The Polar Circulation is So Wrecked That Surface Winds Now Rotate Around Greenland

In a normal world, during a normal late fall and winter, cold air would concentrate over a thick northern ice pack near the North Pole. The sea ice would be dense enough, unbroken enough, to lock a warmer ocean away beneath. The cold air core would be encircled by strong winds — both in the upper levels and at the surface. An atmospheric cold zone that would tend to be pretty steady, taking strong weather anomalies to drive it off a firm base of chill air.

In today’s world, the Arctic Ocean is warming. Connected to an also warming world ocean, the waters provide a launching platform for the added, human-driven heat. The surface sea ice is thus far thinner — containing less than 50 percent of the volume it boasted during the late 1970s. And, during this time of year, an extraordinary overburden of greenhouse gasses (primarily CO2 and Methane) continuously traps extra long wave heat radiation throughout the dark winter night.

All that extra heat gathering over the Arctic Ocean makes the cold air core far less stable. More and more frequently it is driven from its previous haunt near the North Pole. A climate change refugee looking for a cold air pool as temporary asylum from the inexorably building heat.

To the south, the still solid but increasingly endangered ice sheets of Greenland provide, perhaps, the most likely haven. So as the high Arctic heats up, the cold air re-centers over Greenland. And the result is a rather odd configuration in which atmospheric currents begin to displace southward, encircling Greenland rather than the polar regions. A disruption that results in a ripple of changes throughout the Northern Hemisphere — including serious alterations to the storm track and a far greater likelihood of the extreme weather producing planetary wave patterns.

Observational Support for Cutting-Edge Theories

The above described scenario draws from a number of cutting edge scientific theories. The first is Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren theory — in which a combination of polar amplification and enhanced Greenland melt drive severe changes to the Northern Hemisphere storm track, resulting in nightmarish weather. The second is the enhanced planetary wave theory, proffered by Dr. Jennifer Francis, in which Arctic warming drives severe changes and distentions in the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream. The two theories are related in that Arctic warming, in both cases, is a primary driver of extraordinary climate and weather changes.

Thus far, we have seen growing evidence to support these theories, especially Dr. Francis’ theory, as ever since the mid 2000s we have observed an increasing prevalence of weak Jet Streams, strong planetary waves, and powerful meridional flows driving warm air into the polar zone, but also driving cold air out. Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren theory got a boost last year as a southward shifting cold air circulation ignited a powerful North Atlantic storm track that set off the roughest winter on record for England and the UK.

This year, we see similar weather phenomena related to these theories. The inundation of Buffalo with one year’s worth of snowfall in just two days was driven by a powerful planetary wave pattern directly associated with polar warming. A similar planetary wave is, today, threatening to dump more than a foot of snow across regions of the US Mid-Atlantic through New England. A January type winter storm on Thanksgiving that was preceded by 70 degree temperatures.

Not What Our Weather Models are Used to — The Greenland-Centered Cold Air Core

Today, we have yet one more pattern emerging that was predicted by these theories — polar air circulation centering around Greenland:

image

(Surface air flow encirclements of Greenland similar to conditions observed above were highly anomalous during the 20th Century. During the 21st Century, such a storm enhancing pattern is likely to become much more prevalent as an up-shot of human-driven polar warming. In the above shot, note the low spinning off Spain and heading toward Morocco off an anomalous and persistent dip in the Jet resulting from this abnormal pattern. More floods potentially on the way for that already hard-hit region. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

In the above image, provided by Earth Nullschool and collecting data from US based global climate observations and models, we find warm air from the subtropical Atlantic being driven northward by first a mid-ocean high pressure system and then by a powerful low raging away off the southern tip of Greenland. The warm air flow rises north then joins with a continental flow rising off of Europe to cross the North Atlantic and the Barents Sea. Traveling along a cold frontal boundary sweeping out from Greenland, the warm air current surges up over Svalbard and toward the North Pole.

This warm air flow drives temperatures in a region within a couple hundred miles of the North Pole to 30.5 degrees Fahrenheit — warmer than current temperatures in central Pennsylvania and well over 36 degrees above average for this time of year in the far, far north:

image

(Svalbard and regions near the North Pole heat up as an extraordinary warm air wedge drives far, far north. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

This extraordinarily warm air then becomes entrained in another low north of Greenland before following a polar air flow driving down over the Canadian Archipelago and Hudson Bay. A powerful north-south flow drawing over Baffin Bay into the strong low south of Greenland closes the loop. Thus we find Greenland encircled by winds, its cold air core far offset from the pole as the region over the Arctic Ocean warms.

As we can see in the surface wind map (top map), the surface air flow is running a complete circuit ’round Greenland. The result is that the cold air core driving NH atmospheric circulation at the surface is now centered over Greenland and Baffin Bay. It is displaced many hundreds of miles south of the North Pole. And the North Pole itself has become over-run by a warm air flow at the periphery of the cold air circulation’s center.

Upper level wind patterns are similarly disrupted with a cold upper air low churning away over Baffin Bay and a second cold core circulating over Central Siberia. In both cases, in the upper levels near the Jet and at the surface, the region of the Arctic Ocean is disassociated from the cold air centers and related atmospheric circulation. A set of conditions that has come to very well resemble those predicted by Dr. Francis, or worse, look more like a precursor to Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren scenario.

In this case, for today, the weather observations match the warming-induced pattern just as predicted.

Mainstream Weather Coverage Abused by Changing Climates (I’m Looking at You, Weather Channel)

Mainstream meteorologists, including those at the Weather Channel, continue to cover current weather as if it is occurring under traditional conditions while only providing sideways references to cutting edge science related to observed atmospheric warming. A new subset of the science that provides much greater insight into what may actually be happening and is a very useful tool for weather prediction in the currently altered and radically changing climate state.

Unless such meteorologists begin paying attention to the anomalous changes that are plainly visible in the observational data (changes that I have no trouble finding and identifying after reading the science provided by Hansen and Francis) they will be left behind by events that are increasingly dissonant to their current institutional understanding. A cautionary tale that European meteorologists, baffled by failures of climate models to predict record floods from training of low pressure systems into Morrocco off a persistent and anomalous dip in the Jet Stream this week, can bear testament to.

Like geologists who failed to take into account for plate tectonics theory in the mid 20th Century, meteorologists adhering to old weather prediction methods risk becoming outmoded and less relevant to current, and rapidly evolving, climate realities. The new global warming science both bears out in the observational data and in its usefulness to predict extreme events — so, for the sake of accuracy, it needs to be included.

Links and Credits:

The University of Maine

Something Our Weather Models Aren’t Used To

Earth Nullschool

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

Dr. Jennifer Francis

Dr. James Hansen

Hat Tip to Mark From New England

The Weather Channel’s Weather Geeks (Who Need to Wake up and Smell the Polar Amplification)

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268 Comments

  1. As I posted in another thread, the increased oscillations that is a consequences of both theories being right is a sign that the entire trajectory is headed for collapse, or more precisely, a shifting of the nonlinear dynamics trajectory to a new phase space. It’s not just the jet stream or wind currents but the entire Earth system (which includes all the organisms within it, particularly humans). It’s one big interconnected system that is headed towards something very different from what we’re used to and all this is a response of the Earth system to our various activities that have perturbed it. Since the system is chaotic, a small perturbation can cause exponential deviations in future trajectories and we’re witnessing that.

    Again, I say this is a modeller of biological complex systems with nonlinear dynamics and having observed in this phenomena in such systems. In these systems, it happens due to evolution trying out possibilities and these are the failed trajectories that get naturally selected against.

    –Ram
    http://ram.org
    http://compbio.org

    Reply
    • Pretty safe bet that wrecking the climate is a big dead end evoloutionarily speaking…

      Reply
      • Indeed, for humans (and while I’m an eternal optimist and think we’re a resilient species, I’d not bet on humanity as we are at this point past the next 150 years). An interesting question to me is which species are going to survive, what humans are going to do as things get worse (will they resort to germ-line genetic engineering? I have colleagues trying to engineer plant systems into animal cells and last I heard they were working through the final bugs, and engineering human systems in other organisms is already being done), and what the evolution of all the remaining organisms will look like.

        Regarding my main point, which was about the extreme oscillations you are reporting on, what I am saying is similar to what Colorado Bob said about a system nearing a tipping point, but we’re already well into the transition state region (the “tipping point” is continuum along many coordinates) and the extreme oscillations are not only indicative of what the new state will look like, but also will determine the initial conditions we start a new trajectory from (this is something the Club of Rome addressed really well in Limits to Growth, outlining the parametres needed for a particular quality of life). The exponential amplification thus builds on itself, and we really have no clue what the planet will look like when we finally equilibriate. The deniers like to point to every relative uptick and say things like “look how much the Arctic has recovered since 2012” not realising that’s part of the problem.

        Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  November 29, 2014

        A real safe bet.

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  November 26, 2014

      Ram,

      I read your other post & this one. I’ve been trying to decipher the same things as you as really enjoyed the logic in your posts.

      I see the biological system as being diverse enough with enough organic material such that it is able to recalibrate itself to a new “layout” (it doesn’t care about humans). During that process, the previous complex system must be discarded as it does not apply any more. This being an extinction cycle. The following cycle is a readjustment as localized food chains evolve. Once evolved, and a balance is developed then a new complex system is in place.

      I see that we are triggering the onset of such a recalibration, on the order of a mega-event (rapid change triggering mass non compliance).

      Gradual adjustments to environment allows for generations of organisms to perform the act of evolving to said change through the success / failure cycle. The rapid events (asteroid, mega volcano, massive human byproducts) don’t allow for generations to occur and adjust.

      A slow change allows for smaller adjustments in the organisms to adapt. The rapid change forces any success to be an aberrant change which is infrequent, thus causing many failures as well as the existing organisms to not be compliant.

      What I see as the most unfortunate, is that such simple logic escapes so many people.

      Reply
      • Hi Andy, yep, we’re on the same page about the establishment of a new dynamic, and I agree that when you think about things holistically (i.e., the entire Earth system or all of evolution) then the logic is simple. But it’s only recently in our scientific history that humans have considered complex systems, the nature of their trajectories, the effects humans have on their environment, etc. So it’s unfortunate that people don’t think about the big picture and long term effects but this doesn’t seem to be the dominant trait of humanity on average (see below). You have a good grasp of evolution that is not common. And it all starts with the foundation. I also think that people see variation in weather due to time of day or season and think they can handle the same variation in climate occurring over decades: so it’s actually nonintuitive to many to consider the full scope of effects of small perturbations .on these complex systems.

        You’re right that gradual changes will allow more systems to adapt, since I think it is largely a matter of luck whether any given trajectory is self-perpetuating for an arbitrary number of steps (nothing is forever). So the more opportunities there are to escape going down a dead end, the better . The path taken is really important in finding (energy or other) optima and greedy approaches typically end in local optima, not only trapped but also unable to contribute to functional diversity, and these trajectories are selected against. Being able to go up hill for a while to reach a lower accessible optimum (i.e., give up short term benefit for long term gain) is key to evolutionary success (though not a guarantee of it). Being at the global optimum is selectively disadvantageous also (then there’s no reason for anything else to happen). So during the course of evolution mutations accumulate to move systems away from the optima as long as they’re still fit within the context of an environment. This has resulted in the amazing diversity of life you speak of.

        Evolution has its share of dead end trajectories but it solves this problem via massive parallelisation (the basis for that diversity). You’re right that when it comes to externalities, the more time there is, the more likely a variation can arise to deal with the changing environment. However, in the case of humans, it is a self-created problem—there is as much time as we have allowed ourselves to have. This type of problem also occurs in biology, but a system that utilises a greedy approach to resource use rapidly exhausts its environment and is selected against but a system that is able to establish a complex equilibrium (feedbacks) can go on arbitrarily.

        In my simulations of complex systems, “successful” trajectories that established a dynamic equilibrium and went on arbitrarily would arise after doing at least a million parallel runs with slightly different starting points: i.e., trajectories “failed” due to stagnation, collapse, or extreme chaos. In the real world, these systems represented by organisms such as viruses, archaea, bacteria, protozoans, plants, fungi, and even the dinosaurs (their trajectory ended due to an external event) that have had runs in order of tens or hundreds of millions of years (or even billions), are not that different IMO. I’ve not seen dinosaurs, but for microbes, resistance or decrease in virulence or other adaptations typically required the plating of hundreds of colonies in my hands. For some systems, it required as many as 10^14 tries before at least a single viable system would arise due to a rapidly changed environment (more resistant, less virulent, symbiotic, etc. where the environment was yet another complex system in and of itself), but I never saw it go down the 10^6 threshold.

        In my view, the trap we are in is the result of a unique conspiracy between nature and nurture, similar to what occurs in the process of addiction: The existence of a trait favouring short term gain over long term gain on average (this is partly the reason for humanity’s success, but the existence of this trait has been documented); the creation of an economic system dominated by this trait; and the spread of this economic system world wide (even places like the USSR and China were really the same paradigm with different bosses).

        On that note, Marx’s analysis of “capitalism” was correct but true Marxism has never been implemented on this planet. I can’t say why certain trajectories succeed and why others failed in my simulations a priori (nothing I tried ever made a statistically significant difference compared to random assignments of starting coordinates, which is informative BTW but not surprising since these are chaotic systems). The same goes for my observations. However, I did analyse them after to see what features stood out. Keep in mind that correlation is not causation and what makes a trajectory successful isn’t necessarily what you see after the equilibrium has been established. Having said that, what I noticed was as I said before: maximally greedy approaches led to being trapped in local optima; cooperation is preferred to competition; variation is important; enthalpic and entropic contributes are largely balanced out; and that since nothing is absolute, there’s a lot of chance. “Balance” is important, but what actions create or result in that balance is hard to pin down. It’s easier to say what doesn’t work than what does (which relates to the entropy/enthapy statement).

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  November 27, 2014

        Ram, do you have any data / images from your simulations? Touching onto Parallelism as a variable for a short term adaption, yet long term failure is again another aspect the general population can comprehend.

        I can see a rough equation sketching this series out. Variables including organism complexity (higher values imply less capability to adapt as many subsystems need to evolve, all rolling up to the sum), reproduction cycle (shorter = more generations, less = fewer), population (parallelism), offspring population / propagation (parallelism), environmental specificity (adaptability / survivability / ability to spread), dispersion (ability to find new environments), climatic shift (basic environment), required inputs (carnivore / omnivore / herbivore ). There are many other variables, but this is a rough off the top of my head group.

        Then apply such a set of variables to the members of an ecosystem with the current climate state and run a few thousand generations of cycles to validate that the simulation is in balance.

        After balance in it’s current state is validated, begin slow and long adjustments to the climate variables to determine that fault tolerance / vulnerability of that ecosystem.

        One could get a rough sketch of the die-off and subsequent readjustment periods (duration / populations etc…).

        I very much enjoy such simulations, of seemingly chaotic systems at the surface. Yet very definable once it is subdivided.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  November 27, 2014

        The deniers like to point to every relative uptick and say things like “look how much the Arctic has recovered since 2012″ not realizing that’s part of the problem.

        Excellent point!

        These oscillations cause a failure to occur where a potential successful variant would have had an opportunity to survive had the trajectory remained as linear function or at least simply experiencing delta shifts, not full oscillations.

        I can very much see how this reduces the opportunity for parallelism during the climatic shift.

