable.

    Friday, July 4, 2014
    The Threat of Storms Wreaking Havoc in the Arctic Ocean

    Arctic sea ice extent is close to a record low for the time of the year, as the image below shows.

    Furthermore, the current decline in sea ice extent is much steeper than it used to be for this time of the year, raising the specter of sea ice hitting an absolute record low later this year. Moreover, a total collapse of sea ice may occur if storms continue to develop that push the remaining ice out of the Arctic Ocean into the Atlantic Ocean.

    An information is beautiful chart showing the recent dramatic down slope from empirical NSIDC data is at the site.
    Sam Carana also projects a hypothetical dramatically downward record curve for the entire Arctic summer melt.

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-threat-of-storms-wreaking-havoc-in-the-arctic-ocean.html

    Reply
  68. Ralph

     /  July 5, 2014

    Keep an eye on 155°E, GFS has a characteristic pair of north & south lows forming there over the next week. Too early to say if it will amount to anything.

    Reply
  69. Colorado Bob

     /  July 5, 2014

    The last ice age

    A team of scientists has discovered that a giant ‘burp’ of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the North Pacific Ocean helped trigger the end of last ice age, around 17,000 years ago.
    A recent study, led by Dr James Rae of the University of St Andrews, found that changes in ocean circulation in the North Pacific caused a massive ‘burp’ of CO2 to be released from the deep ocean into the atmosphere, helping to warm the planet sufficiently to trigger the end of the ice age. …………………………………………………..Dr Rae concluded:
    “Although the CO2 rise caused by this process was dramatic in geological terms, it happened very slowly compared to modern man-made CO2 rise. Humans have driven CO2 rise in the atmosphere as large as the CO2 rise that helped end the last ice age, but the man-made CO2 rise has happened 100 times faster. This will have a huge effect on the climate system, and one that we are only just starting to see.”

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  70. Kevin Jones

     /  July 5, 2014

    Thanks (I think) Colorado Bob. Read the link. Spooky.

    Reply
  71. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 5, 2014

    Although it is a rudimentary fact, at least 70% of the population of the U.S. would not know that much of the Arctic heats & cooks in sunlight for 23 – 24 hours every day during much of the summer, & that this heating is caused by the tilt of earth’s axis.
    The ol’ midnight sun just rolls around … all night.
    So, there is more insolation/heating of the Arctic during the Arctic summer than at the temperate latitudes & even at the equator.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 6, 2014

      At the equator the sun is (nearly) directly overhead, but it sets like a stone falling with very little twilight. So even low-angle sunlight, provided it is constant, can exceed the insolation in the mid-latitudes and even the tropics for a few short weekes, though counterintuitive on some levels, makes sense.

      Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  July 6, 2014

        It not only makes sense – it is true.
        What has happened to the two basic questions; “Is it true?” & “How do you know this?”
        As wonderful a read as anything; HIGHER SUPERSTITION by Gross & Levitt.
        Very well written by two cheerful scientists & full of both content & laughs.

        Reply
    • Gerald Spezio, I don’t mean to minimize the importance of sea ice loss. However, there are a few points to consider regarding Wadhams calculations…

      Has he taken into account when the sea ice minimum occurs? The longest days are at the summer solstice, so the sea ice minimum is fairly irrelevant at that point.

      Has he taken into account the fraction of reflection? We are speaking of sea water, and I believe the albedo you quoted is for overhead sunlight. But if we are speaking of the midnight sun, then it is a sun that hangs near the horizon 24 hours a day. In fact, at 15° the absorption of solar radiation by open ocean is reduced roughly by a factor of 2.

      Now one point that Ramanathan raises is that climate models seem to overestimate the extent to which cloud cover will compensate for the reduced albedo Moreover, he points out that they are likely underestimating the extent to which the albedo of snow and ice are reduced by pollution. However, this won’t be a factor for open ocean.

      Finally, climate sensitivity is calculated in terms of the final equilibrium of the climate system. As such, the rate at which the Arctic responds to global warming is somewhat irrelevant, at least with regard to climate sensitivity. They may underestimate the rate but not the final state — except possibly with respect to Arctic cloud cover. And this applies not simply to the loss of Arctic sea ice but high latitude snow.

      As for how early we will see our first day without sea ice (or at least , < 1 million km^2) expect it sooner rather than later, perhaps before 2020.

      Reply
  72. Colorado Bob

     /  July 5, 2014

    Whales as ecosystem engineers

    “Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part,” wrote Herman Melville in Moby Dick. Today, we no longer dread whales, but their subtlety remains. “For a long time, whales have been considered too rare to make much of a difference in the oceans,” notes University of Vermont conservation biologist Joe Roman. That was a mistake.

    In a new paper, Roman and a team of biologists have tallied several decades of research on whales from around the world; it shows that whales, in fact, make a huge difference—they have a powerful and positive influence on the function of oceans, global carbon storage, and the health of commercial fisheries. “The decline in great whale numbers, estimated to be at least 66% and perhaps as high as 90%, has likely altered the structure and function of the oceans,” Roman and his colleagues write in the July 3, 2014, online edition of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, ” but recovery is possible and in many cases is already underway.”

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  73. Colorado Bob

     /  July 6, 2014

    Kudzu can release soil carbon, accelerate global warming

    Tharayil estimates that kudzu invasion results in the release of 4.8 metric tons of carbon annually, equal to the amount of carbon stored in 11.8 million acres of U.S. forest.
    This is the same amount of carbon emitted annually by consuming 540 million gallons of gasoline or burning 5.1 billion pounds of coal.
    “Climate change is causing massive range expansion of many exotic and invasive plant species. As the climate warms, kudzu will continue to invade northern ecosystems, and its impact on carbon emissions will grow,” Tharayil said.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-kudzu-soil-carbon-global.html#jCp

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 6, 2014

      Holy smokes – literally, its turning out up in Canada and Siberia – yet another insidious positive feedback.

      Kudzu, who knew? Kudzu, how could you?

      I think the Earth wants to warm up enough to force us to reduce our assault rapidly, so the fever doesn’t get much higher. A high enough fever may shake off the parasite, but at risk of the death of the patient, in this case the planet.

      Reply
    • Kudzu, I believe, is basically epiphytic and thrives on air born nutrients, mainly nitrogen — of which we have an overabundance from the chronic burning of fossil fuels.
      I tend to think the kudzu ‘invasion’ is a graphic example of botany and the nitrogen carbon/fossil fuel cycle. Nature is responding to the artificial inputs and stresses which we humans inflict upon it — and ourselves as well. Not a pretty sight, either way.

      Reply
  74. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 6, 2014

    Comes now, the killer kudzu following on the tails of the killer humans & their killer carbon.
    It makes our whole descent a bit funny; & we need as much funny as we can get now.
    Take the funny because it will get very ugly as we go down.

    Reply
    • Right, a little funny, satire and gallows humor in these trying times is called for as we chase “Azote’ — yes indeed.

      Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  July 7, 2014

        So damn simple but very logical. One upped by creeping kudzu .

        As humans hopelessly fail to adapt to their changing ecosystem (they just caint stop adoin it, Mama); kudzu, following Bayesian updates in the Kudzu mind, adapts & marches boldly into the future as fodder for mutated mammals.

        “Monroe, who let in the goddam kudzu in?”

        … and methane posta be only 0.0002 %

        This is composition of air in percent by volume, at sea level at 15°C and 101325 Pa.

        Nitrogen — N2 — 78.084%

        Oxygen — O2 — 20.9476%

        Argon — Ar — 0.934%

        Carbon Dioxide — CO2 — 0.0314%

        Neon — Ne — 0.001818%

        Methane — CH4 — 0.0002%

        Helium — He — 0.000524%

        Krypton — Kr — 0.000114%

        Hydrogen — H2 — 0.00005%

        Xenon — Xe — 0.0000087%

        Reply
  75. China flooding forms seven-metre-deep lake in Hunan province

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-28182485

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 6, 2014

      Horrific flooding. And imagine the equally horrific water quality in that giant lake that has swallowed this city. Stories like this should be on the mainstream news, not the latest exploits of some celebrity.

      Reply
  76. Apneaman

     /  July 6, 2014

    Climate engineering offers little hope of mitigation

    http://phys.org/news/2014-07-climate-mitigation.html

    Reply
  77. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 6, 2014

    Timothy; “… climate sensitivity is calculated in terms of the final equilibrium of the climate system.”

    Economists are obsessed with final equilibrium too, but they are sorcerers not scientists.

    The best concept of final equilibrium is from the 2nd law of thermo – when the whole shebang runs down & out – the proverbial heat death equilibrium of the universe.
    ——
    Unless I misunderstand you; you must be kidding; ” the rate at which the Arctic responds to global warming is somewhat irrelevant,… ‘
    Whad????
    The rate of ice melt in the arctic holds our very lives in the balance.

    Whatever the “final equilibrium” of Arctic climate turns out to be; there won’t be any human observers to gather the data.

    Reply
  78. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 6, 2014

    After a bit of reflection, I would add that it is the very concept of “getting to equilibrium” that is a major variable/driver in our present plight.
    The system is never in equilibrium, never mind final equilibrium.
    It is always running down as energy levels dissipate.
    If we had grasped this simple concept as a rule we may have been able to live within our limits.
    We have been consuming with growth & compound interest as our religion.
    Economic equations moving toward equilibrium didn’t even consider or quantify waste or pollution.
    Our comeuppance is here.

    Reply
  79. Gerald Spezio wrote:

    Timothy; “… climate sensitivity is calculated in terms of the final equilibrium of the climate system.”

    Economists are obsessed with final equilibrium too, but they are sorcerers not scientists.

    “Economists… are sorcerers not scientists.” Ad hominem. “Economists are obsessed.” Ad hominem. “Economists ….” Irrelevant. Climate scientists, at least of the climate modelling variety, are physicists.

    Gerald Spezio wrote:

    Unless I misunderstand you; you must be kidding; ” the rate at which the Arctic responds to global warming is somewhat irrelevant [at least with regard to climate sensitivity. ]”

    Quote mining. What was in bold was omitted.

    Gerald Spezio wrote:

    Whad????
    The rate of ice melt in the arctic holds our very lives in the balance.

    Appeal to emotion.

    Gerald Spezio wrote:

    Whatever the “final equilibrium” of Arctic climate turns out to be; there won’t be any human observers to gather the data.

    Bare assertion.

    I might actually prefer that the climate system react more quickly rather than less so. If there is more of a lag between cause and effect we will have more time in which to put carbon in the atmosphere to the detriment of future generations. If there is less of a lag we are more likely to pull back in order to avoid the consequences that we ourselves will bear, and failing that, the effects upon the economy are likely to slow down economic growth and emissions that might otherwise make life a hell for future generations.

    Reply
  80. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 6, 2014

    Larry Summers & Alan Greenspan both genuflect before general equilibrium as economic holy writ & infallible truth.

    Naomi Klein observes;
    Back in 1991, Summers argued that the subject of economics was no longer up for debate: The answers had all been found by men like him. “The laws of economics are like the laws of engineering,” he said. “One set of laws works everywhere.” Summers subsequently laid out those laws as the three “… ations”: privatization, stabilization and liberalization.

    Some “kinds of ideas,” he explained a few years later in a PBS interview, have already become too “passé” for discussion.