        Reply
      • Hi Andy, yes, if you mean the results of my simulations. They are spread over my publications here: http://compbio.org/publications.html – if you scroll down you’ll see I’ve done a better job of providing PDFs for the papers. I generally use these simulations to ask/answer scientific questions about biological problems and applications: protein folding (simplest biological example of a complex system; my postdoc mentor shared the Nobel in Chemistry in 2013 for “multiscale modelling of complex chemical systems”), cellular systems, relationships between those and our physiology (drug discovery), nanotechnology (trying to develop a nanobiosolar panel, which incorporates a lot of our basic science work), evolution (origin of life questions). I can point specific ones out if you are interested since it’s a lot of papers to go through, but:

        If you want to see the results from the general world model type simulations like you describe that includes climate, it’s largely a work in progress. I’ve not done anything better yet than these guys (go to page 26 for some graphs—I think it’s a 14 variable world system):
        http://www.apollo-gaia.org/Sensitivity%20and%20the%20Carbon%20Budget.pdf

        Also, and some editions of Limits to Growth come with software to do the simulations (five variables):
        http://synapse9.com/signals/2012/03/24/approaching-30-days-from-the-40th-anniversary/

        I myself use Monte Carlo or Molecular Dynamics simulations and analyse them to see the behaviour. What typically gets published is the results (final outcomes) of these trajectories in solving problems (say asking about the origin of life). The nature of analyses of trajectories as chaotic is interesting but it’s not what gets published typically. There was a time when it was felt important to make the point about chaos in protein folding and this is the paper that came out (this is from my doctoral mentor, John Moult, where I first cut my teeth on this stuff in 1993): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/%28SICI%291097-0134%28199712%2929:4%3C417::AID-PROT2%3E3.0.CO;2-5/abstract

        Yes, you could do your own world model if you wish. You can do it via equations, or via heuristics. What determines chaos is the behaviour of the systems which is done by calculating a Lyapunov exponent after running multiple trajectories. See the above dynamics paper for an example of how it is done. So I’ve calculated these exponents for various simulations I’ve done once in a while, but published the results of these simulations related to the problem at hand.

        Reply
      • My other comment that is a response to Andy about images of the results of our simulations is awaiting moderation, so FYI in case this makes it first.

        Andy, your comment about the extreme oscillations is indeed the point I was trying to make (that too much variability increases likelihood of being in a poor situation) but I was thinking about it some more and I think that looking at averages of the extreme swings as a function of time also serve to mask the effects of the nonlinear nature of the feedbacks. For example, the current Arctic summer sea ice decline has a recent data point that falls outside both the linear and exponential fits (see Sam Carana’s analysis here: http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2014/11/ipcc-too-conservative.html) and since the averages of those still appear to follow a linear trend, we may think we have more time before the ice completely melts in the summer than if the trend was going to be exponential. That’s the problem: we don’t know until we have more data points by which time the discussion becomes moot.

        And in the context of evolution, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a problem that is testing humanity as a whole is one that requires longer term problem solving abilities among a majority of us.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  November 29, 2014

        Ram,

        I can see the period (interval) of the oscillations interacting with the reproductive cycles, nutrient requirements, fault tolerance towards stress and mobility of the organisms. In conjunction with the amplitude there should exist a rough correlation of some form.

        Reply
      • Hi Andy, my long post to you is still awaiting moderation. It had a few URLs, but my publication list reachable at http://compbio.org/publications.html – we publish the outcomes of our simulations relative to some control (i.e., computational experiments). The correlations do exist and represent complex nonlinear relationships between various feedbacks but few people look at the trajectories themselves (in the work we do, it’s the final outcome that matters but I have analysed these trajectories and calculated their Lyapunov coefficients).

        I think doing an ecology and evolution simulation of the type you’re suggesting would be interesting, if someone hasn’t done it already.

        Reply
  2. I keep looking at this circulation and it keeps getting worse. Usually the ripping apart of the polar vortex is more pronounced at the upper levels with some effect at the surface. In this case, the effect at the surface looks rather severe. We have two strong warm surface air invasions extending far toward the pole and threatening to very deeply divide the cold air masses at the surface.

    *****

    Reply
    • Loni

       /  November 27, 2014

      Please forgive my ignorance if the answer to my question is right under my nose, (which happens to be the best place in the world to hide something from me), in Ram’s response to Andy in San Diego, “You have a good grasp of evolution that is not common. And it all starts with a good foundation.”, and “Keep in mind, that correlation is not causation, and what makes a trajectory successful isn’t necessarily what you see after the equilibrium has been established.” so I suppose my question is, in a subject matter as complex as this one, planetary systems failures, how does one GET to the point of “equilibrium”? One can’t build a foundation while demolition has just begun, and the building is coming down on top of you. How does one factor in the Arctic methane stores, the nuke plants/reactors in sunk ships, a whole host of events that are going to take centuries to work out, no? Or in the discussion are we just leap frogging over the next several thousand years, and if that’s the case, then I’ve got no questions.
      Well, I guess I do have one, do I build for my daughters future here at the farm, she’s 30, or take those trips that I’ve promised myself, I’m 61, while the going is good I suppose.

      Robert, as always a very well done post, thank you for your time and Happy Thanksgiving.

      Reply
      • Loni, my earlier reply is awaiting moderation but perhaps it’s the length of the links, in which case I recommend you google “equilibrium climate sensitivity” – you don’t get to a thermodynamic-type equilibrium in a complex system but rather it is an equilibrium-type relationship between the various feedbacks that make the system exhibit nonlinear dynamics.

        Give more to the world than you take from it is my motto. I could die tomorrow and I’d be happy so I think pursuing a life of excellence is always worth doing, no matter what.

        Reply
    • Hi Loni, this isn’t equilibrium as we know it in thermodynamics or chemical equilbrium, but in complex systems, it is a dynamic equilbrium. You never really get to a *point* of equilbrium but rather long range correlations are established between the various feedbacks that keep the entire system in “balance”. My references post to Andy is still awaiting moderation but I posted links to a number of references including our own that discusses the results of modelling various complex biological systems. I’ve briefly posted them again below. Robert had a post a few months back on Michael Mann’s paper in Scientific American which talks about one of these long range correlations, which he calls equilibrium climate sensitivity, i.e., what the temperature is expected to end up at given a particular CO2e level (which is never constant, so this is how people talk about these things). The title of that paper is: “Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036.”

      We can’t model every atom in the planet of course, so people make approximations and create “world models” that was pioneered by the Club of Rome in The Limits to Growth (google) where they included only five variables: population, food production, industrial production, consumption of nonrenewable resources and pollution. You can perturb these variables and see how a dynamical system based on these properties behaves in response. See below for further references. I myself think The Limits to Growth is very good for such a simple model and has stood the test of time well and there have been periodic updates.

      Regarding your one question, does it have to be either/or? I do think humanity is almost certainly going to become extinct within a few hundred years, especially if we go about as usual for the next 15-20 years or so (which I expect we will). But nothing lasts forever and I’m sure you became aware you could die at some point in your life: did you change your life as a result? I have done my best to lead a life where if I died tomorrow I’d die happy (and I have a family with two daughters aged 6 and 15). I think quality of life is more important than how long I live, so whatever I am able to do to improve my quality of life I do (which to me means improving the quality of life in this world, which I’ve dedicated myself to)

      A World System I like: http://www.apollo-gaia.org/Sensitivity%20and%20the%20Carbon%20Budget.pdf
      Our own work in biological systems: http://compbio.org/publications.html

      Reply
  3. robert, do you follow andrew’s work? he’s the only meteo i know of who has been really digging into the dynamics and explaining them to people. over the last two years i’ve seen his site go from a handful of people to full-blown…he’s very good. he published this today:

    A storm system looks to move over Japan in the next 24 hours, bringing with it another chance for stormy weather here in the US down the road. The opening week of December looks to be this storm’s target timeframe, though implications remain unknown.
    http://theweathercentre.blogspot.com/2014/11/december-2-6-potential-winter-storm.html

    also….me and my group members would be much obliged if you could possibly discuss this:

    Don’t Look Now, but, – Cold Mystery Blob Blocking Gulf Stream November 25, 2014
    In the movie, “The Day After Tomorrow”, warm water from the Gulf Stream get’s shut off in a perverse impact of global warming, leading to worldwide catastrophe.
    No one is predicting that – at all. But, there is this weird thing in the North Atlantic right now… http://climatecrocks.com/2014/11/25/dont-look-now-but-cold-mystery-blob-blocking-gulf-stream/#more-21282

    i have more links and info in my group:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/WeirdWeather/

    Reply
    • Sorry, Julie. I have yet to see Andrew say word one on climate change and I see a lot of stuff RE very fringe solar effects coming from his site. In my view, far worse than the weather channel who at least provide some coverage of global warming. If I’m mistaken and Andrew has provided climate change related coverage please feel free to post them.

      As for the cold pool in the a Gulf Stream… Yeah, working on that.

      Reply
      • he doesn’t discuss CC directly but he does do some damn good write-ups on weather, which is why i follow. his forecasts are generally accurate, definitely more so than TWC, which i avoid like the plague. two years ago i learned about SSW/PV events from andrew…he was covering that before MSM discussed the polar vortex the following year. so while he may not address CC directly, he certainly does explain important meteo dynamics.

        the cold pool is north atlantic…just watched a video from paul beckwith where he talked about it briefly. it correlates with a high pressure system. i find it interesting that the colder areas in the gulf itself are along the ‘dead zones.’ related? i have no clue. it’s all related, somehow…everything is connected.

        Reply
  4. Ouse M.D.

     /  November 26, 2014

    The BBC Weather Report actually mentioned the TRUTH!
    But not really implicating much apart from this week’s weather,

    Reply
  5. anthropocene

     /  November 26, 2014

    And some of you may be interested in this latest weather report from Sao Paulo. Well they got the rain they were asking for…..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/30215068

    Reply
    • Buried overpasses. Dear goodness, now that’s switching from drought to deluge in an instant.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 26, 2014

      “As a system nears a tipping point , it tends to swing from one extreme to the other, there it tends to get stuck before wildly swing to the opposite extreme”

      Reply
      • Greg Smith

         /  November 27, 2014

        CB: Newton’s Cradle offers an imperfect but simple visual model of this:
        https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/scenario/cradle.htm

        Reply
      • Yeah, just look at the oil price right now – so now we have synergy of at least to global tipping points – climate and energy!

        Reply
        • Efficiencies, biofuels and other factors have leveled off consumption at around 92 mbpd. We have the fracking glut that will continue to build through at least the next year. And we have oil companies now attacking the ethanol blend wall together with second generation biofuels.

          If the tar sands pipelines are approved, the climate situation looks rather worse and worse. The Strangelove science of geo engineering waits in the wings.

  6. Reblogged this on The Secular Jurist and commented:
    “Mainstream meteorologists, including those at the Weather Channel, continue to cover current weather as if it is occurring under traditional conditions while only providing sideways references to cutting edge science related to observed atmospheric warming. A new subset of the science that provides much greater insight into what may actually be happening and is a very useful tool for weather prediction in the currently altered and radically changing climate state.”

    Reply
  7. mikkel

     /  November 26, 2014

    I’m still astonished that the climate community is so hard on Dr Francis. I remember reading studies showing observational data and the precursor to her theory back in 2004. It makes me wonder if there is some existential block, where they are having a hard time admitting that destabilization is already occurring.

    Reply
    • I think you’ve hit on it Mikkel. Climate change was supposed to be in the far off future. Cognitive dissonance to most when they see evidence of it now.

      Reply
      • mikkel

         /  November 27, 2014

        If Hansen lives to old age, he might have regretted not naming his book “Storms of my later years.”

        Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  November 26, 2014

    Just how bad global warming is for the world’s polar bear population

    Just last week, a study by scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and several other organizations found that in the Southern Beaufort Sea region of the U.S. and Canadian Arctic, polar bears saw a 25 to 50 percent decline in the decade from 2001 to 2010.

    And today, a new study out in PLOS One further underscores polar bear risks. Using a regionally focused climate model, the researchers projected that under a business as usual scenario for global warming, sea ice in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago will decline markedly, leaving long periods each year when there isn’t any ice. The consequences for polar bears, it notes, could be “starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Archipelago by the year 2100.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/26/why-the-polar-bear-is-still-a-pretty-good-icon-for-global-warming/

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  November 26, 2014

    Sao Paulo drought issue for global concern

    “This drought has changed my life,” laments Da Silva.

    “Here, there were plenty of people fishing, swimming, having a good time. Now, there’s nothing left—there’s nobody.”

    http://phys.org/news/2014-11-sao-paulo-drought-issue-global.html

    Reply
  10. pintada

     /  November 26, 2014

    Brilliant post Robert.

    Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  November 26, 2014

    Brazilian Drought Unleashes Flood of Sales for Some Firms
    In São Paulo State, Storage-Tank Maker, Water-Delivery Firm Struggle to Keep Up With Demand

    CAJAMAR, Brazil—The worst drought in roughly a century is parching São Paulo state, this nation’s economic powerhouse, but the water shortage has produced a gusher of sales for companies selling temporary relief.

    In recent months, Fortlev Indústria & Comercio Ltda., Brazil’s biggest maker of water tanks, has enjoyed as much as a 50% increase in demand, according to Fabio Fonseca, manager of the company’s São Paulo plant, one of its four factories around the country.

    Many homes and businesses in the state—which accounts for nearly a quarter of Brazil’s 200 million people and a third of its gross domestic product—are installing Fortlev’s familiar blue tanks on their rooftops to cope with water outages that can last from a few hours to several days.

    Link

    Happy talk from the Wall Street Journal/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 27, 2014

      One has to love the Wall Street Journal , the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and they point out how profits can be made in the near term. What cheery thought, a tiny group of people are making money while the largest economic center in South America. is contracting because their economic model has collapsed.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 27, 2014

        ” Low water levels in the Tietê-Paraná waterway have forced its operators to close the system to barges, which typically transport about 6 million tons of grains annually from agricultural areas to terminals near the state’s port of Santos.

        The closure has forced companies including U.S. agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Louis Dreyfus Commodities to ship their grain by truck, more than tripling the cost to 150 reais ($58) a ton or more from about 45 reais a ton, said Casemiro Tercio Carvalho, head of São Paulo state’s waterways agency. “

        Reply
    • It takes sales of something for the WSJ to cover the drought in São Paulo… Shows you what they’re really concerned about.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 27, 2014

        Well on good thing , the San Palos are learning about water harvesting.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  November 27, 2014

        Lets see, short the barge shipping companies (check), buy into the trucking companies (check), get the grain futures to fleece the starving (check), buy water rights (check), turn off faucets and drive up prices (check), make collateralized debt obligations out of rain futures and sell them to school boards (check). Great…lets head off to the Hamptons.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 27, 2014

        I did math ……….
        6 million tons to be moved to the port
        50 reais ($58) a ton or more from about 45 reais a ton, Or 4 % , I don’t believe that for one second.
        Hauling grain in trucks is most expensive way to move it period. Hauling it barges is the cheapest The numbers in the WSJ are designed to fool people.

        Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  November 27, 2014

      This will simply accelerate the depletion. When the taps are on, they’ll run full blast filling up these storage tanks, bathtubs, pots and pans.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 27, 2014

        True, and they are learning about water harvesting that was pioneered in Australia.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 27, 2014

        I have built several water harvesters …………….

        Mine is the # 5 image from the top –
        http://www.containwatersystems.com/index.php/contain-rainwater-harvesting-wall

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 27, 2014

        If your storage is big , you can catch a great deal of water just off your roof. Even when it rains when we don’t need it . Or it rains like hell and you catch some of it.

        Bottom line , there is most of fresh water you need, landing on your roof, but none of us catch it.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  November 27, 2014

        That is very cool Bob. We’re looking at options for the place we’re buying next year for that purpose. We want to harvest what we can. I may hit you up for ideas at that time!

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  December 29, 2015

        trick is waste the first portion, it carries the worst of the airborne pollution and dust and pollution that has settled on the collector (roof), then harvest the rest.
        Early 20th and late 19th Century in the country they used to dig big holes and make concrete water tanks in them, then completely cover, fed from the roof (less pollution then, mainly just dust and leaves(which can be filtered out) and use pumps (hand pumps) to bring up the water. Always cool and beautiful to drink on a hot summers day, and less algae

        Reply
  12. mikkel

     /  November 27, 2014

    Looks like they’re finally putting some numbers on how bad geoengineering is.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/26/geoengineering-could-offer-solution-last-resort-climate-change

    Reply
  13. Griffin

     /  November 27, 2014

    Robert, this is truly an excellent post. Much to ponder with this one. Thank you for taking your time to put this together.

    Reply
  14. RWood

     /  November 27, 2014

    Not sure whether this is a trigger to lobbying by concerned citizens, or even real news. Might arouse some here to yell…

    Under the terms of the $444 billion agreement, lawmakers would phase out all tax breaks for clean energy and wind energy but would maintain fossil fuel subsidies.
    Congress Poised To Eliminate Key Tax Breaks For Middle Class, Provide Permanent Tax Breaks For Corporations
    by Igor Volsky Posted on November 25, 2014
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/11/25/3596971/congress-to-end-tax-breaks-for-middle-class-provide-permanent-relief-to-large-corporations/

    Reply
    • Under veto threat, no doubt, given the adversarial language from the Treasury Secretary.

      In general, this is the direct result of republican legislative hostage taking that has been ongoing for the past four years. Wreck the middle class, make the rich richer, the poor poorer, and cut renewables off at the knees while subsidizing fossil fuels. Yeah, that’s most of the republican priorities for you right there.

      Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  November 27, 2014

    Andy in San Diego
    / November 27, 2014

    That is very cool Bob. We’re looking at options for the place we’re buying next year for that purpose. We want to harvest what we can. I may hit you up for ideas at that time!

    A. Build a very large storage tank . Out of Concrete in the ground .
    B, Install what the Aussies call “first flush diverters “. in your down spouts , This diverts sand, bird shit, and leaves when the rain first begins,

    The first 10 min. of rain washes all this crap off your roof. The water gets much purer after the roof has washed off this crap. . Install what the Aussies call “first flush diverters ”

    Then your water gets much better, And you can get it drinkable with one more step .
    Once again see what the Aussies have done.

    Reply
  16. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 27, 2014

    Mekong River, ripe for conflict. China plunking dams on the river and not participating in the international treaty for it use. Thus they are doing what they want without regard to those downstream.

    Interesting bit of trivia from this article.

    “The word “rival” comes from the Latin rivalis, or someone using the same stream as another.”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/1add7210-0d3d-11e4-bcb2-00144feabdc0.html#slide0

    Reply
  17. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 27, 2014

    A list of 5000 years of conflict over water. You can list, sort search. Not only how we fight over water, but we use it as a weapon quite often.

    http://www2.worldwater.org/conflict/index.html

    Reply
  18. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 27, 2014

    Lake mead water levels for past 3 years. Doesn’t look promising.

    http://graphs.water-data.com/lakemead/graphingengine.php?graphing=1

    Reply
  19. joni

     /  November 27, 2014

    Robert, I’m sorry to copy this from the previous thread, but what did you mean when you said we’ve got 1,5C locked in by the end of this century?

    Did you mean the warming that we have already committed to by GHGs that have already been emitted over the last 40 years (there’s a 40 year gap between the emission and it’s full effects manifesting due to thermal inertia if I remember correctly), future emissions from existing infrastructure and future emissions from infrastructure that is under construction -without- adding in the warming that is currently being masked by aerosols in addition to the about .9°C we have already experienced?

    Reply
    • How Big is the Climate Change Deficit?

      “So, this allows us to clear up some popular misconceptions:
      The idea that there is some additional warming owed, no matter what emissions pathway we follow is incorrect. Zero future emissions means little to no future warming, so future warming depends entirely on future emissions. And while the idea of zero future emissions isn’t policy-relevant (because zero emissions is impossible, at least in the near future), it does have implications for how we discuss policy choices. In particular, it means the idea that CO2 emissions cuts will not have an effect on temperature change for several decades is also incorrect. Every tonne of CO2 emissions avoided has an immediate effect on reducing the temperature response.

      Another source of confusion is the emissions scenarios used in the IPCC report. They don’t diverge significantly for the first few decades, largely because we’re unlikely (and to some extent unable) to make massive emissions reductions in the next 1-2 decades, because society is very slow to respond to the threat of climate change, and even when we do respond, the amount of existing energy infrastructure that has to be rebuilt is huge. In this sense, there is some inevitable future warming, but it comes from future emissions that we cannot or will not avoid. In other words, political, socio-economic and technological inertia are the primary causes of future climate warming, rather than any properties of the physical climate system.”

      http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/2013/02/how-big-is-the-climate-change-deficit/

      Reply
      • Your thoughts that the effect of CO2 are not correct. 93% of all new heat goes into the oceans and it takes time for it to even itself out over the globe. The last time the world had 400 ppm of CO2 was 3.5 million years ago and the temperature was 2/3C warmer than today and the sea level was 12/20 metres higher. That what we can expect but it may take some time to get there. We have pumped so much CO2 into the atmosphere in such a short time that nobody really knows how fast the changes will happen but it is a lot faster that was thought ten years ago. My own view is that at 3C increase, farming as we know it will be over and with one meter of sea level rise there will be so many displaced people all over the world that everyone’s lives will be completely disrupted..

        Reply
      • The paper that blog is based on is ….

        Irreversible Does Not Mean Unavoidable by Damon Matthews and
        Susan Solomon

        “Understanding how decreases in CO2 emissions would affect global temperatures has been hampered in recent years by confusion regarding issues of committed warming and irreversibility. The notion that there will be additional future warming or “warming in the pipeline” if the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were to remain fixed at current levels has been misinterpreted to mean that the rate of increase in Earth’s global temperature is inevitable, regardless of how much or how quickly emissions decrease. Further misunderstanding may stem from recent studies showing that the warming that has already occurred as a result of past anthropogenic carbon dioxide increases is irreversible on a time scale of at least 1000 years. But irreversibility of past changes does not mean that further warming is unavoidable.”

        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6131/438

        Reply
    • We likely still breach the +1.5 C mark by the end of this century, even if all emissions stop now.

      Reply
  20. I just hope that you are wrong about this. But why would it not be correct? We are at 400 ppm of CO2 and the climate is changing fast and it is all new ground. Weather is only the local expression of the climate and we have changed the climate. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/blog

    Reply
    • “Weather is only the local expression of the climate and we have changed the climate.”
      I like that. It’s an accurate description.
      Thanks

      Reply
  21. Ageing population will compound deadly effects of heatwaves caused by climate change

    A combination of global warming and population growth means more people will be exposed to extreme weather systems, with an ageing population particularly at risk from heatwaves, says Royal Society

    The double whammy of global warming and a growing, ageing population will mean peoples’ exposure to deadly heatwaves will multiply tenfold this century, according to a new report from the Royal Society.

    The researchers from the UK’s science academy warn the world is not prepared for the extreme weather which is already being exacerbated by climate change today.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/27/ageing-population-will-compound-deadly-effects-of-heatwaves-caused-by-climate-change

    Reply
  22. – Californians need to adopt “a new, permanent culture of water conservation.”
    Yes, I would think so.

    A group of water experts recommended this week that Southern California should do much more to address the region’s long-term water problems.

    The group, which met at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, included about a dozen scientists and water managers from the National Weather Service, the University of California, the University of Arizona, NASA and other agencies. They came up with a list of proposals ranging from improving management of groundwater to setting water prices that encourage conservation.

    Jerry Schubel, the aquarium’s president and CEO, said after Monday’s meeting that the group believes Californians need to adopt “a new, permanent culture of water conservation.”
    http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2014/11/26/california-water-proposals-suggested/19561851/

    Reply
  23. Ann

     /  November 27, 2014

    Ram said:

    “I have colleagues trying to engineer plant systems into animal cells and last I heard they were working through the final bugs, and engineering human systems in other organisms is already being done.”

    This is interesting news, Ram. Can you tell us more about what your colleagues are doing? It sounds like Margaret Atwood’s book, “Oryx and Crake”.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  November 27, 2014

      Yes, hopefully he’s not working on the ‘pigoon’😉 I read the first two books in the Oryx and Crake trilogy and plan to read the third this winter. I like how she worked climate change into the background.

      Reply
    • This is part of the general field known as synthetic biology. There are quite a few people trying things like this in different ways but this particular group of people are looking at interchangeable pathways between organisms and explicitly doing experiments to validate those. One of those pathways relates to Auxin, which is a key a plant hormone and signalling molecule responsible for many things in plants (cf. http://www.plantcell.org/content/20/7/1738.full). The goal is to engineering pathways involving Auxin into eukaryotic cells (which could be from any organism).

      The comparisons themselves can can be accomplished computationally, since the genes, and consequently the proteins, that makes us up all arose from some common ancestor, perhaps even a single one. But to actually do the transplantation and get it to work is an engineering problem and unless it has been solved in the last few years, I believe still is an unsolved one for this complex a pathway. Simpler pathways (like production of some vitamins, etc.) could probably be engineered more easily.

      Reply
  24. Ryan O'Connor

     /  November 27, 2014

    Robert, as always you hit the nail right on the head. In regards to meteorologists using outdated models and ways of thinking, I see this especially with precipitation amounts. I live in Ct and they routinely underestimate snow/rainfall amounts. I assume they aren’t factoring in the ability for a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture, which is pretty basic. In the blizzard of 2013 they initially called for 12-18 inches, and we received 36+. I’ve noticed we routinely receive 2, 3, 4 or more inches of rain at a time, when even in the 80s that amount was much less common would be viewed as a major event.

    Reply
    • Yeah, Ryan. I know what you mean about most of our current forecasters. For the past six or so years, I only use them for a very rough set of weather possibilities. Their deviations cover a broad range. And now there are quite a few new, and ever changing, influences and feed-backs at work.
      Cheers

      Reply
      • Ps Another issue I have with mainstream media, and their weather reports, is that the reports are mostly focused on how the weather will effect vehicle and airline traffic, which is all fossil fuel (ghg) combustion.

        Reply
    • These are good questions/observations to pose generally, especially if you can dig into the record and find the broader trend.

      Reply
  25. Spike

     /  November 28, 2014

    The worst hail storm to hit Brisbane in a generation has been declared a catastrophe by insurers and prompted the Queensland government to call in the military to help clean up the damage.

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/nov/28/brisbane-stunned-by-severe-storm-no-time-to-evacuate-no-warning

    Reply
    • Ah, the military being used for climate change cleanup.
      Have to wonder if the (any) military will act for prevention defense rather than cleanup duties. This said, as politics and politicians have us all on a straight ahead course towards catastrophe.

      Reply
  26. Hi Robert,

    I have OT technical question. You mentioned that current concentration of CO2e is at 481 ppm, in this article I read it is less:

    “The level was 430 ppm CO2eq in 2011 and heading, on current trends, for 750-1,300 ppm CO2eq by 2100. This leaves a “budget” of about 1,000 billion tonnes of CO2 to emit in total.
    SOURCES: The IPCC’s 2014 Fifth Assessment Report; October 2014 report by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”

    http://phys.org/news/2014-11-climate-scientists.html

    What is your source for 481 ppm CO2?

    Best,

    Alex

    Reply
    • Alex, Robert gets that figure using all GH gasses (translated in terms of CO2 equivalent) instead of saying 400ppm CO2 and methane etc. Robert can correct me if I’m wrong.

      Also for anyone who’s interested, another Hiatus article that is very well written. It talks about NH winter land temp variations which don’t get mentioned much in other discussions.

      http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2014/hiatuses-in-the-rise-of-temperature/

      Reply
    • wili

       /  November 29, 2014

      iirc, rs also doesn’t subtract aerosol negative forcing (which would fall out in a few weeks to months the moment coal plants were all cleaned up), though many other calculations do.

      Are we back to radio silence with rs again. Do you think he is seeing someone else?? ‘-)

      Reply
  27. Here is another article worth reading. It is very unsettling and challenges some of the renewable energy transition optimism that many of us have. It is very sobering. I’m sure many on here would disagree with myth 3 but I think it lays out some of the challenges we face.

    http://transitionmilwaukee.org/m/blogpost?id=2944405%3ABlogPost%3A57486

    Reply
    • wili

       /  November 28, 2014

      I’m afraid I was rather disappointed in this article. I have no illusions about how wed to business interests both Dems and Reps are. But to pretend that somehow the enormous obstructionism that R’s have represented, especially in the last ten years or so, is somehow comparable to the mere bumbling ineptitude and spinelessness of the Dems strikes me as a bit disingenuous. Repeatedly denying the validity of the most basic science is worse than dithering and pandering.

      And as the only person I know among a wide circle of nearly-all liberal friends and family who has given up flying (and, mostly, meat), I certainly have gotten frustrated with blind spots wrt personal footprint among those who know better. But reducing the problem to individual action is as short sighted (or _more_ really) as reducing the problem to _only_ a policy issue.

      But if you want to view (and partake in) a vigorous conversation about this article, the version that go posted over at Resilience blog now has about 450 comments (though not by far at the rather consistently high quality of most posts on this forum!)

      http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-26/six-myths-about-climate-change-that-liberals-rarely-question

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 28, 2014

        (I basically agree with him on myths 3-5, though.)

        Reply
        • climatehawk1

           /  November 28, 2014

          I dunno. Seems as though learning to distinguish between needs and wants can go a long way. Our family still lives a Western lifestyle, but we’ve found it possible to restrain consumption in many ways without much inconvenience. A great local institution, for example, is the “Nearly New Sale,” which is a sale of used clothing–basically, families exchange clothes. We also have a very extensive and active local farmers’ market. LED lighting, clothes drying racks and clotheslines, hybrid and electric cars–lots and lots of possibilities. I understand the direness of the problem, just feel we’ve been able to do quite a lot without feeling as though we’re sacrificing much.

      • mikkel

         /  November 28, 2014

        I disagree, because if you agree with 3-5, then you have to believe that radical lifestyle changes are necessary. These changes transcend politics, for like the saying goes, “politics is the art of the possible.” But if you do not have groups of people breaking away and living those new lifestyles to flesh them out, then the conception remains impossible.

        Large political shifts don’t happen because of rational policy choices, they happen because a minority of the populace fights for and lives a different world view that is more efficacious than the current system. This moral and practical advantage then convinces others to join them, until a point at which policy becomes possible because the majority of the population (or at least the power structures) are then living in a concrete reality that doesn’t conform with the policy on the books.