    Lying Larry wants all mystified citizens to understand; “WHEN WE SHOW YOU HOW COMPOUND INTEREST ENRICHES WELL DRESSED BANKERS & KEEPS YOU TOILING FOR US, WE ARE DOING SCIENCE.”

    Lying Larry, like Alan Greenspan, keeps a copy of Ayn Rand near his potty for ready reference & sees no problem in using sacred science to justify HIS self interest.

    Reply
  81. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 7, 2014

    I yam so guilty, & I even openly advertise it, as here.
    “The rate of ice melt in the arctic holds our very lives in the balance,” IS definitely fraught with emotion, at least for me.
    Aayyyup, near term extinction is a real bummer.

    Reply
  82. Bad news for sea-level rises as quickening Antarctic winds point to faster ice melt

    “The research, published in Geophysical Research Letters, found that the coastal temperature structure was more sensitive to global warming, particularly the changes to winds, than previously identified.

    “The dynamic barrier between cold and warm water relaxes, and this relatively warm water just offshore floods into the ice-shelf regions, increasing the temperatures by 4 degrees under the ice shelf,” …

    “If you look at how sensitive the coastal ocean is to these changing winds, you could put a lot more heat under these ice shelves than people have previously thought,”…

    Dr Spence said his team’s study was based on more than 30 models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and turned up results that shocked the researchers.

    The new modelling shows it doesn’t take much additional wind to the system “to really, dramatically upset” conditions, he said. “It’s a system really dramatically ripe for change.” ”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/bad-news-for-sealevel-rises-as-quickening-antarctic-winds-point-to-faster-ice-melt-20140707-zsz3o.html#ixzz36mCQcSyj

    Reply
    • What does it take to get reporters to mention the title of a paper when they write an article on it? The paper Peter Hannam is referring to appears to be:

      Spence, P., S. M. Griffies, M. H. England, A. McC. Hogg, O. A. Saenko, and N. C. Jourdain, 2014: Rapid subsurface warming and circulation changes of Antarctic coastal waters by poleward shifting winds, Geophys. Res. Lett., in press.

      However, for those who are interested in digging a little further into subject sooner rather than later, another paper also coauthored by Spence and England was published this year.

      Please see:

      Fogwill, C., C. Turney, K. Meissner, N. Golledge, P. Spence , J. Roberts, M. England, L. Carter: Testing the sensitivity of the East Antarctica Ice Sheet to Southern Ocean dynamics: past changes and future implications. Journal of Quaternary Science, 29 (1), 91-98.

      Accessible at: Paul Spence – Publications

      Reply
  83. Loni

     /  July 7, 2014

    In a July 2nd post, Colorado Bob posted; ” Latest reading from a buoy near the north pole: IABP ICEX buoy 835100 latest weather data 07/02/1200Z 86.052 degrees n 87.201 degrees w 7.6 degrees c 1021.5 mb 45.68 degrees Fahrenheit near the north pole.”

    A few posts below that July 2nd, Gerald Spezio posted: Concerning the probability of a large & abrupt methane release in the Arctic: sainted scientific researcher Natalia Shakhova said in 2012: “The worst thing might happen”

    Okay, so here’s my perspective, as seen is context to Governmental responsibility. During the post Sept 11, 2001 senate hearings, Mr. Clark said that we “failed to connect the dots”. So here are some o’ the dots I see that are looming ’bout as large as Everest, water temps near the north pole, 45+ degrees, fires raging in the Northwest Territories and Siberia blackening the Arctic Ice, potentially warmer water heading into the Artic. So at what point is the U.S. Gov’t going to break out its’ Sharpie and start connecting these planet sized dots!!! Sam Carana at Arctic News posted not long back that the ‘methanetracker’ site needed approximately $4,000.00 dollars to get back up and running, (I believe my memory is right on the amount), but fer Christ sakes, a single Senator spends that in 6 months on parking fines. WTF!!!! The U.S. military has a cute little spy plane that it sends into orbit for months on end and can bring it down and send it back up on a whim. Shouldn’t the potential for a large methane release be a whim? Shouldn’t we send up a methane measuring satellite by whatever means possible post haste? I mean seriously, can anyone look at all of this data, and NOT squirm around in their seats? What constitutes a dire need for some serious attention by our friggin’ government? Our congress has lowered the bar so damn low, that we have all come to expect very little out of it, but to not come up with $4000.00 is absolutely unforgiveable, and damn near treasonous. In my opinion a fragrant dereliction of duty, (as if congress knew what ‘DUTY’ is).

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  July 8, 2014

      They don’t want to “spook the herd.” They all know there’s nothing to be done about any of it.

      Reply
  84. Loni

     /  July 7, 2014

    Okay well last line “fragrant” should have been flagrant, but it may very well have been a Freudian Slip, as a do-nothing swamp by any other name, is still a do-nothing swamp, and smells the same.

    Reply
  85. JPL

     /  July 7, 2014

    From Reuters: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/07/07/typhoon-japan-idINL4N0PI1A820140707

    Super typhoon takes aim at Japan, emergency warnings issued

    Rut roh…

    John

    Reply
  86. wili

     /  July 7, 2014

    Robert, would you consider posting on the Ebola outbreak in east Africa?

    I’m not sure it fits into your foci, but it is certainly something that is likely to become a big issue, growing as it is at an exponential rate–cases about doubling every month. The latest is that a US citizen is being tested for it in Accra, Ghana–which would be a major new development for a number of reasons. I’d post links, but they are easy to find.

    Reply
    • Paul from NSW

       /  July 7, 2014

      My take on Ebola. Very nasty disease but its impact will be isolated in the Western world due to cultural practices.
      Here is the disease
      http://preppingforexile.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/disease.html
      Here is my view on the migration pattern is found in that page (can’t post 2 links)
      I would estimate that if anywhere in the western world will be affected it will be Southern Europe but it will be limited.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  July 8, 2014

        That is, of course, the mostly likely outcome. But we tend to want to be ready for the less-than-most-likely outcome, especially if that outcome could be totally catastrophic–you don’t buckle up every time you get in the car because you are confident you are going to have a crash during that particular drive…
        I don’t happen to believe that people in east Africa are enormously less rational than people elsewhere. It is easy to point to practices that are spreading it there. But people everywhere do irrational things, especially in the grips of panic.
        As this disease progresses, the patient’s body virtually explodes with bodily fluids–vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, pus…any loving family member or partner trying to take care of such a patient is going to come into constant contact with these fluids.
        And of course, people everywhere have sex, often quite promiscuously.
        We all hope and pray that this thing will be isolated and burn itself out relatively quickly. That may be the most likely outcome (though authorities are talking about it raging for at least many more months). But it is wise to watch these things closely, it seems to me, if for no other reason, to see how things go down so we can evaluate the _next_ outbreak of whatever more knowledgeably.

        Reply
      • Paul from NSW

         /  July 10, 2014

        Wili, my comment regarding cultural practices was in regards to the rituals regarding the burial of the dead. The relatives wash the body prior to burial. Unfortunately, that is the most contagious time for Ebola. As it is transferred by body fluids, that is a very bad cultural practice in these circumstances. It was not my opinion, but that of a doctor from Doctors without Borders.

        Reply
  87. Colorado Bob

     /  July 7, 2014

    15 killed in China rainstorms, floods
    English.news.cn 2014-07-07 15:50:38 More
    BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) — Fifteen people have been killed and eight others are missing after recent heavy rain and floods, mostly in south China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Monday.

    Seven provincial regions including Xinjiang, Guangxi, Yunnan, and Guizhou have reported deaths after downpours caused floods, landslides and mud-rock flows since July 3, the ministry said.

    More than 5.9 million people have been affected by the heavy rain, with 61,000 being displaced. More than 5,000 houses have collapsed, the Office of the National Committee for Disaster Reduction said.

    An initial estimate puts direct economic losses at 3.4 billion yuan (547 million U.S. dollars), it added.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-07/07/c_133466010.htm

    Reply
  88. Colorado Bob

     /  July 7, 2014

    A world of woe: Why Malthus was right

    A note from Paul Solman: Around the world of economic history, in 80 words: In the beginning, humans were hunter-gatherers and lived a pretty easy life, though only until the age of 35 or so, on average. About 12,000 years ago or less, folks discovered agriculture, and population exploded — but material life actually became harder than before. Then came the Industrial Revolution and at least in the West, sudden and steady economic growth that made us rich: “A Farewell to Alms,” as economic historian Greg Clark put it in his first controversial book seven years ago.

    The controversial part: he claimed that in England, where the Industrial Revolution was born, the takeoff was due, above all, to “the survival of the richest.”

    I interviewed Clark right after the book came out, but for various reasons, our discussion never made it to air. The interview began with the Pleistocene (circa 2.5 million to 12,000 BCE), well before the agricultural so-called “Neolithic” revolution. But, says Clark, up until the time of Napoleon — 1800 CE — the world as we know it conforms well to a “Malthusian” view of economic history: population limited by the limited resources for keeping humans alive. When Thomas Malthus laid out this vision in 1798, he was dead on about the entire past history of humankind, though the Industrial Revolution was about to prove him wrong about the future.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/world-woe-malthus-right/

    Reply
    • The invention, production, and marketing of the internal combustion engine changed everything — including humanities ability to think and act reasonably or compassionately.
      Our basic survival instinct went all to hell…
      And then we went and just built taller smokestacks to spread the emission plumes.
      None of which is ‘economic’ or equitable, in my opinion.

      Reply
  89. Colorado Bob

     /  July 7, 2014

    Lake Mead, Nation’s Largest Reservoir, To Reach Record Low This Week

    Link

    Reply
    • Right, it had to happen. It impacts water deliveries and hydropower capacities. I keep recalling Marc Reisner’s 1986 ‘Cadillac Desert’ — the title tells it all.

      Reply
  90. Colorado Bob

     /  July 7, 2014

    Reeling from the floods, Bosnians’ anger surfaces
    In the aftermath of the worst floods in more than a century in Bosnia and Herzegovina, authorities have been slow and inadept in providing help to families who lost their livelihoods.

    Link

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  July 7, 2014

      It’s not that much worse than what is happening in the (formerly?) rich western countries. There are still people waiting on government promises from hurricane Sandy, the flood in Calgary and surrounding area, flooding in England, earth quake in Christ Church NZ and lets not forget Katrina. We are just getting started with disasters being the new normal. Climate change is going to break governments and nations. It is just a matter of time until there is a major disaster and no one shows up to help after. Fires and floods will be left to burn and churn unopposed as unpaid government employees abandon their posts. Look to your own.

      Reply
      • We are still rich, and more productive and technically adept then ever.

        This is an important thing to keep in mind. 35 years of neoliberal propaganda (I would not call it ‘conservative/republican’ because it is anything but) has repeatedly drilled into people’s heads the doctrine of helplessness – that government can’t afford anything, that ‘we’ can’t do anything, that the only solution to any problem is ‘The Market’, and that we need never ending austerity.

        As an example.. the amount of money that was suddenly available to rescue the banks across the first world in 2008/09, in terms of loan guarantees and direct transfers, was sufficient to completely stop CO2 emissions and replace our energy infrastructure. And yet the failure of the banks would not have destroyed a single physical asset – it was just numbers in computers.