        I have frustration with Robert because he writes of the need for existential shift (such as in Growth Shock) yet focuses most of the messaging here on policy, which will prove insufficient. While it’s true that areas with good policy make it easier to deploy renewables and the like — and therefore are deploying more rapidly there — I don’t know of any place that has shifted its world view to directly combat a consumption framework. This makes it easy for them to toss policy aside when it proves problematic.

        I find this take to be on point about what’s needed for a revolution http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/89079/treebeard-becoming-change-we-wish-see

        As Chris says in the comments, “And that right there means we have an existential problem (hopefully not a predicament) on our hands. Nearly everything we see around us we might term problems are really just symptoms of our profound disconnect from each other and from life itself….At any rate, my current belief is that the predicaments we face cannot be met through any combination of new policies, better technologies, or clever investments alone…they will require that our most fundamental systems of beliefs be reexamined and then aligned with the reality of living in harmony with the life-supporting systems on this planet.”

        Something that Robert talks about in Growth Shock as well. Policies and technologies and money and whatever else are just tools to help transform physical reality to meet our internal one. Right now that internal development is sorely lacking across all ideologies.

        Reply
      • wili

         /  November 29, 2014

        m wrote: “I don’t know of any place that has shifted its world view to directly combat a consumption framework”

        Have you read anything about Bhutan?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_national_happiness

        I’m not sure they ever went all the way over to ‘the consumption framework” to have to ‘directly combat’ it. But it certainly looks like a country trying to embrace a different frame work than most others, however obscurely and imperfectly.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  November 29, 2014

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/23/garden/freedom-in-704-square-feet.html Not the whole answer, by any means, just an example of the massive improvements that can be made without serious sacrifice.

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  November 30, 2014

        wili: yes, I think that “developing countries” have the best shot of advancing in a different way and skipping the fossil fuel industrialism phase. I know people who are going around pacific islands and installing domestic sized anaerobic digesters in order to process waste and use the gas for cooking/small scale water heating. Combined with small solar panels, they can now get rid of their diesel generators (which cost about $10/L for fuel).

        Sometimes I wonder if we should be focusing more on partnering with those countries to develop a working model that the industrialized countries can then follow.

        climatehawk: I agree. In fact, these are seen as really cool with people a bit younger than me (25 and below is where it seems to really kick in) at least in NZ. I am presently working on developing a proposal for an integrated development that has homes about this size, plus some buildings with flats in them, and also food forests and 100% energy production on site. This is possible because the homes will take advantage of passive solar heating and other architecture/energy efficiency measures to have 80-90% reduction in energy requirements. We think we can do a whole house for about 5kwh/day, including a fridge and whatnot. We are thinking of using this model for financing http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-10/paul-chatterton-lilac-leeds-co-housing and so people that can’t afford downpayments will still be able to develop equity.

        There are a lot of amazing projects coming on board and the desire is much much greater than the available skills and resources going towards it.

        Reply
  28. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 28, 2014

    One scholarly & short article answering most all of the big questions raised on this blog.

    It is challenging, unsettling, almost rudimentary, & painfully accurate even after 29 years.

    “Energy & Economic Myths;” Nicholas Georgescu- Roegen, 1975

    Herman Daly was one of Georgescu-Roegen’s graduate students at Vanderbilt.

    The second law of thermo will not be transcended.

    “Science is determinism.”

    Simple but not too simple.

    http://dieoff.org/page148.htm

    Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  November 28, 2014

    Flooding kills at least 4 in French Riviera towns

    Forecasters saw no letup in rains and heavy winds.
    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/11/28/5348072/flooding-kills-at-least-4-in-french.html#.VHjPRcmCe2c

    Reply
  30. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 28, 2014

    Golf ball size hail, Australia. Looks like they may be in for the summer dumps / oddities we had?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-27/videos-of-hail-in-brisbane/5923574

    Reply
  31. Here’s dynamic (Oct 09, 2014) NOAA photo looking straight down into
    The Eye of Super Typhoon Vongfong

    Reply
  32. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 28, 2014

    When we hear “Allow the free market to fix climate change”, they then complain when this happens…..

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-30115880

    …. and it fixes nothing.

    Reply
  33. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 29, 2014

    What kind of jet stream is this?

    Reply
  34. lesliegraham1

     /  November 29, 2014

    That isn’t any kind of Jet Stream – that’s the surface wind at 10 meters.
    The clue is in the label that says “Wind at 10 meters”.

    Reply
  35. Griffin

     /  November 29, 2014

    I wondering if anyone else read some of the articles in the news about this blu-ray solar panels discovery. Am I missing something or is a 21% increase in efficiency a very big deal?? I would think that this would have huge implications to large scale projects.http://m.livescience.com/48907-blu-ray-discs-solar-cells.html

    Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  November 29, 2014

      The problem with that is the polycarbonate breaks down in 10 to 15 yrs. Also the blue dye breaks down as well.

      Reply
      • Griffin

         /  November 29, 2014

        Thanks Andy, that explains why it’s not been a bigger discovery than it seemed.

        Reply
  36. Robert, we all hear many anecdotal weather stories as we go through our days, and anecdote is written off (dismissed out of hand) by the politicos, but is there some statistical method to sieve multiple anecdotes and get a more robust story from it – I’ve been reading this sort of thing – http://dspace.flinders.edu.au/xmlui/handle/2328/12402 – about ‘anecdote circles’, seems to be military theory, where dynamic organisations have to respond quickly with less than perfect info – something we’re all going to have to do with the climate we now have – what we’re getting now was supposed to be our grandchildren’s weather (a phrase tailored for the 4-year election cycle.)

    Reply
    • Gerald Spezio

       /  November 29, 2014

      NARRATIVES & “STORY TELLING” are very effective mentalistic techniques for some humans, a small but well-organized group, to manipulate other humans, a disorganized much larger group.
      C. Wright Mills; “The organized minority will defeat the disorganized majority every time.”
      Watch out for the story tellers.
      Is the story true?
      Can science help us decipher a true story from a false story?
      Should we routinely question mentalistic anecdotal stories, such as anecdotes about successful breathairians?

      Reply
    • If you can attach a single event to a larger observable trend, as I’ve done in the above article, then it has more weight from the point of view of risk.

      In this example, we have polar amplification which, in some of the science, was predicted to impact polar atmospheric circulation in these areas:

      1. Increased planetary wave frequency.
      2. Resulting increased blocking patterns.
      3. Increased frequency of SSWs.
      4. General reorientation of atmospheric circulation over a new cold core over or near Greenland.

      As you can see, my reporting of this event as it relates to theories put forward by Hansen and Francis has come under attack by more skeptical scientists in the field. This is exactly what we should expect as catastrophic climate change theory challenges some of the remaining pillars of gradual climate change theory.

      In any case, not all of the new theories will bear out. But that’s the risk you take by sitting on the cutting edge. From the point of view of risk and related military planning, you can’t wait for so called perfect information. And, in general, the institutional nature of science can mean that it follows outmoded beliefs for much longer than it typically should.

      Reply
    • As for broader weather observation …

      We should be tracking the number and intensity of droughts and deluges, wildfires, floods, and other severe weather events. From the data it is pretty clear that droughts, heatwaves, deluges, and wildfires are increasing in intensity and severity. We also have some very sound atmospheric data that shows about a 6% increase in the rate of evaporation and precipitation with each 1 C increase in temperature. This amplification of the hydrological cycle is yet one more predictive indicator of a likely increase in drought and flood intensity.

      Reply
  37. PORTLAND, OR USA NITROGEN
    While I grow more alarmed at the dense growths of epiphytic mosses and lichens in the nitrogen (NOX) rich environment of the urban Pacific Northwest — here’s this:

    “This is a sobering result, one that I would not have predicted. The North Pacific is so vast it is hard to imagine that humans could impact the natural nitrogen cycle,” said…

    Human activity, particularly in industrial and agricultural processes, has had significant impacts on the upper ocean nitrogen cycle, a new study has warned.

    The rate of deposition of reactive nitrogen (nitrogen oxides from fossil fuel burning and ammonia compounds from fertiliser use) from the atmosphere to the open ocean has more than doubled globally over the last 100 years, researchers said.

    This anthropogenic addition of nitrogen has reached a magnitude comparable to about half of global ocean nitrogen fixation (the natural process by which atmospheric nitrogen gas becomes a useful nutrient for organisms).
    … analysis, which could discern human-derived nitrogen from natural nitrogen fixation, showed that the oceanic nitrate concentration increased significantly over the last 30 years in surface waters of the North Pacific due largely to the enhanced deposition of nitrogen from the atmosphere.

    “This is a sobering result, one that I would not have predicted. The North Pacific is so vast it is hard to imagine that humans could impact the natural nitrogen cycle,” said Karl.

    http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/human-induced-nitrogen-pollution-impacts-oceans-114112800634_1.html

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  November 29, 2014

      With the North Pacific downwind of that steel gray cloud that hovers over China, it is inevitable that there would be massive consequences. Very sad.

      Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  November 29, 2014

    ‘Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink’: TV review
    Smithsonian documentary on past extinctions, and maybe a future one, is fascinating and scary

    “Mass Extinction” goes into great detail on exactly how these events led to those devastating reactions. It’s grim science, compelling science and best of all, understandable science. It connects the dots for us civilians.

    Its larger point, which is emphatic while trying not to scold, keeps coming back to the way we’re treating our air, soil and water.

    We’re killing off animal and plant species simply because it’s convenient and makes our lives easier and cheaper.

    In the process, we’re gradually using up the planet’s resources. The more we use up, and the less attention we pay to replacing them, the sooner we will lose the environmental links that ensure our own survival.

    And if there’s no more planet, there’s no more football.

    Link

    Reply
    • RWood

       /  November 29, 2014

      I’d put forth Ronald Wright’s “A Short History of Progress” that has (to my doleful satisfaction) also presented “mass extinction.”

      Reply
    • Yes, it’s very succinct.
      Keep in mind that any die-off or mass extinction will be accompanied by a horrendous amount of pain and suffering that will get harder and harder to ignore.
      None of it is free of pain.

      Reply
    • Andy in San Diego

       /  November 29, 2014

      At the current population (~7 billion ) we are consuming the renewable production of the planet at a rate of >150%. This is unsustainable.

      As we knock out links in various sub food chains, they have a short period to adjust, or the other links drop off as well.

      Reply
  39. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 29, 2014

    Ram, the OVERSHOOT LOOP – an easy-to-read synopsis;

    Today, when one observes the many severe environmental and social problems, it appears
    that we are rushing towards extinction and are powerless to stop it. Why can’t we save ourselves? To answer that question we only need to integrate three of the key influences on our behavior: biological evolution, overshoot, and a proposed fourth law of thermodynamics called the “Maximum Power Principle”(MPP). The MPP states that biological systems will organize to increase power[2] generation, by degrading more energy, whenever systemic constraints allow it[3].

    Biological evolution is a change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. Individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic (DNA/RNA) material from one generation to the next.

    Natural selection is one of the basic mechanisms of evolution, along with mutation, migration, and genetic drift. Selection favors individuals who succeed at generating more power and reproducing more copies of themselves than their competitors.

    OVERSHOOT!
    Energy is a key aspect of overshoot because available energy is always limited by the energy required to utilize it.
    ——-
    Since natural selection occurs under thermodynamic laws, individual and group behaviors are biased by the MPP to generate maximum power, which requires over-reproduction and/or over-consumption of resources[4] whenever system constraints allow it. Individuals and families will form social groups to generate more power by degrading more energy. Differential power generation and accumulation result in a hierarchical group structure.

    Overshoot eventually leads to decreasing power attainable for the group with lower-ranking members suffering first. Low-rank members will form subgroups and coalitions to demand a greater share of power from higher-ranking individuals who will resist by forming their own coalitions to maintain it. Meanwhile, social conflict will intensify as available power continues to fall.

    Eventually, members of the weakest group (high or low rank) are forced to “disperse.”[5] Those members of the weak group who do not disperse are killed,[6] enslaved, or in modern times imprisoned. “By most estimates, 10 to 20 percent of Stone-Age people died at the hands of other humans.”[7] The process of overshoot, followed by forced dispersal, may be seen as a sort of repetitive pumping action—a collective behavioral loop—that drove humans into every inhabitable niche.

    Here is a synopsis of the behavioral loop described above:

    Step 1. Individual and group behaviors are biased by the MPP to generate maximum power, which requires over-reproduction and/or over-consumption of natural resources (overshoot), whenever systemic constraints allow it. Individuals and families will form social groups to generate more power by degrading more energy. Differential power generation and accumulation result in a hierarchical group structure.

    Step 2. Energy is always limited, so overshoot eventually leads to decreasing power available to the group, with lower-ranking members suffering first.

    Step 3. Diminishing power availability creates divisive subgroups within the original group. Low-rank members will form subgroups and coalitions to demand a greater share of power from higher-ranking individuals, who will resist by forming their own coalitions to maintain power.

    Step 4. Violent social strife eventually occurs among subgroups who demand a greater share of the remaining power.

    Step 5. The weakest subgroups (high or low rank) are either forced to disperse to a new territory, are killed, enslaved, or imprisoned.

    Step 6. Go back to step 1.

    The above loop was repeated countless thousands of times during the millions of years that we were evolving[8]. This behavior is inherent in the architecture of our minds — is entrained in our biological material — and will be repeated until we go extinct. Carrying capacity will decline [9] with each future iteration of the overshoot loop, and this will cause human numbers to decline until they reach levels not seen since the Pleistocene.

    http://jayhanson.us/loop.htm

    Reply
    • Hi Gerald, I don’t agree with this theory if it is saying that this is ALWAYS the outcome no matter what, no exceptions whatsoever. What is being described is ONE type of scenario that occurs during evolution. In another type of scenario (which is rare—one in a million in the biological systems I simulated), also a consequence of evolution which we have seen, a system of feedbacks evolves such that the overshoot is programmatically or systematically constrained and the overall system is perpetuated for an arbitrary period unless an external force acts on it. This is how we’ve had the evolution of mitochondria, the evolution of the eukaryotic cell (has been around for more than a billion years), the evolution of multicellular life, the evolution of plants, even dinosaurs (they were evolutionarily fit until a sudden change occurred to their environment not of their own making, unlike the scenario you describe that has occurred with humans), occurred. This is why all the cells in your body don’t become cancers from the outset and work together to create a complete organism (cancers happen, but they’re rare considering the number of cells involved). This is how the entire ecosystem on our planet exists. Why should humans necessarily be an exception?

      I don’t agree with this deterministic worldview because the systems we’re talking about are complex/chaotic, even without QM effects considered. They are exponentially sensitive to perturbations (meaning a small perturbation will lead to an exponentially different trajectory aka the Butterfly Effect). There are attractors of course but they’re not a guarantee. Why should humans or primates be an exception to other organisms such as archaea, bacteria, fungi, and plants that have existed for hundreds of millions or billions of years in a dynamic equilibrium with this planet (and make up the complex landscape)?

      I agree that the trajectory we’re on seems to fit that description and most likely we’re going to end up in an overshoot. But humans weren’t doomed to this outcome from the outset. A lot of things could’ve happened to change this trajectory but the chance it would happen to provide a “successful” trajectory is low.

      Reply
  40. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 29, 2014

    Fredrick Soddy, Nobel Prize winner with Rutherford for discovering isotopes, published this in 1922; “Cartesian Economics.”

    Yet a proper materialism must be one of the foundation stones of economics. In fact,
    “without phosphorus no thought” (Story of Atomic Energy, page 129) is an axiom that all philosophers and ethicists should be required to memorize. What mechanical science teaches economics is that;

    life derives the whole of its physical energy or power, not from anything self-contained in living matter, and still less from an external deity, but solely from the inanimate world. It is dependent for all the necessities of its physical continuance primarily upon the principles of the steam-engine. The principles and ethics of human law and convention must not run counter to those of thermodynamics [Cartesian Economics, page 9].

    The last sentence is very significant because it provides the basis for many of Soddy’s criticisms of the economy as a presumed perpetual motion machine. For men, like other heat engines, the physical problems of life are energy problems.

    http://billtotten.blogspot.com/2009/07/economic-thought-of-frederick-soddy.html

    Reply
    • Life is not a thermodynamic system and exists far from thermodynamic equilibrium. From Ilya Prigogine’s work on dissipative structures to our own work on biological complex systems (Levitt et al.) to the work being by climate scientists, we’re talking about complex adaptive systems that do not violate the laws of thermodynamics but beyond thermodynamics, there is statistical mechanics, and beyond that, there is complexity. Indeed, everything that follows physical laws can be viewed as an “energy problem”, but it is not just about achieving an energy optimal state, but the path taken to get there. The process of evolution operates on both these features of interacting systems.

      Reply
      • ” … we’re talking about complex adaptive systems that do not violate the laws of thermodynamics but beyond thermodynamics, there is statistical mechanics, and beyond that, there is complexity.”

        From Maxwell & Boltzmann to Einstein to Feynman – I do not know what or where is “beyond (the laws of) thermodynamics.”

        If we CANNOT violate the laws of thermo, how can we go “beyond thermodynamics?”

        When we go beyond thermo, where are we?

        Krugman does it so easily with an example of slow steaming & using more ships foo-foo.

        Krugman says that it is a piece of economic cake to build more houses with more hammers & power nailers w/o using more material & physical resources.

        I am a just a scientific foot soldier on planet earth.

        If you aren’t doing science, what are you doing?

        I wish Paul Krugman would read ENERGY & ECONOMIC MYTHS by N. Georgescu-Roegen, above.

        Reply
      • Thermodynamics (specifically the laws of thermodynamics) isn’t a complete description of the universe. It is an inadequate description of the universe. Statistical mechanics as a related field of study came about because thermodynamics was inadequate. Both of those together are ALSO not a complete description of the universe. The standard model is the closest thing we have that attempts this but it is also not complete but I’d say it goes far beyond thermodynamics.

        The Wikipedia entry for statistical mechanics states: “Statistical mechanics also makes it possible to *extend* [emphasis in Wikipedia] the laws of thermodynamics to cases which are not considered in classical thermodynamics.” This is what I mean by “beyond thermodynamics,” i.e., to extend it.

        On top of it all, people misunderstand the laws of thermodynamics – the statements about thermodynamics and statistical mechanics apply to specific systems in relation to their surroundings. Living systems, which are a form of complex adaptive systems, exist far from thermodynamic equilibrium. To deal with complex adaptive systems, the science of complexity has been developed. Also, to be precise, I’m saying complexity science as developed is currently fully consistent with the laws of thermodynamics but most definitely goes beyond it.

        I am doing a lot of things besides science, but the science I’ve done I’ve published in peer reviewed journals including Nature, Science, JAMA, PNAS, etc. What I write about is my own interpretation of the science I’ve published, which is all I can do in a blog like this. If you have an objection to the science I’ve done, then you’re welcome to publish your own peer reviewed papers that rebut our findings. But forget the papers, just do the studies yourself (which you can do if you can program) and you’ll see what I mean.

        I don’t know what Krugman has to do with this, but his OpEds aren’t science.

        Reply
      • Maxwell, Boltzmann, Einstein, and Feynman all contributed to science that went way beyond thermodynamics. Thermodynamics is a relatively small, but fairly important, part of physics. It is not all of it. It is an even smaller part of science.

        From the Wikipedia entry for thermodynamics: “Thermodynamics describes the bulk behavior of the body, not the microscopic behaviors of the very large numbers of its microscopic constituents, such as molecules. Its laws are explained by statistical mechanics, in terms of the microscopic constituents.”

        Nothing I’ve said goes against thermodynamics BTW and in fact we use various thermodynamic equations and principles in our work. But to say a system is ALL and ONLY subject to the thermodynamics is a fallacy. Things get complicated (complex) when the system is subject to chaotic behaviour when its constituents are considered. The laws of thermodynamics are upheld, of course, but other things are also happening. Again, statistical mechanics as a field has always been more interesting to me (this is a personal preference). We use both, and then stuff that goes beyond both.

        Reply
        • “But to say a system is ALL and ONLY subject to the thermodynamics is a fallacy.”

          Cheers for this Ram. We tend to focus a bit overmuch on this particular branch of the science. Sometimes the level of repetition turns it more into an ideology.

      • Or & with equal emphasis – we don’t focus enough …

        I have no quarrel with the claim that science is an ideology; but, most assuredly, a very special ideology.

        I would emphasize that unfettered science is the best way of knowing about how the world works.

        It is by far the best method that humankind has discovered so far.

        “It is not mere ethnocentric puffery to assert that science is a way of knowing that has a uniquely transcendent value for all human beings.” Marvin Harris

        Thermo is mandatory & inescapable physical law.

        Therefore it is critically important – NOT just “fairly important.”

        I most certainly would not claim that thermo is in any way, “ALL” or “ONLY.”

        Try to understand the world, as a scientist, w/o it.

        Reply
      • I’m a scientist doing research on complex systems, including their thermodynamic properties. I think science is the greatest achievement of humankind and it’s only hope for long term salvation. That said, I don’t think anything in science is mandatory and inescapable. Newton’s laws of motions were once considered this way also and then relativity came about, and there are countless other examples. Science is about going out with the old and in with the new—classical thermodynamics has been extended a great deal and the word “thermodynamics” has been redefined again and again. Even so, thermodynamics is NOT a complete description of the universe. Saying “thermodynamics is mandatory and inescapable” is like saying English requires words to make up sentences (which is true), not realising that letters are used to make up words (and sentences) and that there’re other rules for constructing sentences such as those based on grammar. Finally semantics is important. The distinction between “fairly” and “critically” is a matter of how much you subjectively value words over sentences or grammar or the relationship between them (which is what I’m interested in) in this analogy. All aspects of physics when considered one at a time are only “fairly” important.

        You’re playing word games to make a point I’m no longer able to follow. Thermodynamic laws are not relevant in many situations even if they are “inescapable” and “mandatory”: Where does thermodynamics come in when it comes to quantum physics or relativitistic physics (this is where “beyond thermodynamics” takes us)? Furthermore, as I said, thermodynamics is applicable only when you understand the system and its surroundings well, which we do not. The earth is mostly a closed system but it’s extremely complex.

        The maximum power principle idea is one based solely on an thermodynamic-type analysis, ignoring the statistical mechanics and other aspects of the physics of the systems being considered. The *dynamics* of a system are extremely important and thermodynamics doesn’t concern itself with that.

        In one of my fields of protein folding, the people who’ve had an exclusive thermodynamics view were generally shown to be wrong (when more extensive ideas prevailed) and they refuse to let go of that even today even though it has been twenty years.

        Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  November 29, 2014

    ‘Exotic’ orcas visit inland waters in unprecedented numbers

    Most of the sightings have come from around British Columbia’s Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, said Ken Balcomb, of the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island. ……………………………………Since September, Mark Malleson of Victoria-based Prince of Whales Whale Watching, has spotted groups of outer-coastal killer whales five times — more than he’s ever seen in his 18 years in the business.

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 29, 2014


      Nov 12, 2014
      Killer whales hunt dolphins in Tijuana surf zone (photos)

      Surfers and beachgoers in the Mexican Border city of Tijuana were witness to a rare spectacle Monday, involving killer whales that appeared just outside the surf zone and began to harass dolphins.

      Eastern Tropical Pacific killer whales, which are found off Mexico and Central America, are not commonly seen off the northern Baja California coast–especially so close to shore.

      Link

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 29, 2014

        November 26, 2014

        Rare sighting of killer whales off Palos Verdes Peninsula


        A group of whale watchers got a rare glimpse Tuesday of a pod of killer whales hunting sea lions off the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

        Link

        Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  November 29, 2014

    A warming world may spell bad news for honey bees
    Date:
    November 25, 2014
    Source:
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
    Summary:
    A bee parasites from exotic climates threatens UK bees. Research predicts that an exotic gut parasite could cause increasing damage to UK bees as climates warms.

    Link

    Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  November 29, 2014

    Welcome to the Anthropocene

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  November 30, 2014

    nigel64 –
    Good question .

    ” but is there some statistical method to sieve multiple anecdotes and get a more robust story from it – I’ve been reading this sort of thing” –

    My method ……….. If it rains , and breaks a daily 24 hour record by 50 percent , that ain’t no big deal . If it rains, and puts down an entire month’s worth of rain in 30 mins. We are in a new world.

    That just occurred in Australian. And it’s been repeating in Southern Europe for nearly 90 days.
    nigel64 – Think about the records . And their time scales. If it rains 10 inches in 2 months, that’s wet , if it rains 10 inches in 2 days , your are swimming for for your life. Rocks and mud are coming into your house. Today.

    This pattern of extreme rain runs from Gaza to Spain, and deep into Africa.

    And our world see’s these as one off events . But the last 90 days between Africa and Europe. They have been out of the box . all along the entire .Med. Great damage , and pain.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 30, 2014

      I watched millions driven from their homes when these patterns set up over them . They are all over the world today , what comes tomorrow? , I can only dread.

      Anyone here following the largest Typhoon to ever make land fall ? No, one one of us.

      Not one comment after it passed.

      Same on us , same on all of us.

      Reply
  45. Barry Danilow

     /  November 30, 2014

    Not sure how many have seen this (judging by the view count, few have), but Naomi Klein (author “The Shock Doctrine,” “This Changes Everything”) gave an incredible talk at this year’s Bioneers conference:

    Reply
    • Geoengineering – “Heating set too high? Try opening a window…” “Cycling too fast? Apply the brakes – (keep pedalling, by all means)…”

      Reply
  46. doug

     /  November 30, 2014

    Hi Robert,

    Somebody posted a link to this story over at Real Climate, and Gavin Schmiitt actually chose to respond to it. Suffice it to say, he wasn’t very impressed. Why don’t you go over to real climate, and try and defend your theory? I think I asked you to do that a few months ago over methane hype stories, when David Archer actually responded to something you wrote as well. But, I don’t believe you did. I would think this would be a great chance for you to engage with top notch climate scientists, you know, maybe you could teach them something about climate science, with your background in, what is it? Threat analysis? The link from real climate is below.

    The Polar Circulation is So Wrecked That Surface Winds Now Rotate Around Greenland
    https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/something-our-weather-models-arent-used-to-surface-winds-now-encircle-greenland/

    [Response: It’s akin to predicting weather with a dowsing rod. He’s taking snapshots of circulation and pretending that this is predictive – it’s pure wishful thinking. – gavin]

    Reply
    • Doug —

      If I reply to Dr Schmidt and Archer more formally, it will come as a post to this blog. They are welcome to come here and explain their base rejection of observational discussion, if they like. And as it seems they will continue to take issue with observations of phenomena as they occur on the ground, perhaps that would be more appropriate.

      In other words, I didn’t pick this fight and I’m growing tired of their baseless bullying.

      As for methane observational science, I will continue to track the Arctic overburden and related trends. I will also continue to provide an active study of related risks that Dr. Archer and Dr. Schmidt seem to be cabalistically willing to ignore and worse appear now engaged to actively suppress.

      As for the most recent response, I’m mystified by its vehemence. Apparently reality on the ground is somehow objectionable and something we should no longer discuss. The blithe rejection of previous prediction (or worse an apparent ignorance) of increasing prevalence of new atmospheric circulation patterns of the kind we had an example of early last week hints at a growing gap in their understanding that is very disconcerting.

      But I can’t stop them from wearing their chosen blindfolds. I simply refuse to do the same.

      In the end, I’d say they don’t take issue with me. Instead, they seem to take issue with Francis, Hansen and observational based threat analysis in general. Sad to see, really.

      Reply
  47. Phil

     /  November 30, 2014

    I see some reports that there might be some possibility for some new WWB activity in the Western Pacific due to MJO becoming more active and also possibily of some cyclone activity from early to mid December. If this occurs, and depending upon the strength, it might reinforce a move towards El Nino. The last EKW is due to surface soon on South American coast so any new WWB’s might generate another follow up EKW.

    If the cyclone’s emerge and are strong enough and positioned correctly (which is very uncertain at this stage), they might also produce the final flip needed for full atmospheric feedback consistent with El Nino.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.

    Reply
  48. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 30, 2014

    Our planet may be on the verge of its sixth mass extinction

    I would consider removing the “may be” from the title.

    “We have killed about 50 percent of the world’s vertebrate wildlife in just the past 40 years,” he says. “We’ve killed half the numbers of individuals. We’ve fished 90 percent of the fish out of the seas. So these are big things we’re doing to the world.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/28/we-may-be-on-the-verge-of-the-sixth-mass-extinction/?tid=trending_strip_6

    Reply
  49. Ouse M.D.

     /  November 30, 2014

    I guess recent leaks are soft- preparing us for this attempt (unknown succes rate/ adverse affect 2,1- 4,0 B people):

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22429974.000-geoengineering-the-planet-first-experiments-take-shape.html#.VHsMi9KG-aU

    Reply
    • So we geoengineer to prevent warming and in the process play more havoc with the weather. All the while, ocean acidification still results in an ocean extinction. And, in the end, the warming is essentially delayed.

      At best a stopgap. At worst a rather dangerous dead end excursion.

      Reply
  50. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 30, 2014

    When the wheels were falling off the compound interest colossus, Secretary of our Treasury, Henry Paulson, delivered the infallible solution by going to THE gospel of growth.

    Growth = more compound interest payments by the toiling & producing proles to the holders of capital (money).

    Said Henry; “WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO GET THE CREDIT THAT THEY NEED.”

    Now we have more creative credit, as in Fingerhut.

    Don’t deny yourself – take what you want & pay plenty for it.

    https://www.fingerhut.com/api/user/creditApplication/presentCreditApplication.do?emailAddress=

    Reply
  51. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 30, 2014

    Ouse M.D; The Royal Society advocates conducting “field experiments in solar geoengineering,”

    “Solar radiation management” – a cooling solution to the heating problem.

    This is very logical & science is experiment, right?

    Here is the lead to the journalist’s piece; “IF WE can’t reduce emissions enough, what else can cool the planet? We need to find out if geoengineering works, and soon, say a group of atmospheric scientists.”

    from The Royal Society’s abstract;
    “The proposals were generated with contributions from leading researchers at a workshop held in March 2014 at which the proposals were critically reviewed. The proposed research dealt with three major classes of SRM proposals: marine cloud brightening, stratospheric aerosols and cirrus cloud manipulation.”

    Native Russian researchers Igor Semiletov & Natalia Shakhova are the foremost arctic methane researchers, empiricists, & experimenters; who have painstakenly gathered the best data about the material & physical causes of runaway (fatal) planetary heating.

    As we know, S & S were not invited to the very same Royal Society’s recent meeting about critical arctic heating

    S & S’s TEN YEARS of experiments & observations were both ignored & even denigrated.