        Or another one; the money and effort involved in the Sochi Winter Olympics would have easily driven a manned mission to Mars. Or we can spend trillions – and mount a huge technical and logistic effort – to reduce Iraq to rubble, but the same efforts to improve the lot of our own people somehow isn’t allowed to happen.

        Overall.. the reduction of government capability and capacity is not some sort of inevitable historical process, it is a quite deliberate policy specifically designed to increase the gap between haves and have-nots. Bear this in mind whenever you hear that we can’t afford to do something, or that something is impossible (pace the laws of thermodynamics, of course).

        Reply
  91. LJR

     /  July 7, 2014

    Is our host MIA?

    Reply
  92. Griffin

     /  July 8, 2014

    I am sure he is busy. Just running from my own feeble observation current events I can see the following. The NWT is burning fiercely, shrouding much of Alberta is smoke. Right next door in Manitoba they are dealing with (you guessed it) epic flooding from what used to be normal summer thunderstorms. Keeping with an eastern progression we see the remnants of Hurricane Arthur, (the one that made a very early season appearance off the coast of New England) headed not for northern Europe as would be expected, but right up the Davis straight as if it has a message for Santa. Across the straight, the appearance of massive melt ponds on the western side of Greenland can make even the untrained observer exclaim loudly. Of course, the data is there too, to confirm that Greenland is losing mass once again at near record pace. Arctic sea ice melt has accelerated rapidly, earlier estimates of this year not being so bad are now quickly headed for the trash. Let’s not forget the news out of the south, once again we find that (you guessed it) Antarctica is capable of losing mass far faster than earlier estimates. So I am very confident that Robert will have much for us to discuss soon!

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  July 8, 2014

      Davis Strait. Sorry for the typo folks.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  July 8, 2014

        Grif, good point about the Antarctic news…it all seems to be pointing in the same direction with every new finding>more and faster melt (and therefore sea level rise) than what we had expected. It would be great to see someone intelligent as RS evaluate all these and and come up with a new set of probable slr figures for various future dates based on the latest data. Maybe that’s more for a tamino, stoat, or eli rabbit than for robert, though?
        For those who don’t know what we’re talking about:
        http://climatestate.com/2014/07/07/new-mechanism-uncovered-causing-potentially-rapid-antarctic-glacier-melt/

        Reply
    • Griffin wrote:

      I am sure [robertscribbler] is busy. Just running from my own feeble observation current events I can see the following.

      Busy!? But he just got done taking a vacation. Shouldn’t he…

      Oh, wait. I seem to remember people sometimes have a lot of catch-up to do at work when they get back from a vacation, assuming writing isn’t his primary job where he can set his own schedule. And from what my wife tells me, unless you are J. K. Rowling it is almost impossible to be a full-time writer nowadays.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  July 8, 2014

        Yes wili, it has been a really incredible year for news about Antarctic Ice. So much so that sometimes I just have to sit back and try to let it all sink in. It is amazing to me that no one has ever been through something like this before in human history. No one can say “oh yeah, we had news that the collapse of the WAIS is unstoppable and sure, we read the studies that confirmed that this collapse may in fact happen far faster than anyone previously thought and yep, we also got the news that, with a mere change in the wind pattern, accelerated melt of the glacial tongues can happen much faster than we ever figured.”
        It stands to reason that if you read this blog, you are aware of what is going on…but sometimes the reality of SLR really is hard to fathom!

        Reply
  93. james cole

     /  July 8, 2014

    Anyone tracking the Typhoon lining up on Japan. I just caught a short report that Japan is calling it a once in several decades size storm. The extraordinary heat in those ocean areas are fuel enough for a monster. Seems Okinawa is in the cross hairs now and in a few days Japan. Hopefully the worst winds and rain are far from Fukushima. The three melted cores and large pools of spent fuels are not properly contained, and heavy rains on site will not cause damage, but will spread more radioactive water. Heavy winds, well, that could knock over reactor buildings already blown up and inside them are spent fuel pools in elevated positions. A story worth watching form all angels.

    Reply
  94. Harry

     /  July 8, 2014

    The Weather Centre is suggesting that an El NIno is now unlikely but their argument goes over my head. Can anyone here shed any light? http://theweathercentre.blogspot.com.es/2014/07/el-nino-in-serious-trouble-upcoming.html

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 8, 2014

      Hmm… looking at Null School it appears the super typhoon may have squashed the westerly wind bursts that would have propagated a kelvin wave – now it looks like normal east to west trade winds along the equator. Someone correct me if I’m wrong here.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  July 8, 2014

        It’s amazing how rapidly the El Nino situation can change. Just a few months ago it looked like a super El Nino was coming, last week it looked like it was going to get a second boost (subject of Robert’s article here), and now it appears to be fading out. Perhaps Robert will chime in on how this happened so quickly.

        Reply
      • Not so sure…

        I would assume that westerlies require cyclones. And if you are thinking that the cyclones busted up the westerlies that would have otherwise continued further into the Pacific Ocean basin, normally westerlies don’t travel much further than these did. If you look back at the westerlies in January they didn’t extend any further East than the eastern tip of New Guinea. These more recent westerlies did. Furthermore, you need Ekman pumping to drive the warm water near the surface down tens of meters to where it will propagate as a Kelvin wave, undisturbed by whatever action (.e.g., easterlies) may be occurring at the surface.

        Late January’s westerlies were born of the tropical disturbance that became tropical storm Kajiki which went on to strike the Philippines. At 2014-01-23 03:00 UTC the center of atmospheric disturbance to evolve into the cyclone was located at 15.44° N, 138.95° E directly north of the center of New Guinea, moving east. At 2014-01-28 03:00 UTC the center of cyclone was located at 7.42° N, 146.11° E, the eastern most point in its evolution. At 2014-01-31 00:00 UTC the center of tropical storm Kajiki was located at 9.46° N, 130.08° E directly north of western tip of New Guinea.

        The early July western wind bursts were associated with several disturbances. Looking at 2014-06-30 15:00 UTC, three disturbances were centered at:
        (1) 11.46° N, 129.38° E, (2) 2.67° S, 155.92° E, and (3) 7.34° N, 160.08° E, with the weakest being (3). The weakest moved west and is what went on to become typhoon Neoguri.

        In terms of the more recent westerlies themselves what makes them less likely to produce the sort of Kelvin wave required to supply warm water with which to drive an El Nino is that this burst wasn’t as centered over the equator (although it was still within 10° of the equator), and (I would presume) that it wasn’t extended over as wide a range of latitudes. More importantly, the temperature profile provided by the writer at the blogspot isn’t showing the warm water pool along the equator. Given that these westerlies weren’t centered over the equator, should we expect the profile to? I honestly don’t know.

        However, it takes about 2 months for a Kelvin wave to make it across the Pacific basin, and obviously Neoguri was tapping into something hot that drove it to evolve into such a powerful typhoon. I will be looking forward to further analyses as they become available.

        Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  July 8, 2014

        Thanks Timothy for your informed comments. It’ll be interesting to see how this El Nino plays out, or not…

        Reply
    • Not that informed. I have never really watched an El Nino develop (or not) before.

      Reply
  95. Apneaman

     /  July 8, 2014

    Andrew
    Your confusing the way things could and should be with the way things are. The haves own the country and your politicians work for them, not the people. Maybe it’s just me, I have never trusted authority. The other problem I have is why, in the face of disaster, so few of us have changed are consuming behavior? Interesting take on this at xraymike’s blog.

    Where’s the Evolution?
    http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2014/07/07/wheres-the-evolution/

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 8, 2014

      Yes, xraymike has a great blog going there. The illustrations he uses are often very haunting.

      Reply
    • Gerald Spezio

       /  July 8, 2014

      Guy McPherson is going to have a gigantic fly in to a comfy retreat in Ecuador for grief counseling for new age doomers.
      Life Coach Carolyn Baker will deliver HER new age wisdom for only $50 – $350 bucks cheap.
      How much grief counseling does a doomed grunt need?
      You’ll get redeemable sky miles too, in spades.
      Get yo dose of grief counseling befo it be too late.
      What does Baker do the cash, hey?

      Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  July 8, 2014

        Life coaching to death coaching for big bucks up front is a big paradigm switch, Mama.

        Reply
    • Apneaman –

      Because it makes no sense for the individual to do so.

      Indeed, I have a deep suspicion of people who say we need to massively change the way we live for a ‘simpler existence’. Partly because it is not technically possible without significant depopulation anyway, and partly because I’m British – and I often see wealthy/aristocracy types, typified by by Prince Charles, pontificating in this very area. People who know exactly how they want society organised – they will be lords of the manor, we will be serfs grateful for a patch of their land to scrabble an existence from.

      Indeed, if you present people with two fairly bleak narratives – either the best we can do, ever, is continuing to dig stuff up and burn it, or we all need to revert to a pre-industrial existence, or at least a vastly reduced standard of living, you can hardly expect people to engage en masse.

      And I’d take it further – TPTB are very happy to have a disengaged populace. Very happy to have people worried about things getting worse instead of asking the obvious question – why are things not better?

      Reply
      • Paul from NSW

         /  July 10, 2014

        Andrew, it is interesting that one of the biggest societal reforms was due to the Black Death. I don’t believe anything will change, until things get ugly. By then for a lot of people it will be too late.

        Reply
  96. @Harry.
    Way too much stuff going on right now for me to put in a single post but if you go here:

    (Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for Sun (7/6/14) )

    and skip to 8:06 you will find, in my opinion as an El Nino geek, for the best El Nino info update on the net. Easy to understand 10 minute vid with just about “everything you wanted to about the current El Nino development but didn’t know who to ask”.

    If you get hooked and want more in-depth and lengthy discussion in incomprehensible El Nino geek-speak then, in my opinion, this is the best El Nino forum on the net.
    It’s a seperate thread on the arctic sea ice forum and some of the contributors are among the best informed on the planet. No climate trolls either – they can’t speak a word of the language.

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=730.1200

    Have fun

    Reply
    • Oops. Didn’t mean to embed the actual video – that was intended to be just a hyper-link.
      If that’s a no no then sorry about that.

      Reply
    • Harry

       /  July 8, 2014

      Thanks Leslie! I shall have a look…

      Reply
  97. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 8, 2014

    Leslie, I get “untrusted site” from your link/direction.

    Reply
    • Gerald Spezio, all, changing the website address from an “h t t p s : / /” to a “h t t p : / /” should be sufficient. You will have to create an account, though. I just wouldn’t make any bank transfers through the website.

      Reply
  98. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 8, 2014

    Mad Dog Robin Williams in “Good Morning Vietnam;” “DON’T GO NEAR THERE.”

    Reply
    • Actually, what you do not want to do is use a password there that you use elsewhere, particularly banking. They make use of only the standard HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). What the “S” would indicate is that the browser should use Secure Socket Layer (SSL), but SSL isn’t available for their website. Without SSL whatever information you exchange with their server will be transmitted as clear text. With SSL there is at least the promise that the data will be encrypted, although at least in the past, when traffic volume was high during the Christmas season, some major online retailers would go ahead and use plain text when there weren’t sufficient resources for additional SSL connections — even though you as the purchaser were under the impression everything was encrypted.