    Feynman’s definition that science is experiment may need some severe manipulation & yuppie management, eh?

    Ahhh, management!

    Who do the managers work for?

    Reply
  52. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 30, 2014

    Who do the managers work for?

    Marx’s materialist interpretation of human society & history – a refutation of ideationism as historical explanation.

    We do not need to be hard nosed Marxists filled with dialectical flim-flam in order to respect a scientific materialist view of human society & what conditions human behavior.

    “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.”

    ― Karl Marx, The German Ideology

    Reply
    • RWood

       /  November 30, 2014

      In this article,
      https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-war-on-terror-and-press-freedoms/
      Greenwald cites Risen:
      “It is difficult to recognize the limits a society places on accepted thought at the time it is doing it. ”
      as well as:
      “I was trying to understand how we could have this prolonged period of war with such little debate. And I think it’s both economic incentives and personal power incentives and ambition and status.”
      Risen was focusing on the Iraq and Afghanistan (and…), but there’s another war on and has been for decades longer.

      Reply
      • Gerald Spezio

         /  November 30, 2014

        One million innocent Iraqis murdered in cold blood.
        An entire ancient culture reduced to rubble & starvation.
        Israel’s foremost military opponent incapable of mounting a soccer game or keeping the lights on.
        The whole bloodthirsty technological & military fiasco based on engineered lies & deceit from the top echelons of elected & representative government.
        “Mission accomplished” alright.

        The Ultimate Revolution
        “There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”

        – Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961

        Reply
  53. wili

     /  November 30, 2014

    On RealClimate’s November’s open thread, this thread is referenced at #365:

    “I’m soliciting opinions about this work:

    The Polar Circulation is So Wrecked That Surface Winds Now Rotate Around Greenland
    https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/something-our-weather-models-arent-used-to-surface-winds-now-encircle-greenland/

    [Response: It’s akin to predicting weather with a dowsing rod. He’s taking snapshots of circulation and pretending that this is predictive – it’s pure wishful thinking. – gavin]

    Comment by catman306 — 28 Nov 2014 @ 2:54 PM”

    I don’t really understand Gavin (Schmidt)’s objection. What prediction does he think Robert is making that he finds to be “pure wishful thinking,” exactly?

    Reply
    • Gerald Spezio

       /  November 30, 2014

      Robert’s position meets all criteria for a scientific hypothesis.

      Indeed, it is a shining example of a scientific claim about what the world is doing.

      It is both predictive & testable.

      Again, we are back to modeler Schmidt’s very unscientific & very cavalier rejection of Semiletov & Shakhova’s empirical observations of methane release in the Arctic.

      Who is Schmidt working for & how in the name of science was he appointed to replace an objective empirical & unabashedly predictive scientist like James Hansen?

      “You don’t have to be a weatherman (like John-the-mystifier-Coleman at the Weather Channel) know which way the wind blows.”

      Reply
    • The response from climate modelers to valuable observational data has, of late, been very disappointing. A kind of cultish rejection of reality as is that calls into question whether what we’re modeling are actual physical mechanisms or, rather, and increasingly out-moded 20th Century mirage.

      Reply
  54. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 30, 2014

    Long suffering Schmidt needs a sound lesson in Bayesian updates, hard-nosed empiricism, & maximum entropy.

    The son-of-a-bitch is giving science a black eye.
    http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/honesty-in-inference

    Reply
  55. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 30, 2014

    from Tommaso Toffoli’s succinct piece above, “Honesty in Inference.”

    Physicist Edwin T. Jaynes spent a lifetime trying tried to tell the scientific world that probabilities represent a state of knowledge about the world – not the intrinsic properties of the world.

    “The idea that probabilities are physically real things based ultimately on observed frequencies of random variables,” Jaynes writes (referring to the frequentist view), “underlies most recent expositions of probability theory, which would seem to make it a branch of experimental science.”

    “To give examples of “physical considerations that show the fundamental difficulty with the notion of a ‘random’ experiment,” Jaynes demonstrates how to cheat at coin and die tossing, discusses the probability of bridge hands and shows that frequentists will dump their cherished notion of probability as the “limit of an infinite sequence of identical random experiments” as soon as they are confronted with a questionable shuffler.

    Are probabilities, then, just in our mind? “Our probabilities and the entropies based on them are indeed ‘subjective’ in the sense that they represent human information,” Jaynes noted in his 1990 article “Probabilities in quantum theory” (in Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information, edited by Wojciech H. Zurek [Addison-Wesley]).

    If they did not, they could not serve their purpose. But they are completely “objective” in the sense that they are determined by the information specified [i.e., the prior X, via the inference machine], independent of anyone’s personality, opinions, or hopes.”

    ———

    Theoretician/modeler Schmidt has openly & laughingly rejected “experimental” scientists S&S’s mandatory empirical updates.

    Now the doubletalking bastard accuses Robert of doing bad science by making empirical claims.

    Schmidt should have gone into law.

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  November 30, 2014

      Gerald, your astute observation of Schmidt instantly brought to mind another high ranking Theoretician/modeler, Paul Krugman, who also has been publicly lashing out at anyone and everyone for pointing out the mismatch between observable reality and their vaunted theories.

      Reply
      • A-man…

        I think that’s another rather false comparison. Not going to let the comments here be used as a platform for politically motivated attacks on Krugman who, as it were, is quite salient when it comes to climate change.

        Reply
  56. Gerald Spezio

     /  November 30, 2014

    Let’s not forget that Schmidt’s fellow mystifier & crypto-scientist, Trenberth, claims that the meandering jet stream causes Arctic heating.
    What causes the meandering jet stream, pray tell?
    Serendipity?
    A flapping butterfly in Hong Kong?
    Can you read a thermometer?

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  November 30, 2014

      Gerald, if one pays careful attention to body language and tone you can see Trenberth (and others) ooze oodles of irritation at the mere mention of Jennifer Francis. You can see them squirming with effort as they subdue their male ego to stop short of saying she should go play with her Barbies.

      Reply
  57. Thanks for this post. It is otherwise difficult to find out this kind of information.

    Reply
  58. Colorado Bob

     /  November 30, 2014

    More hell for France –
    “I’m 42 and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Kristel Gregori, who lives in Argeles, near the Massane, a stream that often dries up, but has turned into a 20-metre wide deluge inundating dozens of parked cars.
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/11/30/french-floods-force-1500-homes

    I have seen that same comment over, and over, and over , “I’ve never seen anything like it,”

    It is the defining phrase of our age, ……………. “I’ve never seen anything like it,”

    All over our entire world .

    Reply
    • RWood

       /  November 30, 2014

      That and “…is greater than scientists/researchers had previously believed.”

      Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  November 30, 2014

      Thanks, tweeted with a different quote: “Weeks of successive storms and flooding” …

      Reply
  59. Colorado Bob

     /  November 30, 2014

    Scientists: Climate change means sicker world for sea life

    It’s not clear if a virus wiping out millions of sea stars is being influenced by climate change. But scientists say rising temperatures likely will make ocean disease outbreaks more problematic in the future.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2025131826_seastarfolodiseasexml.html

    Reply
  60. Colorado Bob

     /  November 30, 2014

    It’s not clear if a virus wiping out millions of sea stars is being influenced by climate change. But scientists say rising temperatures likely will make ocean disease outbreaks more problematic in the future.

    What I fine interesting is that honey bees in Britain are under attack by a parasite in their gut that gains an advantage in a warming world. For me, this under lines what is coming , that the natural world is reordering its self now, and not sometime in the future. All of this change is landing on our door steps now, not in sometime in the future.

    Reply
    • The virus follows the spread of warming waters northward. How much clearer can it be?

      Reply
      • Yes, the heat, and there is a lot of nutrient overload via nitrogen pollution etc. going into the that same ocean.– and with acidification the entire chemistry is going to extremes for all aquatic biota.

        Reply
  61. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 30, 2014

    The 2 reservoir systems that Sao Paolo county can draw from are now at 8.8% and 5.7% capacity. The primary one is the larger of the 2.

    I would suspect that water quality is descending and what is left may be subject to algae (standing water, summer, sunlight), contaminants and accumulated AG runoff.

    For the month, they are 20% below normal overall. Not great, not good but at least something. The 135mm at Sistema Cantareira this month bought them a total of 5 to 10 days of water.

    The decline has dropped to 0.1%/day. This implies water shutoffs or reduced pressure as hoarding is occurring which would cause 0.2% to 0.25% bumps when full pressure / flow is available.

    Without significant inputs Sistema Alto Tiete will be finished (0%) around Feb 5th. Sistema Cantareira will reach 0% around March 5th.

    Average For November
    ~163 mm – Sistema Cantareira
    ~130 mm – Sistema Alto Tiete

    2013 – November Monthly Total
    ~97 mm – Sistema Cantareira (74% of normal)
    ~120 mm – Sistema Alto Tiete (92% of normal)

    2014 – November Monthly Total
    ~135 mm – Sistema Cantareira (79% of normal)
    ~108 mm – Sistema Alto Tiete (83% of normal)

    November looks similar to last year. December normal are >200mm so we’ll see how the balance of the year pans out.

    Reply
    • Thanks for this assessment, Andy.

      Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  November 30, 2014

      This it the wet season in that part of the world. What rain they get is the equivalent of a token interest payment on a massive un-payable principle. When the dry season arrives, we could see a major human disaster. Meanwhile, the ECHO of a thousands of screaming chainsaws continues unabated throughout Amazonian. CUT BABY CUT!

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 30, 2014

        What we are going to start seeing more and more (and already are in some places) is a domino effect of cascading calamities. If SP water fails, many will rush to Rio, but then that city will fall…

        This is kind of already happening in the East Mediterranean–Syria is one of the places in the world that has heated up and dried out the fastest; this is an important but little-covered aspect of the conflicts there. Now there are huge numbers of refugees fleeing from there to other mostly-already-stressed areas like Greece–also a place that has seen major decreases in rainfall, on top of and contributing to their other economic woes.

        So if that state collapses under the weight of all that misery, do the now-even-larger group of refugees go to Italy or Spain next? Two more countries also suffering from drought (and deluge) and (not unrelated) economic turmoil…?

        The same thing is likely about to happen with California: Where will the people from the most populous state in the Union go if there is not enough water in the system to keep them alive? Las Vegas?? Phoenix?? Those places are already approaching crisis levels of water shortage, as is much of the rest of the West and South West US.

        Local crises of this magnitude, whether they happen in the coming year, or in the coming decades, are not likely to remain local or even regional–they will affect whole countries, whole continents, and beyond. And the tightly interlinked nature of the global economy also insures that total calamity in one major business center like Sao Paulo will have major effects throughout the world.

        And I’m sure RS, COBob, and others will keep us abreast of the unfolding sh!t storms as they hit! Thanks for that!! ‘-)

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  November 30, 2014

        Yemen, average rainfall = 134 mm / year (13cm or ~6.5 inches). Saana is pegged by some to be the first rainfall free large city in the world. Not sure how accurate that is, but with a population of 24 million (105 / sq mile), it is difficult to determine what will happen.

        =================================================

        Sao Paolo City has a density of ~9000 people per sq mile. (1968 sq miles, ~17.7 million).

        Brazil average use, 170 litres / day.

        Average Usage = 1.53 million litres / day per sq mile. (~ 1/2 billion litres / yr).

        They require ~7.8mm / day continuously (assuming zero loss, zero evaporation, 100% usable) to maintain a zero sum balance for this as a closed system.

        1050 mm / year average rain fall for Sao Paolo average (2000 – 2012 average). This generates 2.87mm / day average.

        Now one would factor in the watershed area (so the 2.87mm would apply to a larger area increasing available water), as well as run off, outflows, loss, ground absorption ( reductions).

        So if we look at this on a state level.
        ============================

        There are ~95,000 sq miles in Sao Paolo State, population ~40 million (421 / sq mile population).

        Average usage @ 170 litres/day = ~26 million litres / year per sq mile. This requires 1.25 mm / day.

        Not factored in thus rendering all the above calculations suspicious.

        >AG usage, run off, outflows, ground absorption, industrial usage, water supply leaks, actual usable water shed size, evaporation.

        Reply
  62. I understand what everyone is saying about Gavin Schmidt. I keep think that his position at GISS is too political. He has a lot to worry about with the possibility of full GOP control post 2016 (depressing I know). He still gets hounded/trolled every month on twitter ect in response to surface temp data. His cautious approach includes bashing less conservative ideas about climate change. I’m not saying I like it but it seems to be the strategy he is using.

    I don’t think Gavin wants to even suggest that any new hypothesis might be correct before it’s long established. He has little to gain and much credibility to lose if gets too caught up in it. The increasing evidence backing Francis’s theory may reach a level of acceptance soon, however.

    Reply
    • Well then, tell Gavin I’m happy to provide him with some cover. But also tell him he can lay off a little bit, perhaps deciding to attack 50% of the new thinking rather than 90%.

      Reply
      • Yeah exactly, he could seriously be less of a d.%^&k about it.

        Reply
      • doug

         /  November 30, 2014

        Robert, you talk about Gavin laying off on you, but to my knowledge, this is the first time he’s ever acknowledged your existence. (Understandable, since you are a blogger who isn’t a scientist) Whereas, you’ve criticize him several times. Or am I wrong?

        Reply
        • Doug —

          Since when does asking Gavin to lay off attacking 40% of the new scientific thinking make my statement entirely about this blog? I must say you have a talent for taking things out of context.

          Regarding the exchange between this blog and RC, we’ve been fielding criticisms from Dr Archer for the past two years. Ever since RC became openly hostile to some of the Arctic methane science. A stance that resulted in much reduced overall coverage of the issue in the broader science media. Hopefully, this damage to coverage from attacks coming from two mainstream scientists will not result in a dangerous failure to forecast. But, for my own part, I’m not going to back away from coverage of that particular potential tipping point and leave that failure resting on my conscience.

          Gavin has answered questions from Wili before on other issues we’ve raised here. I’d considered many of them more cordial, even if I disagreed on the particulars. The most recent, however, was far less than simply critical and, as we’ve seen with Gavin toward other scientists recently, far more an unwarranted hostility.

          The post itself was not directed toward Gavin. If so, it would have mentioned him. I mentioned the BBC article as it was related to a weather model failure to track the Morocco weather system which any fool can plainly see was associated with the displaced circulation over Greenland, a persistent deep trough in this region, and patterns that have clearly come to be associated with increasing polar amplification RE Francis et al.

      • wili

         /  November 30, 2014

        That’s a somewhat misleading title, since about 4/5ths of the deaths are from something other than direct results of GW, as pointed out just a few sentences into the article:

        “Pollution, indoor smoke, and occupational hazards related to the carbon economy cause the rest of those 5 million deaths through ailments like skin and lung cancer.”

        Not to minimize the effect. I actually think it is grossly understated, since other studies have pointed out how violence of various sorts is increased by GW, and they don’t seem to have counted those fatalities here.

        Reply
  63. Ouse M.D.

     /  November 30, 2014

    I suppose these guys haven’t heard of polar amplification.
    That minus 18 Celsius to preserve those seeds.
    The whole video trying to sell a story that our technology at hand (geo- engineering) and some “human” bravery will do the trick.

    Reply
    • Overall, it’s a good presentation. I find the math RE continuing fossil fuel use to be quite impressive. Overall, a much better approach to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels.

      The more you scratch the surface, the more it becomes painfully obvious that fossil fuel dependence is a resource curse.

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  November 30, 2014

        Your jumping to conclusions Robert. My comparison was that Krugman defends his economic models in the same fashion that Schmidt defends his climate models. Like spoiled brats. Both men are ignoring real world results and attacking/belittling people who are pointing this out and asking legitimate questions. You may want to consider that not all commenters here were born and raised in the U.S. and do not view every single issue as left or right. I have never met any Canadian that defined themselves by their political affiliation; “I’m a New Democrat” or “I’m a Progressive Conservative” It is more like ” I voted New Democrat” or ‘I voted PC” There is a long history in my country of voting for the platform/policies or even the leader. Although things here, like everywhere, have become more polarized with corporate capture.

        Reply
        • I see quite a lot of political back and forth between Krugman and the right over issues like inflation (Krugman has so far been correct) and employment.

          I do see Krugman defending the usefulness of models, but I also see this:

          http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/27/too-much-faith-in-models-capital-taxation-edition/?_r=0

          Krugman notes what should be obvious to the independent thinker — models are useful, can often provide accurate predictions, but sometimes they are wrong. It would be refreshing to see some similar level of perspective from RC on the specific issues of Arctic atmospheric circulation change and Arctic carbon release.

          Perhaps, in this exchange, I’m not seeing the other Keynesian type economists that Krugman is belittling or attacking? Because, if that is the case, then it may well be a somewhat apt comparison.

          But if it’s just this continued exchange between Krugman and his neo-liberal/Hayek based critics, then, yes, it’s absolutely a political/polarized exchange and you can’t really take it out of that context without completely ignoring the ideological factions within economics itself. And, in general, when it comes to Krugman vs the Hayek types, Krugman has been vastly more accurate.

      • mikkel

         /  December 1, 2014

        In this comparison,

        Krugman = mainstream climate modellers,
        Hayek = “skeptics” and
        post-keynesians like Steve Keen or ecological economists = you

        Krugman is fine for talking about current mechanisms, but denies basic things like limits to growth
        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/07/slow-steaming-and-the-supposed-limits-to-growth/?_r=0

        and also debt mechanics. Both things which should be very obvious by now to at least carefully study.

        Reply
        • Thanks, Mikkel. Hadn’t seen this part of the debate.

          My own view of limits is more nuanced than most (ie the more fossil fuel use, the more eminent and immediate the limits). But I’d take issue with a base denial of limits.

  64. Andy in San Diego

     /  November 30, 2014

    Western Water Movements

    If you peruse the various water storage facilities, you’ll see a lot of recent movement between reservoirs.

    Water was moved from Powell to Mead to Havasu. California is exercising their seniority rights and drawing down their water.

    Powell is down 1 million acre ft for this time of year. 49% capacity.
    Mead is down 26 million acre feet. 39% capacity.
    Havasu is at about 10,000 acre feet above. 93% capacity.

    Primary rights / users of water in Havasu are Los Angeles followed by San Diego. Perhaps this is being used to offset the lack of north / south canal delivery from the Sierras?

    If this is another thin winter for snow pack in the Sierras, then L.A / San Diego has to draw from Havasu. If the snow pack above Powell is thin as well, then it leaves Nevada, Arizona, Mexico in a bind.

    The north / south transfer would reduce further, to be offset by Havasu. Havasu will need to be replenshed by Mead. Mead needs to be fed by Powell. Mead is at 1084 ft. At 1075 ft by agreement Nevada, Arizona, Mexico suffer water cuts.

    That is only 9 ft from where it is today.

    Even with the water transfer to Havasu, this year there has only been 1.1 million acre feet of out flow from Mead (9 million is required), ~12% of the required outflow.

    There is not much room left to maneuver. Another thin winter and we’ll see some agreements being drawn into the court system, emergency attempts at injunctions against said agreements, potential seizing of water and maybe an international dispute. By agreement, Mexico is able to store the water they own in Lake Mead. What happens when they say “send my water down”?

    http://lakemead.water-data.com/

    Reply
  65. Baker

     /  December 1, 2014

    A very good article, that’s really crazy. So this pattern will continue and reoccur ever more often?
    The consequences are cold waves in North America and hardly any winter weather in entire Europe for most of the following (how many) years? The cold waves will also weaken, so could it change again then?
    At the moment, there are no heavy storms in the UK yet and high pressure over continental Europe with colder surface air, but (very) warm air at 850 millibars. Could it change again to a 2013/14 pattern around Christmas or this time the Siberian cold core moves south-west into Europe comparable to the US November situation? I also fear snow will be extremely rare again.
    I’d be glad if you could answer my questions.

    Reply
    • Hello Baker, and thanks for the questions. Some I can answer with moderate confidence. Others, less so.

      1. Will the crazy pattern occur more often?
      Yes. We’ll see more heat over the Arctic Ocean regions with polar amplification during winter. We’ll see the cold air tend to disperse toward Greenland and Asia. This pattern will continue if negative feedbacks from Greenland melt and warming in the tropics aren’t powerful enough to over-ride, which they may or may not be by mid century. (Moderate)

      2. How many years? Very tough to answer with high confidence. Probably what we see is the increased planetary wave pattern at the poles coming into conflict with a warming equator by mid century. This is potentially a very intense storm track. (Moderate)

      3. Cold waves in NA are associated with the displacement of the cold air core toward Greenland. That relocation will almost certainly continue so long as there are large ice sheets over Greenland. (Moderate-high)

      4. Recession of European winter is related to warming of the Barents, Kara, and Arctic Ocean near Svalbard. Alternate cold air influx from the Greenland trough cannot be entirely ruled out. Anomalous warming over Asia during some winters make this pattern less certain overall.

      5. Return to UK storms of 2013/2014. Depends on the persistence of the cold air displacement over Greenland/Canada, and how the storm track lines up along the leading edge. Like last year, the strong lows have tended to form off the tip of Greenland and a few have made the charge toward Europe. A strange prevalence of lows heading toward Spain and North Africa have recently emerged as well. The warm air winding up over Svalbard is also a feature this year, which could be an indicator (today, I have 0.5 C temps 30 miles south of the North Pole). Chances will increase if we see a return of the deep dipoles that were so prevalent last year.

      Overall, it looks like the North Atlantic and regions nearby see high risk of very stormy winters going forward. Lows will tend to bomb out off Greenland in an increasingly intense storm generation zone as warm air is increasingly cycled around that frozen, melting mass and as ice melt from receding glaciers shives cold water southward.

      6. Snow rarity/frequency Europe. With the cold pole tending to develop more toward Central Asia and with the south-north flow toward Svalbard also emerging, it appears European snowfall could be a bit complex this year, with less for the UK, Norway, and Southern Europe, but potentially more for Central Europe.

      Overall, I honestly think it would be helpful if some big egos were set aside and some in depth work was done to develop models based of Francis’ work. Couldn’t hurt to pull Hansen out of semi-retirement to collaborate.

      Reply
    • Baker —

      May want to take a look at this for context:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gAiA-_iQjdU

      Reply
  66. Robert,
    You and Colorado Bob are amazing.
    All that evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

    Reply
  67. Jay M

     /  December 1, 2014

    At present we are getting some early season rain in the SF bay area. Not huge juicy fronts, but for instance, the latest dropping 1″ in San Jose vs. .5″ in SF, Oakland, higher where you get the tropospheric lift of the Santa Cruz Mt. or Mayacamas in the north bay. Good to see rain.

    Reply
  68. wili

     /  December 1, 2014

    It looks like the polar vortex has basically split in two. Is that common? http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/70hPa/orthographic=-15.56,74.65,282

    Reply
    • Ouse M.D.

       /  December 1, 2014

      Damn, first I read this article by Robert, I was fearing that this may have had happened…

      Reply
      • wili

         /  December 2, 2014

        It looks like a SSW was responsible for this, and probably for the high temperatures near the pole that rs mentioned. Unfortunately I’m too cussedly lazy to track down the data to show exactly where, when, how and why the SSW occurred (in my defense, though, I _do_ have a day job, kinda).

        Reply
    • That’s exactly what’s happened, Wili. And we have 33 F temps within 30 miles of the North Pole right now. So good catch.

      This is not common, nor is it normal. Last winter, these patterns set off a range of quite extreme weather. A direct upshot of warming in the Arctic Ocean zone.

      Reply
  69. Apneaman

     /  December 1, 2014

    How melting Arctic ice is driving harsh winters

    “Scientists now have evidence that these persistent extreme weather patterns are increasing in their frequency, due to the rapid heating up of the Arctic that is changing the behaviour of the jet stream, and in turn, the polar vortex.

    And Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, one of the leading US scientists studying the relationship between Arctic warming and changes in the jet stream, believes that it’s thanks to ‘global warming’ that northern hemisphere weather is becoming more extreme – and it’s not about to get any better.”

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2014/11/how-melting-arctic-ice-is-driving-harsh.html

    Reply
  70. Apneaman

     /  December 1, 2014

    Robert. I should have been specific when I brought up Krugman. His belittling of Richard Heinburg and others in this opinion piece is ludicrous. Heinburg is one of the most knowledgeable, rational and well spoken people out there on all of our predicaments. Anyone who thinks the economy can grow and successfully fight climate change at the same time is delusional. Growth is what got us here. It does not matter if Krugman and everyone else on the planet agrees that climate change is happening if they think we can fight it with the same behavior that caused it. Continuing to preach and practice the religion of growth is a guaranteed death sentence.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/opinion/paul-krugman-could-fighting-global-warming-be-cheap-and-free.html?_r=0

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  December 1, 2014

      Here is Richard Heinburg’s response.

      http://www.postcarbon.org/paul-krugmans-errors-and-omissions/

      Reply
      • Sadly, this link isn’t working for me. I’ll give it a shot tomorrow.

        Reply
      • Got it.

        I think this is an appropriate response to Krugman, though I may differ ever so slightly with Heinberg on some of the finer points on fossil fuels.

        The level of discourse is much more congenial, in my view, overall.

        Thanks for the links and discussion.

        Reply
      • Just a technical detail – he is Richard Heinberg😉

        Reply
      • A-man

        In general, I don’t think Krugman is quite so far off from Heinberg. Heinberg points toward prosperity and sustainability through rejection of fossil fuels, lowering consumption and changing economic structures to de-emphasize capitalistic style growth. Krugman focuses on the first two while seeming to believe that the growth based structures within economies need little modification.

        But, in practice, if you rapidly reduce fossil fuel consumption and switch to energy bases that are more decentralized, the current growth model tends to become obsolete, necessitating the kinds of changes Heinberg points to.

        I think Krugman, like me, is probably a little mystified by some who seem to think switching energy away from FF will wreck economies wholesale rather than helping to spur a kind of sustainability renaissance. Heinberg, for his part, should recognize improvements in renewable EROEI as they continue to progress. That point, together with what appears to be a pair of differing perspectives on the nature of growth and needed system changes probably best defines the difference.

        As for the me vs Gavin comparison… I find many, many things I can agree with Gavin on the broader issue of climate science. Yet I am disturbed by what appears to be growing attacks on those concerned about potentially catastrophic climate change. Unlike his predecessor, Hansen, who acknowledged a potential for catastrophic events outside the present science, and who understood well the links between extreme weather and a changing climate, Gavin has tended to spend a high amount of intellectual and professional capital refuting and obstructing efforts to explore and raise warnings about potential Arctic tipping points. These include public criticism of certain scientists such as Wadhams, S&S, and, recently, Dr Francis. Interspersed with these criticisms are an increasing number of ad hominem attacks.

        Overall, I’d call this a disturbing trend that is suppressive toward any brand of scientific exploration with which Gavin does not personally agree. It has come to the point, apparently, where Gavin is attempting to act as gatekeeper on these matters. My view is that this is a bad shift. A shift from using his platform at RC to defend against attacks from climate change deniers to instead pushing forward a domination of the scientific discourse.

        Such action bears similarities to past periods in the sciences where one view held sway, to the detriment of the sciences overall. One can take an example from the period in which impact extinction theory dominated the deep earth history sciences. During this period, every great extinction had to have its big impactor. Other brands of extinction phenomena out of the scientific vogue were not supported — despite a heap of evidence for, say, hothouse extinction theory.

        A similar calcification, one that closes the door on efforts to monitor tipping points, to explore catastrophic potentials outside the mainstream science, and to provide warnings for potential worst cases, would be a blow to awareness and preparedness in a world where the current rate of greenhouse gas emission is more rapid than at any time in the geological record.

        In other words, there was almost certainly no time like the present when the forces wrenching the world climate system were as magnified or as dangerous as they are now.

        As for Gavin’s snide remark on my article …

        I’m rather mystified that my suggestion to include observed polar amplification and its related and observed impacts to NH polar circulation in both weather reporting and weather forecast modeling has been compared to the use of a dowsing rod.
        As BBC notes, the weather models failed to predict the Moroccan floods of last month during a period in which polar amplification related cold air excursions over Greenland wrenched North Atlantic weather systems out of their typical patterns.

        I find it to be base common sense that if the weather models are not performing, then a review of base conditions is called for. But, perhaps, it is better to ignore weather model failures in order to avoid the ‘dowsing rod’ approach altogether?

        Under increased atmospheric moisture loading due to current human warming, we can expect more extreme precipitation events. Is it a dowsing rod approach to ask if weather models include the new moisture loading in their forecasts? Is it a dowsing rod approach to suggest that meteorologists include an explanation of the facts at hand that, yes, the atmosphere is more loaded with moisture and, yes, we can expect more extreme rainfall due to climate change.

        Gavin’s a busy guy. He’s got climate change deniers attacking GISS atmospheric warming data from every angle imaginable. And one has to wonder if the constant pressure has him a bit rattled. One has to wonder if he feels the need to show these hounds that he’s not the alarmist they say he is. And so he offers us up as ‘the real alarmists’ Wadhams, Francis, S&S and now the tiny, insignificant, blogger that is me.

        Ritual sacrifices to the slavering and destructive deniers jerking poor Gavin’s chain every time he mentions the word climate change.

        So if the message from Gavin is — shut up scribbler, we can’t talk about polar amplification, or meandering polar vortexes, or cold air displacements over Greenland, or troubling Arctic methane spikes, or weather models muddled by impacts related to climate change. Shut up scribbler because it’s our job to dutifully spout out only the base data, but not to interpret it or give it too much context, to to throw very much light on risk, especially not outside risk.

        Well, if that’s the message, then I’m going to have to politely decline.

        And as for the spate of attacks, all I have to say is watch out to anyone that covers or is concerned about the same issues I cover here. Because we, according to Gavin, are now just a bunch of dowsing rod bearing witches…

        Reply
    • Got it. Now I see the comparison.

      My general opinion is that jettisoning fossil fuels would have a better result than some suggest.

      That said, if you can’t later decarbonize agriculture and bend the population curve to net negative, you still run into limits. It just takes longer for them to emerge.

      It’s worth noting that Limits authors found sustainability through a combination of renewable/low pollution but tech based societies that stabilized their populations at around 2-4 billion by 2100.

      My view is that Krugman isn’t all wrong, he just de-emphasizes some important bits. And if we keep growing materials consumption, energy consumption, and overall population, there’s trouble in the pipe.

      Not a good idea to ignore Heinberg entirely.

      Reply
    • Here is THE GREAT MAN in all his glaring Kantian pure reason, anti-empiricism, anti-science, & anti-confirmation.