      With the internet, typically whenever you go to a website packets will take different paths, but any given packet is likely to pass through a dozen or so servers along the way. If the information that you are exchanging is clear text then anywhere along that path it would be possible for someone to intercept and read what is being exchanged. Consequently they could see your password if the site requires a password. Which is why when you register they recommend using a password you do not use anywhere else.

      Anyway, with the SSL hyperlink to this blog I was hoping to trigger the same error, but of course WordPress is set up for SSL.. Most big outfits are.

      http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net

      … isn’t a big outfit. But they have over 12,000 posts under cryosphere->arctic sea ice. So for anyone who is interested they might be worth checking out. Incidentally, click the link I just gave to their forum and you won’t get the warning — because the link telling your browser that you require SSL. If Leslie Graham had omitted the “s” from the protocol designation we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. Then again, if he had omitted the “s” we wouldn’t be having this discussion, and consequently there would be a missed opportunity to learn.

      Reply
      • CORRECTION The last paragraph should read:

        Incidentally, click the link I just gave to their forum and you won’t get the warning — because the link will be telling your browser that you do not require SSL.

        Reply
      • Wow. Seems I caused a few problems there. Sorry about that. I was only trying to be helpfull – all that ‘https’ stuff is news to me, I thought I was just posting a straightforward link.
        I don’t have a password for that forum and SFAIR I got there via a simple link on a blog.
        Anyway – both sites are safe and worth persevering with as the info is very good IMO.

        Reply
      • Leslie Graham,

        It is definitely safe – and I have gone ahead and signed up. As for your mistake, it might as well have been a typo, could easily have been one, and I probably should have stated as much just so that I wouldn’t be misunderstood.

        But I was focusing on explaining the reason for the message and letting people know the website is safe. It is a resource and should be recognized as such. Also, my explanations tend to be a bit detailed at times, perhaps overly so in this case, given the circumstances . But I like providing context.

        Frankly, I am not entirely clear as to how much Gerald’s reaction was just playing it straight and to what extent he was trying to be funny. Taking it straight, his reaction seemed a little paranoid. Regardless, I really wouldn’t worry. And thank you for the suggestions. I hadn’t realized the Arctic discussion site had branched into ENSO.

        Reply
  99. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 8, 2014

    If you ain’t a few bubbles off kilter from reading this blog, you must not be paying attention.
    Lightening up a bit; Chief lawyerman, Eric Holder, says that ugly Syrian terrorists want our toys, & they how to get them.
    … and presidential timber wag, Rick Perry, says that the Syrian terrorists are coming across the border in TX now – TODAY.
    Remember the Alamo.

    Reply
  100. Griffin

     /  July 8, 2014

    There was ice everywhere on this cam from Barrow yesterday. A whole bunch of fog and then this today…
    http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 8, 2014

      Great find. Yes, today is a day for surfing up there.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  July 8, 2014

        Point Barrow, where the barrels are so big, you could fit a Musk Oxen in there!

        Reply
  101. Colorado Bob

     /  July 8, 2014

    Mandryk: Floods tells us our climate is changing

    But don’t take my word for it. Ask someone like hydrologist John Pomeroy – Canadian Research Chair for Water Resources and Climate Change at the University of Saskatchewan – who has studied the issues for years, including intensive study of the drainage of Smith Creek, which flows near Langenburg along the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.

    “We have to stop what we are doing,” Pomeroy said in an interview from Alberta, where he is currently studying the impact of mountain run-off into the South Saskatchewan River.

    “Things are happening and they are happening much faster than anyone imagined.”

    Pomeroy acknowledges that flat topography in eastern Saskatchewan/western Manitoba left behind by the Lake Agassiz glacier 10,000 to 30,000 years ago is really where our flooding problem begins.

    Only five to 15 per cent of local water basins drain into rivers and the rest is preserved in the ground or in potholes Pomeroy describes as “fill and spill” sloughs.

    That said, agriculture and urban development has greatly reduced those sloughs, Pomeroy noted. In Smith Creek, where aerial photo records go back to 1958, the drainage basin that once had 98 square kilometres of wetlands (24 per cent) has been reduced to 43 square kilometres (11 per cent) of wetlands today. In turn, this once dry-in-the-summer creek has seen its average water flow increase fourfold since 1995.

    Were we to remove that remaining 43 square kilometres of wetlands, we would see 78-per-cent more flooding than we just witnessed. But the issue isn’t simply the desire for more agriculture land in these better economic times and government’s unwillingness to take a stronger stance on the touchy topic of farmland drainage, Pomeroy said.

    The flooding event we saw last week and in the past four years can only be attributed to changing weather patterns.

    “There were farms (last week) getting flooded that have never been flooded since they were homesteaded,” he said.

    For as prone as the flat prairie is to flooding, it was always rather predictable because it happened in spring because of snow melt, the hydrologist said. These three-day rain events like the one we witnessed between June 28th and 30th, which dropped as much as nine inches of rain on parts of eastern Saskatchewan, are far less predictable.

    While one-day rain storms have not increased in the last century, what have increased dramatically throughout the Prairies, studies show, are three-day rain events caused by a warming arctic that Pomeroy says causes the jet stream to move further north to make room for wetter systems from the south that linger for multiple days.

    In other words, the same systems that are causing droughts and wild fires in California are also causing Winnipeg to open its floodway in July, soaking Calgary with the most damaging storm in Canadian history last year and flooding eastern Saskatchewan in places where such floods have never occurred.

    Link

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  July 8, 2014

      “Things are happening and they are happening much faster than anyone imagined.” – Yes.

      Reply
  102. Griffin

     /  July 8, 2014

    NWS has five separate tornado warnings going on in New York state right now.
    http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=usa&wwa=Tornado%20Warning

    Reply
  103. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 8, 2014

    Griffin, faster & faster … my grief meter is stuck way to the right on Focked.

    I done passed spirituality, breathairism, Zorro, Jung, counseling, higher ed, & Buddhism.

    Yabut, can we make some money from all this?

    Reply
  104. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 9, 2014

    Just in from Guy McPherson at Nature Bats Last – a list of suicide hotlines.

    Check it out.

    Before it gets real bad, Carolyn Baker has a special one session talkie-feelie for 50 bucks cheap.

    http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

    Reply
    • pintada

       /  July 9, 2014

      So paraphrasing:
      That monster Guy has posted links to free suicide help. Terrible. Next, he will be posting other helpful tidbits. For shame!
      http://guymcpherson.com/2014/07/the-bludgeon-of-hope/

      And a professional therapist that charges for her time! How dare she?

      Gerald my friend, as I’ve mentioned before, anger is just one step in the grief process. I hope you get past it. Maybe with a little therapy?

      Reply
  105. Apneaman

     /  July 9, 2014

    Data Deleted From UN Climate Report Highlight Controversies
    New papers debate limitations in international agreements.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140703-ipcc-climate-report-deleted-data-global-warming-science/

    Reply
  106. Lake Mead Hitting the news as it empties. It is at 1081 ft, at 1075 it triggers cutoffs to some states.

    http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/largest-reservoir-in-us-drops-to-lowest-level-in-its-77-year-history-140709?news=853636

    “It’s lost 60% of its water capacity since 1983.”

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 9, 2014

      I wonder if the TV news will cover the cutoffs and make the connection to climate change? If Las Vegas institutes water rationing at its casinos, I would like to think that’s news! Of course, it’s not as important as who wins American Idol, or the World Cup for that matter😉

      Reply
    • Paul from NSW

       /  July 10, 2014

      To think I learnt how to scuba dive there (no kidding). We dove down to a cement plant that was flooded. I wonder if it will resurface. From what I remember it was a 60 foot dive. It had a lot of silt back then so I doubt it would show much now.

      Reply
    • There is an article at the International Business Times that covers this in a bit more depth. They quote Trenberth on a little of the mechanics, explain how the Pacific tends to see more named storms (26% more) and more storm days. They also explain how El Nino years tend to shift the theater of action further to the east (with Hawaii and even Mexico seeing more storms) and mention how it expands North to include Japan, with Japan seeing more powerful storms.

      Please see:

      El Niño also influences where typhoons form and the trajectory they take. During normal years, when the water is warmest in the eastern Pacific, the typhoons are more likely to make landfall in mainland China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Taiwan. But during an El Niño event, much of the activity shifts east to Hawaii and the coast of Mexico and north to Japan.

      Super Typhoon Neoguri Could Be First Of Tropical Storms To Slam Japan Due To El Nino, Maria Gallucci, International Business Times, 2014-07-07

      With the warm water moving east, the storm tracks will tend to be longer before hitting Asia. As such they will have more time to develop (increasing their number), become more powerful (increasing the number of super-typhoons), and wander from the equator to places like Japan.

      [continued below]

      Reply
    • [continued from above]

      However, this year has been unusual even for an El Nino year. Both the World Meteorological Organization and Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology have suggested that the lack of cooperation on the part of the atmosphere that we were seeing was due to the tropical Pacific Ocean being warmer all over, e.g., with this year’s May being the warmest ever globally.

      Please see:

      The WMO suggests that this warmth may be slowing the development of the El Nino and that it is this consequential delay that may weaken its impact: “One explanation for the lack of atmospheric response so far may be that the sea surface temperatures are above average across virtually the entire tropical Pacific, not just in the eastern and central portions. This may be maintaining west-to-east temperature differences more typical of neutral conditions,” the announcement states.

      However, it is worth noting that this WMO suggestion apparently runs counter to the conclusions of peer reviewed research published in Nature last year that warned higher temperatures associated with climate change would actually result in twice the number of more powerful El Ninos in the future (see our report here).

      WMO: El Nino Delayed By Record May Temperatures, ReportingClimateScience.com, 2014-06-26

      The Australian Bureau of Meteorology more recently argued along the same lines. We have seen sub-surface cooling, but more recently we have also seen some (mixed) indications that the atmosphere may be beginning to cooperate

      Reply
  107. Mark from New England

     /  July 9, 2014

    Is this El Nino going to develop or dissipate? I hope Robert chimes in soon on the latest developments.

    Reply
  108. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 9, 2014

    pintada, Dr. Jack Kevorkian died.
    Some of us are looking for his replacement because we fear (yes, fear!) the hell on earth that is clearly coming.
    Guy McPherson has done more than anyone to inform us about the inevitable horror that awaits us.
    I respect him so much as an objective scientist that I publicly criticized him for his profligate flying & prodigious tonnage of CO2 production.
    Carolyn Baker is a supreme new age flake who cavalierly recommends that we view our near term extinction as “a spiritual adventure.”
    Tell it to a drowning ten-year-old in Bangledesh; “It’s a spiritual adventure, kid. Go with the flow.”

    Reply
    • pintada

       /  July 9, 2014

      “I believe that the suicide of a collapsing civilization is offering us a similar choice. Will we go to any lengths to deny its reality—distract, shop, numb ourselves with addictions and activities and the heroics of ineffectual political and social movements, or will we stop pretending and open ourselves to the opportunities that collapse offers us? For me, that is the essence of all spiritual practice, namely: What do I do with anything rather than what do I do about it?
      … we tend to put collapse and its consequences in the future. But I have found this to be an irrational and inefficient means of approaching the issue. What I prefer instead is to explore how collapse is looking now because it is not something down the road; it is here and now. In fact, I have to wonder how historians, if any are alive on earth in one hundred years, will date collapse in their historical narratives. When did it “begin”? Did September 11, 2001 mark its …”

      … to hold a perspective of collapse as a spiritual initiation does not necessarily alleviate suffering, but it does temper the severity of it with a sense of meaning and purpose.