      Hayek claims that HIS origins are empirical, but goes on to clearly state that his entire theory has absolutely nothing to do with experience or empiricism.

      IT IS THE ECONOMICS OF HUMAN ACTION!

      Human action only starts with empiricism, but is carried forth by pure reason.

      But Hayek has the audacity to call his wordsmithing; science; as in Krugman, Summers, & the entire farce of economics.

      Talk about word games & buzzwords like; “singularity,” “spontaneous order,” & “catallaxy.”

      Krugman take note.

      “Spontaneous order” is similar to the spontaneous generation of maggots but somewhat different because this is “economic science.”

      Hayek is so bad – he is a singularity.

      DO LIBERTARIANS READ WHAT THE MASTER HATH SAID?

      His all explanatory origins resemble the origins of GAWD(S); Abraham, Moses, Mohammad, Bhuddah, Vishnu, Odin, the Man, the Woman, the universe, & Sweet Baby Jesus at Yuletide.

      IN THE GREAT MAN’S OWN WORDS – BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
      HE REALLY SAYS THIS.
      I JUST COPIED IT ALL.

      In “Economics and Knowledge” (1937) Fredrick Hayek expounds the empirical origins of his theory.

      “The problem which we pretend to solve is how the spontaneous interaction of a number of people, each possessing only bits of knowledge, brings about a state of affairs in which prices correspond to costs, etc., and which could be brought about by deliberate direction only by somebody who possessed the combined knowledge of all those individuals. Experience shows us that something of this sort does happen, since the empirical observation that prices do tend to correspond to costs was the beginning of our science.”

      BUT; Hayek openly posits pure reason “& singularity” as the REAL foudational basis of his theory of human action – no empiricism required!

      The Singularity of Economics

      “What assigns economics its peculiar and unique position in the orbit both of pure knowledge and of the practical utilization of knowledge is the fact that its particular theorems are not open to any verification or falsification on the ground of experience.

      HAYEK SAYS; “… THE FACT THAT ITS PARTICULAR THEOREMS ARE NOT OPEN TO ANY VERIFICATION OF FALSIFICATION ON THE GROUND OF EXPERIENCE.”

      HAYEK’S OPENLY UNSCIENTIFIC MADNESS STANDS AS A TRIBUTE TO OUR HUMAN CAPACITY TO GO ON & ON ABOUT PURE NONSENSE & CLAIM IT AS WORTHY OF OUR RESPECT.

      HAYEK’S FOLLOWING PURE SCRIPTURE IS PURE EMPIRICAL CONFIRMATION OF HIS PURE MADNESS.

      “Of course, a measure suggested by sound economic reasoning results in producing the effects aimed at, and a measure suggested by faulty economic reasoning fails to produce the ends sought. But such experience is always still historical experience, i.e., the experience of complex phenomena. It can never, as has been pointed out, prove or disprove any particular theorem. The application of spurious economic theorems results in undesired consequences. But these effects never have that undisputable power of conviction which the experimental facts in the field of the natural sciences provide. The ultimate yardstick of an economic theorem’s correctness or incorrectness is solely reason unaided by experience.”

      FROM; Von Mises’ HUMAN ACTION 1949

      Reply
  71. Here is more economics as engineering & science from a another master manipulator.

    Naomi Klein on Larry Summers claiming that his Economic Axioms are established science & infallible truth.

    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 confused citizens to understand that; “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
  72. In case you missed the pure wisdom of it all.

    “The ultimate yardstick of an economic theorem’s correctness or incorrectness is solely
    reason unaided by experience.”

    from; Von Mises, HUMAN ACTION, 1949

    Economics is special, as in narcissism & elitism.

    Know the wisdom of your betters; lest you fall by the “intellectual” wayside.

    “There is no idea too preposterous that some intellectual won’t believe it.” George Orwell.

    Reply
  73. Given that we a have also a chaos in oil/commodity markets, this reference seems very appropriate (Lenton et a., 2012):

    “Early warning of climate tipping points from critical slowing down: comparing methods to improve robustness”

    We address whether robust early warning signals can, in principle, be provided before
    a climate tipping point is reached, focusing on methods that seek to detect critical
    slowing down as a precursor of bifurcation.

    http://paperity.org/p/48594449/early-warning-of-climate-tipping-points-from-critical-slowing-down-comparing-methods-to

    best,

    Alex

    Reply
  74. Mikkel recommended this piece by Krugman – … “Slow steaming & the SUPPOSED limits to Growth.” (emphasis mine)

    C. P Snows’ famous TWO CULTURES thesis in the raw.

    Does Krugman’s believe that his economic reasoning & theorems transcend the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

    Does Krugman even know the Second Law of Thermo?

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/07/slow-steaming-and-the-supposed-limits-to-growth/?_r=0

    Reply
  75. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 1, 2014

    Saw this on the local news website this morning. Looks like we may get some rain, but perhaps not how we needed it. 4″ over 2 weeks is much better than in one day.

    “A Pacific storm system was expected to hit San Diego County on Tuesday with up to 4 inches of rain and the possibility of flash flooding, forecasters said Sunday.”

    Reply
  76. Second Law of Thermodynamics – The Laws of Heat Power
    The Second Law of Thermodynamics is one of three Laws of Thermodynamics. The term “thermodynamics” comes from two root words: “thermo,” meaning heat, and “dynamic,” meaning power. Thus, the Laws of Thermodynamics are the Laws of “Heat Power.” As far as we can tell, these Laws are absolute. All things in the observable universe are affected by and obey the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    The First Law of Thermodynamics, commonly known as the Law of Conservation of Matter, states that matter/energy cannot be created nor can it be destroyed. The quantity of matter/energy remains the same. It can change from solid to liquid to gas to plasma and back again, but the total amount of matter/energy in the universe remains constant.

    Second Law of Thermodynamics – Increased Entropy
    The Second Law of Thermodynamics is commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy. While quantity remains the same (First Law), the quality of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time. How so? Usable energy is inevitably used for productivity, growth and repair. In the process, usable energy is converted into unusable energy. Thus, usable energy is irretrievably lost in the form of unusable energy.

    “Entropy” is defined as a measure of unusable energy within a closed or isolated system (the universe for example). As usable energy decreases and unusable energy increases, “entropy” increases. Entropy is also a gauge of randomness or chaos within a closed system. As usable energy is irretrievably lost, disorganization, randomness and chaos increase.
    – See more at: http://www.allaboutscience.org/second-law-of-thermodynamics.htm#sthash.sNqlbtHJ.dpuf

    Reply
    • The Laws of Thermodynamics take on a special importance because of their scope. It has been shown that Newton’s laws of physics are only applicable in certain conditions. These conditions include pretty much every situation important to most engineers, chemists, and scientists. However, there are some known conditions where “Newtonian” physics are inaccurate. The Laws of Thermodynamics have no such exceptions. Energy is conserved, regardless of the amount or type of energy. Closed systems always tend towards greater entropy unless externally modified, whether those systems are atomic or galactic in size.

      This means that the three Laws of Thermodynamics have influence over every scientific discipline, every biological or geological process, and every interstellar system. We can immediately test certain ideas against the Laws of Thermodynamics to see if they follow some of the universe’s most basic rules. Ideas that don’t follow those rules are either wrong or must be caused by some supernatural influence. For example, perpetual motion machines are provably impossible according to the Laws of Thermodynamics. The first law shows that energy (or matter) cannot be created from nothing, and the second law shows that a closed system will degrade its own energy over time. A machine that runs forever without any external energy source is either fictional or powered by some unnatural source.
      – See more at: http://www.allaboutscience.org/three-laws-of-thermodynamics-faq.htm#sthash.jUA2XyId.dpuf

      Reply
  77. Colorado Bob

     /  December 1, 2014

    Worldwide Chocolate Shortage Linked to Drought in West Africa, Indonesia

    While researchers are working to stem diseases that attack the cacao trees, which produce the beans used to make chocolate, another problem is looming in a potential worldwide chocolate shortage: drought.

    Meanwhile, the demand for chocolate is growing worldwide. Farmers are producing less cocoa than the world eats, creating a deficit, according to Bloomberg.

    The chocolate deficit is expected to grow to 1 million metric tons by 2020 and to 2 million metric tons a year by 2030, Bloomberg reported.

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/drought-world-chocolate-shortage/38145875

    Reply
  78. Colorado Bob

     /  December 1, 2014

    Drought-hit Sao Paulo may ‘get water from mud’: TRFN

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – São Paulo, Brazil’s drought-hit megacity of 20 million, has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves, officials say.

    The city began using its second so-called “technical reserve” 10 days ago to prevent a water crisis after reservoirs reached critically low levels last month.

    This is the first time the state has resorted to using the reserves, experts say.

    “If we take into account the same pattern of water extraction and rainfall that we’ve seen so far this month – and it’s been raining less than half of the average – we can say the (reserve) will last up to 60 days,” said Marussia Whately, a water resources specialist at environmental NGO Instituto Socioambiental.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/29/us-sao-paulo-water-idUSKCN0JD05020141129

    Reply
    • Use less water in smaller pots, & use it very slowly befo you runs out too fast.

      Reply
    • They keep moving from stopgap to stopgap. 2 more months of water left. And it’s the rainy season.

      Reply
    • Andy (at work)

       /  December 1, 2014

      That fits with the calculations I’ve been estimating/running for a few months. I push it out to 90 days with factoring in rainfall which is on track to be similar to last year. I have a rough date of March 5th.

      Reply
  79. A verbatim quote from Krugman’s recent anti-science piece; “Slow steaming & the supposed limits to growth.”

    “And of course by using still more ships, you can combine higher output with less fuel consumption. There is, despite what some people who think they’re being sophisticated somehow believe, no reason at all that you can’t produce more while using less energy. It’s not a free lunch — it requires more of other inputs — but that’s just ordinary economics. Energy is just an input like other inputs.”

    This is both ordinary economics & phantasmagorical economic science.

    Also known as energy inputs from heaven &/or Gawd.

    The outputs, CO2 pollution, are just another “externality.”

    Goddamn scientists with their limits.

    Reply
    • Rio & Sao Paolo are already in the courts over it.
      Comes the preying lawyerfish; “Let’s the two of you fight, while we milk.”

      Reply
  80. Ouse M.D.

     /  December 1, 2014

    I’ ve been thinking a lot and having conversations this weekend.
    Fossil fuels are not really to blame at the first place, It’s rather our poor handling of them- amongst other issues.
    Anyone of us thinking about how many ancestors we’re tanking into our cars/planes/ships/aggregators etc.and burning them off into the atmosphere?
    Couple of hundred miliion years worth. I guess this kind of spiritual thinking- or better to say- the lack of it, has got us into this mess.
    The same with all the non- living resources.
    You can input all the science You want; striving simply at growth- regardless of which resource we take on- doesn’t leave room for any kind of spiritualism.
    After all-
    We are all just STARDUST, very slowly awakening to consciousness.

    Reply
    • Our current rate of fossil fuel burning is absolutely to blame. We could be burning 1/100th what we do now and still have trouble long term.

      Reply
  81. RWood

     /  December 1, 2014

    As that, this is true or false, or either/ether:
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43795.pdf

    Reply
  82. Colorado Bob

     /  December 1, 2014

    Australia had hottest spring and second hottest November on record

    Bureau of Meteorology says spring 2014’s average temperature of 24C exceeded the mean by 1.5C, ‘the largest seasonal departure we’ve ever had’

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/dec/01/australia-had-hottest-spring-and-second-hottest-november-on-record

    Reply
  83. Grazi mikkel, Paul Krugman gave me a dose of much needed dark humor.

    In these times of despair we need all the humor we can get.

    How can a grown man, who spouts such preposterous nonsense, be considered a genius?

    Talk about the ideas of the ruling class.

    Reply
  84. Collateral body counts? Fossil fuel induced mass murder?
    Notice that other ‘N’ word NITROGEN (dioxide) is used. Color them dead.

    ‘Air pollution to blame for 60,000 early deaths per year, Government to be warned’

    Air pollution, largely from diesel vehicle road traffic, may be to blame for as many as 60,000 early deaths in Britain each year, the Government’s scientific advisors are set to warn it.

    The Sunday Times newspaper reports that the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, an official advisory body, will publish a report next year showing that the premature death toll caused by road traffic pollution is around twice as high as originally thought.

    The official death toll for air pollution in the UK is currently 29,000, but this does not take into account levels of the gas nitrogen dioxide, which is mainly emitted by diesel engines whose deadly effects are not included in the existing official count.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/air-pollution-to-blame-for-60000-early-deaths-per-year-government-to-be-warned-9893810.html

    Reply
  85. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2014
    Reply
    • “I’m 42 and I’ve never seen anything like it…”

      Warming atmosphere overloaded with moisture. Amazing collision of air masses as the Jet entangles overhead. Climate change context in the news there?

      Reply
      • “The prime minister’s office dubbed the flooding “exceptional” in a statement but said “the situation is under control.”

        … under control?
        DT

        Reply
  86. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2014
    Reply
    • We have warm air coming off the Atlantic colliding with cold from the continent. Those med lows keep firing up, and tend to remain stationary for long periods.

      Reply
  87. Apneaman

     /  December 2, 2014

    EU scraps science advisor role – now are you happy, Greenpeace?

    http://www.marklynas.org/2014/11/eu-scraps-science-advisor-role-now-are-you-happy-greenpeace/

    Reply
    • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      The Two Cultures is the title of the first part of an influential 1959 Rede Lecture by British scientist and novelist C. P. Snow.[1][2] Its thesis was that “the intellectual life of the whole of western society” was split into the titular two cultures — namely the sciences and the humanities — and that this was a major hindrance to solving the world’s problems.

      Snow’s position can be summed up by an often-repeated part of the essay:

      A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare’s?[5]

      I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question — such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? — not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.[5]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Cultures

      Reply
  88. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 2, 2014

    That big green thing between Greenland & Norway seems like it may be out of place….

    Reply
    • See the most recent post😉

      Yeah, it’s a doozey. Early reports show the warmest stratosphere on record for this time of year.

      In all honesty, it’s a mess. We have El Nino trying to develop which goes counter to this. But here we are.

      Reply
  89. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 2, 2014

    Floods & Drought double team Thailand. Bad for crops.

    http://floodlist.com/asia/floods-increase-unemployment-thailands-agricultural-sector

    Reply
    • Drought/flood, drought-flood, drought and then flood. There’s got to be a way to add in 6% increase in the hydrological cycle and make a TS Eliot – esque verse about it.

      We are the hollow men
      Burning black
      Drinking frack

      The drought came
      Then the flood
      Then the drought again

      Too much heat
      Too much water
      In the air

      Too little to drink

      Reply
  90. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 2, 2014

    Almost 100 million affected by natural disasters in 2013, 87% of which were in Asia. Floods responsible for 44% of deaths.

    http://floodlist.com/dealing-with-floods/world-disasters-report-100-million-affected-2013

    Reply
    • Doesn’t list the number of refugees as a result… Although the UN is having a terrible refugee problem, primarily due to Syria and Iraq. The Syria situation, which we well know, is directly related to a climate change induced drought.

      Reply
  1. The Year of Atmospheric Change – Part II | Planet in Distress
  2. Climate Change Evidence: Northern Hemisphere Temperature Anomalies for 12-1-2014 | Aviation Impact Reform
  3. Climate Degrading FAST | Survival Acres Blog

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