      Carolyn Baker, Ph.D. (2009-02-23). Sacred Demise (p. 26). iUniverse. Kindle Edition.

      Having read both of Dr. Baker’s books I find them both useful. I looked, and she does not use the phrase “spiritual adventure” in either volume.

      Reply
    • pintada

       /  July 9, 2014

      “spiritual evolution— each pain, frustration, fear, conflict , disappointment, or loss offers a teaching moment, perhaps many of them. Our abdication of the opportunity may provide a temporary exit from adversity—or not— but we can be certain that the same or another kind of adversity will appear again and again, offering us yet more opportunities for growth. The paradigm of industrial civilization has convinced us that we are entitled to a life free of suffering. For centuries, humans have bought this bill of goods, and now we are paying the ultimate price: the possibility of our own extinction. The collapse of this paradigm is an extraordinary opportunity to learn, finally and with certainty, how adversity offers itself as a threshold to our personal and collective evolution. ”

      Baker Phd, Carolyn (2013-11-19). Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times (Sacred Activism) (p. 145). North Atlantic Books.

      Perhaps you are thinking of the above paragraph … the implication is that if one faces facts head on death can become an adventure. Especially if one admits that adventure and suffering might go hand in hand.

      Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  July 9, 2014

        Carolyn Baker & Andrew Harvey are two supercilious new age perverts. They have a trendy new age prescription for dealing with catastrophic climate change & near term extinction.

        Here is a revolting dose of their word-smithing flapdoodle.

        As we confront catastrophic climate change which is likely to result in near-term human extinction, we must ask if we are willing to put love into action, even if we don’t survive. Can we move beyond a triumphalist agenda? Accepting the possibility of near-term extinction is an agony, but an agony that liberates the spiritual warrior in the powers of truth and love in order to discover the diamond hidden in the darkness that cannot be discovered in relentless fighting in order to “overcome.” The diamond can only be acquired by surrendering the need for anyone or anything to survive, even oneself. In the words of Andrew Harvey this is “a glorious and terrible adventure, but it is the antidote to despair.”

        Yeah, I got it. Become a spiritual warrior, find the hidden diamond in the darkness, & keep telling the terrified bewildered children that it is all “a glorious and terrible adventure.”

        When the going gets down & dirty, Carolyn & Andrew will be the first to shake & piss their pants.

        How We Should Live In The Face Of Catastrophic Climate Change, A Conversation With Carolyn Baker And Andrew Harvey « Speaking Truth to Power
        View on http://www.carolynbaker.net

        Reply
      • pintada

         /  July 9, 2014

        Hey, they are going to die, or suffer horribly, anyway. After we apologize, what else should we say? (Not a rhetorical question.)

        You say that Dr. Baker has no clue. Fine. What means of dealing do you recommend?

        Would you tell the drowning child to just “get tough” – tell him to stop whining?

        Reply
    • Paul from NSW

       /  July 10, 2014

      I gotta to say that I find it frustrating the association people have made between helplessness in the face of collapse, and extinction. They are not the same thing.
      I have tried, and I cannot find the scientific basis for this Near Term Extinction.
      http://preppingforexile.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-realist.html
      If people want a spiritual adventure then they should survive it. It will take every gram of spirit and then some. Yes, species will go extinct and billions will probably die, but the collapse of civilization as we know it does not equate to extinction.
      Extinction is the “the state or process of being or becoming extinct.” Near Term implies this is going to happen soon. So I need someone to convince me that; firstly, hydroxyls will cease to be generated in the atmosphere, resulting in inability to remove methane. Secondly, flaura will never regrow in the cracks of humanity resulting in the removal of CO2. Thirdly, that a total possible rise in the sea of 80m won’t allow it to absorb more CO2 while alleviating some of the acidification. Fourthly, that 15% of the total volume of the Arctic ocean pouring in from a melting Greenland ice sheet won’t slow the Thermohaline current and cool the Arctic enough to slow the melting of the hydrates. Considering that to melt the hydrates at even the top of the Gakkel Ridge the water temperature would have to be 19.5C. (See the article)
      Fifthly, that the temperature is going to rise more than the PETM event (keeping in mind that this is when primates first appeared)
      Sixthly (?) that after the Solar Zenith Angle is taken into consideration the melting of the Arctic ice will be sufficient to allow the water temperature to rise to the point of simultaneously releasing all the stored methane.
      Seventhly that given that air circulation is slowing down that what happens in the Northern Hemisphere automatically spells doom for us Southerners.
      Eigthly that oceans bordering on anoxic will not be generating hydroxyls.
      Ninethly that the Thorium reactors being installed in Northern China with a local supply of material could not result in their ability to build underground cities.
      Tenthly, if us Aussies can survive in Coober Pedy or Alice Springs that we can’t find some vacant mines looking for a renovation.
      Eleventhly that no food can be grown hydroponically.

      Oh there I go again having faith.

      Reply
  109. Mark from New England

     /  July 9, 2014

    “Heat Waves Could Triple Premature Deaths In Britain By 2050” –

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/09/3458126/britain-heat-hospitals/

    The report goes on to state:

    “Over here in the United States, a new climate report released in recent weeks showed that the average number of days over 95°F will double or triple by 2050. By 2100 the number could quadruple, and by 2200 the eastern half of the country could start seeing days in which it is literally too hot and humid for human beings to safely be outdoors.”

    I think there will be days in the southeastern US, anyway, that will exceed human wet bulb limits well before 2200 though.

    2200 – what will life on Earth be like then? Perhaps Robert, with his fiction writing skills, can pen a novella describing life then.🙂 I don’t think it will be pretty.

    Reply
  110. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 9, 2014

    SUPERNATION sends a “professional” forked-tongue lawyerfish to confuse everything & everybody about global heating.

    Throwing pepper in the observer’s eyes is a big part of legal training.

    Lawyerfish Obama (JD Harvard) appoints lawyerfish Hillarious Clinton (JD Yale) who appoints fellow lawyerfish, Stern (JD Harvard), the US’s chief climate “negotiator” in 2009.

    It is highly probable that none of the three lawyerfish knows ANY genuine science.

    Both Obama & Hilarious majored in political science as undergrads.

    Stern probably wouldn’t know the Second Law of Thermo, if it hit him on the head, & it’s about to hit him in his arse.

    A classic video of lawyerfish & negotiator Stern’s DOUBLE TALK.

    IT’S A MATTER OF – “GUIDEPOSTS” & “NUANCE.”

    Miss this at your peril;

    http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/12/08/384707/us-climate-envoy-todd-stern-staying-below-the-2degc-threshold-is-just-a-guidepost/

    Reply
  111. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 9, 2014

    “Science has to get with the political nuances?”

    Sounds absolutely backwards – awful backwards – just awful.

    … and this buffoon is our chosen guru?

    Planck’s constant is … at least for now.

    If you are contemplating suicide for example; get with the nuances, but get the hotline phone number right or else.

    It might be a spiritual adventure or black time less night or stardust or entropy or … but you must get the number right.

    Reply
  112. forward2eden

     /  July 9, 2014

    What might account for the unusually cold temps in Antarctica lately (2c colder than avg)?

    Reply
    • Do you have a link to a news story? Where in Antarctica is it 2°C colder? This might help. Nothing seems to be turning up in the news.

      Reply
      • forward2eden

         /  July 9, 2014

        This has been a consistent anomaly ive seen on cci reanalyzer for the past month, at least.

        Reply
      • The address is:

        http://cci-reanalyzer.org/DailySummary/#

        That would explain why it isn’t in the news. It may very well be real, but this is an estimated temperature based on the model being used by the Climate Forecasting System. Hence “reanalyzer.” Anyway, looking at the results in their Google Earth kmz, the lows are concentrated in the region of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Ross Ice Shelf, and south of Wilkes Land. Don’t know why as of yet, though.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  July 9, 2014

        Timothy, take a look at Climate Reanalyzer for temps in Antarctica.
        Yes, the air temp is anomalously low in some areas but keep in mind that basal melting of the ice sheets has been primarily due to warmer waters attacking from below.
        http://cci-reanalyzer.org/DailySummary/

        Reply
      • Thank you, Griffin.

        Reply
  113. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 9, 2014

    Here is an information is beautiful Aussie site from 2013 on the Northern Sea Ice.
    Lots of data with no fluff – he wants to really help us understand what is happening.
    He includes a simple phrase in the middle of his data;
    “Again, ever considered the possibility you’ve been lied to?”
    http://gergs.net/2013/07/more-northern-sea-ice/

    Why has the simple question; “Is it true?” largely disappeared from common discourse?

    The amazing strangle hold of flabby relativism & mystification by power tie authorities on public awareness is epidemic.
    It is routinely orchestrated from above; as in banking, courtroom flapdoodle, weapons of mass destruction, panty bombs, & Syrian terrorists streaming across the Rio Grande.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 9, 2014

      Wili,

      Thanks for that link. Guess we have to be patient and see what happens.

      Reply
    • From the article wili links to:

      Some models predicted that the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a tropical pulse of cloud and rainfall (i.e. strong convection) that moves eastward along the equator with a cycle of 1-2 months, was due to move eastward out over the equatorial Pacific at the time of writing. If so, we should expect to see westerly wind bursts (WWB) in the western Pacific develop, and early indications are that they have.

      El Niño in 2014: Still On the Way?, Rob Painting, Skeptical Science, 2014-07-09

      looking at Null School (2014-07-09 18:00 UTC), I find three cyclones to the E/NE of New Guinea…

      11.50° N, 160.65° E – counterclockwise
      8.70° N, 153.60° E – counterclockwise
      0.13° N, 156.33° E – clockwise

      Westerlies paralleling most of the length of New Guinea centered on the equator reaching as much as 20 km/hr. We will see how this builds.

      Reply
    • Gerald Spezio

       /  July 10, 2014

      Apneaman, When Michael Klare doesn’t even mention murdering land grabbing Israel as a major part of the hell in the Middle East, you know that he is an establishment hack.
      Klare might even be directly connected with CIA dis-information.

      Klare & Alan-bankster-Greenspan openly say; “It’s all about the oil.”
      Try this scholarly essay by Mark Weber for another view of the Zionist carnage in Iraq & Syria;
      “Iraq, A War for Israel.”
      http://www.ihr.org/leaflets/iraqwar.shtml

      Reply
  114. 2014-07-10 NOAA Forecast for weak to moderate El Niño:

    Over the last month, no significant change was evident in the model forecasts of ENSO, with the majority of models indicating El Niño onset within June-August and continuing into early 2015 (Fig. 6). The chance of a strong El Niño is not favored in any of the ensemble averages for Niño-3.4. At this time, the forecasters anticipate El Niño will peak at weak-to-moderate strength during the late fall and early winter (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index between 0.5oC and 1.4oC). The chance of El Niño is about 70% during the Northern Hemisphere summer and is close to 80% during the fall and early winter (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome).

    EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION, Climate Predication Center, NOAA, 2014-07-10

    Reply
  115. Jacob

     /  July 10, 2014

    Robert, hope everything is okay, we haven’t heard from you in a while.

    Reply
  116. Apneaman

     /  July 10, 2014

    Gerald

    When it comes to Israel/Palestine fighting I never read anything connected to the pro-Israel lobby (MSM, MIC, etc) or from Holocaust deniers (Mark Weber, you) or their fake scholarly essays from their fake scholarly institutes (the Institute for Historical Review).

    Reply
  117. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2014

    Photos From Fires In The Northwest Territories Are Apocalyptic

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/07/10/northwest-territories-fires-photos-nwt_n_5574337.html

    Reply
  118. Colorado Bob

     /  July 10, 2014
    Reply
  119. Griffin

     /  July 11, 2014

    Colorado Bob, I thought of you when I read this. Certainly a different type of flood threat but one that is only growing more common in Alaska it seems.
    http://www.adn.com/article/20140709/scientists-wary-water-and-ice-build-behind-glacier-dam-above-juneau

    Reply
  120. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2014

    Terra/MODIS
    2014/189
    07/08/2014
    08:25 UTC
    Dust storm over the Red Sea

    This is a really thick cloud of dust.

    Reply
  121. “Poor man’s polar vortex to make shocking summer return in eastern U.S. next week”
    ‘What’s behind this unusual winter weather pattern primed for the dog days of summer? A lot of it is simply chance (randomness), but Weather Underground’s meteorologist Jeff Masters says Japan’s typhoon Neoguri is playing a role in the pattern’s evolving configuration:

    ….the large and powerful nature of this storm has set in motion a chain-reaction set of events that will dramatically alter the path of the jet stream and affect weather patterns across the entire Northern Hemisphere next week. Neoguri will cause an acceleration of the North Pacific jet stream, causing a large amount of warm, moist tropical air to push over the North Pacific. This will amplify a trough low pressure over Alaska, causing a ripple effect in the jet stream over western North America, where a strong ridge of high pressure will develop, and over the Midwestern U.S., where a strong trough of low pressure will form.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/07/10/poor-mans-polar-vortex-to-make-shocking-summer-return-in-eastern-u-s-next-week/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 11, 2014

      Northland on brink of more severe floods

      Northland is on the brink of more severe floods with rain forecast to hit already brimming catchments and waterways.

      Civil Defence spokesman Graeme MacDonald said authorities were on high alert for more weather damage in the fourth consecutive day of wild weather.

      More than 300 millimetres has fallen in some parts of Northland since Tuesday Another 120mm is forecast to fall before 9am tomorrow.

      It loomed as the “sting in the tail” of a prolonged spell of bad weather, MacDonald said.

      “The catchments and rivers are very full. This rain coming tonight has the potential to be very bad. It won’t take much to overflow.”

      Link

      Reply
  122. messtime

     /  July 11, 2014

    Thanks Bob for posting this. I am in New Zealand right now & live in “Northland”. Wasn’t at first sure where “Northland” was until i clicked your link provided. I didn’t realize the severity of the current storm.

    Reply
  123. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 11, 2014

    A synopsis; both Robert’s content & return comments.

    Fire and Ice
    By Robert Frost

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    If any line is ominous; “I think I know enough of hate.”

    Reply
  124. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 11, 2014

    Dare I say this? It is pure reading in & “psychologizing.”
    From what he has stated Robert’s contention is that our planetary peril is “solvable.”
    If & when he is forced to abandon that faulty premise, it won’t be easy.

    Reply
  125. Phil

     /  July 11, 2014

    Some new interviews (in 3 parts) by Nick Breeze with Natalia Shakhavo on Arctic and Methane releases. Quite interesting if not worrying. Well worth a look.

    Reply
  126. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 11, 2014

    Phil, the most knowledgeable scientist in the entire world on the subject of abrupt Arctic methane release tells us that we must “cool the Arctic.”
    “In desperate times mankind can always resort to the miraculous & mysterious.”

    Reply
    • Phil

       /  July 11, 2014

      In the interview, Dr Shakhavo to me seemed to be very if not extremely skeptical about geo-engineering proposals for cooling the arctic as indicated by the comments on ‘flipping the poles’. Also, it is linked to global climate and is not a purely local arctic issue.

      Reply
      • 1 C MAX

         /  July 11, 2014

        I have the impression that she is ‘pulling her punches’ in the Breeze interviews. Her focus tends to be on the need for ‘more research’, rather than the dire predictions that she and Semiletov used to make about potential methane eruption. Could it be that the sponsors are silencing her, in exchange for the promise of continued funding? I suspect that neither the Russian or American governments want the truth to emerge about how precarious the situation really is.

        Reply
    • Paul from NSW

       /  July 11, 2014

      “Phil, the most knowledgeable scientist in the entire world on the subject of abrupt Arctic methane release tells us that we must “cool the Arctic.”

      Don’t fix it for the sake of an abrupt Arctic methane release. NASA states “the bomb” theory as pretty much impossible.
      http://preppingforexile.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-realist.html
      It’s now a big article, search “goddard”.

      Reply
      • Phil

         /  July 12, 2014

        Hi Paul from NSW. There is some controversy apparently about that issue between scientists on the ground versus scentists who have theoretical models of arctic methane that actually might not approximate the seabed and other structures in the arctic very well. Also, there is an issue about the extent of methane releases in the arctic being well ahead of what these model’s predict. There focus is also on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf which is pretty shallow compared to deeper ocean deposits.

        It will be interesting to see how things pan out. Certainly I think more measurements need to be taken. Pity that methanetracker.org ran into trouble and has not been updated for some while.

        I understand there is a expedition containing 80 scientists that just started recently in the arctic including S&S and part of this expedition will conduct more observations on ESAS.

        I will have a look at that article – I know that the recent USA reports downplayed methane, as did the IPCC.

        Reply
  127. Gerald Spezio

     /  July 11, 2014

    Amazingly, it plays out as we watch, & the denouement gets closer.

    Reply
    • 1 C MAX

       /  July 11, 2014

      Gerald,

      You had some interesting comments accompanying the Shakova interview. On what evidence do you base your prediction of Near-Term Extinction? I can understand extinction by the end of the century, based on the global models. I have a harder time accepting it by mid-century.

      Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  July 15, 2014

        Abrupt methane release will tell us what to expect.

        Reply
  128. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2014

    Global warming is driving tropical fish northward, destroying temperate algae forests

    The oceans are warming up and tropical fish are taking advantage. A new study reveals that they’re extending their ranges poleward, chowing down on temperate algal forests and seagrass beds and leaving unproductive barrens in their wake.

    This is bad news for both the local ecosystem and the fishermen, as the local fish population declines due to the loss in habitat and the fishermen suffer the collapse of the fishery. Their impact was most pronounced in southern Japan and the eastern Mediterranean, with invading rabbitfish, surgeonfish, and unicornfish causing the collapse of the abalone fishery in southern Japan (abalone live among the kelp) and a 40% decrease in the number of species in the eastern Mediterranean. The research team consists of researchers from Australia, the United States, Spain, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

    “The tropicalization of temperate marine areas is a new phenomenon of global significance that has arisen because of climate change,” says study lead author Dr. Adriana Verges from the University of New South Wales. “Increases in the number of plant-eating tropical fish can profoundly alter ecosystems and lead to barren reefs, affecting the biodiversity of these regions, with significant economic and management impacts.”

    Link

    Reply
  129. China mudslides cause extensive damage in southwest

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-28264558

    Reply
  130. Colorado Bob

     /  July 11, 2014

    A very good article –

    Loss of Snowpack and Glaciers
    In Rockies Poses Water Threat
    From the Columbia River basin in the U.S. to the Prairie Provinces of Canada, scientists and policy makers are confronting a future in which the loss of snow and ice in the Rocky Mountains could imperil water supplies for agriculture, cities and towns, and hydropower production.
    by ed struzik

    http://environment360.yale.edu/feature/loss_of_snowpack_and_glaciers_in_rockies_poses_water_threat/2785/

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  July 11, 2014

      Tweet scheduled, thanks.

      Reply
    • I live next to the Columbia here in Portland, Oregon, and I’ve been paying more and more attention to the health of the Columbia Ice Field and glaciers etc. Have yet to decipher how much the local agencies are really involved.
      Thanks for the link.

      Reply
  131. wili

     /  July 11, 2014

    It’s been over a week since robert last posted anything. Does anyone know if he’s ok? He’s usually pretty prompt about responding to others’ posts. He posted dozens of times on the 2nd of July, then nothing. Did we totally burn him out? Did some denialist nut go after him?

    Reply
    • 1 C MAX

       /  July 11, 2014

      I seem to remember he posted that he was going with his family on vacation.

      Reply
  132. bassman

     /  July 11, 2014

    I’m guessing vacation or burn out. Good for him. I wish I could escape then internet for 10 days or so.

    Reply
  133. LJR

     /  July 11, 2014

    If it were a vacation he would surely be considerate enough to take a second to post his intentions. Ditto for burnout.

    I find this more than a bit odd.

    Reply
  134. bassman

     /  July 12, 2014

    NASA June 2014 surface temps at .64, 2nd hottest June behind 1998 .75. June 2005 was third at .63. We will need Oct to Dec to go +.70 to have 2014 as the warmest. I think July to Sept may be in the .60’s also with the delayed niño.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/

    Reply
  135. The outstanding photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen of Noorimages has some instructive photos: ‘Rising Sea Levels’. Worth a look.
    http://noorimages.com/project/rising-sea-levels/

    Reply
  136. Here is to hoping Robert is OK, safe & doing well. I’ll go with the burn-out break as mentioned above.

    Anyone else notice the Heartland sponsored deny-a-thon in Vegas did not generate much media traffic this time? Bit of a bitch for them as they get their funding from results (polluting the subject in the media with splashes of nonsense), this should have been their annual money shot.

    Posted few replies on the posts on their “evidence” in some right wing “news” sites regarding their track record (smoking is healthy & good for the kids), oddly 100% of the posts vaporized.

    Reply
  137. Griffin

     /  July 12, 2014

    I did not expect to see this so soon but after a brief dip, atmospheric CO2 once again rose above 400ppm on July 11. https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/

    Reply
  138. Jay M

     /  July 13, 2014

    making the technological civilization more subtle, ie “sustainable” seems to require the reigning in of the monetization of nature, elimination of toxic effluents, restructuring the management of the mechanization of everything human.

    Reply
  139. ‘Smoke From Canada’s Copious Wildfires As Seen From Space’
    A wide angle off center view from NOAA GOES 15.
    http://io9.com/smoke-from-canadas-copious-wildfires-as-seen-from-space-1603640682

    Reply
  140. In case you missed this incipient piece of genius…Solar Panels Steal Energy from the Sun!

    Wow, denial has been reduced to this kind of none sense. I wonder who paid for this piece of genius.

    “It’s obvious, based on the findings of this neutral scientific research group, that humans needs to become more dependent on fossil fuels like oil and coal, not less.”

    http://nationalreport.net/solar-panels-drain-suns-energy-experts-say/

    Sad thing is, there is a rabid audience who will slurp this junk up.

    Reply
    • Randy

       /  July 13, 2014

      It is important to not press the panic button prematurely lest all your links be questioned. The National Report is a spoof site, and the article is satire. Now maybe you knew that and are engaging in a bit o’ the mickey. Either way, I like the conversation you consistently bring to the table. Here’s to rain in your future (sincerely).

      Reply
    • pintada

       /  July 13, 2014

      This hilarious study – as explained in the article – was paid for by Hallibuton.

      Andy, thank you. The National Report is definitely now on my reading list.

      Reply
    • pintada

       /  July 13, 2014

      I used to visit the Westboro Baptist Church site back about the turn of the century. I thought that it was a spoof site because the crazy crap that they posted was just too out there to be believable. It was really very funny – or so I thought.

      Imagine my horror to discover that it was real! :-0

      Reply
  141. Arctic extent now scraping -2 std dev’s.

    2012 saw a big cyclone bust up a lot of ice pushing that extent down, have we had similar powerful cyclone(s) this year?

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Reply
  142. Colorado Bob

     /  July 13, 2014

    Midway through the growing season and summer floods have drowned out millions of acres of crops across the Canadian prairies, robbing farmers of their livelihoods.
    In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded. Officials in Manitoba also estimate that millions of acres overall have been ravaged by flooding there.
    Beyond the damage to bridges and other infrastructure, farmers’ fields have been hit particularly hard, washing away a season’s worth of crops.

    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/prairie-farmers-frustrated-as-flooding-drowns-crops-1.1911605#ixzz37NqyMAjk

    Reply
  143. Colorado Bob

     /  July 13, 2014

    The Australian wine business is moving to Tasmania –

    Climate change signals the end of Australian shiraz as we know it

    HOBART Tasmania (Reuters) – Young Australian vintner Nick Glaetzer’s winemaking-steeped family thought he was crazy when he abandoned the Barossa Valley – the hot, dry region that is home to the country’s world-famous big, brassy shiraz.

    Trampling over the family’s century-old grape-growing roots on the Australian mainland, Glaetzer headed south to the island state of Tasmania to strike out on his own and prove to the naysayers there was a successful future in cooler climate wines.

    Just five years later, Glaetzer made history when his Glaetzer-Dixon Mon Pere Shiraz won a major national award – the first time judges had handed the coveted trophy to a shiraz made south of the Bass Strait separating Tasmania from the Australian mainland.

    Glaetzer’s gamble embodies a major shift in Australia’s wine-growing industry as it responds to climate change.

    Read more: Link

    Reply
  144. Hail Fire? Golf ball sized frozen rain pelts Siberian beachgoers

    Sunbathers in Novosibirsk were caught out by a surprise hailstorm which erupted unexpectedly during an unseasonable heat wave on Saturday. Temperatures in the city had climbed to a high of 37 degrees Celsius, before heavy winds and frozen rain hit the beach along the Ob River. Local reports described the hail stones as being the size of golf balls or chickens’ eggs.

    Reply
  145. Stormy weather pattern stuck in northern New Zealand

    Down here in Wellington, New Zealand, at the bottom of the North Island you wouldn’t know this was going on. 
    We seem to have a pattern of weather here whereby it is constantly overcast and temperatures are well above mid-winter averages.
    Meanwhile, north of Auckland a pattern of weather has become stuck for several days which is bringing gales and floods to that part of the country.
    What is unique in all this, is not only the higher-than-normal temrperatures, but that this weather pattern has become stuck.
    The normal pattern for New Zealand has been that we have been prone to storms – but these normally pass over quickly.

    We don’t seem to have a Paul Beckwith in this country to help us make sense of it all (instead of saying, like a mantra, that this is ‘just weather’ and ‘weather is different from climate’).

    I would say that the jet stream is doing something unusual and the weather (including, unfortunately for Auckland), has become stuck.

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/stormy-weather-pattern-stuck-in-n.html

    Reply
    • wili

       /  July 14, 2014

      Thanks for the info. I would think that the explanations that have been proposed for these ‘stuck’ patterns in the northern hemisphere wouldn’t work quite so well for the southern. The Antarctic is not warming anywhere near as fast as the Arctic, last I saw. But perhaps warming of the southern oceans is sufficient to have a similar effect?
      Or maybe something different is involved in both. If you do see any analysis on this, please do share it.
      I’m wondering if just the increase in overall humidity may be enough to slow down these systems. I would think that it would take more energy to move a system laden with more water than one less laden. Who knows?

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  July 14, 2014

        And when he gets back from what was hopefully a great camping trip without us…The NWT will still be on fire, Siberia will be streaming gray smoke in it’s own attempt at record soot contribution. There will be less ice in the Arctic than when he left, and more carbon in our atmosphere. There is certainly no shortage of things to talk about, and I can’t wait to see what he has to say!

        Reply
  146. Mark from New England

     /  July 14, 2014

    The ‘Blog Forecast’: There’s a 50% chance of Robert posting a new article this week, with scattered comments, a chance of hail and high humidity throughout the blogging period.😉

    Reply
  147. New Climate Models Predict an Australian Forever-Drought

    “The drying is most pronounced over southwest Australia, with total reductions in austral autumn and winter precipitation of approximately 40 percent by the late twenty-first century.”

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/new-climate-models-predict-an-australian-perma-drought

    Reply
  148. Andy (at work)

     /  July 14, 2014

    Getting warm in BC this summer.

    “Among the records broken were 41.1 C in Lytton (previous record for July 13 was 40 C in 1961), Osoyoos, 40 C (37.7 C, 1996), Pemberton, 39.9 C (37.5 C, 2012), Princeton, 37.7 C (34 C, 1996) and West Vancouver, 32 C (29.3 C, 1996). ”

    10-11C above average this summer (10C = 50F)

    Lytton 41.1C = ~106F

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/Heat+wave+hits+record+highs+across+hinders+fire+suppression+efforts/10027046/story.html

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 14, 2014

      That is very hot, no matter where you are, but in British Columbia it’s surprising. When people ask where the global warming is, we can say “go to northern Canada or Siberia”. They’ll shake their heads, but its an educational moment in the disproportionate heating the far north is experiencing.

      Reply
    • That’s hot for B.C. I lived in S/W B.C. 1970-1983 so wasn’t there for 1996 heat. Am having a warm spell now (80F-90F) in Portland, OR. And can see some extra smoke like particulate in the air that is likely from the many wildfires in N/W N. America.

      Reply
  149. From the Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg ‘8 charts that show how climate change is making the world more dangerous’
    Disasters including storms, floods and heatwaves have increased fivefold since the 1970s, UN finds…
    “Forget the future. The world already is nearly five times as dangerous and disaster prone as it was in the 1970s, because of the increasing risks brought by climate change, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organisation.

    The first decade of the 21st century saw 3,496 natural disasters from floods, storms, droughts and heat waves. That was nearly five times as many disasters as the 743 catastrophes reported during the 1970s – and all of those weather events are influenced by climate change.

    The bottom line: natural disasters are occurring nearly five times as often as they were in the 1970s. But some disasters – such as floods and storms – pose a bigger threat than others. Flooding and storms are also taking a bigger bite out of the economy. But heat waves are an emerging killer.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2014/jul/14/8-charts-climate-change-world-more-dangerous

    Reply
  150. Mark from New England

     /  July 14, 2014

    Over at Joe Romm’s site:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/14/3459809/polar-vortex-missed-the-point/

    A good article featuring some quotes from Dr. Jennifer Francis on the new ‘polar vortex’.

    Reply
  151. For another take on the sordid poisoning of our atmosphere by a ‘civilized’ society:
    ‘Fireworks Air Pollution Spikes in USA Post 4th of July’
    “For all their dazzling geometry and stirring booms and crackles, fireworks deliver a smorgasbord of grim chemicals into the skies above.
    Perchlorate, the chief propellant, contaminates the ground and water below. It inhibits the thyroid’s absorption of iodine…
    That brilliant green blossoming above is created with barium nitrate, which is not only radioactive and poisonous…
    Blues are made with copper compounds like polychlorinated dioxins…
    The brilliant whites sparkling above are most likely brought courtesy of aluminum compounds, which also bioaccumulate in any living thing below…
    Reds can come from lithium, which is toxic and creates irritating fumes when burned, or strontium…
    Add to the palette painting the night sky antimony, rubidium, arsenic, magnesium, potassium nitrate and lead, each producing its twist or effect…
    There are also the gaseous by products to be considered. Studies have found spikes in free radical nitric oxide, the highly toxic nitrogen dioxide and acid rainmaker sulfur dioxide following firework shows. Another study found that the ultraviolet light emitted by the flashing light triggers a burst in ozone levels.”
    http://windspiritkeeper.blogspot.com/2014/07/air-pollution-spike-in-u.html

    Reply
  152. ‘Tornadoes of fire’ in N.W.T. linked to climate change

    Climate change is responsible for more frequent and larger forest fires, such as the ones now plaguing the Northwest Territories, says an Edmonton professor.

    “What we are seeing in the Northwest Territories this year is an indicator of what to expect with climate change,” says Mike Flannigan, a professor of Wildland Fire in the University of Alberta’s renewable resources department. “Expect more fires, larger fires, more intense fires… Some attribute that to climate change and I’m one of those.”

    Dave Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, say the southern part of the N.W.T. is experiencing the driest conditions in 50 years and warmer temperatures than usual.

    “It’s just almost as if there’s no weather around,” he says. “We’ve seen, for example, in the last six weeks, precipitation in Yellowknife is only about 20 per cent of what it should be. You’re just not seeing any rain.”

    Phillips says apart for a 30 per cent chance of rain Monday night, there’s no rain on the horizon for the next two months.

    He agrees the conditions are the kind of thing models predicted would happen 40 years from now.

    “Not enough weather in some areas and too much weather in other areas,” he says, pointing to the flooding in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/tornadoes-of-fire-in-n-w-t-linked-to-climate-change-1.2706131

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 15, 2014

      Good find TGI.

      “He agrees the conditions are the kind of thing models predicted would happen 40 years from now”.

      ‘Hotter, Faster, Worser’ is how I think Joe Romm put it in a summary article two years ago.

      Reply
  153. Mark from New England

     /  July 15, 2014

    “The year is 2393, and the world is almost unrecognizable. Clear warnings of climate catastrophe went ignored for decades, leading to soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, widespread drought and — finally — the disaster now known as the Great Collapse of 2093, when the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet led to mass migration and a complete reshuffling of the global order. Writing from the Second People’s Republic of China on the 300th anniversary of the Great Collapse, a senior scholar presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment — the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies — failed to act, and so brought about the collapse of Western civilization.

    In this haunting, provocative work of science-based fiction, Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway imagine a world devastated by climate change. Dramatizing the science in ways traditional nonfiction cannot, the book reasserts the importance of scientists and the work they do and reveals the self-serving interests of the so called “carbon combustion complex” that have turned the practice of science into political fodder. Based on sound scholarship and yet unafraid to speak boldly, this book provides a welcome moment of clarity amid the cacophony of climate change literature.”

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/023116954X/ref=pe_385040_30332200_TE_item

    Reply
    • Tom

       /  July 16, 2014

      I don’t think anyone will survive the 2020’s let alone this future date of 2093. Once all the interacting self-reinforcing feedbacks really take hold it’ll be a one-way ticket to oblivion with all systems collapsing (ecology, economy, etc) and the end of electricity (which brings with it meltdown of all the worlds over 400 nuclear plants, storage pools and waste – which will raise the background radiation to lethal dosages).

      In other words (again, just my opinion) it’ll happen much more quickly than these authors imagine.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  July 16, 2014

        Personally, I don’t think near-term human extinction (first half of this century) is in the cards, though the collapse of industrial civilization could well be. By 2393, though, I share your concern that there might not be anyone around to write about the historic collapse of civilization; and even if there are, that the number of potential readers will likely be just as small. I mostly fear for the other 99.9% of species we share this rare, complex life-bearing planet with.

        I’m eager to read the above book, which, at less than $10 for a paperback, is a bargain these days. Should make for great beach reading in August😉

        Reply
      • Paul from NSW

         /  July 19, 2014

        Hi Tom,
        I don’t buy the Near Term Extinction here’s why;
        http://preppingforexile.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-realist.html

        Reply
        • We’d have to see far worse than what we’re seeing now for a NTE. The 2120s are a concern under BAU. Stresses to current nations/regions due to climate change ongoing now.

        • Paul from NSW

           /  July 20, 2014

          Personally, I am leaning towards collapse due to oil dependency coming sooner. The middle east is disintegrating. That will ensure BAU doesn’t continue. Higher oil prices affect the production and logistics chains too much for it to be simply absorbed.

        • To me, this is good news. The sooner FF dependency goes, the better. Collapse due to FF scarcity, in my view, is a less likely outcome than collapse, long-term due to ratcheting climate stress. I honestly think human problem solving is capable of managing loss of FF energy. Climate change on the other hand… Not so certain.

        • Let’s say then a perfect storm. Energy, environment, population and unemployment.

        • Growth Shock😉

  154. Colorado Bob

     /  July 15, 2014

    What wildfires in the Northwest Territories say about climate change

    The boreal forest is no stranger to fire. Each year, in the Northwest Territories alone, thousands of hectares of wilderness are consumed in flames – part of the natural process of forest regeneration.

    But this year, as the region battles its worst fires since the 1990s and smoke drifts for thousands of kilometres to the U.S. border, a new set of questions is emerging: Is a warming climate amplifying the severity of northern wildfires? Will bad fire years like this become more common? Will the forest that regrows be different in character from the one burning away right now?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/what-wildfires-in-the-northwest-territories-say-about-climate-change/article19606467/

    Reply
    • Right, CB. Good points — and questions we need to keep an eye on.
      Ps one of my guiding principles is one of Robert Mallet’s themes in his 1859 ‘Admiralty Manual of Scientific Inquiry’ is, “Nature rightly questioned, never lies.”
      Tally ho.

      Reply
  155. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2014

    Video: Scorched hole opens up at ‘End of the World’

    A massive hole of unknown depth has been discovered in a gas-rich but remote Russia peninsula, known by the local indigenous population as the ‘End of the World’.
    The 80m-wide abyss was spotted by an oil exploration helicopter, and a team of scientists will visit the site today, reports The Siberian Times.
    No one is sure yet what created the puncture, which is believed to be up to two years old, but the Russian Emergencies Ministry has ruled out a meteorite strike.

    Scientist Anna Kurchatova from the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre has blamed global warming. She told the Times she thinks it was formed by an underground explosion, caused by an “alarming” melt in surface permafrost – releasing huge amounts of gas like the popping of a champagne cork.
    Another theory is that it is a sinkhole caused by collapsing rock, but the sides of the hole appear to have been scorched, backing the theory there was some kind of explosive, fiery event.
    In the video shot by the helicopter crew, something can be seen streaming into the hole – possibly water or fine soil.

    Read more: Link

    Reply
    • Amazing. It looks, to me, like fine soil streaming into the hole, erosion channels are visible. The rim seems larger in diameter than the nearby interior. The area on the outer perimeter seems to have some sort of soil debris or ejecta, and very similar in color to the top layer of sandy looking soil. Nothing, to me eye, looks like an impact crater. Some sort of (focused?) outward force seems to be part of an early stage of the event.
      with such a small observable debris field — was it a gaseous force? Then gravity took its toll, collapsing soil back into the cavity? A huge cavity.
      Either way, it is an amazing sight, and a great exercise in speculation and deduction.

      Reply
  156. doug

     /  July 16, 2014

    That Scribbler feller better reappear soon or we’ll have to change his name to Robert Writer’s Block. I need my daily dose of doom.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  July 16, 2014

      ‘Robert’s Writer’s Block’ – funny. I have a feeling he’s away, because something I posted two days ago is still awaiting moderation. I’m sure he needs a good break now and then, but I too miss his great articles and the fresh discussion they bring. I hope he’s just on vacation and not something worse.

      Reply
  157. China floods: Ancient town of Fenghuang submerged in water

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-28321060

    Reply
  158. Looks like we’re getting a bit more strict here in San Diego on water use as reserves get depleted.

    http://timesofsandiego.com/politics/2014/07/15/water-authority-considering-mandatory-conservation/?google_editors_picks=true

    Reply
    • California Drought Continues to Deepen

      Reply
    • And just north of SD:
      Nestle taps reservation for water despite drought
      CABAZON, Calif. – In a swath of desert dotted with windmills and creosote bushes, a beige building stands flanked by water tanks. A sign at the entrance displays the logo of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water, with a stream flowing from a snowy mountain. Semi-trucks rumble through the gates, carrying load after load of bottled water.

      The plant, located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ reservation, west of the desert resort city of Palm Springs, has been drawing water from a spring in Millard Canyon for more than a decade. But as California’s severe drought deepens, some people in the area question whether it’s right to sell water for profit in a desert region where springs are rare and aquifers have been declining.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/07/15/little-oversight-as-nestle-taps-morongo-reservation-for-bottled-water/12667307/

      Reply
  159. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2014

    The Reno paper –

    Drought threatens region’s way of life

    According to information from the U.S. Geological Survey, flows in the East Walker River near Bridgeport were 92 cubic-feet per second as of July 8, while the West Walker River near Coleville was flowing at 69 cubic-feet per second. The Walker River near Mason was flowing at 20 feet per second.

    Bridgeport Reservoir held 5,640 acre feet of water as of July 8, out of a capacity of 42,500 acre-feet, while Topaz, which can hold 59,439 acre-feet, had 4,190 acre feet.

    On the Carson River system, flows were 76 cubic-feet per second below Markleeville, 17 CFS near Carson City amd 0.80 cubic-feet per second at Fort Churchill. Lahontan Reservoir held 34,270 acre-feet of water, only about 13 percent of its capacity of 312,000 acre-feet.
    http://www.rgj.com/story/news/local/mason-valley/2014/07/14/drought-threatens-regions-way-life/12646351/

    Last summer, was the hottest 3 month period from Salt Lake, to Boise, to Reno in the POR.

    Farmers in the Lovelock area are receiving zero irrigation water from a dry Humboldt River this year

    If there was ever miserable muddy forgot stream , it is Humboldt River. I drilled on a geothermal exploration rig all over this country. In 1849, one left the Humboldt River, to cross the 40 mile desert to strike the Carson River at a place the called “Rag Town”. Both rivers flow into their sinks, in Northern Nevada. , and are home to wild life and migrating birds. This drought is playing hell with the birds flying through.

    Reply
  160. Colorado Bob

     /  July 16, 2014

    Drought has cost California $2.2 billion

    In the most comprehensive look yet at the impact of the worst California drought in decades on the state’s vital agriculture industry, a new study found that it has cost the state $2.2 billion, primarily in lost farm revenue and wages. And it says 428,000 acres of irrigated cropland, about 5 percent of the state’s total, is being pushed out of production in the Central Valley, Central Coast and Southern California.

    The drought also has put more than 17,100 seasonal and part-time agricultural workers out of jobs, according to the study released Tuesday by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, leading to pockets of extreme poverty and despair in the produce baskets of Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit Fresno on Friday to announce additional funds to help rural communities struggling amid the drought.

    Link

    Reply
  161. It’s the middle of July.
    Here in the Pacific Northwest via the Los Angeles Times:
    Washington declares a state of emergency in battle against wildfires

    A state of emergency was declared in 20 eastern counties in the state of Washington after a handful of new wildfires forced evacuations and threatened more than 500 homes.

    In what is shaping up as an especially difficult fire season throughout the parched West, firefighters are battling numerous blazes in the Northwest. Late Tuesday night, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, acting for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee who is on state business in Washington, D.C., signed the declaration of emergency.
    According to the state, the proclamation allows the use of the Washington National Guard and the State Guard if needed and directs state agencies to do “everything reasonably possible” to assist affected local governments to respond with added resources to fight fires.

    The proclamation covers Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman and Yakima counties.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-washington-wildfires-20140716-story.html

    Reply
  162. Here in Portland, Oregon we have been in a period of 80-90 degree hot temps. Wind has been from the W or WNW which is normally where cool Pacific air resides.
    Much of Washington and British Columbia is hot as well. Many fires in the Canada’s NWT, and in NW, W, and SW, USA. Drought as well, in most places.
    The air is dense with human caused dust and pollution, plus smoke from wildfires.
    That is all, for now, in mid July, 2014.

    Reply
  163. Griffin

     /  July 16, 2014

    I found this article interesting in regards to the comments made regarding the hydrates on the Arctic seafloor. If I had to guess, I would bet that they have seen methane gas released more than they ever thought was possible, even in the limited scope of their studies.
    http://www.power-technology.com/features/featurefire-ice-canadian-researcher-explain-the-science-behind-the-hype-4305869/

    Reply
  164. Check out the Active Fire Overlays via Google Earth KML/EOSDIS/MODIS.
    Relevant samples such as: 24 hrs.contiguous USA/Hawaii or Canada.
    Zoom in or out. Spooky…
    https://earthdata.nasa.gov/data/near-real-time-data/firms/active-fire-data

    Reply
  165. Mark from New England

     /  July 17, 2014

    Most recent Radio Ecoshock show here:

    http://www.ecoshock.org/

    CRASHING CLIMATE NEWS. Plutocrats admit U.S. economy is “Risky Business” during climate change. It will not be safe to go outside. Cambridge Polar expert Peter Wadhams on Arctic methane burst. New climate song “Too Hot.” Radio Ecoshock 140709 1 hour in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB).

    Reply
  166. Mark from New England

     /  July 17, 2014

    Every time I get an email from a ‘Robert’ in the sender line I eagerly sit up and think; ‘could this be it, the next article from Robert Scribbler?!

    Alas, not yet. Now I’m wondering if he’ll take the entire month of July off. I do wish he would let us know when he expects to be away for a long period, but then again, it provides him with an air of mystery.

    I have a feeling that when he does return, we’ll be bombarded with articles flying so fast they’ll be like fast balls that we can’t keep up with. Not a bad situation! Robert, so whatever is keeping you away, best wishes with it. We eagerly await your return, but if trouble has come up, we wish you the best in dealing with it.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  July 17, 2014

      I seem to remember that a short time ago someone asked him to compile a “state of the earth” post. Robert mentioned that it was a good idea but would take some time. I have a feeling it would be huge. Might be something to look forward to? I guess only he knows!

      Reply

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